If you and your family love the rich and complex flavors of grilled meat and barbecue cuts, you don’t have to let the seasons get in the way. Spring, summer, and autumn are the most popular times to grill, but you can still enjoy your favorites during the winter if you know the right techniques and tips for winter grilling.
The weather might be getting colder, but you can keep your grill fired up. Keep these tips in mind if you want to grill during the winter.
Make Sure You Have Enough Fuel
When the temperature drops, your grill will have to work harder to maintain the ideal operating temperatures. This typically means that you’ll use more fuel in the winter. If you’re using a natural gas grill, you won’t have to worry about storing extra fuel.
For propane and charcoal grills, it’s best to double the amount of fuel that you have on hand.
Invest in an extra propane tank or buy an extra bag of charcoal for winter grilling.
Check Hoses on Your Gas Grill
The colder air can cause problems with gas hoses during the winter. While most hoses are designed to deal with the stress of temperature fluctuations throughout the year, it’s a good idea to check connectors and the length of your hoses each month.
Look for cracks along the surface of the hose. If you find any, replace the hose immediately to eliminate fuel loss and the risk of a fire or explosion.
To check connectors, make sure they are secured to your grill and gas source, and apply some dish soap around the metal parts and the end of the hose. If bubbles form, there’s a leak, and you’ll need to replace the faulty parts.
It’s a good idea to check your connectors no matter the season, so you could add this step into your routine maintenance even during the warmer months of the year.
Grill Away From the Wind
To ensure consistent temperatures and maximize efficiency, make sure you’re grilling in a sheltered area. You can use a tree, a shed, or the side of your house for coverage. Make sure that you’re at least ten feet away from your house or another outdoor structure.
If you have a tree or hedge line, you can also use this to provide shelter from wind gusts.
If it’s particularly windy outside, consider delaying your grilling session until the weather clears. High winds could topple some smaller grills.
Clear any Snow From Around Your Grill
If it has been snowing, clear a six-foot perimeter around your grill. This will help to keep the area clean and prevent slips and falls as the snow melts.
Grill With the Top Down
During the summer, you can grill with the top up and still get searing heat on your cooking grids. The winter changes this, with ambient temperatures and gusts and breezes significantly cooling the area directly on top of your grill.
Keep the hood down as much as possible to improve efficiency and ensure your surface temperature is maintained.
Use a Grill Thermometer
Food can take longer to cook during the winter, so you’ll need to use a reliable grill thermometer to check the interior of red meat, poultry, and fish.
You can invest in a simple probe like the Amagarm Meat Food Thermometer. If you want something that can monitor temperatures continuously during cooking, consider this Enzoo Wireless Meat Thermometer with four temperature probes.
Make the Most of Your Grill This Winter
You can enjoy your favorite foods hot off the grill, even during the winter. Follow our tricks and techniques for winter grilling and you’ll enjoy your favorite fresh ingredients throughout the holiday season and into the new year.