Tips for outdoor grilling during the winter months

16 March, 2015

A hankering for some charred meat or grilled veggies, using some of your flavoured Cutting Edge Firewood to get that extra smokey taste, in the middle of winter can really put a damper on your mood if you’re unable to satiate that craving. Since not everyone has the good fortune to live in an area that’s warm year round, some pesky snowflakes or frozen slush shouldn’t matter too much when it comes time to start dinner. Whether your outdoor dining set has been safely packed away for months or has been strategically covered and buried under a mountain of snow, getting into the backyard to fire up the grill can warm up even the coldest of days.

Here are some useful tips for outdoor grilling during the long, cold winter months:

Keeping warm
No matter how long you plan on spending outside to grill, be sure to always dress the part. Beware of low-hanging scarves, straps, or belts that might dangle too close to the grill and catch fire. An outdoor fire pit can assist in keeping you warm, but getting that lit and going can take longer than getting the grill going. If you are going to use outdoor heaters then you might want to look up some of the best COD fuel deals in NJ, or your hometown to see if you can get a potentially good deal on any fuel you might need for the heaters. Also, remember that the days are much shorter in the winter months, so try to take advantage of the diminished hours of warmer sunlight, if at all possible, and be sure to have your food prepped in advance in order to avoid trying to season it in the dark while you’re wearing mittens.

Grill maintenance
After sufficiently bundling up, the next step is to ensure that you clear all the snow off the grill. Yes, the grill will get very hot and will likely melt away the snow eventually, but time is of the essence, so getting the grill warmed up right away means you can get back into the warmth of your home much more quickly. Although some hardcore charcoal barbecuers consider gas grills sacrilegious to the process, these appliances are the optimal choice for the winter. These require much less prep than a charcoal grill so that you don’t spend an hour freezing out in the elements, but instead have more time in the house to enjoy your delicious, flame-kissed food. If you’re still choosing between the different types of outdoor grill and are yet to make a decision, you may want to factor in the price of each. You can certainly make price less of an issue if you use money-saving techniques like couponing and sourcing promo codes so that you can bag yourself a great deal on a quality product. Using a site like Raise means that you don’t always have to pick the lesser option as they can help you make savings on what would otherwise be your ideal choice – their coupons and promo codes are available for use at many of your favorite stores, including Lowe’s which is perfect if you’re in the market for outdoor cooking equipment! Make sure to keep the grill no closer than 10 feet to the house for safety purposes, but be careful in placing it too far away, or else you’re likely to spend more time outside in the cold than necessary.

The fire
Perhaps the single most important aspect of the grilling experience is the actual fire. If you’re using a gas grill, make sure the lines are clear and not frozen, since a frozen line is more susceptible to cracking. It takes a bit longer for the grill to warm up to an appropriate temperature, so having a thermometer handy is a good idea. If the grill’s flame is more of a yellowish color than the standard blue flame, check the lines for blockage in the air inlets or try adjusting the burners.

Despite cooking on an open flame, the coldness can still affect the food being cooked, so it’s wise to keep the grill lid closed while cooking in order to trap the heat inside. Space has a tendency to be much more limited in the winter, but by keeping a portable accent table close at hand, you can hold all your necessary grilling utensils without having to leave them lying around in any snow mounds.

Don’t let the cold or the snow dissuade you from enjoying the deliciousness a freshly grilled meal can provide. Who knows? You might start liking it even more than you originally thought, which means it might be time to start pulling out the outdoor furniture a little earlier than usual.