Heat Up Your Winter: Five Tips for Cold Weather Grilling
It’s only February and it feels like the winter may never end. You long for summer. You want to watch a baseball game. You want to go to the beach. You want to eat a juicy steak off of the grill.
While you may not be able to do those first two, cold weather should not get in the way of firing up the grill and cooking up a few T-bones. You may wonder how anyone could grill when it’s 5 degrees out and there’s a foot of snow on the ground. Well, wonder no more. Here are five tips to heat up your winter and get you grilling in cold weather.
- Always have a plan. First and foremost, have a plan of attack. Know exactly how much meat you are going to cook, how much gas or charcoal you will need, and how long it will take to grill your food. Charcoal users should have extra supplies on hand: you may need extra charcoal to get your grill up to temperature. Do as much prep work as you can indoors, including seasoning, and marinating meat and vegetables.
- Give me shelter. When it comes to grilling outdoors, the wind is your greatest enemy. At any minute, the wind can extinguish the flame of your grill and ruin your cooking process. Even with a covered grill, the cold wind can cool off the internal cooking temperature. You must prepare for the wind as best as possible. Try to situate your grill somewhere sheltered from the elements; behind a wall or a large tree. Keep an eye on your flame and, if the wind blows it out, re-ignite as quickly as possible.
- Cook it quick. If the wind is your greatest enemy, speed is your greatest ally. Select food that you can grill quickly like thinner steak cuts, peppers and onions, and sausage. The less time you have to spend outdoors, the better.
- Dress in layers that you can easily remove. When you grill in cold weather you will need to go in and out of your house a number of times, both to keep warm and to retrieve the items from your kitchen that you will need throughout the process. Make sure you wear winter clothes and boots that can be easily removed to keep from tracking too much snow into your home. Remember to keep scarves and other loose items tucked snugly into your coat so they stay away from flames!
- Enjoy an adult beverage. Just like grilling in the summer time, you may want to enjoy a beer while you grill. Unlike the summer, you don’t really need to worry about your beer getting warm while you cook. In the winter, you will learn quickly that snow is a great way to keep a beer cool while you grill.
Now that you know that grilling can be a year-round activity, grab some steaks or brats, grab a coat, grab a beer, get out there, and show everyone that you are a true winter warrior.