It’s wintertime, and for many, that means putting the barbecue away and lighting up the outdoor fire pit. However, with the right tips and accessories, you can enjoy grilling right through the winter.
Read on for our guide on how to safely and warmly BBQ in winter.
BBQ in Winter With Safety in Mind
Before you do anything, make sure to prepare the grilling area. In the wintertime, you’ll want to make sure to eliminate any tripping hazards. For instance, it’s important to remove snow from the ground. This is especially important if you plan to cook at night. Cooking at night also increases your risk of having an accident.
Also, clear away obstacles such as:
- Extension cords
- Garden statues
- Outdoor furniture
These things can become hard to spot and navigate around if they’re covered with snow or if you’re moving in the dark.
If you plan to grill in the winter, think about the distance between your grill and your home. You shouldn’t position your grill less than 10 feet away from your home—any closer and sparks from your grill can create a fire hazard. Also, make sure to place your grill on a firm, level surface.
Make Sure You Have Enough Propane
You should also note your fuel supply and think of a dry place to store your tank. If you have an extra propane tank, store it away from where you’ll use your lit grill.
It also helps to understand that propane doesn’t burn efficiently in the cold. You’ll need to use more fuel when you BBQ in winter than when you cook in the summer.
Not only that, but you likely haven’t used your barbecue for some time, or you may be fresh off a busy season of grilling and running low on gas.
You can check your fuel level quickly with the Cuisinart Propane Tank Gauge. It’s a pocket-sized fuel gauge that has an easy-to-read analog face.
Tips for Keeping Your Grill & Food Warm
- It takes about 20 minutes to warm up your grill in the summertime. However, in winter, you’ll want to double that time to 40 minutes. It’s vital to get your grill hot enough so that food doesn’t stick.
- As a rule of thumb, the closer it is to freezing outside, the less efficiently your grill will work. Also, if you live in a very cold area, a propane tank will not function when it’s -44 degrees F or colder.
- When you BBQ in winter, make sure to keep the lid of your grill closed. You can open it to flip your meat, but otherwise, keep it closed tightly so that the grill’s temperature doesn’t get too cool.
- While cooking, it’s helpful to keep your grill at a 90-degree angle to the wind to keep it from lowering the internal temperature. When your food is done, the Blackstone Signature 12-Inch Round Basting Cover is ideal for keeping your dishes covered and warm as you work the grill.
- The cover works well on both grate and Blackstone griddles. You can use it whether you’re cooking for two or a group. As a bonus, you can also use the Blackstone Signature basting cover to quickly melt cheese on burgers or other dishes.
Watch Your Temperature Without Freezing
There’s no need to huddle by the grill as your food cooks. Instead, you can use a digital thermometer and app to keep yourself toasty inside as you grill.
The Weber iGrill Mini is a Bluetooth-enabled digital thermometer. The magnetic thermometer has 150 hours of battery life and it pairs with your smart device easily through the Weber iGrill app. From there, it can alert you as soon as your meat reaches the ideal temperature.
Gloves & Other Must-Haves to BBQ in Winter
If it’s bitter cold out, you’ll need to come up with a plan to keep your digits cozy. Of course, winter gloves can keep your fingers warm, but they’re not so great for grilling.
Instead, opt for gloves designed for extremely high temperatures. Suitable grilling gloves also have long cuffs to protect your skin from burns. Ekogrips Max Heat Silicone BBQ and Cooking Gloves are affordable, funky, and offer excellent grip courtesy of their textured surface. They’re made of extra tough heat-resistant silicone, so they won’t rip or tear easily.
Also, remember to dress the part even though you don’t plan to stay outside with your grill. It’s important to layer— wear whatever you need to keep warm:
- Long-sleeve shirt
Dress Your Grill for the Cold Winter Weather
It’s also important to dress your grill. You read right. Wrap your grill up tightly with a quality grill cover when summer ends. This will make it easier to start and heat your grill in the dead of winter.
As an example, the Classic Accessories SkyShield Water-Resistant BBQ Grill Cover will keep your grill safe from the elements, whether it’s sunny, snowing, windy, or rainy.
In Rain, Sleet & Snow: We Grill
With these tips and gadgets, there’s no need to give up on grilling in the wintertime. You can BBQ in winter and still create wonderful grilled dishes in your home, even when it’s biting cold outside.