5 Hot Tips for Grilling in Cold Weather

If the weather outside is frightful, there’s no reason the grilling can’t still be… well, yeah. You know.

In fact, there’s something invigorating about braving the elements to deliver a delicious, juicy meal hot off the grill to those (wimpier) friends and family members who chose to remain inside during inclement weather. Today’s grillers know no boundaries when it comes to firing up the grill. Check out the “5 Hot Tips For Grilling In Cold Weather” below to get the most out of your grill during these chilly winter months.

Tip #1: Give the grill more time to heat up… Cold, temperatures affect charcoal and standard gas grills, so you’ll need to allow at least 10 minutes extra pre-heating time. A few grills, like the Saber line with their infrared system don’t need extra pre-heat time except in extreme temperatures, 10 below or more.

Tip #2: Select meats with shorter cooking times. It’s 38 degrees outside; now is not the time to recreate your dad’s all-day slow-smoked ribs. Think fish or brats or really thin hamburgers and flank steaks. Unless, of course, you love the cold, in which case go ahead and toss on a pair of thick, juicy steaks.

Tip #3: Grill everything. If you’re going to fire up the grill in the snow, make it worth your while. Don’t be satisfied with sliding a couple of burgers on the grill. You’re already out in the mix so throw on some peppers and onions, maybe a portabella mushroom or some bacon. Grilled romaine lettuce? Yes, please. And don’t forget that cold, lonely little bun. Toss that baby on the grill with some butter and toast it right up.

Tip #4: Grill with the lid closed. I don’t care how good your infrared system is, it’s still not going to keep a pork chop dry if it’s sleeting out. If it’s snowing, raining or sleeting out (or if temperatures are below freezing), close the lid. Be aware that closing the lid on any grill will decrease the cooking time by compensating for the ambient temperature.

Tip #5: Seek shelter. There’s no point in standing outside in wind and rain just to watch your meat cook. Put the food on the grill, take your timer inside and only venture out when it’s time to flip the meat or bring it in. And while you’re sheltering yourself, protect your grill from the elements, if at all possible. At the very least, position it 90 degrees from the wind for optimal performance. And protect your investment by always keeping your grill covered when not in use.

Finally, less a tip than a caution, never grill inside, even in your garage, no matter what the weather. But don’t let a little snow and cold weather stop you. There’s something about having to work a little hard for your food that makes it taste that much better.

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