You take pride in your grilling skills. And a little bit of snow and a little thing called the polar vortex isn’t enough to make you quit BBQing during winter. But to do the job well in these cold months, there’s more to consider than just pulling on your down coat and a pair of gloves.
Place your BBQ strategically
Where you have your BBQ for the warm months may not necessarily be the best spot for it in the winter. You’ll want it in a spot that’s not windy, but make sure not to have it so close to your home that it’s a potential fire hazard. This includes putting it in your garage (where the gases from your BBQ could build up and be dangerous). Also, since you’ll likely be grilling in the dark given the few number of daylight hours in the winter, you’ll want it in an area where you have some lighting installed.
Keep the lid down
You know that every time you lift open the lid of your BBQ, heat escapes and you affect how well your food is grilling and this is even worse when you do it in the frigid winter temperatures. And while on the topic of heat, preheating so your grill is at the right temperature as soon as you start grilling is just as critical now (and in fact, you might want to preheat to above the temperature you need since you will lose heat once you open the BBQ to add your food due to the cold weather). Besides, if you don’t preheat, you won’t get that nice sear on your meat, and your grills will be tougher to clearn (food sticks to the grill when the grates are cold).
Make sure you have enough propane or charcoal
It sounds pretty basic, but if your BBQ isn’t connected to a propane line and you’re relying on cannisters, you’ll want to ensure you don’t run out of gas mid-way through preparing your meal in the cold, harsh winter weather. Remember, also, that your BBQ will take longer to heat up, since it’s out in the cold.
Dress for the grilling job
You need to keep warm, that’s for sure, but avoid laying on so much that you can’t move about freely and avoid anything that can easily catch on fire, such as a scarf that could hang over the grill or sleeves that hang.
Stick to simple recipes
Keep the more involved and labour-intensive recipes for the summer. It’s freezing out and as much as you love grilling, chances are you don’t care to fuss a lot over the food on your grill in the cold or be forced to make many trips in and out of the house as you grill. Choose recipes where the work’s done in advance; think meats that you’ve marinated overnight that don’t call for basting, for example.