Article by Dhyfeer
I absolutely love outdoor grilling and unlike some people I really don’t mind winter grilling at all. As a matter of fact I grill out during every season of the year and in all temperatures and weather conditions. Of course it might be a bit more challenging grilling during the winter months and yes probably a bit more difficult, but it really isn’t anything that can’t be overcome.
I would say the one question that I am consistently asked more often than any other is, do you prefer gas grills or charcoal grills when grilling out in the wintertime? My answer to that question is I have used both to one degree or another and both can work well depending on what you are cooking.
I will say this though, I do prefer using gas grills during the colder months, especially if I am grilling larger cuts of meat like a roast. The reason is these grills get up to cooking temperature much quicker than charcoal and they hold their cooking temperatures better. Charcoal works fine for smaller cuts of meat like steak and hamburger, but for the larger cuts, in my mind, gas is the most convenient to use. Roasts take a while to cook and gas hold it’s temperatures better, plus you don’t have to replenish coals.
I will also say that the better the quality of grill you buy, the better it will perform during the wintertime. That old adage that says you get what you pay for does hold true in this case.
One important thing to remember is, whether you are using gas or charcoal, remember to compensate for the colder weather. If you are using a charcoal grill for example you might need more coals to get up to your proper cooking temperatures and maintain those temps. How many extra coals you might need would depend on the air temperature and wind conditions that day. Knowing that comes with experience so cook and learn as you go. Also remember that every grill is a bit different in it’s performance so I would suggest that you get to know yours and how it performs in all conditions.
Actually if you are using a charcoal grill in the deep winter, when the temperatures are at their lowest, I would recommend using lump coal if you can find it. This will burn much hotter for you and make it easier to cook your food.
When using gas grills in the winter it might just be a matter of having your burners on a slightly higher setting than during the warmer months to compensate for the colder weather. Again each grill is different so do take the time to learn yours and how it performs in all-weather conditions.
I have put together some very basic tips and suggestions for you to use when winter grilling. Outdoor grilling during the winter months can be fun as long as you take certain precautions and your equipment is working properly and actually there some very easy and basic things you can do each fall to ensure you don’t have problems cooking in the winter.
Charcoal grills require very little maintenance however gas grills do need some from time to time. I have found that if you take the time up front to do some maintenance checks on your equipment while it is still warm out, you probably won’t have to make repairs when it gets really cold. I have been there before and I can tell you that is not much fun making repairs when it is really cold out.
* Check all your hoses for possible cracks
* Make sure that all your connections are tight
* Check all your burners for blockage and damage
* I would also recommend that you clean out your drip pans and firebox. This will help prevent flare ups while cooking. Actually you should be doing this from time to time anyway
* If you keep a spare bottle of gas like I do be sure to keep it full
The proper placement of your grill is always an important consideration however when grilling out in the wintertime, where you put your grill can become even more important to you.
* Everyone’s house and landscaping is different and depending on how yours lays out I would try to have your grill as close to your house as you can safely do so. For me that means less shoveling to get to my food
* Outdoor grilling in the winter can be tough, especially if it is cold and the wind is blowing. Not only is it uncomfortable to be in, but those conditions will change the performance of your grill as well. If you can place your grill in a spot utilizing a wall as a wind break I would suggest you do that
* Don’t forget the sun sets earlier in the winter. I would recommend that you place your grill close to a good light source so you can see what you are cooking
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