Friday the 20th marks official start of spring. While many of the country is still waking up and opening the curtains to find the “white sea” outside, some of the more fortunately located folks of across the nation are enjoying another beautiful day on the horizon of spring.
For all the unfortunate souls stuck beneath the snow, we have come to support you in your time of need. We’ve put together our top cold-weather grill-out tips so that you can continue to enjoy the sweet taste of grilled food, come rain, wind or shine.
Whether you’re using gas or charcoal to grill or even to smoke, it’s vital to maintain a consistent temperature at all times. A fluctuating internal and external temperature drastically alters the way in which your food cooks. For this reason it’s important to keep regularly check the internal temperature of your grill.
On a “nice” day, your grill could be sat in the sun with a temperature of around 110 degrees without even having any fire combusting in the chamber. If this is the case, to reach optimal cooking temperature you would only have to increase the heat by around 190 to reach a smoker’s optimal temperature of about 290 degrees.
On the other hand, if the temperature is cold, you’re really going to have to ramp up the heat in order to get to an optimal temperature. If you’re using a gas grill, it’s fairly simple and usually turning up the heat via the appropriate dials is enough. However, if you’re using charcoal you’re going to have to allow a little more time and briquettes.
It goes without saying, but always keep the grill lid down! we’re all partial to a blonde moment every now and then…
When grilling in wind, always keep your grill at a 90 degree angle in order to reduce the wind making contact with the hot exterior and cooling it down from outside.
Those with smokers are bound to have the hardest time because of the need of internal air circulation. Too much wind coming in can turn up the heat a little too far and smoke the foods too fast. In contrast, blocking the air completely will only put out the smoke as the constant oxygen flow in convection is essential. Always keep one eye on the direction of the wind and have the wind flow into the vents that you would usually use. Being a little hotter on the inside may not be a problem in colder weather as the external temperature will bring the temperature down.
The ideal place to set up the grill (if possible) is obviously somewhere that is protected from the wind. If you do end up moving the grill or smoker somewhere new to grill, be sure that the area isn’t too enclosed as charcoal produces carbon monoxide while being burnt.
Rain creates a whole new problem altogether for grill’ers. Not only does rain usually bring along at least a little wind and in some cases for our colder friends- snow; but in addition to these elements, the rain evaporating on the heat of the grill or smoker’s casing will slowly draw out heat.
The biggest concern of yours should be keeping the food dry. Wrap up to keep yourself nice and dry and remember to keep the lid closed. When transporting food into the house, grab an umbrella to hold over the food. Have a hot plate warming in the oven to use to transport foods so that the outside temperature doesn’t bring the temperature of your cooked foods down too much.
Never let the cold weather stop you from doing anything you love. From grilling to fishing to shopping; getting outside and sticking it to the cold weather should always be a priority. It’s important not to let the weather dictate our lives too much. But obviously if your house is snowed in like many people are right now, then you’re allowed a little slack!