Cooking Outdoors in the Cold
Love grilling, but hate having to take a months-long hiatus once the winter rolls in?
The good news is, there are some tips and suggestions for effectively cooking outdoors in the cold weather, which we’ll provide below.
Insulate Your Grill
Just as you bundle up when the winter sets in, you should also consider insulating your grill for optimal performance.
By insulating the grill chamber, you can help to keep the cold out and allow the grill to better regulate its temperature. This will make your grill more energy efficient, too.
There are plenty of all-weather grill blankets on the market that are highly effective, so consider buying one of these for your grill if you live in areas with particularly cold winters.
Limit Opening the Grill
Another thing to keep in mind when you’re cooking outdoors during cold weather is to limit opening up the lid of the grill as much as possible.
Each time you open the lid the heat quickly escapes from the chamber, and it takes longer to heat back up due to the colder temperatures. With this in mind, try to only lift the lid when it’s time to flip your food, put it on the grill, or take it off.
Plus, you can use a wireless digital probe to check the temperature of the meat at all times without having to open the grill and check it manually.
Lengthen Cooking Times
Considering what we’ve covered so far, it’s easy to see why cooking times for the grill during the winter will be longer.
This includes both preheating and cooking, so make sure to account for this extra time when you’re timing out your grilled meals.
Utilize Cast Iron
Something that can help you optimize your winter grilling is to add cast iron grates to your grill surface. These tend to get hotter, faster than the regular aluminum or stainless steel grates that come in most standard grills and are an easy swap to make.
Using cast iron grates can help you keep the temperature applied to your food more consistent, which can leave you with better results.
Lastly, possibly the most important tip here is to make sure you stay bundled up and warm if you plan on heading out to grill during the winter.
You can give yourself a designated coat or stocking cap for grilling that absorbs the smoky and charcoal odors, and you can even consider wearing fingerless gloves for some added warmth.
So as you can see, just because it’s winter time doesn’t mean it’s time to put the grill away until summer. Using these helpful suggestions, you can keep grilling all year long.
–Written by Bailey Schramm in partnership with Werever outdoor kitchen cabinets.