Food thrown on the grill just seems to taste better doesn’t it? But many people pack up their grills on Labour Day and don’t bring them out again until the weather warms up. Fortunately, even in Canada, winter grilling is not only possible, but can be a nice treat when you’re feeling those winter blues.
There are a few things that you need to take into consideration if you want to have a winter BBQ. To make things safer, easier, and tastier for you, we’ve compiled a list of tips on winter grilling.
In the cold winter weather, everything seems to take longer… including pre-heating your grill. Make sure you allot for an extra 15-20 minutes of prep time as your grill will pre-heat slower. Also keep in mind the time it will take you to find a sheltered spot, clear away snow, prep the food, etc. To save time, you can use smaller cuts of meat and vegetables that cook faster.
If your grill is hooked up to your main propane tank, it’s good to check all the lines and connections. Having scheduled delivery will make sure you don’t run out of propane. When your tank reaches 30% you can call Budget Propane for a refill.
Pick A Spot
Find a spot that is sheltered from the wind but still keeps your grill at least 10 feet away from any flammable structures like your house. Once you have found the perfect spot, clear any snow away from the cooking area, grill, and any snow covering the tank.
Clear a path from your grill to your house. It’s important to clear the snow away from the grill totally, otherwise it will melt and later freeze to ice which could be a slipping hazard. Put salt or sand down as well, as slipping on ice with a tray full of food would not be very pleasant.
It is winter after all, so make sure you're dressing for the weather. Be aware of any dangley bits like scarves and pom-poms that can catch fire over the grill. Tuck your scarf securely in your jacket.
Don’t forget that your winter gloves are not heat-proof! Make sure to wear gloves appropriate for grilling so you don’t burn yourself.
Close the Lid
During the summer and warmer months, your grill will hold heat a lot better. In the winter, the cold temperatures and wind will cause your grill to not only take longer to heat up and cook, but will also cause it to lose a lot of heat every time you open it. For this reason, it’s best to keep the lid closed as much as possible.
You can use a timer to keep yourself from checking on your food too often. it’s also a good idea to use a meat thermometer to make sure your meat is fully cooked as it will take longer to cook in colder temperatures.
- Here are some winter grilling safety tips to make sure you get the most out of your winter BBQ
Inspect your grill, lines, and tank for any damage or wear that might be a safety issue.
Remember that it gets dark earlier, so either plan to grill earlier in the day or have some bright lights on hand so you aren’t trying to cook in the dark.
Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any other flammable objects/ structures
Never bring your grill inside an enclosed space such as a garage or shed, keep it in a well ventilated area outside.
Because it will take longer to cook your meat, make sure to have a meat thermometer on hand to ensure it is safe to eat.
A winter BBQ can be a really great way to break out of a winter gloom until the warmer weather comes around. Don’t be afraid to break out the tongs, apron, and long johns this winter!
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