Personally, I love the challenge of grilling while freezing my ass off. Barbecuing in the cold ups the ante on the difficulty factor. It’s a great chance to hone your skills. Here are some more tips to consider for the next time you fire up the grates this winter.
- Be sure to clear the pathway to the grill. Carrying food and utensils to the grill can become out-right dangerous climbing over snow drifts or sliding on ice-covered decks. Shovel a pathway to–and around–the grill, and use sand to create some traction on slippery surfaces.
- Not all grills are created equal. Thick-walled ceramic cookers such as the Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe or Grill Dome provide more insulation than thin-walled steel grills. Infrared grills also work better in the cold, as they cook by radiation instead of convection.
- Don’t wear anything loose such as bulky down jackets or anything flowing like scarfs. Welders’ gloves or Lodge leather gloves are good for moving large pieces of meat around the grill they’re also bulky and make handling tongs and spatulas difficult. One alternative is the Pit Mitt by Charcoal Companion. The Pit Mitt is an aramid fiber (think Nomex and Kevlar) glove with a cotton liner than will withstand temperatures up to 475 degrees F.
- It gets dark early. While some grills are equipped with LED lights in the handle most are not. Invest in a good grill light (such as the Maverick GL-03) or a backpacking headlamp so you can see what’s cooking.
- Propane acts differently at lower temperatures. As the temperature decreases pressure in the tank also decreases, resulting in a lower flow. If it’s extremely cold, a partially filled tank might not develop enough pressure to keep the grill burning. Be sure your tank is at least one-half filled before beginning to cook.