The trees may be frost-tipped and gentle snow could be falling, but it’s still a great time to fire up the grill. If you’ve worked up an appetite shovelling show or building winter forts with the kids, here are some tips for using the barbeque during the chilly season to cook up some juicy burgers or a delicious roast even when it’s cold outside.
Perhaps you’ve been given a new BBQ for the holidays, or you’ve been disconnected since the summer. If it’s natural gas, you might want to have certified professionals hook everything up for you. Plumbers can connect and service a variety of propane and natural gas appliances like the BBQ and in the rest of the home. They can also connect gas fittings for stoves, fireplaces, dryers, heaters, and hot water tanks while there, to prepare all your toasty appliances at once. (For Vancouver Island residents click here for any gas fitting or winter plumbing maintenance needs with satisfaction guaranteed.)
When it’s time to get cookin’, dress for the weather so you can spend ample time grilling to perfection instead of dashing in and out of the house.
Before you go to warm up the grill, check for animals that may have hidden in your BBQ as a refuge from the blowing snows.
It gets darker much earlier in the winter, so make sure to have enough light shining on your cooking area and bring all of the tools you need so they’re readily on hand. Clear a path to your grill to avoid stumbling on uneven, snowy ground.
Your fuel won’t be as efficient in cold temperatures, so ensure you have extra – about 50% more might be necessary.
Always cook out in the open to prevent a fire hazard, but placement too far from structures could lead you to be exposed to strong gusts of wind. Choose a day to grill when the wind is kindest and safest for your situation. Don’t cook under overhangs or porches, and never cook in your garage, workshop, or other enclosed spaces.
You’ll need extra time for the grill to warm up because some parts are quite cold or even frozen. It’s wise to bring the BBQ up to the right temperature at a slower pace to avoid going from one extreme to the other. A properly heated grill will prevent sticking.
Keep a fire extinguisher and a bottle or container of warm water handy. If there’s a grease fire, your garden hose won’t be hooked up or available in a pinch (because it should be unhooked and stored for the winter). Grease can pool and cause flare ups.
Plan your cooking around keeping the lid down for most of the time. Opening it in cold or even sub-zero temps will drastically lower the temperature and add to the cooking time. Avoid BBQ selections that require a lot of tending to, adjusting, turning, etc.
A smoker is another great way to cook in the winter. Plan your day around keeping an eye on it, however, because it can take 8 hours or longer depending on your recipes. Have a thermometer ready to periodically check the progress, as cooking times will be affected by the wintry conditions.
Fetch your completed feast with ceramic cookware and a lid to protect it from heat loss on your way back inside.