Baby, it’s cold outside. But we know that’s not stopping you from cooking up the Burgers you love. Before you head out into the winter cold, make sure you’re prepared.
While the method for optimally cooking Burgers remains the same—cook on high heat, flip only once if possible, use the “face” method to determine doneness—there are a few things you should do to ensure your Burgers come out just as perfect as if it were summertime.
Keep Yourself Protected From The Elements. Find a spot outside least affected by the wind and snow. Determine which way the wind is blowing and adjust accordingly so you’re not feeling the brunt of the winter chill.
Dress Accordingly. It’s cold out there, so don’t be a hero. Dress warm—coat, scarf, gloves, hat—to make sure you’re not feeling the effects of the winter chill. Cooking outside may take longer than usual, so it’s important to stay bundled.
Grill In An Open Area. Even though you ought to find a spot least affected by the elements, make sure not to grill to close to the house or in an enclosed location. Find the balance between protection from the wind and snow and safety. Remember to always make safety a top priority.
Protect The Meat. If your Burgers are in the fridge, make sure to let them get up to close to room temperature before you head outside. If the Burgers are too cold, they’ll take longer to cook (and may not cook evenly).
Turn Up The Heat. Warm up your grill a little earlier than normal. If it’s cold outside, it’ll take your grill longer to get up to temperature.
Be Prepared To Fuel Up. Keep some extra fuel on hand—the cold may contribute to your grill having to use more fuel to stay at temperature. This can be especially true if you use a propane grill.
Check The Time. Grilling out in the cold usually means meat takes longer to get up to cooking temperature. So be sure to budget your time appropriately and allow more time for your Burgers to cook. You don’t want guests getting grumpy.
Trap The Heat. Keep the lid closed. Every second the lid is open is an opportunity for heat to escape and for your Burgers to not cook as evenly.
Check The Temperature. Cooking your Burger to the right internal temperature is especially important when cooking outside (as the winter chill can hide the true temperature of the meat). Get yourself a meat thermometer and test your Burger for doneness before you remove it from the grill.
The Journey Home. Preheat a cast iron or ceramic pan to transfer your Burgers from your grill back inside. After you’ve put in all that work, it’d be a shame to see your Burgers get cold before they hit the table.
No matter how you choose to cook your Burger, be sure to follow these tips and you’ll be a winter grilling master in no time. And don’t forget to check out our Tips For Grilling the Very Best Burger for some additional tips straight from the experts.