Picture yourself taking a perfectly cut, juicy, bright red piece of steak and throwing it onto your grill. Imagine hearing the sizzle and starting to salivate, knowing that soon you’ll be dining on perfectly grilled burgers.
The only problem? You look at the calendar and realize it’s winter. The Fourth of July couldn’t be farther away.
Believe it or not, you can still have that burger though – you just need to create a winter grilling plan.
In this post, we’ll look at 13 items you’ll need if you want to grill outdoors when it’s cold. Follow our steps and you’ll be fighting the cold weather with a delicious burger in no time.
Just because you’re preparing the food with everyone’s favorite summer cooking mechanism doesn’t mean it’s going to FEEL like summer outside. Make sure you bundle up appropriately if it’s cold. Wear a warm coat and hat. If it’s especially cold outside, consider wearing additional layers like thermal underwear or a sweatshirt.
A Pair of Boots
If you’re carrying a plate of meat to and from your house and grill, you don’t want to slip and fall on any ice or snow. Wear some boots with a decent amount of traction. Falling could prove disastrous to your winter grilling plans and have you and yours ordering takeout!
The sun goes down earlier in the winter, so you’ll want to have a light attached to your grill for any times you’re grilling late in the afternoon or early evening. It’s important to be able to see what you’re doing to observe the burgers and make sure they’re cooked appropriately.
Make sure you have plenty of cleaning materials on hand to clean your grill and make sure to clean it inside your house before you go out into the cold. You may not be able to clean as effectively in the winter weather.
The only thing you want to do outside is cook. Make sure to do all pre-grilling prep indoors. If you have an outdoor sink or any other outdoor preparation materials, you may not be able to access it in the winter.
That said, make sure all grilling is done outside the house.
A Nice Place to Grill Outside – Prep Inside, But Never Grill Indoors
Yes, it’s cold out. Yes, grilled burgers are delicious no matter the season. Yes, you’d like to combine the warmth and comfort of your house with the great taste and fun times of grilling meat.
You can’t do it.
NEVER grill indoors or in any kind of enclosed area. Outdoor grills release dangerous carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if inhaled. This will either A) set off your carbon monoxide sensors or B) have potentially fatal consequences. Either way, stay outside! This includes grilling in your garage with the door open.
Pick a great spot on your deck or backyard where there isn’t too much snow and stay safe.
Both propane and gas function differently when the temperature drops. Having extra fuel is a must when grilling in the winter. You should have the usual amount of fuel you use plus half on hand.
This will ensure you don’t run out while you’re cooking. There’s nothing worse than preparing yourself for a great burger in the winter months only to have to bail out halfway through due to a lack of gas or propane.
Gloves with Fingers
Your hands will be close to the grill, so they’ll most likely stay pretty warm. However, if they’re still feeling cold it’s good to have a pair of gloves with fingers on the hands. This will give you the ability to keep your hands warm and manipulate your spatula or tongs. A pair of mittens may not give you the same grip on your utensils.
A Lowered Lid
It’s natural for a grillmaster to want to keep an eye on his or her burgers while they cook, only closing the grill when you have to. This is a mistake though if you’d like to grill when the weather grows cold. Heat is more likely to escape the grill in winter months, so lower your grill lid more than you would in the summer to make sure you keep the heat captured. Doing this will prevent you from undercooking the food.
A Snow Shovel
Depending on where your grill is located, you may need to clear a decent amount of snow before using it. If you’re on a patio or deck without a roof or covering, you may need to shovel snow to get there. If your grill is in your backyard, you may need to clear a path to it. Either way, it can’t hurt to take a shovel with you to clear some of that pesky white stuff out of the way.
An Ice Scraper
It’s entirely likely you haven’t used your grill since the summer or fall. If that’s the case, and you’ve already had snow fall this winter, you should bring an ice scraper to clear the grill of any excess ice hanging off of it. It’s true that if you wait it will melt off, but you definitely want to scrape as much ice as you can prior to heating up the grill so it doesn’t drip onto the meat while you’re cooking and exacerbate the grill’s fire.
If the forecast calls for snow or any other type of wintry mix, you’ll want to keep it out of your meat or your face. Keep an umbrella handy in case of any winter weather. It will make it easier for you to see what you’re doing and protect your meats at the same time.
An Easily Removed Hat
You may want to bundle up, and by all means, do so. But don’t wear a hat or hood you can’t remove or take off easily. If there’s any ice or snow above your head – say, on your roof or a tree – it may melt as you grill and fall on top of you. Keep an eye out for this as you grill. If some snow looks like it’s about to fall, make sure you cover your grill – and head for cover!
This one goes without saying. No matter what season you’re grilling in – winter, spring, summer, or fall – you need to have the finest beef on hand to cook with. This is what will take your winter barbecue to the next level. After all, if you’re going to be reminded of a fun summer meal, what’s the point of cooking with subpar ingredients? Go with the best!
That’s where Schweid and Sons have you covered! We’re a family owned and operated beef purveyor. We’ve been selling the highest quality beef since 1978. Located in Carlstadt, New Jersey, our mission is to bring “The Very Best Burger” to customers by offering a range of high-quality ground beef blends and products. All our ground beef is inspected or certified before it enters our shop.
For more information or to start planning your winter barbecue, contact us today!