Almost two-thirds of Americans own either an outdoor grill or a smoker. Nothing screams summer relaxation more than grilling your favorite meats with loved ones on a warm afternoon.
But why stop there? The joy of grilling doesn't have to be limited to the season or the weather if you know what you're doing.
In this article, we'll tell you how you can get ready to grill in the winter with gas for BBQ grills.
Keep reading to learn more.
Does Cold Weather Affect Your Grilling?
The short answer: yes.
But if you know what you're doing, there's no reason you can't grill your favorite foods, even during snowy seasons. If you understand how cold weather affects grilling, you'll be able to do it successfully.
First off, cold weather affects the amount of heating time. Preheating your grill to the correct temperature is crucial to getting the cooking time right for your meats. It will take longer to heat up in colder weather, so make sure to set aside more time to preheat, even with different types of grills, like smokers.
More time to heat means you also use more fuel for your smoker or grill. Your grill must also expend extra energy to maintain the exact temperature you need to cook.
The weather outside can also cause the grill's temperature to fluctuate. This means it might take longer to cook your food, so it's always important to plan those variables into your winter grilling.
At What Temperature Does Propane Not Work?
Propane will stay in its usable liquid state until -44 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above that will still be able to power your grill. Of course, you won't be going outside anytime soon if it ever gets that cold.
However, propane does start to work a bit differently if it gets below freezing point. Once it hits under 32 degrees, the gauge on the propane tank might begin to read lower than usual.
Propane also gets used significantly faster in colder temperatures, so prepare ahead. It might take more fuel and money to use propane in the cold.
Cold Weather Grilling Tips
Ready to head out into the fresh, crisp winter air and start grilling? Here are some tips to ensure you’re better prepared, leading to more time and fuel savings.
Choose a Strategic Location
Not all outdoor barbecue locations are created the same, especially in the cold. Strong, cold winds or snowy weather can affect how much time it takes to grill your food.
Look around and find the best spot that protects you and your grill from the wind. This will ensure you can stay more comfortable when grilling while your grill doesn't work as hard to keep its heat.
Ensure your natural gas grill isn't under or near trees or wooden structures. Keep it at least 10 feet away from your home, too.
Shut the Lid
The lid is your friend when it comes to cooking in cold weather. Unless you're about to flip the food you're grilling, keep the lid shut as much as possible (this means no sneaking extra peeks).
This will help you conserve more heat, so you won't risk burning extra fuel and adding valuable minutes to your cooking time.
Keep Cooked Food Warm
The temperature of cooked food is affected as much by the surface it's cooked on as by the weather. Heat the serving dish or pan you’ll use to transfer your food from the BBQ to the dinner table. Once you're finished cooking it, add it to the pan and get it inside as quickly as possible.
Wear (Safe) Layers
If it's cold outside, make sure to wear appropriate clothes that will keep you warm. However, ensure you don't have anything that dangles and can easily catch fire, like a scarf or anything with loose ends.
Keep Your Grill Covered
When your grill is not in use and is thoroughly cooled down, use a high-quality, heavy-duty cover to protect it against the elements. This will make getting snow or water off the grill much more manageable and save you valuable time and energy spent preparing to grill.
Use Adequate Lighting
During the winter, the sun comes down much earlier. If you're about to grill later into the night, ensure you have good lighting that allows you to see the “doneness” of your food.
Without proper lighting, you'll waste more gas trying to grill, resulting in dried-out meats and vegetables.
Insulate Your Natural Gas Grill
You can use many techniques to insulate your grill, which will allow it to stay warmer as you grill during the winter. This includes attaching insulating tape to different parts of your grill to keep the heat in.
Always leave the vents open and only use materials approved for high temperatures.
Use a Gas Timer
Cold weather burns gas faster than in the summer. Use a gas timer to enhance your outdoor cooking experience by getting rid of any possibility of making the mistake of leaving your gas on.
These easy-to-use devices are easy to plug and play into any grilling system right of the package. This way, you can spend more time enjoying the outdoors with your loved ones rather than worrying about the grill.
Use Gas for BBQ? Get Grilling in Any Weather
Now that you've read about grilling in cold weather, what are you waiting for? It's time to get that grill outside to enjoy your favorite foods year-round.
If you use gas for BBQ grills, ensure you have all the tools necessary for an unforgettable winter cookout in the snow. Our plug-and-play devices will help eliminate the risks associated with grilling so you can enjoy your food instead of worrying about the little things.
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