How to Barbecue and Grill in the Rain

Char-Griller Ambassador James Llorens of @certified.creole.bbq gives you his tips and tricks for how to keep the smoke rolling even in the rain.

"Living in Illinois my entire life I've experienced various kinds of weather from extreme heat to deep freezes and many rain storms. You have to be prepared to to deal with the weather, accept it, live it, be it and just make the best of it.

The weather can turn on you quick in the midwest. I learned early on in my BBQ days that you can't always wait for that perfect day with sunny skies to BBQ. You have to embrace the weather for what it is and for what it is going to be.

I'm always checking my weather application on my phone so I always have an idea what that weather is going to look like so I can prepare myself. When rain is the forecast and going to BBQ I'll set up a canopy if the rain will be heavy but if it's not going to be heavy, I just go with the flow and prepare the best I can.

There has been times I thought it was going to rain lightly or thought no rain at all was going to happen and have gotten completely smashed by the rain and had to make various quick adjustments to get through it. I have rolled my grill to the edge of my garage with the garage door open in some cases. I don't recommend this but it's what I've done in the past in an emergency depending where I'm at with my cook.

*Note: Keep all Grills and Smokers at least five feet away from any structure.

One positive thing when it rains while in cooking is the moisture it adds to the air, it helps keep the food moist, so I honestly like when a small amount of rain is the forecast.

My favorite grill/smoker to use when it rains and highly recommend is the Char-griller Ceramic AKORN. It's a tough high-quality grill/smoker and can get the job done through the rain or any bad weather, it will sit there and just smoke away like it’s not even raining.

My favorite feature of the ceramic and is a a major plus is the top smoke stack. The way it is designed, it doesn't allow rain or water to enter the grill/smoker. It blocks and protects it it really well.

When using an offset smoker/premium kettle or steel AKORN grills/smokers make sure your top smoke stack/vent are slightly closed and move your food away from the top smoke stack/vent area to avoid rain or water from dripping on top the food.

If it's heavy rain it will enter the offset/premium kettle or steel AKORN quickly from the top smoke stack/vent area. You just have to be aware and make quick proper adjustments. During my Memorial Day cook in 2019, I stood with an umbrella over the smoke stack on my King-Griller Smokin’ Ace & Char-griller Smokin’ Champ 1624 when an unexpected rain storm came through while I was smoking ribs, rib tips and a pork butt.

The grills/smokers worked hard and got the job done. I was absolutely soaked and a day in the pit I’ll never forget. Wish I would’ve had my canopy but I didn’t and just went with the flow.

Don't be afraid to BBQ in the rain, it's a fun challenge and the BBQ must go on. When I see rain in the forecast I just try my best make the proper adjustments to get the job done and accept it versus not BBQ’n at all. My passion runs deep for BBQ and won’t let the rain stop me!"