How To Grill In Winter

The middle of January means snow and colder weather for much of the United States. For some, this would mean the end of grilling season until the sun comes back and you can be outside without three layers. But for #TeamCharGriller, it means that you just need to add a little more fuel to the grill.

Grilling in winter weather comes with its own set of unique challenges. From ensuring that your grill stays at temperature to protecting the fire from drafts, there is a lot you can do to extend the grilling season. Check out our winter guide to grilling for tips and tricks to help you grill all winter long.

Choose Your Spot

When you grill in the winter, you are going to want to choose a spot that is the least impacted by the elements. The less wind, snow, rain, ice, and more that your grill has to deal with, the better. Make sure your grill is facing away from drafts as this will help keep your grill at temperature for longer.

Allow Extra Time

If it’s cold, your grill is going to need extra time to heat up. Give your grill an extra 10 to 20 minutes to heat up than usual. This will give it more time to come up to temperature before you start grilling.

Winter Gloves are NOT Grill Gloves

Very important safety note: winter gloves are NOT grill gloves. While it might seem like your big, heavy duty winter gloves will do the trick, they simply are not grill gloves. If you are going to be moving around your smoking stone or dumping coals, make sure you are wearing your grill gloves. Winter gloves are not heat resistant so they won’t protect you from the heat of the grill.

Have Extra Fuel Ready

Your grill is more than likely going to need extra fuel to work at its best in winter weather. If it is snowing, particularly cold, or strong winds, you will go through more fuel than usual keeping your grill at temperature. Have extra fuel at the ready just in case you need to add more during your cook.

Keep The Lid Closed

We know how hard it is to not constantly check on the progress of your cook, but keep the lid closed. When it’s cold, every time you open the grill allows the heat and smoke to escape. That means it takes that much longer for the grill to get back up to temperature and keep cooking your food. Keep the hot air inside and your food will cook faster and more evenly.

Have a Hot Pan Ready

As a grilling expert, firing up the oven while you are already running the grill seems like unnecessary overkill, but bear with us. Heat up a pan in the oven so you have somewhere warm to put your food when it comes off the grill. This will help it rest and make sure it doesn’t go ice cold the second you pull it off the grill.