As Mother Nature bears down on the world with record low temperatures, grillmasters are faced with cold-weather grilling.
Is it a waste of time to spend time in the cold creating grilled or smoked goodness? Of course not. Take a look at these tips to help you make the most of your next cold-weather grill session.
Protect this house
Some folks like to go all out in the winter and create structures of wood, brick or sheet metal for element barriers when smoking in cold weather. This is a great idea, but will create more ‘stuff’ that will have to be stored in the summer months. If you don’t have a patio or covered area to do your grilling, this could be your saving Grace, especially low temps and constant winds.
Keep it Closed
Many of you have that natural instinct to chimp (peeking) the grill or smoker lid and check on your goods. The simple answer: Don’t do it! Each time you open the smoker in cold weather, you lose that constant heat, and have to work it back, which in cold weather, could mean more time for you in the cold. Trust your thermometer and keep it shut.
Load it up
To avoid chimping on your smoking session, load up your firebox and get a full box of coals. Adjust your air intakes and keep and eye on your thermometer. Once you are dialed in, you could likely have a 4- to 6-hour session without opening it up.
Now there are some high-falootin grill and smoker covers that are insulated and created for use in cold-weather situations. Some prices are reasonable, but most reach the hundreds. If you want an inexpensive way to create an insulated cover for your setup, find a welding supply and pick up a 4×6 welding blanket. Not only is it fire resistant and durable, but it’s a great insulator. This will absolutely do the trick and won’t break your bank.
Don’t be afraid to wrap your meats in foil, especially when reaching that perfect median temperature before the final stretch on your smoke. This is useful for grillmasters who can’t avoid opening the smoker, either to add more wood to the fire or gauging the internal temp with a meat thermometer, like a Thermapen.
We know you don’t want to stop grilling or smoking just because the weather turns, so when the temps drop, light it up!