Winter Wonderland Grilling
You shake the snow from your gloves, kick the built-up ice off your boots, and head inside after your daily snow shoveling routine. Your stomach rumbles and your mind concocts images of a warm gourmet meal you hope is waiting on your dinner plate. You round the corner and sit down at the kitchen table. Soup again.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
But for you, there just might be. Soup? Again? The winter may bring with it an over-abundance of drafty winds and icy slush, but that doesn’t mean your palate need be subjected to hot soup on a nightly basis. Isn’t there anything else to cook up?
As you repeat these words over and over in your head, you rest your gaze on the unused barbeque grill just outside your back door. Grilling sounds nice. Grilling sounds warm. But can you grill in the harsh weather of winter?
The answer is easy: yes.
If you can roast chestnuts on an open fire, why not try roasting mouth-watering steaks on your snow-capped grill? You may have left the pool parties, parades, and popsicles of summer behind, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid your grill until the next warm season arrives. Here’s how you can stay warm—and eat heartily—with the help of your season-friendly grill.
The majority of Edmonton households own a grill, and yet many forgo the opportunity to use it year-round. Before you light the flame on your BBQ, here is a list of basic tips to ensure a grilling success.
- Give yourself time. Temperatures dramatically drop during the winter. Lower temperatures mean the fuel in your grill has to produce more heat. Depending on the temperature, your grill might take a lot longer to heat up and will work harder (burn more fuel) to maintain the high temperatures. When you grill in the winter, plan on an extra 30 minutes of heating up time, and a few extra minutes of cooking time.
- Avoid all wind. If you live in a particularly windy area, move your grill to a more secluded corner (behind a wall or fence) of your property. Harsh winds can suck heated air out of grill vents and create problems in cooking time and temperature. Some avid barbeques make wind screens to block obnoxious wind gusts during the winter.
- Fill the tank. Since winter grilling requires more coal, you should check your propane tank before you light the grill. If you can, try to use a natural gas grill—natural gas outperforms propane in cold temperatures.
- Keep the lid fastened tight. The less contact your grilling food has with open air, the better. When winter shows up and you plan to grill, don’t open the lid on your lighted fire unless you want to increase cooking time and temperature.
- Stay warm. If you rely on a coat to stay warm in the winter, you can bet your barbeque grill does as well. When you’re not using your grill, cover it with a grill coat or water heater thermal blanket.
- Stay safe. Most homeowners decide to grill at night. If that’s the case with you and your family, make sure the area where you grill has plenty of outdoor lighting. Grilling can be dangerous—keep the surrounding area clear, well-lit, and free from any potential hazards.
With proper planning, grilling in your winter wonderland could even become a yearly holiday tradition.
Now that you’ve prepped your space and readied yourself for winter wonderland grilling, let the games begin. If you want to invite family members and friends over for a grilling party, you might want to try one of these recipes to keep their taste buds satisfied.
Does preparing an entire meal on your grill prove too much during the year’s coldest season? You can still surprise your guests and use your grill for everyone’s favorite part of a meal: dessert. A sweet dessert will please even the pickiest taste buds.
S’mores are one popular treat that require the help of a flame—here’s how you can make a mouthwatering s’more on your grill.
- 2 graham crackers
- 1 oz. chocolate piece
- 1 marshmallow
Roast a marshmallow on the lowest setting of your grill until it becomes golden brown. Then, place the marshmallow between the two crackers and chocolate. Bon appétit!
Doughnuts are a hit with nearly any crowd. Here’s how you can wow your guests with one simple ingredient.
1 glazed or cake doughnut
Place doughnut on the grill and cover. Flip the doughnut after one minute, cover the grill again, and voilà! the doughnut is ready for consumption.
While grilling may seem like a summer activity, it’s something you can do year-round. Keep your grill in working order so you can use it in rain, snow, sun, or sleet.