Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Winter Grilling: The Winter BBQ

More cooking enthusiasts are taking the winter barbecue challenge—adjusting their regular barbecue routine to take winter grilling to an up scale entertaining experience.

Gas grills make winter grilling practical, and is leading to more experiments with winter parties thrown in part on decks and patios. The winter barbecue is an opportunity for guests to brace the beauty of a winter night and then head inside for cozy comfort.

Grill aficionados say it makes sense to grill outdoors when the temperatures dip. "It's a lot more pleasant to stand next to a grill when it's chilly than when it's 100 degrees," says Darrell Boyd, a BBQ enthusiast.

Winter grilling has practical benefits. It frees up oven space for side dishes and desserts. Kitchen clean up is minimized. And a beer tucked into the snow stays very cold for the grill master.

Successful grilling in winter takes more planning than in summer. Think about what to wear. Dress for warmth and ease, experts say. Tuck in tassels and flaps and keep scarves, gloves, sleeves away from flames. Wear shoes or boots that are easy to put on and take off as you toggle between inside and out. 

Winter Grilling Tips:

No matter where you park your grill in summer, move it closer to the back door in winter— But keep it clear of exterior walls of the house. And definitely don't be tempted to grill in the garage, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. In snowy regions, keep a shovel handy so you can dig a direct path to the grill.

Grills take longer to warm up in cold weather. If it takes a grill 10 minutes in summer to preheat to a temperature of 600 degrees Fahrenheit—ideal for searing burgers or chicken breasts—it might take 15 or 20 minutes in winter.

Resist the urge, even more than in summer, to open the grill top and check on how things are progressing. It brings temperatures down quickly, requiring more cooking time.

Enjoy your Winter Grilling.

If you want to buy a gas grill and find the best one for your budget, see our Best BBQ Buys Section.