Consumer Reports’ resident grill guru, Paul Hope doesn’t let the weather stand in the way of grilling.
“Unless the weather outside is actually dangerous there’s really never a bad time to grill. And some of the things you can make on your grill, like brisket or ribs, are really nice cold-weather comfort foods,” Hope said.
But you can’t just fire up your grill the same way you would in July so here’s a cold-weather grilling checklist from Consumer Reports to get you through the winter.
First step, inspect! In addition to a fuel check, you want to inspect the burners, jets, and gas lines for any blockages that can restrict gas flow. Since it’s cold outside, easy access to the grill is key. But don’t place it too close to your house. Keep it at least ten feet away.
Next, suit up safely!
“You want to make sure that you’re bundled up, but avoid any loose clothing like scarves because they can get caught in the flames,” Hope said.
Choose a pair of warm gloves that allow full hand movements, so you can easily manipulate your grilling tools.
Check your patience.
“One thing to keep in mind when you’re grilling in cold weather is that everything is going to take longer. That means you need to leave extra time for the pre-heat and for cooking food,” said Hope.
For a quicker clean up, brush off the racks while the grill is still hot, especially if the grill will be sitting idle for the rest of the winter.
And finally, Consumer Reports says having a meat thermometer on hand to check your food temperatures is always a good idea no matter the weather.
If you’re ready for a new grill, consider this Consumer Reports recommended Even Embers. It earns an excellent rating for pre-heat performance so it’ll get fired up faster and that’s a plus for winter grilling.