Zero Degrees? Zero Problem: Your Guide to Winter Grilling
We salute you, winter grilling warriors
Updated February 2021
You’re not crazy. You’re a dedicated BBQ fanatic who won’t let a little snow and colder weather stand in the way of you and your beloved grill. We know who you are. You’re a winter griller. And we love you.
There is no sin to grilling in the winter, especially when you’re equipped with a Grilla Grill. All of our grills are built with what we call an internal thermal jacket. This means that they have a built-in double-wall construction to keep the inside of your grill insulated and running like a champ. In other words, these grills:
- Burn less fuel in cold weather with up to 33% better fuel efficiency
- Don’t need additional thermal blankets, saving you money
- Won’t make you deal with a cumbersome blanket over your grill as you cook
- Offer a full range of operating temperature
- Eliminate messy, smoky blanket storage in the warmer months
- Offer all-season performance of grills that cost twice as much
How to Grill in the Cold
If you always pack your grill away for the winter, leave it out this season and learn how to grill in the cold. The end of summer doesn’t have to be the end of grilled, smoky flavor. You do have some things to consider when you’re cooking outside in the winter, so be sure to follow our tips for grilling in the cold:
1. Allow more time for your grill to heat up. Colder temperatures outside mean the temperature inside your grill will take a bit longer to rise. The amount of time you should compensate for depends on your grill and the weather, but remember that our grills have that internal thermal jacket, which helps them get up to temperature faster.
2. Set it and forget it, for real. You’re not going to keep a hot grill if you don’t keep the lid closed. Try not to lift the lid too much to leave as much heat as you can inside the grill.
3. Choose your fuel (and grill) wisely. If you’re using propane, know that it behaves differently in the cold, and you may need more than usual. Be sure to have plenty of extra fuel on hand if you’ll be gas grilling.
4. Shovel and de-ice. Nothing would ruin your dinner more than a trip to the ER. Make sure your path from the house to the grill is clear and dry so you don’t slip.
5. Bundle up! Exposed skin in extreme cold is a recipe for frostbite. Wearing grilling gloves while flipping your burgers is the key to staying warm while grilling. Also avoid loose clothing items or keep them secure. Tuck your scarf into your coat and make sure that items like hats or grilling gloves are snug enough that they won’t fall off as you cook.
6. Spend less time outside. Opt for cuts of meat that cook quickly to minimize the time you spend outside or the time your grill has to work. You should also choose something more low-maintenance that doesn’t require a lot of flipping, turning or basting. More maintenance also means you’ll have to open the grill more often, which isn’t going to help your grill.
7. Do as much prep as you can inside. You don’t want to be outside in the cold getting your spices or sauces ready. Get everything set to go inside before you head out for quicker and more convenient winter grilling.
8. Use a cover on your grill during the winter. You can brush off any snow or ice that accumulates, and it won’t damage your grill. You’ll be more excited for grilling in winter if you don’t have to take extra time cleaning off your grill.
9. Have the essentials nearby. Keep extra fuel, a snow brush and shovel nearby when you plan to grill in the cold. While you should get everything fueled up and cleared off before you start grilling, you never know when you might need to clear away some snow or add more fuel to the fire.
10. Don’t be tempted by garages or overhangs. While it may be warmer or less snowy under cover, you want your grill in a well-ventilated area. Your grill must also be at least 2 feet from combustible surfaces or materials, no matter the weather.
11. Use technology! Try a digital or smart thermometer that connects to your phone. You won’t have to head in and out as often if you can remotely check the temperature of your food. Just track the temperature from your phone and head outside when it’s time to take a look.
With these tips for grilling in the cold, you can enjoy your grilled favorites year-round while still staying safe. Now you just need some awesome recipes perfect for warming up once you’re done winter grilling.
Grill Recipes to Warm You Up
When you get grilling in winter, just about the only thing that limits your recipe options is what ingredients are available during the season. You could go all out with a hearty, grilled winter meal, or you may want to remember the tips above and make something simple. No matter your preference, we have plenty of recipes that will warm you up in the winter. Below you’ll find some of our favorites, from hearty main dishes to sweet winter desserts.
There’s nothing better than a hearty meal when it’s cold out, and when you’ve been grilling out in the winter weather, you’ll definitely want something to warm you up. Some of our favorite comfort meals and cold weather flavors include:
- BBQ meatloaf for a smoky spin on a comforting classic
- Cider brined grilled pork steak with warming apple and maple flavors
- Ratatouille with halloumi cheese for a hearty vegetable casserole
Of course, when you’re grilling in the winter, simple recipes are some of the best. These easy and low-maintenance recipes are quick and only require prep indoors where you can crank up the heater as you prepare to get grilling. Check out these low-maintenance favorites:
- No-flip burgers for a simple take on a crowd-pleasing favorite
- Sausage stuffed mushrooms that take the prep work indoors and are perfect for holiday parties
- Easy thick-cut pork chops for a filling yet simple meal
A hearty winter meal includes fixings, too, so be sure to cook up some sides while you’re out at the grill. Some seasonal sides that will please any crowd include:
- Smoked cranberry sauce for added flavor to a seasonal favorite
- Smoked sweet potatoes for a winter classic with a twist
- Baked beans on the grill that are packed with more flavor than your standard side
Even a sweet tooth persists through the cold, so be sure to finish up your winter grilled meal with some equally delicious grilled desserts that use comforting flavors from the season:
- Apple pecan cake that’s perfect for holiday gatherings
- Bacon pecan sweet potato pie for a flavorful spin on the cold weather classic
- Quick and easy pear cobbler for a simple yet filling grilled dessert
No matter what you make, the smoky flavor you get from our grills will have you feeling like you’re sitting by a roaring fire. Feel free to get creative with your own recipes, but be sure to follow some more tips for grilling up recipes in the cold:
1. Stick with what you know. You can experiment with new flavors, rubs and sauces during the winter, but try to stick to cuts of meat you’re familiar with. You don’t want to stay out in the cold to keep an eye on a new cut of meat if you aren’t sure how to cook it.
2. Transform the grilled goods. You could always take grilled turkey or chicken and transform it into a hearty soup to warm you up after grilling in winter. Shred or cut the grilled meat and incorporate it into your favorite soup recipe.
3. Adapt recipe steps to winter. If a recipe requires you to melt butter in a pan on the grill or lay down ingredients on the grill, change the steps so you can stay inside. Melt butter on your stovetop and baste the pan with it while you’re inside. Use a grill pan or foil to lay a bed of ingredients down rather than doing it on the grill. You won’t have to stand in the cold setting up the grill if you change the recipe steps slightly.
Get Ready for Winter Grilling With Grilla Grills
Now that you know grilling in the cold is possible, get ready for the season with us at Grilla Grills! Check out our Grilla or Silverbac grills for insulated all-season options, restock on fuel or take a look at our other cool stuff. Have any questions about grilling in the winter or about our high-quality grills? Contact us today, and we’d be happy to answer your questions. Now brave the cold, get out there and get grilling!
Have a great picture of you or your grill in the snow or favorite winter grilling recipes? Share them with us!