Gone are the days where we wait for warmer weather to break out the grill. At Blue Rhino, we’re firm believers that grilling is a year-round activity and colder temperatures shouldn’t stop you from getting outside and taking advantage of the grill. (Plus, no pesky bugs to deal with is always a major plus!)
Don’t put away your grill for the season, just bundle up and consider these five tips for achieving winter grilling success:
Tip #1: Safety First!
To ensure proper winter grilling safety, clear a path and remove all snow and ice before igniting the grill. The colder weather alone will lower the temperatures inside your grill, so if there’s any additional snow nearby it will just add to the problem. Fight the urge to bring the grill to the garage, and avoid overhangs, porches, or anything that could present a fire hazard.
Whether you’re dealing with snow, rain, sleet, or wind – NEVER grill in an enclosed area. Be sure your grill is at least five feet away from all combustible materials and in a well-ventilated area. Also, be sure to keep your grill a safe distance away from your house; it should be at least 10 feet from your home.
Tip #2: Warm Up Your Grill in Advance
As with all proper grilling technique, make sure to warm up the grill in advance. But be patient, as preheating your gas grill can take up to twice as long in freezing temperatures. To prevent food from sticking to the grates, factor in at least 15 extra minutes of pre-heating to ensure it’s hot enough.
Also, allow for extra cooking time in the winter. Food takes longer to cook in the cold – anywhere from 30 to 75 percent longer than when it’s warm outside.
Tip #3: Preserve Your Heat (When You Can)
Heat escapes very quickly every time the grill lid is lifted, prolonging the grilling time. For the grill to retain as much heat as possible, resist the urge to “peek” and keep the lid closed. Having a digital thermometer on hand can save you from having to repeatedly open the grill to check the temperature and allows you to monitor the temperatures remotely.
Winter-weather grilling takes longer, so it’s important to make sure your meat is cooked all the way through. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the food and follow our Meat Temperature Guide to ensure everything you’re grilling is thoroughly cooked.
Tip #4: Dress the Part
Your grill may be warm but be sure to bundle up with your winter gear! Wear a warm jacket, thick hat, and choose a pair of gloves that allow full hand movement so you can easily control your grilling tools.
Always remember to avoid scarfs, tassels, or any other clothing items that could come in contact with the grill and ignite during use.
Tip #5: Keep Extra Fuel on Hand
Always have plenty of extra Blue Rhino propane nearby during colder months. There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of fuel halfway through grilling, especially when you’re the one out there braving the elements.
Winter grilling can take up to twice as much fuel as grilling in the summertime. We recommend keeping an extra tank on hand, which you can pick up from any locations carrying Blue Rhino.
Now that you’ve learned some extra tips and tricks to help you get out and grill this winter season, we want to see your best winter grilling setup! Be sure to snap a photo and tag us using #BlueWinterCue for a chance to be featured on our social media pages.