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Cold Weather Grilling

November 14, 2013

Don’t Pack Up the Grill Just Yet! SXC Image

When the weather is hot, it’s natural to grill. It keeps the heat of cooking out of the housel, and who doesn’t enjoy standing out on the patio in the sunshine with a cold beer in hand? But just because the weather is chilly doesn’t mean that your grill has to stay cold. Here are some tips to take grilling from a summer to year-round activity.

Grill Placement
If you can safely do so, move your grill someplace out of the wind—maybe on the lee side of your home or in a protected corner outdoors. However, be sure to keep your grill at least 10 feet away from the walls of your house—you don’t want to start your house on fire!

Food Selection
When it’s cold outside, it’s best to choose foods that cook quickly. When you’re planning your Twin Cities grocery delivery, choose lean meats or thinner, smaller cuts of meat that can quickly cook on a high setting. Every time you open the lid, heat will escape so plan on longer cooking times regardless.

Check the Tank
Make sure your propane level is more than half full. Propane pressure will drop as the temperature falls, so you could have problems with pressure if the tank is on the empty side.

Check the Coals
Depending on the thickness of your grill’s construction, you’ll probably need to use more coal. Because of the cold, you’ll need to use more chunks of charcoal, about 50 percent more than in warm weather. Make sure the charcoal is warm and dry—cold, wet charcoal is hard to burn.

Preheat Longer
It will take longer to get the grill warmed up to the ideal temperature. Keep the lid down and plan on 20 or 30 minutes of preheating depending on how cold it is. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge for gas grills; keep the vents open on charcoal grills to keep the fire going.

Moving Inside to Out
Wear warm shoes or boots that don’t have laces and can come off and on easily. Use your watch or mobile phone as a timer so that you can keep track of your timing as you move outside to flip your meat and inside to warm up in between. Dress in layers so you can easily transition from outside to in. Leave your serving platter inside until you’re ready for it—if it’s cold it will chill your meal.

Although some people grill only when it’s warm out, you may want to give cold-weather grilling a try. The next time you’re buying your Minnesota groceries, think about what you’re craving and buy some meat or veggies for your grill. Then follow the tips above and enjoy that freshly grilled taste, no matter what the weather.

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