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Keep Your BBQ Grill Cooking All Winter.

Updated on January 22, 2010

Ahh…those dog days of summer, hosting backyard bbq parties and enjoying a grilled burger with the family. There’s nothing like it is there? . For many of us who live in colder regions however, summer fades to autumn and we trade in our love of grilling for indoor cooking. Why? Mostly, because we think we have to; but really, you don’t have to! You can still grill outdoors in the snow and bluster and enjoy charbroiled burgers, planked salmon, grilled veggies and the like; without being a diehard bbq-er. You just need to know how to do it by taking precautions for you and your grill than you normally would when the temperature was warmer. Lets extend your grilling season to all year long and enjoy foods that will always taste better right off the grill.

Infrared Gas Grill Parts Cook Perfect Anywhere.

Infrared gas grills cook in the snow, out in the ocean and heat is perfect anywhere!
Infrared gas grills cook in the snow, out in the ocean and heat is perfect anywhere!

While the following tips will work well for any bbq grill that you decide to enlist in your cooking needs, it should be noted that if you know that you want to grill year round prior to purchasing your grill you should always look for a gas grill that has a higher amount of BTUs as this will offer more power to warm up quicker even when it’s very cold outside. If a charcoal grill is your grill of choice, this won’t matter as charcoal is capable of any range of heat.

If you have decided to take grilling through the colder months, you have to ensure that you have prepared your grill for grilling in colder temps. The first step (and this applies to any time you use your grill but especially in the winter months) is to check all of its exterior and interior parts to see if any outdoor debris, insects, snow, and/or dust have been removed to prevent fires and keep your grilling as clean as possible. Moreover, make sure to keep a path to your grill properly shoveled and salted for convenient and safe travel back and forth.

Ensure that all parts to your grill are in perfect working order prior to cold weather grilling. This means checking the most common grill parts that regularly need replacing such as: gas burners, valve orifices are clear, grates, and heating plates are clean. If you are unable to determine this for yourself, have your grill serviced by a specialist.

When barbeque parts are not used frequently there are several problems that arise in addition to the obvious grease sitting on the grill parts without being used. Using the grill gets heat to clean many of the commonly replaced grill parts. For instance, the orifice is at the tip of the valve that slides into the venturi of the burner. Small spiders have been known to make webs in the tiny orifice and hinder gas flow. Other creatures can live in the venturi and I’ve even had problems with rats building nests in the firebox. The best maintenance for your barbeque grill parts is grilling. While it is a good rule of thumb to service grill parts in any season, the more problems avoided, the better to enjoy grilling. Simple processes become difficult in freezing temperatures so minimize any part you can control. Just imagine yourself trudging out in the snow to your grill after buying a delectable cut of steak and realizing that you have to either replace grill parts yourself or have it serviced by a grill specialist. You won’t be having that steak you have been looking forward to and now you are wet and cold.

Though your grill is probably already in a fireproof area away from your house and not close to anything that could cause a fire if you moved it during fall cleanup or just to get ready for winter, this is when you have to re-evaluate its location. Is it now in a safe location for winter grilling or should the grill be moved? It should be noted that you cannot take the seemingly easy way out and choose an enclosed area-as this is a fire hazard waiting to happen. This means your garage, shed, house, etc are off-limits. Though you may think it is unlikely that you will encounter a problem, even the safest of locales and grillers have had incident. Also, gas creates carbon monoxide as it burns and must always be used in a well-vented area unless the appliance is made for indoor use and has an oxygen sensor installed. So, make sure that your bbq is at least ten feet away from anything and everything, prior to using.

Also, when choosing your optimum location for grilling, choose one that is as windproof as possible, while still being safe so that a fire can properly ignite and keep lit for your grilling specialties. Wind can be a minor annoyance in the summer, blowing smoke in your face or forcing too much heat into the firebox. In winter when cooking times are extended and heat is more precious, every minor annoyance must be taken into account of the heat output of your barbecue grill.

Set up grilling supplies in a convenient location is a necessity though something you probably never think twice about in the warmer months. This is an example of one of the must-dos to make your life better and grilling most convenient when it’s cold outside.  Keep all supplies that you might need for grilling in one easy to get to location.  Use a garage for lighters, paper, utensils, grilling pans and accessories so you are not hunting through the cold for your must have grilling accessories in a snowstorm or terrible cold temps.  Please remember LP tank valves are made to expel small a small amount of propane if necessary to equalize the pressure in the tank so always store a gas tank in a well-ventilated area.

Once these most simple of preparation and prevention tips have been attended to, it’s time to actually start grilling.  Though it’s cold outside avoid wearing loose clothing such as scarves, hats, or oversized jackets to prevent your clothes from catching fire. Especially where the wind will be blowing, fire is more likely to move accordingly and you have to make sure you have nothing near it on your person when you are checking your food.  Dress warm in order to be safe from frostbite or windburn during winter grilling, but in a more fitted way.  Instead of loose or oversized jackets, try donning more fitted fleece jackets, gloves, cap, and a neck warmer. Get help carrying a lot of foods to and from the grill. Though you may think that you can do it all in one trip, in the winter you are much more prone to slipping and falling (everyone falls more in the snow) so ask for help and avoid injury.  Again, what may be a minor annoyance during a fine summer could become a dangerous distraction in freezing weather.

When grilling in cold temps, there are two things that should always be considered no matter how much experience you have grilling.   Make sure that you allow for more barbecue time than usual, as cold air is still getting in.  Cold will hinder convection heat  (air circulating within the closed hood of your BBQ) and delay your foods from cooking as fast.  Second, try your very best to keep from checking -- opening and closing the lid – your food as the cold air is able to get in more often and slow down grilling times.  Get a timer and cook based on weight and time so you are not cooling the cooking surface while barbequing.

Cooking outside in the snow can be exhilarating but standing out in the freezing wind can be painful, even dangerous.  If you choose to live in a cold climate consider an infrared grill next time you are shopping for a barbeque.  If infrared gas grills are not available, not best for your cooking needs or does not meet your budget try a barbeque that effectively uses conductive rods, briquettes or lava rocks to add heat at the grilling surface.  When well heated, these conductors do not rely on air to transfer heat because the heat radiates off them like a blazing street in the driest summer.  Have fun and eat well.

Where Do You Live? Do You Grill All Year?

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    • grillrepair profile imageAUTHOR

      grillrepair 

      8 years ago from florida

      thank you.

    working

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