If you’re a BBQ smoking enthusiast, chances are you won’t allow cold weather to keep you from enjoying great BBQ meals, but there are a myriad of things to consider before bbq smoking in the winter. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the winter solstice begins December 2017, which means that die hard grill masters will have to brave frigid temperatures in order to indulge in their favorite BBQ smoked foods. So how does one go about grilling and smoking in less than desirable temperatures? Well, in addition to getting dressed in warmer clothing, grill masters will have to slightly alter the way that they prepare, and cook their foods.
Before you begin cooking, consider where you will place your grill. Most grill masters will attempt to avoid the cold by placing their grills/smokers closer to their homes, which ordinarily would make sense, however, grills can generate a substantial amount of heat, which could potentially damage the eaves and the siding on your home. So, to avoid setting your house ablaze, you should be mindful of where you set up your grill or smoker.
Did you know that there are some benefits associated with grilling and bbq smoking in the winter? In addition to reducing your energy bill, outdoor cooking can free your home of smoke and odors. One thing to keep in mind when cooking in colder temperatures is that propane and gas work differently when compared to cooking in warmer temperatures. For example, extremely cold weather can result in inadequate vapor in your tanks, which could cause your system or appliance to not work properly. So, what causes this problem? And how can you avoid it?
The amount of propane or gas inside of a container is highly influenced by outside temperatures, meaning that as temperatures fall, the liquid inside of the container will be reduced, which means you will need more gas on propane to cook your foods. There are, however, several ways to circumvent this problem; during colder weather, you may want to consider doing the following:
- Keep gas/propane tanks full
- Don’t cover your tanks
- Don’t allow snow to gather on your tank
By covering your tanks, you will potentially make your problem worse; if your tanks are covered the interior temperature of your container will remain cold; anything covering your tanks will serve as a blanket, which will insulate your tank from the heat it would otherwise receive from natural sunlight.
When grilling during the winter season, you may want to consider using ceramic cookware; Why ceramic cookware? Well, they do a better job at retaining heat, which makes them ideal for keeping your food at an optimal temperature when BBQ smoking in the winter. Additionally, you may want to preheat your grill for about five minutes prior to cooking; by doing this, you will lower the likelihood of having your food stick to the grill.
If you’re a traditionalist that opts to cook with charcoal and wood briquettes, many of the same principles still apply; you definitely want to preheat your grill and choose a location that is a reasonable distance from your home. Additionally, you still want to choose cookware that will help you get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
One way to reduce cooking time, and consequently your time in the frigid cold, is to choose your cuts of meat carefully; thin cuts of meat can cook quickly, so you may want to consider chicken thighs, meat patties, kabobs, and thinly cut chicken breast. These types of meats don’t take long to cook, so you’ll spend more time enjoying your favorite foods and less time getting frostbitten when BBQ smoking in the winter.