Rural King’s Tips for Winter Grilling

There are three types of grillers out there; the cookout party grillers, the summertime only folks, and the year-round grill enthusiasts. For true grillers, winter grilling is not a deal breaker. You can enjoy delicious grilled and smoked flavors throughout the cold months as well. Follow Rural King’s tips for winter grilling, and you will be cooking (and eating) like the pros in no time!


Preparing Your Grill

The first step to winter grilling is making sure your grill or smoker is ready to go.

White frost ice crystals on metal grill outside in morning sunlight macro closeup with shiny sparkling bokeh

  • Clear the snow off your grill so you can control the heat temps. No matter what time of year, you should have your grill under a grill cover. This not only extends the life of your grill, but it also makes it easy to remove snow when you’re ready for winter grilling.
  • Buy a grilling blanket, or better yet, a moving blanket. Moving blankets cost less and work just as well at keeping the inside temperature constant.
  • Before you cook, preheat your grill or smoker for about 15–20 minutes instead of the 5-10. It takes longer for your grill to warm up when it’s freezing outside.

Winter Grilling Gear…for You!

Winter grilling should be an enjoyable experience, not a chore. If you’re not prepared for the chill, you’re not going to be eating tasty grilled food much with winter.

  • Wear winter gear; thick gloves, knit hat (face masks work wonders!), winter coat, boots. Your grill may be warm, but you’ll need to keep that baby closed to make sure your meal is cooking. Be sure to bundle up!
  • Avoid wearing any scarfs, tassels, or loose clothing that might come in contact with your grill. The idea is to cook your food, not your clothes.
  • Use tools that have heat-resistant grips to make it easier to work with thick gloves on. This FireDisc Shovel-Spatula-Scoop is an all-in-one grilling utensil with a nice grip.

Grilling Tips

Different types of grills and grilling locations can make a difference while winter grilling:

Black barbeque grill covered with snow outdoors on winter day

Charcoal Grills: Use a Chimney Charcoal Starter to get your next batch of coals ready before opening the lid. By doing this, you’ll keep your meat at the required temperature.

Never Grill Inside your Garage, in an Enclosed Area, Or Under an Awning: This is not safe for any type of grill or under any circumstances. Whether rain, snow, or shine, keep your grill at least 5′ away from all combustible materials and in a well-ventilated area.

Keep the Lid Closed: If you keep opening and closing the lid to your grill like a maniac, your temperature will not be set correctly. Keep the lid closed until you need to flip, stir, season, or check the temperature.

The 90º Turn: Just a fancy way of saying, “Make sure that your grill is turned 90º away from the wind.” This will block some of the cold wind from ruining the perfect temperature inside your grill.six big beef steaks on bone grilled barbecue with thermometer winter grilling temperature of steaks on the grill

Check the Internal Temperature of Your Food: Your food is going to take longer to cook in the winter. Instead of just guessing that your food is finished, take a minute or two to check the temp. Simply use a thermometer and refer to this Food Temperature Chart to help.


What Kind of Griller are You?

Outdoors winter barbecue party with a person wearing knitted woollen gloves cooking sausages over hot coals in a BBQ, close up view

I hope these tips help you become the grilling champion I know you can be. For more grilling tips and recipes, check back in on our Grilling Category for more Grilling Adventures every other Friday.

Send us some pictures of your winter grilling experience. Just go to our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page and use the hashtag #grillingadventures.

Or, if writing is more your style, leave us your story in the comment section below!

Happy grilling!