My Big Green Egg is so well-insulated, it really doesn’t care how cold it is, so even though I live in a northerly clime, I still pretty much grill year-round. While winter grilling can be more of a challenge, it can still be a lot of fun if you keep these things in mind:
- Dress for the weather, both of them – it’s not just about staying warm outside, it’s also about managing the transition from outside to inside. Dress in layers that you can easily remove. I wear pak boots that I can slip off at the door and have a “landing strip” of rugs both inside and outside so I don’t track all over the house.
- Clear your cooking area – shovel out the grill, your working area, and a path to the door. You do not want to go down in a pile while juggling a plate of food.
- Plan on using more fuel and time – anything below freezing and I add 25% more time and fuel to my projected cook just to be on the safe side.
- Wear insulated/fire-resistant gloves – both heat and cold can burn you and the risk goes up when the temps go down. Slap a bare, damp hand on a MAPP cylinder at 5°F and you’ll feel about as dumb as the kid with his tongue stuck to the the flag pole.
- Cold = dark – if you’re cooking in the late afternoon you need to be prepared to do it in the dark. Grill lights or flood lights are nice, but to see what’s really going on with the food, I like my headlamp that my dear wife calls a “dork light.”
- Go hot ‘n fast or set ‘n forget – steaks are a joy, even when it’s cold out. Wait inside until the grill is up to temp and then your total outdoor cook time is well under 10 minutes. With ribs or butts you’re only outside to put them on, check the temp every now and then, and take them off when they’re done. Use a remote thermometer and you barely have to get off the couch.
ONE YEAR AGO – Valentine’s Day
TWO YEARS AGO – Wing Sauce – First Try