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Ten tips for successful grilling this winter

If you're anything like me, the grilling doesn't stop just because the weather changes. If living in Oklahoma has taught me anything, it's not a good idea to make plans around the weather forecast.

The saying around here is "if you don't like the weather just wait 5 minutes!" So I'm always prepared to enjoy some delicious food from my grill and smoker!

Here are some of my winter grilling tips on how you can you be prepared to grill in the winter.

10 Winter Grilling Tips:

  • Storage:If you keep your grilling utensils outside, bring them inside in the fall. It would really suck if you have to dig through snow to get to the cabinet that you keep your grilling utensils in because you got an unexpected snow storm. If you don't have room in your kitchen for them, you can always put them in a plastic tote and keep them in them garage or spare bedroom.

  • Always keep your grill covered: If your grill is covered and you do get some snow, all you have to do is take the cover off and your grill is ready go! It's not much fun to have to clean off your grill in the cold! This will also extend the life of your grill by protecting it from the weather! If you’re going to make an investment in a grill, it only makes sense to protect it!

  • Check your fuel: Whether you use charcoal, propane or LP gas make sure you have plenty on hand. It's always a good idea to have a spare propane tank for winter grilling. No one wants to run out of propane in the middle of grilling a 16-ounce porterhouse! It is going to take more fuel to preheat the grill in the cold. Plus your cooking times may be longer in the colder weather.

  • Location, Location, Location: Another thing to think about is where the grill is located. You don't want to have to walk through snow and ice to get to the grill. How bad would it suck to lose your steak because you slipped on some ice! If at all possible try moving the grill closer to the door. This will make it safer for you getting to and from the grill. Plus it will limit your time outside if it's really cold! If it's not possible to move your grill just make sure that path from your door to your grill clear.

  • Grilling Gear: If it's really cold you may be tempted to wear winter gloves while your grilling. Just remember that most winter gloves are not heat resistant. You want to grill your food not your clothes! They do make heat resistant gloves and they are good investment if you live in area that gets really cold.

  • Safety: While we are on the subject of clothes, make sure you’re wearing a jacket or scarf that doesn't hang down and catch on fire when you are tending to your food!

Now we are ready to cook

  • Prep Work: Try to do as much prep work as you can inside. No one likes to stand out in the cold and make sure that everything is trimmed and seasoned properly. A little planning at the beginning will make grilling in the winter a lot easier!

  • Timing: Plan on an extra 5 minutes or so for your grill to preheat. It's also a good idea when preheating your grill up in the winter to heat it up more slowly than you would in the summer. No sense in putting added stress on the grill.

  • DON'T PEAK!!! Once you put the food on the grill resist the urge to lift the lid and peak. This let's heat escape and will extend your grilling time. Your grill will cool down a lot faster in the winter compared to the summer.

  • Know Your Grill: Since you aren't going to sneak a peak at your food, it's important to know your grill. Does it have hot spots? Does one area flare up more than another?

Now all that's left is to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Just remember that with a little bit of planning  and these winter grilling tips, you can enjoy your grill year round! Now get out there and fire up that grill!

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