Winter Grilling

Winter Grilling

Brrrrrrr. It's getting awfully chilly out there. Everyone in my neighborhood, myself included, have been dusting off our snow shovels and breaking out the winter gear so we can dig out after each big storm. And as we all dig out our houses, there's one very important thing that no Weber lover should forget: Clear off that grill! Yep, you heard me. I know many believe that wintertime means grilling time is over, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Grilling is a year-round event and I for one love the ritual and excitement of bundling up and then firing up.

In fact, the latest Weber GrillWatch™ survey reveals that plenty of people share my same passion for winter grilling. More than half of American grill owners grill all year round and a whopping 37 percent keep on grilling when the temperature dips below freezing.

The numbers don't lie and I know I'm in good company. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to share my top five tips for successful winter grilling.

  1. Make sure you're decked out in all your best cold-weather clothing. I know your grill may be warm, but bundle up, and remember to avoid any scarfs, tassels or other clothing items that could come in contact with the grill during use! Your hands, feet, ears, and face will thank you later.
  2. Make sure you clear a path to your grill and remove all snow and ice before ignition—the weather alone will lower the temperatures inside the grill, so any additional snow will just add to this problem. Also, make sure there is ample room around the grill for you to move freely and give your grill enough time to pre-heat. In below freezing temperatures, the pre-heating process could take up to twice the time, so plan accordingly.
  3. Charcoal lovers should always be prepared with extra briquettes in cold weather. Grilling time may need to be extended or the grill may need a little extra fuel to reach the right temperature, so add briquettes when necessary. Gas grillers have it a little easier, but just remember to position the grill at a 90 degree to the wind. This will help control the temperature inside the grill even throughout gusty cooking hours.
  4. Through freezing temperatures and high winds, your Weber grill still knows how to get the job done, so be patient even if it's taking a little longer in cold weather. Winter temperatures aside, it's always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to make sure you food is grilled properly and to perfection.
  5. No matter the weather—snow, rain, sleet, wind—never grill inside your garage or under an overhang. Grilling safely is always the best policy, so be sure your grill is at least five feet away from all combustible materials and in a well ventilated area. If you have any additional questions about grilling safety, visit www.weber.com.
  6. Finally, remember to grill with the lid closed. Grilling when the temperature is below freezing will lead to longer cooking times and the more you open the lid, the longer your food will take.

So now, if you'll excuse me, I need to grab my coat and head out to the grill. I hope you'll follow suit...

What are your thoughts? (22)

02.09.14

Mike T

My buddy introduced me to Weber Grills and I can say, charcoal grilling is the best and I do it year round and even in the winter. The slots on the bottom, allow for perfect air-circulation and stays nice and hot. Thanks!

09.08.13

Justin L

My biggest problem is the grill cover gets stiff and hard to handle, then rips. What is a recommended grill cover that does not get stiff in cold? Thanks.

09.08.13

Kevin Kolman

Hi Justin,

This should not be happening with our grill covers. Please contact Weber Customer Service at 1-800-446-1071 and they will assist you.

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

08.02.13

Peter L

I have a Q100 and used it extensively in Calgary's -0.4 F (-18 C) winter weather. Pre-heating time took almost 30 minutes. The Q rocks! :-)

08.02.13

Kevin Kolman

Hi Peter,

I agree! The Weber Q series is one of my favorites as well. That is probably why I have 6 of them. Although it gets cold in Chicago, you have us beat! We are not even close to those temperatures! You also bring up a great point when it comes to preheating. The colder it is outside, the longer you will have to preheat. Thank you for reminding us all of this important tip. Let’s enjoy the warm summer weather now! Thank you for the kind words.

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

04.20.13

Bob W

Sometimes I enjoy grilling more in the winter time. I have been doing it for years.

03.07.13

Duane S

Lighting the charcoal grill for first time this year in southeastern Wisconsin. We have 7 inches of snow and it's 32 degrees.  

02.18.13

Derek R

It is mid February and I just picked up my first Weber kettle. The first thing I did was slow cook a rack of ribs. I have never done it before so it was a little stressful. It was 39 degrees and windy.
I must say, they came out great for the first time. The next day I cooked steak. It was 21 degrees and snowing. The wind was blowing 40mph plus and the grill performed great. You can cook on a kettle in any weather. If I can do this in the winter, I can't wait until the summer...


02.10.13

S M


Grill Master Kevin,


You're missing something so serious about winter grilling, it's not funny. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to the store to refill my half filled tank, and lit up the ports underneath with a propane torch. I've been grilling in my garage for the past two months, only to still have the problem of not enough gas pressure to get the job done without burning everything else I've been cooking at the same time on a Sears stove.


One golden rule I learned from Yahoo answers tonight, is to turn the gas line on the tank on SLOWLY while lighting the grill. If you don't do this, the safety flow valve in the tank or Weber regulator may think there is a problem and SEVERELY restrict your flow and you won't get anything cooked.


Please pass the word on so folks can learn and like me, not take matters into their own hands with grilling inside on a Weber. Unfortunately it's a tank/regulator thing that the griller needs to know about.


Scott in VT


02.10.13

Kevin Kolman

Hi Scott,

I can appreciate your excitement over this topic. The same thing has happened to me many times, but there is a safety feature in the regulator that every Weber grill must have. Another important safety topic is to please keep your grilling to the outside and not in your garage. The grill is meant to be used only outside and never inside. That being said, you are correct in making sure you turn the tank on slowly, but more than that, you need to let the gas pressure equalize after you turn the tank on. A good rule of thumb is to open the tank valve and wait 30 seconds before turning on the first burner and pushing the ignition. Check out my video on this topic here: http://www.weber.com/blog/single/ready-to-cook-but-your-grill-isnt

Thanks again.

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

12.23.12

Chris E

Why doesn't Weber make a grill cover that I can put on my grill while the grill is still hot? I grill all year round rain,snow,sleet (just like my trusty postal carrier) but I have always hated the fact that I have to wait until my grill is cold to cover it. In the winter especially, I finish grilling brush the snow from my coat and head in with my tasty treats but I always forget to go back and cover my grill once it has cooled. I have decided to make my own thermal blanket cover but before I do that I need to know if this is a bad idea. Is there a reason not to cover your grill hot even if you have a fire proof cover?
Thank you
Love to grill

12.23.12

Kevin Kolman

Hi Cdemmert,

I can appreciate where you are coming from, but I would never encourage or recommend covering a hot grill. We want to be as safe as possible and this is a good rule to follow. Have a safe and great holiday. As always, happy grilling!

-Kevin

09.12.12

Phyllis P

Which grill would you recommend for cold New York winters? Will the Q100 work? Can it withstand the snow and wind? Thanks!

09.12.12

Kevin Kolman

Hi Winter-Grill,


You ask a very interesting question. All Weber grills are tested and retested in all types of climates. Since we are based in Chicago we get our fair share of wind, cold weather, and plenty of snow. Our grills are designed and tested to perform in any and all climates. Depending on the size you need, yes a Weber Q100 will be perfect. But then again, any Weber would. No matter which one you choose, you will be happy. Let me know which grill you decide on and Happy Grilling!


-Kevin

06.29.12

Ronald L

I like winter grilling as well! I live in a very dry part of the country where wildfires are an ever-present danger during the summer months. Grilling when there is snow on the ground is far less risky in my area. I love charcoal, but recently bought a Q 100 for the burn ban months for extra fire safety.

What do you do to prevent regulators freezing up when grilling in the cold?

06.29.12

Kevin Kolman

Hi Char-ming: I am glad to hear you are an avid Weber griller!! I am also glad you understand the importance of grill safety. I have grilled in sub zero weather here in Chicago and have not had a problem with the regulator freezing up. We test them in many different climates to ensure they work for our year-long grillers. Frozen regulators are usually not caused from weather, usually they are caused by a bad regulator. One tip I can give is to always practice grill safety in cold weather. Bundle up and please make sure to tuck everything in. Thank you for setting a great example for grilling safety and always Happy Grilling!!-Kevin