Everyone loves grilling! But living in the Midwest it can be hard to grill in the winter. It’s important to make sure you and your grill are ready for winter, because you want to keep grilling through the winter, but in order to grill through winter a few things need to change so grilling can still be something fun that produces incredible food.
Anytime it snows its important to remove all of the snow from your grill and the surrounding area. One reason is just because this makes your life easier when you are ready to grill. The other reason is the colder the surrounding area, the longer its going to take to start up your grill and the more pellets its going to go through. If you make sure to keep the snow and surrounding space pretty clear of snow, the grill itself won’t be quite as cold and it won’t need as much work to get up to temperature.
Another way to combat the cold grill problem is a thermal blanket. Thermal Blankets work by trapping the heat inside the grill and preventing the cold from getting to the grill. This keeps your grill as warm as possible, which minimizes start up time and reduces pellet usage by up to 50%! We still recommend you keep the grill clear of snow as much as possible. If you don’t have a thermal blanket and can’t get one, it’s a good idea to at the very least have a grill cover.
Consider using 100% Hardwood Pellets, like our Cookingpellets.com pellets, during the winter. 100% Hardwood pellets are known for holding a more stable temperature, especially when the outside temperature is extremely low. This just helps to make the grills job easier and it will burn through less pellets because the grill won’t be constantly fighting to keep temperature. 100% hardwood also has less dust, and the less saw dust in the pellets, the better. Your grill will need less cleaning, and will be able to work more efficiently.
You should also take this time to give you grill a good cleaning. Clean up all of the lingering grease and drippings, empty the hopper and clean out any dust, make sure your chimney is clean, and anything else that needs done. It’s a good idea to turn the grill on a high temperature for about 20 minutes to let it burn off any big chunks of food or whatever. Making sure your grill is in top shape with help it work more efficiently. Also, when it starts getting really cold outside you aren’t going to want to clean the grill, so do it now so you don’t have to worry about it.
Close The Lid
This one probably seems obvious but it needs to be mentioned. When its extremely cold outside, opening the lid will release tons of heat and it will make it even harder for your grill to hold a consistent temperature. You will use more pellets and your food will likely take longer. So if you don’t already now is the perfect time to start using Green Mountain Grills Smart Control feature. Smart Control lets you control everything from your phone, which means you can still keep a close eye on your food without opening the lid. This means you can keep the lid closed and conserve heat, but also that you get to stay inside, which is important in the winter.
As tempting as it may be to put your grill in your garage or in a covered area, don’t. While it may be warmer for you if you put your grill there, it’s dangerous. The grill needs plenty of ventilation, putting your grill in an enclosed area increases the risk of fire and just the general danger for you. Open space allows for proper ventilation and that will allow your grill to work more efficiently. So bundle up and put your grill outside.
Bring It In
When it starts getting cold outside you want to bring everything you can inside. All of your accessories, seasonings, utensils, and pellets. Keeping this stuff inside will help ensure their quality and help them last as long as possible. It’s a good idea to set up a little Grill Station, inside if you have the space. Just an area for you to keep everything you need so that it’s all inside, but still in the same space to make grilling easier. If possible you can even make this the area you prepare your food for the grill. Keeping everything inside is good for their quality, but also just helps keep you warm. You can also make a little winter grilling basket with everything you need outside for grilling, your utensils, spritz bottle, and whatever else you need. This will make it easy to take everything outside when its time and grill and bring it back inside when you are done.
With winter coming you want to make sure all of your supplies are fully stocked and ready to go. You are going to use more pellets than normal, so get more now and start getting used to having more on hand than you normally do. Make sure you think about what you will be grilling this winter, because for a lot of people the food changes, so your pellet types may need to change too. While stocking up on pellets, just go ahead and stock up on all of your favorite sauces and rubs too, because it never hurts to keep extra’s on hand, especially this year.
Take Care of Yourself
Dress warm and stay inside as much as possible. Cooking with a pellet grill takes patience and if you are cold you are going to be impatient. So dress as warm as possible and stay inside as much as possible. Take advantage of Smart Control and just trust your grill. This will let your grill do its job, without being constantly interrupted, and your food will be better off for it.
Don’t let the cold weather stop you from using your grill, just bundle up your grill, and then yourself and get back to grilling!