When colder weather arrives in Tennessee or Southern Kentucky in the fall, many of us resign ourselves to the end of grilling season. We clean up our grill, put the grill cover on and count the days until we can use it again.
But why should summer have all the fun?
Make a few tweaks and you can use your propane BBQ grill in the winter and enjoy the foods you thought you could only have in warmer weather! We’ve got some tips that will have you shoveling a path to the grill.
Be sure you have enough propane. With the colder temperatures, your grill will have to use more propane to keep the grill hot enough to grill your food. Your grill also needs about five to 10 more minutes more time to warm up before you start grilling. Keep a spare propane cylinder on hand so you don’t runout in the middle of grilling a great meal.
Location matters. Move your grill to a spot that is blocked from the wind as much as possible. Wherever you place it, the grill should be perpendicular to the wind so the wind won’t blow the flame down the tube burners. Keep an eye on the flame because the wind may blow out the flame.
Light is essential. Your grill should be in a well-lit area because it gets dark earlier this time of year. This is so you can see that the flame is on and so you can safely operate the grill. Also, you can better see how your food is cooking. A grill light would be a good idea.
Take time to prep. Don’t keep going to and from the kitchen. Get the grilling done faster by making sure you have everything you need at the grill —brushes, tongs, sauces, seasonings and trays to bring the food in and out. This lets you get done faster and safer.
Practice safety. Placing the grill closer to the house makes the most sense. It’s easier to get to it and then back into the house. There’s less of a path to keep clear, which you should always maintain to prevent falls. But always keep the grill a safe distance from the house to prevent fires or melted siding. Also, NEVER use your grill in an enclosed or covered area such as a garage or carport. Propane cylinder should also never be stored there. Don’t wear a scarf or anything else that can dangle over the flame and be careful of the flame near your coat and other outerwear.
Focus on fast foods. Not the kind you get at the drive-thru, but the kind that will grill fast. Skip the indirect grilling like pulled pork. Instead, grill food that can be done quickly like boneless chicken breasts, fish, pork tenderloin or chops, and steaks.
Keep the lid down. Your grill loses heat every time you open the lid, meaning you’ll be out there longer and your grill won’t be as efficient. The lid should be down and the vents should be open as much as possible.