Grilling Isn’t Just a Summer Sport: Four Tips for Doing it Year-Round
Nothing beats grilling up a fresh meal on a warm, summer night. But guess what: Your grill doesn’t have to go into hibernation just because it’s cold outside. In fact, grilling can be the perfect way to make healthier meals all year long. It requires a lot less oil than sautéing or frying and can help meats and vegetables hold on to their nutrients better than some other cooking methods.
Plus it’s so easy! Because everything is done over a fire, you aren’t left with a sink full of dirty pots and pans to deal with afterwards—leaving you more time to wind down from your day and catch up with your family.
While the basics of grilling don’t change from summer to winter, there are a few extra safety tips to follow when it’s cold outside:
- Inspect your grill. If you haven’t pulled out your grill since Labor Day, give it a good once-over. For gas grills, check gas lines, jets and burners to make sure nothing is blocked or leaking. Also make sure the grates are clean. Get them hot by turning your grill on, then scrub them with a grill brush. If that doesn’t work, soak them in hot water with ¼ cup baking soda and a good squirt of dish soap.
- Set up the grill in a safe place. Make sure your grill is at least 10 feet away from your home, trees, shrubs or furniture (basically anything that can catch fire or be damaged by heat). If snow has built up, clear the area around the grill and the walkway from your house to the grill. Add salt if necessary so you don’t slip while carrying food back and forth.
- Scan your outfit for any hanging clothes. Layer up and get warm (no need to freeze out there!), but be sure not to have any long loose sleeves or scarves that might blow into the flames.
- Keep an extra tank of gas or charcoal on hand. Because of the cold temperatures, your grill may not get hot as quickly as it would in the summer or you may need to grill your food a bit longer. Don’t go by time; instead, use an instant-read thermometer and check for these recommended minimum cooking temperatures to see if your food is done.
Ready to get grilling and need some inspiration on what to cook? Give this amazing spicy chipotle turkey burger, spice-rubbed salmon or grilled Brussels sprouts a try! And check out these other blogs for even more grilling tips:
- Are You Grilling Safely?
- Grill Cleaning Safety Tips: Because Your Grates Are Dirtier Than Your Toilet
- A Better Barbecue: 10 Tips To Grilling Healthier Meals
Photo credit: Timo Newton-Syms