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Winter BBQ for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

Wednesday, 18 January
Happy Winter Griller-cm

As a craftsman, you’re not one to let inclement weather keep you from getting the job done. While others shamefully put their grills away in the winter, you proudly keep yours as a backyard centerpiece throughout the year. You’re not going to let biting temperatures, howling winds, or limited sunlight keep you from some mouth-watering BBQ. Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about BBQing in the winter so you can crank out tasty meats that fall off the bone.

1.   Cover your grill.

You don’t have to stash your grill away in the garage or shed, but you should cover it up in the winter. Moisture in the form of fog, rain, or snow is damaging to the metal components of grills. Using a waterproof cover can help stave off rust and other forms of deterioration. Make sure you’re using a cover specifically designed for your type of grill for the best results. Moving your grill closer to your home or under some sort of cover is a great way to protect against tough weather too.

Further Reading: Must-Have Tools in Your Grill Kit

2.   Choose the right fuel.

Picking the right fuel source is crucial for an unbeatable winter BBQ. Charcoal burns quicker and hotter than wood which makes it the go-to for searing or cooking thinner cuts of meat. If you’re going for a smokier flavor, wood is your best bet. It takes a bit longer to catch and burns slower. If you have a fancier grill that takes pellets, make sure you’re using a fuel source that’s designed specifically for BBQing.

3.   Use a grill thermometer.

If you’ve been BBQing long enough, you might have the uncanny ability to know when meat is perfectly cooked just by looking at it. Keep in mind that colder temperatures can throw this meat-mind connection out of whack. Heat takes longer to dissipate in cooler weather which messes with cooking time. The most surefire way to keep your BBQ at the right temperature for the perfect amount of time is to use a thermometer.

4.   Dress in warm clothing.

It’s tempting to use your grill as a firepit in the wintertime. However, leaving the grill open will screw up the cooking process. Bundling up in the right winter gear such as snow boots, a jacket, a beanie, and thermal underwear will keep you warm and toasty even when the grill is shut. You can even find special grilling gloves that offer insulation from the cold weather and protection from flames.

5.   Prepare the grating.

Grill grating can ruin even the best cuts of meat when not cared for properly. Before you start the grill, make sure to remove the gunk from the grates with a grill brush or scraper. Once all the debris is clear, apply some grease or oil to the grates so your meat of choice doesn’t stick when BBQing. In the dead of winter, it’s easy to just close the grill when you’re done and forget about it. However, cleaning off the grates right after grilling ensures it’s ready for next time.

6.   Leave enough time for cooking.

Unlike other forms of grilling, BBQing tends to last for hours. The goal is to make the meat as tender, juicy, and delicious as possible. The trick is slow-cooking over longer periods of time. The exact time you’ll need will depend on the type of meat, the meat’s thickness, and the grilling temperature. Once you know the cooking time, plan backward from when you want to eat for a good starting point. Cook enough to have leftovers for lunch on the job site.

Just like BBQing in the winter, looking for a job in the construction industry comes with unique challenges in the colder seasons. At Madden Craftsmen, we specialize in helping talented craftsmen just like you find rewarding work with leading construction businesses in the PNW. Check out www.IamMadden.com for immediate job openings.

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