We absolutely love grilling, and since you're here we assume you do too! While it's great to hangout by the poolside, slip the crocs on and test click the tongs three times while sipping on your locally brewed wobbly pop, sometimes you need to slide the boots on, toss the coat & hat on, and quickly run outside to flip the burgs.
With winter seemingly around the corner, the days are shorter and the nights are colder. Yet there's just one problem, you still want to grill! This winter is going to be a little different than those of Christmas past, with most of our time being spent at home, little places to go, nowhere to roam.
Luckily for you, we've complied a list of some of our favourite tips and tricks to keep your cooking versatility at full capacity, all winter long.
1. Plan more time to grill up your favourite barbecued delights.
When you're starting up your barbecue in the winter, it tends to take a little extra time to heat your grill up (for obvious cold Canadian winter reasons). Be prepared on those nights when time is a little tight and start your grill an extra 10-15 minutes early.
2. Only open your barbecue lid when absolutely necessary.
This rule has a direct correlation to our first rule. The cold Canadian weather and your hot BBQ cookbox are at odds with one another. Unnecessarily opening your barbecue lid exposes your cookbox (and your food) to that cold air, which can have a large impact on your grilling temperatures. Only open your lid for turning, flipping or removing your food and save the curiosity and food gazing for the summer.
3. Be prepared for grilling in the dark
Some barbecues come equipped with interior lights and control panel lights to make it a breeze, but for many, you'll need an extra source of light to make sure you're not burning dinner. We recommend using a grill handle light, or beacon light to keep your barbecue well lit, and your hands free of a flashlight so you can concentrate on grilling.
4. Grab yourself a thermometer
Be it an instant read, digital, or remote, you're going to want to get your hands on a thermometer this winter! Having a leave in thermometer allows you to easily monitor and check-in on your precious meats while keeping your lid closed and you warm in the comfort of your home. While an instant read thermometer allows you to quickly pop the lid open and check the readiness of your meats so you can quickly close the lid and scuttle back to the warmth of your home.
5. Move your grill closer to your door
This is a pretty obvious one, but if you have the ability to move your grill closer to your door (While maintaining clearance to combustibles regulations for your grill), it can shorten that sprint outside to flip the wings, keeping your fingies and toes all the warmer.
Side Note: Never grill in an enclosed area such as your garage. Grilling releases dangerous carbon monoxide gases, and you need proper ventilation to keep the air flowing.
6. Bundle up - safely
Be sure to wrap yourself in your appropriate winter apparel to keep warm and cozy, but make sure all your scarfs, pom poms, and dongles are properly tucked away from the fires of your grill - the only thing we want lighting up this holiday season is a BBQ and a Christmas tree.
7. Cover up your grill
We get this question every year - "Are covers worth it?" - our answer? Absolutely, especially in the winter. Covering up your barbecue in the winter helps protect it from the harsh cold elements and piles of snow. There's nothing worse than wanting to start your barbecue up and realizing there's 2 feet of snow perched on your uncovered BBQ lid. Grab yourself a cover and be ready for winter.
8. What out for those Hose"ers"
Water isn't the only thing that can freeze in the winter time. Be sure to check your natural gas hose, or propane hose & regulator for cracks and tears. Sometimes those older hoses can become a little brittle and succumb to the cold weather with a slight crack. We recommend the occasional soap test or leak detector spray to make sure you're grilling safe and sound.
Hopefully these tips & tricks help you get the most out of your barbecue this winter. If you're looking for any more tips, words of advice, or helpful reminders, stop by or give us a ring at any of our 5 locations across Canada to speak to one of our barbecue experts. We have three locations in the GTA: Burlington, Oakville & Etobicoke, Ontario. We also have two locations in Alberta at our Calgary North and Calgary South locations.