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Grill in the Chill
This is what separates the masters from the students. The winter brings tough cooking conditions and frosty finger-tips. But if you are committed, winter is the ideal time to perfect your craft. You will have to endure uncomfortable temperatures, grill temperature fluctuations, and extra prep time. But when set your culinary perfection on the table in front of your guests you will earn certain praise for your skill and effort.
Winter Check-Up
  1. If you have not checked the operation of your grill since the end of the summer, don't wait until an hour before your guests arrive. Fire up the grill the day before and use a grill brush to clean up the grate.
  2. Be sure your tanks are full and ready to go.
  3. Charcoal grills will create better control over the temperature in the harsh conditions and give your meats a delicious smoky flavor.
Shield the Goods
  1. The number one winter grilling enemy is not cold temperatures, but wind. Wind makes it difficult to keep your cooker at proper cooking temperature and may even blow out the flame if you are using a gas grill.
  2. Position your grill in a location that's sheltered from wind but still safe. Never grill on an indoor porch or in your garage. This creates a fire hazard and risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Keep the Heat
  1. Avoid complex dishes that involve a lot of time tending to cooking food. Keeping the dishes simple allows for less time opening and closing the lid too many times.
  2. You can also warm your platters in the oven to help keep your grilled meats warm as they come off the grill.
Bonus Time
  1. Meats may take longer to cook on a cold winter day. A dish that takes 20 minutes in the summer may take 40 minutes in the winter.
  2. A meat thermometer can help you determine the proper doneness.
The winter brings tough cooking conditions and frosty fingertips. But if you are committed, winter is the ideal time to perfect your craft.