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Eight Tips For Better Cold Weather Backyard BBQ And Grilling

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Grill covered in snow

Keep the fire burning all winter long with these helpful techniques.

The weather outside might be frightful, but that doesn’t have to stop you from firing up the grill. 
Here are some quick tips for cold-weather cooking!

Don’t Believe The Hype

Using a gas grill this winter? Many people believe that gas will not flow at low temperatures. Not true. Propane is in liquid form in the tank, and it must boil to become a gas. The boiling point of propane is -44°F so you should have no problem getting gas to flow unless you live in Siberia.

Bring The Heat

Be sure to preheat your cooker until the metal is too hot to touch. This will require more time and fuel (gas, charcoal, wood, or pellets) than normal. The fire needs to heat both the metal and the cold air used for combustion. For gas grills, you will also use a bit more fuel because some energy is wasted getting the liquid to a gaseous state so keep an extra propane tank on hand. Switch the old one out for the new one before the gas completely runs out and you’ll be sure that the internal temperature of the grill barely misses a beat!

Put A Lid On It

We’ve all heard the old adage “If you’re looking, you’re not cooking.” While has proven here that opening the grill lid has little effect on your grill’s internal temperature during warm months, it does have a notable impact during the winter. The best way to keep temperatures up when grilling in the cold is to keep the lid closed as much as possible. If there is room, put bricks in the cooking chamber to absorb energy.

Break Wind

Place your grill so it won’t get hit by the cold wind and snow. Avoid placing it near vinyl siding which can melt or under low-hanging eaves which can catch fire. Also, NEVER use a grill inside of your home or in a garage as carbon monoxide will quickly collect and become deadly.

Working Remotely

A quality multi-probe remote thermometer that talks to your smartphone or a remote module allows you to stay warm inside while keeping an eye on the temperature of your cooker and your food. This also means you won’t have to open the lid as often.

Patience Is A Virtue

Cooler temperatures mean that food will take longer to cook.  Allow a little extra time when planning meals.

Dress The Part

Winter is not the time to be heading out to the grill in your bathrobe and slippers.  Avoid loose jackets and scarves that could catch fire.

Cars Can Wait

The grill is always the first thing that gets shoveled out after any snowfall.

Published On: 12/7/2023 Last Modified: 1/10/2024

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  • Clint Cantwell, President And BBQ Personality - Clint Cantwell is's President, a championship competition BBQ cook, and outdoor cooking personality.


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