Just because there is a blanket of snow in your backyard doesn’t mean you have to confine yourself to the kitchen when it comes to preparing your meals. In the midst of winter, your outdoor grill may look like a non-descript white lump, buried under the most recent dumping of snow. But that has not rendered it unusable. Even in the worst cold winter can throw at you, you can crank up the heat in your barbecue and cook some delicious meals — just like you would enjoy in the middle of July on the patio.
“A little bit of snow on the ground is no excuse to stay away from your barbecue,” says Stephen Schroeter, Senior Vice President of Napoleon Gourmet Grills. “Beat back some of that winter cabin fever by clearing a path, bundling up, getting outside and throwing a nice steak on the grill.”
When grilling in the winter, there are some things you should take into consideration. Schroeter offers the following advice for premium backyard winter grilling:
Clear the snow. No matter how cold it is, do not set up your barbecue in your garage, shed or any enclosed space. This may increase the chances that you will be grilling in the snow, but that is part of the experience. Shovel a safe path to your grill, and make sure you clear all the snow off your grill before heating it up.
Get it hot. It may be -10°C outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your barbecue fired up to 500°F — it may just take a little longer. A word of advice – constant opening and closing of the lid will cause you to lose heat faster than you would in the summer. Once you have reached an optimal temperature, get your meat on the grill quickly and close the lid.
Be patient. Winter grilling is different than throwing some burgers on the barbecue in the middle of summer. Cold air temperatures mean it will take longer for your grill to reach optimum cooking temperature, and every time you open the lid you will lose valuable heat. But that also means it is ideal for trying a dish like smoked ribs cooked over indirect heat.
Get the right equipment. Heat resistant gloves will both keep your hands warm and protect you from the heat of the grill. With the early arrival of darkness in winter, chances are you will need additional light. If your BBQ doesn’t come equipped with it’s own light, there are lights you can attach to your grill, or even to your spatula. If you are cooking a big cut of meat like a roast or whole chicken, the Napoleon PRO Wireless Digital Thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature of your meat from the comfort of your warm living room.
Try infrared cooking. As close as you can get to charcoal cooking without actually using charcoal. 10,000 ports heat up a ceramic burner until it glows red, searing your cuts of meat without drying them out. The result is a clean, consistent method of cooking that produces juicier, tastier steaks and burgers. An added bonus: it cooks quicker, meaning you don’t have to stand outside as long!
“It is also important to have the right kind of grill for cooking in the middle of a Canadian snowstorm,” says Schroeter. “High quality stainless steel is not only durable and rust resistant, but it can also withstand high temperatures and extreme colds.”
Napoleon has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 50 Best Managed Companies, an annual distinction sponsored by CIBC World Markets, Deloitte, The National Post, Queen’s School of Business and CEO Forum.