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How to Grill in the Winter

A gas grill on a porch in the winter covered in snow

One of our favorite parts about summer is the delicious food - grilling out, entertaining, and having a good time! But who says a good barbecue has to be limited to summer? With a few tips and tricks, you can enjoy that signature grilled flavor all year long!

How do I keep my grill warm in the winter?

BBQ on the balcony in the snowstorm.

An essential part of winter grilling is learning to keep your grill hot so your food will cook properly. Follow these tips for help:

  • Avoid wind: Try to place your grill somewhere with a minimal breeze. Just be sure not to place it too close to your home, other buildings, or under trees and awnings.
  • Keep the lid closed: Turn your food as little as possible and keep the lid shut to prevent heat loss.
  • Keep it insulated: As temperatures drop, try using grill insulation tape or a heat-resistant insulated grill cover to help keep your grill warm. Always make sure the vents are uncovered and you are using a high-temperature-resistant material.

How do you start a grill in the winter?

Close up man with gloves chimney starter barbecue grill in open air at country garden house. Flaming hot red yellow charcoal grill on green lawn backgrounds. Concept of country recreation.

Starting your grill in the winter isn’t much different from starting it the rest of the year. You’ll just want to ensure you have plenty of supplies on hand as you will go through more propane - or charcoal if that’s your method - in the cold months! It’s also important to give yourself plenty of time since it will take your grill longer to pre-heat in the cold.

How do you grill with charcoal in the winter?

Charcoal in chimney starter with smoke rising through

If you’re using a charcoal grill instead of a gas grill, you can still enjoy that delicious flavor all winter long. There are just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Stock up: Since charcoal is less popular in the winter, be sure to stock up on plenty. Plus, you’ll end up using more of it in colder months too.
  • Prep your area: Before lighting your charcoal, ensure a clear, snow-free path to your grill, minimal wind, and have your tongsspices, and other accessories handy.

When is it too cold to grill outside?

A frozen Caucasian male holding a mercury thermometer that reads -20 F (-32C) looking at the camera, while outside in a snow storm. He is all bundled up in a fur trapper's hat, scarf, parka, and gloves, His eye glasses and the rest of him is covered in snow and frost.

If you’ve never done it before, grilling in the cold weather can seem a little daunting. But if you take proper safety precautions, you can grill in almost any temperature! Keep reading for more safety tips on the best winter grilling practices.

Will a gas grill work in cold weather?

Young people grilling food on porch

Yes! A gas grill will function just fine in the cold. You will definitely use more fuel when it’s cold outside, but propane can easily flow in temperatures as low as -44 degrees Fahrenheit. So grill on!

Can you grill in the garage in winter?

View at the modern upscale California suburb home

The short answer is no. Grilling indoors or in a garage can be extremely dangerous. Using a gas grill indoors can cause carbon monoxide and other toxic fumes to accumulate and cause damage. Not to mention it presents a huge fire hazard. If you do prefer to grill indoors, opt for an indoor-safe electric grill.

Safety tips for grilling in winter

Man wearing Grill Pro grilling safety gloves and applying BBQ sauce to chicken breast on a gas grill

When choosing to grill in the winter, it’s important to take as many safety precautions as possible. Here are some more tips to help you stay warm and safe when firing up the grill in the cold:

  • Dress in warm winter apparel.
  • Use heat-resistant gloves when using your grill.
  • Never grill in a garage or under trees, gazebos, or awnings.
  • Keep extra fuel on hand.
  • Clear a path to your grill before getting started.
  • Avoid windy areas.
  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from houses and other building structures.
  • Cover your grill only once it has cooled completely after use.

Now that you know how to handle your grill in the chill of winter properly, go get your supplies ready, prep your area, and get cooking!

While do-it-yourself projects can be fun and fulfilling, there is always a potential for personal injury or property damage. We strongly suggest that any project beyond your abilities be left to licensed professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and we assume no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article.


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