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Consumer Reports: Tips on cold-weather grilling

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Posted at 8:10 AM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 09:10:12-05

(CONSUMER REPORTS/WTVF) — Grilling in the summer is a no-brainer, but how about in the middle of winter? Just because it’s cold and snowy outside doesn’t mean you can't use your grill.

It may sound crazy, but if you bundle up, there's no reason you can use your grill year-round. With the Super Bowl coming up, now is a good time to brush up on your cold weather grilling game.

Consumer Reports’ resident grill guru Paul Hope doesn’t let weather stand in the way of grilling.

“Unless the weather outside is actually dangerous there’s really never a bad time to grill. And some of the things you can make on your grill like brisket or ribs are really nice cold-weather comfort foods,” said Hope, Consumer Reports Home Editor

But you can’t just fire up your grill the same way you would in July so here’s a cold weather grilling checklist from CR to get you through the winter.

First step, inspect. In addition to a fuel check, you want to inspect the burners, jets and gas lines for any blockages that can restrict gas flow. Since it’s cold outside, easy access to the grill is key. But don’t place it too close to your house. Keep it at least 10 feet away.

Next, suit up safely.

“You want to make sure that you’re bundled up but avoid any loose clothing, like scarves, because they can get caught in the flames,” he said.

Choose a pair of warm gloves that allow full hand movements, so you can easily manipulate your grilling tools.“One thing to keep in mind when you’re grilling in cold weather is that everythingis going to take longer. That means you need to leave extra time for the pre-heat and for cooking food,” Hope said.

For a quicker clean up, brush off the racks while the grill is still hot, especially if the grill will be sitting idle for the rest of the winter. Finally, CR says having a meat thermometer on hand to check your food temperatures is always a good idea, no matter the

If you’re ready for a new grill, consider a CR recommended Even Embers. It earns an excellent rating for pre-heat performance, so it’ll get fired up faster – and that’s a plus for winter grilling.

Consumer Reports says it’s important to grill safely, no matter what season it is. If you find the knobs or lid are frozen shut, move it to a warmer place only to defrost. You never want to bring your grill inside to cook. That can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. You also never want to grill under an alcove or overhang, and to be safe, always have a fire extinguisher nearby.