You may think that winters are not for grilling, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Grilling is, in fact, a year-round event and can be enjoyed in any season. However, keep in mind that grilling in cold weather takes more time than grilling in warm seasons. That’s why it is important to prepare accordingly when planning for a tailgate party or backyard event.

Don’t let cold weather freeze your desire to get outside and cook up something delicious! Here are some hot tips that will help you successfully fire up your grill and enjoy a nice BBQ in chilly winter months.

1) Check The Grill
Before you start grilling, make sure that the grill is functioning correctly. Do a fuel check. If you are using a gas grill, check the hoses for cracks or leakage. Also, check if the lid and knobs are easy to operate. If not, move your grill to a warmer spot to let it defrost. Never force open a frozen knob or grill.

2) Reposition The Grill
Think about repositioning the grill to minimize problems. Identify the direction the wind is coming from and look for a spot that offers the best protection from it. However, don’t place your grill too close to your house or any inflammable materials. Also, clean the path to your grill to ensure there is no additional snow around while grilling.

3) Close The Lid
Always grill with the lid closed. As much as you want to check on your food, it is better not to remove the cap frequently to prevent heat loss. It is already hard to grill food in below-freezing temperatures, and the more you open the lid, the longer it will take to grill.

4) Dress Appropriately
Make sure to wear something warm and comfortable. However, avoid scarfs, tassels, and other clothing items that can catch fire easily. Avoid using snow gloves for grilling and purchase quality, heat-resistant gloves instead.

5) Keep Extra Fuel Handy
Whether you are using a gas grill or a charcoal grill, you will need to work harder to maintain the heat. Make sure that the charcoal you are using is of good quality. It is also a good idea to keep extra fuel with you. Depending on the temperatures, you may need more fuel than what you usually do to keep the fire burning.

6) Be Patient
Remember that grills usually take twice as long to warm up in winter. That’s why make sure to have extra time in hand when you do the grilling. Heat the grill to be hot enough to keep the food from sticking to the grates.

7) Stick To What You Know
You may get tempted to experiment with your food. However, stick to the tried and tested recipes that you know will need minimal flipping. Knowing the recipes by heart will let you grill your food in minimum time and with maximum efficiency.

8) Do A Quick Clean Up
It becomes harder to clean off the debris once the grill has cooled down. It is a good idea to keep warm water and a soft cloth handy for an instant and easy cleanup. Make sure to especially clean it if you are not going to use the grill for the rest of the winter.

9) Use The Right Cookware
It is best to use ceramic cookware for heat retention. They help in maintaining the temperature of the food as you keep going back and forth from grill to indoors. Also, keep a cast iron pan aside to temporarily hold your cooked meal while you finish the rest of cooking.

Ultimately, remember to do the proper preparation before you start grilling. It is critical to keep a grill covered to prevent it from freezing up and getting damaged. So, what are you waiting for? Follow the tips mentioned above and enjoy a smooth grilling experience!