Reminiscing back to that perfect summer day when the sun was shining, the pool was full of kids and that slab of ribs was slow smoking on the grill? Of course you are my friend because winter has arrived here in South Eastern Michigan. Your grill is probably near the front door of the garage or tarp covered on the back patio, but either way, don’t get frustrated. During the winter months, we all crave good barbecue and if you are a little adventurous and willing to spend a little time in the cold, you too can enjoy the benefits of Winter Grilling.
Step one: Be sure to dress warm. This means piling on many layers of waffle type long-underwear, college logo emblazed sweat shirts, manageable gloves, a hat (Toque for the Canucks) and a thicker than normal coat. These will make the experience more enjoyable.
Step two: Pull out the grill or take off the tarp and if need be remove any ice from the surrounding area for a safe non-slip surface. Don’t want to drop that pork butt or steak after all this effort.
Step three: Pre-heat the Grill – It will take nearly 15 minutes in this cold to get your grill up to around 450ºF.
Step four: Choose quick grilling meats because these thinner cuts of meat like pork chops, New York Strips or even some fish fillets will get you back into the warm house quicker. And furthermore, trying to cook a 10lbs pork butt on charcoal grill in 10ºF weather is a brave and insurmountable task to take on, so stick to smaller cuts of meat in this type of weather.
Step five: Be sure you know some basic grilling times. Every single time you open the grill in this temperature, it will take that much longer to re-heat. This will make your time in the cold that much longer.
These quick tips can make the Winter Grilling experience a tad bit more enjoyable. Realizing we are only half way through this blustery Michigan weather only makes the anticipation of summer grilling more desirable.
The true Backyard Grill Masters will weather the storm and find that perfect cut of meat to toss on that snow covered behemoth you’ve aptly named the “Meat Dragon”. They will smother that carcass in a wonderful sauce and serve it to drooling guests constantly peering through the frost glazed windows of your heated kitchen. The sides will be completed in the oven, and that’s okay, cause the effort put into the entrée will be well received.
Here are a few Winter Grill Recipes for the “Meat Dragon”:
Whichever recipe you choose, be sure to follow the easy grilling steps above and keep looking forward to spring. Enjoy your meal and stay warm.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and don’t forget your bib.