I know it’s a common perception that wintertime means that grilling season is over. But for many of us, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone who suggests that grilling in winter is crazy or unnecessary has never cut into a juicy, piping hot, seared whiskey browned steak in the middle of December. Sometimes, the craving for the smoky flavor and chargrilled taste just can’t wait until the weather finally warms up in late spring or summer.
You can take steps to ensure that the food you grill in January tastes the same as the barbecued bounty you enjoy in July, but it involves winterizing your grill setup with accessories designed to make the weather irrelevant. It’s up to you to keep yourself warm, but the following gadgets will work wonders for winter grilling making it a year-round event.
Heat Resistant Gloves Made For Grilling Are Perfect For Winter
It goes without saying that it’s a smart idea to wear gloves anytime you’re outdoors in winter. Grilling gloves are distinctly different from regular gloves, however. They’re designed more for safety than warmth, although many do a good job of both. Think of grilling gloves as updated, next-level oven mitts because they primarily work in the same way. Like mitts, they can withstand high temperatures, usually in excess of 600 degrees Fahrenheit with some rate as high as 932ºF (500ºC) of protection.
Imagine trying to grill with plain, traditional winter gloves. The moment your hands get too close to the flames or coals, the gloves are likely to scorch, if not ignite, and you’ll almost surely suffer from burns. Don’t even think about touching a hot grate or cooking implement with your winter mittens, either. Most of these types of gloves are highly flammable folks.
In contrast, grilling gloves are heat-resistant, at least to a certain point. It depends on the gloves and, more specifically, the materials out of which they’re made. For example, cotton grill gloves will probably start to get uncomfortable fairly quickly if they come into close contact with high temperatures and not what we are talking about here.
Leather and synthetic materials work best. Leather grilling gloves are usually at the upper end of the price range and may cost upwards of $40 or more, but leather doesn’t singe as easily, so you can even add charcoal or move the grates on the grill. Many synthetic grill gloves offer excellent heat protection and are usually more of a comfortable fit to boot.
Trust me, you won’t be sorry you added a set of these to your grilling arsenal.
You can see my review of an excellent grill glove option here: On The Hunt For The Best Heat Resistant Barbecue Gloves – My Inferno Barbecue Gloves Review
A Wireless Thermometer For A Flawless Cook
That you need to check the internal temperature of your meat carefully isn’t exactly one of the most illuminating winter grilling tips. You’re probably saying to yourself right about now, “how in the world is a thermometer going to help make winter grilling easier?” Well, the answer here is twofold.
There’s a saying that grilling gurus go by: if you’re looking, then you’re not cooking. In other words, if you spend all of your time opening up the grill to check your meat, you’re letting out all of the heat. It’s particularly true for any grilling done in winter because it causes the temperature inside the grill to rise and fall, which will only prolong the cook and result in uneven results.
With a remote wireless grilling thermometer, you almost never have to open your grill or smoker. Instead, the thermometer stays in the meat while it cooks. You can see a digital display of the temperature remotely from wherever you are. That eliminates the need to poke and prod at your proteins, as well. You won’t even need to use the dreaded (and unreliable) palm test when grilling steak or chicken breasts.
Now here is the added bonus of using a wireless grilling thermometer. Since you are able to monitor and view the temperature remotely, you are able to stay comfortably warm and dry in your house during much of the cook. While a device like this is a must-have for winter barbecuing or even for indoor cooking around the holidays, it will change your summer grilling game, as well.
You can see my reviews on several great remote thermometer probes options here: The 8 Best Digital Meat Thermometers – A Griller’s Guide To Thermometers
A Headlamp To Combat The Dark
Grilling in winter often means grilling in the dark. No matter how many light sources there are outside, the fact is that, in most parts of the United States, it begins to get dark around four in the afternoon once Daylight Savings Time comes into play. All the outside lights in the world won’t help you see the food on the grill as dusk comes down. A headlamp is a convenient, efficient fix. As winter grilling ideas go, it’s simple but effective. And your kids will get a kick out wearing one and helping too
Many headlamps are versatile. In addition to wearing them on your head, you can find devices that clip onto your coat or your grill. It goes without saying that you can use a lamp like this for many other activities, including camping and late-night barbecues in the summertime.
You can find many great Headlamp options on Amazon Best Selling Headlamps By Clicking Here
A Charcoal Chimney Starter For Safety And Efficiency
Whether you call it a charcoal chimney starter, a chimney starter, or just a charcoal chimney, this item is handy to have in inclement weather. Whatever you want to call them, they are one of the fastest ways to go from zero to grilling when it comes to lighting charcoal. And when it’s cold outside, faster is better.
Chimney starters are nothing more than a cylinder made of metal, at least at first glance. The truth is that it’s also one of the safest and quickest ways to get a charcoal grill going, especially in the bitter winds of winter. Fill it with briquettes or lumps of charcoal—it handles either.
A chimney starter eliminates the need for lighter fluid or liquid starter, as well. It’s potentially dangerous to light a grill using either fluid anytime there’s a breeze or a wind-chill. Things can get out of hand in a blink.
With a charcoal chimney, you closely stack the briquettes or lumps within the cylinder. Because the charcoal is so tightly packed, the heat begins at the bottom but quickly builds in intensity, which creates an updraft that pushes the hot air at the bottom toward the top. The heat waves rise, lighting up the coals along the way. You’re left with glowing embers in no time flat, plus the blazing heat effectively burns off the chemicals in the charcoal. Once your briquettes reach the desired smolder, you simply pour out the charcoal into your grill.
Charcoal Chimney Starter Grill Master Tips
Grill masters who use chimney starters have several winter grilling tips to share that pertain to this efficient device. Always choose the largest starter that your grill can handle. Try to find one that has two handles so that it’s less difficult to pour. Opt for solid, durable steel that can withstand high temperatures and resist rust. Most importantly, pick out a charcoal chimney starter with heat-resistant handles. A heat shield isn’t a bad idea, either.
You can see my reviews on several great Charcoal Chimney Starter options here: What is the Best Charcoal Chimney Starter? – My Top Charcoal Chimney Starter Reviews
Here is another helpful guide: Charcoal Chimney Starter Instructions, The Best Way To Light Your Grill
An Insulation Grill Blanket To Save On Fuel
Unknown to most grillers, a grill insulation blanket is awesome for grilling in winter. Not to be confused with a grill cover, a blanket is heat-proof, and it stays on the grill while you use it. It’s entirely safe, and over time it will save you money, fuel, and heat.
You can, of course, grill outside during the winter without a thermal blanket, but whether you use gas or charcoal, you’ll ultimately burn more fuel. In frigid temperatures, the grill has to burn harder just to remain stoked enough to cook your food. Moreover, inconsistent temperatures lead to inconsistently cooked food. Don’t be surprised if you serve a steak that’s rare, medium rare, and medium well all at once.
For successful winter grilling, you need a buffer—such as a heat-resistant blanket. The insulation is the buffer that bars the weather and temperatures from affecting the grill. By adding it to your wintertime setup, you cut down on waste and cook time. There’s no need to keep adding fuel to the fire just to compensate for how cold it is outside.
You can find examples of Insulation Grill Blankets on Amazon Best Selling Grill Insulation Blankets By Clicking Here
Wrapping It Up
Grilling in winter isn’t only the privilege of people who live in warm or mild climates. Even in places where the winters are windswept and bitterly cold, you can grill up a steak, chicken breasts, or vegetables as long as you’re willing to brave the bite.
Without the right grilling accessories, however, not only can the experience be miserable, but it can also affect the quality of the food. So if you are craving some charbroiled smoky goodness this winter, don’t let the weather hold you back. Pick up these winter grilling gadgets, bundle up, get out there and fire it up!
Now, please excuse me as I am off to grab my coat and fire up my grill. I hope you will be joining me!
Let us know if you have any winter grilling tips or funny stories to share. Also, if this was helpful to you, please consider sharing with your friends or on social media. Sharing is caring my friends!