Barn Goddess BBQ & Grill
Winter Grilling: Why wait till Spring ??
So you don't want to wait for spring to crank up the grill, here are a few things to consider. If you are in an area where cold means rain usually first,(like here in Florida) you may want to try my trick. Not only will you want to obtain a few welding blankets,(I get mine at Harbor Freight, but also available at Northern Tool) you will want to search out a large stainless pot. I mean big, huge, and put it on your fire box filled with water. Now to the on looker, it will seem as if you are heating water for dishes, and that can be the case. But, if the cold, wind and rain starts, your pot will have heated up already and protect the temperature in the fire box. And for the welding blankets, cover your cook area, wrap your cooker or kettle, it makes a big difference. The reason I have gone to welding blankets and not packing blue blankets, is well, I melted one on my beautiful Rec Tec Pellet Cooker, when I was desperate at a freezing contest in Zephyrhills one year.
Something else which seems pretty obvious, but if you're lookin' it ain't cookin'. If you have some experience, you know about how long before your have to spritz, or temp, or wrap, so don't be tempted to open your cooker up, there is always recovery time required to get back to your desired temperature, which may increase your cook time. Now if you are inexperience, or trying a new recipe, then damn the temps and do what you must.
Wood a little wet, frozen even well, I will often put chunks of wood on my fire box to dry them out, that helps get them ready to ignite faster once I have placed them in the fire box. Careful though, you don't want them to set on fire and fall off the box, that would be bad, especially if it's on the back of your RV or Toy hauler and you just went to hit the zero gravity chair for a few, cuddled up near your fire box. You get the picture.
Let's talk gloves for a minute. I love those white cotton multi-pack work glove, they are cheap, washable and you don't have to feel bad about throwing them out. Anyway, you can use them while you are cold weather grilling too. They act as hot pads, and if you are doing a big meat like pork butt and want to shed it up, slip the next size vinyl glove over the white cotton ones, and they should protect your hands, that is unless you use forks or Bear Claws. I really like to feel the meat, it lets me know if it's done enough, or too mushy. I always pull with my hands for competitions because of that, it has really become a habit.
Get the family outside too. Well not if it's freezing, but if you have a separate fire pit, it is always a great place to gather friends and family to chat about the weeks events. Let's face it, no one gathers around the microwave to enjoy a brew or two.
Happy grilling, spring is around the corner. And just to set the record straight, I know you don't pity all of us grilling and smoking in Florida, we cook in extreme heat, cold, freeze, and rain, but I have to say, I feel the worse is Freezing, windy rain. The cookers take more fuel, and so do I.