Cooking during the winter can be challenging, blowing wind, below-freezing temperatures, snow, freezing rain, and the general unpleasantness that winter can bring can all wreak havoc on your cooking. These 3 simple tips will help keep you smoking and grilling all winter long.
1. Location, location, location!
The placement of your smoker and grills is far more important in the winter than any other time of year. Look for a spot where you can be sheltered from the elements as best possible. Look for a corner that can block winds, a slight overhang is great to keep snow, rain, and sleet off of your smoker. Consider investing in a welding blanket to add extra insulation to your smoker. Relatively inexpensive, welder blankets can safely add insulation for cookers running below 500°F (depending on manufacturer ratings).
2. Monitor your temperature remotely!
The old adage “if you’re looking you ain’t cooking” rings extra true in the winter. In the summer you can quickly peak and your grill or smoker will bounce back to temperature in moments. In the winter, you can watch your ambient temperature plummet from that sweet spot to near freezing in seconds. Investing in a good multi-probe thermometer such as the Flame Boss will let you monitor the temperature of your pit and meat without needing to crack the lid or door on your grill or smoker.
3. Use Quality Fuels
Where you store your fuel can have an impact on your cook. Make sure you are storing your fuel in a dry location, preferably off the ground. Charcoal, pellets, and wood chunks will all absorb some moisture from the air! Also, certain types of products burn hotter, burn longer, and are generally more efficient. Hardwoods such as hickory, oak, and mesquite will burn hotter than their fruitwood counterparts such as apple and peach. The same applies to pellets. When picking your fuel for your winter cook, consider mixing in fruitwood for flavor but using hardwood for your base temperature for best results. As always, make sure you are using the best wood for what you are cooking!
That’s it, 3 simple tips! Are you BBQing in the winter? What are you cooking? What tips would you share?
~ The BBQ Supply Team