We are all faced with the same dilemma once the snow starts to fall in Calgary. Do we throw in the towel and retire our BBQ’s for the season? No! We are Canadians, and grilling Alberta Beef is in our blood, no matter the season. There’s nothing quite like spending time on the patio with friends and family. A patio cover gives you the ability to have a BBQ with your family or spend some time relaxing with neighbours all year long.
10 Winter Grilling Tips
- If you’re storing your BBQ outside, keep the propane tank connected and put a protective cover over when you’re done. If you’re storing the BBQ inside, store the tank outside.
- Since it gets dark early in the winter, take a few minutes to prep your food to save time or use a light that fits on the handle of the grill.
- Shovel a wide path to your grill for easier access and to prevent falls. Brush the snow and ice off the whole BBQ to have extra workspace while you’re grilling.
- Position your BBQ in a sheltered corner (but not enclosed) space to reduce the effects of wind.
- Plan on approximately 15 to 20 minutes of pre-heating rather than the warmer-weather rule of 10 minutes.
- Choose foods that grill up quick like fish, brats, and hot dogs. You can also do hamburgers and steaks but go thinner than usual if doing them while standing out in the severe cold.
- Be careful if wearing scarfs or other winter accessories so they won’t dangle over the grill enticing flames to catch you on fire.
- Use a timer and lift the lid as little as possible. Opening the lid to check on food extends the cooking time as the grill loses heat quickly.
- It is always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to make sure your food is grilled to perfection and avoid food poisoning.
- Heat some milk on the side burner for hot chocolate and stay warm!
BONUS TIP: Heat up a cast iron pan with a lid and use to store and keep cooked items warm until serving time.
IMPORTANT: Never light the grill inside a garage, even if the door is open. Never use a barbecue indoors or in tents. This is a dangerous fire hazard and can cause high levels of carbon monoxide.
More great BBQ Safety Tips!
Remember, simply because the thermometer has dropped doesn’t mean you need to forget about the BBQ. After all, the best cure for the winter blues is great comforting food. So, fire up those grills, dig out the winter boots and get out there! Your family and friends are counting on you!
Tell us: Do you BBQ on your patio in the winter? Do you have any tips to share? What are some of your favourite grilling recipes?