Outdoor Cooking During the Winter Months

Just because the sun has gone away doesn’t mean you need to put away your grill too.  You can enjoy outdoor cooking well into the winter months, if you know how to do it.  Whether you enjoy the cold or you can’t stand it at all, there are ways to get that summery feeling indoors as well.  Here’s how to keep outdoor cooking year round.

First of all, if you have a grill outside, you will want to try to move it to as close to your house as you are able and are comfortable.  This way, it’s not a long trip to the grill, even if the weather is fair. Next, try to find a way to cover up your grill to protect it from the elements.  A good cover will help to keep it clean and dry when it’s not in use, preserving its surface and keeping it ready for you to use whenever you need to.

Next, you will want to make sure you bring your grilling instruments inside so that you can bring them to the grill when you do your outdoor cooking.  If you leave them outside, they can rust and become too dirty to use again.

Just like cooking during the summer, you will want to prep your foods inside.  Marinate your meats and vegetables for up to 24 hours to help seal in exotic flavors.  You can also create small pouches for steaming vegetables and other pieces of food that you might cook alongside your meats.  Put the foods to cook onto a plate and bring outside to cook just as you would when you were outdoors.   Having everything ready will allow you to simply put the food into the hot grill, close the cover and come right back inside – little weather can stop you from doing that.

Get a timer to time the outdoor cooking experience in the winter, heading outside every 5 minutes or so.  This will allow you to stay warm, but also to check your food to see how things are progressing.  It’s far too easy to forget about food you’re not standing next to, so this timer comes in handy to prevent things from burning as well.

In addition, you can also use your grill to cook things that go in traditional winter foods, like stews.  Think about roasting carrots and potatoes in addition to meat pieces to go into a stew, for example.  Or you might want to try to roast whole potatoes on the grill and then top them with various toppings as a simple dinner idea.

You might also want to choose foods that can sit on the grill for longer periods of time. This will help to ensure you’re not overcooking anything, like you can with fish and seafood.  The winter is a great time for beef, pork, sausages, and even chicken.

Outdoor cooking doesn’t have to go away when it gets cold.  All you need is the right setup and a little bit of imagination.