The Midwest and Northeast may be getting slammed by winter storms right now, but that apparently isn’t stopping grillers from getting outside. In fact, so many grill owners grill year-round that grilling giant Weber has released some tips on how to do so safely and well.
“More than half of grill owners grill year-round — and 35 percent grill when the temperature drops below freezing,” Kim Lefko, executive vice president of AMERICAS, Weber-Stephen Products LLC, told Kansas news source HutchNews.com Feb 5. “Our annual Weber GrillWatch Survey reveals the top reason people brave the cold is because they feel everything tastes better grilled. They also tell us it’s because they see grilling as an adventure, it’s ‘me time’ and it’s ‘football season.’”
Given that a Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association study reported by Consumer Reports in 2013 puts the figure of year-round grillers even higher, closer to two-thirds of grill owners, such guidelines seem prudent.
Weber recommends pre-shoveling the outdoor grill area and salting if necessary to prevent slips around a hot grill. Lights can be fitted onto grill handles to combat winter’s short days, too.
Fire safety should be a top concern. Warm accessories such as scarves should be worn, but tucked inside coats so they don’t dangle over flames. Warm snow gloves won’t necessarily be heat-resistant or flame-retardant, so winter grillers should invest in barbecue gloves that can serve both purposes.
Pre-heating and timing are more important in the winter, too. Pre-heating may take up to twice as long in cold temperatures, and it’s important to set a timer instead of constantly opening the grill’s lid to check on cooking progress.