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10 Tips for Grilling in Inclement Weather

Try Some New Cooking Strategies

If you're making your bad weather part of the party by gathering under a canopy or huddling around a fire pit, that's great. If not, a major goal of bad-weather grilling is minimizing the time the chef needs to tend to the food.

Try these strategies:

  • Start early. In bad weather, the grill takes longer to preheat. Charcoal takes longer to start.
  • If it's cold, raise the grilling temperature by about 20 percent.
  • Close the dampers on the bowl of a charcoal grill. If it's cold, more oxygen will feed the fire inside, raising the temperature. Keep the lid vents open.
  • Is it windy out? If possible, turn the grill so that the wind is perpendicular to the flow of gas [source: Weber] If there's snow, jam something such as a plastic sled into a bank to make a wind break [source: Johnson]
  • Guesswork is bad for grilling. Use a meat thermometer.
  • Keep the lid closed. The more you open the lid, the longer the food will take to cook.
  • Even if you're not constantly at the grill, keep a close watch, especially if it's windy.

Read on for suggestions of good foods to grill in bad weather.