If you’re like us, you love grilling all year round. But you might be wondering, do pellet grills work in cold weather?
The answer is yes! Pellet grills are designed to be used in all kinds of weather conditions, including cold weather.
Many pellet grill manufacturers say that their grills can be used at temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius).
So, if you’re looking to grill in the middle of winter, a pellet grill is a great option. Just make sure to follow the tips below:
1. Use the Right Pellets
Pellets are made from different types of wood, and each type of wood burns at a different temperature.
So, if you’re grilling in cold weather, you’ll want to use pellets that are made from hardwood like oak or hickory. These types of pellets will burn hot and give your food the flavor you’re looking for.
The right pellets also burn longer, which is important in cold weather because you don’t want your grill to run out of fuel in the middle of cooking.
2. Preheat Your Grill
Just like any other grill, you’ll want to preheat your pellet grill before cooking. This will help ensure that your food cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the grates.
Most pellet grills have a built-in thermometer, so you can easily tell when it’s reached the right temperature.
3. Cover Your Grill
When grilling in cold weather, it’s important to cover your grill when you’re not using it. This will help protect it from the elements and keep it in good condition.
You can find covers specifically designed for pellet grills, or you can use a tarp or other type of cover.
What If I Forget To Cover My Grill?
If you forget to cover your grill and it starts to snow, don’t worry! Just brush the snow off of the grates before cooking.
4. Use A Windshield
Another way to protect your grill from the elements is to use a windshield. A windshield is a piece of material that you place in front of your grill to shield it from the wind.
Windshields are especially important in cold weather, because the wind can cool down your grill and make it harder to cook your food.
5. Add a Heat Shield
If you’re grilling in very cold weather, you might want to add a heat shield to your grill. A heat shield is a piece of metal that helps deflect the cold air away from the grill.
This can help keep your grill at a consistent temperature, which will make it easier to cook your food.
5. Use Indirect Heat
When grilling in cold weather, you’ll want to use indirect heat. This means that the food will not be directly over the flame.
Instead, it will be off to the side, where it will be heated indirectly by the hot air coming from the grill. This is the best way to prevent your food from burning.
The indirect heat works by circulating the hot air around the food, cooking it evenly on all sides.
6. Use The Right Tools
When grilling in cold weather, you’ll want to make sure you have the right tools. This includes a long-handled spatula and tongs, so you don’t have to reach over the hot grill to flip your food.
Make sure these tools are made of the right materials, like stainless steel, so they can withstand the heat of the grill.
You’ll also want to have a thermometer on hand, so you can make sure your food is cooking at the right temperature.
You might also want to invest in a grill glove, so you can protect your hands from the heat.
7. Check The Temperature Of Your Food
It’s important to check the internal temperature of your food when grilling in cold weather. This is because the colder weather can make it harder to cook your food evenly.
The best way to check the internal temperature of your food is to use a meat thermometer. Your food should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before you remove it from the grill.
8. Add Some Smoke
Adding smoke to your grill will help give your food flavor and prevent it from drying out. Cold weather can make it hard to generate enough smoke, so you might want to use a smoking chip tray.
These trays are designed to generate more smoke, so they’re perfect for grilling in cold weather.
9. Add More Fuel
When grilling in cold weather, you’ll need to add more fuel to your grill than you would in warmer weather. This is because the cold air will cause the pellets to burn faster.
So, if you’re using a 20-pound bag of pellets, you might want to add an extra pound or two. This will help ensure that your grill has enough fuel to last the entire cooking time.
10. Grill Low and Slow
Grilling low and slow is always a good rule of thumb, but it’s especially important in cold weather.
If you grill too quickly, the outside of your food will be burnt while the inside is still raw. So, take your time and enjoy the process on your pellet grill.
11. Let The Grill Cool Down Before Cleaning
When you’re finished grilling, it’s important to let the grill cool down before cleaning it. This is because the grill will be hot and the cleaner could potentially damage it.
If you’re in a hurry, you can use a grill brush to clean the grate while it’s still hot. Just make sure to use a brush with stainless steel bristles, so it can withstand the heat.
12. Store Your Grill Properly
When the grilling season is over, it’s important to store your grill properly. This means cleaning it and making sure it’s covered.
You should also empty the pellet hopper and clean out the ashtray. This will help prolong the life of your grill and make it easier to use next year.