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Fall and Winter Grilling Tips

Fall Grilling on rack

By; Ashley Martens

One of the best parts about the summer season is all of that outdoor backyard grilling. From Memorial Day to Father’s Day to the Fourth of July and clear through Labor Day, your backyard grill may be the centerpiece of your favorite gatherings with family, friends, and neighbors every weekend, but what happens during fall and winter?

Some people may shut their beloved grills down for the season, while others may be interested in firing them up well through the fall and winter months. If you are interested in using the grill for fall and winter, here are some fall and winter grilling tips to keep in mind as the weather turns colder.

#1 Allow for Extra Time

The colder the temperature is outside, the more time is needed for the grill to properly heat up in order to properly cook a meal. Whether you are using a charcoal grill, a gas grill, or a smoker, you will want to allow for extra time. This includes allowing extra time for grilling food as well. That means adjusting and preparing accordingly so you and your guests are not waiting forever for dinner to be served.

extra time

#2 Avoid Wearing Loose Clothing

Okay, yes you will want to bundle up if you are grilling in the colder fall and winter months, but avoid wearing loose clothing. That includes long scarves, scarves with tassels, or any other clothing or outerwear item that could accidentally come in contact with a hot grill and catch fire.

#3 Be Prepared with Extra Supplies

Since fall and winter grilling requires extra time in colder temperatures, be prepared and well-stocked with extra grilling supplies. Whether you prefer charcoal and lighter fluid, grilling briquets, pellets, propane, or wood planks for smoking, have some extra grilling supplies on hand so you do not run out of fuel for that grilling fire.

Also, be sure to store grilling supplies in a convenient and dry place that is easily accessible when firing up the grill for that backyard burger party. Well, maybe that indoor backyard burger party because, you know, snow.

#4 Clean It

After every use, remember to wipe down the grill with a grill cleaner and sponge. Rinse all grill brushes after each use and replace them when they look a little rough to prevent pieces from ending up in your future grilled meals. That is a condiment no one wants on their grilled burger.

#5 Clear a Path

If you are grilling in blustery fall winds or icy snow, create a clear path to the grill for easy access. Whether that means raking some leaves, salting the ground, or shoveling some snow out of the way (maybe all of the above), remove any hazards that could cause any sliding or slipping.

covered grill in fall

#6 Invest in a Grill Cover

During the fall and winter months, weather conditions can get brutal, so you will want to invest in a grill cover to properly protect your grill. Keeping the grill covered with a fitted grill cover that covers the entire grill will protect it from all of Mother Nature’s elements and will ultimately extend its life. Be sure to select a grill cover that is winterized so that it is appropriately designed for cold temperatures, snow, and wind.

#7 Keep the Lid Closed

When the grill is heating up, keep the grill lid closed. This is a good rule of thumb no matter what the season. Grilling is all about reaching the perfect temperature. However, each time you take a peek and lift the lid, the temperature inside the grill will drop, which means throwing your favorite meats on the grill will take longer, so be patient and no peeking.

#8 Light It Up

No, not the grill. Okay, well yes, light up the grill, but when grilling in the fall and winter you may need some extra lighting to see exactly what you are grilling. With shorter days and earlier sunsets, make sure you have an adequate amount of lighting to illuminate the grill grates and the entire grilling space if possible. Check out bulbs and switches before the first snowfall and maybe even set your grill up with some grill handle lights – how fancy!

#9 Monitor Meat Closely

Since you will want to minimize opening the grill lid, you will want to closely monitor your meat with a grill thermometer. Whether it is beef or bison or pork and poultry, maybe even some wild-caught seafood, monitor that meat closely to avoid any overcooking.

#10 Move Closer to Home

If you do not want to spend too much time outside in the cold, move the backyard grill closer to home – at a safe distance, of course. This cuts down on travel time to and from the grill, which means less of a journey to get outside and flip those juicy, mouthwatering steaks.

Fall and Winter Grilling

Fall and winter do not have to be the end of the grilling season. Instead, incorporate these fall and winter grilling tips so you and your family can still enjoy the delicious taste the grill has to offer all year round.


ashley martens

Meet The Author

Ashley Martens is a Health and Wellness Writer based in Chicago, IL. With a background in digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more about Ashley and her writing on her portfolio.