Using Your Barbeque Outside During the Winter
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Using Your Barbeque Outside During the Winter

mandarinmint asks: Can I still use my barbecue grill during the winter?

I have two words for you: Abso Lutely.

Growing up in Minnesota, I saw many a sub-zero winter. Being the avid barbecue master that I am, I never let a little thing like cold weather impede on my cooking habits. I'm the kind of guy who has and always will see the barbecue as a sort of sanctuary to get away from the kitchen.

Sure, people may look at you funny for standing around outside wearing a thick winter coat, snow up to your knees, brushing sauce onto a fresh batch of what my friends and I lovingly referred to as Bomb-B-Q Burgers. But this is one of those cases where you just have to weigh your love for the art of open-fire meat-cooking against the possibly negative social implications of backyard entertaining in two feet of snow.

I'm being honest when I tell you that I've only known one other person who would join me for a January grill-fest and that was my old roommate Mike. He was an avid snow-mobile rider and loved being outdoors no matter the weather. And while we're sticking with this truth-telling business, I never really liked being outside in the winter; I just make an excellent barbecue sauce and want to eat it all year round. The rest of my friends haven't been so keen to sit in the lawn-chairs in the backyard like they do in the summer, so Mike and I would proceed with our ceremonial meat sacrifice and bring the burgers inside once they were done.

Whether you use a charcoal or a propane tank is really only a matter of preference and the temperature bears no threat as propane does not freeze. Actually, the pressure in your propane tank will be lower in the colder weather, so there's really nothing to worry about. If you're still feeling uneasy about using propane, then I whole-heartedly recommend you use charcoal and wood chips. While propane proponents proudly preach, “taste the meat, not the heat,” I digress. I believe that the right choice of charcoal and mesquite cedar chips impart a wonderful flavor to the meat.

Now, as long as you can withstand the funny looks from your guests when you request that they bring snow-boots to your Alaskan-style Luau, feel free to grill up a whole pig if you're so inclined. Just remember to keep the grill outside.

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