What You Should Know Before Smoking Meat In Cold Weather

Smoker outside in frosted weather
Smoker outside in frosted weather - txking/Shutterstock

Grilling and smoking are favorite American pastimes, an event you can enjoy no matter where you come from. But with the weather growing colder, you might think that means grilling season is over. No more this year shall we enjoy delicious smoked meats and grilled mushrooms. Goodnight, sweet burgers, may flights of condiments sing thee to thy rest.

But nay! Nay, say we! You can still grill even in colder weather if you are stout of heart and firm of purpose. And, of course, if you follow some simple tips that can bring your winter grilling and smoking game up to a professional level. The key is that while you can grill in the winter, you can't just do the same old stuff you do during the summer. Although they are finicky enough to begin with, there's a trick for charcoal grills, but don't expect winter to make it any easier. As with most cooking, it comes down to doing everything possible to control the temperature because the biting winter cold is not your friend.

Read more: 11 Tips For Keeping Your Grill Shiny And Clean

Be Aware Of How The Weather Is Going To Affect Your Grill

grill covered in snow
grill covered in snow - Jcphoto/Getty Images

Everything with grilling or smoking in the winter comes down to ensuring the temperature stays consistent. The actual cooking methodologies of how to grill or smoke are largely the same -- it's just about working to ensure your grill doesn't get hit with inconsistent readings on the thermometer. Fortunately, there are a few ways to accomplish this.

The first is to know that grilling in winter means you have to work a little harder because instead of the grill going from an ambient 90 degrees to 225, it has to go from the colder temperature outside to 225. Not only will this take longer, but it will require more fuel, so make sure you've got plenty available. Also, be careful how often you open the grill because every time you do, heat will escape.

It's also important to keep an eye on the wind. If you're working with a smoker with a specific airflow path, you want the wind to be going through the smoker, not against it; this may burn fuel faster, but the alternative keeps the smoker from heating up. Ideally, you want to position your grill outside of the path of the wind, but sometimes this isn't possible.

You Can Also Insulate Your Grill

Man at grill in snow
Man at grill in snow - Ascentxmedia/Getty Images

There's another tip that can help a lot of this, and it's one you might not have considered: use insulation. Many modern electric smokers and grills are already constructed of insulated materials, but older ones (and models that aren't as high-end) might need a little help here. Insulated grill jackets are made for this purpose, but you can also use your own DIY insulation materials -- so long as they're fireproof. Just because it's winter doesn't mean you can't accidentally burn your house down, so don't insulate with giant balls of cotton; it's a bad idea all around.

As long as you follow these simple steps, you'll be happily grilling in a winter wonderland in no time. Well, maybe not happily -- nobody really likes to stand outside in 25-degree weather -- but the result will be worth it.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.