For those of you that know me well, you may well agree that my unofficial title is “grill master.” Gaining that title has meant I’ve spent countless hours grilling in the great outdoors of Wisconsin at places like Miller Park, local beaches, on my patio, and just about anywhere a charcoal grill is acceptable. And while late spring through early fall can produce fabulous, easy meals with a Weber, it’s the cold winters that can pose a real challenge to backyard chefs anywhere. And, since I’m a true diehard, that means even now I’m still grilling and battling old man winter!
So what’s the biggest challenge to grilling in December? Well, cold weather and snow is definitely a deterrent, as is a dark night and rain. But, to me the biggest obstacle to a successful meal is battling the wind. If you’re adventurous enough to take on the elements, just remember these three things to overcome the challenges and put a tasty, well done piece of meat on your dinner plate.
1) Purchase good quality, dry charcoal or lump hard wood for use. Generic, inexpensive or sale priced fuel doesn’t cut it. Ever.
2) Fire up an abundant amount of coals to meet the challenge. The more coals you have available to control the grill temperature, the better your odds of eating before midnight.
3) Invest in a grill thermometer (or two). One thermometer can be used to be kept in the grill at all times to monitor its internal cooking temperature, while the other (digital is preferred) can be used to check the food temperature. Cooking food to proper temperature means it is done to your likeness, and can prevent any possibility of overcooking or being subjected to food borne illnesses due to insufficient cooking.
Keep these three things in mind and you are well on your way to producing memorable meals for friends and family each and every time you break out the barbie!