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Grilling Bad Weather

Most of us think of grilling as being synonymous with backyard cookouts in beautiful summer weather. Of course, ideally that’s the way it would always go. You never plan a summer cookout hoping that it falls smack in the middle of a hurricane. But it doesn’t necessarily have to spell disaster if the skies are cloudy and gray.

According to TLC’s article on grilling in inclement weather, approximately 40 percent of American households grill all year round. That number has doubled in the last 20 years or so, which shows that more and more people are braving the rain and cold for delicious grilled food.

Perhaps this goes without saying, but just in case – never, under any circumstances should you move your grill indoors. The heat and fumes are a fire hazard and charcoal grills produce dangerous carbon monoxide gas that is potentially fatal. However, there are grills that are designed to function indoors. These grills are perfect for those who love the taste of grilled food but don’t live in the warmest or most grill friendly climates. Counter top grills, like the George Foreman for example, and fireplace grills can give you the same great taste without having to brave the weather.

If it’s just a little rain you are concerned with, grill umbrellas can keep you dry while you are on grill duty. Lots of these umbrellas are designed specifically for grills and can hook right onto the grill table. Not only do they provide shelter from the rain, they can also keep the chef protected from the sun on clear days. If you do not have a grill umbrella, you can make due with a regular umbrella provided you have an extra hand to hold it.

If money is no object, you may want to opt for a covered grilling island which will protect you and your dinner from the weather. As a more economical option, you can also set up one of those tents that have open sides (often used at outdoor sporting events) over the grill.

While you want to make sure that you are dressed appropriately to keep dry and warm in bad weather, you need to consider your safety at the same time. Long scarves and heavy jackets might keep you warm, but they also might drag into the heat and ignite. Stick to clothes that fit closer to your body.

Also keep in mind that due to colder temperatures, you might need to cook the food at a higher temperature. You can microwave your food before placing it on the grill to give it a bit of a head start.

Resources:

Grilling Companion – Tips for grilling in bad weather. December 30, 2009.

Athena Hessong. How to Grill Indoors.

Linda C. Brinson. 10 Tips for Grilling in Inclement Weather. TLC.