Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Just Because It's Winter - Doesn't Mean We Can't Grill

It's January and in that means the middle of winter for those of us in the USA.  In many parts of the country it is cold and there is snow on the ground.  For many that means their grills have been put away and they'll wait until spring to grill again.

I'm here to tell you that's just bull!  There is no reason you can't be grilling throughout the whole calendar year.  I've grilled or smoked a meal several times just since the first snow.  If you like that grilling and/or smoked flavor in the summer, then you are going to like it even more in the winter.

It's not difficult and maybe instead of a beer in your hand during the grilling, you might try a hot toddy.  You really don't have to stay outside through the whole grilling process.  It's alright to go in and out.  Just don't track in a mess or the someone in the household might not be happy with you.

Your gas grill, of course, is the easiest and quickest to use.  But if you're a charcoal grill person it still works. A thing to think about in getting ready to grill is the outside temperature.  It can affect cooking time and grill heat.  So you may have to adjust a little to get it done.  If you're one who grills always with the lid up, it might be time to try grilling with the lid down.  It helps control the heat output on cold days.

Something else to think about in the winter is the shorter daylight.  It gets dark much sooner than summer and if you are grilling in the evening it's hard to see what is going on with your food.  I suggest getting a headlamp so you can see what you're doing and how the food is coming along.  They are easy to use.  Just strap it on your head and turn the light on.  I prefer the LED ones because I think they throw more light.  A lantern works well too.  Just remember to stop and think about how what you're doing is different from the summer time and adjust as needed.

For those of you into smoking, it is a little more difficult to control temperature on some days.  So it may take a little longer cooking time than you are accustomed to normally.  The food still tastes great.  I did ribs over the Christmas holidays and I'm glad I didn't wait until spring to have them.

I've got a chicken recipe this week called "Huli Huli Chicken" that I think everyone will like.  The recipe is written using chicken quarters but you could use just bone-in chicken breast and/or thighs.  I haven't tried it but boneless skinless chicken breast would probably work too.  The other recipe is for a hamburger.  Many people like their burgers done.  They don't like the pink in their burger.  This recipe is for those folks.  It's "Juicy Well-Done Burgers" and they are quite tasty.  So give them a try and "Happy Cooking."

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