(NAPSA) – From burgers and fish to turkeys and roasts, Americans are increasingly grilling year-round. When it comes to defining their grilling season, 54 percent of grill owners say they grill all year long, an increase from 49 percent a year ago, according to a recent survey.
‘Thirty-nine percent of the survey respondents say they grill outside even when it’s below freezing,’ said Shaun Chinsky, of Weber-Stephen Products Co., which sponsored the 15th Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey. ‘Savvy backyard cooks recognize that winter shouldn’t stop them from enjoying that unique flavor of seared and smoked food that only outdoor grilling creates.’
Whether cooking for a Super Bowl Sunday party, on a ski trip, or for a family holiday gathering, Chinsky suggests following these tips to ensure a successful winter grilling experience:
Grill in an Open Space. Never grill in closed quarters that can trap deadly carbon monoxide. Use open spaces like a deck off the kitchen, where the grill is a safe distance from anything flammable.
Be Flexible. Cold weather grilling is when you should be more flexible with your serving time, since it may be necessary to add to the total amount of cooking time.
Make Sure It’s Done. Always use a meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the food you’re cooking.
Keep it Simple. Almost anything is faster when cooked on the grill-best bets for cold weather grilling are foods that don’t require much attention. Steaks, burgers or fish that need only one quick flip or large meats that can cook unattended without repeated basting will work well. Not only do you eliminate multiple trips outside to the grill, but you also don’t have to keep opening the lid and lose the heat that has built up.
Maintain Consistent Heat. If it’s snowing, brush the snow off the grill before cooking. Snow on the grill reduces the temperature in the grill. Try not to lift the lid any more than necessary, because cold gusts blowing into the grill will lower the cooking heat.
Take Advantage of the Hot Grill. Use it for side dishes, like vegetables or potatoes, to get flavor unmatched indoors. Try cooking winter’s bounty of squash and root vegetables. Grill them whole or cut in half and always use the indirect grilling method, which intensifies the flavor of the vegetables, caramelizing and browning these hearty winter vegetables.
Use a Heated Platter. It’s a good idea to put the grilled food onto a heated platter. Don’t put the meat on a cold plate that’s been sitting outside next to the grill.