We're just weeks into it, but 2014 will be remembered as the year we added "polar vortex" to our vocabulary.
So you may wonder what a guy who lives in Miami could possibly have to say about winter grilling.
Well, long before I traded maplewood for citrus wood, I spent two decades in New England. I know what it's like to crave barbecue in the dead of winter, to shovel a path through the snow to the woodpile, chip ice off the grill, and light a chimney while dodging the arctic winds.
Those skills came in handy in May a few years ago when I was shooting my French-Canadian show, Le Maitre du Grill. I left Miami for Montreal wearing a cotton shirt and Topsiders. Four days later, I was grilling in three inches of snow that blanketed our pond-side set.
According to a Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association survey, 56 percent of the respondents claim to grill during the winter months. If you're one of them, you probably know some of the following advice already. If not, listen up—these tips will improve your chances for success no matter how low the temperature plummets.
- Do not, I repeat, do not, position your grill directly under a snow-laden tree branch.
Do you have a cold weather barbecue story? Outrageous photos? Winter grilling advice to share with our barbecue community? Details, please! Post on the Barbecue Board at BarbecueBible.com.
Steven Raichlen is the author of the Barbecue! Bible cookbook series and the host of Primal Grill on PBS. His web site is www.barbecuebible.com.