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Winter Dreaming

OK, when it gets this cold and snowy, it is easy to get depressed about the lack of sufficient Que! What do you do to alleviate these smoked-meatless-BLUES? What are you dreaming of? What will be the first thing on the grill???

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  1. We cook out even in winter although not as often. We don't limit it to spring or summer. But I have in mind attempting to cook a rabbit out there for the first time soon..

    1. I use our grill as a free standing measure of how much snow we have. When it thaws enough I can walk out there, it's time to grill. I guess I have enough memories of my dad grilling steak for Christmas to medium well (at least there was a hint of pink and I was 11) in sub zero temps that I braise in the winter. I have a turkey breast ready for smoking as soon as I can get out there (it's currently 8 below here)

      1. Move south! I say that but it was 10F in ATL this AM and has been in the 20s most of the week. But I always chuckle at all the Ontario tags on the cars when we go to FL at the first of the year.

        I had really great takeout Q in Savannah on Wed, so I'm not running at a deficit right now.

        There's always cold smoking, right?

        1. I grill all year long. Probably more in winter than summer. It's been in the single digits and mid doubles off and on the past few weeks and I've grilled up more rib steaks than all last summer.

          I also do more hot smoking in winter because I find I get better quality product because the humidity is so low.

          And I can do much, much better quality cold smoking in winter as well.

          1. Dreaming? First thing on the grill? Just do it! Don't let the cold weather stop you. It may take a bit more fuel to keep up the temp, or perhaps you need to insulate the smoker, if that's where you're cooking. Build a wind-break, wrap that smoker in a moving blanket, but cook, dammit! LOL

            We had about 6 inches of snow today, the winds were around 30 mph... but I did two roasting chickens on the Weber Ranch. Sure, I put and entire lit chimney on top of some unlit charcoal (divided into two piles) and a few lumps of hardwood, but the chickens cooked nicely - a little smoky, crispy skin, drippings to make some very tasty gravy... good stuff! Don't let the weather stop you..

            2 Replies
            1. re: Cheez62

              :) We regularly have to remove the snow from the covered grill! And, yes, we have to heat for longer in the winter than the summer. The grill is under an eave on the deck so it's mostly covered but the 'operator' isn't. That's why we have hoods on our parkas :)

              1. re: Cheez62

                The beauty of the big green egg, built in thermal mass means stable temps even in the snow and no calls for make shift insulation or worry about wind breaks.

              2. I still grill - I have grilled when it was so cold that the top of my weber was cold even though there was a roaring fire going on in the inside -

                1. DH is sitting next to me and asked if I remembered a couple of years ago when he got his new electric smoker for Christmas; during one of the coldest weekends after, he hung tarps around it to shield it from the snow and wind just to keep it at the correct temperature

                  The smoked ribs were FABULOUS!!!!

                  Now, I realize that we are pretty over-the-top sometimes when it comes to food, but he has also been known to fire up the Weber in total crap weather (several foot of snow on the ground) and cook me a perfect steak while wearing shorts and an oven mitt.

                  1. I have a Big Green Egg and grill and barbecue all year round. It's in the teens here and I'm planning to do a whole brisket for the Super Bowl this weekend.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: 4X4

                      Ditto - cold just doesn't bother the BGE. My current record is ribs at -17°F. I do try to stick to cooks that either take a little time and a lot of attention, or those that take a lot of time and little attention.

                      That said, I can't wait to slap some brats on the grill the minute there is enough daylight after work to do it.

                      1. re: FoodFire

                        We have a light over our grill so never an excuse!

                    2. Dh also grills year round
                      he's been talking about trying duck... it hasn't happened yet, but I'm hoping! :)

                      1. We grilled chicken & pork chops on Sunday...so good after eating braised food for the last two months! Snow finally melting, temps was in the 50's..

                        1. Grill and smoke anyway, Why would snow stop anyone?

                          1. I tried unsuccessfully to get my husband to shovel 3 feet of snow from the patio and grill last night, but was forced to cook some beautiful 1 inch thick shell steaks in the broiler.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JoannaNYC

                              Bob shovels in front and I do the deck where the grill is. If the snow is really deep and we're in a hurry, I'll just shovel a path to the grill --- and the satellite dish :)