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Tips & Tricks For Winter Grilling

by Traeger Grills on

Grilling Cold Weather Essentials

If you aren't a die hard Traegerite, tis the season to put your Traeger to the test. Create delicious and flavorful Traegered food all winter long, you’ll be converted by the time the sun is back in full force. Here are some fiery tips for grilling in the cold, and tricks to keeping the flavor flowing all winter long. Fire it up, even in the winter!

Meet Mike, he’s a masterful meat maker who loves to create wood-fired food for his family and friends. Watch and learn, Mike will show you how to safely and efficiently grill in the winter.

Mike and his family live in a wintery state somewhere in Middle America. It’s the crack of dawn and Mike dons his puffy down jacket, wool lined waterproof boots, a hat with earflaps, and leather gloves. It’s Saturday, family day, a day full of food and festivities.

Tip: Bundle up when grilling outdoors in the winter.

cold weather grilling cover

Mike grabs a shovel to plow off the patio stairs and create a path to his trusty Traeger.

Tip: Makes sure to clear any ice layers to prevent slipping down the stairs, and ending up underneath the Traeger.

He dusts the snow off the grill cover and whips the Traeger all-weather protective cover off to reveal his mighty meat machine. Ah! Mouth-watering, Mike makes sure his grill is snow-free, the grill grate is clean, and that it’s free and clear of trees and patio overhang.

Tip: Clear off your grill, having snow on the grill when cooking will only inhibit the heat from being conserved, snow isn’t insulation.

cold weather grilling bacon

With a flip of a switch Mike the meat lover hears the fire ignite and a flavorful day is off and running. With the grill set to smoke, after about 15 minutes of warming up the Traeger, a tad longer than summer grilling, the grill is ready to roll.

In the winter, the grill may take longer to heat up.

Mike loads the Cold Smoker up with bacon, closes the lid and rubs his hands together with delicious excitement. When his family wakes up a savory breakfast will almost be ready.

Tip: Winter weather is perfect for cold smoking; the cold helps keep the cool inside to get the hardwood smoke flavor to permeate the food.

dog in snow

Mike grabs the leash and takes his hulking black Labrador, Brutus to the park for a morning walk. After tromping through the snow and throwing the Frisbee about 206 times, Brutus wears out and Mike heads home to ramp up the Traeger to get the bacon sizzling and cooked up for the fam. After a hearty breakfast and lots of protein loading, Mike loads the truck with the sleds and takes the kids over to the big hill near the school. They fly down the hill as quick as a flash and hike back to the top, over and over.

Tip: Keep your belly full of warm, flavorful protein rich food when recreating outdoors in the winter.

Exhausted, Mike jets home to fire up a home-cooked, wood-fired lunch for his family. His wife Bex requests chicken, (tonight is meaty Mike’s pick and it will be steaks), she whips up a zesty salad, and Mike bundles up in his winter gear again.

Tip: Never put your smoker grill in the garage or an enclosed patio to keep it warm.

winter family

Mike smothered the plump chicken breasts with Cajun Shake, because Cajun will keep your insides warm when it’s chilly. Mike sneaks the chicks into the grill by barely opening the grill and sliding them onto the hot spot of the grate. He quickly implants a remote probe thermometer before closing the grill.

Tip: Keep the grill closed as much as possible to help conserve the heat.

grill insulation blanket

Mike watches the internal chicken temperature on his remote, inside where it’s toasty warm. 20 minutes passes and he starts to wonder why the chicken is taking so long to reach an internal temp of 160°F. His grill is set to high; it’s just taking longer than normal.

Tip: If he had an insulation blanket wrapping up his grill, it would keep the heat inside and conserve hardwood pellet consumption.

Hardwood pellet fuel burns quicker in temperatures below 35°F. An insulation blanket keeps the metal hot and the heat in, preventing the escape of good hardwood heat.

The chicken turns out perfectly flavorful, and the Cajun spices keeps Mike the grill master’s family’s bellies full for hours. Bex tells Mike that her sister’s family is coming over so she was going to go get more steaks for dinner and marshmallows for the chicklets. Mike decides he better get going on his “honey-do” list and tackles putting in a new garbage disposal while the steaks thaw.

grill rubs and spices

Chow time! The gang’s all here and it’s time for the meat master to fire up the Traeger once again for the family feast. He flips on the patio light so he can see the patio and grill perfectly.

Tip: Always make sure the grilling arena is well lit.

Mike sets the Traeger grill to smoke to warm up ad smothers the steaks in Chipolte Rub to add some heat, then he  loads the grate up heapingly thick steaks.

The kids are getting antsy, so Mike tosses a few logs into the Traeger fire pit, lights it up, then bundles the little ones up so they can roast marshmallows while the meat smokes. After a good 30-minute smoke, Meaty Mike raises the temp to High and sears each side for about 5 minutes. The flavorful smoke wafts through the backyard and down the street.

Tip: Keep the lid down to keep the grill temperature up.

grill rubs and spices

When the steaks have cooked to a sweet medium to medium rare, Mike grabs a cast iron covered dish from inside to transport the meat from the grill to the kitchen table.

Tip: Enclose food to keep it hot when transporting it in chilly air.

fire pit cold weather

A Traeger Fire Pit is a welcome warming station for the kids and adults to crowd around to conversate as the wood fueled Traeger does all the hard work. Everyone’s happy to have a sweet treat as an appetizer. After Bex whips out an apple cobbler she made, Mike suggests baking it on the Traeger to add a hearty smoke flavor. The card games begin and the chatter about the upcoming hunt ensues and everyone enjoys a warm, wood-fired evening.

Come rain or shine, everyday is a great day to get Traegering. You can Traeger anything, veggies, meat, or sweets all year long. Let the flavor reign over your household; with Traeger you can live a healthy and flavorful lifestyle. 

Share your Traeger addiction with friends and family and spread the wood-fired love. Shop online or head to your local Traeger dealer, they’re stocked with Traeger gear and dealer rebates have been extended through December 31st, 2015.