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So I just have to ask: How many of you Toolmongers grill out regularly — even when it’s snowing? I ask because while we see snow maybe once a year down here in the South, it’s not just a white Christmas up north. It’s a white winter. And sometimes a white spring. I just can’t imagine that everyone waits until all the white stuff melts to get your steak (or veggies) on.

We had our first (and probably last) snow of the year last week here in Texas. While I didn’t happen to fire the grill up, I noticed that my neighbor did. Hell, the snow melts off it fine once you’ve got a fire going. I suppose that’s a little more difficult, though, when you have to snowblow a trench to the grill — and maybe put a flag on the grill so you know where to find it.

So do you grill in the snow? And if so, how do you deal with the problems of FEET of snow (instead of the inches we saw)?


27 Responses to Reader Question: Do You Grill In The Snow?

  1. Ben Granucci says:

    Haven’t grilled in the winter yet, though there’s nothing stopping me. However I have begun a tradition of firing up the smoker in January, snow or not.

  2. Jim says:

    I used to live in a winter climate where I had a covered deck and nothing stopped me grilling. Now that I have to actually tromp through the snow I’m not such a fanatic. If I’ve got a clear path and not much snow on the grill I’ll go for it. Certain foods you have to be careful with. Fish will get cold in a heartbeat so I usually have a heated plate. Or with foods like chicken I’ll get it started outside to get the flavor but finish inside to avoid having to worry about flareups or making too many trips in and out. The other pain is if you haven’t cleared off nearby horizontal surfaces to have a place to set things. Plus if you don’t change footgear you’re tromping snow into the house. The bonus is having an icy snowbank for the beer.

  3. Woodrow says:

    I grill steaks every Christmas eve. Snow doesn’t hinder Canadians!

  4. Tom says:

    Yes, but nowhere near as often. We have a garage porch thing (think 2 car garage roof with 1.5 car garage underneath and porch on side) that the grill lives on. Keeps the rain and snow off me while grilling.

    My inlaws have the grill on a deck and just pull it up close to the doorwall so you can just step out and grill. They continue to use it frequently.

  5. BigEdJr says:


    …I live in Phoenix! 😀

  6. Nicholas Dillon says:

    I grilled some steaks last night. It was not snowing, but there is still snow on the ground from a week ago. BTW I live in SC.

  7. I live near Minneapolis and I just grilled Saturday night when it was about 10F. I had my wife take a picture because I saw that this post was in the queue:


    (I also posted it to the Toolmonger flickr group.)

    To be honest this was the first time I had grilled this winter, it was totally coincidental that it was right before this post came out. I had bought the bratwurst several days I knew about it because I had a craving.

    Usually I grill about once a week in the winter (more in the other three seasons), but his year we got hit with a big snowstorm(10″+), another big snowstorm(10″+), then it rained, and the temperature dipped below zero before I was able clear my patio, as you can see by the snow I’m standing on. Plus due to crazy work and school schedules, we’ve eaten maybe 6-7 meals as a family since Thanksgiving.

  8. Aaron says:

    Location: Canada – Central Ontario Snowbelt
    Temperature: Last night was -27C

    I cook on the grill about 3 times per week on average in the winter. The grill is out on the back deck, not covered and about 5 feet from my door. I will stand out for up to 5 minutes in just my t-shirt, pants and a pair of flip flops 🙂 I’m not normal though!

  9. paanta says:

    Big Green Egg is on the back porch, so I only have to walk a couple feet to it in Michigan winters. That’s good, ’cause not only do I grill, but I’ll run it 24+ hours straight for briskets and pork shoulder. Nothing like going from bed to checking on a piece of meat and back to bed smelling like cooking pig and fire to make winter seem a little less awful.

  10. David says:

    All the time, all year round
    Don’t usually have a problem with clearing too much snow specifically to grill because I shovel the patio everytime I clear snow anyway.

  11. Slapinem says:

    Move the snow and fire it up!!!

  12. Tim says:

    In the snow and winter we only grill out a couple of times a week here in Illinois. In nice weather it’s usually 3-5 times!

    Our grill is on a screened in porch so it’s normally shielded from whatever’s actually coming down. Occasionally it’ll be too windy to keep the grill lit.

  13. Mac says:

    Bout once a week in the winter. Sometimes more often. Uncovered deck, grill about 20′ away. Shovel a path, and fire it up. No worries. Slow cooked smoked ribs taste all that much better when it’s zero out!

  14. Shopmonger says:

    Nothing stands between me and my BBQ, we get snow and al it does it steam off when i fire up the black beauty


  15. Brau says:

    We grill at least twice a week. Rain, snow, no matter what. We keep it close to the back door, with a broom and a heavy dust-pan (doubles as a snow shovel) nearby.

  16. Robert says:

    I have but not anymore. It doesn’t snow here.

    Qing below freezing uses lots of charcoal.

  17. Spyrus says:

    I try it every so often since I have a screened in porch I do it from but I noticed it takes a bit for it to work. I use a gas grill most the time and due to the cold weather the pressure in the tank drops and you don’t get the gas flow I usually get in the summer.

    Makes it a lot more difficult if not impossible on those single digit or negative degree days

  18. Kevin says:

    all the time, broiling a steak inside is too smokey even with my range at full blast.

  19. David says:

    All winter, even in feet of snow – Just open up the sliding glass door to the deck, clear a few feet in front of it and grill right off the side of the house. Works great, just gotta remember to keep the grill stored against the house before the snow hits!

  20. Nathan says:

    Most definitely, last winter in the big dc snow storm I walked my grill over to a friend’s house dug out a spot in their front yard and fired it up. http://twitpic.com/12nao5

  21. John says:

    I live in a suburb of Chicago and yes I occasionally fire up the Weber during the winter. Not all that often mind you, but I’ve done the occasional fish or steak, along with turkeys for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  22. pete says:

    I live in alberta and we bbq regularily all year round. Except when really cold like more than 20 below celcius. When it gets too cold the bbq won’t get evenly hot enough. I have never had the propane refuse to flow but at -40 or so it stays liquid and your out of luck.

  23. Eddie says:

    I have grilled in the snow but we don’t get much snow here in Oklahoma.

    I grill/smoke more often in the rain than snow.

    Once I built a temporary shelter next to my grill so I could cook outside and stay relatively dry.

  24. miss frannie says:

    I never grill at any time

  25. Andy says:

    I live in upstate NY and I have grilled in winter. But with a smallish grill (portable is a necessity when you’re renting), it struggles to heat up as much when it’s very cold. So it takes longer for anything, and the grill never gets quite as hot as it does in the summer. But if I had a permanent grill with sufficient BTUs that wasn’t TOO far from my door, I’d definitely fire it up in the winter!

  26. pete says:

    While i havent gotten to in a couple of years, all the snow in rhode island is great for grilling, and general outdoor partying. while you are waiting, if you have a table thats covered in snow, you can press cups into it for a form of beer-pong…and keeps your beer cold!

    nothing is more new england than cold weather cooking : )

  27. rob says:

    I never have, but i actually will be grilling in the snow for the first time tonight. lets see how it goes.

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