How to Grill on a Windy Day
Do you have a family BBQ planned, and fear that the day-of you’ll look out the window to grey skies and gusts of wind? Are you worried that your plans will be ruined when a gust of wind strikes out your flame? Grilling enthusiasts can conquer the elements on most days with just a few tricks. Although risky weather conditions are not optimal for grilling, windy conditions do not have to deter you from tossing some juicy meats on the grill for some serious cooking.How to keep your grill lit when it is windy:
- Use a gas grill
- Check the match-light hole
- Add charcoal
In order to keep your grill lit when it is windy, it is better to avoid using a charcoal grill in high-wind conditions. Wind affects gas-and-charcoal grills more than anything else, and can be the primary deterrent from having your ideal BBQ or get-together. However, if you own a gas or electric grill, the wind will be easier to manage as compared to the effort that must be put into maintaining a fire on a charcoal grill in windy conditions.
Photo by Danny Gallegos on Unsplash
Gas Grilling in Windy Conditions
When using a gas grill, it’s helpful to angle the gas grill so the wind does not disrupt the flow of gas through the burners. Angle it away from the wind, perpendicular to the burner tubes. Further, it is important to check the match light hole and to avoid lifting the lid of the grill in order to make sure that the flames do not go out. If the burners do go out during grilling or in the process of preparation, it is very important to turn all the gas valves off in order to ensure that the grill is not emitting gas unknowingly. In the instance that the burners do go out, shut the gas valves off immediately and then open the lid and wait five minutes, letting the smell of gas dissipate before trying to ignite the grill again. Another thing is that a gas grill will usually already have a windscreen, so you should just have to angle the flame from the wind and you will be free to enjoy your BBQ!
Charcoal Grilling in Windy Conditions
If you are going to be using a charcoal grill on a windy day, it will still be possible to grill in these conditions, albeit trickier than using a gas grill. Charcoal grills will need a little more maneuvering and patience to ensure that the fire does not go out. When grilling with charcoal in windy conditions, it will be necessary to add more charcoal often in order to maintain a steady temperature.
Especially in windy weather conditions, charcoal grills require more fuel; smoke escapes more than other fuel choices, and so adding more charcoal will be a repeated process. Adding more charcoal will ensure that the wind does not extinguish the flame of the grill and that the food being grilled cooks evenly at a consistent temperature. The more the flame fluctuates, the greater the cooking time, and the more unpredictable the grilling process and final food product might become. When the weather is windy, there is a greater chance for an unpredictable cooking process; but, by adding more charcoal and keeping a patient and steady eye on the flame, one can overcome the elements.
Further, when grilling on a charcoal grill in windy weather, make sure to keep the vents open. By keeping the vents open, you allow smoke to escape and avoid any buildup. To open the vents, lift the lid cautiously and to the side in order to avoid any ashes blowing into the food. Lastly and most importantly, if the wind rises and becomes high wind, avoid using a charcoal grill for safety.
Safety in Windy Conditions
- Always be conscious of your surroundings and practice fire safety whenever grilling.
- Be aware of super-dry weather and wind occurring at the same time, which can create dangerous conditions if the grill falls over, as a dry environment can catch on fire. Dry weather conditions can be very dangerous and a grilling accident could ignite a disaster-- so, make sure to be super careful if grilling in the wind.
- A gas or electric grill is your very best option for windy conditions. The best gas grill is a model that is both durable and freestanding, so it can safely and surely endure any conditions. If you do want to take the charcoal route, the best charcoal grill options are going to be ones that are easily manageable and maneuverable in size and design.
- Of course, an electric grill is really handy because you can also take it inside and enjoy grilling regardless of extreme weather conditions.
Best Tools for Windy Conditions
If you are thoroughly committed to grilling and have invested in a grill that you need to leave outside, but want to keep it protected from the elements, you should also invest in these handy tools to keep your grill and grilling experience safe.Blocks
Put blocks around your grill’s wheels to prevent it from moving. You can find items from your garage, such as bricks or cement as well as any heavy objects that can act as blocks to hold the grill in place.Grill Cover
Make sure to buy a grill cover. A grill cover is a necessary purchase in order to ensure that your grill will be covered and protected from the elements. You can fasten the grill cover by tying it down to the deck or anything stable. By ensuring that the grill cover is fastened over your grill, you can be sure to leave your grill outside in any weather.Bungee Cords
If you need to keep the grill anchored while grilling, you can make use of bungee cords in order to tie the entire grill to something that is stationary. The blocks or bricks can also be used here to wedge the grill in place while grilling some tasty cuts of meat or delicious vegetables in the wind.Windscreen
Windscreens are essential for grilling in the wind and ensuring that your BBQ will be ruined neither by the elements blowing out your grill’s fire nor by any safety disasters.
Windscreens can help you supervise the grilling process and not have to worry about the wind when flipping burgers or steaks. Securing the grill to the deck with bungee cords and using blocks to deter the wheels from sliding is helpful in securing the grill structure in the face of inclement weather. However, the grill cover lets you actually partake in high-quality grilling and makes it more likely that your food will taste up to par as on any sunny day. A windscreen is also what stops the wind from making your flames go out, which will make grilling your burgers or steaks an easy and smooth process regardless of the weather.
Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash
Mastering Grilling in Any Terrain
Igniting fires and cooking food on them despite the elements is one of humankind’s longest and favorite pastimes, and can even be healthy if done right. Today we have the technology and tools to ensure that we can brave the elements, keep our flames lit in our technologically-advanced grills, and never have a day without the delight of fresh barbecue. Grilling is an activity that is fundamental to us as human beings, and a little wind will not stop that. Just be sure to check out some of the best grilling recipes from across the nation before you take on the wind and get those meats over the flame!