How to BBQ with Charcoal in the Winter

Just because the snow is flying, doesn’t mean you have to pack up the BBQ and stop enjoying the smoky delicious flavors of food fresh off the grill. Grilling with charcoal in the winter is not as terrifying as it sounds, especially if you are well prepared. The following tips will teach you how to BBQ with charcoal in the winter.


Fuel the Fire

The first thing you should know about using charcoal in the winter is that you will want to have extra on hand. This is because – depending on the weather – you may need more fuel for the fire. It is cold outside and you are warming up a metal BBQ from freezing to cooking temperatures. A good quality, low moisture charcoal will go a long way to make your life easier.

Supplies of charcoal can be limited in the winter months. You may want to consider stocking up on charcoal supplies before summer is over to ensure happy grilling over the winter months. Please remember to practice safe storage practices.


Be Prepared

Before you even begin to light the BBQ you need to create yourself a safe path to the grill. Shovel and salt the area around your charcoal grill. Ensure that your charcoal grill is in an area that is, at least partially, sheltered from the wind. And never light or operate a charcoal grill indoors. If you are somewhere that gets a good dumping of snow, you can create a windbreak by piling snow around, but not touching, your BBQ.

Other things that will make your life so much easier are to prepare a staging area with everything you will need; tongs, spatulas, thermometers, brushes, seasonings, and a tray to hold things. You will also want to have a jacket, gloves, and a pair of boots ready. Seriously! No shorts and flip-flops when there are feet of snow on the ground. Please remember to practice safety near fire and remember not to wear dangly or loose clothing that can catch fire.



Get Cookin' Good Lookin'

It should not take extra time to light the charcoal when you are ready to get cooking, however remember that with colder temperatures it will take longer for the BBQ to heat up. Once at temperature it doesn’t take much to lose heat so leave things alone as much as you can. Looking isn’t cooking, and your charcoal grill will have to come back up to temperature every time you lift that lid. And finally, have a cast iron or ceramic dish warming for when the food is done on the BBQ. Sure you’re only a minute or so coming in from outside, but this will help keep your food piping hot for serving after resting it and while you bring it in from the cold. Don’t forget to use heat resistant BBQ gloves too!


Are you ready to use your Napoleon Charcoal BBQ in the winter? Show us your set up, and share your tips and tricks on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #WinterCharcoal and #NapoleonGrills.