Nothing is tastier than some juicy, succulent barbeque chicken or pulled pork in cold, windy weather. The spicy, smokey meat can stimulate your satiety and give you the feel of warmth on a chilly evening.
However, smoking meat in cold weather can be challenging for many people. Sometimes, it’s difficult to maintain the right temperature due to heavy winds and low ambient temperature.
But that doesn’t mean that a great barbeque should be off the table. You can still prepare some delicious smoky meat in miserable weather. You just need to be extra vigilant.
Tips for Cold Weather Smoking
Starting from choosing the perfect smoker to stocking up on fuel, some things should be done before you start the party. By properly utilizing the following tips, you can certainly pull hours-long smokes in bad weather.
Get The Right Smoker
Choosing a good quality smoker matters a lot when you’re smoking in snow. Poor quality models with a thinner body will struggle to get up to the correct temperature.
Besides, these smokers tend to lose heat quickly, meaning that you need to burn extra fuel to reach and maintain your desired temperature.
Always go for high-quality smokers that come with a thicker body and can maintain a remarkably steady temperature for hours. You may still have to burn more fuel due to the weather, but you can be assured that the heat won’t be lost as quickly.
While purchasing a smoker, always visit the website and go through the reviews for more information. Doing so will help you get the perfect smoker for every situation.
Choose The Perfect Place for The Smoker
Before you start smoking, you need to prepare the place where you will put the smoker, and it can be challenging to find the right place when there’s plenty of snow.
You need to put your smoker in a place where it will be protected from wind, snow, and rain.
However, don’t put it in a closed place or somewhere around flammable materials. Using a smoker in a closed space can cause a burning smell due to poor ventilation, which can be hazardous to your health.
Make Proper Insulation
It’s crucial to make sure the smoker is properly insulated before you start using it. It will help you maintain the right temperature without using too much fuel.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get the store-bought insulation since you can easily make it yourself. Some of the best materials for making insulation are welding blankets, aluminum foil, furnace insulation, etc. All of them have excellent insulation properties and provide protection against high temperatures.
Get a Cold Weather Jacket
While making your own insulation will save money, doing so can be time-consuming. Besides, you may not have the basic crafting skills. That’s why it’s always a good idea to invest in a quality cold-weather jacket.
There are some high-quality cold-weather jackets available on the market, specially made for certain smokers, meaning that you can easily get one that is perfect for you.
Apart from maintaining the right heat, these types of jackets can also protect your smoker from outside elements. You can also use them to cover the smoker when the work is done.
Make Sure The Lid is Closed
Keeping the lid closed is a must when smoking meat in winter. Opening it frequently when it’s cold may require the smoker to work longer to prepare the food.
Whether you’re cooking or warming up the grill, keep the lid closed. If you need to check the temperature, purchase a digital thermometer with a dual probe remote. It will help you to monitor the temp inside the cooker, as well as the temperature of the meat without having to lift the lid.
Keep Enough Fuel in Stock
Since you already know that cooking in the cold will require you to burn more fuel, it’s wise to stock up on fuel before you start smoking.
While shopping for the barbeque party, make sure you purchase a few bags of your favorite charcoal. Also, keep the charcoal in a place where it will be easier to reach when it’s time to refuel.
Always keep your fuel in a dry place, particularly when you’re using a wood-burning smoker. Using damp charcoal or wood may create unnecessary smoke when you burn them.
Ensure The Right Airflow
Maintaining the right airflow is essential to keep a consistent temperature inside the cooker. While no airflow can cause heat loss, increased airflow can stoke the fire and raise the temperature inside the smoker.
To make sure the meat doesn’t get ruined, there should be a consistent temperature inside the chamber, which is why you need to adjust the intakes based on the wind direction.
You can also shut off a vent that is facing the wind and adjust the temperature using another vent.
Clean The Smoker Properly
Once you’re done cooking, you need to clean the smoker. It’s highly recommended that you clean the grill while it’s still hot.
While it sounds crazy, it will actually help you remove the oil and food easily from the grill without putting in that much effort. Grease and food harden when they are cold, making your grill more difficult to clean.
Also, don’t forget to empty the grease tray and remove the ashes before they freeze solid. If there’s snow on the cooker, clean that off as well.
Store The Smoker in The Right Place
After you clean up and cool down the smoker grill, you need to put on the cover and store it in a warm and dry place.
Besides, don’t forget to check the inside of the grill before storing it. Some animals might seek shelter during winter and could choose the inside of your smoker.
The miserable, cold weather shouldn’t keep you away from enjoying delicious grilled meat. Instead, it’s the perfect time to arrange a barbeque party.
While it’s difficult to operate the smoker properly during winter, using some precautions can help you overcome this challenge. The above-mentioned tips are easy to follow and practical enough to smoke your meat with great success.