I’m writing this as I’m getting ready to go out into the rain and grill burgers for tonight’s dinner. I remember when I first got into grilling and I did some research on grilling in the rain. Here’s what I learned.
Can You Grill in the Rain?
Yes, you can grill in the rain. In fact there are a few advantages and tips to rainy day grilling that I’ll share in this article. If you’re brave enough to face the elements you can still have a great grilled meal ready in no time.
Benefits of Grilling in the Rain
Many foods actually taste better when grilled on a rainy day. The extra humidity in the air will keep some meats that easily dry out much more moist. Also, keeping the lid down on the grill to keep the rain out will also increase the heat.
Increasing the heat around what you are grilling will cause it to cook more evenly. Even cooking means more consistent temperature and less chance for food poisoning. All good things!
Tips for Grilling in the Rain
I currently have a grill canopy. This covers not only the grill but the cook. If the wind is blowing I still get a few drops on me but it’s much better than trying to hold an umbrella and flip burgers.
A grill canopy is usually made out of metal. There is a small risk of lightning but if you have tall trees and buildings around the risk is lower.
A great grill canopy can be found on my Best Grill Canopy page. Actually, this is the canopy I have at home and it’s served me very well. It shelters from rain, harsh sun, and leaves me some room to move around.
Another option is a grill umbrella. Grill umbrellas help in the sun and the rain to keep you cool and dry. If using an umbrella you need to make sure that it is high enough above the grill to not catch fire.
If you don’t have a grill canopy or grill umbrella a carport with three open sides for ventilation would work well too.
When grilling under a carport make sure to be several feet away from your house to prevent a house fire. Also make sure that the heat is not climbing too high. If you can’t hold your hand a few feet above the grill for more than a few seconds without it getting too hot then you risk heat damaging your carport ceiling. Also, if there is excessive smoke you risk discoloration of your carport ceiling.
If the ceiling is 5-6 feet above your grill you’re pretty safe from fires, though smoke can still gather and discolor the ceiling.
At my last house the grill was too close to a screened in porch. The screen melted a little from the heat when the lid touched the screen. I learned very quickly to move the grill out away from the screen before heating up the grill.
You should not cook with gas or charcoal grills in a garage. Even with the door open there is not enough ventilation. Carbon monoxide can build up to deadly levels very quickly.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless so you could be at risk and not know till it’s too late.
If you are using an electric grill make sure the power cord is not sitting in standing water. Use as few extension cords as possible to limit the risk of water getting into the line and causing a short or fire.
Be sure to bring a dish to cover your meat on the way back to the house. Soaking wet meat is not the goal here.
Grilling in Cold Weather Tips
Often when it’s raining it’s also cooler. Here are some tips for grilling in colder weather.
Whether grilling in the cold or the rain be sure to stay with your grill. Unattended grills can cause catastrophic fires very quickly. You’ll want to only grill items that grill in a short time to minimize your exposure to the elements.
Realize that grills take more time to heat up when it’s cold. They also need more fuel to maintain their heat. Be sure to have enough charcoal or an extra tank of propane.
To reduce your time outside you could precook the meat till it’s almost done and finish it off on the grill. You can still get that great grill flavor without being outside as long.
Be sure to have all your tools and accessories. You don’t want to be trekking in and out when it’s cold.
If the wind is blowing make sure that it’s not blowing into your vents. Either close them or turn your grill to prevent this from happening.
Keep the cover closed as much as possible to prevent heat loss. You can use a grill thermometer to check the temperature of the meat without exposing it to the elements.
The sun goes down earlier in the winter. Be sure to have a grill light or another kind of light with you that you can set down and still see.
Don’t wear loose clothing that can dangle down and catch fire like a scarf or tie.
Leather grilling gloves will work better than mittens when it’s time to use your tools to flip the meat.
Keeping the lid closed will minimize the heat loss and speed up the time the meat needs to be on the grill.
If it’s been a while since you used your grill check the parts, like hoses, for cracks or rust. If possible store the grill out of the elements and bring it out when you want to use it.
You may be tempted to not clean the grill and just stay in the house. Frozen grease is no fun to clean off of a grill so when the grill has cooled enough to clean it go out there and get it done.
What’s a Weber Grill and Why Do You Need One?
Weber grills are known in the industry to be durable and quality grills. If maintained properly a Weber grill will last season after season.
They invented the iconic kettle charcoal grill in 1953. Prior to that covered grills were uncommon.
The Weber company now makes charcoal, gas and even electric grills.
The newer Weber charcoal grills have a really cool ash catcher that makes cleaning a snap.
You can buy a Weber charcoal grill for a fair price on Amazon. They even have a portable version that can be delivered to your door.
Weber grills are not just for the budget minded. They have some gas grills have features that put other brands to shame. One really cool feature is the Infinity Ignition that is guaranteed to light every time. Super handy if you are out in the elements trying to get the grill ready.
Weber grills are the only ones I recommend and you can learn more about them on my Best Kettle Grill page.
In this article we’ve seen that you absolutely can grill in the rain and cold. The extra humidity might even make your grilled food taste better! When you are prepared it can even be an enjoyable experience.
Jut remember to be safe about your environment and plan a little more time for cooking.
If you’re in need of a new grill check out my Recommended Gear page to see why I only recommend Weber grills to my readers.