Just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean you have to give up your grilling plans. While winter grilling might sound strange initially, the lack of bugs and snowy, snuggly atmosphere as you gather around the heat of your tandoori grill certainly has its appeal. Don’t let your tandoor oven collect dust this winter: Instead, try your hand at grilling in the cold weather by checking out our top 10 tips below!
Our Top 10 Tips for Tandoori Winter Grilling
#1 – Bundle Up
This one’s pretty obvious, but when grilling in the cold weather, you need to be sure you’re wearing the proper attire. Don’t be the guy running back and forth between the grill and the garage: Put on a coat, a hat, a scarf — anything you need to stay warm while using your tandoor in the winter.
#2 – Safety First
Before you fire up the grill this winter, there are some safety rules you should follow:
Distance: Since you’re going to be standing outside in the cold for a while, you may want to move your grill closer to the home. Be sure that when doing so, it’s at a safe enough distance that your home’s exterior won’t be at risk. It’s recommended that your grill be at least 10 feet from your home.
Gloves: Never use your winter gloves as a substitute for gaddi pads or barbecue gloves. Always be sure to use heat-resistant hand protection when using your tandoor.
Overhangs: Do not place your tandoor inside your garage or under an overhang, unless you’re storing it there to protect it from a heavy snowstorm. Proper ventilation is critical to safe grilling, so always be sure that your tandoor is unobstructed by combustible materials or ceilings.
#3 – Shovel Snow
This goes hand-in-hand with our last point about safety. It’s important that you clear a path to get rid of any snow or ice that could cause you to slip and fall while cooking. If you notice there is snow or ice accumulated around the outside of your tandoor, it’s important that you brush it away before igniting it. The cold weather alone will make the temperature inside your tandoor slower to rise, so any added ice or snow will only make the heating process longer.
#4 – Be Prepared
Grilling in the winter often means longer wait times until your tandoor reaches the right temperature. For this reason, it’s important to be prepared by having extra fuel on-hand, whether it be propane or charcoal. If you’re charcoal grilling in cold weather and you’re having difficulty igniting a flame, try positioning your tandoor perpendicular to the wind. This will help you better manage the internal temperature of your tandoor — even when winter gusts sweep through your backyard kitchen.
#5 – Be Patient
Winter grilling is frigid and takes time to master, so be patient and plan on adding 5 – 10 minutes to the normal time it takes to preheat your tandoor during the summer months. Tandoori grilling in particular is an art form that even some MasterChefs struggle with getting just right, so don’t get discouraged if your pit-master plans take a little longer to pull together than expected.
#6 – Laser Thermometer
With temperature being such a concern while grilling in the cold weather, it’s important that you check the internal temperature of your meat before serving. While using a meat thermometer is always recommended, having an infrared laser thermometer handy while winter grilling in your tandoor will help you ensure a perfect cook despite the snowy atmosphere. Simply point the laser thermometer gun at the wall of your tandoor to tell when it has reached the right temperature. When you’re getting ready to pull the skewered meats from your tandoor, point the gun at them to ensure they have reached the proper internal temperature before eating.
#7 – Closed Lid
Tandoori grilling in the winter is a lot different than during the summer: Typically, while cooking in a tandoor, the top remains open. However, when temperatures are below freezing, it’s a good idea to cook with a closed lid to prevent any heat from escaping. Otherwise, you could be left cooking in the cold for much longer than you intended.
#8 – Weather Cover
Regardless of whether or not you plan to grill in the cold weather, having a weather cover for your Hōmdoor is a great way to protect your tandoor from the winter elements. After your grill has had enough time to cool off, remember to place your Weathermax 1000 Denier Fabric Cover back over the tandoor to keep it well-protected.
#9 – Rapid Recipes
Whether you love the snow or hate it, spending too much time in the cold is something we all wish to avoid. One of the great things about tandoori grilling is that because food is cooked at such high heat, it gets cooked quickly. Try to select quicker recipes when choosing your winter grilling menu items, such as the following:
#10 – Outdoor Lighting
During the winter, the sun sets much earlier, and daylight dwindles faster. This can make outdoor cooking a challenge if your backyard kitchen isn’t properly lit. Make sure that if you plan to grill outdoors in the evening that you have enough lighting available to see what you are doing. Add light strings to create ambiance for your outdoor cooking area, or keep a portable outdoor lantern nearby for extra visibility. Do not rely on extension cords to power your lighting as these can pose a safety hazard while cooking — especially in snowy, icy conditions.
Start Winter Grilling with Hōmdoor Today!
Now that you’re properly prepared to grill in the cold weather, it’s time to make sure you have the right gear. Complete your backyard kitchen with a Hōmdoor tandoori grill by shopping our residential tandoor ovens online. Whether you prefer propane or charcoal grilling, our tandoor ovens offer the perfect cook every time. Don’t forget to grab your Weathermax grill cover, gaddi pads, and infrared laser thermometer to ensure a safe grilling experience all season long. Shop our residential tandoors and grilling accessories today!