Grilling our favorite foods in the great outdoors has become a year-round activity for millions of people around the world, no matter the weather. Spring. Summer. Fall. And winter. Grilling enthusiasts take on weather conditions — too hot, too windy, too wet or too cold — with the preparedness and gusto of our ancestors.
Unlike our ancestors, however, cooking outdoors may have been a matter or survival vs. what it is for most of us — a lifestyle and palette decision. With that said, the notion of not being able to grill outdoors of any given day can be a downer, especially following a long, hard day at work when all you can think about is getting home, firing up your trusty Made in the USA KettlePizza, maybe cracking open an adult beverage and celebrating life under the stars with your favorite food (pizza!).
A few indisputable truths (in our humble opinion) about grilling pizza in the winter:
- Pizza just has to be grilled in a wood fired oven.
- Pizza tastes better grilled in a wood fired oven.
- Wood fired pizza grillers laugh in the face of inclement weather.
- KettlePizza owners can easily move their grill (unlike brick or stone pizza ovens) to an area of their yard that provides the best cover.
- A KettlePizza gets hot more quickly than a stationary brick or stone pizza oven – that means more time eating great pizza and less time standing around in the cold waiting for it.
- Bundling up in cold weather and heading outside to your KettlePizza is a lot of fun and makes you appreciate your cozy house even more.
Now that you’re outside and your KettlePizza is heating up, KettlePizza enthusiast Bill Atkins of Renfrew, Penn., offers this great tip on how to best deal with sub-freezing temps to ensure piping hot pizza :
I would say to add extra wood keep adding wood after each pizza for sure. Also, keep your KettlePizza sheltered from the wind. But, even with temps in the 20’s, with some extra wood, I still had the thermometer pegged. I am going to have to relearn how to cook on the KettlePizza when it warms up! Almost forgot. Add a refractory brick or two behind your stone. It helps to distribute heat and to keep the heat up in cold temps.
Of course, grilling outdoors when the days are short and the night air biting cold requires some thoughtful techniques:
- Dress warm and in layers. And forgo the scarf or anything that might accidentally come in contact with the grill.
- As Bill suggests, stock up on wood. There’s nothing worse than running out of fuel for your KettlePizza. Your guests will love you for it.
- If the wind is howling, try to position your grill in an area of some cover — but never inside a garage or under an overhang. An area that is well-ventilated and a safe distance from combustible materials is always best (if this is an impossibility, there’s no shame in putting your KettlePizza on ice for another day).
- Don’t get lazy about shoveling around your KettlePizza, including a wide enough path from your house to the grill (when you shovel, bend at the knees and save your back!).
- If you don’t have an outdoor flood light or other light source, Chris IIcin has a solution for that too: “Headlamp. It gets dark quick,” he offers.
It’s only the second day of Winter 2014/-15, and that means we have several months of winter grilling fun ahead of us. Keep it safe. And play it smart. But don’t let a little nasty weather kill your appetite for hot slices off of a wood fired KettlePizza.
P.S. To see where Bill and Chris’ tips originally appeared, please visit us here.