Home remodelling is the rage during the pandemic because people stay home most of the time. One of the most popular features that homeowners add to their dwellings is a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with appliances such as Lynx grills with parts readily available when needed. The outdoor cooking area is usually paired with an outdoor gathering and dining area. People want to extend their living spaces to their yards to enjoy the fresh air.
Among households in the U.S., 64 percent own an outdoor grill, barbecue, or smoker. Most of them, or 61 percent, have a gas-powered grill. These are most often used in the summer, traditionally known to be the time for outdoor barbecues. This activity is most popular around the Fourth of July celebrations.
Outdoor kitchens need not stay unused in the fall and winter, though. Add an outdoor furnace or a firepit to provide some warmth, but not enough to make you sweat while you cook. You will find that colder weather makes outdoor cooking more comfortable.
Grilling in the Cold
When grilling in cold weather, take note that you will be using up to 50 percent more gas or charcoal because you will need about 10 to 15 minutes more to heat the grill and even more time to keep it hot while cooking. Depending on the outdoor temperature, you might need an additional 20 minutes of cooking time for every pound of meat. Have extra fuel on hand but make sure it is stored in a safe place away from heat sources.
Always open the lid before lighting the grill. However, once the food is on the grill, close the lid and keep it closed to keep the heat in. Invest in a smart grill thermometer that connects to an app on your phone. Stick it into the food, and you will monitor when it is time to open the lid.
You can have your grilled steaks, burgers, and sausages in fall and winter. Cheaper cuts of beef such as flank, skirt, and hanger have a richer flavor. You can make them tender by making the grill hot enough to quickly sear both sides of a cut without overcooking the inside. Let the meat rest, and then make thin slices against the grain, cutting across muscle fibers.
Accompany your grilled meats with grilled tomatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. Drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper beforehand.
Add dessert by sprinkling halves of apples and pears with brown sugar and cinnamon before lightly grilling them. Top each half with whipped cream before serving.
Safe Grilling Outdoors
According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 10,600 home fires a year are from home grills, with gas grills causing more fires compared to charcoal grills. It is, therefore, vital to keep your outdoor kitchen safe.
Gas and charcoal grills should not be placed in enclosed areas because the deadly carbon monoxide they emit must be allowed to dissipate into the open air. They should be ten feet away from the house and any tree branches to prevent fire. If you want to build a roof over your outdoor kitchen, choose fireproof materials. It is also best to put the griller on a flat cement base to ensure its stability.
Before using the gas grill, check the tank hose for leaks by applying a water solution with soap. Bubbles will form in an area with a leak. If you see this, turn off the gas tank and the grill. Do not use the grill until after it has been fixed by a professional.
If you are cooking when you suddenly smell gas, immediately move a safe distance away from the grill and call the fire department. If you are cooking and the flame dies, turn off the grill and the gas immediately. Wait five minutes or more for the gas in the air around you to dissipate before turning it on again.
When the grill is on, never leave it unattended. Strictly keep children and pets three feet or more away from the area. After cooking, clean away grease and fat from the grill and its trays because the buildup is highly flammable. If you are using charcoal, check that the coals are completely cool after grilling before disposing of them in a metal container.
To avoid burns, use special grilling gloves made of fire-resistant material. These are long enough to cover even your wrists. Do not wear a scarf with hanging ends that may catch fire. Ensure that your footwear is slip-proof if there is ice or snow on the ground. If you intend to cook in the evening, make sure that enough light illuminates the cooking area.
With all safety precautions in place, you are ready to schedule your household’s outdoor grill party. It is time to shop for your outdoor grilling menu.