Barbecue grilling doesn’t need to end with rainy weather. From the best gear to creative shelter ideas, here’s everything you need to know about grilling in the rain.
Grilling should not be seasonal, but you need to know how to grill in the rain. You can make it just with a raincoat and a grill lid if you want to grill in the rain. You also have more ways to avoid the rain as you grill your meat, which I will elaborate on below. Grilling in the rain is not as boring as you might think. How about experiencing grilling with some water and mud around you? It is also safe unless thunder and lightning are on the horizon.
Get a canopy
This is a good way if you stay in rainy areas since this is a long term method. It can last for years. A canopy is not something that you can get rid of as soon as the rains are over. You can still use it on a hot or sunny day. No matter how rainy it is, you can still grill successfully without any rains ruining your plans. It has to be a bit spacious. It may be in the form of an umbrella or a gazebo. You need to be very cautious about height and make the best design that you want out of it. It has to be a bit far away from any other structure that might cause flames just in case of wind.
You may use a tent or pop up canopy if you do not want a permanent structure or a structure that you can disassemble anytime. The tent has to be highly waterproof so that it will not leak under any circumstances. The canopy can be a bit taller so that the roof will not be affected by heat. A canopy makes sure that you do not hold an umbrella whilst you are holding a spatula on the other hand. This makes the whole process tiring and straining. You might just lose your meat when it is already ready to serve as it might fall out of the other hand. A Barbecue canopy can be made of a metal frame. The idea is not to have a big shelter that accommodates friends or the whole family. It should be only for the BBQ.
Use a windshield
The moment you choose to have a shelter DIY, you will see the need of having a windshield. You may experience windy rains sometimes that might not be ideal for grilling outside. A poor windshield or no windshield at all causes wildfire. A windshield will get rid of the wind from all angles. Wind can lower your heat as you grill and that heat will not be enough for your meat. Wind can put off the fire before you know it and you might need to light again. You can make it out of wood or asbestos that you no longer need. It can be as simple as you want, as long as it is going to serve its purpose.
If you want it designed, you can look for a great designer depending on the windshield type you want. Whether you choose to make it yourself or buy from someone, it remains cost-efficient. As much as you will put the windshield, it should not take up much space in your shelter as you still want enough ventilation and space for cleaning and moving around. The windshield may need concrete blocks, sand, bricks, or stones for stability; otherwise, more wind will wipe it away.
Use low and slow cooking
When grilling during a rainy day, I advise you to use the low and slow cooking method. You can still use your oven but you can pre-cook the meat to not spend more time either grilling in the oven or outside. You can pre-grill your steak in the oven and finish off by grilling outside. What is the point of finishing outside? The reason why you grill in the first place is the reason why you have to finish grilling outside. You still need those yummy juices and your meat moist and tender (Source).
Just in case you do not like grilling in the rain because of your reasons and you have visitors or family members that are quite particular about their meals (they want it grilled). No-one will know that you did not grill the meat from scratch outside. They are still going to enjoy the meat as it will taste the same way it was going to taste if you had grilled outside inside your canopy. Even if you already know that it will rain, later on, you can start grilling before slowly so that when it starts raining, you will not spend more time in the rain.
Use a thermometer
When it is raining, you should be worried about temperature control as it might be hard to regulate. Wind will affect you since it reduces the heat. You might have a windshield, but you might not be covering all the sides. You need a grill thermometer to not spoil your meat either by adding more heat or reducing it as it becomes lower without being aware. Knowing the amount of heat you need for a specific type of meat is very important, but you cannot grill that type of meat without a particular reading of temperature.
I do not encourage you to use a gas grill on a rainy day as it can easily blow out due to the wind. However, it might be calm and raining simultaneously, and you want to use it. Opening the lid every now and then is just dangerous. In this case, you need a remote grill thermometer to regulate your heat without lifting up the lid. You can be a bit distant whilst you still control your heat. This is ideal for the low and slow method. You cannot be necessarily on the spot, but you can still check after some time.
Use more charcoal
Rain and wind can give you a hard time when you are grilling, so using more charcoal than you normally would will give you a good chance of standing up to the elements. Charcoal needs time to heat up. You have to light it earlier. More charcoal allows you to maintain the temperature that you start with. You cannot have a perfect grill when your heat tends to go slower when you are not yet done.
The fact that charcoal absorbs moisture means that you have to light it earlier since it takes time to light. The chances are that you might have kept the charcoal outside and it got wet. That cannot stop you from grilling using charcoal. You must check your ventilation system so that you manage the charcoal.
The Final Word
Grilling in the rain is not bad, after all. All you need is good planning, protective structure, temperature regulator, and a positive and creative mind. You can have a permanent or temporary canopy and a windshield of your choice to make the grilling process.