Can You Grill When It’s Windy? Yes! Try These 9 methods
When it’s windy, it’s common to see some people avoiding using their grills.
It’s often difficult to use a grill during windy conditions. This is particularly true with a gas-powered grill. Even if the gas knobs are at max setting, the wind is likely to put the flames out.
Is there a way to make the flames larger? Should you close the side ventilation holes? What are you doing wrong? This article will answer these questions and more!
So, can you grill when it’s windy?
The short and simplest answer is yes. You can grill in windy conditions. But, it’s important to know a few helpful tips that will make things easier for you.
Stay tuned to learn more!
How to Secure Grill from Wind
1. Choose A Sheltered Location
Start by choosing a sheltered location for your grill. Apart from protecting your grill from the effects of the wind, a sheltered spot also keeps out rain.
You might think to yourself: any sheltered spot is okay. But that’s not true. Make sure the location is not subject to smoke drift. So, keep it away from doors and windows. If this is not possible, then ventilate the location with an over-grill hood.
We also prefer a location that has the following features:
- Level ground
- Big enough for your needs
- Has the exposure you desire
- Gives you a chance to improve the setup
2. Make Sure The Vents Are Facing Away From The Wind
As for the vents, make sure they are facing away from the wind. The main purpose of vents is to regulate the temperature. An open vent lets more air in, which allows for better combustion.
Too much air will get into the grill when the vents are facing the wind. This can force the charcoal to burn hot very fast. As a result, you get undesirable cooking temperatures.
Unlike charcoal grills, most gas grills have ventilation holes at the back of the unit. So, ensure the ventilation holes are not facing the wind.
3. Preheat Your Grill
Your charcoal or gas grill must be hot enough before you start cooking. Why is this important? Cooking times and grill temperatures are not exact as it’s when baking in an oven. You have to preheat the unit to the appropriate temperature.
The usual time we take to preheat a grill is 15 to 30 minutes when Mother Nature is calm. Yet, preheating a grill in windy conditions may take longer than that. So, you have to be patient if it’s your first time doing this when it’s windy.
Is it easy to preheat a grill? I’m not going to lie to you, it takes a few steps to do it. The easiest way to preheat a charcoal-powered grill is with the help of a chimney starter. We will talk more about a chimney starter later. As for a gas grill, it’s all about settings and time.
4. Cover The Grill Properly
Can you grill when it’s windy with the lid open? No, you have to cover the grill by closing the lid. When you cover the grill the right way, you will trap hot air and smoke. This can maintain a good grilling temperature. And also prevent flare-ups that can start a fire.
Also, we prefer to use a grill cover after cooking to store the unit. The materials used to make grill covers are durable and weather-resistant. So, they can protect your unit from strong winds, dust, rain, and snow.
5. Use A Gas Grill More Than A Charcoal Grill
You might think to yourself that a charcoal grill is a better option. Simply because it’s the preferred choice by most people. But the important variable here is the weather. Windy weather seems to have a greater effect on charcoal grills than gas grills.
A gas grill is quick to preheat in windy conditions. And many burners allow for easier control of the heat. You don’t have to worry about flare-ups when the wind changes direction. Also, a gas grill maintains higher temperatures longer than the alternative. This helps to save fuel in the long run.
6. Use Secure Tools To Turn Food Such As Tongs
It’s important to turn your food over at least once halfway through cooking time. This will promote uniform browning and proper cooking of dense foods like poultry. This part of grilling is easy with proper tools like long-handled tongs.
We prefer long-handled tongs because they are all-purpose tools. They can handle almost everything at the grill. Use them to turn food or move coals without burning your hands in the process. You can also use regular kitchen tools like a spoon, fork, or spatula.
7. Wear Protecting Clothing
Wearing protective clothing is important when grilling in windy conditions. Avoid loose clothing that can catch fire in case of flare-ups. Wear shoes that can protect you from sharp objects and any burning charcoal on the ground.
Things are gonna get hot when playing with fire in windy conditions. It’s wise to have a quality pair of heat-resistant gloves on you at all times. They are quite handy when holding a chimney starter or turning food on the grate.
It’s also a good idea to have a separate pair of food-handling gloves. These are convenient for working with raw food like uncooked meat.
Can you grill when it’s windy without a windscreen? No, because a windscreen is an important part of a charcoal grill set-up on a windy day. Here’s the deal:
- Blocks excessive oxygen from getting into the grill
- Helps stabilize the temperature inside the grill
- Stop strong winds from creating flare-ups
- Saves fuel (charcoal or propane) in windy conditions
- Saves a good amount of time for outdoor cooking
You can buy a grill windscreen from an online shop or local store. But it’s cheaper and easy to make one at home. You need stainless steel or aluminum sheets for a quick do-it-yourself project.
9. Use a Meat Thermometer
You can cook a steak to order with the help of a meat thermometer. It will tell you when the meat or poultry is done. I would be lost without mine. A meat thermometer of good quality will remove the guesswork from the grilling.
Insert the device into the thickest part of your poultry or meat to get the internal temperature. Avoid touching any bone with the tip of the thermometer. The following are some of the recommended internal temperatures for grilling.
115°F rare beef
130°F medium rare beef
140°F medium beef
150°F medium well beef
155°F well-done beef
160°F ground beef
160°F white meat poultry
165°F dark meat and ground poultry
145°F medium pork
160°F well-done and ground pork
How to Start a Charcoal Grill When It’s Windy
You have about seven different techniques you can use to preheat a charcoal grill on a normal day. But a chimney starter is the most suitable option for starting a charcoal grill when it’s windy, you can also use the chain on your grill to start the grill.
These are the steps you need to follow:
- Stuff the bottom of the chimney starter with a newspaper
- Turn the starter over and place it on the bottom grate of the grill
- Fill it with charcoal or briquettes and set the newspaper on fire
- Let the charcoal or briquettes burn until they are ash gray
- Dumb the hot coals on one side of the fire grate
- Allow the fire grate to preheat before you start grilling
- Take the following precautions when starting a charcoal grill:
- Wear fireproof gloves when holding the chimney with hot coals
- Don’t look directly at the hot coals when dumping them onto the fire grate
Wind Keeps Blowing Out Gas Grill, Expert Solutions
This can happen because the flames are too small and the wind is too strong. But your grill may also have a blockage that reduces gas flow, making the flames weaker. Here are a few pro tips you can do to solve the problem.
- Turn off the tank and control knobs and turn them back on after 30 seconds
- Angle the grill to ensure that the flow of gas is perpendicular to the wind
- Ensure the vents and ventilation holes are not facing the wind
- Increase the height of the flame by turning the gas valve to a higher position
- Replace the regulator if the flames are still small
- Avoid lifting or opening the lid when strong winds are blowing
- If you have a 3/8-inch hose, consider replacing it with a 1/2-inch for a high gas flow
Can You Grill in the Rain?
You can use either a charcoal or gas grill in the rain. The rain is not a problem for the grill because it has a lid that you can close. The fire grates or burners are inside the grill. So, it will not be much of a problem when rain falls on the grill. Unless it is torrential rain that is falling for a long time.
But things can get messy when you leave the grill open when it is raining. I’m not going to lie to you, water will run through. The water is going to put out the flames. You will end up with some of the gunk coming out of the bottom. But it may be uncomfortable for you to stand in the rain and grill without any sort of coverage.
Here are some pro tips and precautions that can help you when grilling in the rain:
- Avoid grilling under torrential rainfall
- Don’t use an umbrella over the grill because the synthetic material can catch fire
- Put on some kind of protective clothing like a raincoat
- Don’t take your grill into the garage to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide buildup
- Also, don’t use an overhang because there is the risk of fire
Best Grill for Windy Conditions
Royal Gourmet GA4400T Liquid Propane Gas Grill is the best option for windy conditions. This grill is freestanding and can withstand strong winds. Also, it comes with instant ignition and preheats very fast.
The electronic ignition system and fast preheat make it easy to start the grill when it’s windy. Changing the position of the grill to face away from the wind is easy and quick with the moveable wheels. The stainless steel burners produce 40,000 BTU. This ensures the flames are strong and will not be easily blown out by the wind.
Some unique features that make this model stand out from the rest include:
- The lid-mounted thermometer gives accurate temperature readings in actual time
- The flame tamers ensure even heat distribution and prevent flares in windy conditions
- A lot of cooking and grilling space for a large gathering of up to eight people
- Style and durability are guaranteed with the exclusive stainless steel design and finish
You can grill at home if you have an air fryer grill combo, you can also grill in a normal air fryer if you follow the right steps
Can you grill when it’s windy outside? Yes, you can enjoy barbequing in those uncertain conditions with the help of this article.
Whether you own a gas or charcoal grill. We shared important tips that can help keep you safe while grilling in the wind.
If you have any questions or helpful tips, please share your thoughts in the comment section.
My love for food was influenced by my brother, a chef at a 2-star Michelin restaurant, and we often exchange food knowledge together. It’s been 12 years since I first stepped into the kitchen, and with my vast experience and expertise, I will share many ideas on how to make dishes more delicious!