It’s time to plan ahead for your Super Bowl party, especially if you’re grilling like so many people do on game day. Super Bowl Sunday is the most popular grilling day of the winter with two-thirds of grill owners firing up theirs for the festivities. Grilling in cold weather takes longer than when it’s warm so check now to see if you have enough fuel on hand. Here are some other tips for cold-weather grilling from year-round grilling pros.

Perform a grill check. In addition to a fuel check, make sure your grill is shoveled out and that the lid and knobs aren’t frozen shut. If they are, move the grill into the garage or a warmer spot to let it defrost—or use a hair dryer. Don’t force open a frozen knob or lid, which can damage the grill.

Put the grill in a safe place. While you want easy access to your grill, don’t place it too close to the house—10 feet away is recommended. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never grill in an enclosed space like a patio, garage, or under an awning. Inspect the burners, jets, and gas lines for blockages that restrict the gas flow. The flame should burn blue not yellow, which indicates clogged air inlets or burners that need adjusting.

Exercise patience. Preheating your gas grill can take up to twice as long in frigid temperatures so factor that in. To keep food from sticking to the grates, the grill should be fully preheated. Position the grill at a 90 degree angle to the wind so the flames don’t blow out on gusty days.

Suit up safely.
Bundle up but don’t wear scarves, tassels, or any other item that can dangle over the grill and catch fire. Choose a pair of warm gloves that allow full hand movement so you can easily manipulate your grilling tools.

Keep a lid on it. Every time you lift the lid, heat escapes prolonging grilling time. For the grill to retain as much heat as possible, keep the lid closed. If you have an app-connected wireless meat thermometer, use it to monitor temperature and cooking time.

Test meat temps. Cold-weather grilling takes longer so make doubly sure that your meat is thoroughly cooked. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the food and follow this advice from the USDA:

• Cook raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to 145 °F. Allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or eating.
• Cook raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to 160 °F.
• Cook raw poultry to 165 °F.

Plan a quick cleanup. The best time to clean your grill is when it’s still hot so take the time to brush food detritus off the racks, especially if your grill will be sitting idle for the rest of the winter.

Need a Gas Grill?

As grilling becomes a year-round activity, it’s getting easier to find grills for sale in the winter, even if you have to look in the back of the store behind the more seasonal items. If you need a grill for Sunday's game, make sure you have time to assemble it. While some stores offer assembly in warmer months, that task is usually done by seasonal workers who may be off duty now. To see the results of our gas grill tests, see our full gas grill Ratings and recommendations.