Smoking in Cold Weather
Gotta love south Texas weather! Last month, it was 75° one day, 28° the next. Still, for the determined pit boss, cold weather is no hurdle. You just need to keep a few things in mind:
- Fire: fire is nothing more than FUEL + OXYGEN (AIR) + HEAT. Cold weather obviously affects the “heat” factor in this equation, which will cause you to use more fuel to achieve the same fire management as in warmer weather.
- Air: the colder the weather, the denser the air becomes. In other words, there are more oxygen molecules per square inch in cold weather than in warm weather. The density is even greater in dry cold weather as opposed to wet cold weather. Point being: the fuel/air mixture will be different than in warmer months. Check your cooking temperatures.
- Heat: cooker materials that retain heat are your friend in cold weather. Our Texas Trailblazer offset smokers at Jeff’s Backyard use the gold standard in Texas barbecue smoking: ¼” steel pipeline casing. It will take a little longer to heat it up in colder weather, but it will retain that heat far better than cheap cookers that use thinner metals. Ceramic cookers like the Big Green Egg will retain the heat even better!
- Time: a report from the Oregon forestry department suggests that for every 5° below 45°F in ambient air temperature, you should add another 20 minutes to your low-and-slow cooking (for briskets, ribs, and such).
- Thermometer: a must. Preferably, use a dual probe digital thermometer that gives you two readings, one for the cooking cavity and one for the probe in the actual meat. (We have a variety of models from which to choose at Jeff’s Backyard.)
- The BBQ mantra: “If you’re lookin’, you ain’t cookin’!” Point being: stop peeking. You release valuable heat every time you open the lid. TRUST THE PROCESS!
- Finally, Safety: (a special note from Weber) never grill inside your garage or under an overhang.
So, go ahead and nip Jack Frost before he nips your backyard cooking! You can do it… from our yard to yours, Jeff’s Backyard!
Oh, one more thing: look elsewhere in this edition of Welcome Home to find our ad and a coupon for a free refill of propane in your 20 lb bottle with a $10 or more purchase, an $18 value!