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Grilling In The Rain – Everything You Need To Know

Grilling In The Rain – Everything You Need To Know

There is nothing more satisfying than a successful backyard BBQ. But what if a sudden rainstorm spoilt your party plan? Well, a sudden rain should not compel you to shift the plan indoors. Here is what you got to do:

With some prior planning, it is possible to grill in the rain. Patio umbrellas and tarp tents are two of the most popular temporary shelter solutions. If it frequently rains in your area and you love barbequing, then you may consider installing a customized BBQ canopy or a permanent grilling station to protect your barbecue in all extreme weather conditions. 

Rain also enhances the mood and makes the event worth remembering. Despite how tough it may sound, grilling in the rain has many other special advantages. Since the air is humid, your food stays moist and juicier for longer. Continue reading to learn more about the perfect way to grill in the rain.

umbrella grill familyCan You Grill In The Rain?

If you are using open charcoal, the process of grilling is definitely going to be impacted. Most pitmasters prefer using propane gas grills or pellet grills to have better control over the opposite forces (rain and wind). Regardless of whatever grill you are using, the goal is to protect the food from the outside environment and circulate the smoke within the grill.

Can you grill in the rain? The answer is, yes! If you do not set up your BBQ directly under the rain, and plan everything optimally grilling in the rain is possible by implementing any of these suitable ways:

BBQ Canopy

A BBQ Canopy or a Grill Gazebo may have a roof made of water-resistant draping or a hardtop. The roof hangs over a metal frame and protects the barbeque against rain, sun, or hail. These grill gazebos are available in different sizes (usually 5” X 8”) and are large enough to cover a mini outdoor kitchen. Some of the best grill gazebos to buy are:

Watch this video for a full buying guide on the best grill gazebos.

Patio Umbrella

A patio umbrella is the most inexpensive way to protect your BBQ against surprise rain showers. A good quality patio umbrella should be water-resistant, fade-resistant, and UV resistant. Look for an umbrella that you can tie and anchor against the wind gusts. If you want it to be simple, just ask your friend to hold the umbrella until you finish grilling! Cantilever umbrellas can be more expensive than traditional market umbrellas. Some of the best grill patio umbrellas to buy are:

Permanent Grilling Station

If you are someone who regularly grills food outside, then a permanent outdoor grilling station would definitely be rewarding.

Grill island plans are custom built according to the space you have and the details are different for everyone. The grilling station should at least have a deck, sink, a work surface, and of course the grill in the plan. Consult a professional architect or a designer for this purpose. You can find some unique outdoor patio kitchen plans here.

Tarp Tents

Since man began grilling, tarp tents have been the most easy-to-install camping/ barbequing solution, especially when it is raining out. A large tarp tent not only covers the barbeque but can also serve as a shelter for your guests in the rain.

Tarp tents should be 6 feet above the ground and the covering material should be water-resistant, UV-resistant, and treated to be fire retardant. Some tents are specifically constructed for grilling and have open sides to ensure good ventilation during the smoking process. Although tents are suitable for light rain, they might not be the very best option for windy and severe rains.

Retractable Awning

An awning is a secondary cover installed on the exterior wall of a building that protects against rain, snow, and the sun. A retractable awning should be made of waterproof/ water-resistant vinyl laminated polyester fabric or aluminum sheeting, that is stretched over an aluminum, iron, or steel structure. Retractable patio cover systems may also be enclosed and can be used as an outdoor room during the summer season.

Can You Use An Electric Grill In The Rain?

When it is raining outside, you must never use an electric grill due to safety reasons. Although there are some electric grills, which are marketed as ‘intended for outdoor use’, it is not ideally recommended to use them in the rain.

If you must, then pre-cook the food indoors and follow all basic safety precautions while using such equipment. Visually invest the cord, plug, or all other connections before operation. Also, an electric grill should not be used near combustible material.

Can You Use Charcoal That’s Been Rained On?

Wet charcoal is almost impossible to light and even if it does, it is likely to burn out quickly and produce too much smoke compared to a fresh batch of charcoal.

Charcoal that has been lightly drizzled by rain may be dried in the sun later. Depending upon how much moisture the batch of charcoal has absorbed, it can take about a couple of hours to a few days to dry out completely when kept under direct sunlight. It is recommended that you mix 50% of dried charcoal with fresh charcoal for optimized results.

Factors To Consider While Grilling In The Rain

Check the Wind

If you are using a patio umbrella, a tarp tent, or a BBQ canopy as a cover for grilling in the rain, then it is important to check if the wind is flowing in the opposite direction. A good windscreen would be effective for this purpose. For a covered grilling station, try to set up a wall or a sheet of plywood or other strong materials to prevent disruption due to wind.

Control the Temperature

Wind and rain will tend to lower the temperature of your live grill, which may make it susceptible to blowing out from strong gusts of wind. Since maintaining an optimum temperature is extremely important for low and slow grilling, use a remote wireless thermometer to constantly monitor the grill and ensure that the food stays warm and dry until serving.

group under rain grillCooking Tips

For cooking in the rain, always start earlier and keep the lid closed as far as possible. Keep an eye on the gas burner so that the wind does not blow them out. Use lump charcoal or high-quality briquettes for better results. If your grill temperature begins to drop, then keep adding more charcoal or cooking wood to help maintain the temperature. Keep food in aluminum foil to delay the cooling time.

Pro tip: It is no fun to babysit your grilling station and miss out on all the fun in the perfect weather. To reduce your time for cooking in the rain, prepare everything in advance. You can pre-cook the food indoors and just sear outside to reduce the time. 

Also read: Is Your Grill on Fire? How to Put Out Grill & Grease Fires

Easy Installation of BBQ Shelters

Just in case it rains, choose a shelter solution that is fast and easy to install and assemble. While erecting carp tents or patio umbrellas, make sure it is placed on a solid foundation and the wind is not strong enough to uproot the structure.

As long as the food is perfectly cooked and it does not get wet in the rain, grilled food in the rain tastes incomparable. Rain and Bbq are the perfect combination that sets the entire mood and makes the ambiance seem spectacular. However, do remember that a fun barbeque is a safe barbeque and you must always maintain safety precautions for grilling in the rain.

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