It always feels bad when you are in a mood to cook and rain ruins the entire setup. We are here to provide you some informational and safety tips about grilling in the rain. After reading this article, you will be more comfortable when you are planning to barbecue in rain. Generally, people ask similar questions like can you grill in the rain? Of course, you can! If you have best offset smoker then you can definitely enjoy it.
When you see the rain, you might assume that you are no more capable of barbecuing in the rain. After all, grilling works due to intense fire. Though it is almost impossible to bbq in the rain, we will explain every essential tip so that you can grill in light rain. Following these instructions will make you capable of handling the situation in light showers.
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Don’t Use Electric Smoker In The Rain
It is an alarming thing if you use an electric smoker for grilling in the rain. If your grill depends on a corded connection to a wall, don’t use it outdoor. Yes, you can use it indoors but a wise thing is to skip it because rain and electricity do not match well.
We would recommend an offset smoker or charcoal grill instead of an electric smoker. Propane grills have a feature of catching the fire more quickly as compared to others. But, many of the pitmasters will recommend a charcoal smoker for a better taste. It doesn’t matter if you use lump charcoal or cooking wood, the smoker will produce a flavored smoke which will prepare delicious food in return. In rain, you need to keep your grill in a dry place. Otherwise, the rain will have a direct impact on the temperature of the smoker. It will either extinguish the fire, or it will take the temperature to a very low point.
Place Grill Under a Cover
As described earlier, direct rain over the grill will have negative impacts on the smoker and you will not be able to have a joy of bbq in the rain. If you use a charcoal grill, they can withstand a very little amount of moisture. More moisture means more rusting. Hence, you need to your smoker under a high-quality cover.
When there will be no moisture, your BBQ smoker will automatically have a better temperature required for cooking. Even little drops of rain can lower the temperature of the grill. Though the fire will stay as it is if the lid is closed, you still need to do a lot to keep the temperature of the smoker high.
Where to place a grill when it is raining? If your patio has a roof, place the grill under it to keep it away from showers. If you have the roof or canopy, it should be as high as 9 feet at least. A height lesser than 9 feet will create heat more than the required one.
In case your patio doesn’t have a roof, you should find a big healthy tree to protect the smoker from raindrops. Generally, the trees with large and dense foliage have the capability of stopping raindrops well. Though a dozen drops won’t ruin the whole process, you should still keep a mini cover over the smoker for safety.
Keep The Cooking Wood or Charcoal Dry
It is definitely difficult to light up the fire using wet wood chips or charcoal. Some of the smokers have a separate room to place charcoal or wood if you plan to smoke or cook in near future. Generally, that’s not a problem. But, if it starts raining, your wood or charcoal will get wet obviously. And, it is nearly impossible to make use of them.
It doesn’t really matter which fuel source you plan to use. It would help if you always kept it in a dry place. Avoid placing your wood or charcoal over the patio. Even if your patio has a cover, moisture in the air can also make the woods or charcoal wet. A better option is to store the fuel source inside the home or garage. Please pick it up once you are fully ready to smoke or cook.
Build a Hot Fire
It is certain that you need the maximum amount of heat to cook when it is raining. If the smoker has an essential amount of heat, it will protect your cooking process from moisture and raindrops. Many smokers in the market can obtain an internal temperature of over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. As moisture settles over the smoker, it can decrease the internal temperature. So, it would help if you kept your temperature higher than normal conditions. You will have a better cooking experience if you follow the instructions well.
The following instructions will help you build a hot fire in rain:
- Add a large pile of charcoal or cooking wood
- When using charcoal, choose lump charcoal rather than charcoal briquettes.
- If your grill is wet, dry it before adding charcoal or cooking wood.
- When using cooking wood, use kiln-dried firewood rather than fresh or air-dried firewood.
- If your grill’s temperature begins to drop, add more charcoal or cooking wood.
- Open the dampers so that air can flow more freely through your grill.
- Light using tinder and kindling in the bottom center of your charcoal or cooking wood.
Close the Lid
The lid must not be open while it is raining. Otherwise, the raindrops or moisture may affect on burning charcoal or wood. It is better to avoid opening the lid again and again while grilling in the rain. If the fire gets extinguished by the raindrops, you will have difficulty in lighting up the fire again. Therefore, you should try to keep the lid closed as much as possible when grilling in the rain.
Use a Remote Thermometer
Firstly, check if your smoker has a remote thermometer. If not, have a look at our discussion about Thermometers. You will surely find the best one that meets your requirements.
As the name suggests, you will not have to open the smoker to find out the internal temperature. A remote thermometer will handle it all. These types of thermometers have probes which are placed either inside the cooking surface area or in the food. They have display type remote which shows the temperature correctly. You can purchase a remote thermometer for about $20 to $30, making it a smart investment for serious pitmasters.
Dry the Grill After Using it
If you don’t dry it, the lingering moisture will trigger a chemical reaction known as oxidation with the metal of which your grill is made. It would be best if you didn’t dry your grill immediately after using it in the rain. They can have a lot of heat for a long time. You may hit by an injury if you dry it after the minutes or even hours. It is always good to dry it after at least 24hrs. After a full day has passed, wipe the interior and exterior of your grill with a washcloth or some paper towels to dry up any lingering moisture. Whether you live on the East Coast, the West Coast, or somewhere in between, you’re bound to encounter bad weather sooner or later. Just remember to follow the tips outlined here anytime.
This is Lionel Andres. I am the Co-Founder of theoffsetsmoker.com. After a deep interest in cooking, especially BBQ, I decided to learn every bit of it. I am a BBQ lover, and in the past few years, grilling becomes my hobby. In this blog, I am sharing my reviews and experiences of the equipment which we personally use. I hope you will enjoy the journey.