Grilling in the rain can be fun, and you can cook delicious food items to spend quality time with your closed ones.
Although it demands more attention, effort, expertise, and additional tools, but the final result will be worth the time you spend on it.
So, Never let the rain interfere with your grilling plans.
In this post, you will learn about all the essential information, safety precautions, and possible challenges, if any. So, let’s add something more unique and special to your grilling skills.
Can you Grill in the Rain?
Yes, you can safely grill using charcoal or propane grills when it is raining outside but under a shelter only. It may be a little longer grilling session than usual because rain can lower the internal temperature of your grill, and it may need some extra time to preheat to the required temperature.
Moreover, we encourage you to make sure you don’t open the lid frequently to maintain heat inside.
You may need to put in extra effort, buy some additional tools, and learn techniques to ensure a successful and safe grilling session in the rain. The ultimate goal of grilling in the rain is to keep your grill dry.
Despite these challenges, grilling on a rainy day is beneficial in preparing food items with juiciness, moisture, and smoky flavors.
How to Grill in the Rain?
So, you have a new grilling challenge in which you have to cook food in the rain. Let’s tell you how you can successfully use your propane grill, gas grill, or charcoal grill in the rain.
First and foremost, your grill should be protected till the end of the grilling session to ensure it does not get wet from the rain. There are several options that you can choose for protection, a grill tarp or a patio are the most common ones.
We recommend you use charcoal starter fluid instead of lighter fluid for ignition because it heats up quickly and provides consistent heat in wet weather. It is also comparatively easy to ignite the charcoal through the lighter fluid when it’s raining.
Furthermore, the key to a fantastic rain cooking session lies in the simple act of keeping the grill lid closed.
We suggest that you select a grilling location that is sheltered from strong winds, if present, to ensure a safe cooking environment.
If you are worried about the temperature of your grill and food, get help from the built-in thermometer and meat thermometer but don’t open the lid often.
Lastly, you should also wear suitable clothing when you wish to barbecue in the rain to keep yourself dry.
Tips for Grilling in the Rain
To some extent, the science of grilling in wet conditions is dependent on the tips and techniques you follow. So, let’s share some beneficial suggestions that will allow you to grill professionally in bad weather.
Avoid Using Electric Grill in Rain
You must have an idea about the rivalry between water and electricity.
We strongly recommend avoiding cooking food outside with an electric grill in rainy weather. The reason is simple. It may short circuit due to the presence of water, which may result in an injury.
Moreover, while grilling, we are busy with several things like temperature control, flipping the food, etc. So you may be unaware when your electric grill short circuits and ruin everything.
We recommend using them in the garage or indoors with a good ventilation system.
Outdoor covers play the most crucial role when the target is to protect your charcoal grills or any other grills in the rain. You can explore several options and choose one that fits your needs.
You may find some of these covers a bit expensive, but they tend to last longer, which is a fair trade if you are a regular griller. So, it is our opinion that you should buy one if required.
Let’s go through a quick overview of each option with their use and advantage.
- Grill Gazebo: It is one of the most popular shelters providing options for grillers when it is hot or raining outside. A gazebo tends to be broader and larger to protect you entirely from the rain and sunlight.
- Patio Umbrella: It is a freestanding umbrella that has multiple uses and comes in several sizes. So, if you grill regularly and live where rain is often expected, find a big-sized patio umbrella to keep grilling.
- Pergola: The use of a pergola for grilling purposes is comparatively less than a gazebo and patio umbrella, but it can be great equipment when you are cooking outside. It is helpful for light rain, but for rain storms, it may not be as good.
- Roof Extension: The installation of a roof extension means a new addition to your home. It comes in various sizes and is manufactured with different materials like wood, metal, fabric, etc. For grilling in the rain, it works like a permanently covered grilling station.
- Retractable Awning: Whether you have a deck or a patio, adding a retractable awning into it allows you for outdoor grilling with a huge space, regardless of inclement weather conditions.
One of the most valuable tips to follow when you BBQ in the rain is precooking your food, especially steak. You never know how long the rain stays, so it is a better option to precooking the food items that you can.
In this case, we recommend you keep your meal inside an oven at a low heat and keep going until the internal temperature of your food is around 120 °F. For the finishing touch, place the precooked meal on the grill.
As a result, you will experience fewer issues but prepare your favorite food items with the same delicious taste, crispy exterior, and juiciness inside.
Temperature control becomes the key to success whenever you have to grill in the rain. Charcoal grill users have to be more skillful because controlling the temperature of charcoal is tricky, especially if it is raining.
The wind and rain lower your grill’s temperature and make it challenging for you to maintain the required cooking temperature, especially on a charcoal grill.
Many people face the issue of undercooked brisket when the temperature of their grill or smoker keeps fluctuating.
So, stay in touch with the internal temperature of your grill and provide the required fuel source. For example, charcoal grills users need to add charcoals accordingly whenever the heat fluctuates.
The position of your grill and vents is also essential. You should check if the vents are open and if the wind is entering the grill.
Close them or turn your grill against the wind. It allows you to cook consistently with the required heat.
Protect your Grill from the Wind
The outdoor covers can keep you and your grill covered from rain, but wind blasts can still create problems by fluctuating the heat.
As a result, the cooking session will be unintentionally prolonged, and you may not achieve desired results because the charcoal may not stay lit in windy conditions.
To overcome this issue, you may need to place your grill near the wall (especially the gas grill), or you can also make a temporary wall with the help of a plywood sheet.
You can explore any other perfect option because the wind has to be blocked.
Minimize lid opening
While grilling in the rain, people open the lid frequently to check the food’s condition, which we don’t suggest. It escapes the heat and smoke and lowers the grill’s internal temperature.
Every time you open it, get ready to spend extra minutes grilling your meal. The solution to this problem is straightforward. Bring a food thermometer to know the internal temperature of your food.
Don’t Use Wet Charcoal or Pellets
If it is raining and you are trying to ignite wet pellets or charcoal, you will struggle a lot, and ignition will consume a lot of your time. Therefore, you should be worried about using dry charcoal rather than how much charcoal you should use.
Safety Tips to Follow
Grilling in the rain seems to be a safe outdoor activity if you don’t use electric grills. But let’s see what safety precautions you should follow when grilling in the rain.
- Most people choose to grill in the garage when it is raining outside, which you should avoid. Propane grills and gas grills produce harmful gases, which can be lethal, and there are chances of fire hazards.
- Grilling sessions tend to be shorter, so we suggest you stay near your grill thoroughly until the cooking is finished. You can repel any possible mishap when you are focused.
- Don’t forget to dry your grill before and after using it. It helps you prevent rust and moisture build-up, which may weaken the grill’s structure.
- Wind gusts can spread burning pieces of charcoal. Therefore, you need clear the surroundings of clothes or other flammable materials.
Advantages of Grilling Despite the Rain
It is true that barbequing in the rain requires extra effort, but it has a few great benefits that pay the debt of your hard work.
When you grill with a closed lid with the rain outside, it traps the heat and smoke inside, which imparts unique smoky flavors to your food.
Grilling in the rain is an enjoyable experience that infuses unique smoky flavors into your meal but requires a little extra effort and expertise.
We have shared everything you need to know about how you can grill in the rain, from its advantages to possible challenges and safety precautions.
So next time if it rains in your area, don’t let it stop you from an unforgettable grilling experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What grills can you use in the rain?
Except for an electric grill, you can use all other types of grills, like charcoal grills, propane grills, and gas grills, confidently to BBQ in the rain by following a few simple precautions. Make sure to cover the electrical components if your grill has any.
How do rain and wind affect your grilling session?
Rain makes wood pellets or charcoal wet and cools down the grill’s cooking temperature. Wind gusts, on the other side, create problems by extinguishing the fire, which doesn’t let you maintain the desired heat constantly.
Is it safe to grill in a storm?
No, you should not grill in the storm as it can create problems such as spreading the burning coals or pellets outside, electrical shocks, etc.
What to do if it starts raining while grilling?
One of the best ways to protect your grilling session from rain and winds is to move your grill under a covered area. In this case, you can use an umbrella, awning, or patio, whatever option suits you the most. We encourage you to use more charcoals and don’t open the lid frequently.
Can you use an electric grill in the rain?
No, we don’t advise it at all. You should wait for the rain to stop if you have only an electric grill available for your bbq session.
Robert Gill, a BBQ enthusiast, and Senior Author at FaveGrills.com bring his extensive knowledge of BBQ equipment and exciting recipes to the team. With his outgoing personality and love for BBQ, Robert plays an essential role in the FaveGrills community, sharing his passion and expertise through informative articles and gear reviews.