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Grilling In The Rain: How To BBQ In The Rain Safely

Don’t let bad weather ruin your barbecue plans. Grilling in the rain just takes some extra planning and precautions to be safe.

A group of friends laughing while grilling in the rain.

Now check this out:

Sometimes grilling in the rain is safe and other times it can be extremely dangerous. A light mist or even moderate rain showers are perfectly fine. But if you’re stuck outside in a major downpour with high winds or lightning, forget the grill and get your butt inside where its safe.

No barbecue is worth getting hurt for.

So let’s assume it’s raining but not so bad that you feel unsafe being outside. Here are some important tips on how to grill in the rain safely and efficiently.

Watch Your Step…

You really need to choose the right footwear when you’re grilling in the rain.

Here’s why:

One time I was grilling up some burgers and sausage after a rain storm. It wasn’t even raining anymore but the ground was still wet with puddles. I stepped outside carrying a platter with frozen burger patties and sausage ready for the grill…and went flying!

My old flip-flops were comfy but a very poor choice to wear outside in the rain. They were worn out too, and the tread was worn away so when I stepped on the wet concrete patio my foot slid out from under me. I pulled a muscle in my back which hurt like hell (luckily I didn’t break any bones).

Though somehow I managed to keep the burgers and sausage from hitting the ground, so that was a plus!

Staying Dry While Grilling In The Rain

If you’re looking for a good way to stay out of the rain while grilling, you have a number of options to choose from:

A patio umbrella can be a good solution if it’s big enough to cover both you and the grill. Make sure it’s sturdy and stable so you don’t have to worry about it getting blown away or falling over. If it falls on the grill you’ll have a much bigger problem to deal with!

Collapsible grill canopies can be very useful when you want to grill in the rain. They’re easy to set up, very sturdy, and provide plenty of coverage for you and the grill to stay dry.

A permanent covered grill station can be a perfect option if you’re planning to keep your grill where it is and don’t expect to move it anytime soon. If you’re handy you can even build one yourself like this one I found online. I really like this idea and I want to build one myself one day soon.

Traditional umbrellas will keep you dry but probably won’t be big enough to cover your grill too. Plus, you’ll have to use one of your hands to actually hold the umbrella (unless you can find a helper). The hand umbrella is best for quick grill sessions where you won’t be outside for long.

Do NOT even think about trying to grill in your garage, even with the door open. You could end up burning your house down or poisoning your family with carbon monoxide. Not a good idea at all.

Man holding an umbrella while grilling in the rain.

Source: Flickr

More Tips For Grilling In The Rain

Rain or cold weather can affect cooking time and you need to keep weather conditions in mind when planning your barbecue. You might need to cook for a little longer than planned when outside temperatures are low because the grill just won’t maintain heat as easily. A reliable grill thermometer really comes in handy when you’re grilling in the rain or snow!

A remote thermometer will also let you monitor the temperature from inside, so you can keep an eye on your food without getting soaked.

The wind can also make a bbq in the rain more complicated. If you’re using a gas grill, strong winds can blow out the flames. You need to keep a close eye on your grill to make sure the burners don’t go out or you’ll just be wasting propane and your dinner will never be cooked.

If you know you’re going to be grilling and the forecast calls for rain, try to plan your cooking time around the incoming storm. If the weather is going to be really bad, you should be prepared to either wait out the rain or have a backup plan to cook inside instead.

You can also minimize the time you spend outside by prepping and pre-cooking as much as possible ahead of time. For example, you can parboil sausage in the kitchen so they’re basically cooked through before you ever step foot outside. They’ll only need a few minutes on the grill to finish them off.

The same goes for steak. You can reverse sear a steak by cooking it most of the way in your oven and then tossing it on the grill for a few minutes on high heat to get that beautiful sear and crispy, flavorful crust.

If you’re grilling veggies, wrap them in foil with a little olive oil and whatever seasoning you prefer. This will let them cook without getting wet and soggy in the rain.

Final Thoughts On Grilling In The Rain

There are few things I love more than grilling outside on a beautiful day, but sometimes the weather just doesn’t want to cooperate.

And that’s ok. Because over the years I’ve learned how to grill in the rain safely while still managing to cook a delicious meal. The key is to have some patience and do a little extra planning to make sure everything goes smoothly.

And every once in awhile, when things don’t go according to plan…it’s good to be able to laugh it off and just carry on.

If you have any tips for grilling in the rain that I didn’t include above I’d love to hear them. Just shoot me an email from my contact page and I’ll do my best to get back to you.