5 Tips for Grilling in Extreme Heat
May 30, 2014
If you’re like me, the weather outside will rarely keep you from firing up the grill. But while we take extra steps to deal with grilling in the snow and grilling in the rain, few people take the time to properly prepare when the outside temperature begins to soar during the summer months.
As such, we’ve compiled a list of five tips to ensure you remain safe while grilling in extreme heat.
1) Stay hydrated. The greatest risk when spending a large period of time out in the hot summer sun is dehydration. Keep plenty of water on hand during your next grill out and more importantly use it. Sports drinks are also great as they help replace sodium and other important electrolytes that are lost due to sweat.
2) Keep the adult beverages to a minimum. When the temperature outside is rising, your first instinct might be to reach for an ice-cold beer or cocktail. Alcohol, however, will promote dehydration so either wait on raising a toast to the great outdoors until the temperature lowers later in the day or drink in moderation while also partaking of lots and lots of water.
3) Stay shaded. When setting up your grill site, consider cooking under the cooling shade of a tree or, better yet, invest in a fire retardant pop-up canopy that can be positioned over your grill regardless of whether your grilling in the backyard, at the park, or the beach.
4) Bring the right tools. Not only is it extremely hot outside, the heat coming off the grill as you work your magic is going to further your battle against dehydration and possible sun stroke. While standard kitchen tongs and spatulas may do the job on most days, investing in ones that are 16” long or more will keep you further from the direct grill heat. Equally, the handles of your grill cover are likely to be significantly hotter than they normally would be so consider putting on a heat resistant glove before reaching for that handle.
5) Plan your menu accordingly. When preparing your menu, consider dishes that can be cooked ahead. Seasonal vegetables can be grilled earlier in the day, tossed with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and served cold while corn on the cob can be grilled in the husk until the husk is nicely charred, set aside, then thrown back on to a covered grill for a few minutes just before serving. Also consider grilling some fresh fruit to serve as a cold side dish or served on top of grilled pound cake with a drizzle of chocolate syrup for dessert.
- Clint Cantwell, Grilling.com Editor