Friday, December 6, 2013

Brrr... it's cold!!

The temperature at the time I sit and type this is zero degrees! Reminds me of the few years I lived up in Alaska. Brrrrr.

However, the cold does not need to stop you from using your grill or smoker. In fact, more people smoke during the winter season than summer.

The challenge is keeping your smoker to hold it's temperature during these very cold days and nights. Unless you have an expensive smoker chances are you are going to lose heat or go through your heat resource faster. Here are a few ways to help with this:

1. A welder's blanket. Yes, many grill companies make insulation blankets for their products but they tend to be expensive. Sure, they look nice but who cares. It's purpose it to insulate your smoker, not win a beauty pageant. There are a few that exist. The cheapest is a fiberglass blanket. They can run anywhere from $19.99 up to over a hundred dollars. Harbor Freight has them very cheap HERE. Just make sure the blanket does not have asbestos in it. Some say stay away from fiberglass but I have not seen hard evidence to that. I only recommend using the blanket for low and slow cooks. I do warn against cotton treated flame retardant blankets as the retardant can "cook off" over time and the blanket could catch fire. Also, washing them could wash the retardant off. There is a brand called Tillman that is made of thermofelt. Here is the LINK. Some people will cut them up and install them in pieces on the smoker.

2. Gaskets. There are gasket products on the market (we carry some at the store) that will allow you to seal up gaps and such on your grill and/or smoker. These can by cut to size and run around the edge of your smoker lid/door. Some are self adhesive and some use the high temp adhesive.

3. Fire bricks. These will retain heat and help keep the temperature more stable.

4. Aluminum foil. Some claim that simply lining the inside of your smoker with heavy duty aluminum foil will help hold heat in the smoker and keep the heat more stable as well.

None of the above mentioned ideas are really that expensive and will save you a ton on fuel over the winter.

Stay warm everyone and happy smoking!