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Grill in the chill

Steamboat Homefinder
The Le BOL Grill adds a twist to traditional barbecues. (Photo courtesy of Industrial Chimney Company)

Outdoor grilling doesn’t have to be only a warm-weather activity. For mountain residents, grilling can comfortably continue deep into fall and winter with a little preparation. 

Jeff Harper, owner of Hot Stuff Hearth & Home in Steamboat Springs, said barbecuing under a covered but open-air patio minimizes exposure to the elements and adding an outdoor heater can add an extra layer of comfort to extend your grilling season. 

“If I want some ribs, I’m going to make it happen,” Harper said of grilling when temperatures get chilly.  

Other cold-weather barbecuing tips including allowing extra time for your grill to heat up and planning to use more fuel in colder weather. Cooking in the cold can require 1.5 times the fuel needed in summer, so keeping an extra propane tank on hand will save an emergency trip to refuel. 

Hunter said grills at Hot Stuff Hearth & Home start at $700. “The sky’s the limit on grills. Some of them are $10,000-plus.” 

One of those pricier models is the Le BOL, a stick-style grill in which the wood burns inside a “wreath” and meat, fish and veggies can be cooked on a grill above or on a steel plate that encircles the outside of the grill. Food scraps can be brushed into the fire for easy cleaning. 

For more adventurous and patient cooks, Harper said pit and spit smokers start at about $1,700 with options that can take the price above $5,000. “With pellet smokers, you really have to want to do that,” Harper said. “It’s time intensive — three hours to all day depending upon what you’re cooking.” 

And Hunter’s go-to barbecue dish?: Dry-rub spare or baby back ribs — whatever is on sale — cooked with apple or hickory wood.


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