Picture this: it’s a glowing, sunny afternoon, and your favorite music is playing loud and clear. You’re surrounded by your closest friends and family, and maybe even enjoying a quick dip in the pool. Eventually, you’re called out of the water to join everyone for a meal. You of course indulge in a Zweigle’s hot dog and have an unforgettable summer evening.

Sounds pretty great, eh?

Now snap back to reality. Unfortunately, for those of us in Upstate New York and the surrounding areas, we’re jumping for joy if the temperature stays above a mere 30 °F during this time of the year. But who said that grill-outs have to be reserved exclusively for the warmer months?

Hosting a winter cookout can be a unique way to gather loved ones and relish both your favorite summer foods and memories. Here are a few of our best tips for creating your own:

  1. Get out the Gas Grill

Gas grills require less prep, which makes them ideal for cooking in cold weather. You can also move the grill closer to the house to shorten your trips, but it should still be 10 or more feet away from the home to ensure safety.

  1. Craft a Killer Menu

Setting a menu for your winter grill-out sure isn’t rocket science, but make sure to stock up on all of the traditional summer cookout favorites. This includes items such as fresh fruit, pasta salad, hamburgers, soda, and Zweigle’s hot dogs and sausages.

  1. Have a Fire

Bonfires are a staple at almost any summer party, so consider setting one up for your winter grill-out as well. Since it’s still chilly outside though, you’ll want to provide your guests with plenty of blankets, and warn them to dress appropriately ahead of time.

  1. Decorate

You’ve got the food and the fire all set, but something’s still missing…the decorations! It’s time to pull those summertime paper plates and napkins out of storage to really put the finishing touch on your winter cookout.

  1. Check the Weather

There’s no doubt it’s going to be cold, but you’ll still want to check the weather when you’re planning a date for your party. It’s important that the road conditions are adequate and you’re not trying to start a bonfire in a full-fledged blizzard!

  1. Prepare Early

Remember that your grill and other summertime cookout necessities have likely been out of commission for a few months. Take the time to clean everything and stock up on propane, if needed, long before your guests arrive.

Are you planning a winter cookout? Be sure to tag us in your photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so we can share the delicious festivities too!