Can You Barbecue In the Rain? Helpful Tips

  What You Need to Know About Barbecuing in the Rain Barbecues are a great way to spend time and have some fun with family and friends. There’s nothing like enjoying the great outdoors while …


What You Need to Know About Barbecuing in the Rain

Barbecues are a great way to spend time and have some fun with family and friends. There’s nothing like enjoying the great outdoors while eating some delicious grilled food. That being said, what if you have bad weather on the day of your event? While you may not be able to enjoy the outdoors, will you still be able to use a grill?

Can you barbecue in the rain? While rain can make it a bit more unpleasant to be outside by the grill, you can still barbecue and produce a good meal. To keep the food from getting wet, consider closing the grill cover as the food cooks. If the weather forecast isn’t looking good for your barbecue, be sure to plan ahead and start preparation early so you’ll still be able to enjoy good food.

While grilling in the rain is doable, it can also be troublesome and stressful if you aren’t prepared. In this article, I’ll share some tips and tricks that can make barbecuing in the rain a piece of cake. Keep reading!

Tips for Barbecuing in the Rain

You can still have a good time and still turn out great food even if it’s raining. Here are some tips that can help make barbecuing in the rain easier for you:

Start Preparing Your Charcoal Grill Early

Food prepared on a charcoal grill is some of the best food I’ve ever had. The reason for this is that charcoal grills burn hotter than gas grills; the heat causes the juices from the meat to drip onto the charcoals where it will then vaporize and rise back into the meat. When using a charcoal grill, the food retains more flavor.

Grilling on a charcoal grill out in the rain can create a cloud of smoke which will make it difficult to see or do anything. Here are some tips for grilling in the rain with in charcoal grill:

Start the Fire Earlier Than Usual

Charcoals need to get to a certain temperature to best cook your food. When it rains, the cool rain water can prevent the charcoals from reaching the temperatures you need. Since charcoal gets hotter the longer it burns, it’s a good idea to light your fire earlier to allow the charcoal plenty of time to heat up.

Use More Charcoal

Another way you can cause your charcoal grill to burn hotter and cook your food better is by adding more charcoal. This gives the fire more substance and will put off more heat to fight against the cooling affects of the rain.

Monitor Gas Grills and Make Sure the Flame Doesn’t Go Out

Gas grills are useful because they require little prep time. All you have to do is go out, turn on the propane tank and turn on the burners. While that seems nice when the sun is out and the temperature is nice, it can be a hassle on a windy and rainy day. Wind can cause the flame to go out on your grill, which will keep your food from getting cooked and will allow gas to seep out of the grill. Here are some steps you can take to protect your gas grill during wet and windy days:

Know What to Do if a Gas Grill Flame Goes Out

It’s important to know what to do if a gas grill flame goes out. Just because the wind has blown the flame out doesn’t mean that the gas has stopped running. The grill will still excrete gas, which can be a safety hazard. If you notice that the flame has gone out, turn off all the gas valves and open the cover of the grill to let any gas escape.

Protect Your Grill From the Wind

You can protect your grill and your flame from the wind by angling the grill so that the wind doesn’t affect the flame. You can also try and grill behind a windbreak, like a wall or temporary block.

Did you know that food trucks use propane to power their ovens? To learn more, check out my article How Food Trucks Get Electricity: Ultimate Guide.

Prepare a Safe Shelter for the Cook

Barbecuing in the rain can be especially miserable if you’re the one standing next to the grill cooking the food. While a poncho can protect from light rain, it may not do so well against a downpour or wind.

Best Shelters For Grilling

You can use a shelter to protect your cook and your grill from the rain. Canopy tents and patio umbrellas are two of the cheapest and easiest options for a makeshift grilling shelter. Be sure the shelter is tall enough so the flame of the grill won’t catch the roof on fire. Make sure there is proper airflow and ventilation so the smoke can escape.

Safety Points for Grilling in a Shelter

When dealing with fire and gas, it’s always important to practice safety measures to keep you, your family, and your friends safe. Never bring your grill inside your house to grill food, not even in your garage. Always have an extinguisher need by in the case of a fire emergency. Always keep an eye on your grill to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Have a Way to Protect Food When Transporting to Dining Area

Rain can get your food soaking wet and cause it to lose its heat and flavor. Here are some ways you can keep your food safe from rain when you have to grill:

Wrap Food in Tinfoil

Tinfoil insulates heat and protects from outside elements. You can wrap vegetables in tinfoil to cook them, then leave them in the wrap to transport them to the table. When it comes to meats, once the meat is cooked, place it on a plate and cover it with a layer of tinfoil to protect from the rain and heat it hot and ready for dinner.

Have a Designated Food Transport Team

If you have quite a distance from your grill to the table, have two people act as the food transport team. One member will carry the plates of food while the other shields them with an umbrella. This will take the burden of transporting the food and keeping it dry off of a single person and make for a more effective and efficient system.

Keep the Grill Cover Closed To Keep the Food From Getting Wet

Rain can damage your food and make it lose its flavor. Not one wants to eat soggy food that tastes bland! To protect your food from the rain as it cooks, try and keep the grill cover closed as much as possible. Not only will this protect your food from excessive moisture but it can also make your food taste better. A closed lid will keep the smoke in the grilling area, which will cause the food to become saturated with flavor. It will also keep meat more moist and tender since moisture can’t escape out into the air.

Use Pre-Cooked Meat to Make Your Grilling Go Faster

If you want to avoid being out in the rain as much as possible and you have enough time to prepare, using pre-cooked foods can make your grilling go much faster. Pre-cooked foods won’t have to cook as long, so you won’t have to stay out in the rain. You can purchase pre-cooked foods, or you can pre-cook vegetables and meats yourself by first preparing them inside and cooking them just long enough to cook the inside of the food.


Rain doesn’t have to ruin your day! It is entirely possible to barbecue in the rain and still have a good meal. I hope that the tips above help prepare you for those raining days. Barbecues are a great way to celebrate and have fun with your friends; they can even be a great idea for a staff party! To learn more, check out my article 20 Annual Staff Party Ideas Your Team Will Love.