Stay Warm Inside with These Winter Grilling Ideas

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Last Updated on June 2, 2021
Doug Stephen

A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.  

Doug is a hardcore barbeque enthusiast and connoisseur. While he spends most of his time on editing and research,
he sometimes moonlights as a product tester for particularly interesting things he comes across.

Grilling in the wintertime might seem impossible, but with the right tools, you can enjoy warm, filling food all year-round.

When trying out these grilling ideas, use a grill cover to keep you from having to brush off all the snow before using your grill. Remember to allow extra time for your grill to warm up to temperature in the winter. To speed up your cooking time and add a delicious crust to your food, keep the grill closed when using it.

These hearty winter grilling ideas are the perfect recipes for a chilly afternoon around the fire pit

winter grilling ideas

Grilled Chili

One of the top winter grilling ideas is to take a winter staple like chili and cook it on the grill for an added smoky flavor your friends and family will love.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped medium yellow onion
  • 1½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds 80/20 lean ground beef (ground turkey, venison, or bison are great substitutes)
  • ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

STEP 1 - Preheat your grill to medium-high, about 400-450°F. Place a cast iron Dutch oven on unoiled grates, oil, and heat the cast iron until it is shimmering. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Brown the ground beef, then stir in salt, cumin, chili powder, cocoa, allspice, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir constantly and cook for 1 minute, then add the vinegar, water, and tomato sauce and bring the mixture to a simmer.

STEP 2 - Adjust your grill to a lower temperature between 250°F and 300°F to allow the sauce to thicken. Keep your grill covered for about an hour to create a smoky flavor.

STEP 3 - When the chili reaches your desired thickness, remove it from the grill and serve while it’s hot. Add your favorite toppings like cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, or avocado.

Read also: Grilled oyster after you soak under the sun.

Cheddar and Jalapeno Cornbread

This flavorful twist on regular cornbread goes well with chili. Combining these two winter grilling ideas will keep you feeling warm and cozy on the coldest of winter days.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper
  • ½ cup bacon

STEP 1 - Preheat the grill to 350°F and place your greased cast iron skillet inside the closed grill to preheat the pan for 20 minutes. This ensures the bread cooks evenly.

STEP 2 - Chop and saute the jalapeno until it softens, and fry the bacon until it is a golden brown, discarding the grease.

STEP 3 - In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, cornmeal, and baking powder. Make a well in the center of this dry mix. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, honey, vanilla, and butter. Pour the wet mixture into the well along with the bacon and jalapenos and mix it well until the batter is smooth. Fold cheddar cheese into the batter until it is evenly distributed.

STEP 4 - Pour the batter into the preheated cast iron skillet and cook for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, insert a toothpick. If the bread is ready, the toothpick will come out clean. Glaze the top with a light layer of melted butter, then cook for another 3-5 minutes to add a nice golden-brown crust.

STEP 5 - Allow the cornbread to cool for 15 minutes before cutting then serving.


Hot Chocolate

Cooking hot chocolate on the grill will add a smoky flavor to this already delicious recipe.

Ingredients for hot chocolate:

  • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 6 cups 18% table cream
  • ½ cup real maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla

Topping options:

  • Whipped cream
  • Marshmallows
  • Cinnamon

STEP 1 - Combine all the hot chocolate ingredients and mix well. Pour this mixture into a grill rib roaster or a cast iron pot. Grill over medium heat until boiling, then reduce heat to a low temperature and cover for 10 minutes.

STEP 2 - Serve hot and top with whipped cream, marshmallows, and a dash of cinnamon.

baking using mixer

Holiday Fruitcake

Add a flare to your favorite fruitcake recipe and give it a different flavor. Your holiday party will love this easy classic fruitcake with a twist. Even vegan will love this!

Topping ingredients:

  • 2 Gala apples
  • 2 Bosc pears
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or tart cherries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½  vanilla bean split and scraped
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Fruitcake ingredients:

  • 6 thick slices already made fruitcake
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Whipped cream for serving

STEP 1 - Peel and cut the apples and pears into 1” cubes. Combine all the topping ingredients in a cast iron skillet and bring to a simmer over the grill. Stir occasionally and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes until the fruit is tender. Move to the side to keep warm.

STEP 2 - In a small grill-safe saucepan, melt the butter and brandy together. Brush both sides of the fruitcake with a generous amount of this liquid mixture. Place the fruitcake slices on the greased grill grates and flip to toast both sides.

STEP 3 - Put the fruitcake on plates, then add the topping and a dollop of whipped cream. Then serve to your guests and enjoy this flavorful dessert.


Beef Wellington

Switch things up and make grilled beef wellington for your family holiday get-together this year. This will become a new staple for special occasions in your home and during trips.


  • 4-5 lbs. trimmed beef tenderloin
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 8 slices of deli ham
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Chophouse steak seasoning
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lb. washed, destemmed, and finely minced mushrooms
  • 1 sheet puff pastry

STEP 1 - Set the temperature of your grill to 450°F to sear the beef tenderloin on both sides.

STEP 2 - Cook the mushrooms and garlic in a large skillet until the mushrooms completely dry. Allow this to cool completely and set aside.

STEP 3 - Brush the beef tenderloin all over with a generous amount of the Dijon mustard, then season with the Chophouse steak seasoning.

STEP 4 - Lay plastic wrap out and lay the ham slices on the wrap, so they overlay. Spoon and spread the mushroom mixture over the ham slices. Place the beef tenderloin in the center and roll everything together and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

STEP 5 - After removing it from the fridge, wrap the ham, mushroom, and tenderloin completely with the puff pastry. Then brush with the beaten egg and place it on a grill-safe baking sheet.

STEP 6 - Grill for 30-40 minutes with the lid closed until the internal temperature reaches 133°F and the puff pastry turns golden brown.

STEP 7 - Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Doug Stephen

Doug Stephen

Mix Up Your Holiday Meals with Winter Grilling

Grilling can be fun in every season, during summer, spring, fall weather and even in the cold winter. Add an interesting smoky flair to your holiday favorites (within your budget) by grilling them outside. Your guests and family will love the unique twist to old classics.

For more grilling recipes and ideas during NFL season and holiday like Independence Day and Labor day celebration.