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Consumer Reports offers tips for cold weather grilling

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to pack your grill away. And with the Super Bowl coming up, now is a good time to brush up on your cold weather grilling game. Consumer Reports experts share tips to make your winter grilling great.

The first step is to inspect your grill. In addition to a fuel check, you want to inspect the burners, jets and gas lines for any blockages that can restrict gas flow.

And because it’s cold outside, easy access to the grill is key. But don’t place it too close to your house. Keep it at least 10 feet away.

CONSUMER REPORTS: Essential tips for cold weather grilling

Next, suit up safely. You want to make sure that you’re bundled up, but avoid any loose clothing like scarves because they can get caught in the flames. And choose a pair of warm gloves that allow full hand movements, so you can easily manipulate your grilling tools.

Another thing to keep in mind when you’re grilling in cold weather is that everything is going to take longer, which means that you’ll need extra time to preheat your grill and cook your food.

For a quicker cleanup, brush off the racks while the grill is still hot, especially if it will be sitting idle for the rest of the winter.

Finally, CR says that having a meat thermometer on hand to check your food temperatures is always a good idea no matter the weather.

If you’re ready to buy a new grill, consider the CR recommended Even Embers GAS8560AS, for $395. It earns an Excellent rating for preheat performance, so it’ll get fired up faster -- and that’s a plus for winter grilling.

CR says it’s important to grill safely, no matter the season. If you find that the knobs or lid are frozen shut, move your grill to a warmer place ONLY to defrost. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never grill in an enclosed space or under an alcove. And to be safe, always have a fire extinguisher on hand whenever you grill.