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LIGHTNING RELEASES: WINSTON-SALEM, NC (12/19/2013) — Approximately 60 percent of grill owners report using their grills year-round.* Here are a few tips to help overcome the challenges of grilling in the winter from Blue Rhino, the company known for its industry-leading propane brand (www.BlueRhino.com), its Mr. Bar-B-Q® line of innovative, premier barbecue accessories and outdoor lifestyle tools (www.MrBarBQ.com), and other outdoor living products such as grills and fire pits.

Before You Grill

  • Gas: Use a grill with a high BTU rating for maximum heat output. Make sure you have enough propane BEFORE you start grilling, since you can’t cook without it. You can even sign up for propane email reminders at BlueRhino.com.
  • Dress: Wear a warm jacket, but be careful of any hanging fabric that could catch fire. A cover-up with an elastic band around the wrist or a button closure is a perfect choice. Also, select warm gloves that allow you to move your fingers, such as fingerless gloves, or ones that have fingertips that can be folded back.
  • Grill placement: Place your grill in a location that’s sheltered from cold winds, but is approximately 10 feet from any combustible surfaces. Don’t place it against siding or near other materials susceptible to heat damage or catching fire.
  • Light: During the winter when the sun sets before grilling time, use a Magnetic Barbecue Light featuring three powerful LED bulbs so you don’t have to bend close to see what’s going on.
  • Oil: Coat grids with cooking oil before lighting to help keep food from sticking.
  • Start: Propane grills can be harder to light in the cold. To make it easier, do NOT turn the handwheel on the propane tank all the way on. Instead, try turning it just a single turn before lighting.
  • Season: Preheat the grill to about 300°F and liberally apply vegetable oil with brush or spray bottle. Close the grill and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes.

While You Grill

  • Lid placement: Depending on the type of food you are cooking, leave the lid down in the winter to help the grill retain as much heat as possible.
  • Rubs: For a mild flavor, add a rub immediately before cooking. For a more intense taste, rub meats a day or so in advance.
  • Mark food: Sear food over high heat for 90 seconds and then rotate it clockwise 45 degrees and sear again to create a crosshatch design.
  • Grill tools: To avoid losing natural juices, use long-handled tongs or spatulas instead of forks.
  • Don’t mess with it: Let the grill do the work. Resist the urge and turn foods over as little as possible.
  • Direct cooking: To sear or cook from the outside-in, put steaks, burgers and veggies directly over lit burners.
  • Wood chips: Enhance flavors by using wood chips in smoker boxes or aluminum foil pouches. Always follow the wood manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Flare-ups: To reduce flare-ups, use lean cuts of meat, or trim fat. Avoid cooking at very high temperatures. If a flare up does occur, put the grill lid down, or turn all burners OFF and move food to another part of the grill. After the flames subside, re-light the grill. DO NOT spray water on flare-ups.
  • Foil: Place delicate foods in aluminum foil pouches. Indirect cook, or place the pouch on the warming rack. Never cover entire cooking area with aluminum foil.
  • Warming rack: Use it to keep cooked food warm, toast breads or cook delicate foods in aluminum foil pouches.
  • Side burner: Use it like your kitchen stove for boiling, warming, sautéing or frying.

After You Grill

  • Let it rest: After cooking, let grilled food stand for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute. This will help ensure a more consistent and juicy taste.
  • Clean: While the grill is still hot, clean cooking grids and racks with quality grill brushes, grill cleaners, and stainless steel cleaners. Wear protective gloves and gently remove build-up.
  • Protect: After every use, allow grill to cool. Then, lightly coat cooking grids with cooking oil, empty grease pan, wipe outside surfaces with a suitable cleaner, and protect surfaces with a quality cover that fits your grill. You can even find a cover that shows support for your favorite college team!

Visit www.BlueRhino.com and www.MrBarBQ.com for more grilling tips and exclusive recipes.

About Blue Rhino

In 1994, Blue Rhino – named for the color of a propane flame and the endangered animal – launched America’s first branded propane tank exchange service. Today, Blue Rhino is more than propane, with a full line of products at the heart of outdoor living. This includes grills, heaters, fire pits, fireplace accessories, mosquito traps, charcoal, and more sold under brands such as Mr. Bar-B-Q®, Endless Summer®, UniFlame®, and SkeeterVac®. Blue Rhino’s leading propane exchange brand is available at more than 45,000 retail stores in 50 states and Puerto Rico and is based in Winston-Salem, N.C. Blue Rhino is a division of Ferrellgas, L.P. For more information, visit www.BlueRhino.com.

About Mr. Bar-B-Q

Mr. Bar-B-Q®, a Blue Rhino brand, is the world’s expert in designing innovative, premier barbecue accessories and outdoor lifestyle tools. There are more than 400 Mr. Bar-B-Q products, including tools and tool sets, brushes, baskets, toppers, accessories and grill covers. Unlike other products, Mr. Bar-B-Q products can be used for charcoal, gas or electric grills. Over 120 products are patented. Most Mr. Bar-B-Q products range in price from $9.99-$19.99. For more information, visit www.MrBarBQ.com.

Note to editors: To receive Mr. Bar-B-Q or Blue Rhino product samples or images, please contact Cynthia Greenwood at 847-404-8404 or Cynthia@newsmark.com.

*2013 Barbecue Consumer Research Report from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association