For many people who love to grill, the grill light is a favorite accessory, especially in climates like Texas and California where it is possible to grill year-round. Grilling in the dark can be a pain without a light. You might live in another climate that still has cold snaps, but still want to grill at night. In the winter it gets dark, earlier, no matter where you are in the continental United States. Of course, in countries like Iceland there are longer periods of dark. But if you want to grill, you want to grill. How can you overcome this barrier to grilling? Put on a coat, first of all. Grab some coffee or hot chocolate, and get outside to get the grill going. If you’re able to do this before dark, that’s great. But if it’s already dark where you live, you’re going to need a stable, bright source of light. So, how do you accomplish this?
Many people think that they can grill with a flashlight in hand. While this may seem like a good idea, it’s only in theory. If you’re trying to check the food, you’re going to need both of your hands.
Technically, it’s possible to use a flashlight to check your food or light a grill, but you’ll need a second person to do it, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to check it off and on. It’s really not possible to balance a flashlight in your hand if you’re lifting a grill lid and there’s a real balancing act involved. One false step, and you could very well send that flashlight tumbling onto the grill itself. This is an amateur option, and a dangerous one, too. Don’t try grilling in the dark with your flashlight. It’s nearly impossible, and it could very well end up quite hazardous for you.
It may sound silly to some, but there have been many people who tried to grill by lamplight. Usually it doesn’t work very well. Even if your grill has shelves on the sides, a lamplight is not made of the right material to handle any heat nearby it.
A shop lamp is a bad idea, too. Where will you clip it? Anywhere close to the source of the fuel is a dangerous idea. The plastic parts of the lamp simply can’t handle the heat a grill throws off. When plastic melts, there’s a serious fire hazard, and even a hazard of the light bulb exploding.
Using an external light like this also requires an extension cord, which extends the fire hazards and also causes worry in case of inclement weather. Don’t use a lamplight not built for these temperatures. At best, you’ll face a fire hazard. At worst, you could face exploding parts, which is definitely not going to help you with your grilling.
What if you’re grilling on a driveway or in your backyard, and you have a bright enough light to see? This is the only time I would recommend anything other than a grill light. You should be able to see if you have a bright flood light, but if you have a dim, 40-watt bulb, you simply won’t be able to see what you’re doing. If you plan on grilling a lot in the evenings, consider having a good flood light installed in the backyard or aimed at your driveway. Again, the word “strong” is what’s important here. You need to be able to see temperature dials, the food you’re cooking, and other parts of the grill.
Grill Lights Work for a Reason
Besides these hazards of grilling, a grill light is an obvious choice because it’s built to be compatible. Other lights aren’t bright enough in most cases, and the grill light is built to minimize risks of fire and explosions. Char-Broil, Weber and many other brands sell specific lights for night time grilling, and they’re relatively pocket-friendly, especially when faced with dangerous alternatives. Not sure which grill light is for you? Take a look at the second article in our grill lights section. You have a lot of great choices here.
Don’t Skimp on the Light
Don’t grill in the dark! You absolutely must be able to see what you are doing in order to cook food thoroughly, flip food, and adjust temperature controls. A grill light is a much-loved accessory for this reason. Safety should always be a priority when you’re grilling, and a grill light will help keep you and your family safe as you’re cooking up your masterpieces.
Grilling is a great hobby that is very rewarding, every single time you cook! It also requires a lot of learning, so be patient and take precautions when you’re grilling in inclement weather, darkness, or other trying circumstances such as wind. You’ll soon learn what weather is best for grilling, and once you’ve got the right equipment, you’ll be able to assess what tools are needed every time you’re grilling.
Enjoy yourself, practice fire safety, and always make sure you can see what you’re doing when you’re working out on the grill. And don’t forget to share your food with the people you love!