Don't Stop Grilling: Pat LaFrieda, Jr. Says There's Great Barbecue Beyond Labor Day

By: Sarah De Heer

Pieces of beef and pork ribs with sauce, spices and a knife placed on a wooden cutting board

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Food Network

Tara Donne, Food Network

We firmly believe that grilling season doesn't have an expiration date, yet so many of us cover our barbecues and smokers once a chill hits the air. We're not alone in feeling this way. The "Magician of Meat," Pat LaFrieda, Jr., also agrees with us. We caught up with him and asked him about grilling beyond Labor Day and if there are any differences you need to be aware of.

Just like wearing white after Labor Day is a no-no, are there similar rules with barbecue?

If you pack up your grill for the winter after Labor Day, you are no longer a member of the LaFrieda family. Grill all winter — the colder it is, the more you will appreciate the food coming off the grill.

Is it true that food takes longer to barbecue in cooler weather? Why?

It's not completely true. If you heat up the grill a few minutes earlier than usual you'll be good to go.

What's your best tip for the home cook on grilling indoors?

Unless you have great ventilation, don't do it — you can continue to grill outside into the colder months.

What are some safety tips for grilling outdoors in fall/winter?

Using a light that can attach to the grill is a must, as it gets darker a lot quicker in the fall and winter months. This tip usually gets overlooked, but having a pair of warm boots for the winter months is also a must for me.

Make it the year of barbecue for your family with these recipes.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Barbecue Without a Grill — Weekend Cookout

Check out Food Network's Weekend Cookout menu, featuring authentic barbecue recipes that can be made without an outdoor grill.

Barbecue Essentials — Weekend Cookout

Let the Neelys' Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Food Network Magazine shine in your weekend cookout spread, and serve them with down-home side dishes.

Liquid Gold: Regional BBQ Sauces

Upgrade your barbecue sauce with help from six legendary pit masters in South Carolina, Memphis, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas City and Kentucky.

Bobby Flay's 10 Commandments of Grilling

Get Food Network's Bobby Flay's ultimate guide to grilling, including how to make juicy burgers and smoky barbecue sauce.

Bobby's Going Back to Basics on All-New Barbecue Series

Get the first look at Food Network's Bobby Flay's all-new series, Back to Basics on All-New Barbecue Series, premiering on Sunday, June 22 at 11a|10c.

Chefs' Top BBQ Dishes to Make Before Summer's End — Summer Soiree

Check Food Network chefs' smoky, top-rated barbecue recipes off your to-do list before summer's end.

How to Upgrade Store-Bought Barbecue Sauce

Learn how to transform everyday barbecue sauce so that it has the flavors you're craving.

Recipe of the Day: Pat's Beer Can Grilled Chicken

Even if you've already tried Beer Can chicken, now you can try it with Pat Neely's famous dry rub. Get the recipe.

Step-by-Step Pulled Pork — Weekend Cookout

Make traditional barbecue pulled pork sandwiches at home using Pat and Gina Neely's step-by-step photos and top-rated recipe from Food Network Magazine.