Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Not even a Minnesota winter stops this grillmaster March 2, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Everything’s in place. The meat is on the Weber grill and sticks have been cleared from the portable fire pit for extra coals.


IN THE DEEP OF WINTER—from double digit below zero temps to snowstorms—you’ll find Randy grilling. Only warm season lightning and downpours stop him from heaping charcoal into the Weber grill, striking a flame and cooking once the coals have greyed.


Beer and grilling go hand-in-hand. The beer of choice sits on the back steps.


I admire his tenacity and devotion to authentic grilling. He’s never considered converting to a gas grill. And he’s always ready to grill on weekends, no matter the season.


Preparing to add more coals as snow falls.


A foil sheet protects the extra coals from the snow.



On a recent Saturday, with a major winter storm predicted, Randy decided to grill pork ribs, a task which takes hours of close attention and dashing outdoors to add more coals and chunks of wood and whatever else he does to create flavorful smokey meats. He even mixes his own seasoning.


Randy adds hot coals to the grill.


I grabbed my camera and photographed him at work, just to show that he doesn’t let a Minnesota winter stop him from grilling. Many years ago he grilled a turkey for a family Christmas gathering when the temp was something like minus 20 degrees.


Heat rises from the plated ribs, obscuring my camera lens.


That’s dedicated. And maybe even a little over-the-top devoted. But, hey, who am I to suggest he take a break from grilling during the winter?


TELL ME: Do you grill? If yes, with charcoal or gas? And do (would) you grill year-round if you live (d) in Minnesota?

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling