Most cottagers know the drill for winter grilling. Is the barbecue out of the wind but away from eaves and combustibles? Check. Extra charcoal or propane? Check. Grill preheated for 20 minutes? Check. Headlamp? Gloves? Hat? Check.
But what about the food that gets stone cold on the way from the deck to the kitchen? A big roast will keep its heat, but smaller cuts, the kind that lend themselves to quick winter cooks, suffer in cold weather. Take a page from restaurant service, where hot food is delivered to hot plates for the trip to your table.
Preheat a Dutch oven or a heavy casserole dish in a 200°F oven. When the vittles on the grill are just barely done, skip inside, grab some oven mitts, and transfer the food to the Dutch oven. Then stroll back indoors, and serve hot. If you decide to hold the food in your warming chamber, crack the lid to prevent steaming. One caveat: if your dinner requires a specific internal temperature (seared tuna, medium-rare steak), remember that the hot pot will cause some carry-over cooking. So pull delicate stuff off the grill a few degrees shy of your desired doneness.