Firing up your outdoor grill is a great idea to bring the family together for a nice and scrumptious meal! The grill is truly a one-of-a-kind invention to cook the best foods, from mouth-watering sausages to char-grilled beef patties and juicy steaks. However, just like cooking indoors, there are some precautions you need to take and some rules you need to follow when firing up your outdoor grill.
Let’s take a look at a few things you need to avoid doing when grilling outdoors.
Don’t Leave Your Grill Unattended
Leaving a grill unattended for a few minutes might mean a few burnt hamburgers in some cases, while some cases can be severe. Open flames are a serious fire hazard, which is why walking away from a lighted grill is potentially dangerous. You can end up starting a big fire by leaving your grill unattended, or you can also cause any children running around to burn themselves. Therefore, once you fire up your grill, make sure you stick around and see all the cooking through before closing it.
Also, the wise thing is to ensure that kids and pets stay far away from the grill. You can ask the older kids or those free to watch the kids and pets while you’re grilling. Moreover, remember to keep a fire extinguisher near you just in case a fire breaks out.
It isn’t a good idea to use metal-bristle brushes to clean up the grates of your grill. The bristle of this brush may break off quite easily and often get lodged in your food. You don’t want to find pieces of metal lodged into your hamburger, do you? It would be best to either choose a dish scrubber, damp rags, or aluminum foil to wipe and clean up your grill before firing it up.
Always Stock Up on Fuel
This point is fairly obvious: you don’t want to run out of fuel mid-cooking. This is why you need to ensure that you enough propane and charcoal to finish your cooking. It is always best to keep an extra supply of propane and charcoal around (but far from the grill when cooking), just in case you need it.
Don’t Turn On the Gas While the Grill Is Closed
This is something that you might do without even giving it a second thought. Never turn on the gas without opening the lid of your grill first! As you’re fiddling with the lighter, the propane begins to spread inside, filling up your grill. So, by the time you actually light your grill, you have already created a situation where your grill will turn into a serious fire hazard! Therefore, you must start the grilling process mindfully: always open the grill’s lid to allow the propane to spread out before lighting it.
Don’t Overload Your Grill
Grills have a considerable amount of space, and for a good reason! Often, homeowners tend to pile up too much food on the grill in a single go to save time without realizing that it can be quite risky. Piling on too many greasy pieces of meat on the grill can cause massive flare-ups and grease fire. To avoid this from happening, you should focus on cooking smaller portions of meat. This will ensure that the meat cooks well while reducing the chances of a fire breaking out.
Don’t Grill Near Outdoor Structures
Your backyard or garden may be in the open air, but there are probably a few structures built here and there. When firing up a grill, the best option is to do it right in the middle of the garden, away from all structures. It is highly recommended that you place the grill at least 10 feet away from your porch, garage, and out from under any leaning tree branches and hanging eaves. The farther your grill is from structures, the lower the chances of a fire breakout.
Avoid Food Contamination and Bacteria
It would help if you tried to avoid food contamination both on and off the grill. You can do this by following certain safe handling procedures, such as washing your hands before grilling and keeping the food in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill. Moreover, you should also avoid preparing vegetables and raw meats on the same surface. Since a grill is quite big, make sure to assign different parts of the grill for vegetables, meat, and buns.
Skip the Sloppy Look
If you’re going to be grilling, you need to be very mindful of what you wear and how you dress. Certain clothing materials can catch fire in the blink of an eye, making them quite dangerous to wear during grilling. You should also avoid wearing scarves, loose clothing, and any dangling jewelry during grilling, as these objects can potentially catch fire. Moreover, don’t forget to put your long hair up in a bun or tuck it under a hat to avoid your hair from getting damaged or burnt.
Don’t Forget to Check for Gas Leaks
It is vital to check your grill for any gas leaks from time to time. You can do this by creating a solution with water and dish soap. Apply this mixture to the line that connects from the gas tank to the grill. If any bubbles start to appear when you turn on the gas, it means that there is a gas leak, and you will have to get your grill serviced immediately.
Don’t Forget to Turn Off Your Grill
This might seem like common sense. However, it isn’t uncommon for grill-owners to forget to put out their grill in a rush to get to the dinner table. It can even be more complicated when you’re grilling over charcoal since you can flip a switch to turn it off. Once you’re done cooking and are moving on to the dinner table, double-check to see if you’ve turned off the grill and put out the coals.
There isn’t a more fun way than grilling to bring the family together! However, you want to ensure that this memorable event doesn’t turn into a potentially dangerous situation for your loved ones.