Grilling Safety Tips

Jason Webster
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Only use propane and charcoal grills outdoors

In well-ventilated areas.

We’ve all been told how bad it is for our health to breathe in the toxic fumes from our grills. Using your grill inside your home or apartment is not only a fire hazard and can cause serious burns to you and your guests, but it’s also bad for your lungs.

Propane and charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide (a colorless, odorless toxic gas) which has the potential to waste oxygen from your lungs, thereby, making it harder to breathe. Other grilling safety tips are related to the food you’re cooking.

Always make sure you keep a safe distance from the grill while cooking, especially if you’re grilling something that’s dripping with hot oil such as chicken legs.

You can also avoid charring or burning your grilling food if you cook in batches. That way, you’ll always have some food to take off the grill until you’ve cooked all the meat needed.

Another safety tip is to never mix old and fresh cold cuts, especially if you’re cooking in batches. Rather, make sure you have all the meats in the same package and discard them if you’re not going to use them the same day.

Give your grill plenty of space

When you set up to grill, leave plenty of space between the grill and everything else.

You definitely don’t want the grill coals to set fire in your neighbor’s yard or to harm your home.

Fire department officials recommend setting your grill at least 10 ft away from your home. If you have sheds or other structures near the grill, keep them at least 5 ft away.

When it’s time to clean up, make sure you have an ample amount of water nearby to put out the coals and hot charcoals.

Even if you have a gas grill, you should have a water-filled spray bottle in case of an accidental flame up.

Keep your grill stable

Rule number 1 when using the grill … make sure it’s set up on a stable surface. Just because a gas grill can move on wheels from the house to the back yard, don’t think that you can move it while the grill is hot. It’s not only a fire hazard; it can be downright dangerous. It’s hot and heavy, and you don’t want it to fall on your foot or on the kids. You’ll also need to avoid tipping over or accidentally kicking it over, which can happen if you push it with your foot or roll it without looking.

Keep children and pets at a safe distance

When grilling, it is always best to have a large, non-cluttered area that’s clear of children and pets. Keep all important items like your phone, your wallet, keys, and your drink at the ready. If you have a pet that’s is interested in food and people food, it’s smart to move him to a secure location while you’re cooking.

In addition, don’t carry a load of plates, appetizers, or food while you are working over your grill. These are all distraction that can lead to mistakes and burns.

Keep your grill clean

Cooking with charcoal can be a dangerous business, and accumulated ash and grease often cause flare-ups.

To avoid these flare-ups, keep your grill clean all the time. Start with a thorough cleaning after every use. After that, try and keep the hot coals and ashes cool as much as possible.

Don’t just dump the ashes into a garbage can. Doing so will expose the can to extreme heat, which could cause the can to explode. Instead, use a metal container and scrape the ashes into the can. Once the ashes have cooled, dispose off them outdoors in an area that does not have overhanging branches or leaves.

Ensure you have a fireproof container to dispose off the ashes. You can buy them from most hardware stores at a reasonable cost.

Don’t leave a grill unattended

It is a common sense to know never to leave your grill unattended, especially when you have kids around.

When you leave your barbecue, make sure you keep a constant watch on it. An unattended grill means an open invitation to flying objects, moths or other unwanted visitors.

Besides, hot foods, which can burn you, and a grill lid, which can lead to injury, could pose a danger to children if they’re not securely placed. So don’t forget to shut the grill lid and take the food off the grill before leaving.

Start a gas grill with the lid open

When lighting a gas grill, always begin with the lid open (the exception is a charcoal grill, which will need to be lit without the lid).

Why? If there is an issue with your gas line, you can clear it quickly. If you begin a fire beneath your grill with your lid closed and something is wrong, you will have a lot more to worry about than just a gas leak!

Light charcoal in a charcoal chimney

One of the best ways to avoid using lighter fluid or starter fluid on your charcoal is to use a charcoal chimney. A chimney is an easy tool to use and great for beginner grillers and experienced grillers alike. A chimney produces very hot, clean burning coals and gives a great result.

To begin, you want to find the right size chimney so that you can just fill the chimney with charcoal. The idea is to fill the chimney up to at least halfway. Also, you want to find a size that will allow the coals to burn at a moderate rate, which is not too fast or too slow. If the chimney is too small, this will cause the coals to burn so hot you may have a hard time maintaining the proper temperature.

But if the chimney is too large, the coals will burn too slowly and can be hard to maintain the proper temperature. Look for a middle ground where the coals will burn at a moderate heat, and they will fit nicely in the grill.

Then, you want to light the charcoal in the chimney. The traditional way is to use a chimney starter. This way will allow you to light the chimney without using lighter fluid or starter fluid. If you use lighter fluid, this can give you a chemical taste in your food. A chimney starter is easy to use and will make lighting your charcoal easy.

Never apply lighter fluid to hot coals

Or fire stones!

The lighter fluid can explode when exposed to heat. This is one reason why you should never apply lighter fluid to hot coals or fire stones.

The lighter fluid can explode when exposed to heat. The resulting explosion of the lighter fluid can be a potentially dangerous situation.

Before lighting your grill, make sure the coals are not too hot and there is no lighter fluid present.

Even a little amount of lighter fluid can create a dangerous explosion.

Shut down your grill properly

While cooking on the grill, let’s say you are done and the grill is still hot. You want to close the grill and immediately leave, right? That’s not a good idea.

Make sure the grates and burners are cool before you close the lid. Failing to do so may result in having the grates or the burner falling on you and even starting a fire! Wait until the burners and flames have completely shut off before you close the lid.

Before you leave home, make sure you also:

Turn the knob or lock the control valve to the “OFF” position and apply the lid if you’re using a Weber Grill.

Shut the gas supply off when not in use.

When connecting a BBQ gas hose to your regulator, choose the largest connection possible for a safe and stable connection.

For a Weber Grill, make sure you have the lid or handle in place before igniting the gas.

Never place items on top of your grill or trash near the grill when it’s hot. It can fall and start a fire.

Have a plan to put out a fire

Be sure you have a working fire extinguisher or a bucket of water within reach as you barbecue.

Wear clothing that covers you completely and protect your ears, glasses and mouth.

Always maintain a safe distance from cooking grills and/or open flames.

Use charcoal grills in well-ventilated areas away from any overhanging branches.

Never leave an unsupervised flame.

Remember to always wear heavy-duty oven mitts and protective gear while cooking over an open flame. Hot cooking materials will burn your hands!

Watch out for flare-ups

Even with proper grilling techniques Flare-ups are possible. Flames, sparks, and thick smoke are the telltale signs of a flare-up, and they can happen when you least expect it.

Get to know your grill and pay attention to its temperature to avoid flare-ups.

When a flare-up happens, it’s wise to step on the gas (no pun intended!) and move your food away from the flare-up to keep it from burning. Then, take the grill grate and move the food around quickly over the hottest area.

Flare-ups are caused by grease and fat (and sometimes food) particles on the grill grate and in the grill.

The grease and fat becomes hot enough to ignite when cooked, causing a flare-up.

It’s easy to prevent flare-ups and prevent fire by: Cleaning the grill grate

Learn some basic food safety

Food safety is important, especially when it comes to barbecuing. Follow these tips to enjoy your fireside feast without coming down with salmonella poisoning.

Keep the grill clean. Before cooking, scrape the grates and let it heat up before grilling. If you have a charcoal grill, spread a thin layer of coals.

Don’t cross-contaminate. Before handling raw meat, wash your hands, knife, cutting boards and tools with warm soapy water or use a cleanser containing bleach. Cover the surface of the meat with marinade or a brine, which will kill germs.

Keep meat cold. If your meat was frozen when it arrived, you need to keep it frozen until it’s time to cook. Cook meats quickly over high heat to minimize exposure to bacteria. Cook the meat to the right temperature using a meat thermometer.

Keep it clean. Dusty coolers and worn food-handling towels can harbor germs from raw meat. Be sure to keep the grill and outdoor kitchen tidy.

Hold the cross-contamination. Don’t use the same utensils and plates for cooked meat and raw foods.

Wrapping it up

Grilling is a fun and easy way to make amazing food. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a successful cooking experience.

The number one thing to keep in mind is never to grill without a recipe. Yes, I know, grilling is fun. But it’s best to remain focused on your end goal, which is to make mouth-watering food that you or your friends and family will remember for a long time to come.

In this book, we have broken down grilling recipes into two main building blocks: marinades and rubs. We show you how to make marinades and rubs that will bring out the best in your meats and keep them moist.

Marinades and rubs are the heart of your grilling recipes and taking the time to focus on them and understand what specifically each ingredient will contribute to your dish will make for some amazing and tasty meals.

The second thing to remember is to keep your grill clean. Just like your kitchen, your grill can be a breeding ground for bacteria and so it’s very important to keep it clean.

8 Best Turkey Rubs Recipes: Easy and Delicious

I love turkey so much that I’d even make one out of cardboard if my oven wasn’t working. I would roast it and watch it sizzle away in my non-functional oven. That’s how much I love it.

In my opinion, there is nothing like a Classic Herb Rubbed Turkey. It’s perfect and it’s simply perfect. Of course, I would add my own ingredients and a few more if I had the chance.

Here are a few of the tastiest, easy, and quick to make rubs that will make your turkey stand out from the rest.