A meal prepared on a grill has more than just great flavor. Cooking outdoors is also a fun way to spend time with family and friends. Open flames come with some hazards, so review these four simple grilling safety tips.
Grilling Safety Tips for Fuel Handling
Most grills use either gas or charcoal for fuel. For gas grills, make sure all connections are tight and in good condition. Store your charcoal or wood or extra fuel in a dry place away from the grill. Use lighter fluid to start the charcoal, but don’t spray it on the coals once they are lit. If your charcoal isn’t getting off to a good start, try using a charcoal chimney to build up the heat.
Follow Proper Lighting Procedures
An important grilling safety tip is to be careful with lighter fluid. When you add a lot of lighter fluid to the charcoal and then apply a flame, it can result in a flare-up and cause burns. Consider using ready-to-light charcoal for a faster and more efficient start.
For gas grills, follow procedures carefully. When a burner fails to light, it continues to discharge gas, which can build up and cause a dangerous explosion when ignited. If burners don’t light, turn them off and wait for 10 minutes to let the gas dissipate before trying again.
Grilling Safety Tips for Food Safety
Fire isn’t the only hazard associated with grilling. Improperly cooked food makes thousands of people sick each year when people are careless with food safety. Make sure that the utensils that touch raw meats never touch cooked items. Use a meat thermometer to determine when meat is cooked through.
Wash your hands after handling any raw meats and after touching any pans, utensils, or surfaces where raw meat has been. Keep finished foods away from raw foods. Following this grilling safety tip will protect your friends and family from food poisoning.
Protect Your Property
Fire doesn’t just pose a danger to people, it’s also potentially destructive to your home, your landscape, and nearby wooded areas. If you grill with charcoal, let the ashes cool off completely before dumping them out. Dispose of them properly in a metal bin, away from any kind of flammable vegetation or debris.
Make sure kids and pets stay away from any grill as it cools down after use. Finally, keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your home, and clear from awnings and overhanging tree branches.
Practicing grill safety ensures everyone will stay safe and have a good time outdoors.