Safety tips for grilling – People have been cooking meals over open flames since the discovery of fire. Even today, when there are so many ways to cook a meal, many still insist there’s nothing better than the taste of food cooked on the grill.
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, which tracks industry trends, points out that one-third of consumers plan to use their grill or smoker more often this year. Even though grilling is widely associated with summer, a growing number of people are embracing year-round grilling. HPBA’s CEO Jack Goldman has said, “Barbecuing is no longer just a pastime, but an integral part of the North American lifestyle.”
Seven in 10 adults in the United States and eight out of 10 in Canada own a grill or smoker. With so many people firing up their grills, it’s important to recognize the importance of grilling safety. Each year an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns, advises the National Fire Protection Association. Here’s how to stay safe.
According to the 26th annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, a whopping 80 percent of American grill owners feel that grilling is an important activity when entertaining guests in their home, with more than one-third saying it is extremely important (34 percent). With barbecues in full swing, it’s a good time to brush up on the essential do’s and don’ts of grilling to ensure that your next trip to the grill is safe, tasty and fun.Grill On…But First Read
· Only grill outside. Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors. Grills should be placed well away from the home. Keep grills away from deck railings, eaves, overhangs, and tree branches.
• Don’t grill in an enclosed space like a garage-this can trap dangerous carbon monoxide.
· Keep the grill clean. Thoroughly clean the grill prior to first use, and keep it tidy all year long. Grease or fat buildup can ignite and cause a fire. This will ensure it is working in top condition. For the step-by-step process to clean your gas and/or charcoal grill, visit www.weber.com/blog.
· Always attend the grill. Grill distraction-free and keep an eye on the food being cooked. Simply stepping away for a few moments can lead to a fire or accident.
· Start fires safely. Charcoal grills and gas grills may be lit using electronic starters that do not require fire. If using starter fluid, only do so on charcoal, and do not add more fluid or other flammable liquids after the fire has ignited.
· Check for gas leaks. Whether the gas grill is hooked up to a propane tank or the natural gas supply of a home, ensure that the hoses or tanks are not leaking. Apply a light soap-and-water solution to hoses to see if they bubble from leaking gas.
· Keep baking soda nearby. Baking soda can control grease fires, but it’s also helpful to have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand on hand for other types of fires.
• Don’t use water to extinguish a charcoal grill-it will damage the porcelain-enamel finish.
· Watch children and pets. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from grilling areas.
· Wait for the grill and coals to cool. Practice safety around the grill until all coals are cool and the grill is no longer hot to the touch. Only then should the grill be moved or relocated.
• Use heat-resistant barbecue mitts or gloves and long-handled tools when tending the fire or turning food.
• Don’t place the grill close to any combustible material. The outside of a grill can radiate a lot of heat, and accidental ignition could result if placed too close to wood, paper or other flammable material. This includes vinyl siding too.
• Don’t use lighter fluid: Weber recommends using paraffin starter cubes to light charcoal. “Lighter fluid is a petroleum-based product that can impart a nasty flavor into your food,” says Weber’s cookbook author Jamie Purviance. In addition, if the lighter fluid is not completely burned off the coals, toxins can penetrate the food.
• Do not use gasoline, alcohol or other highly volatile fluids to ignite charcoal.
• Inspect your grill brush regularly for worn bristles and replace brushes at least once a year depending on how often you grill. To safety-test your grill brush to see if it needs to be replaced, Weber suggests pulling on the bristles with a pair of pliers using moderate pressure. If any bristles pull loose, discard and replace your brush. In addition, inspect your grill grates for any loose bristles each time you grill.
• Light your gas grill with the lid open!
• “Turn off” your grill. Place the lid on a charcoal grill and close all vents when you are done grilling. Turn a gas grill off at the burners and the source.
• Grill on a flat, stable surface.
• Know where your fire extinguisher is and have it handy in case of a mishap.
• Use an onion. Rubbingan onion on your grill before cooking will help prevent meat from sticking.
Grilling is a passion that is enjoyed throughout much of the year. Safely cook outdoors by heeding safety guidelines.
Article compliments of MetroCreative TF185982 & from NapsNet. First published August 14, 2015. Last Updated July 27, 2019 by combining two published blog post.
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