The weather is getting nicer and it’s tempting us to head outside and start grilling! Grilling can be a fun family event, but if proper precautions are not taken, it can lead to serious injuries.
Make sure you follow these basic tips for safe grilling this season!
1. Fire: Fire can be extremely destructive! Always have a fire extinguisher nearby if you are planning on grilling. Know how to control a fire if one occurs.
2. Food Safety: Bacteria can grow on all kinds of foods. Always use separate utensils and cutting boards for raw meat and cooked meat. Make sure your meat is cooked all the way through before serving to your family. Check out our blog on food safety and proper internal temperatures for all kinds of meat!
3. Instructions: Make sure you know how to work your grill. Read the manual thoroughly before lighting it and know which parts do what.
4. Smoke: You do need to be careful with smoke. Smoke from your grill contains carbon monoxide and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), and other dangerous substances. PAHs are cancer causing substances that are formed when grease burns. It’s best to let the smoke get away before breathing it in, if possible.
5. Grease: Flare-ups are a serious hazard and can even be lethal. Grease that collects in your grill builds up over time. Make sure your grill is totally clean before each use. A clean grill is a safer grill.
6. Location: Location is everything when it comes to grilling or smoking. Every year, thousands of people cause fires to their homes and patios because their grill or smoker is in the wrong location. Your manual will tell you the minimum distance around your unit that must be clear. Again, read your manual thoroughly and comply with all rules and suggestions.
7. Gas Safety: The number one cause of gas grill fires is an obstruction in the path of the fuel. This mostly takes place inside, behind or underneath your grill. This means you need to regularly inspect your gas grill for problems. Bugs can climb into places causing gas flow where it shouldn’t.
8. Charcoal Safety: Charcoal grills are the cause of far more fires than that of gas grills. The main problem with charcoal grills is lighting the charcoal. Lighter fluid causes all sorts of problems so try to avoid it as much as possible. Again, read your manual for proper instructions.
9. Cancer: Cooking meat using any method at very high temperatures until surface charring occurs can cause cancer causing substances to form. If you eat a lot of grilled meat, you should think about minimizing your grilling habits. If you just can’t stay away from the grill, try not overcooking your food, using marinades before cooking, keeping grill temperatures low, or using thinner or smaller cuts of meat.
10. Alcohol: Grilling and smoking require some thinking. And as we know, lots of us like to enjoy a few drinks at our outdoor barbeques. But remember that alcohol and grilling never mix. Keep a clear mind when using this method of cooking, or any method for that matter!
Read more about these safety tips.