Imagine you just got back from the grocery store where you found a deal on some delicious brisket. You cannot wait to return home and cook on the grill. The mixture of savory grilled beef and potatoes on the grill makes your mouth water thinking about it. You can imagine the aroma lingering in your backyard during a family cookout. The sound of cornhole sandbags hitting the boards, your favorite song playing, and brisket cooking on the grill. However, one thing most of us forget when envisioning an ideal summer cookout is the importance of grilling safely.
Here are some grilling safety tips that will help any family gathering run like a dream.
1. Create a 3-foot safe zone around your grill.
The 3-foot safe zone is imperative to keep your loved ones safe, especially children and pets. Whether it be Smokin’ Brothers, Napoleon, or Big Green Egg, even the best of the best are not immune to accidents. All it takes is one moment of distraction from fun and before you know it, someone got too close and accidentally burned themselves. This results in serious injury. It’s critical to always keep this safety zone around the grill so that nothing can come into contact with the hot surfaces. Children and pets should always be supervised, and the grill should never be left unattended. Educating your family and friends on grill safety will keep everyone happy and healthy.
2. Grill outside and not in a confined area.
Grilling inside can cause many issues including property damage and bodily harm. You should always barbecue outside no matter the circumstances. When grilling outside, it is imperative to cook in an open area to create proper ventilation. The fire department responds to on average 10,600 house fire calls caused by grills. If you plan to cook outdoors, it is advisable to get the right grill for your needs. Always keep a fire extinguisher close by and use it immediately if a fire breaks out. Remember never to use water to put out grease fires. Finally, never leave your grill unattended.
3. Grills should be kept at least 10 feet away from houses.
The grill should be kept at least 10 feet away from the house and any awnings. This is to prevent your home, awning, and porch from being damaged. If you are not careful, smoke accumulation can set fire to your home. Each year, grilling mishaps cause an average of $118 million dollars in direct property damage. To prevent this, use a lid while grilling to keep smoke from spreading. Make sure to keep the lid closed as much as possible. Monitor the grill and maintain the area around it clear of anything flammable.
4. Place the grill on a flat and level surface.
Having a level grill will allow your food to cook evenly, but also prevent accidentally tipping and falling over. If you plan to play cornhole, remember to have someone supervise the grill and double check that it is on a flat surface. If not, you would return to see your grill tipped over, the brisket on the ground, and dinner ruined. The most effective way to ensure your grill is on an even surface is to get a level and set it on top of your grill. Once it is level, you’re ready to cook!
5. Keep the grill clean.
When the grill is not clean, old food or grease will build up and cause a fire. Keeping your grill free of old food and debris will also prevent bacteria from contaminating your food. The most efficient way to prevent food buildup on your grill is to clean it after every use. While your grill may require specific tools for your model, here are some general practices. First, turn your grill on high heat and let it run for several minutes. This will allow leftover food and debris to loosen from the grate. Next, turn off the grill and let it cool down for two minutes. Then, use a grill brush to scrape off as much debris as you can. After the grill cools completely, you will soak a paper towel in vegetable oil. Using tongs, run the entire grate surface until it’s fully covered in oil. This last step will make cleaning up easy on your next use since it keeps food from building up in the first place. Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel. Re-assemble the grill and you’re done!
– Keep a 3-foot safety zone around your grill.
– Never grill indoors.
– Make sure the grill is placed away from anything flammable, including your home and awnings.
– Your grill should always be on a flat, even surface.
– Regularly cleaning your grill will prevent fires.
If you follow these grilling safety tips, you can bring the picture-perfect cook to life. That delicious brisket and family party is doable! But don’t forget the most important part: make sure you have plenty of ice-cold beverages to enjoy that delicious brisket and family party!