Barbeque season is fully upon us. Food lovers often rejoice at this time of year for the sheer amount of delicious barbeque options that become available in the summer. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken burgers, maybe even a steak or two if you’re lucky. And lets not forget that vegetables also taste better on the BBQ.
With all the excitement about the endless food possibilities, we need to remember that barbequing if something that can be dangerous if you’re not being responsible. A gas BBQ especially offers a few dangers for cooks. But there’s no reason to cut back on grilling, just be aware of the necessary safety tips for barbequing responsibly.
Keep your cooking area clear.
Just like your office workspace, it’s important to keep the clutter out of your cooking area. First of all, it helps keep things organized and makes the actual cooking easier, and second of all, it helps to avoid any potential accidents. With too much junk on your BBQ, it’s very easy for something to fall on the grill that shouldn’t and creates potential fire hazards. Also, be sure to keep your BBQ far enough away from your health and ensure there’s no low-hanging branches or flammable materials above it.
Clean your grill regularly.
Sticking with the theme of cleanliness, it’s important to keep your grill clean. Without regular cleanings, there can be a buildup of grease and food pieces on the grill which can easily cause flame-ups. It’s a good idea to clean the grill after every cookout. Not only will it ensure the grill is clean next time, but it’s also the easiest time to clean it.
Never leave your gas on when not cooking.
Some people like to take the easy route for their barbequing but often the easy way is bypassing the more necessary safety precautions. For instance, leaving the propane on and turning off the burners may make it easy to get started next time you cook, it’s extremely dangerous. The burners are much more sensitive and can mistakenly be turned on leading to a gas leak. Take the extra moment to turn the gas off and have that piece of mind.
Remove the lid before turning on the gas.
When turning on the gas, the proper procedure is to open the lid, then turn on the gas and burners before lighting. When the gas is on and the lid is closed, the gas can build up and when you attempt to light it, you could get a big fireball in the face.
Heat up the grill.
Once the BBQ is lit, it’s a good idea to let the heat grill heat up for a little while before adding any food. This not only allows the grill to warm up for more efficient cooking but it also allows time for the bacteria and unwanted material to be burned away. The intense heat of the BBQ will kill anything leftover from previous cooks.
Focus on grilling.
You might be doing your barbequing during a party or get-together, but your burden as grill master means you have to stay by your station while the BBQ is on. Never leave the grill unaccompanied while the gas is on. If you need something from inside the house, ask someone to get it for you or have someone else takeover. Without someone watching the grill at all time, your food could burn or something much more serious.
Don’t put too much on the grill.
Even with a big party, you don’t want to overload your grill with too much food. Even a little bit of food can cause the occasional flame-ups due to grease. With a limited amount of food on the grill, those flame-ups can be kept under control but adding more food means it will be harder to handle.
Make sure everything is cooked properly.
Just because the meat looks done, doesn’t mean that it is done. Some people like a little red in their steaks, but that’s about the only meat you can undercook without concern. Hamburgers and chicken need to be cooked thoroughly. Cut them open before taking them off the grill or use a meat thermometer. Sometimes the perfect BBQ needs a little more time.
While these tips should help you to keep your barbequing safe, you should always be prepared for the worst. It’s suggested that keep a small spray bottle with you in case of flame-ups and for the more serious cases, a fire extinguisher is always a good idea.