Whether you are a diehard BBQ fan, grilling winter, spring, summer and fall, or only fire up the grill in the lazy, hazy days of summer, safety should always be top of mind. Here we offer eight BBQ safety tips to add to your ultimate BBQ safety checklist.
1. Consider Your BBQing Space
Be aware of your surroundings and where you will place your BBQ. It can be a good idea to leave some space between a BBQ and your home or fence. Ensure kids or pets are not playing near your BBQ set up, and you will want to consider how close your BBQ is to your home or your eating space. You will want clear walkways to your kitchen or eating space to avoid tripping or slipping, so those prize ribs will make it to dinner, and so will you. Ensuring safety around your BBQ makes the entire experience better.
2. Keep It Clean
Grill safety starts with a clean grill. All that grease and fat from cooking is one of the easiest ways to cause a flare-up. Ask any savvy barbecue chef, and they’ll agree — nothing ruins that expensive cut of meat faster than a grease fire, even if it’s just a brief one. Clean the grates/grill of your BBQ after (and even before) each use to reduce the likelihood of a flare-up. Also, consider regularly cleaning your grease trap and checking your burners.
3. Watch Your Gas Lines
Be sure when replacing your propane tank it is hooked up properly. A good way to test for propane or gas leaks is to make a solution of equal parts dish soap and water. Rub it on the connecting hose, turn on the gas with the lid open and look for bubbles at the connection. Bubbles mean there are holes in the hose, or the connection is loose. Keeping an eye on your gas lines will help to extend the life of your BBQ and help to keep you and your family safe while enjoying a delicious BBQ dinner. Are you concerned about the safety of your grilling space? Contact the experts at Ultimate Home Comfort to learn how to improve your space.
4. Keep the Area Clear
Although you want to keep your outdoor living space looking its best, the area around and above the grill needs to remain clear. This includes umbrellas, hanging plants, patio lanterns, and outdoor curtains. These items can be a fire hazard but are more likely to be an obstacle when you are grilling up a storm. Keep the party mood up with a clear and safe space.
5. Be Prepared
If you’re a seasoned griller, you know flare-ups ruin the taste of your food. As a result, you probably keep a water bottle handy when grilling. It’s a quick way to manage flare-ups without ruining the flavour of your meal.
However, to be even safer, you should also keep a functioning fire extinguisher near the BBQ. If a full fire ignites, call 911 and then use the extinguisher to douse the flames.
The likelihood of a fire while BBQing is very slim; however, it never hurts to be careful and safe.
6. Always Remember to Open the Grill Lid
How do you light your grill? It is important to make sure you lift the BBQ lid before you light the grill. Otherwise, gas builds up inside, possibly creating an issue if you proceed to ignite the BBQ with all of that gas buildup.
7. Always Keep an Eye on the Grill
For obvious reasons, never leave the grill unattended. Although you might have to pop inside to get some seasoning, a serving plate, or a cold beer, if you are the only one manning the grill, ask for help instead. Leaving the grill unattended could risk a fire or flare-ups that burn or ruin the food. The best thing to do is make sure you have everything you need outside before you start cooking, or find a family member or friend who can help you and become your sous chef for the day.
8. Don’t Overload Your Grill
Loading up the grill to cook everything faster can lead to trouble. First, from a flavour standpoint, keep in mind fatty meats cause flare-ups that can char the other food on the grill, and overcrowding will lead to uneven cooking. Second, the more food on the grill, the more fodder there is for a fire when it comes to BBQ food safety tips.
BBQ Safety: Final Thoughts
Having a BBQ is a longstanding Canadian tradition, and ensuring the safety of you and your guests should be your top priority when throwing a BBQ bash! These barbecue safety tips will help keep your grilled foods delicious and your house and property safe.
If you are looking to purchase a new BBQ, Ultimate Home Comfort is your go-to expert for BBQs in Halifax and surrounding areas. Contact the experts today!