The Best Grilling Safety Tips for Summer

July 9, 2019 by Dale Dauterive

Summertime in Southern California is a time like no other. The nights are long, the barrels are tasty, and the traffic … well, is just as miserable as the rest of the year. With all that our community has to offer, some of the most enjoyable, simplistic pleasures are the ones we create in our own backyard. There’s nothing better than grilling outdoors for a summer BBQ with family and friends. Don’t forget your apron and chef’s hat—kissing the cook is optional.

We all know grilling is a must-do during the summer months, but that doesn’t mean everyone is prepared to grill safely. From maintenance, food safety, flame control, and avoiding distractions, there’s a lot to be aware of while manning the cooking station. Before you grill masters start flipping patties, roll up your sleeves, and follow these gas grilling safety tips this season.

Play It Safe & Keep Your Grill Clean

It’s easy to skip the cleaning and dive right into the food, but cleaning the grill before you start cooking not only makes your food taste better, but reduces your risk of flare-ups. It’s also important to remove grease and fat that accumulates from the grill grates and drip trays. Clean your grates regularly with a grill brush to remove any leftover debris and prevent bacteria buildup.

Always Man Your Grilling Station

When it’s grilling season, everyone wants to be outdoors enjoying the weather, music, and food, so it’s imperative to not get distracted by those around you while working the barbecue. Leaving the grill unattended increases the chance of kids or pets getting too close to the grill and potentially being burned. Either that or your dog will jump up and steal all the burgers. Keep all children, animals, toys, and games at least five feet away from the grill, and don’t forget to shut it off when you’re done.

The Roof is on Fire

Occasionally you’ll experience a warm summer rain, putting a real damper on your day of grilling. If this happens, do not move your grill indoors. Using a small grill indoors seems perfectly safe … on opposite day! Grilling indoors is a fire hazard and could release deadly carbon monoxide into your home. Keep your family safe by grilling outside, and if the weather is too severe, just pick up some Raising Cane’s!

Too Much Meat’s a Crowd

It’s fun to pretend we’re in a race against the clock on a Food Network cooking show, but Bobby Flay isn’t judging our backyard BBQ’s. Take your time and cook your food in stages. Throwing too much food on the grill at once increases the chance of excessive fat dripping on the flames, creating a flare-up. Grill your food in separate batches so you don’t overload the grill. Start with meats that cook faster and produce less fat, then work your way up to your thicker, fattier meats.

Watch the Heat, Check Your Meat

Some people like their steak nice and juicy with the perfect pinkish hue, and others like it well-done (Well-done are the people you don’t invite to your BBQ). All meats cook for different times at different temperatures. That’s why it’s helpful to keep a meat thermometer handy to help guide you along the way. Cooking our food to the proper temperatures helps kill bacteria so that it’s safe to consume. The eye test can be helpful, but a thermometer sees a little better than we do.

Pop the Hood

Always open the lid of your grill before you turn on your barbecue and start grilling to prevent a dangerous flame or gaseous buildup. If your flame goes out while you’re cooking, keep the lid open, and turn off the grill and gas for a few minutes before cooking again. The same goes for you charcoal users. All of you seem to be pyrotechnics, but splashing lighter fluid on lit coals is another way to cause a dangerous fireball.

Don’t Cross Streams …Or Foods

Food safety is the most crucial element of a successful backyard cookout. Be very mindful of raw meats and the bacteria they possess. Do not transfer raw meats onto other cooked foods, utensils, plates, clean cutting boards, or countertops. When you’re done grilling, throw away marinades that touched raw foods, use clean plates and utensils to handle cooked foods, and always wash your hands before and after handling. If thawing meats, take them out and store in your refrigerator the night before to ensure proper thawing and keep bacteria away.

Remember, grilling season is all about enjoying the Southern California sunshine and coming together to enjoy the delectable meals we create all season long. At Howard’s Appliance, we want to help your family prepare for a safe backyard cookout—whether it’s finding a new fridge to store all your BBQ necessities, or additional maintenance on an old one to keep your food fresh for longer. Visit us today or give us a call to find the right appliances and expert advice to make your grilling season sizzle & safe.


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