When warm weather arrives, there’s nothing quite like the aroma of your burgers and hot dogs sizzling on the barbecue. However, with cooking comes a responsibility to ensure you’re grilling carefully and correctly. Here are a few tips for grill safety that will help keep your food and family safe this season.
Use a Meat Thermometer to Check Temps
Use a meat thermometer to know when your food is cooked to the proper temperature. These tools measure heat levels quickly and accurately, ensuring you don’t accidentally eat undercooked meats. When grilling, check the internal temperature of all fish, chicken, pork, and beef before serving them, and always follow the recommended cooking times on packages.
Pay Attention to Wind Direction
Wind can lead to issues when grilling, depending on which direction it’s blowing. When using a charcoal grill, watch for wind that blows ash onto food or causes sparks to travel away from the grill. Winds may cause flare-ups that singe food or start a fire if left unchecked.
Never Leave the Grill Unattended
Keeping a close eye on the grill is important, especially when cooking with charcoal. Stray sparks and embers can quickly ignite nearby combustible materials, so be prepared with a fire extinguisher. Don’t allow children or pets to play near the grill, especially when it’s in use.
Choose the Proper Fuel for Grill Safety
Different grills require different fuel types, so select the correct fuel for your grill. Charcoal grills are not suitable for use with propane and vice versa. Additionally, never mix fuels, as this is hazardous and can lead to an explosion.
Keep the Grill Clean
A clean grill is a safe grill. Grease and debris can easily ignite, so clean the grill after each use. Remove grease with a wire brush, and scrape food particles away with a metal scraper or spatula. Watch out for rust, too; if a significant amount of corrosion appears on your grill, it may be time for a replacement.
Check Connections Regularly for Grill Safety
When using a gas grill, check the connections to make sure they are secure. Gas leaks are dangerous and should never be ignored. After every use, inspect the fuel line and regulator for signs of damage or wear and tear. If you find problems, have the lines repaired or replaced before preparing food on the grill.
Grilling is an enjoyable and tasty way to spend a summer evening if you practice proper grill safety. Following the tips outlined above, you’ll have a safe and successful grilling experience this season.