It’s that time of year again when Memorial Day weekend seems to have become “opening weekend” for grilling. I personally grill all year long and have been known to grill in both heavy rainstorms and blizzards. I always use a charcoal grill, but if you use a gas grill you’re forgiven. Whatever type of grill you have it’s important be follow basic grilling safety rules. You don’t want a trip to the hospital or an emergency visit by your local fire department. You are cooking with fire after all!
1. Position your grill in a well-ventilated area at least 10 feet away from trees, the house, and ANY combustible materials.
2. NEVER set up a charcoal or gas grill inside a garage, porch, or enclosed area.
3. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the hot grill.
4. Use heat-resistant mitts and tools with long handles.
5. Keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of emergency. DO NOT pour water on a grease fire.
6. Never leave a grill unattended or try to move it while it is in use or still hot.
7. Limit your alcohol consumption while grilling. Once when I was a teenager I came home from the neighborhood pool (where I was a lifeguard) to find my stepfather “asleep” after a few too many beers and the grill was completely up in flames. Not a good thing!
8. Periodically test your gas grill for leaks and clean the venturi tubes regularly according to the manufacturer’s directions.
9. Allow coals to burn completely and ashes to cool for 24 hours before disposing of them.
10.Fat and meat juices that drip onto the heat source can cause flare-ups. If flare-ups occur, move food to another location and close the lid to kill the flames. As a last resort, remove the food and mist the fire with water from a spray bottle.
11.Let the grill cool completely before covering or storing it.
Have fun grilling, enjoy your friends and family this weekend, and by all means grill safely.
© Victoria Hart Glavin