Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means: it's time to set up the grill and get to barbecuing!
Americans love their grills, so much so that three-quarters of the adult population in the US own a grill or smoker. Sixty-three percent of those owners use their grills year-round (they don't even need an excuse like summer to fire it up!). Gas grills are especially popular, the prime choice for an astounding 62 percent of households.
With grilling, though, does come some risk—you don't want to be that person who starts a fire while trying to entertain and feed guests. However, you can combat those risks by brushing up on your grilling safety tips. In addition to being safe, there are also several maintenance tasks you can do to keep your grill like-new, and therefore, meeting its safety standards.
In this guide, we highlight the essential tips anyone must know before starting their barbecue. Take a look at this before you begin cooking, and you'll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor, hazard-free.
1. Maintain a Smart Distance Between Your Grill and Your Home
Of course, you want to be close to the action and the party—but safety is the utmost priority. The farther away your grill from your home, the better.
Keep a smart distance. Don't grill on the patio under a porch overhang or roof (which can easily catch fire and spread), and certainly don't ever cook with the grill inside your home.
2. Make Maintenance and Cleaning a Priority
Performing regular cleaning and maintenance on your grill not only protects your investment, but it also keeps you safe.
As substances like propane, gas, grease, and/or fat build up in your grill, so does the risk of starting a fire. Cleaning your grill regularly (while it's cold) can prevent this from happening and start you off on a clean slate for every cookout.
Use wire brushes to scrape free any debris on the grill's grates, as well as clean the holes of your burner tubes. Remove any fat or grease build-up inside the grillbox using any thin, flat tool.
You can even clean your grill while it's warm, pre-cooking, by scraping heated grates with a grill brush or greasing them with a small amount of cooking oil.
And of course, keep it clean from the outdoor elements by using a grill cover when it's not in use (and no longer hot). Gas and propane grills are fantastic tools to have, as they can work even if the power goes out. Respect them by taking care of them!
3. Keep the Grill Free of Flammable Objects
Similar to grilling away from your home, you'll also want to cook away from any objects.
Let's say it's a young child's birthday party, and there are toys, balloons, streamers, and more, decorating the entirety of your backyard. Let the party decorator know that wherever the grill is, there needs to be space.
Nothing should be near the grill that's flammable, including plates and utensils—only allow non-flammable objects to be near the grill, and even still, limit them.
4. Turn on the Gas With an Open Grill
This grilling safety tip is perhaps one of the most important ones to remember.
If you start your gas grill while the lid is closed, gas will naturally build up inside of the grill. When you light your grill, and then subsequently open it, the gas has nowhere to go but out and into your face. These flames are obviously dangerous, which is why you always want to turn the gas on with the lid open.
5. Regularly Check Your Gas Grill for Leaks
Make leak-checking a part of your regular maintenance and cooking checklists. Look for leaks by taking the following steps:
- Observe all the hoses, looking for signs of cracking, holes, or tears. Also, ensure all are tightly connected and long with no kinks
- Check out the gas cylinder, looking for dents, corrosion, holes, or any obvious wear-and-tear issues
- Test for leaks by placing a soapy solution within a closed valve that connects to the gas, slowly turn the gas on, and look for bubbles (a sign of a leak)
If you notice any issues or leaks, stop using your grill immediately. Take it to a gas supplier for help or further inspection.
6. Stay by Your Grill at All Times
This point should go without saying, but it's worth repeating: never leave your grill unattended.
Say you're grilling, and you have to take a quick pee break. If that's the case, have someone in your household watch over the grill while you step away for a moment.
Never allow your grill to simmer alone—if something terrible were to happen, you wouldn't be around to stop it. Fires could potentially be prevented if someone were nearby to take quick action. Without this fast response time, you never know what could happen!
7. Keep Sand, Water, or a Fire Extinguisher Around
If a fire were to start (but following these tips, hopefully, it won't!), it helps to have some safety tools around to allow you to potentially stop a fire before it gets worse or bigger.
A spray bottle of water can help for smaller flames that erupt when, say, your grill is too full of food. Other helpful items include a bucket of sand, and the best yet: a fire extinguisher. If you're going to be frequently grilling, a fire extinguisher is worth your investment.
Follow These Grilling Safety Tips Every Single Time
Grilling is fun, entertaining, and a fantastic way to build flavor profiles in your food.
However, it's easy to overlook some of these common errors, making what was supposed to be a happy day turn chaotic and dangerous. Every time you prepare a cookout, make sure to follow each of these grilling safety tips and tricks. You'll be glad you did.
At Barbecue Parts Depot, we can ensure your grill is up-to-date and like-new, no matter the brand. We can provide parts for your Allegra grill, American Outdoor Grill (AOG), Blaze grill, Bull grill, and much more.
Keep your best cooking tool in top-notch condition by scrolling our page for your much-needed necessities.