By: Nikki Nies
With Memorial Day Weekend behind us, for many, the start of summer has finally arrived! Depending on your own customs and traditions, your summer activities may vary, but bet you may encounter at least one or two BBQ or cook outs. Such activities provide a relaxing atmosphere and an easier way to entertain people. However, grilling does take a certain amount of practice and safety.
I’m currently visiting my parents in GA and they mentioned how a small mistake at the grill led to large consequences. One of the neighbors had lit a fire to the grill. He left the grill unattended for a quick minute to grab a hamburger patty. During winter, there’s shut off valves for the house, evidently they had not been turned back on since last year. When he tried to hose the fire down, he couldn’t and it spread, causing the grass to burn and caused smoke to enter house–drapery and carpet had to be cleaned.
You may be saying, “…well that wouldn’t happen to me”, but there may be other safety tips you haven’t thought about.
- Prior to grilling, scrub grill down with hot, soapy water
- Use in well ventilated area: keep grill away from deck railings, buildings, dry leaves, bushes and/or combustible surfaces. Be aware of wind blown sparks
- To avoid burns or splatters, use long tongs or spatulas
- Once lit, never leave a grill unattended
- Have a fire extinguisher handy. If not available, have a bucket of sand or hose close by
- Underneath your grill, use a splatter mat or grill pad to protect surrounding area from grease and/or you
- Remove grease or fat from grill and/or in tray before grilling
- Thaw frozen foods in microwave or fridge, not next to grill
- Never use same brush to baste raw and cooked meat
- Set out perishable foods in 1 hr. incremants
- Check meat’s internal temperature:
- Steak: 145°F (Allow to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming)
- Hamburgers: 160°F
- Chicken: 165°F
Again, grilling takes a certain amount of attention as tending a stove or oven in the house. Make sure to keep these safe grilling tips on hands and enjoy this impending summer!