Grilling can be very exciting, and grilled food tastes great, but grills can also be very dangerous, so I’ve written the following guide to advise people about what not to do, with a Propane or Charcoal Grill.
1. Never take them indoors to cook.
This may seem like common sense to some people, but one of the leading causes of house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning in North America is indoor grilling. Propane and Charcoal grills omit huge amounts of carbon monoxide in their smoke, and in a contained environment like a house, can be lethal. As can open flames, which could sweep through the whole house quickly, if they come into contact with materials like curtains. On top to this, smoke seriously damages electrical equipment, and if you’re thinking it’s worth the risk on a rainy day, it’s worth knowing that food will not taste good either, if cooked indoors. Propane and Charcoal Grills require air-flow to properly heat and cook food evenly, so at the very least you’ll be eating an inferior steak to the one you cooked outside.
2. Don’t rush the Assembly
Grill assembly may seem like an arduous task that must be completed for the fun to start, so there’s a tendency to sweep through it, in a rush to cook food. But grills are very precise pieces of equipment, that must be set-up in a certain way and one mistake can be disastrous. The most common mistake made during assembly, is to not screw the legs and/or wheels in tightly enough, leading to the whole unit collapsing while cooking. Other common errors are attaching the propane/gas tank incorrectly, and loose warming racks. There’s nothing worse than cooking amazing meat and then having the warming rack fall off. So always take your time, and remember to follow the instructions carefully when assembling a grill.
3. Watch you don’t burn yourself
3rd degree burns are very painful and can leave scars, but following these basic tips, will enable you to avoid a trip to the hospital. Unless you are very experienced griller, make sure you use good quality, long-handed utensils, like spatula’s and tongs. Also have a few towels next to you, to wipe off any hot grease that might jump out. If you’re using Charcoal Lighter Fluid, remember that too little is better than too much, because you can always put more in, but apply lighter fluid too liberally, and you might get a high and uncontrollable flame. To extinguish any flare-ups that do occur, turn down the temperature immediately, and douse with water.
4. Wear the right clothes
Make sure you don’t wear anything loose that hangs down, and might get caught in the flames. Shirt cuffs must be buttoned or tight, or better yet, roll them up. Apron strings should be tied up well, because despite being the thing to wear while grilling, they are also often made of highly flammable material. In event of catching fire do not attempt to take the flaming item of clothing off; instead roll over on the ground until the fire is out.
5. Never leave a grill unattended
No matter how experienced you are at grilling, if you’re not there, someone else who has less experience could walk up and endanger themselves, so if you do have to go somewhere, find someone who knows enough to be responsible for the grill while you’re gone. Cookouts and tailgating can be boisterous affairs with some alcohol consumption, so don’t leave anyone in charge of the grill, who has had a little too much. Never leave a child in the charge of the grill either, as this can lead to any number of mishaps.
There you have it, a list of things to help you get the most out of your grilling experience and keep you safe while doing it. These basic guidelines are easy for anyone to follow and avoid mistakes.