Planning for a perfect backyard barbeque cookout? Maybe you need to consider a few things before starting. There has been an increase in disasters caused due to barbeque fires in recent years. It therefore becomes imperative to follow safety measures to avoid such mishaps. Here are 8 vital pointers for safety when using barbeque and grilling.
#1 Read all instructions carefully
Well, the most important part- read, read and read. Not all grills work in the same way. Even if you have previously grilled food on a barbeque, it is important to read the instruction manual completely before starting on a new one. This will answer most of your questions and you will probably become more attentive by knowing how differently it works.
#2 Keep control over fire
Not to mention, fire is the biggest cause of a disaster any barbeque or grill might bring. Hence keeping an eye on it may reduce the risks. Keep a water spray handy to fight with minor flames that may ruin your food. Arranging a fire extinguisher before you begin may help you in case you are surrounded with fire. And yes, know how to use it in advance. Cutting down the fuel may also help to control the fire but make sure you know how to do it in a correct manner.
#3 Select an appropriate site
Setting up your grill in small compact areas or indoors is not recommended. There should be ample open area to cook your food over the grill. Refer to your instruction manual to find out the minimum distance required by your grill from your house or other structures. If you are camping, it is important to maintain a good distance of the grill from your tents so that it does not catches fire easily. Also avoid areas with trees, woods, dry leaves etc. A concrete patio is best for setting up your grill.
#4 Keep your grills clean
A lot of grease may deposit at the bottom of your grill with constant cooking. It is important to clean them on a regular basis. Continuous deposition of grease may catch sudden fire which may get aggravated and bring bad surprises to you. Also, overly greased meat when cooked over a hot grill may cause injurious flare-ups and even ruin your cooking. Keep spraying water in such cases to avoid any fires. Water extinguishes the fires easily without changing the taste of your food.
#5 Avoid lighter fluids for charcoal grills
If you are using a charcoal grill, you probably need some kind of lighting fluid. Choose your fluids wisely as lighter fluids may become a good reason for fire breakout when poured over lighted coal. It may even explode and cause injuries. Make sure you have read all the instruction about fueling your barbeque.
#6 Stay away from smoke
It is fairly obvious to get enormous smoke once you have decided to set up a barbeque cookout. Although the smoke generated by your cooking is delightful and may turn on your taste buds, it is good to keep away from it as much as possible. When inhaled it may damage your lungs. Moreover the smoke may contain PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) which are considered to cause cancer. Smoke also has carbon monoxide and other toxic agents which are harmful to your body.
#7 Avoid contamination of food
While preparing your food, ensure that the food and all other surfaces are free from harmful bacteria. This is essential to avoid food borne illness and food poisoning. Bacteria may grow over your meat when they are at room temperatures. Therefore, it is important to keep your raw food refrigerated unless it is ready to use. Marinating them also reduced the risk of contamination. Leftovers should be kept in refrigerator as soon as possible and should be heated before consuming. Avoid mixing raw meat with cooked ones as it may lead to cross contamination.
#8 Keep alcohols away from your grill
Avoid bringing alcohol near your grilling area as any accidental spills may cause fire breakout, which may become hard to control. It is therefore recommended not to keep or drink it while you are on the go.
Apart from these safety measures which should be followed when using BBQ grilling tools, it is also important to check for gas leaks in your gas grills to avoid any accidents. Never leave a barbeque unattended and always keep your pets and children away from it. Avoid overloading the grills with fatty foods as it may lead to huge flare-ups and cause injuries. Remember, precaution is always better than cure. Enjoy your cookout with your friends and family in a safe way.