Everyone loves a backyard barbecue, but no one wants to see a fun-filled day of grilling end up in disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five households own a gas grill and an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling each year. Here are a few things you should be doing before, during, and after each BBQ to ensure your safety this season.
Before you grill:
- Check your gas hoses for any cracks and holes. Repair or replace damaged hoses and ensure the hose line is not bent in any way before turning on the gas.
- Ensure your tank and hoses are placed far enough away from the grill to avoid heat and grease coming in contact with them.
- Make sure your propane tank is standing upright.
- Never store any extra gas tanks or flammable liquids near the grill, indoors, or in a hot car.
- Place your BBQ a safe distance away from your home, making sure it’s not under an overhang.
- Clean your grill thoroughly before igniting it. Grease and food that is leftover from your last cookout can catch fire.
- Open the lid prior to igniting to prevent any buildup of gas.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy, just in case things get too hot.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Be careful not to cross-contaminate food by using separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked food.
- Ensure your poultry and ground meat is cooked through to a temperature above 165 degrees to prevent any foodborne illnesses. Whole meat, such as steak, chops, and roasts should reach at least 145 degrees.
After you grill:
- Ensure hot food remains above 140 degrees until consumed.
- Turn the burner on “high” for 5 minutes when finished to burn off any excess grease and drippings.
- Turn off gas on the knob on the front of your grill as well as the source of the gas supply.
- Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out for more than 2 hours.
- Don’t leave a piping hot grill unattended and don’t move a grill until has fully cooled down.
Need some guidance on cleaning up your grill to prepare for barbecue season? Check out our Grill Maintenance 101 for a Better Barbecue blog for everything you need to know. And because every barbecue chef is on the lookout for great new recipes to try, here are some delish International Barbecue Recipes to make and share.