Safety tips for outdoor grilling
An outdoor kitchen is a living space that should be an extension of your home. But, just like an interior kitchen, certain precautions should be made when operating a grill. Here are a few tips to help you grill safely.
1. Proper grill installation
When HL Posey Builders designs your custom outdoor kitchen, you can be sure your grill and other outdoor cooking equipment are properly installed. Built-in outdoor grills should be installed on top of a non-combustible frame. If your outdoor kitchen has a wood frame, your grill will need to have a stainless steel sleeve installed underneath it to prevent the chance of a fire.
An outdoor vent hood can be installed to help improve the airflow by removing excess smoke and heat from your outdoor grill while cooking. When deciding on an outdoor vent hood take into consideration ceiling height and location. Outdoor hoods should have the correct CFM and be specifically made for outdoor use. Due to the outdoor environment, wind can affect how efficiently the smoke gets removed.
2. Dress properly for grilling
Surprised by this one? Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure apron strings and shirttails are neatly tucked away and avoid loose sleeves. Use long-handled tools for flipping burgers and turning food. Keep grill mitts handy.
3. Check for leaks
Before lighting your gas grill, you should always check for leaks. A common trick to easily identify if you have a leak is to use the soapy water trick. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose with a spray bottle or soft brush. Turn on the gas. If you see bubbles forming, you have a leak. Turn off the gas at the source. If the leak stops, have the grill serviced by a professional gas company before using again.
If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and contact a professional gas company. Do not move or continue to use the grill. Both the grill and gas should be shut off.
4. Never leave a hot grill unattended
The high-end grills installed in outdoor kitchens, such as Twin Eagles or TEC grills, cook food at a faster rate than a regular run-of-the-mill portable grill. Because of this, your grill should never be left unattended. Food can easily burn and not only ruin your dinner, but could also start a fire.
If a fire should occur, you should be prepared to douse the flames. Keep a box of baking soda on hand to control a grease fire. A fire extinguisher should be close by for other types of fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand on hand.
5. Turn off your grill
Now, this one seems to go without saying, but it is a common problem for grill owners to occasionally forget to turn off their grill. When you have finished cooking, turn all knobs to the “off” position to extinguish the flames. Next, turn off your gas. Instructions may vary depending on your grill’s manufacturer or model. It is always a good idea to refer to the manufacturer guide to learn how to turn off your grill gas line.
As an extra safety precaution, an auto shut-off valve can be installed on your grill. An auto shut-off valve will automatically turn off your grill after a set amount of time and prevent the flow of gas to your grill.
6. Keep your grill clean
When a grill isn’t cleaned regularly, fat and grease build-up can cause uneven cooking, unwanted flavors, and even grease fires. They can also attract unwanted pests, such as mice and rats, who could damage your grill and cause leaks. Not to mention the sanitary and health-related issues an unclean surface can pose.
To clean your grill, remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below it. This is easily accomplished if you get in the habit of cleaning the grill immediately after use. Use a stiff wire brush or, for the more safety and health conscious, a wood scraping tool to scrub off any food or grease residue while it is still hot.
We trust these tips will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable grilling experience. While these tips can be applied to any grill, you should always follow your grill’s manufacturer manual to ensure the best experience and care. If you have any questions about grilling safety, give HL Posey Builders a call at 239.229.8273.