Outdoor Grilling Safety

Outdoor Grilling Safety

Get the grilling safety best practices to safely enjoy all the flavors of summer.

By: mom.me Staff

For many families, the first outdoor barbecue signals the beginning of summer. Outdoor grilling is a favorite way of preparing food while bringing family and friends together. Grilling forges a bond between the food and the fire, but the grill master must tame the fire and use the grill safely. Careful oversight of the entire grilling process is required for a successful and safe barbecue.

General Grilling Safety
When grilling, dress for the occasion. Avoid loose clothing and sleeves that could dangle into the fire. Use long-handled grill tools to allow plenty of reach without getting too close to the fire. Keep a fire extinguisher and a spray bottle of water nearby to deal with flare-ups.

Grill Placement
Charcoal and propane gas grills must be used outdoors in a well-ventilated area. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 33 percent of home fires involving grills occur on an unenclosed porch or balcony. Another 18 percent occur on a patio, terrace or courtyard, and 11 percent start on an exterior house wall. These fires can be prevented by placing the grill away from trees and buildings and out from under roofs and overhanging branches. Also, make sure the grill is on a level surface away from high traffic and play areas.

Charcoal Grills
Use care when starting a charcoal grill. If using starter fluid, coat the briquettes with the starter fluid and wait approximately one minute for the fluid to soak in. Use a long match or grill lighter to light the briquettes. Never add starter fluid or other flammable liquids to the grill once the charcoal has been lit, even if the fire appears to have gone out. The briquettes will smolder but eventually catch. Allow 20 to 30 minutes for the charcoal to heat. After grilling, allow the coals to cool completely before removing them from the grill. Keep children and pets away from the hot grill.


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Grilling Food Safety
The same food safety rules apply when grilling outdoors. Keep raw meats separate from vegetables, fruits and prepared foods. Keep meat in a cooler until ready to grill. Outdoor heat allows bacteria to grow quickly. Check meats for doneness with a meat thermometer. Color and appearance are not good indicators that food has reached a safe temperature. Remove food from the grill onto a clean platter, using clean tongs. Do not allow any foods to sit out in hot weather for longer than one hour.

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