During the summer, it’s an excellent opportunity to bond with the family over the vacations by planning some exciting and fun activities. Some of the more popular and often easier to pull off events are backyard picnics and barbeque parties. It’s a great time to enjoy quality family time accompanied by homely meals.

But grilling isn’t for everybody and can cause a lot of issues if you are not careful in taking precautions against it. This article seeks to make it easier for the beginner and help keep the veteran grillers happy and accident-free this summer.

Taking care of your equipment

First things, if you are bringing out the best portable gas grill after it has spent quite some time in the garage – you might want to spend some time making sure that there aren’t any damages due to rust and the body hasn’t taken any damage over time. It’s essential to look at the fuel tank as well – if there is a crack or leakage, you are exposing yourself to a high probability of an explosion and are better off replacing everything.

Sticking with the fuel tank, take note of the condition of the attachments to the fuel tank. If there are any leaks, there is undoubtedly a way to find out. Run a water and soap mixture through the gas lines. Turn on the gas, (do not ignite the grill!) observe if there are any bubbles forming. It should help you navigate where the leak is.

If a leak presents itself, you should replace or repair the parts of your grill before using it again.

Managing your surroundings

When placing your grill, the position of it has to be ideal to make sure it does not cause any damages to its surroundings. The rack can reach very high temperatures and the heat radiating off of it can be volatile to places with grass, leaves and easily flammable objects.
Especially when dealing with lots of oil on a hot surface, momentary lapses can cause spills and sputters to escape the grill.

Managing the area around the grill is essential, making sure the frame isn’t on any flimsy combustible surface (especially not on wood) or is directly underneath a fixture. The heat can easily damage, melt, or ignite anything with its heat or smoke.

Lighting and shutting off your grill correctly

There are two main types of grills available, a portable gas grill, and a charcoal grill. Attending to the proper installation and startup of both racks is of the utmost importance.

For a gas grill, there is a frequent misfortune people find themselves when lighting the convenient small grills. While closing the rack, the gas is on and building up, but the fire isn’t. It allows the propane to build up to harmful levels, which may result in an explosion when it’s introduced to a match.

After the grill has completed its job, it’s not unheard of to leave it on for a couple of minutes to help remove the excess from the grill grates. After you’ve left it on for four to five minutes, turn off the grill and then shut off the gas tank completely.

On the other hand, charcoal grills require a little more attention and effort. The process can usually take up to half an hour depending on the size of the rack and how much coal you’ve chosen to use.

It’s recommended to use a method known as the chimney method; where you place down the paper and on top of it your charcoal and light the paper. The paper will burn hot for several minutes as the coal reaches its cooking temperature. You must give the grill time to cool off later and adequately dispose of the remaining charcoal.

The best way to extinguish the coal fire is to close all the vents and place a lid on top, so its oxygen supply is cut off. Once the coals are in an environment with no oxygen to help them burn, the flames will die down. Dumping a big jar of water instead might be more comfortable (and a lazier) way out, but it does more harm than good. Pouring water on the coals creates an insane amount of steam and dust that sticks to the upper lid and pretty hard to get rid of later.

Leave the lid of the grill closed for as long as possible. The coals are still hot and might be able to start a fire again if they come in contact with oxygen immediately. The recommended time to keep the lid closed is around 48 hours and if that’s too much, pick up each coal piece with the help of a tong or an oven mitt and dump them in a bucket of water.

Once the coals are thoroughly cooled, transfer them to a non-combustible and a heatproof material, like a metal canister. It is best to place them in a metal trash can when throwing them out.

Be prepared to put out fires.

Grease fires from a grill initiate because of the leftover fat or grease. It is the worst type of cooking fire because you can’t put it out with water as water tends to make it worse. The only workable solution is having a chemical fire extinguisher that will form an airless blanket on top of the fire to cut off its oxygen supply. If the grease fire catches something else and ignites another fire where no grease and oil are involved, it is best to have a garden hose or a bucket of water already prepared with you. Act fast.

Food safety goes beyond fire prevention.

Food handling and safety is something you need to be careful of as well. You don’t want people to get grossed out or catch a bug because of how the food.

Raw meat is a can of germs and disease-causing organisms. Use a separate tray to place your raw meat in and try to wear gloves.

Once you wash your hands properly, then hand the food out in clean plates. It will help avoid any cross-contamination.

Take all the dishes in which you had placed the raw meat back to the kitchen. Make sure you don’t spill any blood or add the blood on the meat while you’re cooking it. Fresh flesh and blood are the leading causes of salmonella infection.

You can also use a meat thermometer to make sure your meat is cooked correctly and is free from any contamination. Let people eat and enjoy their meat as soon as you cook. Don’t let it sit at room temperature because airborne bacteria are extra active in the summertime and can very quickly make people sick, especially children. In the case of leftover food, wrap it up and place it in the refrigerator.

Happy Grilling!