Summer’s winding down, but there’s at least one big grilling weekend left. Bring on Labor Day! In order to avoid a barbecue blaze, follow these grilling do’s and don’ts:
Propane Grilling Do’s
· Always use the grill outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Always follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and keep written materials and manuals in a safe, accessible place.
· Make sure the grill burner controls are turned off and keep the cylinder valve fully closed when not in use.
· Make sure the gas grill is shut off and completely cooled before covering it after use.
· Always use or store cylinders in an upright, vertical position. Be sure to store them outdoors away from sources of ignition (i.e. heat, matches, or lighters).
· When a cylinder is refilled, have your Delaware Propane Supplier check for dents, damage, rust, or leaks.
· After filling, take the cylinder home immediately. While transporting, keep the vehicle ventilated with the cylinder valve closed and plugged or capped.
· When a grill is not in use, cover disconnected hose-end fittings and burner air intakes with small plastic bags, or obtain protective fitting caps from the propane gas retailer to keep out dirt, insects, and moisture.
· Before lighting a propane gas grill burner, test the gas fittings for leaks. The NFPA provides this leak detection solution:
Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
Propane Grilling Don’ts
· Do not bring cylinders indoors or into an enclosed space such as a garage.
· Do not smoke while handling the propane cylinder.
· Do not leave the cylinder in a vehicle.
· Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
· Do not allow children to tamper or play with the cylinder or grill.
· Do not use, store, or transport a cylinder where it could be exposed to high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders under or near the grill).
Charcoal Grilling Do’s
· Lay sheets of aluminum foil at the base of the grill before placing and lighting the coals to make for easier grill cleaning and disposal of used coals and ash.
· Allow the coals to light and burn for at least 20-30 minutes. Just make sure the coals are hot and glowing before you start grilling.
· Make sure that both the top and bottom vents are wide open
Charcoal Grilling Don’ts
· Skimp on the charcoal. A hot fire is crucial to good grilling.
· Cover the grill when cooking directly over the coals. In their classic grilling cookbook, Let the Flames Begin, authors Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby call this the #1 grilling mistake. When fat drippings hit those hot coals, they turn into puffs of bad-tasting smoke. When the grill is covered, that smoke gives your food bad-tasting flavor. (Makes sense.) “We urge you to build a multi-level fire, keep your eye on what you are grilling, and just move it to the cool part of the grill when flare-ups threaten,” they say.
· Do not leave the grill unattended! Charcoal grills are generally light and easy to tip over. Place your grill on a flat, level surface and keep an eye out for small children and our furry friends.