Keep safety measures in mind while grilling

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cooking outdoors is a fun and worthwhile hobby.

There are few things that are more rewarding than pulling a perfectly grilled or smoked piece of meat from the grate.

But to get that heat, fire is involved.

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Whether you prefer the taste of charcoal or the convenience of propane, here are a few tips to make your outdoor cooking experience a bit safer.

The first thing to keep in mind is that grills and smokers are designed to be used outside where air circulation is highest. The reason for that rule is the use of propane and charcoal in a grill or smoker creates large amounts of carbon dioxide, which in high concentrations can be lethal.

Since fire and heat are involved, light and use your grill as far away from the home’s structure as possible to avoid a potential emergency.

Keep a charged hose nearby, just in case a flame gets away from the grill and catches something on fire.

Before you light the grill, be sure to clean the grate to remove leftover grease and fat from the previous grilling event. That will cut down on flare-ups while cooking.

If you are using a grill that employs propane in one fashion or another, check the connections for wear and tear. By using a solution of soap and water, you can spot leaks easily. If a leak is found, repair it with the proper part before using the grill.

While charcoal grills typically don’t use propane, some source of heat will be needed to get the coals going. Be sure to use lighter fluid properly and with care. Avoid adding any other flammable substance to the charcoal other than the fluid specifically manufactured for that purpose.

Once the cooking is done, be sure to turn off the propane or ensure the coals are completely out before walking away from the grill.