Summer is in full swing and with the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner, our grills are going to be working in overdrive! Now is a great time to review a few safety rules before dazzling our backyard guests with our grill master skills!

  • First, NEVER grill inside, including putting the grill in your garage with the doors open. Both gas and charcoal grills need to be out in the open for the safety of all.
  • Keep your grills safely away from your home, deck, and low hanging foliage. Establish a safe and stable location for your grill, I have a little stone patio outside the basement door that creates a stable and fire friendly base.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill. Little burned fingers or a flipped over grill will make for a very unhappy barbecue.
  • Keep the grill clean. Scrub the grill racks of old grease and empty the grease traps each time before firing up.
  • Stand guard. Do not leave the grill unattended…while the kabobs and burgers may do fine if you walk away, this presents an opportunity for a wayward dog or whirling dervish to wreak a little havoc. Tap in a friend or two to serve as sous chefs.
  • When using a gas grill always make sure that the lid is open before you light it; a closed lid will trap the propane and you could end up with an explosion.
  • Avoid the lighter fluid for a charcoal grill and go with a charcoal chimney. You merely crumple two pieces of newspaper into the bottom, fill the top with charcoal and light the paper. Place on the bottom rack and wait until you see the top coals start to glow (about 15 minutes); dump into the grill and go! It’s very simple and you don’t get that odd fuel taste on your tasty vittles. I’ve been using this one for years.
  • When you are done with your grilling, make sure to clean up the grill and cooking utensils; if you used charcoal, let the coals completely cool before disposing of in a metal container; cover and store your grill away for the next cooking adventure!

Once you have your grill safety on lock-down why not take the food up a notch? Over the years I have cooked meatballs, stuffies, and “smilled” ribs (it’s smoking and grilling…you use indirect and low heat for about 8 hours), and pizza! With the right equipment you could make everything on your grill and save being tethered to a hot stove all summer!

Meatballs, “smilled” ribs at the ready, and stuffies!

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