Summer grilling is a favorite American pastime. But barbecue grills present many safety risks. Use the following practical tips for a safe, fun, and healthy barbecue cookout!
To avoid food poisoning, marinate all meats and vegetables in the refrigerator and place any seared, sous-vide, or boiled meat straight onto the grill. If you don’t plan to grill pre-cooked meat right away, be sure to pre-cook it at a high enough temperature or quick-chill it in ice to kill bacteria. Then, store it in the refrigerator immediately.
Thoroughly wash all plates, utensils, and surfaces that have come into contact with raw meat.
Cook meats to their respective recommended internal temperatures. Invest in a good meat thermometer to ensure your meat, poultry, and seafood has reached a safe internal temperature hot enough to kill bacteria.
Keep vegetables intended for grilling separate from raw meat to avoid contamination.
Ensure the grill is located far from buildings and structures to prevent fires.
Clean your grill often. Grease is very flammable, and excess fat collecting inside your grill can cause dangerous flare-ups.
Regularly inspect your gas grill for leaks, damage, and obstructions.
Always turn off the gas completely after you’re finished grilling.
Use extreme caution when using lighter fluid to start a charcoal grill—never add fluid to an open flame.
Keep a spray bottle filled with water near the grill to extinguish minor flare-ups.
Keep a fire extinguisher within a few feet of your grill (and make sure you know how to use it!) in case of an emergency.