Who doesn’t want to have a barbecue on a nice sunny day?
The weather’s nice, it’s a great day for a picnic, and you just bought some juicy steaks that’ll hit the spot! This is also a great way to spend time with friends and family on a weekend. Seems perfect right? Well, almost!
If you’re not careful, your otherwise nice barbecue can become a recipe for disaster! It’s becoming a common occurrence that backyard barbecues are cause wild house fired, only because the chef wasn’t ultimately prepared for undertaking this challenging task. Sure, it’s great to have a barbecue, but if you don’t know how to properly do it, your steaks and burgers aren’t the only ones that will burn that day.
This shouldn’t’, however, dissuade you from ever holding a backyard barbecue. The steps you need to consider to avoid fires are actually simple. The next time you have one such picnic, here are what you need to do.
Use An Electric Grill
A backyard barbecue doesn’t have to include fire in the first place. You can still cook your steaks and burgers the way you want them with an electric grill. Just slap the meat on the appliance, season them to perfection, and they’ll be ready to serve in no time. Granted the taste might be a bit different, it’s not worse nor better than a traditional charcoal grill. The only downside to this is that electric grills are usually more expensive, but at least this will be an investment that can ensure your safety during a picnic.
Rake Up All The Dry Leaves
If you still insist on using a charcoal grill, before doing anything else, rake up your leaves and gather them up far away from the grill. The dried and dead ones that have long fallen from the trees are extremely flammable, and even a small spark can result in strong flames. Although there’s little to no chances the leaves will get burned in the first place, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It’s only a small chore that’ll make all the difference once you start cooking.
Put Out And Throw Away The Burnt Paper Right Away
The normal way of lighting up the grill is to rolling up an old piece of paper and setting fire to its tip. This gives you an extended hand of sorts when lighting up the charcoal so you’ll have fewer to no chances of getting burned. but once the grill is all lit up and started, best to put the burning paper out and throw it far away from your cooking station. You no longer need it for anything else and it’s also a fire hazard keeping it around.
Sometimes, your grill won’t light up as instantly as you like it to. In these instances, you have to pace yourself. When your first try doesn’t do it, walk away and wait a few minutes. Then, try again and if it doesn’t do it as well, wait another few minutes. Rushing won’t help and can even lead to stronger fires that you wouldn’t be able to contain without the use of water. This, ultimately, will ruin your grill and thereby ruining your backyard barbecue.
Contain The Flames And Smoke
Once you’re already cooking, make sure you maintain the smoke and flames. Ease up on the cooking oil and alcohol use that’s become common practices when cooking meat on grills. Even when you’re flipping your burgers, it’s always best to do it within your own pace so that you won’t burn the meat and yourself in the process. Fan the smoke if it gets too much—this will lessen the heat and reduce the risk of overwhelming flames and starting a dangerous fire.
Have Your Hose Ready
In the event that something catches fire, have you hose ready. Even before the barbecue starts, already connect your hose to the nearest strong faucet so it’ll be easier and faster to get water. It’s important to note, however, that you shouldn’t use water when it comes to your grill, as it’s a most likely grease fire. Grease fire will only flare up even more when you try to diffuse it with water. Everything and everyone else, however, will need quick water response when and if they catch fire.
Cook Away From Other Items And People
The best and probably the simplest way to avoid anything or anyone else catching fire is to set yourself apart from, Pick a spacious area where you’ll be out in the open and let that be your cooking area. Staying too close to other people, places, and objects increases the risk of the spreading and starting of wildfires. Usually, people cook right beside the dining table so that you can instantly serve the cooked meat. But what’s a couple of minutes of getting the meat from the grill to avoiding anything or anyone else catching fire?
Put Flames Out Right After
When everything is cooked and you’re ready to chomp down your steaks and burgers, it’s best if you put out all the flames entirely first. This will substantially lessen any chances of a fire breaking out and ruining what’s supposed to be a perfectly fine afternoon picnic. First, fan out all the smoke and get rid of as much grease and gas as you can. And when the flames and smoke have subsided, simply close the grill and wait until you’re sure that the fire is all gone. As stated earlier, water isn’t the best way to put out the fire in this situation.
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Clean Grill Properly
When the day is done, make sure you clean up your grill properly. Wash out all the oils and grease that you sued to cook the meat. Place the charcoal that can still be used in a bag and place it far from any flammable objects. This will intensely reduce the risk of the grill catching fire, which can happen even when you’re not cooking on it. Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to fire hazards.
See how easy it is to avoid fires during a barbecue? While an afternoon picnic can be busy and exciting, it pays to be careful and knowledgable in avoiding and reducing fires for an enjoyable time with friends and family!
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