Summer isn’t complete without some great barbecue meals with friends and family. It also provides you with a perfect opportunity to check and try out some new recipes as you look forward to spending quality time with your loved ones. However, don’t be too engrossed in recipes and forget about safety. If you’re using a propane grill, it’s essential that you go through the safety precautions and best practices to ensure you get the most out of your propane gas grill. In this post, we will list ten mistakes you should avoid making when grilling.
1. Not Preheating the Grill
While propane grill tends to produce high heat instantly when you turn it on, it doesn’t mean it will heat your grill immediately. Give your grill enough time to transfer heat to the grates before placing any food. This critical step helps prevent food from sticking to the grill and gives your steak those attractive grill marks. When preheating, you can close the lid.
2. Grilling Too Much Food at Once
If you’re grilling food for many people, don’t congest your grill with food to cook faster. You will only end up with poor results. Too much food on the grill means more flare-ups, which can burn the rest of the food or, worse, cause a fire. Prepare your food and cook it in batches. Have a warming space to keep the cooked food warm as you cook the rest. Cooking in batches allows you to focus only on what you’re grilling, making you a better griller.
3. Not Giving Your Grill Enough Space
Ventilation is key when grilling using propane. If you have an outdoor kitchen or prefer to grill your food outdoors, you don’t have to worry about ventilation. The grill requires enough space to heat and disperse the floating ambers. Keep the grill far from any item that can catch fire, such as trees and deck railings. You also need enough space for fresh air and plenty of shade to add comfort during your grilling session.
4. Opening the Lid and Turning the Food Too Frequently
Opening your lid all the time and turning food all the time doesn’t help cook it faster. In fact, it slows down the entire cooking process. Opening the lid causes the grill to lose a significant amount of heat, and turning your food too soon disrupts the cooking process and leads to moisture loss. Always give your grill some space to give you its best results.
5. Having Too Little or Inadequate Propane
The last thing you want is running out of propane halfway through cooking in the middle of a forest or beach. Watch your propane gas tank closely throughout the grilling and have a full tank nearby in case you run out of propane. That’s why you should avoid grilling all your food at the same time. This way, you can avoid having all your food half cooked.
6. Not Cleaning Your Grill Well
Cleaning your grill isn’t fun, but it’s important. Your grill deserves a good wash after a lengthy grilling episode. The best time to do this is once it has cooled down but is still warm enough for oil and dirt removal. Good cleaning prevents food from sticking to the grill and the leftover particles staining your current food.
7. Not Adequately Using the Dials to Control Heat
Hotter isn’t always better. Cooking your food in direct flames for a long time will burn it on the outside even before it’s properly cooked on the inside. Instead of turning all burners high, create heat zones by turning the dial buttons high on one side and low on the other side. That way, you can sear the food on the hottest side and transfer it to the cooler section to cook slowly.
8. Leaving the Grill Unattended
While this seems obvious, it’s more important when using propane grills. Everyone wants to be part of the party and enjoy every part of it. However, leaving your grill unattended in an area with children and pets is too dangerous. Keep children a few feet away from the grill, and keep an eye on your propane tanks.
9. Not Checking for Gas Leaks
Routine maintenance is crucial when using propane grills to eliminate the chances of starting a fire. If you travel with your grill and propane tanks, check for gas leaks once or twice before grilling. For outdoor kitchens, you can do this during cleaning by adding some soapy water to the propane hose. If you see bubbles growing after turning on the propane, you have a leak in the hose. With gas leaks comes fire. Therefore, always be prepared to put out a fire anytime you’re grilling. Have a fire extinguisher nearby to put out fires, and remember never to use water to put out grease fires.
10. Not Double Checking to Make sure the Grill is Off
It’s quite normal to feel overwhelmed and excited when entertaining guests. You may have to deal with multiple distractions, which can easily mess up your cooking or even cause a fire. Once you’re done cooking, double-check to make sure you have turned off the burners completely before leaving. Additionally, you can also close down the propane supply if you have children playing around. Propane is highly flammable. Failing to turn it off can be dangerous for you and other people around you.
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