Jun 08, 2022 | Samuel Albert

BBQ Safety - Don't Forget These Essentials!

Safety comes first, whether we are planning on grilling in our backyard or at a campsite. When we follow safety rules religiously, especially when around grill fires, we can avoid mishaps and accidents to a large extent. Better safe than sorry!


11 BBQ Safety Tips:

  • Bristle-free clean grill.

  • Check for leaks.

  • Never grill on a wooden deck.

  • Keep the grill away from home.

  • An outdoor grill is way safer.

  • Don't stray away from your grill.

  • Never light a closed gas grill.

  • Don on your safety gear before your grilling adventure - BBQ gloves, apron, shoes, and glasses. 

  • Keep an easy-to-operate fire extinguisher in hand.

  • Exercise extra caution if there are kids or pets around.

  • Marinate, cover-cook, or precook to reduce the risk of cancer.


  1. How and when to clean the grill?

The best time to clean your grill is when your grill is still hot right after the cooking is over. 

Burn up the scraps of food and grease buildup by turning on the grill and then cleaning the grill grates with a brush. So, make sure you have your grill brush ready after BBQing is over.

Choose a safe, bristle-free grill brush designed to spotlessly clean the grill. Opt for either a helix coiled brush or an Aramaic brush to scrub your grill. Many excellent cleaning solutions are available in the market; choose one of them to make your cleaning process hassle-free.

Are you out camping and forgot to bring in your grill brush? No worries! Crumple up an aluminum foil and use it instead of your brush. And make your own cleaning solution using vinegar or baking soda - whichever you have available in your limited camping supplies.

  1. How do you check your gas grill for leaks?

PHOTO BY Claudio Schwarz / UNSPLASH 

Regular inspection of the supply line from your propane tank to your gas grill is a must. Check for cracks or damage to your propane hose and replace it if necessary.

Prepare a soapy solution by adding water to the dishwasher or any liquid soap and applying it along the hose's length and valves. Turn on the gas and examine carefully. The soapy solution will start to bubble at the place of leakage. If it is at the valves, turn off the gas, tighten them, and check again. If there is no leak, then you are all set to go! 

  1. Is it safe to grill on a wooden deck?


You can grill on a wooden deck if you use a gas grill, but it is a BIG NO for a charcoal grill. Concrete or stone decks are better options for a charcoal grill. When using a gas grill over the wooden deck, place a heat-resistant, drip-absorbent grill mat over the wooden deck to avoid any accidents.

Also, be aware of your surroundings. There should not be any combustibles like wood, fancy hangings, or even boughs of trees nearby that are likely to catch fire. Your grill should be at least 10 m away from your house, garage, car, or similar structures.

Never try using your outdoor grill inside the house.

Even grilling under shades like a porch or light roofing is not safe. While the fumes from the grill can stain the walls without proper air ventilation, the roof can also get spoilt by heat and the accumulation of sticky grease over time. So, when grilling under roof cover, grill in a place with good airflow and cross ventilation.

  1. Why should you stay near your grill?

While grilling is fun, keeping a careful watch of the grill fire is mandatory. So before you start grill cooking, finish all your other work. The rule is that the grillmaster of the house should stay nearby and keep a sharp lookout. Also, be extra cautious when there are kids and pets around.

  1. Can you light a gas grill when it is closed?

Running out of gas is very common when we grill. So, after you change your gas tank, open the lid of your grill before lighting on the fire. If the fire didn't start out right, put it off and try after a few minutes. Never try lighting the grill with the lid closed. The gas buildup inside the grill may cause it to explode or cause the fire to burst right on your face.

  1. What grill safety gear do you need to wear before grilling?

Thermal-resistant gloves, apron, shoes, and BBQ glasses are essential protective safety gear for any pitmaster. Spills and splashes are common when grilling, so wear a good apron to protect yourself. In addition, use long-handled grilling equipment (with heat-resistant handles) that gives you a safe distance from the grill's heat. Kitchen safety/BBQ glasses are also essential for protecting your eyes from hot oil splatter or bursts.

  1. Which fire extinguisher is suitable for grills?


The best way to put off a charcoal grill fire is to cut off its air supply. Avoid using water. Cover the grill to smother the flame.

Choose the black-labeled CO2-based fire extinguishers for electrical fires. 

In case of a gas grill fire, put off the fuel supply by turning off the knobs on your grill. Then, proceed on to use a dry powder fire extinguisher. These extinguishers are the most versatile for all types of grills. Look for a yellow-labeled one to spot this particular type in the store. But remember, the chemical will corrode and spoil the grill grates. So, ensure you clean the grill grates properly after using this fire extinguisher.

Another important thing is to know how to use the fire extinguisher in times of emergency. If you don't understand the user manual, get a crash course on using your fire extinguisher. Or simply get a user-friendly fire extinguisher. 

Grease and fat dripping from the grilled food is the main reason behind most fires. So, it is essential to trim the fat or collect the fat drippings in a drip bowl filled with water to prevent fires.

  1. Is grilled food harmful?


Food cooked at high temperatures and the blackened char formed on the grilled meat are harmful and can form carcinogenic compounds in the body. In addition, regular inhalation of the grill smoke emanating from the grill can lead to lung-related problems and is hazardous to health.

There are some proven ways to reduce the formation of carcinogens to a great extent:

  • Cooking the meat wrapped in aluminum foil.
  • Precooking the meat first and then grilling for the final searing touch.
  • Thickly coat your marinade around your meat to reduce the dripping and smoking of the grease.
  • Using herbs around the grilled meat.

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