Sizzling Safely – A Guide to Safe BBQing This Summer
When the sun comes out (well maybe not quite as hot as it’s been recently), there’s nothing us Brits love more than lighting up the old BBQ. But whether it’s gas or coal, we want to make sure that you and your garden stay safe when cooking outdoors this Summer, so we’ve put together this quick guide to help…
Cleanliness is Close to Godliness
Now we all know that you don’t cook in a dirty kitchen, but often we overlook the cleaning on our outdoor equipment. I hear a lot of people saying, “it’ll just burn off”. It won’t. Please take these few steps to get your BBQ ready for use.
If you’re cooking on coals, then ensure you’ve given the grill and BBQ a good once over. You can even pop the grill(s) in your dishwasher!
If you’re cooking on gas and haven’t used it for a time then:
- Get a bowl of soapy water and a brush
- Turn on the gas bottle (but not the BBQ) and brush from the gas valve up to where the hose attached to your grill.
- If any bubbles appear, this may be a sign of leak in the pipe. You should replace your pipe.
- If all is OK, turn of the gas and wipe everything down with clean water.
- Clean off your grill and any other parts that are dirty.
Keep it Clear & Level
If possible, keep your BBQ at least 10 feet from your house and any shrubbery or outdoor equipment or shed. Make sure the ground where you have your BBQ is completely level so as not to tip whilst you are cooking. You should also try to keep children and animals away from the cooking area. Perhaps set up their toys and play area as far away as possible from where you intend to cook.
Gas & Charcoal Safety
For gas BBQs, keep the gas hose and bottle as far as possible away from the cooking area to avoid any drips or splashes from the cooking meats onto the hose. Do not store gas cylinders in your house. Find a shaded place outside where they will be safe to store, and obviously keep any spare cylinders away from your lit BBQ.
For charcoal BBQs, don’t overload them. You should only need to cover the bottom of your grill, so about 2 inches of coals will be plenty. Remember, the art of BBQing takes time. Use firelighters to get the coals going if you need to, but don’t be tempted to add any accelerants such as petrol to speed things up. They are incredible dangerous and no one wants to be in A&E instead of having a garden feast!
Pay Attention At All Times
I know, this is a tricky one. What with children , dogs, friends, beers, all there to distract you, keeping your eye on the prize is a challenge. However, it’s imperative. Don’t leave your grill unattended and remain in control of it for the whole time you are cooking. Unattended grills are one of the main causes of BBQ accidents.
In Case of Emergencies
I hope that there won’t be any type of emergency at your BBQ, but it’s always worth having an emergency kit there. Better safe than sorry. A bucket of water or sand will suffice to allow you to take quick action should you need to.
When You’ve Finished
Make sure the gas cylinder is turned off before the BBQ controls so as to ensure there is no residual gas in the pipelines. Leave everything to cool and then give the grill a good wash. It’ll save you time next time your want to BBQ.
When you’re done cooking on your BBQ DO NOT dispose of the coals into the bin as this is a fire risk and the coals will melt through your plastic bin very quickly. Instead, close the BBQ lid and close the vents and let your BBQ quietly die out over the course of a few days. Once completely cold, wrap the coals in foil or find a metal can to put them in and then dispose of them in the bin. Again, give your grill a good wash, ready for next time.
I hope our BBQ safety tips have been of use to you. Whilst we don’t work on BBQs, we’re happy to be invited round for one. And if you need work on your plumbing and heating, we will gladly partake of a burger whilst we’re there!
Stay safe this Summer.