The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

Safe Grilling Hints And Other Hot Summer Tips

safe propane grilling maine

This 4th of July will still remain a day of celebration and an appreciation of the freedom we have long been blessed with.

While the current health crisis has put a damper on the kind of events we are used to participating in, there is one American tradition that will never change; the backyard barbecue. Hint: if you plan to invite a small gathering of a few friends or neighbors over, remember to practice social distancing. Science is proving that it is making a difference!

If you’re fortunate enough to have a propane grill, you’re way ahead of the game. Propane grills can handle all of your burgers, hot dogs, chicken and ribs with less work and more ease than a charcoal grill.

You get the precise control with propane that makes grilling easier, with better results. You can go from high heat for steaks to low and indirect heat for pulled pork with just the turn of a dial. Grilling with propane offers you the options and control that make cookouts a snap.

Grill meat safely on a propane grill

When you grill with propane, you greatly reduce your exposure to carcinogens that could end up in your food when you grill with charcoal. Cooking on a charcoal grill burns hotter and generates more smoke.

Make sure your grilled meat is as safe as it could be

  • Trim excess fat and blot marinade off meats before grilling to prevent flare-ups
  • Use a marinade with rosemary, which has been shown to reduce toxin in some studies. Lemon juice, garlic and onion are other recommended marinade ingredients
  • Grill your meat to a safe temperature. Use an instant-read thermometer and you’ll hit the safe temperature without overcooking
  • When you’re done grilling, don’t put grilled meats on the same platter you brought out the raw meat on. A clean platter prevents the spread of bacteria that can live in meat juices and residue

Maintaining a propane grill

Taking proper care of your propane grill will help it work better, last longer and operate safely.

Here’s how you do regular maintenance.

  • Thoroughly clean the grill and carefully inspect all of the internal parts
  • Check for clogs in the ports of the burners (the holes where the flames come out), as clogs can cause burner failure and uneven flames
  • If you find a clog or obstruction, use a thin wire or pipe cleaner to get rid of it
  • Make sure the igniters have a good spark and that the grill lights as it should

Grilling safety on a propane grill

  • Leftover grease is the most common reason for grill fires. Clean your grill after each use to prevent flare-ups, and give it a quick cleaning after you’ve preheated it and before you put food on it
  • Propane grills and propane cylinders must be kept outside at all times
  • When using the grill, it needs to be at least five feet away from the house, on a level surface, and clear of any fire hazards like overhead trees or outdoor furniture
  • NEVER use a propane grill indoors, or in a garage, covered carport or shed. The grill isn’t just a fire hazard, but propane combustion creates carbon monoxide. That’s an odorless, potentially deadly gas.
  • Make sure to open your grill lid before you ignite the grill, and keep it open until you have confirmed that the grill is lit. A closed grill lid could cause propane gas to build up, which is an explosion risk
  • Once the grill is on, stay close and keep it in sight. (The National Fire Prevention Association reports that almost half of cooking fire-related civilian injuries are caused by unattended grills.)
  • Keep kids and pets at least three feet from the grill
  • Once you’re finished grilling, make sure to turn off all of the burners and close the cylinder valve before leaving the grill to eat

If you’re interested in reading a variety of other tips about using propane safely, please go here.