A list of gas grilling tips includes insight on equipment, food and safety
Your husband is a hold-over from a bygone era. He loves grilling but insists on using the charcoal briquette method. However, he just received a gas grill (from you!) and has reluctantly agreed to use it.
What are important gas grilling tips a novice needs to know?
When using propane for a gas grill, safety is paramount. Never use this appliance inside; use it only outside where there is ample ventilation. Before lighting the burner, use a solution that detects leaks. Apply the solution to all connections to determine if they are tight. You can acquire this solution from a supplier.
The grill should never be situated close to a structure. Place it a minimum of 10 feet from the home, but even farther away if possible. This goes for both gas and charcoal.
Clean the appliance routinely, preventing fat and grease build-up, which can lead to fire.
Keep a spray bottle filled with water on hand. You can spritz the water on a flame if there is a flare-up. Know where your first extinguisher is and know how to use it. Dial 911 if needed.
Additional Tips for Operating a Grill
- If you notice the flame from the burner is yellow, this means the burners are clogged or require readjustment. The flame should be blue.
- Do not turn on the appliance when the lid is closed. This leads to gas build-up. When you light the grill, a fireball can erupt and burn your face if the lid was closed when lighting.
- Do not leave the appliance unattended.
- When working at the grill, use long handled utensils and wear mitts that provide protection from heat.
- Use two different sets of utensils, one for uncooked meat and raw food and the second set for cooked food.
- It helps to use a thermometer to determine if food is completely cooked. Poke the thermometer into the product to determine if it is done.
- The lid shouldn’t be lifted unless turning food or checking for doneness. Leaving the lid down reduces the amount of oxygen that can create a fire.
- When you flatten meat, the juices coming out of the product cause flare-ups so don’t do that.
- When finished the appliance must be turned off before replacing the cover.
- The cylinder must remain in a vertical position when stored. Do not place it near sources that could cause it to ignite.
- When refilling the cylinder, have the supplier examine the tank for leaks, rust, damage or dents.
The advantages of using propane include it being cleaner than charcoal and the entire process is quicker. Propane does not require an open fire so it is safer.
If you really want that smoked flavor you get when using charcoal, use foil-wrapped wood chips or a smoker box with propane.
Controlling temperature is easier. You don’t have to wrangle around with adding more charcoal and opening and closing vents.
Propane is cheaper because one one-third as much fuel is used compared to charcoal. A 20-pound propane tank equals approximately 20 hours of cooking time — if not more. A bag of charcoal equals a couple cooking sessions.
There are those who will never switch from charcoal to propane, but many have and would not go back because they like the ease and expediency of this method.