Memorial Day is upon us, my friends, and that means it’s barbecue time. With a precious three-day weekend, most people feel that holiday invincibility — eating, drinking, and being merry — as they realize that they won’t have to live up to that hangover until Tuesday morning. Sure, you’ll feel like hell dragging yourself back to work when the fun is over, but the beer and brats ingested make up for it and, besides, it’s only a four-day work week.
However, all of the imbibing and shenanigans does have a downside: It tends to make you sloppy and unaware. Being that a major component of any barbecue is a red hot (sometimes flaming) grill, that can be a recipe for danger in the form of an eyebrow-searing, property damaging fireball. And that can put a hell of a damper on festivities. So, as you plan out your weekend activities, keep a few things in mind while on your quest to become the Grill Master.
Propane and charcoal are the two major grill options, and they both require some unique tricks when prepping them to bend to your meaty will. First things first: Only keep your grills outside. Sure, in an ideal world, we’d all be able to grill from the comfort of our armchairs, but that utopia sadly doesn’t exist. Set up your grilling station away from the antics of children and pets, and make sure that everything is clean, in one piece, and that all of your connection points are tight. Nothing like a gas leak to shut down a party.
Light ‘Em Up
While it may seem like the most fun option to just toss on a little lighter fluid and call it a day, that’s a good way to cut the picnic short and end up in the emergency room instead. While a propane grill is pretty straight forward, its charcoal cousin can be a little more particular. Be sure to use only a moderate amount of charcoal specific started fluid, and add it all before you light up the charcoal. Unless you want a towering inferno on your porch. (You really don’t.)
General Safety (And Captain Caution)
While you’re cracking open a beer and throwing some burgers on the grill, there are a few more things to keep in mind. It’s probably best to keep a fire extinguisher near, making sure that it has not expired and that someone in your party actually knows how to wield it. As you can see in the video above, fanning flames, should they rise, does not go well. Smother that fire, and do not move the grill. That will only cause things to spread.
Follow these few rules (and others from The National Fire Protection Association) and your grill won’t be the cause of any disasters. We can’t assure you that you won’t drink too much or start a fight with your family, but at least an exploding grill will be off your list of things to worry about.