How To Avoid BBQ Disasters

What better way to enjoy outdoor life than by inviting friends or family round for a tasty barbecue? With so many types available, from small kettle versions to gas-powered barbecues and tin disposables, there’s one to fit any size garden. 

But anything involving heat, flames and cooking comes with risks, so it’s important to take precautions. Here are our tips for a safe barbecue:

Place grill on a level surface away from low hanging trees, deck railings, siding or any combustible materials.

Protect yourself from scalds and burns Make sure your barbecue is placed on sturdy ground and can’t fall over. Always use the correct implements and only use proper barbecue fuel to get things going – never use petrol or paraffin. Make sure your barbecue is positioned away from garden sheds and timber structures and have a bucket of water close by in case the flames get out of control. It’s also important to keep children well away from the barbecue – they may not realise how hot it is and try to grab tempting things if they have the opportunity.

Think about what you’re wearing – stay clear of long sleeves or shawls, which could catch fire. Always wear proper shoes – not open-toed sandals, in case hot coals or sharp utensils drop to the floor.

Avoid food poisoning Keep raw meat away from other foods and prevent cross-contamination by using separate equipment for handling raw and cooked food. Always ensure food is cooked all the way through before serving, as it’s easy for things to burn on the outside before they’re cooked in the middle. Check that the meat is properly cooked by inserting a skewer and ensuring that the juices run clear, or cut burgers and sausages in half to check they’re cooked through. If you’re planning an evening barbecue, ensure you have enough light to see what you are doing.

Do not add lighter fluid to an already lit fire. The flame can flashback up into the container and explode.

Always use charcoal grills in a well-ventilated area. Charcoal briquettes give of the deadly gas carbon monoxide.

Dispose of hot coals properly. Douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper, or wooden containers.

Easy on the alcohol For many people, outdoor entertaining means drinking. Have lots of alcohol-free alternatives available too. It’s probably best if the chef takes care of the food before over-indulging in alcohol to prevent accidents.

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