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GRILLING TIPS

Most of these tips apply to grilling with propane. But many can be applied to grilling with charcoal as well.

  GRILLING DURING A POWER OUTAGE

  • At the very least, purchase a spare tank of propane or two 20-pound bags of charcoal, depending on the type of grill.
  • Grills should NEVER be used indoors or in a garage. Any appliance fueled by gas, oil, kerosene, propane, wood or charcoal can create dangerous—and deadly—carbon monoxide gas if used in enclosed areas. Even in the summer, in a well ventilated area, my neighbors experienced a devastating and fatal house fire caused by an unattended charcoal grill in their garage.
  • Store the spare tank in a protected but not enclosed place, especially not in the house.
  • Charcoal bags can be kept dry by storing in a large plastic garbage can with lid.
  • Before a storm, be sure to secure the grill and propane tank against high winds.
  • Use a large plastic bin to store all the tools needed for cooking on a grill and serving food. This includes pots and skillets made especially for the grill. Search for the products by individual description or a general a phrase such as “grill tools” on sites such as Amazon. Also, store butane lighters or matches placed in a waterproof container, plastic utensils, paper plates and napkins, grill tools, foil, a manual can opener and trash bags. Make sure the bin is easily accessible in an emergency.
  • Start by grilling or cooking perishable items from your refrigerator or freezer. Remember the “40 degrees” rule. Invite the neighbors for dinner to help consume your “bounty” rather than losing it to the garbage can.
  • Make copies of simple recipes that can be cooked on a grill, and store recipes in the plastic bin with the grilling tools.
  • Have an LED light source such. You can find this item made specifically for grills, online.
  • Stock up on canned/preserved goods such as stews, soups, canned meats and vegetables that can be heated on the grill.
  • Purchase a large pot for use in boiling water on the grill to make it safe for drinking and food preparation.

 

GRILLING IN WINTER   Tips from Blue Rhino, the leading supplier of propane grill tanks.

 Before You Grill

Gas: Use a grill with a high BTU rating for maximum heat output. Make sure you have enough propane BEFORE you start grilling, since you can’t cook without it. Dress: Wear a warm jacket, but be careful of any hanging fabric that could catch fire. A cover-up with an elastic band around the wrist or a button closure is a perfect choice. Also, select warm gloves that allow you to move your fingers, such as fingerless gloves, or ones that have fingertips that can be folded back.

Grill placement: Place your grill in a location that’s sheltered from cold winds, but is approximately 10 feet from any combustible surfaces. Don’t place it against siding or near other materials susceptible to heat damage or catching fire.

Light: During the winter when the sun sets before grilling time, use a Magnetic Barbecue Light featuring three powerful LED bulbs so you don’t have to bend close to see what’s going on.

Oil: Coat grids with cooking oil before lighting to help keep food from sticking.

Start: Propane grills can be harder to light in the cold. To make it easier, do NOT turn the handwheel on the propane tank all the way on. Instead, try turning it just a single turn before lighting.

Season: Preheat the grill to about 300°F and liberally apply vegetable oil with brush or spray bottle. Close the grill and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes.

While You Grill

Lid placement: Depending on the type of food you are cooking, leave the lid down in the winter to help the grill retain as much heat as possible.

Rubs: For a mild flavor, add a rub immediately before cooking. For a more intense taste, rub meats a day or so in advance.

Mark food: Sear food over high heat for 90 seconds and then rotate it clockwise 45 degrees and sear again to create a crosshatch design.

Grill tools: To avoid losing natural juices, use long-handled tongs or spatulas instead of forks.

Don’t mess with it: Let the grill do the work. Resist the urge and turn foods over as little as possible.

Direct cooking: To sear or cook from the outside-in, put steaks, burgers and veggies directly over lit burners.

Wood chips: Enhance flavors by using wood chips in smoker boxes or aluminum foil pouches. Always follow the wood manufacturer’s instructions.

Flare-ups: To reduce flare-ups, use lean cuts of meat, or trim fat. Avoid cooking at very high temperatures. If a flare up does occur, put the grill lid down, or turn all burners OFF and move food to another part of the grill. After the flames subside, re-light the grill. DO NOT spray water on flare-ups.

Foil: Place delicate foods in aluminum foil pouches. Indirect cook, or place the pouch on the warming rack. Never cover entire cooking area with aluminum foil.

Warming rack: Use it to keep cooked food warm, toast breads or cook delicate foods in aluminum foil pouches.

Side burner: Use it like your kitchen stove for boiling, warming, sautéing or frying.

After You Grill

Let it rest: After cooking, let grilled food stand for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute. This will help ensure a more consistent and juicy taste.

Clean: While the grill is still hot, clean cooking grids and racks with quality grill brushes, grill cleaners, and stainless steel cleaners. Wear protective gloves and gently remove build-up.

Protect: After every use, allow grill to cool. Then, lightly coat cooking grids with cooking oil, empty grease pan, wipe outside surfaces with a suitable cleaner, and protect surfaces with a quality cover that fits your grill.

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