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Americans are obsessed with barbecue, particularly in the southern states. And who can blame them? Grilled meats and vegetables are on a whole other level when cooked to perfection over an open flame. The smoky flavor is unequaled.
According to a study done by Bid-On-Equipment.com, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Tampa are the top-rated cities for eating barbecue.
With the summer months upon us, lots of people will be standing in front of their grills with a beer in hand, flipping steaks, burgers, and hot dogs to celebrate the lazy days of summer. But according to recent safety research, it might be a safer summer if you seek out a barbecue restaurant in one of the cities mentioned above and leave the grilling to the professionals.
According to research gathered by ValuePenguin, 53% of consumers plan to host or attend a barbecue this summer, and 30% of grill owners or renters admit to grilling while intoxicated. Men are nearly three times more likely than women to injure themselves while grilling, and 22% of those injured are millennials.
Rookie Mistakes Equal Injuries
If you aren’t a seasoned griller, take note of some basics to keep yourself safe this summer. These mistakes could be the difference between enjoying a hot summer day and spending it in the emergency room. What are the worst mistakes newbies make the most often?
- They douse charcoal with lighter fluid after the charcoal is already on fire. Doing so is a great way to send flames into the air, potentially burning yourself and setting other things on fire.
- People in a hurry cook on a dirty grill. Only cook on a grill after first cleaning it. A dirty grill spreads food poisoning.
- They start grilling without first checking the barbecue vents. Ensure you properly use your barbecue’s vents for adequate airflow.
- Newbies don’t pay close enough attention to what they are doing. Keep a safe distance between you and the hot grill.
- They check whether the meat is done cooking by eyesight alone. Just because it looks cooked on the outside doesn’t mean it’s fully cooked on the inside. Reports show that food poisoning is the second highest grilling injury at 37%, with burns being the next highest at 63%.
- Parents allow their kids to operate the grill without keeping an eye on them. According to ValuePenguin, 21% of parents with children younger than 18 have let their kids’ grill unsupervised.
- They grill while intoxicated. It should go without saying, but alcohol and hot surfaces are generally a bad combination. Yet 30% of consumers who plan to use a grill this summer admit to grilling while under the influence of alcohol.
- Inexperienced grillers don’t inspect the grill before each use. Yes, you should check it every single time. It may feel like overkill, but 62% of barbecuers admit that they only sometimes check to see if their grill works properly before using it. Using a grill that isn’t functioning at its full capacity can result in accidents, including propane leaks, weakened rust spots, and more.
Did You Know That Not All Homeowners Insurance Policies Cover Grill-Related Damage?
Do you know if your insurance covers a house fire caused by a grill? According to ValuePenguin, 44% of consumers have not determined if their insurance covers these damages. It’s worth a phone call for peace of mind to find out.
11 Grilling Safety Tips
- Barbecues are for outdoor use only. Never bring your grill inside.
- Keep your grill a safe distance from your house. It doesn’t take much for a flame to jump from your grill to trees overhead and then move onto your home.
- Inspect your grill before each use to make sure it will work properly. Check the propane line, vents and look for rust spots that may compromise your grill in any way.
- Make sure your grill is completely clean before you cook on it. Food poisoning doesn’t happen by itself.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Never use meat marinade leftovers on your cooked meat. The raw meat juices are still in the marinade and will make you sick. Discard any leftover marinade. If you need additional sauce, open a new bottle.
- Always use a meat thermometer. Cooking food to the proper temperature is the best way to avoid food poisoning.
- Heating your grill before putting food on it and allowing food to sit on the counter for about half an hour before putting it on the grill ensures there will be fewer fluctuations in food temperature and will help keep it from sticking to the grill.
- Keep your grill on a level, sturdy surface. It should not tip or wobble.
- Make sure you have appropriate clothing on. Don’t wear anything that could dangle into the flames and catch fire. Consider wearing something that will rest between you and a hot surface.
- Stick to things, you know. If you’ve never cooked cedar plank salmon on a grill before, it might be worth waiting until somebody can show you how to do it safely.
Grill safety is a lot of common sense. But for newbies and the inexperienced, it can be a dangerous combination that could land you in the hospital instead of sipping that beer and enjoying that steak with friends and family. Be safe out there, friends.
This article was produced by The Gracious Pantry and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.