Any time is a good time to barbecue so if you’re anything like me, you’re probably grilling 3-4 times a week. After heavy use of grilling up fatty foods like ribeye steaks or rotisserie chicken you may begin to experience flare-ups. Controlled flare-ups – no biggie! It’s when the fire gets out of control that you have a problem. So proper maintenance can be critical when it comes to avoiding an unexpected grease fire. Check out these 3 important tips on preventing and putting out grease fires, courtesy of Napoleon Grills.
- Clean-Up: The first tip to preventing grease fires and flare-ups is to keep your grill clean. Every grill has a drip pan or tray under its cooking grids and burners. When they become too full, and when the oil or grease has reached its maximum temperature, grease fires occur. To avoid this – monitor the grease levels in the removable drip pan at the back of the grill. Once it is full, either dispose of it or scrape it clean and wash it out with a small amount of mild soap and a non-abrasive cloth; make sure you rinse well! These pans and trays should be checked weekly. If you’re a frequent user of the grill, then check twice a week.
- Scrape Your Grids: Always scrape your cooking grids before or after every use, while the grill is still hot. Dried on meat and grease not only harbor bacteria and other nasties that can affect the outcome of your meals, but they can cause unwanted flare-ups. Using your grill brush while the grill is still hot is the best way to keep your cooking grids clean. But, you can also give them a good scrubbing with a soft cloth and mild soap when you clean your drip pan.
- Be Prepared: Baking soda is the most effective form of fire extinguisher; it quickly cuts off the oxygen supply to the flame. Keep a box or 2 in or near your grill station, as well as a fire extinguisher. Salt will also work in smothering a flame. DO NOT ever use flour, or water when putting out a grease fire. It will explode and can severely injure yourself and damage your home. If flames persist, turn off gas and leave lid open to let grease burn off. If that doesn’t work, use a fire extinguisher or clear the area and call your local fire department.
Grease fires can be a radical and unexpected phenomenon but with proper maintenance of your grill, they can easily be avoided. Remember that you’re cooking with fire, so never leave your grill unattended. Grill responsibly!