Spring is here, and it’s a great time to cook outdoors. Barbecuing is a popular option for Scouting activities, whether it’s outside your regular meeting hall, at a park or in someone’s backyard. With a portable grill, barbecuing is even possible when camping. Here are few safety tips to keep in mind the next time you fire up your grill.
- Maintain a safe distance (circle of safety).
Those who aren’t helping out should keep clear of the cooking area. And, no horseplay around the barbecue.
- Keep the grill clean.
After every use, burn off grease and food by leaving the grill burning on high for about 15 minutes. After the grill has cooled down, brush it off and wash it with a sponge.
- Inspect your brush.
Wire brushes are a safety hazard and should be inspected on a regular basis for loose bristles. There are alternatives available – such as a cleaning brick, nylon bristles, pumice stones or a wooden scraper. Instead of a wire brush, try using crumpled tin-foil with a pair of tongs. You might be impressed with how well this works.
- Check the temperature.
If you are cooking meat, the best way to make sure it is safe to eat is by checking its temperature. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature inside of the meat. Consult Health Canada’s guidelines for the meat you’re cooking.
- Turn the gas off.
Always check the gas before and after you use the grill. When you are done using the grill, turn the valve all the way to the right to make sure the gas is turned off. Close the valve at the tank first so that gas isn’t left in the line.
- Mind the wind.
Set up your barbecue out of the wind. This is especially important when cooking with charcoal so that no hot embers are blown out of the barbecue. If using a tarp as a wind screen, ensure it’s not too close to the barbecue.
- Be prepared.
Use the right tools when barbecuing. Barbecuing utensils are designed to keep you safe near a hot grill. Wear closed-toe footwear and have oven mitts handy. Be ready with a first aid kit in case of burns or cuts.