How to Barbecue Safely

How to Barbecue Safely
How to Barbecue Safely
With summer just a couple of months away from folks in the UK, many of us are already dusting down our barbecues and drooling at the thought of some luscious food for a bbq. The only problem is, sometimes a bit of English sunshine and barbecued food can go to our heads and make us lose any traces of common sense. When you’re operating something as dangerous as a BBQ it will certainly pay off to use it safely, and that’s why we’ve got a whole bunch of tips for you!

Outback bbq

The majority of people will love a good barbecue, and rightly so. But this enjoyable outdoor pastime can quickly become sour if things aren’t kept under control – one small mistake and things can go from good, to bad, to worse in just seconds. Grilling Between 2000 and 2002 (the only data we could obtain, thanks to the HASS / LASS), there were on average 1500 reported accidents each year as a result of barbecuing and probably thousands more that were unreported.

How to Barbecue Safely

Since we don’t want you turning into a statistic by burning yourself, your friends, your family or your property, we’ve compiled a nice list of safety tips for you to read below. Make sure you read ALL of them to ensure your barbecuing adventures go perfectly (aside from a couple of burnt sausages).

Outback apron and mitt

General Safety Tips:
1) Ensure your BBQ / griller is in good condition and suitable to be used. Far too often do people dust off a barbecue which hasn’t been used for several years and expect it to be in perfect working order. If for some reason you’re unsure, ask someone who’s a bit more experienced and hands on than you to check or drop it into the place you purchased it from and get a second opinion. Barbecue grill 2) Position the barbecue in a safe place. Avoid barbecuing under low hanging trees, near bushes or anything else that is flammable such as sheds, arches or benches. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of the flames spreading if something does go wrong as the BBQ site will be isolated. Also, when setting up the barbecue, try and do it on the flattest piece of land possible – avoid slopes and gradients. If your barbecue has wheels, lock them or put a brick either side to stop it from moving. 3) Separate the barbecue from other activities. As mentioned above, ideally you want the barbecue to be in an isolated part of the garden where your family, friends or guests aren’t constantly walking past. You don’t want it to be in an area that is being used for a football kick-around or any other type of garden activities. It is also worth bearing in mind if you have children or pets present, to make the barbecue as hard to reach as possible. This will prevent dogs from accidentally knocking it over and more importantly, it will stop kids from messing around with it and potentially ending up with serious burns. It’s also advisable to give a warning at the start of the barbecue to the children to let them know the ‘barbecuing area’ is strictly off limits – threaten them with no grilled food or something, that should do the trick. Barbecue Grill 4) Make sure the BBQ is manned at all times. Obviously this doesn’t apply to smokers (nobody expects you to stand over it whilst your food is smoked for hours upon hours), but for the regular charcoal or gas grill, there should be someone overseeing it at all times. If you have to take a toilet break, ask someone to keep an eye on things whilst you’re gone for a few minutes, nobody will object. Don’t be fooled into thinking nothing bad can happen if you leave it alone for a while – a few minutes is all it takes for things to turn ugly. Right, that’s part 1, stay tuned for some more barbecue tips and safety advice. While you wait for part 2 why not check out this handy video on how to barbecue safely

Essential barbecue Accessories

Essential barbecue Accessories
Essential barbecue Accessories
The sun has finally arrived, you’re sitting down with a cool glass of your favourite drink and, somewhat surprisingly given the unpredictable weather the United Kingdom suffers from, there isn’t a dark cloud causing a horrible blotch on the bright blue sky. It’s the perfect setup for a barbecue, so you rush to get the barbecue out before the bad weather inevitably makes its unwelcome return. Except, you’ve lit it and you’ve forgot one key thing – barbecue accessories!

Picking the best barbecue accessories

Of course, I’m not suggesting that any of us would light a barbecue without anything to help us actually cook the food but there are things we tend to forget in our rush to make good use of the decent weather. It’s not just what you need during the cooking process though, you’ve also got to think about things you need after you’ve had your fill of sausages and the barbecue needs putting away. So here’s a handy list of six things we regard as essential barbecue accessories.

1. Gloves

Before you even begin with the cooking part refer to our recent barbecue safety guide. Outback apron and mittWhen you’re dealing with barbecues you may unsurprisingly end up getting burnt if you’re not careful, so extra protection is required just in case. Get hold of some heavy duty gloves that also protect your lower arms, as when you reach over the grill you could accidentally touch flame or be splashed by whatever is cooking. Also, the handles on the utensils you’re using can get hot so you don’t want to end up burning your fingers when picking them up. Gloves barbecue

2. Tongs

Don’t skimp by getting a flimsy pair of plastic tongs. For starters, plastic tongs and high cooking temperatures don’t exactly mix, and secondly you need some tongs with a decent grip on them. Make sure they’re easy enough to squeeze and fit your hand nicely, yet will retain a good grip on small or large items without damaging the food. Make sure the tongs have a good reach so you don’t have to reach your hand into the fire, although they shouldn’t be too heavy as you don’t want to add to the weight of any food you have to flip. Tongs barbecue

3. Fork

Apparently it’s a myth that poking holes in your meat will make all the juices flow out, but barbecue tools set try to keep it to a minimum anyway. Forks are ideal for testing the meat to see if it’s nearly done, but you can also use them for helping flip meat without it accidentally ending up on your lawn. Fork barbecue

4. Spatula

If your spatula won’t slip underneath that pristine steak you’ve just cooked up then you’ve got a dud, unless the steak isn’t actually as pristine as you think and you’ve managed to stick it to the grill. Find one that will slip under easily and allow you to turn the food, but it also needs to be able to get those unfortunate accidents off the grill without totally destroying the remainder of the food. Tongs, forks and spatulas can be bought in packs as well as individually. Spatula barbecue

5. Cleaning Brush

After you’ve finished with your BBQ for the day you need to give it a good scrub before putting it away. You can use warm soapy water to wash it, but you need something to get rid of those stubborn pieces of burnt food. A bbq brush with brass bristles is strong enough to easily wipe away those bits, and you can finish off with a soft sponge and some disinfectant. Don’t leave it until next time, as this post says it’s important that your barbecue remains relatively clean. Cleaning Brush barbecue

6. Cover Sheet

Once it’s all cleaned up you’ll be putting your barbecue into storage until the next time the barbecue cover sheet sun decides to poke its head out of the clouds. If you’re keeping it outside a bbq sheet is an essential, otherwise the forces of nature aren’t going to do your shiny clean barbecue any favours. I’d say that you should also use a cover even if you’re keeping it in the shed, as it’s an extra layer of protection from cold weather and damp. Keep these in mind when buying a new barbecue or setting your current barbecue up when you haven’t used it in a while and you’ll be fine. Otherwise, picking hot sausages up with your bare hands won’t be fun in the slightest.

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