Tailgating grilling tipsHere are some tips for tailgaiting grillers to follow.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Here are some tips for tailgating grillers to follow:
• Preheating your grill with the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes prepares the cooking grate by burning off any food left behind from last night’s dinner and gets the grate hot enough to sear food properly.
• If using a charcoal grill, ignite your briquettes with a chimney starter and paraffin cubes instead of chemical alternatives. Chemical starters leave behind a nasty taste, they’re not eco-friendly and might cause an explosion.
• Keep the lid down—it reduces the chances of flare-ups and allows your food to cook faster and more evenly.
• Coat your food lightly with oil to help it brown more evenly and prevent sticking. By oiling the food and not the cooking grate, you will use less oil and avoid flare-ups.
• Poking allows precious juices and flavor to escape, drying out your food. That’s a serious fumble.
• Grilling times listed in recipes are usually approximates. Allow for more cooking time on cold or windy days, or at higher altitudes. Your best defense against under or overcooked food is an instant-read thermometer. Use it to verify doneness by inserting the tip into the center of your meat when you’ve timed it to come off the grill.
• Position the grill a safe distance from any building or parked vehicle.
• Make sure hose connections are properly tightened.
• Use insulated, flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbecue tongs and utensils to handle food and hot coals.
• Always have a spray bottle, fire extinguisher and first aid kit handy.
• Keep kids and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill.
• Have someone in charge of the grill so someone keeps an eye on it at all times.
• Place all grills on a firm, level surface to help maintain stability and reduce the chances of a tip-over.
• Keep decorations away from your grill. Items like team-spirited tents and banners add a festive touch but also provide fuel for a fire.
• Never start a gas grill with the lid closed. It causes gas to build up inside, creating a possible explosion.
• Never leave the grill unattended, especially when young children or pets are nearby.
• Never add charcoal igniter fluid after the coals have started to burn.
• Don’t set up your tailgate underneath wooden overhangs or near tree branches. Grill fires could flare up and ignite them.
• Allow coals to cool completely before disposing of them. Or place them into a metal container designated for that purpose as charcoal can heat up to 1,000 degrees.
• After cooking your last burger, extinguish charcoal by hosing down. Or consider using bottled water or melted ice from your cooler. Once you extinguish your grill, give it time to cool down before packing it into your vehicle. Extinguish gas models early enough so the grill is cool to the touch when you’re ready to go.
• Properly dispose of food remnants and packaging according to venue rules and leave your tailgate site as tidy as you found it.