Don't let your guard down when grilling

The only things most west Michigan grills have been producing for the last few months have been rust, spiders and mice. So before you fire up that propane grill for the first time this season, the Michigan Propane Gas Association (MPGA) has some helpful suggestions to make sure you’re grilling safely.

Grilling is an easy way to have fun with family and friends, but it’s important that the grill chef understand the safety behind grilling.

Backyard chefs are firing up their propane gas grills and any chef can perfect their grilling technique and can create restaurant-style meals at home.

Spectacular grilling tips

  • Keep the grill in a clear area, away from buildings and out of the wind to ensure protection from fire and to create an even temperature for cooking food.
  • If you want juicy burgers, chicken and steak make sure to flip the meat often. This keeps the juice from escaping from the top and evaporating.
  • If you are using a sauce, make sure to cook the meat a few minutes before putting the sauce on to prevent the outside of the meat from burning.
  • Each grill is different and can have varying heating spots. To make sure each piece of food is cooked the same, rotate it so each piece has a chance to take advantage of the grill’s best heating spots.
  • To prevent fire flare-ups, try to cut as much fat off the meat as possible. This also will keep the grill clean.
  • Use peanut oil when greasing the grill grates. Peanut oil will keep the grates from burning and also will prevent food from sticking — making for easier cleanup.

Safety tips

  • After filling, take the cylinder home immediately. Keep it upright and secure in a ventilated vehicle with the cylinder valve closed and capped.
  • Always use or store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright position. Do not use, store or transport cylinders near high temperatures or store spare cylinders near the grill.
  • Make sure the grill top is open when attempting to light the grill and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never leave the grill unattended and do not allow children to tamper or play with the cylinder or grill.
  • When not in use, ensure grill burner controls are turned off and cylinder valves closed.
  • If you suspect a gas leak and are able to safely turn off the gas supply valve, do so immediately and call the fire department.

For more information about grilling or propane safety, visit www.UseMichiganPropane.com.