May 16th is National BBQ Day

National BBQ Day is an annual celebration of one of America’s favorite pastimes – grilling and cooking delicious food outdoors. Observed on May 16 each year, this day is an opportunity to gather with family and friends, fire up the grill, and enjoy some mouth-watering food in the sunshine. From classic burgers and hot dogs to flavorful ribs, chicken, and grilled vegetables, the possibilities are endless when it comes to BBQ. Whether you prefer a charcoal grill, a gas grill, or a smoker, the key to a successful BBQ is to prioritize safety and make sure that everyone has a great time. However, it’s also important to prioritize grilling safety to prevent accidents that can turn a fun day into a disaster. Let’s explore some important grilling safety tips, including the proper use of fire extinguishers, avoiding common fire hazards, and safe techniques for using grills and smokers. So, mark your calendars and get ready to savor the flavors of National BBQ Day!

Man at the grill with family, blurred in the background at the table

First and foremost, it’s essential to have a fire extinguisher on hand when grilling. In case of an emergency, a fire extinguisher can be the difference between a minor incident and a major disaster. Make sure that the fire extinguisher is easily accessible and that everyone who will be using the grill knows where it is located and how to use it.

Next, let’s talk about some common fire hazards associated with grilling. One of the biggest risks is using too much lighter fluid, which can cause a flare-up and potentially cause the grill to catch fire. It’s important to only use the amount of lighter fluid specified on the label and to let the fluid soak in for a few minutes before lighting the grill.

A group of friends having a barbeque party.
Another common fire hazard is cooking food too close to the flames. This can cause the food to catch fire, which can quickly spread to the surrounding area. To avoid this, make sure to keep a safe distance between the food and the flames, and consider using a cooking rack to elevate the food and prevent it from getting too close to the heat.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the differences between charcoal grills, gas grills, and smokers  when it comes to grilling safety. Charcoal grills are a popular choice for their smoky flavor, but they require some extra precautions to ensure safe use. First, it’s important to only use charcoal starter fluid, not gasoline or kerosene, as these can cause an explosion. Second, make sure to use the right amount of charcoal and to keep the grill in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of dangerous gasses.

Man at smoker in the background and friends at table cheering

Gas grills are generally considered safer than charcoal grills, but they still require some care to prevent accidents. One common mistake is leaving the gas on for too long before lighting the grill, which can cause a buildup of gas and potentially cause a dangerous explosion. To avoid this, always make sure to turn off the gas and let the grill cool down before attempting to relight it.

One of the most significant advantages to using a smoker over a grill is the rich, smoky flavor that is infused into the meat, vegetables, or other foods being cooked. This is because the wood chips or pellets used in the smoker grill release smoke and heat that slowly cook and flavor the food. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure your smoker is in a well-ventilated area. You also want to use heat-resistant gloves and tongs and keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand or water nearby in case of any unexpected flare-ups. 

When it comes to cooking food on a grill or smoker, there are a few important food safety tips to keep in mind as well. You want to make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the food is cooked to a safe temperature and always use separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked meat to avoid cross-contamination.

Man in hat cooking on the grill while his friends look on, ready to eat

National BBQ Day is a fun and enjoyable way to celebrate the warm weather and good food with family and friends. However, it’s important to prioritize grilling safety to prevent accidents and ensure that everyone has a great time. However, accidents do happen and in the unfortunate situation that you or someone you know has been involved in a grilling accident, we here at Williams DeLoatche, P.C. can help. We offer legal assistance with matters such as premises liability, wrongful death, and even dog bites. Reach out to us today for assistance.