Friday, July 6, 2012

Barbecue Safety

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By Diane Forrest

When my husband and I were house hunting, we found this house.  I loved it because it had a screened in porch that reminded me of the trips to my grandmother's house on the beach.  I would love to sit on her porch, swing on the swing, and watch people walking by.  She had these great shades to pull down that kept the sand from the beach from blowing in during storms.  This house had the same shades.  I say had, because the week before we were to move in, the prior owner decided to barbeque on the porch, and left it unattended, and a fire broke out.  Luckily, nobody was hurt, and the damage was minimal, but those wonderful shades went up in smoke.
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Grilling during the summer months is an all American past time.  I love this joke about BBQing:

Barbecue Routine
  • The woman buys the food.
  • The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
  • The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.
  • Here comes the important part: THE MAN PLACES THE MEAT ON THE GRILL.
  • The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
  • The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.
  • The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces and brings them to the table.
  • After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
  • And most important of all: Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
  • The man asks the woman how she enjoyed 'her night off.' And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women.

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There are a few safety rules to make sure your BBQ experience is a pleasant one.
  1. First and most important is the Fire.  Never leave your fire unattended.  Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. A fire can get out of hand before you can blink your eyes, and the wind can blow the fire in the direction of your home or nearby property.
  2. Location, make sure you place your BBQ in the proper place, not close to any objects that can become inflamed.  For answers to any questions you may have on placement, check the operation manual of your equipment.  Instructions can also be found on the company's website if you have misplaced yours.
  3. Fuel.  Do not put gasoline on your coals.  I speak from personal experience on this one. The gas will explode in your face, and if you are still holding the gas can, it can also catch on fire.  It is best, if you are using a charcoal grill to use either lighter fluid, or those self-start coals.  Be sure to read the operation manual if you are using a gas grill.
  4. Food.  Fire is not the only concern, the preparation of the meat is also important.  Make sure the grill is clean before placing prepared meat on it. Be sure not to leave the meat out too long before putting it on the grill.  Bacteria will grow quickly make sure you keep it covered before serving
  5. Grease.  If the meat you are cooking has alot of grease or fat on it, make sure you cook with care, turning the meat may cause fire to flare up, and you want to make sure you aren't in its path.
  6. Make sure you put the fire out before you leave.  Covering the grill, or turning off the gas will normally get the job done.  When using a charcoal grill, make sure to check back to make sure all the coals are out.

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There is nothing better to me than a grilled burger with home grown tomatoes.  If you want to grill burgers, chicken, ribs or steak, or anything else.  Please use proper precautions to make your dining experience the best ever.

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