Never walk away from a lighted grill, because the open flames present a fire hazard. Also, for safety's sake, always have a fire extinguisher on hand.
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Avoid using metal-bristle brushes to clean your grill grates; the bristles can break off and become lodged in your food. Instead, rely on a wad of aluminum foil, dish scrubbies, or clean damp rags to wipe your grill—preferably while the grates are still warm.
Avoid food contamination both on and off the grill by following safe handling procedures: wash your hands, keep the food in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill, and don't prepare raw meats and vegetables on the same surface. To be sure meats are sufficiently cooked, use a grill-safe thermometer to check that they've reached the proper internal temperature (165 degrees Fahrenheit for poultry, 160 degrees Fahrenheit for ground meat, and 145 degrees Fahrenheit for steaks or roasts).
As tempting and mouthwatering as that just-cooked steak may appear, don’t cut into it immediately, or you'll end up with a dryer, tougher piece of meat. Rest your meat for a few minutes to give the internal juices time to redistribute through the muscle fibers. You'll be rewarded with juicy goodness in every bite.
Be careful not to overcook your meat. Not only does burned barbecue taste unappealing, but it also forms dangerous carcinogenic compounds, known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which have been linked to increased risks of pancreatic, colorectal, and prostate cancer.
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Never stand directly over a smoky grill, and avoid inhaling the fumes. Grill smoke contains carbon monoxide as well as substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to increased risk of certain cancers—especially lung cancer.
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