At some point, almost everyone has been in a situation where the food on the grill suddenly caught fire. These fires can quickly go out of control and happens more often when food with excess marinade & fat are being cooked. But grills are made to handle such foods and with people not stopping their use anytime soon, it is imperative for them to know the safety measures beforehand. We’ll look for an answer on how to stop a grease fire that goes wild on the grill.
It is extremely important to take safety precautions during the barbecue season. This, in turn, will save you from potential embarrassment as well.
First one should know that the presence of fats in meat can cause the flame to intensify. Now, this can become very hard to control, so let’s go through some basic safety instructions first.
Keep your charcoal grill clean.
Cleaning the grease off will help reduce the chances of a fire. The grill can be cleaned with a sponge and warm soapy water. Clean heavier accumulations on the grill by using a brass brush grill and soapy water; rinse thoroughly.
Cover the charcoal grill of the grill with a layer of aluminum foil. Fold the leaves by the sides to hold in place. Set the grid on a hard and level surface. The foil usually helps to contain any fat from the food it produces and thus avoids reaching the hot charcoal below.
It is even better to remove fat from the meat with a sharp knife before placing it on the grill. By reducing the amount of fat, there will not be much “fuel” that can ignite the fire. This way you can save yourself from consuming unhealthy fats as well, so double win!
Leave about 2 inches between the food being grilled and the edges of the rack. This will prevent the grease from dripping off over the hot coal. Also, use a pair of tongs instead of a cooking spatula to avoid pushing the fat. These will stop grease fire on the grill.
A charcoal grill in action should be watched at all times to prevent any hazard. If a fire burst does occur, spread the charcoal to lower the temperature.
Move food from the fire.
The fat and juices present in food is the root cause of flames getting out of control. When cooking on the grill it is advisable to leave some unused space somewhere around the corners. So when the flames go out of control you just have to flip the meat over to this area.
Remember, due to the space being unused the temperature there is lower. The fire will burn the fat left on the grill and its intensity will go down.
If the fire is still strong and it doesn’t work then it is time for you to use the following technique.
How To Put Out Grill Flare Ups?
As mentioned earlier, fat is what causes the flame to intensify. To prevent grill flare ups from happening you can cut the extra fat from what you are going to cook. It doesn’t mean that you take away all the fat because it gives the food a very rich flavor.
The same goes for marinades. We all love marinating the meat, but when placing it on the grill, remove the excess marinade. Especially if it has a lot of oil because this will only make the flames worse in case of a mishap.
How To Safely Extinguish A Fire
Accidents can happen anytime, even when you’re most careful. So, if you see your burgers igniting or your fajitas having caught fire, follow these tips to stop a grease fire on the grill.
• Never mix water and oil. Your first reflex might be to throw a bowl of water on burning food, but mixing water with burning fat can spread the flames even more. Please follow these steps instead…
• Close the door. If something catches fire in your microwave oven, leave the door closed, turn off the oven, and let the flames go out on their own. Fire needs oxygen and opening the microwave or oven door will only increase the flames. If the fire is on the stove, close the ring and evacuate the room. If the flames don’t seem to go out – or if they increase – call 911.
• Cover and smother. If a pan, cauldron, fryer, or toaster is on fire, cover them immediately with a lid, cookie sheet, or metal tray. This way, flames will be deprived of oxygen and would extinguish.
• Do not fan the flames. Not only could you burn your improvised towel fan, but fanning the flames gives them more oxygen, which will make them grow.
• Keep it inside. Do not carry the burning pan or cauldron outdoors – you may drop it and cause a fire in another room of the house.
Check the manufacturer’s label before installing a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Remember to check the pressure indicator monthly, recharge your fire extinguisher if necessary.
Shake it from time to time to prevent the chemicals from solidifying and replace it before its expiration date.