Outdoor grilling has always been a part of my adult life. I really cannot remember when I first learned to grill, but I seem to think it had to be during my college years while tailgating at football games. I was always handy in the kitchen and my skills on the grill seemed natural.
I do remember taking the time to be safe by spending time reading the owner’s manual for my grill. It seems like a cliché but “safety first” needs to be included in planning your grilling experience! I have compiled some grilling safety guidelines to help keep you, your family, and friends safe while grilling.
Grilling Safety Tips
You heard it here: Safety First!
When using any type of grill, there needs to be care and attention given to the surrounding environments. The following grilling safety tips apply to your ElectriChef Electric Grill:
- Grill outside only, never grill indoors
- Have proper ventilation
- Check electrical cords to your ElectriChef Grill to make sure they are not damaged
- Keep your grill level and at the recommended safe distance of 10 feet from the house, garage, or other structures (siding and other objects can be affected by the heat) with an electric grill the recommended safety distances is 3 feet but no closer than that
- Never leave your grill unattended
- Wear proper attire (avoid scarves or loose fitting clothing)
- Create a “child-free zone” by making sure children know the grill is on and is very hot
- Have a fire extinguisher on hand and understand how to use it in case of an emergency
- Keep the drip tray and the grilling grates clean, grease buildup can cause flare-ups (see below)
- Cover your grill (once clean and cooled) so it is ready for your next grilling experience!
A clean grill is a happy grill
My recommendation is after grilling always clean your grill properly by using a wire grill brush while the grill is still hot. This will remove any excess food immediately and leave your grill ready for next time. I usually line my drip tray with aluminum foil that I wash and change after grilling to avoid grease build up. This keeps the grilling environment clean and ready for the next use.
If the grill grates need additional cleaning after using the wire brush, remove the cooled grates and place them in a sink. Spray grates with non-fume oven cleaner and let set until oven cleaner's recommended time passes. Then wipe the grill grates with a scrubbing sponge and place the grates in your dishwasher on regular cycle. Let the grates dry completely and then they are ready to go back on your grill. If you do not have a dishwasher, wash with soapy water and towel dry.
NOTE: ElectriChef grates are made to fit in the average kitchen sink or dishwasher for easy cleanup.
The best tricks and tips of the trade
Before you begin grilling, make sure you have all your supplies ready for the whole grilling process. Leaving your grill unattended is not recommended, bring everything you need on a tray and avoid running back and forth to the kitchen. My recommendations are to always have on hand:
- Pit Mitt (Heat Resistant glove) or dry towel
- tongs with heat resistant handle
- spray bottle with water for flare-ups
- canola cooking spray
- a clean vessel for post-grilling
- cold drinks handy to keep the grilling experience fun!
PRO TIP: You never want to place cooked foods on the same vessel used to bring food to the grill (proteins, vegetables, fruits). Using these tools helps cut down on possible injuries and boosts your grill safety.
Grilling Temperature Tips
The secrets for perfect grilling
Always start with a clean grill and make sure there are no items around the grill that could be affected by high temperature. The following temperature schedule can be used as a guide while grilling on your ElectriChef Grill.450-600°F: for searing
400-450°F: for high
350-400°F: for medium-high
300-350°F: for medium
250-300°F: for low heat
Direct vs. Indirect Heat
“That is the question”
Many people ask me the difference between direct and indirect heating. When cooking on your ElectriChef Electric Grill, you can control the temperature of the grill with the push of a button. Direct vs. Indirect heat is setting one side of your grill at a lower temperature than the other side, thus allowing the food to start on low heat and move to a higher heat. If you have a dual temperature electric grill you can do this by setting to different heat levels, if you want.
However, by regulating the temperature of your grill with a touch of a button, indirect heat is just starting the grilling at a low or medium temperature and increasing the temperature to a higher temperature (direct heat) as needed. This is one of the many advantages of your electric grill. I will be writing a blog on the advantages of electric grilling, but please know grilling will continue to be an enjoyable experience, as long as you put “safety first.”