Thursday, September 25, 2008

Barbeque Safety part 1

I don't know about you but I love to bar-be-que in all seasons as well as smoke meats. I don't use the standard method of cooking because I don't think, after several close calls, they're all that safe. What I mean by standard method is propane. I don't trust it, I never will and I don't like the way it cooks. I am a purist who uses hardwood charcoal pieces, not briquettes because they're full of paraffin and other 'things' that I don't want in my food or taste buds. Cowboy Coals is one of the few brands I have found that I can buy easily at Lowes but not Home Depot. I don't know why. Wal Mart used to sell it until it didn't make enough profit for them. That's what the manager told me! This was supposed to be a safety tip for propane and I got side tracked again. Sorry! There are a few things you need to be aware of to safely use and maintain a propane BBQ. The first thing is the valve. The handle on the valve must be the three sided style and not the five sided. The three sided is the current fire safety code version and it was changed for a reason, don't debate it just upgrade the tank. Most refilling stations will not refill the older style anyhow, it's illegal to do it. Next you want to check your hoses and connections under the grill. All you need is a soft brush and a small bucket of very soapy water. Just brush the solution all over the tubing and connectors with the gas valve open and the grill knobs OFF! The pressure in the line will make bubbles if the line has a leak. If there is a leak just shut the valve, open the grill knob to expel the gas in the line and replace the damaged part. Check burners for metal scaling from prolonged heat which can damage lesser expensive units and cause seams to open up creating another safety issue while working over an unstable fire. REPLACE DAMAGED PARTS! It's cheaper than skin grafts. Lastly, if you use your grill in the winter where it gets snow and ice, make sure you cover the grill well so ice doesn't build up on the rubber hoses or bind up the valve from turning easily. I'll talk about the amazing benefits of using charred hardwood in another post! Enjoy and grill safely!

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