Many Canadians love to barbeque all year long, but the grilling sure heats up in the summer months. Nothing says summer like a lazy afternoon with friends, family, and something delicious sizzling on the grill. We’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of this year’s prime barbecue season.
Safe Grilling Is Fun Grilling
Keep these Gas Grill Safety Tips in mind for a safe backyard BBQ.
1. Check for Blockage
Especially if your grill hasn’t been used for a while, it is important to check the burner tubes for blockages from grease, debris or cobwebs. These can be cleaned out with a piece of wire or pipe cleaner.
2. Check for Leaks
It’s a good idea to check your gas grill for leaks regularly. First, check your hose visually for cracks or brittleness. Next, put a little soapy water on your hose and tank and watch for any bubbles. This will allow you to catch small leaks before they become a problem.
3. Keep it Clean
Regular cleaning will keep grease and rust from building up. This will help prolong the life of your grill and prevent blockages in your burner holes and grease fires which can quickly burn out of control.
4. Don’t Use a Wire Brush
While this used to be the standard for cleaning grills, the wire bristles are sharp and can easily break off and end up in your food. In fact, between 2002 and 2014, more than 1,700 people ended up in the Emergency Room after accidentally ingesting wire bristles. There are many alternatives available now that work just as well or better.
5. Be Prepared
Keep a fire extinguisher or baking soda nearby so you are ready to put out any fires. Never try to extinguish a grease fire with water.
6. Open your Lid for Lighting
This one may seem obvious, but it is worth a quick reminder. Turning on the gas with the grill lid closed can cause the to build up of gas creating a very dangerous situation.
7. Never Leave the Grill Unattended
It only takes a few seconds for a grease fire to start (or your burgers to burn) so never get tempted to abandon your post as Grill Master to wander off to join in the fun elsewhere. A watched grill is a safe grill.
Now that your grill is safe, clean, and ready to cook, what’s for dinner? The old standards, like steaks and burgers are always crowd pleasers, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, surprise your friends and family with something a little different.
Traditional Shish Kebob
This easy-to-make recipe is anything but boring, using a delicious marinade of lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, yogurt, and the middle eastern staples of garlic, black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon, to make even the most economic cut of beef tender and tasty.
Pro Tip: We recommend grilling the meat and vegetables on separate skewers due to their different cooking times. This will avoid serving your guests overdone veggies or underdone beef. For more shish kebob tips check out our earlier blog.
For Veggie Lovers
Here’s a meat-free alternative for your grill, a super-easy recipe for a grilled vegetable salad with goat’s cheese that is so tasty, even the carnivores will be lining up for seconds.
This recipe calls for zucchini, summer squash and corn, but it works well with whatever veggies you have on hand—mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli—just about anything goes!
If you need to make it vegan, simply serve the goat’s cheese on the side.
These grilled veggies work well as a salad or wrapped in pita bread as a main course.
A Sweet Ending
It’s peach season right now in Ontario, and there’s no better (or easier) way to finish a great meal than with fresh, local fruit. A few minutes on your grill adds a bit of char and caramelization that will make your peaches even sweeter. Serve the grilled peaches alongside a scoop of high quality vanilla ice cream and you’ve got a simple and elegant dessert that everyone will love.
Get This Party Started
When it’s time for some backyard barbecue fun, don’t forget to bring the music. If you’re not comfortable playing DJ, get your groove on with this easy summertime playlist that has something for just about everyone—young or old—to enjoy.