Grilling 101

Many a grill is getting fired up this week, but don’t let your summer cookout become an impromptu backyard bonfire.

Grill on a level surface and avoid using a grill next to buildings or overhangs. That’s surely common knowledge, Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue officials say there’s more to it with gas grills.

“(There are) some common mistakes people make when they are lighting their gas grill,” said firefighter Shaun McAteer. “Always have the lid open. You want to always have that lid open, then cut your gas on, then use your igniter. You never want to light a gas grill with the lid closed because the gas can accumulate and then suddenly ignite.”

Grilling safety also includes cooking food to the right temperatures so you don’t ingest any harmful bacteria.

“It is great to make sure you have a meat thermometer,” said registered dietician Sheena Gregg. “So for chicken, hotdogs, and hamburgers you are going to want to hit about 165 degrees. For steak, fish and pork that’s going to be 145 degrees. So making sure that you are responsible for those food temperatures is going to be a great way to make sure everyone stays safe.”

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