You ask anyone, and you’ll know they’ve experienced flare-ups. I’ve had my fair share of flare-ups too. But the burning question here is how to keep gas grill from flaring up?
I’ll get to that. If it’s the first time you’ve experienced a flare-up, let me put you at ease. It’s not a big deal. However, if you wish to prevent it from happening again, you can do a few things to avoid it.
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Things You Need for Perfect Grilling and Keeping Grill From Flaring Up Too
First of all, get a good thermometer. It’s challenging to monitor precise temperatures without a thermometer. Using a thermometer can help you determine when your food is cooked correctly.
Besides, you can be careful not to let the temperature run very high to avoid flare-ups. I’ve used one from NutriChef that makes grilling a lot easier.
The next thing to make your bucket list should be a good-grade grilling mat. Aoocan takes the cake in this field. You can easily protect your food from flare-ups by using a mat. Moreover, you can experience mess-free cooking by simply using a grilling mat.
Remember to get a good pair of tongs like the ones from GRILLHOGS. Tongs are not only for securely flipping your food but also for turning the knobs in case of flare-ups.
How to Keep Gas Grill From Flaring Up – 101 Rules for Keeping Your Grill From Flaring Up
I’ve described the reasons below for your gas grill to catch on fire. But what are we doing about it? Now comes the part where we prevent those reasons from happening. If you follow the things I’ve mentioned, you won’t experience any more flare-ups in the future.
Using Grill Mat Can Prevent Flare-Ups
One smart way you can prevent flare-ups is by using a grill mat. I mean, think about it. What are we fussing about from the beginning?
Dripping oil, fat, food, and sauce cause flare-ups, right? Grill mats prevent that from happening. Don’t worry; you’ll still get your beautiful grill marks.
Grill mats sit on the grill grates and catch anything that tries to fall on the fire. When nothing is falling on the fire, no flare-up happens. As simple as that.
Avoid The Air
Because air provokes fire, choose an area that’s not windy. Airflow can make your grill catch on fire that you are trying to avoid. If you are barbecuing indoors, it’s not a concern.
Cut Off The Extra Fat
Always cut the extra fat off your meat. Some meat comes with more fat than others. When you are grilling chicken, there’s a high chance that you’ll find fat with the meat. Cut off any extra meat that can melt and drip in the fire.
Keep Your Grill Clean
As I said, rust can accumulate oil and fat. The cleaner your grill, the less likely it is to flare up. Make sure to keep your grill clean so it doesn’t rust. Not only rust but all kinds of dirt can attract oil and fat to the grill. A cleaner grill means less chance of fire.
Keep The Drip Pan Clean
A drip pan is for placing beneath the grill grates, so any extra dripping from your meat doesn’t fall into the fire. Make sure the drip pan is clean. Dirt, oil, and fat from the drip pan can make your grill catch fire.
Brush The Grill Grates
Always brush your grill grates after each use. Do it while it’s still hot or at least warm. By brushing your grill grates, you can ensure that the grates are clean and won’t attract any oil or fat from your food.
Preheat The Grill
Preheating your grill burns anything that shouldn’t be on your grill. You can get a clean grill by preheating your grill, and the chance of a flare-up occurring will lessen significantly.
Lid Open or Close
A closed lid is one of the reasons for catching your grill on fire. Keeping the lid closed increases the heat inside and results in flaring up. If you must keep the lid closed, make sure you keep the temperature within the limit.
Even though an open lid means it’ll require more time to cook your food, but it will be safer. Keep the temperature low and consistent to avoid flare-ups.
Control The Temperature
Temperature control plays a crucial role here. Too much temperature can result in flare-ups, and too low temperature will mess with your food’s taste. Balance it. Make sure to adjust the temperature accordingly.
Use a thermometer for precise monitoring. Increase the heat when the temperature drops and decrease it when the temperature gets higher than required.
Apply Oil Carefully
If oil drops to the fire, your grill is bound to catch on fire. To avoid flare-ups, make sure you don’t add excess oil. Always apply light layers of oil no matter where you’re applying it. You will likely apply oil to both your grill grates and the meat. Keep the oil amount to a minimum if you don’t want any fire on your food.
The two-zone grilling is when you create two separate areas on the same grill. One size will run on direct and high heat, whereas the other will run on indirect and low heat.
This method’s benefit is that you get to cook your food initially on high heat and then transfer it to the lower one.
So, the meat won’t get too hot and catch fire. Two-zone grilling also helps you get better flavors as you take your time to cook your meat.
Don’t Overfill The Food.
Remember that using more food than your grill is supposed to accommodate can make the arrangement crowded. As a result, food particles will fall on the fire causing flare-ups. Make sure not to use too much food.
Control Your Gas Grill’s Flare-Ups
If you end up with a flare-up anyways, what do you intend to do about it? Stay prepared. If you know what to do, there’s nothing to panic about.
- First of all, turn off your burners.
- Make sure the knobs are cool to touch.
- If they’re hot, use tongs to turn them.
- If the flame still didn’t die, remove all your food to a safe zone using tongs.
- Then, use baking soda, salt, or sand to put the fire out.
- Do not use water. Because oxygen provokes fire, close the lid to make the fire suffocate.
- That should do it. In any case, if the flare-up turns into a grease fire and eventually results in a larger fire, don’t forget to use a fire extinguisher.
- If you don’t have one, call for help before the fire causes any damage.
Why Does Your Grill Keep Catching On Fire
Now that you know flare-ups are not something to worry about let me tell you why your gas grill is catching on fire. If you can find the causes, you’ll find a way to solve them. The most common reasons for flare-ups are-
- Meat Fats
You’ll hardly hear people saying, ‘My grill caught fire while grilling vegetables.’ It’s because most of the time, flare-ups start from meat fat. People come across flare-ups while cooking fatty meat all the time.
When the fat melts due to the heat and drips to the fire, isn’t it obvious that there will be a flare-up?
- Misuse of The Lid
A closed lid means high heat inside your gas grill. The heat keeps increasing and can catch fire, especially if you are using too much oil or the meat itself is fatty.
When cooking fatty foods, keep the lid open. Even if you need to keep the lid closed for the sake of your recipe, don’t let it build too much heat inside.
If you keep your lid open when cooking fatty foods, there’s less chance of your food catching fire. However, it doesn’t mean the grill never catches on fire with its lid open. Other factors are working too.
- Windy Area
The wind is a prominent factor when it comes to fire. When you grill in an open and windy area, there’s a high chance of your grill catching fire. Wind causes the fire to increase and results in flare-ups.
Most people assume that squirting water on a flare-up will put out the fire. That’s a common and very dangerous misconception. The oxygen in the water will make the fire stronger when squirted on a flare-up.
Even if there is no flare-up in the first place, squirting water on the food for moisture can cause a flare-up.
- Rusty Grill
When you don’t clean your grill and rust builds up, it can cause flare-ups. Even though rust doesn’t directly cause fire, it accumulates oil and fat dripping from your food, resulting in a flare-up.
When using a gas grill, keeping both burners on will cause a flare-up. You can try the two-zone method while cooking food that is more susceptible to fire. I’ll get to that later.
- Excess Use of Oil
As I’ve already mentioned before, excess oil can cause your grill to catch fire. Flare-ups start from dripping oils and fat. So, using extra oil is one of the most common reasons.
- High Temperature
Sometimes, too much high heat can cause a fire in your grill. Even though high heat means fast cooking, it can cause flare-ups.
Things You Should Never Do
I’ve covered everything regarding what you should do to prevent flare-ups. Now it’s time I introduced you to the things you should never do while grilling if you wish to avoid flare-ups.
I’ve gathered a few common mistakes people make that results in flare-ups-
- Using too much oil on your grill grates and meat
- Not using the drip tray or catch pan while grilling on the gas
- Using high temperature to get the cooking done in a short time
- Not using an external thermometer when the gas grill doesn’t come with one
- Letting the fat meat sit, thinking it will melt on the heat
- Spritzing water to moisturize the meat
- Not keeping everything prepared before start cooking
Are Flare-Ups Bad When Grilling
If you ask me if flare-ups are dangerous or not, I’ll say they’re not. As long as you know what to do, flare-ups are pretty minor incidents. However, they can cause a threat to whatever you are cooking on your grill.
A flare-up induces when extra fat drips on the fire and causes flames to come out of the fire. It’s different from a grease fire and is not very serious of an issue.
In simpler words, flare-ups are not a prolonged fire that you have to put out. It usually lasts a few seconds and isn’t anything you should be worried about.
I’ve asked the ‘how to keep gas grill from flaring up’ question way too many times. But because I did, I found out how easy it was to prevent unwanted flare-ups. Cooking isn’t always about hurrying up to complete the recipe. It requires patience and preciseness if you want the best results. Nevertheless, nothing comes before safety when you’re cooking, especially using an open flame.
Gas grills come with enormous potentiality when it comes to versatile cooking. But, if you don’t know your way around gas grilling, you’ll often end up with unwanted flare-ups. I believe no one should ever limit their passion because of small hiccups. If you get stuck, find your way back to your passion and keep cooking with all your heart.