How To Handle a Fire on Your Propane Grill

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Cooking, whether it’s inside or outside, always comes with the possibility of accidents and injuries. After all, you’re dealing with high heat and hot flames. With that in mind, we want to share with you some important tips about what to do if you ever have a grease fire or flare-up on your outdoor propane grill.

First, you should always be ready for an emergency. Near your grill, always keep a fire extinguisher, insulated gloves and either baking soda or sand so you can smother any fires quickly.

Dealing with Flare-ups

Grill flare-ups—tall flames with a lot of smoke– are quite common when grilling meats because of dripping fat, oil and marinades. To prevent your flare-up from turning into a full-fledged fire, do this:

  • Immediately move the food to a warming rack, using long-handled tongs
  • Slowly replace food at the center of the grill to let fat burn off; continue this process for each item.
  • Once all food has been returned to the grill, finish cooking with a watchful eye.

What to Do If You Have a Grill Fire

Flare-ups spread quickly and can easily turn into a full-blown fire. Here’s what to do:

  • Turn the grill off.
  • Remove the food and smother the flames by throwing baking soda or sand on top of the fire. NEVER use water to extinguish a grease fire.
  • Close the lid and any grill vents to further starve the fire of oxygen.
  • If the propane tank has become part of the fire, or if the fire expands out of control, evacuate the area immediately and call the fire department.

Avoiding A Grease Fire

The best way to deal with grease fires and flare-ups is to avoid them in the first place. Here are the best ways to do it.

  • Clean your grill regularly, following instructions from your manufacturer. Regular cleaning will greatly reduce the risk of fire. Your food will taste better too!
  • Grease sometimes pools in the firebox area around the burners. If it is safe to do so, turn off the gas and leave the lid open so the grease can burn off.
  • Always cook with the lid down, and leave it down during cooking time.
  • Oil the food, not the grates.

Read more safe grilling tips.