One of the things people love about propane gas grills is the precise control of heat it provides. Turn the dial and instantly get more heat or less heat. That control is a big advantage if you’re planning to cook and serve a variety of dishes during your next backyard barbecue. What’s the secret?
With a propane grill, you have the choice of using different temperature modes, or heat zones. You can easily create these zones by turning the dial on one side to high heat and the other to low heat. This allows you to sear your food on the hottest side before transferring it to the cooler side to slowly finish cooking.
The ability to employ either direct heat or indirect heat is another reason why a propane grill is so versatile. While direct heat is great for cooking your food hot and fast—including thin cuts of meat, quick-cooking vegetables, and shrimp—indirect heat lets you grill whole chickens and large roasts, and even bake bread. It’s much like baking in the oven. To do this, simply turn off the burners that sit directly under what you are cooking, keep the surrounding burners on and close the lid of the grill.
Of course, when you use the indirect heat method, you need to be patient with the cooking times, which will take longer because of the lower temperatures. But if you do it correctly, you will be sure to hear praise from family and friends.
One great benefit of cooking with a propane grill is that you will greatly reduce your exposure to carcinogens that end up in your food when grilling. In contrast, charcoal grills create more smoke and burn hotter, leading to the formation of toxins that have been linked to some cancers.
Here are some tips to follow that will help ensure that your grilled meat is the safest it can be:
Interested in getting a wonderful grilled flavor for those strip steaks you’re tossing on the grill? Start off by searing the meat. Turn the temperature control to high, make sure the grill is hot and put the meat on the grill. Wait one minute, then flip the food and reduce the heat. The high temperature will caramelize the meat’s surface, giving you a flavorful, crisp surface. You can do this with lamb and pork too.
Performing regular maintenance on your grill will keep it working better and longer. Start with a good grill cleaning and continue to a full inspection of all the internal parts. Check the burners to make sure that the ports (the holes where the flames come out) are not clogged.
If they are, use a thin wire or pipe cleaner to clear any obstruction. Blocked ports cause uneven flame and can cause burners to fail. Check the igniters to make sure there is a good spark and the grill lights properly.
Flare-ups, caused by fats and oils dripping down into your grill, are usually temporary. To deal with them, keep a portion of your grill empty so you can move the food should a flare-up occur. When you do have a flare-up, move the food away from it and let the flare-up burn off with the grill lid up. If the fire spreads, remove all food from the grill and let the fire burn off the grease as quickly as possible.
If your fire gets out of control, remove the food from the grill and turn off the burners and the gas. Leave the lid open and let the fire die down on its own.
Knowing when you need to refill or exchange your propane cylinder can be difficult because most 20-pound propane tanks — the most common size for barbecue grills — do not come with a gauge. Here are some ways you can do it.
Follow these safe practices when handling portable propane cylinders.
If you have any questions about safety for your propane grill, or if you want to learn more about your options in new outdoor grills, please reach out to your local propane company. You can also read more propane safety tips here.
We wish you happy, safe and healthy outdoor cooking this year with your propane grill!