Cooking outdoors, particularly during the sunny and bright months of summer and autumn is fun, but how many people understands the safety precautions that should be adhered to while engaging in outdoor cooking? There are many reasons why people cook outside. People cook outside because of several factors some of which are for festivals like Thanksgiving and other holidays, while others could be for more private endeavours like outdoor parties, camping dinners, and barbecue fiestas.
Though outdoor cooking is fun, it comes with certain risk factors that, if not properly addressed, could lead to fatal accidents, fire outbreak, and gas explosions. It is for this reason that I will be bring to you 5 outdoor cooking tips every person should know so as to avoid these avoidable accidents.
The Following 5 Outdoor Safety Cooking Tips Everyone Should Know
Budgeting and Picking a Safe Location:
First, you should plan your budget which should cover food cost, choice of location, transportation plus other financial and safety considerations. By having a well-planned budget that provides for every projection, you will be ready to confront any eventuality as they occur. Your cost planning should also take care of location. This is very important when planning and embarking on an outdoor cooking activity. Budgeting for and getting a good location should be your first safety concern because if you carry out your cooking, grilling, and barbecue activities in an area that has high risk factor for a fire outbreak, then there is every likelihood that there will be a fire outbreak. When picking a location, it is imperative you go for an area with good clearing and no dry leaves and twigs nearby to the fire source. Your budget should also provide for fire extinguishers and other safety paraphernalia.
Create a Restricted Area for Kids:
Another important safety step is to map out a no-kids zone and also placing vigilant adults at strategic points to enforce it. Kids, by their very nature, are quite careless and carefree. Kids are also very curious and playful and will not have any qualms turning on the gas valve or even setting fire to a gas canister. It is therefore very important that kids are restricted from accessing certain areas. While restricting kids, you should also take care to make sure that the food quality is of acceptable standard to avoid food poisoning particularly for kids. We all know that kids are quite susceptible to food poisoning so it is advisable to ensure that the quality of foods prepared are safe for consumption by children and even adults. It is also good to react promptly by dialling the emergency services in the case of any accident be it food poisoning or even fire burn.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption while Cooking:
For safety purposes it is advisable that you shouldn’t drink while cooking. This rule should apply to everyone involved in the cooking, grilling, roasting or barbecue process. Apart from the fact that it is illegal to drink while working the grill, it is also dangerous as the alcohol (particularly spirit) could start a fire or the alcohol could make you clumsy, tipsy and careless. It is also important that you should store all alcoholic beverage away until after the meal have been cooked and is being served. Another important tip is for you to make sure that the food is plenty enough for everyone around so as to avoid scramble that could lead to accident or cause a fight amongst children that could lead to any of the kids getting hurt. This is the reason why planning the number of banquet is as important a safety tip as refraining from alcohol consumption while cooking. Make sure you keep a fire extinguisher close-by in case of any unforeseen fire outbreak.
Though it might seem unimportant, how you manage the cooking process is as good a safety fact as any other safety consideration. It is always smart to have many hands assisting in outdoor cooking activities. It is totally unwise to leave the entire cooking process to a single individual as this may tire the person out and increases the possibility for mistakes due to tiredness or hast. Also, the kind of utensil, cooker, burner, and smoker used for the cooking process is important when considering safety. For example, you just don’t go for any cheap smoker or gas smokers; it is better you go for one of the best electric smoker under 200 Dollars in the market so as to avoid fire flares, gas explosions or even electric shock that could arise from using a substandard smoker.
Disposal of Food Waste and Charcoals Afterward
To avoid food wastage you may use vacuum sealing process and cook food only as needed. however, not possible to consume all food every time. As this time you may store unused food using a food vacuum sealer, and you eat that later with the same taste as first cooked. To make it easy for you, you can find the best vacuum sealer out there.
After you have concluded your outdoor cooking activity, it is imperative that waste and trash be properly disposed to avoid leftover foods from decomposing in the open and causing health and environmental hazard. It even becomes much more important that you adequately dispose the trash if you had your outdoor cooking event in your courtyard or around your house. Charcoals and other debris should be properly trashed. Make sure that no hot coal is left lying around to avoid humans or domestic animals stepping on it. Also make sure that all gas valves are turned off after cooking and that charcoals have cooled off completely before finally disposing them to avoid starting an accidental fire in your trash can since most trash bins are made of plastic and they always contain combustible materials.
Outdoor cooking apart from being fun is a necessary part of our cooking activity because certain occasions require us to cook outside. Outdoor cooking is also fraught with risk, and accidents are prone to happen. To avoid this, it is important we follow the safety precautions listed in this article and many more like wearing the right protective cooking attire, having a First Aid kit at hand, and being conscious of the fact that it is safer for us – if we are using a non-stick spray for our grill grate – to always spray the grill first before igniting the fire as this greatly minimizes the risk of an explosion occurring. It is also important for us to move the spray can and gas canisters very far from any source of heat to avoid building up pressure that will make the pressurized containers to explode. If we apply adequate caution and adhere to safety precautions, our outdoor cooking events will go smoothly without any accidents.