Grill Smart: Watch What You Heat!
Kids and Adults, Start the Summer Right with Grill Safety!
Planning to grill tonight, or sometime soon?
Now that it has finally started to warm up, many New Englanders are already enjoying their barbecues and other outdoor amenities. And while gas grills, portable fire pits, and patio heaters make outdoor spaces comfortable places to gather… it’s important that they are used properly.
Before bringing out portable appliances and firing up the propane grill, the Propane Gas Association of New England (PGANE) offers the following tips to help homeowners get the most from their outdoor appliances safely:
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions. Whether it’s assembly, use, maintenance, cleaning, or storage, make your grill manufacturer’s instructions your go-to resource for safe grilling.
Position the Grill in a Safe Location. Keep your grill outdoors and at least five feet from the house on a level surface that is clear of outdoor furniture, overhead trees, or other potential fire hazards.
Check for Leaks. Use a soapy water solution to check connections for leaks. Expanding bubbles indicate a leak. Follow this procedure at the start of each season and every time you replace a cylinder.
Follow Proper Lighting Procedures.
Follow the manufacturer’s lighting instructions. With all grill models, keep the lid open and don’t lean over the grill when lighting it.
Follow Proper Relighting Procedures. If your flame goes out, turn off the gas and refer to your owner’s manual. At a minimum, with all grill models, keep the lid open and wait at least 15 minutes before relighting.
Be Present. Stay close and never leave your grill unattended.
Safety for Kids:
The grilling area should also be designated as a “No Play Zone,” keeping kids and pets away from the equipment.
Grilling season is here!
Grilling is one of our favorite cooking methods. In addition to providing the smoky flavor that emanates from the coals, grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in the vegetables and makes them taste extra sweet.
Just about anything that sprouts from the ground or grows on a tree can be suspended over coals, including corn on the cob, zucchini, potatoes, onions, pineapples, mangoes, and mushrooms. Meat alternatives, such as veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and soy chicken, as well as seitan and tofu are other delicious grilling options.
One of our favorite recipes:
Juice of 2 limes (4 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (for extra heat, don’t seed the pepper before mincing it)
2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more if you can stand it)
1 lb. extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch strips
2 ears fresh corn
1 large red onion
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
12 cherry tomatoes
4 large flour or corn tortillas
• Put the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, chili powder, and cayenne pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Put the tofu in a shallow pan, add the lime juice mixture, and marinate in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, for several hours.
• Meanwhile, remove the husks from the corn and soak it in cold water for 1 hour. Drain the corn and wrap it in aluminum foil. Grill for 20 to 30 minutes, turning often, until the corn is lightly charred. Cut the corn kernels off the cob.
• Parboil the onion and cut into quarters. Thread the onion, bell peppers, and tomatoes onto skewers and brush with some of the lime marinade. Grill, turning often, until lightly charred.
• Place the tofu on the grill, cover with a lid or aluminum foil and cook, basting occasionally with the marinade until the tofu is light brown.
• Heat each tortilla briefly on the grill. Divide the vegetables and tofu equally among the tortillas, then roll them up fajita-style. Serve with guacamole.
Makes 4 servings