HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - We had Longhorn Grill Master Craig Chatham in our studio Tuesday to show us some Fourth of July grilling tips. Watch the video to see how to properly grill, and consider these tips from the National Fire Protection Association when cooking this holiday:
Before you use your grill:
Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
If the leak doesn't stop, call the fire department immediately.
When the grill is on:
As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.
There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Have clean utensils and platters available. Cook meat, poultry, and seafood to the right temperatures– use a food thermometer to be sure (see Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart). Keep cooked meats hot at 140 °F or warmer until serving time and set them to the side of the grill rack to keep them hot.
When removing foods from the grill, place them on a clean platter – never use the same platter and utensils you used for raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
Watch the time and outside temperature
Don't let hot or cold food sit out in the "Danger Zone" (between 40 °F and 140 °F) for more than 2 hours – or 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90 °F. If they do, discard them.