Do you find yourself trying to convince people that “a little char never hurt anybody”? Or maybe you stick to grilling meats with removable skins, so that you can peal off the burnt and fossilized skin and reveal the perfectly grilled meat? If this sounds like you, you probably have a problem with grill flare ups. It’s ok, it happens to everybody. Flare ups are especially common when grilling hamburgers or grilling chicken wings, or any other meat that is especially fatty. While it’s almost impossible to prevent flare ups from happening, you can prevent prolonged flare ups (that keep burning) by more thoroughly cleaning your grill.
Prolonged flare ups are caused when fat drips off the meat and sticks to a hot surface. Add a little fire from the burner and you’ve got flame. Dirty surfaces provide a perfect environment for these flames to keep burning by giving that fat a place to stick around. Ah, but you use one of those grill brushes every time you grill, right? Well, that’s great, but you are only cleaning off the surface of the grates. A lot of flare ups occur when there is grease left over on the bottom of the grates. When the next fat runs down onto the bottom of the grate, it adheres to the old grease and in a lot of cases ignites.
So to really prevent flare ups you need to roll up your sleeves and do a little more thorough cleaning. Remove those grill grates and use warm soapy water and a brush to clean them thoroughly. When you are done, rinse with clean water and you are all set. While the grates are off, go ahead and remove the shield over the burner and give them a good scrub. This will remove another potential fire-causing-fat-trap.
With just a little more effort, even you can help prevent grill fires. Again, you can’t eliminate all flare ups, but a through cleaning will help prevent flare ups from continuing to burn. The warm soapy water is a lot more gentle than that steel brush on your grates, prolonging it’s life as well…