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How to Prevent Flare-Ups on a Stainless Steel Grill?

December 07, 2022 3 min read

Does your stainless steel bbq grill erupt into a towering ball of fire whenever you put meat or vegetables into the cooking grate? Known as a flare-up, this is a common problem encountered when grilling. When this happens, the red-hot coals turn into a high flame that essentially sears the meat. While a single small flame shouldn't harm your food, consistent flare ups can burn the exterior as well as make it dry and less juicy. Frankly, they can be dangerous, and in some extreme cases they can cause grease to catch fire, but that's not to say they're completely unavoidable. You can prevent sudden fires when grilling by performing a few simple steps.

Clean your grill
Don't underestimate the importance of cleaning your grill, both before and after each use. Failure to clean the grill can lead to a build-up of fat and grease drips, and grease build-up increases the risk of grease fires and burns. After each cooking session, turn up the heat and burn off any food residue left on the grates. In addition, use a grill brush or foil ball to scrape off the grates to remove any carbon. The next time you light the grill, you don't want residual grease and carbon to build up. In a charcoal grill, make sure you scrape the inside of the grill thoroughly when cleaning out the ashes. Clean your stainless steel grill regularly and you will find that the flare-ups will reduce when grilling. So try to get into the habit of cleaning your grill before use or after each use.

Clean Your Stainless Steel Grill Regularly

Keep the grill away from the wind
Another factor that causes flare-ups when grilling is wind. The wind enhances the flame by providing oxygen to the flames. When the wind blows over a flame, the extra oxygen causes it to burn. Although you can't always control nature, you can choose an area that is sheltered from the wind for your barbecue. Before lighting the stainless steel charcoal bbq grill, find an area with a wind break. Grilling on your front porch rather than the back is also another great way to protect your grill from the wind.

Keep the Stainless Steel Grill Away from the Wind

Build a two-zone fire
When cooking food, a two-zone cooking setup is the way to go. Not only does it save fuel, but the cold side of the grill allows food to be stored in the 'safe zone' if needed. A two-zone fire simply means adding coals to one side of the grill and leaving the other side empty, thus creating a hot zone and a cool zone. If a flare-up occurs, simply move the dripping food to the cooler part of the grill and let the flare-up subside. If your stainless steel grill is equipped with an upper warming rack, place the items there while the flare-up subsides.

Use less oil
Oil dripping onto stainless steel adjustable bbq grill and coals can also cause burning. When it comes to oiling a grill grate or meat, follow the “less is more” approach. Oiling food is an easy and effective way to prevent it sticking to grill grates, but the more oil you add, the greater the risk of a flare-up. Many marinades use some kind of oil in them. The oil then drips onto the coals and can be a potential cause of flare-up. As with fat, oil has a tendency to ignite and explode into a fireball when encountered with burning charcoal or wood. The less oil you use, the lower the risk of a flare-up. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to stop using oil when grilling. Instead, try using less oil.

Reduce fat
One of the main causes of flare-ups on the grill is fat dripping. While a fatty piece of meat means it will be juicier when cooked on a stainless steel barbecue grill, too much fat also means more meat drips that can cause a flare-up. When you grill a fatty piece of meat, some of the fat will liquefy and fall off the grate. Once it hits burning charcoal or wood, it can quickly ignite and burn, causing a flare-up. To avoid this, you can simply choose to remove the fat from the meat. You don't have to cut it off, just trim it to reduce the fat from the meat.

Reduce the Fat from the Meat on the Stainless Steel Grill

Grill flare-ups are a common occurrence with outdoor cooking. The flames may add to the whole spectacle of grilling, but they can be dangerous and may need to be kept in check. The risk is minimized if you know how to control stainless steel bbq grill flare-ups when they happen, and take all the necessary measures to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

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