General Grilling Safety Tips


by Joseph T. Bonanno Jr.

Before you use your grill, read the owners' manual to be aware of any specific safety concerns about your model. If you have any questions about your grill, feel free to contact the grill manufacturer.

Never use a grill in an enclosed area, such as a trailer, tent, house, or garage. Set up the grill in a well-ventilated area. Grills are designed for outdoor use only. Carbon monoxide is invisible, and it can easily build up in an enclosed area and kill you. Yes, kill you.


Set up the grill in an open area, away from buildings, dry leaves, brush, or overhanging tree branches. Watch out for wind-blown fire sparks.

Do not set up the grill in a high-traffic area. The body of the grill becomes very hot without looking hot, and it is easy for someone casually walking through (or if kids are around, they will probably be running through) to accidentally touch the hot surface and get burned.

If you are using electrically operated accessories, such as rotisseries, be sure they conform with local codes and are grounded properly. Keep the cords away from the walkway. If possible, tape the cords down with duct tape to prevent tripping.

Use long-handled barbecue tools to avoid burns and splatter. Oven or barbecue mitts, preferably long and flame retardant, are very helpful, too.

Don't wear long, floppy shirt sleeves that could accidentally catch fire. On the other hand, even if it's hot, wear enough clothing to protect your body from accidental burns—cooking in your bathing suit is not a good idea.

Never attempt to move a hot grill.

Know where the nearest fire extinguisher is located. Have a garden hose hooked up and handy, just in case.

The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook
by Joseph T. Bonanno Jr.
Broadway Books 1998
Hardcover; 240 pages; $23.00
ISBN: 0-7679-0098-7
Reprinted by permission


"Big Daddy"s" Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

from Christopher "Big Daddy" Lukenda
Linden, New Jersey

Makes 6 servings

"Big Daddy" likes big Mushrooms, and portobellos are about as big as they get. His shallot and garlic baste is big on flavor, too.

1/3 cup olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 large portobello mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small saucepan, heat the oil, shallots, and garlic over low heat until tiny bubbles surround the vegetables. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain into a small bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Set aside.

2. Quickly rinse the mushrooms under cold water to remove any grit and wipe clean with paper towels.

3. Build a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and let burn until covered with white ash. In a gas grill, preheat on High.

4. Brush the mushrooms with some of the shallot-garlic oil. Season with the salt and pepper. Lightly oil the cooking grate. Place the mushrooms on the grill and cover. Grill, occasionally turning and brushing with the oil, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot, drizzled with any remaining oil.

The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook
by Joseph T. Bonanno Jr.
Broadway Books 1998
Hardcover; 240 pages; $23.00
ISBN: 0-7679-0098-7
Reprinted by permission

The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook

Cookbook Profile Archive


This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

This page modified January 2007

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