Here are some basic do’s and don’ts from experts who know how to prevent the most common grilling mishaps.
• Give the grill a thorough inspection and cleaning. Make sure the legs are sturdy, that things haven’t rusted out, the vents are working properly and the burners are clean. With gas grills, make sure there are no holes or leaks in any hoses, that the hoses are properly hooked up and all connections work properly.
• Use care in positioning the grill. Grills need to be out of high-traffic areas so children and pets won’t bump into them. Ideally, the grill should be at least 10 feet away from the house to reduce fire risk.
• Pay attention lighting the grill. Open the hood before igniting a gas grill to vent any fumes that may be gathering there. Don’t pour additional lighter fluid on coals after they’re lit; you risk a big flare-up.
• To tell the temperature of a charcoal fire, carefully hold your hand, palm side down, just above the cooking grid. If you can keep it there for five seconds, the heat is low, four seconds, the heat is medium. Three is medium-hot. Two or one is hot.
• Watch chicken especially. People are terrified of undercooked chicken so they leave it on too long or on too high a flame. Chicken should be grilled over medium heat.
• Don’t move the food about. Put it on the grill, let it get a good sear on both sides, then move the food to more moderate heat to cook through.
• Try not to squash hamburgers onto the grill. Most of the flavoring is in the juiced stored inside the burger.
• Never sauce too soon. Most sauces on the market are ketchup based, and there’s sugar in them. The sugars caramelize and start burning. Apply sauce to food at the end of the grilling time or serving the sauce in a bowl at the table.
NEWS OF THE WEIRD
By Chuck Sheppard
Florida: Natasha Ethel Bagley, 42, was arrested on May 28 in connection with an April 2 incident at a Miami Burger King, according to WTVJ. The arrest report stated that Bagley and 27-year-old Genesis Peguero demanded free french fries in the restaurant’s drive-thru. When a restaurant employee refused their request, they parked the car and entered the store, where Peguero hopped over the counter and, with her hands in her pockets suggesting she had a gun, demanded all the contents of the cash register. After the manager tried to call police, Peguero punched her in the face, the report said, and Bagley piled on to further assault the woman. The two then drove away after destroying two registers on their way out. Bagley was held without bond; Peguero remains at large.