It's apparent that winter does not look at outdoor built in grills as a viable cooking device. Just recently, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm sustained numerous first- and second-degree burns after her gas grill at home blew up. She went back to work a couple of days later on to cover the 2013 Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, but openly discussed her ordeal with having a burnt face and left hand. What went wrong with Storm's gas grill?
In an interview with ABC News, Storm described that the combination of propane and the winter season weather led to her accident. Propane is half as dense as air in liquid mode, but it becomes denser than air when the fuel becomes gas. Hence, much of the propane settled on top of the grill, instantly igniting the moment Storm turned it on. With this propensity, specialists suggest consumers to exercise care when utilizing grills during winter or cold weather.
While definitely unfortunate, this incident should not impact the safety track record of gas grills. In fact, foodies like food blogger Mike Vrobel still count on gas grills for grilling in winter. The propane heat from the grill can endure wintry conditions and grill your T-bone just the way you like it, but there are some important security preventative measures.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests waiting for at least 5 minutes prior to turning on the grill. This is a basic safety policy if the gas grill falls short to brighten after a couple of attempts. Provide the propane sitting on top of the gas grill time to dissipate to prevent sustaining burns.
On top of that, Vrobel says not to trouble making use of outdoor built in grills in extreme weather condition since just removing the snow from the grill area is currently an inconvenience. If snowfall is rather light, however, you can merely clear the snow off the grill before shooting it up. It's advised that you keep the cover closed when grilling so that the propane heat can barbecue the food better. While propane holds its own in winter season, the cold can be a nuisance in attaining the right temperature to prepare the meat.
See the CPSC website at CPSC.gov for more propane grilling security tips and guidelines. You can also examine Vrobel's guest entry about grilling in winter at ThreeManyCooks.com.
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