One of the best ways to enjoy the summer season is to cook and eat outdoors. An outside kitchen is a great addition to any house and will provide a lot of years of good times hosting friends and family.
You have a lot of options when it comes to setting one up from a simple built in gas grill for cooking to an actual range burner as you would have inside. It all depends on budget and how simple or complex you feel like making it.
There is one aspect to an outdoor kitchen that often gets overlooked. That is operating it safely. Because people are outside, they think they are inherently safer. While it may be safer to cook outdoors than it is indoors, there are still safety concerns you need to be aware of.
In this article, I will go over exactly what you need to do to keep your outdoor cooking experience as safe as possible.
1. Look for leaks
Your outdoor kitchen is exposed to a lot of things that your inside kitchen is not. This means that there is going to be far more wear and tear on things like your grill or oven. It is very likely that your appliances are using gas as a fuel source and not electricity so you have to be very careful about leaks.
The cold and heat does a number on the rubber tubes that connect your built in gas grill or stove to the propane or gas source. They expand and contract and often dry out. When this happens the rubber cracks and gas is able to escape causing a major health hazard.
Make sure to look over the rubber tubing and see if it is cracked anywhere. Then, take a close look at the connections. The area where the tube connects to the fuel source can often be rusty or loose and gas can leak from there. There are meters that can detect a gas leak so check that out. Otherwise, you can put some soap on the connections and see if they bubble when the gas is turned on. If it does then you have a leak.
2. Watch for flare ups
Always keep your grill open when lighting it. If it is closed the gas builds up and when lit will explode. The same goes for when you cover the grill grid with aluminum foil. This also traps the gas underneath and is likely to explode.
For this reason, you should also never keep your face over the grill when lighting it. If it does flare up then you risk burning your face pretty badly.
3. Stay away from the house
Your grill or stove should be kept away from the house so you can avoid lighting it up on fire. You may be cooking carefully and managing the flame, but if a wind kicks up it can guide a flame toward the house and catch fire.
Keep your grill in an area away from anything that could potentially burn.