Essential Safety Tips for Using an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are a great way for homeowners to add value to their property and enjoy the outdoors. However, you do need to keep in mind general safety precautions for the best experience. By following our safety tips, you can help danger-proof your kitchen for responsible use all year round.

Grilling Etiquette

Grilling is one of the most popular activities in outdoor kitchens. However, without proper precautions, it can become a danger zone for you and your guests. 

For the safest experience, remember to never leave the grill unattended, both during and after cooking. This can lead to accidents caused by unintended excessive heat and fire. You’ll also need to check to ensure the coals are totally extinguished and the grill is turned off and cooled down before turning in. Sometimes coals may appear to be cooled down but are actually still simmering underneath.

During use, make sure you keep an eye out on any open flames. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to harm from unsupervised fire, so it’s best to keep them away from the cooking area in general. 

Remain cautious anytime you handle a hot surface like the grill top, and always store flammable items like lighter fuel and coal away from the grill in case of accidental spills that could create powerful flames. In the worst-case scenario, it’s wise to store a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-access spot. 

Food Etiquette

Some foods are more likely to cause illness than others due to bacteria lurking within. Luckily, proper heating reduces the risk of food-borne disease, but you need to be smart about your cooking habits. 

Always keep your food hot until they are ready to be eaten. Foods that have been sitting out are more likely to grow bacteria. You should also try to avoid cross-contaminating your dishes, which can unknowingly spread any pathogens from one item to the next. 

For the best results, check the proper cooking time of each meat and avoid “eyeing” the meat to tell if it’s ready. Use a thermometer and wait until the safest temperature has been reached before serving. 

Keep It Clean

A clean cooking space is essential for you and your guest’s well-being. Make sure any cooking surfaces are thoroughly disinfected and dry before each use to avoid contamination on your meal. 

Before cooking, don’t forget simple measures, like washing your hands and wearing an apron to ensure you and your ingredients stay fresh. When you’re finished, get rid of any waste in a sealed trash bag and dispose of it the same day. This will help prevent the infiltration of insects and wildlife on your property overnight. 

Keep It Safe

Never get too excited to forget the basics of safety while cooking! Keep flammable items from any hot surfaces, like dishtowels next to stovetops. Place sharp objects and cooking utensils away from the reach of children and use knives with the utmost caution. 

It’s best that children have a monitored and designated spot in the yard during meal preparation to avoid messes and accidents. You should also consider using a child lock on cabinets and storing hazardous materials far from their reach like you would in indoor kitchens.

If you do have a spill, clean it up immediately to avoid damage to your kitchen and prevent further accidents like slips and falls from occurring. 

Keep It Bright

If you want to be able to use your outdoor kitchen each season and at any time, it’s necessary to install proper lighting. From spotlights leading to your kitchen, task lighting over cooking spaces, and general lighting at the table, each can help minimize the risks of unwanted falls, cuts, and other accidents, while imbuing your space with a cozy glow.