8 Things You Should Never Do To Your Grill

Updated: Aug. 25, 2023

Are any of these no-nos part of your grilling routine?

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Fail to Protect Your Deck or Patio

If you grill on a deck or patio, make sure to put down a splatter-proof mat before you begin. Burning hot grease and sparks can quickly damage a deck or stain patio pavers, along with creating a fire hazard. Additionally, remember to keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your home.

Also, here’s how to fix a gas grill!

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HH propane tank bathroom scale
Family Handyman

Not Know Propane Tank Levels

A common 20-pound tank, for example, can only be filled to around 80 percent. Also keep in mind that you cannot use tanks older than 12 years. These aren’t just good ideas, they are safety laws set at the federal level, and for good reason. It’s best to have your tank filled by a certified professional instead so that it can also be inspected at the same time. It’s a good idea to use a scale at home to check the propane level of your tank.

Tune up your gas grill for the weekend with our guide!

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Shutterstock / Alexander Raths

Grill Too Much Food at Once

It may be tempting to put as much as you can on the grill at one time, but if too much fat drips on the grill flames, it can cause a flare-up. Instead, cook your food in batches to avoid overloading the grill, particularly with fatty meats. Learn how to tune up your gas grill yourself.

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Shutterstock / Arina P Habich

Starting a Gas Grill with the Lid Closed

Lighting your grill with a closed lid can cause a dangerous buildup of gas, creating a fire ball. Keep your gas grill lid open when lighting it. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off, and wait at least five minutes before relighting.

Charcoal grill owners, you’re not off the hook. Dousing lit coals with extra lighter fluid is another big mistake, and doing so can easily cause a flare-up. Plus: 10 cool camping gadgets to take with on your outdoor adventure.

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Shutterstock / Chrispo

Not Being Prepared to Put out a Fire

Fires move fast, so it’s important to be prepared. Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. Remember, you never use water to put out grease fire.

“A great tool for any chef to have on hand is the free Red Cross First Aid App,” Greta Gustafson, media relations associate for the American Red Cross says. “This app puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies—including burns—at your fingertips.” But if you want to avoid the stress associated with a grill induced fire hazard, you can opt for a smart grill instead.

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shutterstock_60003571 fire grill

Leave Your Grill Open

As tempting as it is to keep the grill open and watch the food cook, it’s better to keep a lid on it so the meat won’t dry out. Pick up one of these revolutionary grill tools so you’re an expert grillmaster.

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Irina Rostokina/Shutterstock

Grease the Grill

It’s easy to forget to oil food but if you don’t you’re at risk of seeing the food stick. It’s especially important with chicken to oil. It’s better to oil the food than the grill to prevent flare ups. Cooking spray is great for the food but you won’t believe what else it is good for. (Think out of season)

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Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock

Vent Improperly

If you’re working with a charcoal grill, learn the intricacies of how it cooks. A grill with its vent open will cook hotter because new oxygen can freely move in the grill and out. Place the vent over the food if you want it to cook faster.