Preventing and Eliminating Grill Flare-Ups

Grilling chicken pieces without flare-ups as fat drips down into the grill can be a real challenge. Here are a few tips to help combat this problem.

Beyond being scary and dangerous, flare-ups also can make the difference between pleasant charred grill flavor and burnt food. Flare-ups are usually caused by fat or by excess oily marinade dripping off the meat and catching fire. To avoid them, trim meat carefully and pat dry any foods marinated with oil with paper towels before grilling.

Additionally, many gas grills have grease traps on their undersides; when your grill is completely cool, remove the shallow pan from under your grill and give it a good cleaning to prevent it from catching fire. Sometimes, despite our best preventive measures, we still get flare-ups. Keep long tongs and grill gloves handy so that you can quickly and safely move the food to an area of the grill not directly over the fire. The flare-up will die down fast, and you’ll have the grill back under your control. Briefly covering the grill can also help quelch flare-ups.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Minimize flare-ups by removing excess fat and marinade from food before grilling. Keep long tongs and grill gloves handy so you can safely move food while managing a flare-up.

LONG TONGS AND GRILL GLOVES:  The best tools for combatting flare-ups on the grill.

This is a members' feature.