Grill It Up Safely with These Tips and Recipes

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By Katherine Gotthardt

It’s the perfect time of year to break out the gas grill and make meals happen! (Though some would argue grilling season is any time of year.) Like any kitchen appliance, though, gas grills come with their own risks. Before you try these delicious recipes, review these safety recommendations.

General Grilling Safety Tips

  • Do not store gasoline or anything flammable near your grill.
  • Do not use spray oils on a grill.
  • Always turn off burners and gas completely after grill use.
  • Always cover your grill after use, but never place a grill  cover on a hot grill.
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol when grilling.
  • Place a heat resistant grill mat underneath the grill to catch debris, grease and food.
  • Never place a grill in a garage, breezeway, or carport or under any flammable surface.
  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet from the house.
  • Always store gas containers upright in a secure position and never store them in your car.
  • Keeps kids and pets away from a hot grill.
  • Always light a gas grill with the lid open.
  • Give your grill a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. If you grill frequently, a good rule of thumb is every five to 10 uses. Not cleaning a dirty grill can shorten its lifespan.

For more safety and complete cleaning instructions, refer to your grill’s product or manufacturer manual. Once your grill is correctly set up, it’s time to try some new, tasty recipes.

Spicy Greek Yogurt Grilled Chicken

Provided by Alexandra Mooney
Ingredients
3 – 4 chicken breasts
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dehydrated red pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
Directions: Mix all spices into Greek yogurt. Set aside. Make small, shallow criss-cross cuts into the surface of each piece of chicken. Place chicken in yogurt mix and cover thoroughly. Wrap bowl in plastic wrap and marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

After marinating, preheat grill to medium heat with lid open. Close lid for 5 minutes. Open lid and clean grill with steel grill brush. Once the grill is clean, place chicken on grill. Turn every 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, cut into a thicker piece of chicken to see if it is cooked through. If there is any pink coloring, continue to grill and turn until completely cooked. Chicken should be moist on the inside but thoroughly cooked. Remove
chicken from grill and enjoy! Yields 3 – 6 servings.

Pepper Turkey Burgers

Provided by Alexandra Mooney
Ingredients
2 lbs. ground turkey, 7% fat, 93% lean
1 large egg

1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

Optional Ingredients
4 – 5 slices pepper jack cheese
4 – 5 hamburger buns
Ketchup
Mustard
Relish (dill or sweet)
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced red onion

Directions: Place all ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Section out meat to create four to five medium-sized balls. Flatten each ball into a patty about ¾ of an inch thick.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Close lid for 5 minutes. Open lid and clean grill with steel grill brush. Once the grill is clean, place patties on grill and turn every 5 minutes. Be sure to cook turkey thoroughly. Burger should be firm to the touch and should not appear pink. Once burgers are fully cooked, turn off heat. Place a slice of pepper jack cheese on each burger and close lid for 1 – 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from grill and serve on hamburger rolls or bread of choice. Use condiments if desired.

Whether you’re basking in the summer sun or taking advantage of a mild day in winter, grilling can provide the perfect mealtime option. Be creative, but be safe as you get the most out of your gas grill.

Social Media Director for Prince William Living, Katherine Gotthardt (kgotthardt@princewilliamliving.com) is an award-winning writer, poet and author, as well as president of Write by the Rails, the Prince William chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Learn about her work at KatherineGotthardt.com.

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