Barbeques are a great way to impress your friends with your culinary skills, but apart from needing a reliable chef, a good barbeque needs the right location. Where you put your BBQ can impact on the quality and productivity of your gathering and there are also several safety issues to consider.
Combining fire with explosive fuels, hot food, groups of people (and possibly alcohol) is a recipe for disaster if you’re not careful. Also, always make sure to check if a total fire ban is in place so that you can plan accordingly.
Here are five valuable considerations to remember when setting up your BBQ.
Be aware of your surroundings
It’s good to remember that a BBQ is an open fire, so always be mindful of your surroundings. Keep a reasonable distance between the grill and your home for safety. Avoid setting up the grill directly outside the back door, especially if kids are running in and out of the house. Always place grills on a flat, clean surface away from any potentially flammable debris such as rubbish bins or mulch. The same goes for low-lying trees and hedges. Make sure there are no low-hanging branches in the vicinity of your BBQ.
Be safe, be seen
It’s important to consider views and sight lines when you’re setting up your BBQ. People inside the house must be able to clearly see the BBQ from inside the house through windows and doors and vice versa. Most of all let's not forget the chef. After all, he/she is the most important person on the day, so it’s important that they’re not left stuck facing the back-end of a wall or fence.
Check which way the wind blows
Smoke is part of the outdoor BBQ experience but it also gets in your hair, clothes, lungs and eyes and, as much as we might like to aroma of the char grill, it's best to avoid inhaling. Fumes contains carbon monoxide and other dangerous substances which form when grease burns - be it on an open flame or the hot charcoals.
Smoke blows downwind so be considerate and place your BBQ accordingly. Consider your proximity to windows, doors, balconies and neighbours and make sure that smoke isn’t being blown on the chef, your guests or any passers-by.
Sunshine and shade
Barbeques are mostly associated with the summer months when the sun is shining, and the weather is warmer. However, no one wants to stand beside a flaming hot grill when it’s already thirty degrees outside, so consider placing your BBQ in the shade.
Natural shade from trees works best because they ventilate quickly, but be mindful of low hanging branches, as they can be a fire hazard. Try and place your BBQ in a position where shade covers it for most of the day. Setting up a grill in the shade is one thing but keeping it there is another.
If you’re lucky enough to be building your BBQ into the design of your garden, then consider adding a shelter to the setup. Bear in mind if you are building your BBQ into a shelter to allow plenty of clearance between the structure and the grill.
Distance from the house
While it’s important to keep a safe distance between the BBQ and your house, you don’t want a large trek from one to the other. Typically, most of the food prep is done indoors, so trips outside to the grill are required. If your grill is too far away from the prep station, you run the risk of burning your expensive steaks while you race inside to get more BBQ sauce.
Get cooking, sit back and enjoy
Setting up the BBQ for a party doesn’t have to be difficult. There are just a few simple but important practical and safety considerations. The next time you want to set up your BBQ, keep these five tips in mind for a safe and enjoyable BBQ experience. Also, don't forget to set your table so that you're ready to dig in!
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