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Beat the Heat! 

Safety tips during peak grilling season

It's officially summer and there's nothing better than enjoying a backyard BBQ with friends and family.  The key to keeping these events enjoyable is to recognize the hazards of grilling and to use the utmost safety.  With July being the peak month for grill fires we thought we would provide you with some safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  According to NFPA, between the years 2013-2017, there was an average of 10,200 home fires involving grills each year. Follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling.
  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors. Keep your grill well away from homes and deck railings. 
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area. 
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in the trays below the grill. 
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Turn on the grill properly in four easy steps:
    • Open the lid before turning on the grill.​
    • Turn on the propane tank.
    • Turn on the knobs of the grill burner.
    • Push the ignite button (if you have one).
  • If the grill doesn't ignite the first time or the flame goes out, let the gas dissipate for at least five minutes before igniting the grill again. 
  • When turning the grill off, turn off the propane tank first, then turn off the grill burners.  This keeps excess gas from leaking out. 
  • If using a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Always keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • When finished using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. 

Italian Sausage and Pepper Burgers

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Servings: 4
Prep Time: 30 min
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste 
  • 12 ounces hot Italian sausage (if links, remove casings) 
  • 12 ounces sweet Italian sausage (if links, remove casings) 
  • 8 slices provolone 
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons pesto 
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, buttered and lightly toasted 
  • Pickled banana peppers, for topping
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and saute until the onions are translucent and the peppers are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium high.
  3. Combine both sausages in a bowl. Form into 4 patties. Grill until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Top each burger with some of the onions and peppers and 2 slices of cheese, cover the grill and cook until the cheese melts.
  4. In a bowl, add the mayo and pesto and stir to combine. Spread the rolls with the pesto mayo, add the burgers and banana peppers and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of 
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