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Our best grilling tips

With Memorial Day upon us, the grilling season officially has begun. To help you enjoy a successful — and safe — grilling season, we have compiled our best grilling tips to help you on your way to juicy burgers, perfectly cooked steaks and deliciously roasted vegetables.Our best grilling tips - Royal Oak MI - Fireside Hearth & Home

  • Invest in the right tools. Successful grilling begins with the right tools. Long-handled spatulas and tongs for flipping are preferred over grilling forks, as grilling forks pierce meat and allow juices to escape. Baskets are great for fish and vegetables, and a grilling mitt is ideal for protecting your hands. An instant-read thermometer ensures meat and fish are cooked to the perfect temperature. If you have a charcoal grill, a charcoal chimney is a handy tool for getting the grill started without lighter fluid. Make sure you have all of your tools ready before you start grilling!
  • Preheat your grill. Regardless of which type of fuel you use, you should be preheating your grill for 15 to 25 minutes. Preheating your grill perfectly sears your food and locks in juices. It also kills any bacteria that might be lurking on your grills surfaces. A grill thermometer can help you make sure you’ve preheated your grill to the right temperature: 400 to 450 degrees for high heat, 350 to 400 degrees for medium high, 300 to 350 degrees for medium and 250 to 300 degrees for low heat.
  • Clean your grill before putting your food on it. Once your grill is preheated, use a stiff wire brush to clean away charred particles from your previously grilled foods. Before placing food on the grill, make sure you check the grates to make sure none of the brush bristles have been left behind, as they can stick to food and become a hazard if ingested. Run an oil-soaked paper towel over the grates once cleaned to prevent more food from sticking.
  • Know when to use direct heat and indirect heat. Foods that you want to char on the outside and keep juicy and rare on the inside, like steaks, do well when they are placed directly over a flame, while meats that stand to dry out before they are cooked through, like chicken, are best cooked through indirect heat. A good rule of thumb is to place foods that will be ready in less than 20 minutes over direct heat and to place foods that take longer than 20 minutes to cook over indirect heat. Our best grilling tips - Royal Oak Michigan - FireSide Hearth & Home
  • Avoid flare ups. Fat melting from meat can fuel grill flames, causing flare ups. Those flare ups can impart a bad taste, and even carcinogens, into your grilled foods. Trim meats before grilling to help prevent flare ups, and keep a squirt bottle filled with water next to your grill, so you can be prepared to squelch any flare ups that do occur.
  • Let your meat rest. When meat has finished grilling, let it rest for 10 minutes so that the juices redistribute, rather than come pouring out, when slicing. Make sure you cut meats, especially tougher cuts, against the grain to ensure tenderness.

And remember that FireSide Hearth & Home is your partner in creating great outdoor cooking spaces! Visit one of our three showrooms to see the possibilities of an outdoor kitchen or fire pit.

By Justin Peoples | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Tips for safely operating your fireplace or stove

If you rely on a fireplace or heating stove to keep your home warm during the cold weather months, it’s important that you take measures to keep your home safe from the risk of a fire caused by that fireplace or stove. Fireplaces, stoves and chimneys account for 42 percent of home fires. We’ve compiled our best list of tips to keep your fireplace or stove burning safely.

Have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually.

chimney inspection - Royal Oak MI - FireSide Hearth and Home

Each time you burn a fire, creosote builds up within your chimney. The highly flammable substance is a leading cause of chimney fires. To dramatically lower your risk of a chimney fire, have your chimney cleaned annually. In addition to removing dangerous creosote, your chimney sweep will examine your chimney for weaknesses or other problems that could lead to a chimney fire.

Practice regular maintenance.

In addition to annual chimney cleaning, your fireplace or heating stove requires regular maintenance. Read your owners’ manual to determine what cleaning needs to take place monthly or annually, and follow those directions. Clogged vents and other dirty components of your stove or fireplace can cause a hazard.

Create a “safe zone” around your fireplace or stove.

Burning embers can escape from virtually any type of fireplace, and allowing flammable items to get too close to even a gas fireplace can cause a fire hazard. Create a “safe zone” of about three feet around your fireplace, and keep that area clear of any flammable materials, including blankets, pillows, furniture and papers. Make sure that nothing is dangling from your mantle and getting too close to your fireplace or stove.

Use a fireplace screen.

If you have an open-hearth fireplace, make sure that you have a screen in place each time a fire is burning. The screen will keep popping embers from flying out of your fireplace and will prevent pets or children from accidentally touching the fire.

Only burn the materials intended for your fireplace.

Never burn anything in your fireplace that wasn’t meant as fuel. Paper and cardboard can cause flare ups that could lead to a chimney fire. Other items like trash, plastic and coal can let of deadly fumes. The wood from Christmas trees has not been properly seasoned and isn’t safe for a fireplace.

Install a chimney cap.

A chimney cap, with mesh screening around the sides, will ensure that burning embers don’t make their way on to your rooftop, something that is especially important in the event of a chimney fire. A chimney cap also will ensure that debris or animals don’t find a way into your chimney, causing a dangerous blockage.

Practice basic home fire safety.

Even if you have taken all the proper measures to keep your fireplace burning safely, it’s still important to be prepared for a potential fire. Keep at least one fire extinguisher on hand, and make sure you have it close to your fireplace. Each floor on your home should be equipped with a smoke detector, and that smoke detector should be tested at least every six months to make sure it is operational. Make sure that every member of your family knows what to do if that smoke detector goes off: Evacuate the home and meet at a predetermined location.
By Justin Peoples | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment