How to Prevent Fare Ups on Gas Grill


Are you a seasoned grill master? You know how to impart flavour on every steak and skewer you cook and understand temperatures like a meteorologist. Your spice blend is legendary, and your grill marks form the perfect mathematical grid.

How about flare-ups? Are you constantly getting greasy bursts of intense flame and making for a dangerous BBQ environment? You can’t have that, so here are some tips on preventing flare-ups on a gas grill.

Flare-ups are part of the grilling experience, and here are the typical causes:

  • Grease Buildup: This is a gradual grease buildup on your grates that increases the likelihood of catching on fire. They need to be cleaned regularly to avoid this.
  • High Heat: Depending on what you are grilling, high heat is usually required. This increases the chance of a flame burst.
  • Fat Drippings: Meat with high-fat content is delicious and nutritious, but those juices drip onto the flames when exposed to heat.
  • Marinades: Oil is usually the base ingredient of most marinades, and while they keep your meat juicy and full of flavour, they are highly flammable.
  • Food Debris: Any little pieces of food that fall into the greased pan can ignite and cause a flare-up.

1. Regular Grill Cleaning

A dirty grill is a fiery grill. Old grease and food residue are the usual culprits in flare-ups, and if you don’t keep up on grill housekeeping, you won’t stop the flames.

I know it’s a hassle to clean the grill. We spend time preparing our food and grilling it to perfection. Then once it is cooked, we take it off the grill and enjoy the food hot with our dinner companions. The last thing you want to do after a full stomach is stand in front of the BBQ and scour it down.

Get into cleaning the grill by turning the heat up after cooking to burn off debris. Then let it cool and brush the grates and clean out the tray, so you are good to go for the next BBQ.

2. Trim the Fat

The main cause of flare-ups is fat dripping off the meat, sauces, and marinades. To prevent this, you can trim some excess fat off the cut of meat and go easy on the oily marinades. You judge how much to take off because you don’t want to sacrifice flavour or juiciness.

Also, while cooking the meat, it’s best not to keep probing it because this can cause juices to escape and add to the problem.

3. Close the Lid

When using gas grills, you open and close your lid often. Pay attention to flare-ups and when it happens, immediately close the lid. Flames need oxygen for fuel, and by closing the lid, you cut the supply down. This will cause the flare-up to die, and you can go back to grilling again.

4. Burn Off the Grease

As you grill your food, you may notice a grease buildup that could ignite at any time. It’s wise to take action and beat it to the punch by burning it off.

Take your food off the grill temporarily and keep the lid open. Then turn up the heat on high to burn it away. This shouldn’t take too long, and then you can get back to grilling your meal without worrying about those pesky flare-ups.

5. Don’t Fan the Flames

Flames love oxygen, and the more it gets, the bigger the flare-up. If your grill is situated in a breezy area, you may want to relocate where there is more protection.

With grease flare-ups, shielding from the rain is also important because the water can spread the grease and worsen it. When there is bad weather, seek cover!

6. Meat Relocation

You only have limited real estate on your grill, but to avoid flare, you can move fatty meats away from direct heat and put it to the side where you can turn off the gas and cook indirectly. You can get a quick sear with those well-defined grill marks and finish your protein on the side.

7. Kill the Burners

Gas grills have a huge advantage in dealing with flare-ups because you can immediately kill the flames when needed. If you get a flare-up that you can’t control, simply turn the burners off and let the flames die down. You can close the lid to preserve heat, but there won’t be any ignition for the fat to ignite.

Flare-ups will happen because all the ingredients are there during your grilling time. Proper management of your grill is the best way to minimize the problem, so use these tips to have a flare-free grilling experience and enjoy the delicious food you prepare for family and friends.

Dean is a self-professed tech geek with a fondness for computers, video games, and any novelty tech-savvy gadgets.