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Back Yard Barbeque Blunders!

Aug 17, 2007
Stupidity isn't one of the essential ingredients in the perfect back yard barbeque. As much fun as grilling can be, it can be dangerous at times. It can also be quite amusing, unless you're the one being the idiot. But then, life is made up of idiotic acts that we all have been fortunate enough to survive. God must really have had a sense of humor when He gave the first cave man the idea to cook his meat instead of eating it raw.

Trouble begins when one of questionable intelligence, starts playing with matches, charcoal lighter and gas. A friend of mine who had a gas grill tried to start the burner with a match after turning the propane on and then going into the house to use the bathroom. He then took the time to get a drink before he went back outside.

It was a calm day with no breeze, so the gas sort of settled around the grill. When he struck the match, you could hear the whoomp all the way to the house. Luckily the fireball only singed the hair on his head, his arms and his eyebrows. It shouldn't have to be said, but never leave the gas line open for any length of time before igniting the gas.

Unfortunately, most barbequing mishaps are not due to carelessness, but to stupidity. Charcoal grills are especially fun to work with and only an idiot would use gasoline to start the fire. Another friend of mine, Fred, did just that. He didn't start off that day being stupid; that came later in the afternoon.

One Saturday afternoon in June, Fred invited all the neighbors over for the first cook out of the season. Everyone was in a festive mood, especially Fred. This was his big chance to show off his grilling skills to the neighbors. Now Fred has always struck me as being a brick shy of a full load, but I was always willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, until that Saturday afternoon. He proved my theory correct when he came very close to burning down his house.

Fred's stupidity wasn't readily apparent at the beginning of the evening when he prepared to light the charcoal. Not one to do something half way, he used an entire twenty pound bag of charcoal. He had converted a 55 gallon drum into a smoker grill that was big enough to serve the entire neighborhood. Almost a full can of charcoal lighter was used to ensure that all the briquettes were burning brightly.

It didn't work. While Fred went into the house to supervise the preparation of the meat and side items, the fire outside in the grill went out. Such a dilemma! He had just used all his charcoal lighter. While one of his neighbors went next door to get a can of the fire starter, Fred took matters into his own hands. After all, this was his party and it was up to him to get things rolling again.

I'm sure somewhere deep inside Fred's mind he knew that pouring gasoline on charcoal, especially when that charcoal had already been burning, was not a brilliant idea. Sure enough when the gasoline hit the charcoal, a briquette that was still burning and hiding underneath the mound of charcoal, ignited the gasoline! Whooomp! The gas can start spouting flames.

Fred threw the gas can as far as he could; right on top of his brand new treated wood deck. When the can hit the deck, the top came off, pouring the gasoline out of the can onto the wooden deck. There was a big blaze this time. By now we had the garden hose going and the next door neighbor was soaking down Fred's deck too. In a matter of minutes the fire department arrived and extinguished the fire. Luckily nothing but the deck was burned. Someone was looking out for Fred that day!

Electric kettle type smokers have become popular lately because they keep a constant heat and they're easy to cook with. A great tip is to always keep the smoker in the garage and out of the rain. If the lava rocks in the bottom of the tray are wet, when you turn the electric wand on and it's buried in wet rocks; guess what? The sound this time won't be whooomp! It will be bang! The electric wand will blow apart, ruining a perfectly good smoker and cook-out.

The moral to this story is simple. If you're stupid, don't play with matches!
About the Author
Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at:
http://www.bluemarlinbob.com
http://www.redfishbob.com
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