With summer in full swing, grills across the nation are fired up daily.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is recommending that grillers be mindful of safety, especially in June and July, the peak months for grilling fires. While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires than their charcoal counterparts, all grills pose a risk for fires and burns.

Grills should be placed well away from the home and deck railings and out from under leaves and overhanging branches. If there is a fire involving grilling equipment, any fuel for the fire should not be near the home or any other structure. Some other grilling safety tips from the NFPA are the following:

· Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

· 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 trays below the grill.

· Never leave your grill unattended.

· Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before igniting it.

· Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

· If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

· If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.

Charcoal Grills

· There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.

· If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

· Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

· There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.

· When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

A great recipe to try on the grill is Marinade Grilled Chicken. It’s a simple recipe that is easily customized for preference or taste.

Marinade Grilled Chicken

Ingredients

4 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Adobo Sazon (or chili powder for spicy flavor)
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
 
Directions
1. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, Adobo Sazon, sage, oregano, and cumin together in a small bowl. Arrange the chicken breasts in a shallow glass container; pour the lime juice marinade over the chicken. Cover the container with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 1/2 hours, turning the chicken every 30 minutes.

2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove the chicken to a platter and allow to come to room temperature. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Basting with the marinade, grill the chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 8 to 10 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
 

No BBQ would be complete without a pitcher of Iced Tea. Try one of the refreshing Tampico’s Flavored Iced Teas that fuse together black teas and fruit blends; it will help to beat the summer heat. Another easy summer dish is a Cucumber-Watermelon Salad recipe that can compliment any summer meal.

Cucumber-Watermelon Salad

Ingredients

6 cups cubed seeded watermelon
4 cups cubed English cucumber
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar (optional)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions

• Place the watermelon and cucumber cubes in a large bowl, and gently toss with the salt and sugar. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, and then gently toss one last time before serving.