One of the best places ever to gather your family and friends outdoors for some summertime fare is a public park. There’s plenty of room for outdoor activities, it’s a great place for kids to expend energy, and, if you plan ahead and reserve a gazebo, you can serve the tastes of the season in shade. And if you like to grill but you’re hesitant about using a public grill at a park, you can prep the grill without worry. Here are some tips and tricks for using a public grill.
- In addition to packing the picnic fare, you’ll want to pack a grill brush and some extra plastic grocery bags for trash. Before getting the grill hot, you’ll want to clean the grate with a grill brush. If you don’t have a grill brush, you can use a wadded up ball of aluminum foil.
- If there is debris in the bottom of grill, you’ll want to brush the debris into a plastic bag (to discard). Note: This is given the debris is old, cooled ash. If you do not have a small hand broom, you can use a plastic grocery bag. Insert your hand into the bag and scoop out any debris into another plastic bag.
- If you feel better covering the grill grate with foil, you can cover the grate at this point. Poke a few holes in the foil before lighting the grill. Or, if you do not want to use foil, you can preheat the grill now. When the grill is good and hot clean the grate again using the grill brush. Oil the grate before placing food on grill by dipping a wadded paper towel in just a little bit of oil and, using tongs, oil the grate.
- Once you’re finished cooking, throw foil away. Make sure and check the park’s grilling rules. Some parks ask that you remove the charcoal you used and/or have grilling time limits.
Public grills might seem off-putting, but with a little bit of prep, you can safely grill your favorite foods. And remember, when grilling, the intense heat that is created when firing the grill up burns away any food that may be remaining on the grate. The grill brush takes care of the rest.