Let There Be BBQ Light: Tips for Grilling in the Dark
Grilling under the night sky can be a calming and fun experience for you and your loved ones. However, just like most activities, grilling with limited lighting comes with hazards. So, whether you are planning a BBQ party that goes well into the night or you are just faced with less daylight due to changing seasons, we’ve prepared these essential tips that will keep grilling in the dark safe and fun for everyone.
1. Make Use of a Grilling Light - And NOT Just any Kind of Lamp
We’ve put this at the very top of the list because it is absolutely crucial - so crucial, in fact, that we will also need to debunk some common hazardous misconceptions about lighting solutions.
When you’re grilling in the dark, the smoke and the limited light can make the task very challenging. This is why you need a BBQ light that’s specifically made for the job. This will help you to flip the food at the right intervals and avoid both overcooking and undercooking the food. Additionally, being able to see the grill properly will keep you safe from accidents.
What about ambient light, regular lamps, or flashlights?
Some new grillers may think that light coming from the house or from backyard lighting would be enough but this is most often not the case. The smoke alone already obstructs visibility - and the limited light compounds this even more.
Meanwhile, a regular lamp in place of a grill light is a potentially hazardous idea. Regular lamps are not built to withstand the high temperatures coming from the grill and this could cause the bulb to explode.
Another idea is to use a flashlight. But, like regular lamps, this kind of device cannot be too near the grill because it might not be able to withstand the heat. Moreover, even if the flashlight survives, constantly needing to shine the flashlight inside the grill can be a stressful experience. You need both hands free when you’re grilling. Furthermore, misplacing the flashlight in the dark is another hassle that you would need to deal with.
Are there grills that have built-in lighting?
Absolutely! If you’re considering an upgrade anytime soon anyway, this could be one of the features that you can look for. Some grills such as those in the Built-In 700 series, have interior grill lights and control knobs with SafetyGlow, making night grilling a total breeze.
Are there attachable BBQ lights or grill lights that are compatible with any grill?
Top-notch BBQ lights or grill lights designed by Napoleon are made specifically to withstand the heat of the grill as well as the outdoor elements. They are also compatible with almost any type of grill because of their versatile design.
The Napoleon’s Grill Light is adjustable to fit just about any kind of grill handle and has 4 LED lights for powerful illumination that can last up to 50 hours. The brightness has a low and high setting depending on how dark the environment is.
You can also opt for Napoleon’s LED Lights. You’ll get two separate light-weight LED lights in one package. These can be clipped to the grill’s handle or to tools like the spatula. If you don’t want to clip them on, they can also be attached to any metal surface on the grill thanks to the built-in magnets. Both lights have long-lasting batteries included so that you can use them straight out of the box. With light solutions like this, you will never have to worry about grilling in the dark ever again.
2. Make Use of a Grilling Thermometer & App
If you’re grilling during the colder seasons at night, you might find yourself alone while guests are gathered somewhere where they can stay warm. They might be indoors or gathered near an outdoor fireplace. You might have the dilemma: do you stay alone by the grill to wait for the right food temperature or do you leave the grill for a while and risk overcooking the food? Well, by getting yourself a grilling thermometer with an app, you won’t need to choose. This device will help you monitor your food’s temperature with an app - while you get some free time to spend with your guests.
One such device is the Accu-Probe™ Bluetooth Thermometer. This allows you to monitor the temperature of four separate probes. Because it is Bluetooth enabled, the device can alert your phone once the perfect temperature for the food has been reached. You can also set up custom temperatures depending on the dish you’re making. Now you can take the guesswork out of cooking and even try your hand at serving specific steak temperatures like rare, medium-rare, and so on.
3. Prepare Extra Fuel
Don’t let unexpected fuel shortage cut your fun short. Prepare extra propane or charcoal - because these types of fuel can sometimes burn faster during night-time grilling.
4. Wear Grilling Gloves - NOT Just Normal Winter Gloves
It might be a cold winter night - but one should avoid wearing winter gloves in place of grilling gloves because this is an accident waiting to happen. Winter gloves are typically made of flammable material and can catch fire quite easily as you flip your food. Nothing can take the place of gloves that were specifically designed for your grilling needs - like these genuine leather grilling gloves, these heat resistant grilling gloves, or these touchscreen-friendly grilling gloves. With products like the ones mentioned here, you can choose what suits your needs the most. Safety can definitely go hand-in-hand with convenience and personal preferences.
5. Put On Tight Clothes or Wear an Apron
During the night when visibility is less, it increases the hazard of loose clothes coming into contact with flames. So although it may be a cold night, make sure that you avoid wearing loose clothing or better yet, that you are wearing an apron.
Wearing an apron helps to secure any loose clothing while also providing an extra layer of protection. If you don’t have a grilling apron yet, there are many great ones out there. Just have a look at this PRO Grilling Apron or this Black Grilling Apron - comfortable, low-maintenance, and absolutely stylish choices that you are sure to love.
6. Get Rid of Tripping Hazards
This is a universal tip for any kind of BBQ party whether it’s during the day or at night. However, the risk for tripping over extension cords or garden hoses are increased at night because of limited lighting.
If tripping hazards near the grill cannot be avoided, make sure to warn guests, mark the area, and make sure any tripping hazards are well lit. By doing so, you can save yourself and your guests from dangerous accidents.
7. Emergency Prevention
While you should never leave a grill unattended, accidents can happen. Ensure that grease fires and flare-ups are a very rare occurrence by cleaning the drip tray and pan regularly as part of your regular grill maintenance. If something does happen, move the food causing the flare-up away from the flames. Turn off the burner closest to the flare-up if it is safe to do so, you can also turn off the gas source - propane or natural using the shut-off valves. If the fire is small, you can allow it to burn out or use baking soda to smother the flames and close the lid to limit oxygen. Never use water as this can create hot steam or splash grease onto you.
So there you have it! You’ve seen here that with the right tools and practices, grilling in the dark is a cinch. So remember these seven tips for your next night-time BBQ.
How Was Your Experience With Grilling in The Dark?
Which of these tips resonated with you the most? Were you able to have a better grilling experience at night? We’d love to hear all about it. Follow Napoleon on our Instagram or Facebook and share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences in our community!