Friday, June 28, 2013

July 20th Firefighter fundraiser

This week I just want to reach out to everyone and request help with a fundraiser that Colorado BBQ Outfitters will be involved in on July 20th.

One of our neighboring businesses (Three Tigers Martial Arts) reached out to Daren and I to see if we want to be involved.

The event will consist of setting up an area (either in front of Three Tigers or in front of the shopping center across York from us) where people can come down and either donate items that the firefighters will then donate to the victims of the Black Forest Fire or proceeds will go to help thank the firefighters themselves.

My thought is to have us make some pulled pork and sell pulled pork sandwiches and then donate all the proceeds to the fund. Colorado BBQ Outfitters will provide the grills, pellets, rubs and sauces and will be looking to either our friends or local grocers to donate the meat (pork shoulders), plates, napkins, forks, etc.

If you think you can help in any way possible, please contact either Daren or myself. This is chance to help not only victims of the fire but the firefighters as well.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department will have one of the fire trucks there for the public to check out.

Please help any way you can.

We can be reached at the store at 719-465-1041, or email at, or hit us up on Facebook on our page.

Dan MacDonald
Colorado BBQ Outfitters
6850 N. Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, Co. 80918

Thursday, June 20, 2013

BBQ Safety

In lieu of the recent wildfire tragedy I thought it would be appropriate to discuss grilling and barbecuing safely.

First of all I want to make clear that you CAN grill and barbeque even with the current fire ban. You can only do so at a private residence and you still must use common sense.

You CANNOT grill or barbecue at most parks, open spaces, National Forests, etc. The safety of your back patio is perfectly legal in Colorado Springs city limits. Unincorporated El Paso County does have a ban on charcoal only but they informed us they are not enforcing it as long as, again, you use common sense.

One of the reasons Colorado BBQ Outfitters sells wood pellet grills is the fact they are the most safest of all grills on the market. Wood pellet grills; even though they burn pellets, do so in a fire pot that is safe inside the grill. There are no embers that can get outside the grill. Charcoal offers some danger with regard to hot coals that can be fall out of the grill onto wood decks, dry grass, etc. Wood pellet grills do not offer any chance of the fire getting outside of the grill as it is contained in a fire pot that is covered by a heat deflector which is then covered by a drip tray. They only disperse heat which is done through the top of the grill. Never have anything flammable hanging over a grill while it is hot. Below is a diagram of how a wood pellet grill works. Notice the fire pot is safely contained well within the confines of the grill itself.

Gas grills offer some challenge with safety as they have an open flame of course. You should always check your gas grill for gas leaks making sure all the connections are tight. Make sure any rubber hoses are not showing signs of wear. Double check all connections and that your propane tank has not expired. Yes, propane tanks do have expiration dates on them. Always keep your burners unclogged and well cleaned. Never, ever let grease or drippings collect in the grill. Not only will this ruin the taste of what you cook on your grill is can cause flare ups and once melted can drip down out of the grill. If your gas grill comes with a drip cup, make sure it is cleaned regularly. Always turn all knobs to off when done grilling and turn the gass off from the propane tank. The Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association (HPBA) has a great website on gas grill safety...

Charcoal grills offer a challenge given the way you must get the charcoal lit. We here in the BBQ community never, ever encourage the use of petroleum based products like lighter fluid. One, it is dangerous and two is ruins the taste of your food. (I know the HPBA site I will share talks about using lighter fluid. Ignore it.) Never, ever, ever put lighter fluid on already lit coals!!! There are plenty of other products that are safer to use when lighting charcoal. Charcoal chimney starters, electric charcoal starters, products like Quicklights are just some of them. All require the use of common sense. Make sure you are not lighting charcoal in the wind. It will blow embers that can start fires in dry condition. Always let charcoal completely cool before dumping out the ash and always dump the ash in a non-combustible container after soaking thoroughly with water. Tips for safe charcoal grilling:

Again, wood pellet grills do not offer any of the dangers mentioned above. Turn it on, set the temperature and let it go. My only recommendation is to use a GFI plug for the grill. Since they are electrical, do not use them in a rainstorm so the electrical components can get wet.

Never attempt to grill in a non-ventilated area such as a garage or inside. Know your grill. Read the owner's manual! I know you men out there are thinking yeah right but do it! Make sure your grill will not fall over once lit. Keeping a fire extinguisher handy is important. (Yes, it's time to get those fire extinguishers checked by the way) Never try and move a grill that is hot. Another great resource from the HPBA site is the grilling fact sheet:

In the event you are grilling on a wood deck or on the ground with dry material, I highly recommend a good grill mat. These are made of noncombustible material and are placed under the grill. I also recommend a good pair of leather or heat resistant silicone gloves when working around a hot grill.

Remember, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO GRILL AT YOUR HOME!!! Just please be safe and enjoy the fruits of your barbecuing labor!

Colorado BBQ Outfitters always wants you to enjoy this favorite past time but please be safe when doing so.