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The One Food You Should Never Put Directly on a Grill Is Bacon

It may taste better this way, but it could potentially become a safety hazard.
Tongs for grilling

Grilling is not just for burgers, steaks, and fish. There are plenty of other foods that taste delicious with grill marks such as pineapple rings, artichoke hearts, and yes, even slices of pound cake. However, there are a few foods that you may want to consider never placing directly on a grill, largely because they could become a safety hazard. There's one food, in particular, we've noticed that could potentially pose a threat to your safety if you're not careful: bacon.

We consulted Meredith Carothers, the technical information specialist at the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, to find out more about why putting bacon on the grill might not be the safest move.

Why should you never put bacon directly on the grill?

Bacon is inherently lined with strips of fat, which is what makes it such a greasy food after it's been cooked to a crisp. If you've cooked bacon on a skillet, you know exactly how much grease one pound of the delicious food can produce. (By the way, that grease should never be poured down the drain.) On a grill though, there's only one place for that grease to go—down—and it can literally fuel the fire on your grill.

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"Bacon will always emit grease when cooking, and that grease can be very flammable," says Carothers. "Therefore, it is not safe to place the bacon directly on the grates of a grill due to the fire hazard of grease dripping."

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Thankfully, there are alternative ways you can grill bacon safely without running the risk of scorching yourself.

What are some ways you can safely grill bacon?

"There are external pans you can use to place directly on a grill. You will just want to make sure there are no holes that would allow grease to drip," she says. "You can use a stovetop grill pan. This will achieve a very similar effect of grilling, but without the fire hazard of grease dripping."

Here are two examples of pans that can make grilling bacon safe.

1. Lodge Square Cast Iron Grill Pan

square cast iron grill pan

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2. Bruntmor 13-Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan

cast iron grill pan

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Any other bacon-grilling safety tips?

"Always be careful when dealing with flammable items! It is always best to cook bacon in an environment where the grease can be controlled," advises Carothers.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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