Skip to main content

You will inevitably have flare-ups when using a charcoal or propane grill to cook food. Despite what you might think about scorching that juicy steak, when controlled, flare-ups can add flavor to your food! 

Of course, there is a difference between good and bad flames when grilling, and the pros at Synergy Outdoor Living are here to discuss how flare-ups can enhance your grilling mastery.  

What Are Flare-Ups? 

A flare-up is a burst of intense flames from your grill. It often starts when meat fat drips onto the coals or burner of your grill, where it ignites and catches fire.

Even though a flare-up can give your grilled items a delightful flavor boost, if the fat catches fire due to accumulated grease and carbon inside the grill, you could end up with a grease fire. So exercise caution and keep your grill tidy!


Causes of Flare-Ups 

  • Drippings from oily marinades 
  • Fatty meats like burgers, rib-eye steaks, bacon, or chicken with skin  
  • High grill temperatures 
  • Built-up grease or carbon on grates or other grill parts 


Flare-ups usually start when placing meat on the grill or when flipping it. There’s a fine line between the positives and negatives of flare-ups, which typically die down quickly.  

However, quality grills that are well maintained should have minimal flare-ups, which could result in overcooking or excessive bitterness from soot. 

Keep it clean: Clean Your Grill the Right Way! 

Flare-Ups Add Flavor  

The key to flavorful grilled food, whether you use a gas grill, hardwood briquettes, or charcoal, is the drippings. In essence, natural sugars, proteins, and oils are burned as drippings from fatty food drop and burn, producing a variety of mouthwatering flavors.


That’s where it’s at! Your grilled food’s distinctive flavor comes from these scents, which are carried upward by the plume of rising air and flame from the fire. See? Not all flare-ups are bad. So, avoid the impulse to shift the meat away from the heat of the grill. Your grilled food will have amazing flavors thanks to the swirling flames.


Become a better grill master with a new grill and custom outdoor living space from Synergy Outdoor Living! Call Synergy Outdoor Living at (813) 322-2137 to start designing a custom outdoor kitchen today.  

When to Douse Those Flare-Ups 

The temperature is the most crucial factor for grilling of any kind. When using charcoal for grilling, the temperature is right when the coals glow red and no flames are present. When charcoal is too cool, it will emit a grey smoke that gives food an acrid or bitter flavor.

With gas grilling, the temperature can be controlled more simply, and a dial allows you to adjust the fire’s height and intensity.

Flare-ups can produce wonderful meals, but it’s still crucial to keep them under control. Visible, flickering flames briefly calm the fire below, which may result in ash and soot plumes on the food.

Another strategy is to move the food slightly to one side of the grill, closer to the flare-ups. Controlling the flare-up can be a challenge, but with experience, you’ll become a true master of your grill 


Let’s get grillin’: Direct vs. Indirect Grilling  

It’s Grilling Season 

Make the most of the Florida lifestyle with evenings spent enjoying time with family and friends. Your backyard will be the best new dinner spot in town with a custom outdoor kitchen equipped with a grill, beverage-dispensing unit Kegerator, smoker, or pizza oven from Synergy Outdoor Living!  

Let’s build the outdoor living area of your dreams. Call us at (813) 322-2137 to learn more or to schedule a free design consultation in Tampa, Orlando, or Jacksonville. 

Until next time, get grilling!  

Synergy Outdoor Living