There is something special about grilling on the beach that gives the expression surf and turf’ a whole new meaning. If you’re planning to grill beachside, you also need to know what’s allowed and what’s prohibited. Luckily, if you want to make a BBQ on the beaches of Florida, here are some tips that will ensure the perfect grill setup goes without a hitch.
What beaches in Florida allow grilling?
Florida is quite a special place that allows just about everything within the confines of the state law. One interesting law actually allows Florida citizens to carry open firearms while fishing. This includes walking on the way to a location where fishing is allowed and returning. It’s an oddball law that is one of the few that revolves around fishing, camping, and lawful hunting laws in Florida.
So obviously this law would have no problem if you also want to have a BBQ on the beach cooking the fish you caught with an open firearm too! Well, some people might just stick with not being bothered by local police who know less about this law than they would like to admit. But for most people, if you’re doing any kind of BBQ at the beach, you want to practice safety first when it comes to fire and smoke.
Since not every beach is going to have the same exact statutes, contacting the county where you decide to have a barbecue ahead of time is a must. This gives you some important rules and regulations that might land you a ticket if you aren’t abiding by their select terms. This can range from how your BBQ fuel is being disposed of properly. It also includes any trash that goes with your BBQ that needs to be thrown out afterward.
One example in Volusia specifies that open campfires or grill is unlawful for dumping any leftover coals, briquettes, and embers onto the beach.
Their law also states that these items must be disposed off of the beach in a receptacle that is meant for these items. This essentially means that spent burning fuel cannot be dumped onto beach sand, recycle container bins or any trash containers located on the beach.
Grilling tips on the beach
You want to prepare for the worst, so bring the supplies that will ensure that your grill is not going to burn out before you cook your food. All beaches are also a place where coastal winds are pretty obvious, so a covered grill would be preferred over an open grill setup. This will also protect your food from unpleasant beach sand getting onto or blown into your grill by accident. Unless perhaps, you intended to make sandwiches?…
Choose the right portable grill
Everyone seems to own a kettle grill these days. You might not ever think that a Weber grill is meant for the beach, but you would be wrong. These grills were designed to be portable for any location that they’re taken to. The best part is they come with a lid and have excellent airflow control. But on a sandy beach surface, you can easily secure the legs using an old BBQ trick. The legs of your Weber will likely stick out on 3 or more sides.
Pack your supplies inside a plastic storage container and use the lid from the container to place your Weber for stable footing. Just be sure to have a separate ice chest for all of the items that you want to keep cool, while anything inside your storage container is just basic BBQ supplies. You can also cover this container with a towel if you want to keep sand out of it. You can also take a look at some of the portable grills that Weber manufactures that make packing your grill along a little easier.
Preplan your menu
Make a list of who will be at your grill party on the beach. Pack all of your meats and items you intend to cook inside Ziplock freezer bags. Freeze these items the night before to keep them cooler inside your ice chest. Since summertime beaches can be much hotter than you expected them to be, ice isn’t going to cut it. This will allow your meats to defrost slowly by the time you’re ready to use them.
If you have guests that are bringing meat, let them know how to pack and prepare these meats so they are just as chilled as your meats are.
Make side dishes before you leave
Side dishes are delicious essentials at any beachside barbecue. Making them at the beach is a total nightmare! Plan ahead and make these sides a day before your beach BBQ, or perhaps early in the morning if possible. These should be packed into airtight Tupperware until they are served and placed into your ice chest until they are served.
Bring cleanup supplies
If you have a leftover 5-gallon metal paint bucket, these make for outstanding storage bins for charcoal, wood, and BBQ fuel supplies. When you’re done, this is the perfect container for spent ash, smoldering wood, or charcoals that are extinguished with a bit of water and disposed of elsewhere when you leave the beach. Since these containers have a handle, they can be transported with ease from location to location.
A good jug of water is nice to remove soot off your hands, but consider a jumbo pack of baby wipes will do wonders for fast and portable cleanup. These wipes are typically better for cleanup when it comes to BBQ foods that are greasy and often sticky. Just choose a baby wipe that has very little scent, or pour half a cup of lemon-scented water inside your wet wipe pack before you leave to go to the beach.