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Follow our 6 tips for a healthy outdoor cooking season in 2018!

Tips for Safe Outdoor Cooking- “6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY SEASON”

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Everyone seems to be so much happier during the seasons that allow for outdoor cooking and entertaining. Whether it’s a planned cooking event or spur of the moment decision, these cooking events turn into an opportunity to relax, kick back and truly enjoy life.

There are steps you should take to ensure that the foods you enjoy outdoors remain safe. What follows are the top tips for safe outdoor cooking that will make for the best outdoor cooking season ever, no matter what you elect to cook.

Tips for Safe Outdoor Cooking

Tip #1

There are times when you want to marinate meats and poultry before cooking on your grill or smoker. Know that foods will only remain safe if you marinate in the refrigerator in a covered container, not with the marinated foods laying out on the kitchen counter. Also, if you plan to incorporate some of the marinades into a sauce, be sure to reserve some before it is applied to the raw foods. If there is marinade leftover from the raw food marination, be sure you boil it before using as anything that has contact with the raw food can carry bacteria.

Tip #2

You can grill a variety of foods on the same equipment but to know when everything is cooked, you will need to have thermometers. It’s best to use a different thermometer, marked by color, for each type of food: beef, pork, chicken, fish. The thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the meat or poultry to get an accurate internal temperature reading. Here is a guide on temperatures:

  • Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145°F/62°C
  • Ground meats & sausage: 160°F/71°C
  • Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165°F/74°C
  • Hot dogs: Cook until steaming hot

Remember, thicker cut meats and poultry will need to be placed closer to the fire or heat. Utilize the upper grill grate for those items that are more fragile like thinner fillets of fish, vegetables, fruit, or for heating sauces.

Tip #3

You cannot partially cook meats and poultry by parboiling or microwaving and then placing in the refrigerator for grilling the next day. Although you may think this will lessen the cooking time on the grill, what you’re doing is introducing the potential for everyone to become sick. The reason? Partial cooking does not eliminate all bacteria growth. The reality is, you would be allowing bacteria to continue to grow.

Tip #4

Take the time to properly clean your grill or smoker at the start of the outdoor cooking season. It’s common to close vents on the grill or smoker when you cover it up for the winter season but these aides in stimulating mold growth on the grill grate and/or inside cover and walls. For that reason, it’s important to scrub down the interior of the grill or smoker using a cleaning mixture; 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water or a bleach to water blend if you’re not opposed to the more toxic bleach.

Tip #5

Be sure you start with a hot grill or to cooking temperature smoker. That means, preheat. Preheat your grill 15 to 25 minutes before you start cooking to make sure it reaches the right temperature to ensure all bacteria is killed. Your grill should be 400-450°F for high, 350-400°F for medium-high, 300-350°F for medium and 250-300°F for low heat. By having a properly heated grill, you will guarantee a moist outcome for your meat and poultry.

Tip #6

There are many of us we prefer a good charcoal grill versus gas. It is important that you understand that there are many more influencers to altering the flavor of what you’re cooking when you cook over charcoal. Be sure to use an additive-free lump charcoal, which is charred wood. Conventional briquettes, which are easy to find, may contain wood scraps and sawdust as well as coal dust, sodium nitrate, borax and additives like paraffin or lighter fluid. As for lighter fluid, NO! Lighter fluid can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, leave an unpleasant flavor to foods, and pose a serious danger if used improperly. Skip it altogether.

Without question, our 6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON should help you on your way to a healthy, memorable outdoor cooking season. Likely, the best ever!

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More Related reading on "What Wood for Smoking" and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

More Related reading on “What Wood for Smoking” and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

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Dr. Smoke- please follow our blog 6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON!

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