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10 Smoky Tips To BBQ Food Safely
Cooking outdoors was once only a summer activity shared withfamily and friends. Now more than half of Americans say theyare cooking outdoors year round. Use these simple guidelinesfor grilling food safely to prevent harmful bacteria frommultiplying and causing food-borne illness.
Completely defrost meat and poultry before grilling so itcooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safethawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. You canmicrowave defrost if the food will be placed immediately onthe grill.
Meat and poultry can be marinated for several hours or daysto tenderize or add flavor. Be sure to marinate food in therefrigerator, not on the counter. If some of the marinade isto be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portionof the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it.However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is tobe reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first todestroy any harmful bacteria.
When carrying food to another location, keep it cold tominimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler withsufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40° F orbelow. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the coolerimmediately before leaving home. Keep the cooler in thecoolest part of the car.
4. Keep Cold Food Cold
When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun byplacing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lidtoo often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Packbeverages in one cooler & perishables in a separate cooler.
5. Keep Everything Clean
Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. Toprevent food-borne illness, don't use the same platter andutensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmfulbacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juicescan contaminate safely cooked food.
6. Cook Thoroughly
Cook food to a safe internal temperature to destroy harmfulbacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often brownsvery fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be surethe food has reached a safe internal temperature. Wholepoultry should reach 180° F; breasts, 170° F. Hamburgersmade of ground beef should reach 160° F; ground poultry,165° F. Beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts and chops can becooked to 145° F. All cuts of pork should reach 160° F.NEVER partially grill meat or poultry and finish cookinglater.
7. Keep Hot Food Hot
After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hotuntil served -- at 140° F or warmer. Keep cooked meats hotby setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directlyover the coals where they could overcook. At home, thecooked meat can be kept hot in a warm oven (approximately200° F), in a chafing dish or slow cooker, or on a warmingtray.
8. Serving Safely
When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don'tput cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat orpoultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juicescould contaminate safely cooked food.
9. Safe Smoking
Smoking is done much more slowly than grilling, so lesstender meats benefit from this method, and a natural smokeflavoring permeates the meat. The temperature in the smokershould be maintained at 250° F to 300° F for safety. Use afood thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safeinternal temperature.
10. Pit Roasting
Cooking may require 10 to 12 hours or more and is difficultto estimate. A meat thermometer must be used to determinethe meat's safety and doneness. There are many variablessuch as outdoor temperature, the size and thickness of themeat, and how fast the coals are cooking.
Copyright © by Terry Nicholls. All Rights Reserved.
About The Author
Terry Nicholls is the author of the eBook "Food Safety: Protecting Your Family From Food Poisoning". In addition, he writes from his own experiences in trying to start his own home-based business. To benefit from his success, visit My Home-Based Business Advisor - Helping YOUR Home Business Start and Succeed for free help for YOUR home business, including ideas, startup, and expansion advice.
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