Pitmasters tend to be highly conscientious when it comes to preparing and serving their creations. Part of their commitment to excellence falls into the category of food safety. After all, no grilling aficionado wants a guest to get sick.
Below are several ways to ensure grilling safety no matter the season. Take these barbeque safety measures to heart so your smoky meats, poultry and produce will always be safe to enjoy.
Warming a refrigerated steak for 30 minutes on the countertop should be fine, but never let your meats sit for long periods of time outside of the fridge or freezer. Otherwise, bacteria could begin to grow, leading to potentially disastrous gastrointestinal results for anyone who chows down later.
As part of your grilling and barbecue safety strategies, be sure to have a handy meat thermometer ready to go. Invest in the best you can afford to ensure you can take the internal temperature of any meat you grill. Though it can be tempting to “eyeball” the doneness of food like chicken or turkey, you may be less accurate than you think. Print off a copy of safe food handling temperatures for all the ingredients you regularly use.
All those juices from meats and poultry help sear in flavor. However, when the item is raw, you should be highly concerned about cross-contamination. Keep raw meats and poultry away from other ingredients, cutting them up separately and using different tools, utensils, dishes, etc. If slices of zucchini touch your raw chicken, toss the zucchini away. It is not worth tempting fate!
Forget the days of leaving a steak to marinate on a plate in the kitchen. Pop it in a container with a lid and put it in the refrigerator to soak in those awesome seasonings. When you are ready to toss it on your grill, you will know that bacteria never got the chance to jump aboard.
Just because your meat has slow-cooked on your Grilla Grill for hours does not mean you should leave it out. Part of grilling safely should be removing meats from serving platters and refrigerating them. People can always come back later for seconds and thirds, and they can reheat the meat on your grill or in the microwave. Forgot to put your meat away? After two hours, it needs to be pitched.
Part of grilling safely is reducing your food’s exposure to used charcoal particles, as a buildup may be unhealthy. Besides, the dirtier your grates and grill, the less delicious your food will be. Plan to clean your grill as often as necessary so you never have to worry about eaters noshing on charred remains.
As a final fall, spring and summer food safety guideline, just clean like a crazy person! The more fastidious you are about keeping a spotless grill and surrounding prep area, the less likely you will be to compromise the safety of your food.
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