BBQing is one of America’s favorite pastimes, especially during Fourth of July weekend.ChicagoHealers.com Dr. Martha Howard M.D. provided the following tips for staying safe during summer grilling:
- Clean the grill: get rid of the old fats left over from previous meals.
- Avoid petroleum starters for charcoal: If you use charcoal, use a wood starter and stack your charcoal up in a 2 pound metal can with the ends cut off. Lift off the can with tongs and spread out the coals when they are well started.
- Proper timing: Avoid a time gap between opening the valve and starting the grill.
- Wash your hands: Keep your hands clean and use separate plates and cutting boards for raw and cooked meats. Be sure to wash hands again before putting on long, heat-proof barbecue gloves.
- Trim meat: Trim most of the fat from meat; less fat means fewer PAHs.
- Use marinades: This protects the meat from charring. Put the marinade on, and refrigerate until use. Don’t let meat sit out.
- Pre-cooking: Use pre-cooking prior to grilling, especially for items like raw brats. Avoid taking burgers, chicken or other meats directly from the freezer to the grill.
- Cutting techniques: Cut meat and chicken into smaller pieces so they cook through.
- Flipping: Turn down the fire, and turn your burgers, steaks, chops, or chicken often, so they cook through, and come out golden brown.
- Meat thermometer: If you are cooking a thicker portion of meat or chicken, use a meat thermometer.
* Chicken: 165 degrees
* Hamburger: 160 degrees
* Pork: 150 degrees
* Hot dogs: 140 degrees
* Steak: 145 degrees for medium rare and 160 degrees for medium.
- Cleaning up: At the end of the barbecue, be sure to put out your charcoal completely, and if you are using propane, be sure the valve is turned off.