Tips For Safe BBQing
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.
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