Summer Barbecue Tips
To start your summer off on the right foot, here are some useful tips to ensure food safety during the warmer months.
Completely defrost meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. You can microwave the food to defrost it if the food will be placed immediately on the barbecue grill. When defrosting food in the refrigerator, keep it in a sealed Rubbermaid food storage container to avoid cross contamination.
Give food time to marinate in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Use a Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids container to securely hold the marinating food without any spills. The 1.5 Gal Easy Find Lids container is the perfect size for marinating. If some of the marinade is to be served with the meal as a sauce, reserve a portion of it in a separate Easy Find Lids container.
When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or Blue Ice packs to keep the food at 40 °F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home. Keep the cooler in the coolest part of the car. Rubbermaid TakeAlongs are great for taking food on the go and come in a variety of sizes.
Summer BBQ Tips: Keep Cold Food Cold
Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the barbecue grill. When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler.
Cook Foods Thoroughly
Cook food to a safe internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a barbecue grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe internal temperature.
Keep Hot Food Hot
After cooking meat and poultry on the barbecue grill, keep it hot until served - at 140 °F or warmer. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in a warm oven (approximately 200 °F), in a chafing dish, on a slow cooker, or on a warming tray.
Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow Easy Find Lids containers. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90 °F).