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 Premier food storage container to avoid cross contamination.
Give food time to marinate in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Use a Rubbermaid Lock-its or Premier container to securely hold the marinating food without any spills. If some of the marinade is to be served with the meal as a sauce, reserve a portion of it in a separate Lock-its container or Premier food storage 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. For extra security when you’re on the move with your potentially messy barbecue fare, look no further than Lock-its containers. With its built-in rubberized seal and four locking tabs, Lock-its lids snap to the base and snap to each other, and one lid fits multiple bases. And they’re not only safe for microwave, dishwater and freezer, they also nest compactly for neat organization when you store them.
Summer BBQ TipsKeep 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 Rubbermaid Premier food storage containers or Lock-its containers. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90 °F).