Grilling and Food Safety are as important on Labor Day as they are on any weekend barbecue.
Grilling has become a fabulous cooking technique for an outstanding backyard get together. Labor Day is one of the many holidays that calls everyone together for the festivities. To get the best results, it is important that any type of grilling is done correctly and safely.
Grilling Safety Tips
- Always position the grill on a heatproof surface away from trees and shrubbery. Make sure the grill vents are clear from ashes prior to starting the fire.
- To avoid flare-ups and charred goods when grilling, trim meat of excess fat.
- Keep a water-filled spray bottle near the grill to keep flare-ups under control.
- The best method to accurately determine doneness of meat is to use a meat thermometer.
- Never use alcohol, gasoline or kerosene as a lighter fluid starter – all three can cause an explosion. I prefer the chimney approach.
- Hot coals create a very hot grill, grid, tools and food. Always wear oven mitts to protect your hands.
- The number of coals required for barbecuing depends on the size and type of grill and the amount of food to be prepared. You can always add coals to an already started grill if needed.
- Always, Always serve cooked meats and poultry on a clean platter, not the one that held the raw foods.
It is very important to cook the meat at the correct temperature to kill all the bacteria. Rest time is an important step in cooking some meats. (see chart below) “Rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful bacteria.
I found this chart on http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html#.
Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.
Remember, you can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it. Any cooked, uncured red meats – including pork – can be pink, even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature.
Why the Rest Time is Important
After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.
|Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures||Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb||160||None|
|Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb||Steaks, roasts, chops||145||3 minutes|
|Poultry||Chicken & Turkey, whole||165||None|
|Poultry breasts, roasts||165||None|
|Poultry thighs, legs, wings||165||None|
|Duck & Goose||165||None|
|Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)||165||None|
|Pork and Ham||Fresh pork||145||3 minutes|
|Fresh ham (raw)||145||3 minutes|
|Precooked ham (to reheat)||140||None|
|Eggs & Egg Dishes||Eggs||Cook until yolk and white are firm||None|
|Leftovers & Casseroles||Leftovers||165||None|
|Seafood||Fin Fish||145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.||None|
|Shrimp, lobster, and crabs||Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque.||None|
|Clams, oysters, and mussels||Cook until shells open during cooking.||None|
|Scallops||Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm.||Non|
Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend with friends and family. Be sure to watch for some tempting grilling recipes coming right up. Thanks for visiting, your always welcome here.