Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day BBQ Tips

Here are some handy tips to make sure your Labor Day BBQ or cookout goes smoothly and deliciously:

*If cooking on a charcoal grill, use a chimney starter to start the coals more easily and get them ready for grilling faster

*Before placing food on a gas grill, preheat the grill; if cooking over charcoal, make sure the coals are covered in grey-white ash

*Lightly brush or spray food with oil to prevent sticking - this isn't necessary for food marinated in a marinade that includes oil

*Have all your grilling tools handy: Long-handled heatproof tongs and grill spatula, instant-read meat thermometer, grill basket for veggies or fish, and clean platters for placing cooked food as it comes off the grill

*Know which foods you want to grill over direct heat and which over indirect heat, so that you know where to place them on the grill

*Be safety conscious: Have a spray bottle full of water for flareups and a bucket of water handy to douse the charcoal when done cooking (for more fire safety tips, read my post on safe grilling)

*Have a cooler with ice on hand to keep cold foods cold until ready to eat

*Know when to apply barbecue sauce: If using a thick or sweet BBQ sauce, brush on during the final 10 or 15 minutes of cooking; if applied too early, the sauce will burn

*Discard any marinade that was used on raw meat, poultry or fish, and set aside or thoroughly wash any plates or utensils used to handle these raw items. Have a clean set of plates and utensils for use on the cooked food

*Store leftovers within two hours of cooking, to prevent spoilage and reduce the risk of illness

Zestfully yours,

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