How to Barbecue Safely

Nearly everyone enjoys cooking outdoors over their barbecue grill. Some enjoy gas grills and there are those who prefer charcoal over gas. However, regardless of your preference, there are a few simple tricks to make your barbecue cooking safer in various ways.

When it comes to grill safety, it isn’t always about not being burned. In fact, there are many things which can harm you during barbecue cooking, including food poisoning. Here are a few tips to make sure you or your guests do not suffer from food poisoning from cooking outdoors.

One of the most common mistakes people make when barbecue cooking, is the choice of when to add sauce to the meat. It doesn’t matter whether it is beef, chicken or pork, each type of meat must be thoroughly cooked.

This will ensure the cooking process kills any bacteria that can cause food borne illness. It is common practice to lather on the sauce, before putting the meat on the grill. Many people do this because they believe it will better enhance the flavor of your food.

However, when it comes to food safety, this is possibly the worst thing you can do. What happens is, most cooks will use a barbecue brush to brush their favorite barbecue sauce onto the raw meat.

This means any bacteria that was present on the uncooked meat, will be on the brush when it is placed in the container of sauce. This quickly contaminates the entire container. After the meat continues to cook and more sauce is added, the cook is adding the bacteria back onto the partially cooked meat.

This process can go on and on, simply spreading the bacteria onto the meat with each additional application of sauce. To reduce this possibility, the best method is to fully cook the meat first, then add the sauce in the last few minutes of cooking. This will retain the flavor of the sauce, without contaminating the food.

In addition, it will help you keep from burning the ribs due to the high content of sugar in the sauce. If you are afraid of adding cold sauce to the hot meat, you can place the container of sauce on the grill and heat it up while the meat is cooking and then brush it onto the cooked meat.

To eliminate the possibility of food illnesses during barbecuing, you should also use a different plate to place the cooked food on. For example, do not use the same plate to hold the cooked meat as you did to bring the uncooked meat out to the grill.

Juices from the uncooked meat will still have contaminates on it and by placing the cooked food on the same plate will transfer the bacteria onto the cooked food. This will greatly increase the chances of making your guests ill.

Remember, barbecue safety doesn’t only rely on trying not to burn yourself. Using safe cooking practices is also a huge part of being safe while barbecuing.

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