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Safe Grilling/BBQ 101

Updated on February 21, 2009

Important Tips For Safe Grilling/BBQ-ing!

If you're like me you can't wait for the first warm enough weather to have a barbecue get-together.

This summer, why not enjoy all those grills without worrying about the harmful bacteria that could be present in 'summer' foods if not handled and kept at safe temperatures.

Let a safe grilling season begin!

Cleaned, primed and ready to go!
Cleaned, primed and ready to go!
Tools of the trade
Tools of the trade
Make mine a BBQ!
Make mine a BBQ!

Danger Zone

Important facts: Remember food that is being kept between the temperature range of 4 to 60°C or 40 to 140°F is in danger of harmful bacterial growth.

With other words :

keep cold food cold

below 4°C/ 40°F

keep hot food hot

over 60°C/ 140°F

Summer fare of the masses!

Cheese burger anyone?
Cheese burger anyone?
Pass the Dijon mustard!
Pass the Dijon mustard!

Beef Burgeres & Beef/Pork Sausages

The minimum temperature for meat that has been ground and reformed is

71°C/ 160°F

Insert the thermometer probe right into the middle of the hamburger patty or through to the centre of the sausage or hotdogs.

The same temperature goes for Ground Veal, Ground Beef, Ground Lamb & Ground Pork.

BBQ chicken...best way to have it!

Spiced just right!
Spiced just right!
Drunk chicken?
Drunk chicken?
The drums are calling!
The drums are calling!

Poultry

When checking for the safe range of internal temperature of whole chicken etc insert probe at more then one spot

82°C/180°F

Remember to check the internal temperature of both the breast and thigh meat when testing whole chicken, whole turkey, whole duck and whole goose. If stuffed it's important to check the temperature of both the meat and the stuffing. Probe near the bones too.

Poultry Pieces, Ground Chicken, Ground Turkey, Ground Duck and Ground Goose burgers need to be a minimum of

77°C/170°F

When testing the temperature make sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.

Get-a-move-on! We're hungry.

Beef steaks!
Beef steaks!
T-bone...yum!
T-bone...yum!
Lamb chops done to perfection
Lamb chops done to perfection

All Beef, Veal & Lamb cuts

 

Medium Rare145°

Beef Steak and Other Cuts,

Veal, Lamb

Medium 160°

Beef Steak and Other Cuts,

Veal, Lamb

Well Done 170°

Beef Steak and Other Cuts,

Veal, Lamb

 
 

Bring on the BBQ sauce!

Pork shoulder slices
Pork shoulder slices
Pork and fresh local veggies
Pork and fresh local veggies
Ham slices
Ham slices

BBQ pork with local grilled veggies...to die for!

Medium 71°C/160°F

Pork Steak, Chops, and other cuts

Well Done 77°C/170°F

Pork Steak, Chops, and other cuts

When checking the temperature of pork avoid inserting probe in the fat.

BBQ pork ribs 77°C/170°F

Uncooked Ham 71°C/160°F

Precooked Ham 62°C/140°F

Seafood...fast...easy...healthy!

Shrimp& Veggy kabobs...my fave!
Shrimp& Veggy kabobs...my fave!
Quick and easy
Quick and easy
Healthy Salmon steaks!
Healthy Salmon steaks!

Fish and Shrimp

Preparation Tips

Fish or shrimp only need to marinate for 25 to 30 minutes; some larger thick fillets can marinate up to an hour. Over-marinating any type of seafood can make it mushy.

Grilling Tips

An internal temperature of 68°C/155° F is desired.

Rule of thumb is about 5 minutes per side/ per inch thickness. Cook fish fillets until they are opaque throughout and they flake easily with a fork. To BBQ delicate or small foods such as shrimp use a grilling basket.

Shrimp takes only about 4 minutes to cook; baste with butter or oil to keep moist.

For an almost fat free baste for shrimp and fish dilute plain 1% joghurt with a bit of skim milk and add salt-pepper garlic and thyme to taste.

Handle Food Safely

Remember to use a clean plate and utensils because harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry juices can contaminate safely cooked food.

Keep Hot Foods HOT, Cold Foods COLD

Always keep meat and poultry in the fridge until you're ready to grill or cook it.

After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it above 65°C/140°F until your ready to serve it. Use the side of the grill rack to keep the meats hot or use an approximately 90°C/ 200°F oven.

Refrigerate any leftovers in shallow containers to assure that they get cooled down as fast as possible.

Marinating

Marinating is a great way to tenderize and add flavor. Even the cheaper cuts of meat can be made tender and juicy. Remember always let the meat marinate in the refrigerator, never on the counter.

Do not throw the marinades away, use are them as sauce for the cooked meat, however make sure to boil it before using on cooked meat to destroy any harmful bacteria.

Precooking

To reduce BBQ/Grilling time precook food on a stove. Have your grill ready and preheated so that the food can go immediately onto it to complete cooking.

Cook Thoroughly

Fresh or thawed from frozen raw meat, poultry and fish have to be cooked hot enough to kill the bacteria & paracites. Always use a meat thermometer to check temperatures. Color can not be relied on as an indicator of doneness.

Meat Thermometers

For years I always wanted one, then finally last year I bought one. I can honestly say it was the best investment I ever made when I bought my digital-probe-instant-read-thermometer.

There are quite a few styles for sale out there but it doesn't need to be the most expensive as long as it gives accurate read-outs. I bought mine for less then twenty bucks and works with a small hearing-aid battery which I just replaced. Not bad for having used it two three times /week (I use it to check all the meat I cook/roast/grill or fry.

some pictures courtesy of morgue-file

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    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      C.S. thanks for coming by. Shrimp is always a good choice as far as I'm concerned.

      Happy Independence day to you...

      regards Zsuzsy

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 

      10 years ago from NW Indiana

      Been meaning to check this hub for days. It is July 4th and a traditional BBQ day for many. Great selection of mouth watering food here. Think I will try some shrimp as it is fast and easy. Thanks for this compilation, choice! C.S. Alexis

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      CGull! You're absolutely right a proper thermometer should come with the BBQ. Always glad when you come by for a visit.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Awesome tips, they should buy a thermometer when they buy a grill and keep this chart there also, it will be very useful.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Steph! Glad you came for a visit. I have all those temperatures on a laminated sheet on the fridge-bulletin board. That way it's quick and near to double check. I do very little cooking in the house once BBQ season starts. As a matter of fact I'm in the midst of researching of how to build an outdoor oven...that is actually my big project for the year.

      thanks for commenting regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      rmr! I just learned how to add to the avatar. zs

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      rmr! Thanks for reminding me about staying away from the bone. I'm glad you came by to have a look.

      Thanks for your comment. regards Zsuzsy

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great information Z! You've done a really nice job laying all out for easy reference. In fact, this is going in my little bookmark file right now, so I don't have to guess. Grilling season is my favorite. It is just beautiful this week, so you've inspired me to do some marinating this weekend. Cheers, Steph

    • rmr profile image

      rmr 

      10 years ago from Livonia, MI

      By the way, I like the pic you added to your avatar. I'm not that brave yet.

    • rmr profile image

      rmr 

      10 years ago from Livonia, MI

      One of my favorite subjects, Zuzsy! You do have to be careful with those probe thermometers, though. If you hit a bone, you can get a false reading. Great info, as always!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      SweetiePie! I practicly live on BBQ's in the summer. Grilled veggies yum...yum. I would say that corn grilled in its own husk on the BBQ is possibly the best way to cook it and it's be the best tasting corn-on-the-cob for sure.

      So glad you came by regards Zsuzsy

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I love summer time and barbequed chicken and corn fresh from the grill. Thanks for the great taste of summer!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Hello Isabella! How-s-it-goin? Martha Stewart of hubpages...I like that...now if the title were to come with her money...that would be a good thing.

      Always glad when you come for a visit regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Tetorose. I live in Canada not Australia. Our local butcher will sell ground Duck and Goose. You have to pre-order most of the time. I have tried a few recipes using ground duck but prefer the flavour of goose...

      thanks for taking a look regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Compusmart! I don't think I could live without my BBQ. Mine is a few years old and will probably last this season. I'm 'window shopping' till I find just the right one for next year.

      Glad you came by regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Terence! Glad you found the hub useful. Thanks for taking a look and your comment.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 

      10 years ago

      Zuz! Sounds and looks yummy!! You're like the Martha Stewart of Hubpages! ;)

    • TetonRose profile image

      TetonRose 

      10 years ago from Utah

      Zsuzsy,

      Do you have duck and goose burgers available in Australia? (I've never heard of them in the parts of the US where I've lived.) Do they come as preformed burgers or as ground meat that must be shaped by hand? Are duck and goose burgers available at fast food restaurants in Australia?

      Thanks for all of the good information. It will be fun to try some of these ideas.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 

      10 years ago from London UK

      Roll on summer!! Now i will have more of an idea of what to cook and a little inspiration to buy me a new BBQ grill!!

      Thanks;)

    • terenceyap07 profile image

      terenceyap07 

      10 years ago from Singapore

      I get hungry just looking at those pictures. LOL!!!

      Your advice on safe temperatures to keep uncooked food is very useful. I don't get to do a lot of barbequing, so I'll be trying my best to remember this.

      Thanks again for these very useful tips. Cheers.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Derek! I love it too. Thanks for taking a look.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image

      derekcaulfield 

      10 years ago

      I love the barbaque, the food taste so good coming of of it

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Oberbrecking! How are things in your neck of the woods? Glad you had time to take a look. Happy grilling to you and yours.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image

      oberbreckling 

      10 years ago

      Hi Zszusy,Im a BBQ.nut,very good information I like the charoal type grill as a matter of a fact the weber charcoal griil thats listed above is what I have a it really works good it cooks chicken at the right speed everytime the only thing I really need is a meat thermometer Ive never used one grillin before sounds logical to me.And those Brats to die for lol ~cool~cya

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Thank you John for the additional info. You're right about the added taste. Glad you came by for a visit.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • John Chancellor profile image

      John Chancellor 

      10 years ago from Tennessee

      Good information and I totally agree about the digital meat thermometer. With the thermometer, you take the guess work out of grilling. No more shoe leather, overcooked meat.

      There is one other tip I would like to share. If you are grilling with real charcoals, make sure the coals are ready. Do not, under any circumstances put the food on the grill until the coals are totally white. It can impart an oily taste to the food and it will ruin your cookout.

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