One of the most overlooked, yet essential, aspects of grilling out is the safe handling of uncooked raw meats. Always make certain to wash your hands thoroughly using soap and hot water before handling meat, seafood and poultry, and especially after handling these items in order to prevent food poisoning. When defrosting meat or seafood, never allow it to thaw at room temperature, always use the refrigerator to thaw meat or seafood. Another way of limiting cross contamination is by using different tools or utensils for both raw and fully cooked foods. If you use the same tongs you placed raw poultry with to remove the cooked poultry, you risk severe food poisoning that can include a visit to the hospital. Cross contamination is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Stay acutely aware of which plates were used for raw vs. cooked foods, as well as ensure that you’re not putting sauce or marinade onto cooked food that was in contact with raw foods. By eliminating cross contamination opportunities, you’re greatly reducing your likelihood of falling victim to food poisoning.
Now that we have covered safe food handling, let’s move on to proper grilling form. As you have probably experienced before, when there’s a lot of fat on a cut of meat, you get big flare ups from the melted fat. In order to keep this from happening, simply trim off excess fat on steaks. Weber® recommends trimming down and leaving a mere ¼ inch of fat. This will be adequate in flavoring the meat and will reduce the potential for unwanted flare ups. Another helpful tip is to apply a light coat of oil to food prior to cooking on the grill. The oil will heat up quickly and provide an even browning on your food, as well as keep your food from sticking to the grill. If you’re looking to keep a constant more consistent source of heat on your food while it’s cooking, leave the lid on the grill! Every single time you remove the grill lid, you’re simply adding more time to the cooking process. Not only are you adding more time to the process, you’re potentially creating an inconsistent cooking process, resulting in a less juicy, and flavorful outcome.
When grilling, remove the guessing game from the process. Make sure you have a meat thermometer on hand in order to know exactly what the internal temperature of your meat is. This will allow you to know for certain, rather than removing the food from the grill only to find out the food is still a little undercooked. Removing the food from the grill and putting it back on can, again, result in a less consistent cooking process and a less flavorful and juicy outcome. Speaking of utensils and accessories, you truly can never have too many. By having a multitude of tools such as long handled tongs and forks, you can flip and remove food on the grill without coming into contact with the extreme heat being emitted from the grill itself. But don’t forget, it’s important not to pierce the food with the fork. By doing this you will lose a tremendous amount of moisture and end up with a drier less juicy and tender final product.
If you ever have any questions about handling raw meats and how to best eliminate your chances of cross contamination, Backyard is the place to turn to. Our knowledge and expertise can help you to avoid an unnecessary and potentially life threatening illness caused by food poisoning. Feel free to call us anytime at +966.13.845.6798 and we will be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions. We look forward to hearing from you soon, and happy grilling!