It’s summertime, and I wanted to share these tips to make your next cookout a success. My father is the BBQ king of our family. If there is a get together in the summer, you’ll find my father behind the grill. While the meat preparation is all his responsibility, everything else falls to my mom and me. We enjoy cooking but BBQ’s are really all about having fun and spending time with friends and family. These tips will keep your BBQ safe so you can relax.
5 Safe Summer BBQ Tips
There are a lot of different ways that you can BBQ, and everyone has their favorite. You may enjoy cooking with gas, charcoal or woodchips at your get together. You may head out to the back yard, the local state park or prefer to BBQ inside to avoid the heat. Your grill might be loaded with fresh vegetables, chicken, hamburgers, steaks or bratwurst, but you’re still BBQing no matter how you do it. Make sure that you follow a few of these summer BBQ tips:
Watch the Kids
No matter where you’re grilling, BBQs get hot. Keep the kids away from wherever you’re cooking to avoid burns or accidents. If you have tiki torches or an open fire for roasted marshmallows like we do, you’ll want to have a lot of supervision when the kids are around. Pools are another area that needs to be under supervision just in case.
Grill Meat Safely
If you’ll be grilling meat at your cookout, make sure that you grill the meat to the proper temperature. Eating meat that hasn’t been cooked properly can make everyone sick. My Dad grills chicken, hamburgers, and bratwurst, and he uses a digital meat thermometer to determine when the meat is done. You may think you can tell based on what it looks like, but it’s best to be sure to avoid illness.
Keep Cold Things Cold
We love mayonnaise-based dishes during the summer, but foods like pasta salad, potato salad, and even milk can go bad when left out in the sun. Make sure that you keep cold things cold. Beverages can be kept in a cooler on ice, and bowls of pasta salad can be set on top of a tray of ice to keep the temperature at a safe level. If you’ll be having an all all-day event, make sure to replenish the ice supply regularly.
The best way to stop foodborn illnesses is by keeping things clean. Never use the same cutting board, knives or plates for raw meat as you do for cooked meat or vegetables. Harmful bacteria can infect cooked food this way. Wash utensils between uses with hot soapy water. My father uses a plastic cutting board for raw meat, while my mom and I use a wooden cutting board to chop up fresh veggies for our vegetable tray.
Protect Your Skin
If you’ll be outside, make sure that you’re wearing sunscreen to prevent sunburns. Be certain that you use at least an SPF 45 broad range sunscreen and consider a higher SPF for children. Put on a hat to protect your face and don’t forget your sunglasses to protect your eyes. Since I’m in the beginning stages of cataracts, I always wear my sunglasses.
Summer BBQs are a great way to get together with friends and family, and at my parent’s house, there’s lots of room to enjoy an outside event. Make sure that you follow these summer BBQ tips to keep everyone healthy and well during the summer.