Summer is in full swing, and you know what that means.... BBQ's, beers, and lots of hot dogs and hamburgers. I came across this summer food tips on Food Network.com and thought I would share them with you awesome readers!
#1: Use a thermometer
A thermometer is the number one tool to make sure your grilled goodies are cooked to the perfect temperature to destroy pesky pathogens. Studies show that checking the color of the food isn’t an accurate way to tell if your food is cooked through.Please People: don't cut into your meat before you serve it. All of the amazing juices run out like a waterfall and your food ends up dry. By using a thermometer, you are able to tell the temperature of the meat without cutting into it!
#2: Don’t re-use marinades
During the summer, meats and poultry are oftentimes marinated then grilled. Be sure to discard used marinade—this will prevent raw meat juices getting on your cooked food. If you plan on using the marinade as a sauce for cooked meat, reserve some before marinating the meat. Honestly, this really grosses me out anyway. I see lots of cooks reusing marinade by simply cooking it on the stove top and stirring. Anything that has been sitting in raw meat for hours does not make it tempting for me to eat. So save yourself a bout with sickness. Discard marinades after it makes your meat yummy.
#3: Separate raw and cooked foods
If you’re getting ready to grill hot dogs, burgers, chicken or steak, be sure to use one plate for the raw stuff and a separate, clean plate for the newly cooked foods. The same rule applies for tongs and other serving utensils. This is something I am diligent about. It is very important to seperate raw meat from anything else you are cooking. If a raw hamburger touches a hamburger roll then you have bacteria all over it and you could make a whole slew of your guests sick!
#4: Defrost meats properly
Leaving raw meat and poultry on the countertop to defrost will only allow dangerous food bugs to grow. Plan ahead and defrost meat 1-2 days in advance in the refrigerator.This is something Toby and I disagree with. He always leaves meat on the counter to defrost. I on the other hand ( freakishly scared of bacteria) defrost in the fridge. Do yourself a favor, Take the meat out earlier than you normally would to defrost and defrost in the fridge! If you are in a rush you can defrost in the microwave.
#5: Wash produce thoroughly
Wash fruit and veggies in cool tap water before eating to eliminate any bacteria. This includes washing produce like melon before you slice or peel it to make sure bacteria isn’t transferred from the knife to your fruit or veggies.Ok. I am going to make a confession to me. Sometimes I am too lazy to wash some fruits or veggies before I eat them. I know. Don't judge me. I already feel bad about it. I try to buy organic as much as possible,but even if you do stay diligent about washing produce. Many crops are treated with pesticides, which are terrible for your health ( one upside to organic farming is that they do not use pesticides.) Organic or not, try to wash all of your produce. Yes, I will also.