Red, White, and Food! The weather isn’t the only thing hot this summer. Put on some Red, White, and Blue and fire up the grill before watching the night sky sparkle.
What to Fill Your Grill:
Eating protein will keep you full and satisfied throughout the day. Whether you choose animal meat, plant-based protein, or both– popping them on a grill will enhance their flavors. Cutting the meat into smaller pieces and sticking them on skewers will speed the cooking time and help save plates and utensils. It is important to check temperatures so that you don’t end up with food poisoning from undercooked meat.
The more colors, the more nutrients! Toss veggies in olive oil and seasoning, and grill them for a tasty side. Grilling veggies in foil can help prevent them from charring and little pieces from falling into the grill. Try sticking them on skewers to create colorful kabobs. Good veggies for grilling are bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, zucchini, and corn.
Try grilling some fruit for a delicious dessert! Choose fruits that can be cut into large pieces such as pineapples, apples, peach halves, or watermelon. Since most fruits are already tender, only grill them for up to a few minutes or until they are lightly browned.
Grains on a grill? This can be accomplished by using whole grain bread, and whole wheat or corn tortillas. Choosing whole grain over white/refined grain products will keep you fuller longer. Toast them on the grill and use them as a base for your protein. Tacos and burgers will steal the show!
3 Steps to Grill Safety
Steer clear of food poisoning, and follow these 3 steps:
1. Keep Clean
Cleanliness is key throughout the whole grilling process. Before using your grill, make sure that it is clean and free of any unknown residue from previous uses. Wash hands before handling food, and rinse any fruits and vegetables before cooking. Make sure all of your plates and utensils are clean, and wipe away any spills right after they happen.
2. Separate Raw and Cooked Food
Mixing raw and cooked food can cause cross-contamination, which is when bacteria from one food contaminate the other. The growth of dangerous bacteria may occur and end up in the food you will eat. Use separate plates and utensils for raw and cooked food. Never use marinade from raw meat on cooked meat.
3. Check Temperatures
Use a food thermometer to make sure that your meat is good to go. Raw meats may hold dangerous bacteria, but cooking them to proper temperatures can kill the bacteria and make them safe to eat. Don’t leave perishable items out for more than 2 hours, and if it is hotter than 90 degrees, no more than 1 hour. Use coolers to keep your food cool.
Make sure your meat reaches the following internal temperatures before taking them off the grill:
- 145 ℉: whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb. Let the meat rest for 3 minutes before eating
- 160 ℉: ground meats, such as pork and beef
- 165 ℉: All Poultry, such as turkey and chicken
- 145 ℉: Finfish