Grilling or barbecuing; no matter what you call it has always been thought to be the domain of males but that is not the case. A lot of women enjoy this pastime and are in a lot of cases better at it than their male counterparts. Barbecuing is a great way to create a meal that is healthy, delicious and is also easy. Here are 7 grilling safety tips for a great and safe way for any woman to feel sure in taking on the role as barbecue chef.
The right tools are essential. A grilling tongs, spatula, fork and basting brush to name a few of the necessaries. Another item that has become popular at grills lately is a grilling thermometer with which the right temperature of the meat can be determined to make sure it is cooked properly.
2. The Grill
Here you have various choices from gas to charcoal and also wood. Each type has its merits. It may not sound like the most obvious grilling safety tip but choosing the style you are comfortable makes the grill easier to handle. The easiest of all grillers to use is the smoker and griller combination. This griller has a lid so that you can regulate the heat of the cooking and keep it at an even temperature.
3. The Charcoal
When using briquettes in your griller you have to make sure that you put enough in to be able to cook your meat and not leave it raw. A single layer is usually enough but with practice you will certainly find the right amount for each meat category. Stacking the coals in a pyramid will make it easier for them to catch alight and it will allow air to circulate to fully heat the briquettes. You should let the coals burn until they reach a grey colour this is usually a good temperature but once again practice makes perfect. NEVER use accelerants such as gasoline or chemicals.
One of the most important grilling safety tips is to make sure you take the meat outside only when you are ready to start cooking as bacteria can start increasing if you leave it outside to long. Cutting off the excess fat from the meat makes it healthier and also reduce flare ups. Draining off excess oil and marinade also reduces flare ups and with chicken you can remove the skin from the pieces. In case of flare ups spray water onto the flame, or you could also remove the food and sprinkle some baking soda over the area.
Using the aforementioned thermometer minimises the biggest risk with grilling – food poisoning from poorly cooked meat. There is a guide to use with the thermometer that indicates the ideal temperature for each type of meat. This again you will find with practice becomes easier and you will know when the meat is cooked. With red meat for example a good indicator is when the middle part is no longer pink-ish.
6. Space Management
One of the most obvious grilling safety tips is making sure the grill is correctly set up and in a suitable location. Always do the grilling outside in a well ventilated area where the smoke can escape and in case of a fire.
7. The Chef
Don’t forget to look after yourself. All the careful procedures you use in your kitchen are as equally relevant as grilling safety tips. Use an apron of good quality to protect your clothes and yourself against the fat spraying from the meat when cooking. Also use gloves to protect your hands against the heat.
Now you are fully armed with these grilling safety tips, get out into the garden and show those men how it’s done – properly!
Please share your barbecue/grill stories or tips and hints.
Top Photo Credit: Johann Richard