Keep the risk to a minimum when grilling
Barbecuing is enjoyed by millions of Americans, but there are certain health risks that accompany outdoor cooking. You'll want to ensure that your family and guests aren't subjected to any harm from the barbecue process. There are a number of ways you can reduce that risk.
Don't undercook or overcook meat
Studies show that there is a cancer risk associated with grilling, especially when meat is the food of choice. Undercooked meat could cause food poisoning, and well-done meat increases the risk of cancer, according to research. Undercooked chicken can cause illness-causing bacteria such as E. coli.
Fat that is produced during outdoor cooking needs to be kept to a minimum, as that can increase the risk of cancer. Pick leaner meats to cut down on the amount of fat. Fish is an excellent choice because it has a reduced amount of fat. And, of course, vegetables are low in fat and complement any meal.
Make sure you don't use the same plate for raw and cooked foods. That will keep bacteria to a minimum. Likewise, if you're marinating food with a brush, use a clean basting brush for basting cooked meat. Keep it clean between uses; this will eliminate the need to burn off built-up grease before cooking.
It's a good idea to defrost frozen meat and poultry in the refrigerator rather than on the kitchen counter. You can reduce the threat of possible carcinogens by precooking food in a microwave before firing up your Weber. You'll want to cook the meat or poultry immediately after precooking.
Marinate your meat and poultry
Marinating food that is headed for the charcoal grill is a good way to make the meal tastier. Do your marinating in the refrigerator and discard leftover marinade right away. Low-fat marinade is the healthy way to give meat and poultry a flavor-boost.
Cook your steaks to an ideal temperature of around 145 degrees. Ground meat and all cuts of pork should reach at least 160 degrees, while poultry needs to get up to 165 degrees. A meat thermometer will give you an accurate reading.
A healthy alternative for outdoor cooking is the kabob. Beef and chicken kabobs are usually marinated and mixed with vegetables for a low-fat meal. Make sure the skewers are cleaned before spearing the food that is to be grilled.
Taking some simple precautions will make your outdoor experience safer and more enjoyable for your guests. There's nothing better than a juicy steak or chicken, or savory vegetables off the gas grill, but you want to do everything possible to keep any health risks to a minimum.