Whether you’re cooking at home or on the campground a few quick tips will ensure safe grilling.
There are few things better when camping – or at home – than enjoying a nice meal hot off the grill. From the smell of dinner cooking to that smoky, grilled flavor, a dinner cooked over an open flame is one of life’s simple pleasures.
To make sure that your next cookout goes off without a hitch, be sure to follow a few simple rules to keep your food and your guests safe. These tips, courtesy of The Cooking Ladies, will have you grillin’ and chillin’ at your favorite KOA in no time!
- Never leave food sitting out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. In hot weather, less than an hour.
- Wash hands with soap before handling any food and especially after handling raw meat.
- Disinfect cutting boards and counters that have come in contact with raw meat.
- Do not put raw meat and cooked meat on the same plate or in contact with each other.
- Never allow uncooked meat to come in contact with food, such as a salad, that will be eaten raw.
- It’s best practice to discard marinades after use. While we don’t suggest it, any meat marinade that is not discarded needs to be boiled for 10 minutes before using in order to destroy any bacteria.
- Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
- Always cook ground meat all the way through to the center to kill any harmful bacteria.
- When grilling, the easiest way to clean a gas grill is to turn the temperature on high, close the lid, and let it heat for 10 to 15 minutes. This will char leftover food remnants making them easier to scrape off.
- Oiling the grill grate before each use helps to clean the grate by removing dark residue, black specks, and pieces of metal that could be left behind by a wire brush. With a pair of long-handled tongs, rub a wad of paper towel dipped lightly in oil over the entire grate. Any oil that will tolerate high heat, such as canola oil, works best.
- When grilling meat, a clean, hot grill seals in the juices, creates nice grill marks and makes the meat less likely to stick. High heat sterilizes the grates. Therefore, start with a hot grill and then set the temperature to the recipe specifications. Unless the recipe states otherwise, cooking with the lid closed helps to regulate the grill temperature and creates a smokier flavor. The food will also cook faster and use less fuel.
Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay, known as “The Cooking Ladies,” share nearly 20 years of hands-on experience in the food service industry. University friends who had never worked in a kitchen, Phyllis and Lamont have gone on to own four restaurants, start a catering company, pen cookbooks, serve as TV personalities and share their love of cooking across North America. Add a nine-year, full-time RV odyssey to all that cooking experience and you’ve got a recipe for campground cooking success. Visit The Cooking Ladies’ website – www.thecookingladies.com – and follow them on Facebook to learn more!