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The BlueSmoke Gazette--Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
May 21, 2009

BBQ Safety Awareness

We have a nice long Memorial Day holiday weekend coming up, and with that there'll be a lot of smoking and grilling goin' on. Looks like there's a small chance of precipitation over the three day weekend in these parts, but that won't be enough to stop the festivities.

Before preparing your great dishes and firing up the grills and smokers, it'd be a good idea to brush up on outdoor cooking safety skills. It would be a shame to spoil the holiday fun because of someone being injured, or because some of your guests took home a vivid reminder of your "excellent" bbq skills in the form of food poisoning! Do you remember the last time you had food poisoning? Not fun, was it?

Top 10+1 BBQ Safety Tips

  1. Defrost meats slowly and completely, in the refrigerator. Meat that's partially frozen might not cook as thoroughly as it should. Meat thawed at room temperature can spoil.

  2. Marinate safely, in the refrigerator. Don't reuse marinades after being used to marinate raw meats. If you want to use a marinade as a sauce, reserve some separately before adding raw meat.

  3. Keep cold foods cold (at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit) and hot foods hot (at or above 140 degrees). Use low indirect heat to keep hot foods warm, or serve immediately after finished. Keep cold foods in a cooler with ice immediately before and after serving to your guests. Quickly chill any uneaten hot foods.

  4. Be aware of cross contamination. Wash all cutlery, silverware and plates you use when preparing raw meats before being used to work with foods that are ready to be served.

  5. Keep plenty of clean towels available. Grab a fresh one after you're done handling raw meats. Wash hands often, or have lots of sanitary hand wipes available to prevent cross contamination.

  6. Make sure food is completely done before serving. Use a meat thermometer so the food is both safe and not overcooked. See "Best Smoker Thermometer" and "Safe Meat Temperatures" at the bottom right of your BlueSmoke Gazette.

  7. Keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times when cooking with charcoal or gas. You just never know what might happen...

  8. Know your smoker or grill, and how to use it safely. Don't try to be cool by playing "flamethrower" and dousing the lit charcoal with lighter fluid. Big flames are cool, but not if they are on someone's body parts.

  9. If you're doing the cooking, don't wear loose clothing that might catch fire.

  10. Again, keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times when cooking with charcoal or gas. You just never know what might happen.

  11. Never leave a grill or smoker or all those sharp utensils unattended. Make sure someone is in charge of the cooking area at all times. The kiddies love to run around and raise havoc, and they lose track of their surroundings when having all that fun. Hey, and some adults also like to raise a ruckus and have lots of "fun", so watch out for them too!

Now, on to some recipes...

Picnic Recipes

Smokey Meatloaf-Burgers
Instead of forming the meat into a loaf, form it into bun-size patties and smoke them for some tasty smoked meatloaf burgers. It's different, but it's good. Can also be grilled...

Beer Can Chicken
Finding unclaimed, half full cans of beer shouldn't be a problem this weekend, so why let them go to waste? Use them up for beer can chickens!

Side Dish Recipes

Smoky Baked Beans
And you gotta have baked beans too. It's tradition! These are extra special good, with some added chopped up smoked brisket meat for rib stickin' satisfaction.

Grilled Potato Wedges

Other Stuff

Best Smoker Thermometer

Best Kettle Grills

Best Charcoal Lighter


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