Summertime is the perfect season for grilling. When grilling, it is important to understand the proper cooking methods for different types of meat and other foods.

There are many grilling aspects to consider. Here are some helpful tips and recommendations to enhance your grilling experience:

Watch that temp!

From storage to cooking, be mindful of temperatures throughout the grilling process. When storing ingredients, make sure to keep food items chilled at or below 40 degrees. Bacteria growth happens rapidly from 40 to 140 degrees, so it is also important to monitor internal cooking temperatures with the use of a food thermometer.

Properly cook and store food.

Although frozen products may be pre-cooked or browned, treat them as raw food and cook thoroughly. When preparing to grill frozen meats, you can thaw beef, pork, poultry, or fish safely in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave. Cook meat after it is thawed. Now, wondering what to do with the leftovers? Divide leftovers into smaller portions and place them in containers in the refrigerator.

Keep cooking areas clean.

It is important to keep your grill and grilling instruments clean. All it takes is water, soap and paper towels. When preparing food, separate raw meat and vegetables by using different cutting boards to avoid cross contamination.

Diversify your grill.

Meat is not the only food that can be grilled. Grilling vegetables has become popular as a part of a healthy, balanced diet. Grilled veggies make for great sides to the classic burgers and steaks, and allows vegetarians and vegans to enjoy the barbecue fun! It also gives the vegetables a much-loved charred flavor that reminds you of summer.  

Vegetables that can withstand the grill and get a great flavor with charring make for a great addition to your plate. Corn, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, cabbage, artichokes, bell peppers, and mushrooms are some of the best vegetables to grill! Check out what is in season to eat fresh throughout the summer.

Just like meat, there are some important tips to consider when grilling vegetables:

  • Tips and Tricks – Oil vegetables lightly before putting them on the grill so they don’t dry out. Cutting vegetables into smaller pieces will allow them to cook quicker. With smaller pieces, try using a skewer or a grill basket so they don’t fall through the grates.
    • You can also try cooking in packets if you don’t feel like babysitting your veggies. This method involves a long piece of foil that is coated in nonstick cooking spray and filled with vegetables. To close it up, it must be folded over and pinched on the edges. Place on grill and let it do the rest!
  • Know the time! Know proper cook time to prevent burning. Some veggies only take a minute or two to cook while others take longer. The denser the vegetable the longer it will take to cook. To prevent burning, grill vegetables over high heat, then move them to a cooler part to finish cooking.

In conclusion, there are many great foods that can make tasty meals for any gathering. Be safe and happy grilling!