If you are planning a backyard barbecue, following some proven steps can make it a roaring success. This is especially true of the barbecue meat that you serve because it can be the star of your backyard barbecue.
When it comes to barbecue, there are two types of seasoning that you should consider. If you are going to barbecue a tougher cut of meat, like a brisket, then marinating it first can make it more flavorful and tender. While you will find many commercial marinades and many recipes to make your own, three marinade components are necessary for any marinade. Unless the meat has a lot of fat already, you need fat in the marinade to provide extra flavor. You also need an acid to break down the meat's toughness and create pockets where the flavor can settle in. Finally, you need your favorite seasonings, which may include salt to help soften the meat even further and sugar to help provide a beautiful brown color to your barbecue meat.
You will also need a barbecue sauce. Your favorite sauce probably depends on where you live in the United States because different regions have different favorites. Whichever you choose to use, just make sure that you do not use the same utensils on the raw ingredients as you do on the cooked barbecue meat.
Clean Your Grill Properly
Before you even start cooking the meat, you need to make sure that you clean your grill thoroughly and properly. A dirty grill may not seem like a huge deal, but the fact is that it can harbor a lot of bacteria if you’re not careful. Meat chunks and grease that have dropped into the grill can accumulate and breed bacteria. This is especially true for the areas underneath the burners. Yes, heat can kill a lot of bacteria, but these areas don’t get as hot, and may not get to the temperature that is needed to kill off the bacteria.
It’s also important to clean your grill because of the carcinogens that incinerated meat can produce. When grease drops into your grill and is heated up again, the resulting smoke can result in carcinogens being transmitted into your food. This is especially true for grease that comes from meat with a higher fat content. To avoid this and other problems, make sure that you are thorough in cleaning up all grease that may have dripped into your grill before and after you cook something on it.
Cook to the Right Temperature
It is essential that you use a meat thermometer for cooking barbecue meat to the right temperature. If you are barbecuing chicken, the internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, if you are barbecuing beef or pork, then the internal temperature should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that when you take the temperature, the prong reaches the middle of the meat and is not touching bone.
In some cases, the symptoms of food poisoning can be severe if you don't take steps to prevent it. After you make sure that you have cooked the meat to the right temperature, use clean utensils to remove and cut it because you can cross-contaminate the meat if you use the same utensils you did when the food was raw.
Backyard barbecues can be a fun activity for anyone, but nothing ruins a good party like bland food or getting sick from food poisoning. Thinking about food safety and seasoning can help keep everyone raving about your barbecue party for a long time.
If you’re looking for some great seasoning for your next barbecue, check out what we’ve got in our store!