By Kent Whitaker Summer is here! Grills and smokers will be fired up for holidays, family meals, and outdoor dinner parties. Now’s the time to check your outdoor cooking items to make sure they’re in good shape. And, it’s perfect time to a few grilling safety tips into consideration. After all, you don’t want you grill breaking before the steaks are done. And, as I say during my book signings and chef demo’s; when it comes to food safety you want your guests to remember the wonderful time and tasty meal. Not a trip to the emergency room due to food poisoning. Here’s a brief Summer Grilling Checklist! GRILL CHECK: Before using a gas grill after it’s been sitting dormant for a while you should check the lines for damage. Replace any worn burners, tighten loose bolts and nuts, clean any rusted areas and clean out debris from the last grilling session! Perform similar maintenance on gas grills and smokers. PREHEAT: Pre-heat your gas grill before using to burn off any residue from cleaners. When you light the charcoal, or fire up the gas for the first time, you might run off a few insects that have made your grill their home. CHECK YOUR FUEL: Before the neighbors come over for your cookout you should double check your fuel. There’s nothing wrong with an extra bag of charcoal or making sure you have enough fuel. CHEF TOOL SPRING CLEANING: Throw away and replace any damaged or rusted utensils, sharpen knifes, and check the batteries in your instant read thermometer. WASH YOUR HANDS AND SURFACES: This act cuts down on cross contamination. If you don’t have an outdoor sink at your grilling area then simply place several handy wipe containers around for you, and your guests, to use freely. Constantly clean around your cooking area as well. ICE FOR DRINKS & ICE FOR EVERYTHING ELSE: If you’re having more people over than you would for a normal family cookout then plan on having two containers for ice. One container holds cans and bottles of beverages that are covered in ice while a separate container holds clean ice for consumption. An ice scoop should be used as well. Any ice used for keeping food chilled should be separate. TEMPS: I’m not going to go over all of rules for keeping foods at the proper temperature. What I’ll do instead is give you a rule of thumb that I mention during my chef demos. “Keep the cold food cold and [...]
Here we go again. I just read an article on Yahoo about what is the best tasting BBQ Sauce. In my humble opinion - we all have different taste buds so, it seems to me that we would all prefer something different. I have a tendency too, with my growing health concern to look at the ingredients in some of this stuff to see what exactly is in them. The point is that in my opinion. It needs to taste good but it needs to have wholesome stuff in it, or you are sorta of defeating the purpose, after all BBQ sauce is still a food product. It should be reasonably good for you too. Here is the Yahoo article, Yahoo's conclusion was Sweet Baby Ray's - a sauce I have never heard of before. What exactly are the ingredients of Sweet Baby Ray's? Well, I give them credit, they publish online their ingredients. However, thats where I stop, the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, - more sugar for our diabetic population. The rest of the ingredients were fairly acceptable, except, sodium benzoate. These days I try really really hard to make sure I eat nothing with sodium benzoate. Sodium benzoate is what they use to set off the firecrackers on the 4th of July and has been proven to have cancer causing tendencies. Here is a quote from Wikipedia "In combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C, E300), sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate form benzene, a known carcinogen. However, in most beverages that contain both, the benzene levels are below those considered dangerous for consumption. Heat, light and shelf life can affect the rate at which benzene is formed." I would gather that most people don't know this about sodium benzoate. The fact is that you can make foods and bbq sauces without this ingredient. One should strive to eat organic and GMO free. These preservatives are simply not needed and can cause the human body a lot of problems. As for the best tasting bbq sauces? First ask yourself what is better, the taste? or your health? and second go to the health food store and look for bbq sauces - that taste go and are preservative free. Most by the way have vinegar in them which kills a lot of bacteria and the chemical preservatives are simply not needed.
Barbecued chicken is a staple for most backyard cooks. When done right, it's a wonderful thing; when wrong, well, it's like gnawing on barbecued shoe leather. But it doesn't have to be that way.
BBQ Bible, recipes Truth about bBQ Sauce So you think you are into BBQ Sauce? If you think of BBQ Sauce as sweet and tomato based, you need to visit some other regions of the country. Each region across the Southern and Western United States has its own version of barbecue sauce. Some use tomatos, some use mustard, and some use jalapeno peppers . *********************** Barbecue sauces have a uniquely Southern and Western U.S. history. Most experts agree that the practice of adding sauce and spices to meat and fish began early in our history, with Native Americans teaching the art to early European settlers. The natives probably developed the process as part of an attempt to keep meats and fish from spoiling quickly. Salt played a major role in those early barbecue sauces, and salt is a well-known preservative in the meat curing process. Because the nations first European arrivals lived on the East Coast of America, that part of the country is credited with spawning the original barbecue sauce styles. First and foremost, there are the various Carolina barbecue sauces. The most widely known are East Carolina, Piedmont, and South Carolina varieties. East Carolina barbecue sauce consists of vinegar, salt, black pepper, and crushed or ground cayenne peppers. Its a very simple sauce that penetrates the meat nicely for a deep flavor. Piedmont barbecue sauce only varies from East Carolina in that it often includes molasses or Worcestershire sauce and thus clings to the meat more. South Carolina sauce is entirely different, using a mustard base instead, producing a much tangier and sharp flavor. Then there is Memphis or Southern style barbecue sauce. This popular variety is typically more complicated (flavor-wise) and is built around mustard, tomato, and vinegar. Fans often point to the boldness of these flavor combinations as the hallmark of Memphis barbecue sauce. A saying often heard among hungry connoisseurs is no two bites alike. Continuing our trek westward, we come to the acknowledged center of the barbecue universe Kansas City! Kansas City barbecue sauce is distinguished by its noticeably thicker consistency and emphasis on sweetness. Thats because this style of sauce is built upon thick tomato sauce, chunks of vegetables, and lots of sugar. Many popular commercial brands are based on this Kansas City recipe. It’s most popular among amateur backyard grillers because of the availability in grocery stores (Kraft, Heinz, K.C.s Masterpiece, etc.). And also because the thick sauce can be applied only once and enough will remain [...]