Outdoor Cooking

In every house with an outdoor grill, there is a designated person who uses that grill – and only one.

It seems to usually be the man of the house, but I’ve seen ladies who rule the coals, too. I have never seen a household where two people share a grill or even where a guest is allowed to grill.

Is it a primal fire thing or is one person just more interested? In my house, we both cook indoors, but only my husband touches the grill. In my son’s house, he and his wife both cook inside, but she is in charge of the grill.

And Americans LOVE to grill! In 2019, $1.36 billion was spent on grills and barbecues.

While people in other states love to barbecue, especially in the South where grilling season can be year-round, Texans might love it the most. The Carolinas, Kansas City, and Memphis have their own take on ‘cue, but Texas reigns supreme for brisket and some would say in all other categories, too.

Becoming a good outdoor cook takes time and practice. One of the most important things is keeping it safe. Nothing spoils a cookout more than everyone getting sick.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Tips on How to Grill Safely
  • Marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter or outdoors. If you plan to use some of the marinades as a sauce on the cooked food, set it aside before adding the rest to the raw meat. Don’t reuse marinade.
  • Cook immediately after partial cooking. If you start meat inside, take it directly to the grill to finish.
  • Cook food thoroughly. Have a meat thermometer on hand and check internal temperatures.
  • After cooking, keep ready food hot. You can move it to the side of the grill rack so that it stops cooking but stays hot.
  • Don’t reuse platters or utensils that held raw meat. Bacteria from the raw meat could spread to the cooked food. Have a clean platter on hand.
  • Check food for foreign objects, like bristles from the brush used to clean the grill.

The FDA can help you keep your barbecue safe. Tasty brisket is on you!

By Amanda Rogers for Surepoint Medical Centers

Photo by Paul Hermann on Unsplash


Amanda Rogers is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas

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