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By following a few simple precautions, you can ensure that all of your barbecues are as fun and safe as they are delicious:
FIRE SAFETY TIPS
Never place the grill close to a combustible material. The outside of the grill can radiate a lot of heat and accidental ignition could result if placed too close to wood, paper or other flammable material.
Make sure that your grill is of sturdy construction and doesn’t wobble or lean to one side.
When you’re done grilling, place the lid on the charcoal grill and close all vents. Turn a gas grill off at the burners and the source.
Know where your fire extinguisher is and have it handy it case of a mishap. Closing the lid will reduce the oxygen and eliminate the flare-up.
FOOD SAFETY TIPS
Food safety concerns should be just as important to you as fire safety. Just follow these few tips to keep your meals as safe as can be!
Wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water before starting any meal preparation and after handling fresh meat, fish and poultry.
Do not defrost meat, fish or poultry at room temperature or on a countertop. Defrost in the refrigerator.
Never place cooked food on the same platter that the raw food was on. This will prevent cross-contamination
If a sauce will be brushed on meat during grilling, divide the sauce, reserving part for brushing and part for serving at the table, or bring a basting sauce to a full rolling boil before serving.
Wash all platters and cooking utensils with warm soapy water.
Use two pairs of tongs, set one aside to handle raw food and mark with red tape (Red=Stop) and one to handle cooked food and mark with green tape (Green=Go). Only use the “red” tongs for raw food and the “green” tongs for cooked food. This will help prevent cross-contamination.
Grilling, Barbecue and Southern Foods Expert
Chef, Author, Media Personality
North Carolina native Elizabeth Karmel was raised on barbecue—at roadside stands, neighborhood cookouts and county fairs—but it wasn’t until she moved away from home that the barbecue love affair began. When it wasn’t at her fingertips, she had to learn how to smoke it herself and a pit-mistress was born.
Karmel, a.k.a. Grill Girl is a nationally respected authority on grilling, barbecue and Southern food. She is the founding Executive Chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market in NYC, Brooklyn and Washington, DC, and NYC and Brooklyn’s Hill Country Chicken. She developed the award-winning menu and flavor profiles from the meats to the sides and desserts for both restaurant concepts.
On July 4, 2012, The New York Times awarded Hill Country Barbecue Market NYC 2 stars and a glowing review that read like a love letter to barbecue and the Hill Country concept.
As a sought after media personality, Karmel writes for, and is frequently featured in an array of national magazines from Bon Appetit to Better Homes & Gardens, and was named one of the top 100 chefs by Saveur magazine. She appears regularly on all the network morning shows and is a guest judge on Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay and Iron Chef. She has appeared on a number of Food Network shows and hosted her own special on The Cooking Channel.
She writes a bi-monthly column for the Associated Press called The American Table and is the author of three acclaimed cookbooks. She designs an innovative line of outdoor cooking and kitchen tools, and recently introduced Elizabeth’s Everyday Essentials line of French porcelain by Revol.
Karmel is the founder of the decade-old, gender-breaking GirlsattheGrill.com. Follow her @GrillGirl, Instagram @ElizabethKarmel and like her fan page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/ElizabethKarmel/201250523244938.