It is a time to celebrate with family, friends, and your favorite food. This month, go outdoors! Breathe in fresh air and enjoy what nature has to offer with flavors from the grill.
Grilling offers the opportunity to eat a varied selection of proteins such as beef, chicken, wild game, seafood, or tofu. Make sure you expand your options by grilling a variety of fruits and vegetables. You can also experiment with rubs, herbs, or marinades. Your options for grilling are endless, smoked or not, direct or indirect heat, or try a grilled salad. One tool all grillers should have in their toolbox is a thermometer. Food should reach a temperature hot enough to kill harmful bacteria and should be kept at 140°F until grilled food is served.
Recommended internal temperatures are:
- Beef, Pork, Lamb, Veal - 145°F
- Hamburgers, Ground Beef - 160°F
- Fish - 145°F
- Poultry, Hot Dogs - 165°F
Keep in mind, food borne illnesses increase during summer months because bacteria multiply faster in warm temperatures. Grilling safely follows the same food safety measures used in the kitchen. Make sure you wash your hands before and after handling raw meat, keep raw meats, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods, refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours, and discard leftovers after 4 days. Grilling is a healthier option than frying because much of the fat contained in or on the food drips out during the grilling process (lowering calories), while preserving vitamins and minerals. In addition to a healthy meal, outdoor grilling also provides an opportunity to spend time in fresh air with family and friends.
This July, take advantage of all the benefits that grilling has to offer.
- Grilling brings family and friends together.
- Grilling brings out smiles, cheerfulness, stress-relief, and uplifted moods.
- Grilling provides entertainment, time to visit with loved ones, and time to make memories.
- Grilling provides fresh air and Vitamin D (sunshine).
- Grilling provides an opportunity for children and teens to learn about cooking.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has a variety of helpful grilling resources and recipes, visit https://dinnertonight.tamu.edu/?s=grilling and https://bbq.tamu.edu/ to learn more.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact me, (903) 473-4580 or email Sarah.Latham@ag.tamu.edu. To view upcoming events or additional information please visit https://rains.agrilife.org/ or follow Rains County AgriLife on Facebook.