It’s that time of year again.
I came across a great article today from the United Kingdom NHS website.
It’s all about ‘The Safe Guides To Barbecues’. For those of you who are to scared to try, or have fears around the safety of barbecues.
Or maybe you have phobias about barbecues, and the safety aspects involved . In any event, this article is a must read.
This post got me thinking about all the cool safety gadgets out there, that could also make having a barbecue a breeze. As easy as one, two, three.
Sizzling hot gadgets that are a must have, not only as a barbecue investment, but also as gadgets you could easily introduce into other areas of your home life.
Great BBQ Safety Gadgets
Here I’ve laid out a few examples:
I’ve seen a great fun gadget called the Star-wars Lightsaber BBQ Tongs – with heat proof handles, as well as a heat proof lift sabre case. With sound effects for added effect
There is also the Frosty Mug Iced Tankard. It’s not one of those obvious gadgets, but it’s guaranteed to keep your shakes and yogurts cool for a while extra.
Another great find The Telescopic Fork – The safety aspects of this gadget are: an extra long handle for those tricky hard to reach items cooking on the BBQ. So many of our gadgets tend not to have safety as the main USP. Not this one!
No need to struggle to light the barbecue. Cue another hot new gadget called The Money to Burn Fire Starters. – Unique in that they look like wads of currency. Only they are not Dollars but waxed paper, that you use safely and efficiently to light your barbecue. Also fun and guaranteed to make your barbecue the hot topic of conversation for years to come.
Or how about Space Saving BBQ & Herb Garden. This is basically a terra cotta pot with a wealth of features. Not only can you grow herbs in this pot to season your food, you can grill with it too! How many of our cooking gadgets are multifaceted?
The Hot-Pot BBQ has a grilling surface made from stainless steel 430, includes stainless steel tongues that discreetly store in the base of the pot, and features a heat insulating ceramic coating for the grilling feature. The cooking area of the grill is 11.4 inches. This turns up the heat in BBQ design for small spaces. It’s available now for $124.00
Another simple and cheap idea is to utilise the gadgets we all have The Cellular Phone. To time all your barbecue menus. Simly set the timer on your android or iOS device. and you can barbecue safely and happily with no worries for your guests.
Then I found a Novelty Barbecue Fork made from heavy gauge stainless steel. The thing I loved about it was that it had a stainless steel hand-guard to protect you from flames and spitting fat and long enough to make skewering and turning with this prong a whole lot easier. The fun element was the cut out zorro mask to also make you the talk of your cookout.
An essential must have safety gadget for any BBQ is the Digital Kitchen Probe. Ideally you want one with a digital display, and enough length that you do not have to get up close and personal with you hot grills.
Remember safety first not just for the barbecue chef, or chefs. But also for you eager and obviously ravenous cookout guests. There are many any good ones on the market so shop around.
Some more essential safety must have gadgets, are the Mini Fridge or Freezers for your chilled items salads and of chilled food items don’t forget your chill chain, 20 mins out of the freezer or fridge and your food will start to change composition, especially on hot sunny days.
Seriously consider investing in a grill press. I would recommend the Norpro Grill Press For it sheer weight and the obvious safety aspects. Rather than using your bog standard fish fryers. That way you burgers etc. are cooked to perfection, and you’ll be free from any potential hazards.
BBQ Safety Tips
A guide to safe barbecues
Barbecues are a great part of summer, but they need to be done safely to avoid food poisoning or accidents around the fire. This simple guide will help…
Top tip: Never put cooked food on a plate or surface that’s had raw meat on it
Handling raw foods
Raw foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and uncooked vegetables sometimes contain germs that can cause food poisoning. You can very easily pick up germs from raw foods on your hands or utensils, and then spread them to anything else you touch, including food that’s cooked and ready to eat. This is called cross-contamination.
Cross-contamination can happen if raw food touches anything that then comes into contact with other food, including plates, cutlery, tongs and chopping boards.
Some easy steps to help prevent cross-contamination are:
- Use separate utensils (plates, tongs, containers) for cooked and raw foods
- Wash your hands after every time you touch raw foods
- Never put cooked food on a plate or surface that’s had raw foods on it.
- Keep raw foods in a sealed container away from foods that are ready to eat, such as salads and bread (such as burger buns or baguettes).
- Any frozen foods should be fully thawed before you cook them
Top tip: the coals should be glowing red with a powdery grey surface before you start.
Cooking with charcoal or gas
Make sure your barbecue is steady on a level surface, away from plants, trees and wooden fences.
The Fire Service advice is to cover the bottom of your barbecue with coal to a depth of no more than 5cm (2in). Use only recognised firelighters or starter fuel, and on cold coals only. Never use petrol on a barbecue. The coals are hot enough to start cooking on when they’re glowing red with a powdery grey surface.
The Fire Service advice is to:
- Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
- Change cylinders outdoors if possible or in a well-ventilated area and away from naked flames.
- If you suspect a leak in the cylinder or pipework, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles – tighten to fix but don’t over-tighten.
- After cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before turning off at the controls to ensure that any gas left in the pipework is used up.
The Fire Service advises the following simple rules to avoid accidents
- Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
- Never leave the barbecue unattended.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.
- Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it.
- Never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin – they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.
Top tip: don’t put raw meat on or next to cooked meat
Cooking meat thoroughly will ensure that any germs are killed.
Always make sure you cook chicken, pork, burgers, sausages and kebabs until they’re steaming hot all the way through, none of the meat is pink and any juices run clear.
If you’re barbecuing for lots of people, you could cook meat indoors and finish it off on the barbecue for added flavour.
It’s important when cooking meat to turn it regularly and move it around the barbecue. This helps it to cook evenly. Remember not to put raw meat next to cooked, or partly-cooked, meat on the barbecue and to use separate utensils for raw or partly cooked meat and cooked meat to avoid cross-contamination, which can be a cause of food poisoning.
There are a few simple things to remember when checking if meat is cooked on your barbecue. These are:
· Meat should be piping (steaming) hot in the centre.
· There should be no pink meat visible.
· Any juices should be clear.
Top tip: use separate utensils for cooked and raw foods
Cross-contamination can happen if raw foods touch an object that then comes into contact with other food. This includes any of the following:
- Tongs and other utensils
- Chopping boards
To avoid cross-contamination, which can lead to food poisoning, it is very important to use separate utensils for cooked and raw foods.
Top tip: any frozen meat should be fully thawed before you cook it
Serving cooked meat
The following tips apply to all meat including burgers, sausages, chicken and pork. There are a few simple things to remember when checking if meat is cooked before serving.
- Any frozen meat should be fully thawed before you cook it
- Meat should be steaming hot in the centre – don’t assume it’s cooked just because the outside is charred.
- There should be no pink meat visible when cooking sausages, burgers pork and chicken. Whole cuts of lamb and beef such as joints, steaks and cutlets can be served pink in the middle (‘rare’) – as long as the outside is cooked through.
- Any juices should be clear
- Don’t put sauce or marinade on cooked food if it’s already been used with raw meat.
Never put cooked food on a plate or surface that’s had raw meat on it.
“Don’t assume that because meat is charred on the outside it will be cooked properly on the inside,” says a spokesperson from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). “Cut the meat and ensure none of it is pink inside.”
Top tip: don’t leave food out of the fridge for more than 2 hours – eat it, cook it or discard it
Serving chilled foods
It is important to keep some foods cool to prevent food-poisoning germs multiplying. You should also take care not to leave food out of the fridge for more than 2 hours , and never leave food in the sun. If you are away from the fridge why not use a cool box and ice packs to keep food cool.
Make sure you keep the following foods cool:
- Milk and cream
- Desserts and cream cakes
- Ham and other cooked meats
- Rice salads
When you’re eating outdoors you should also remember to keep food covered whenever possible. This is to protect it from insects, birds and pets, which can carry bacteria.
Ok folks happy cookouts, and take care from the