Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Cooking and Produce
Ready, Set, Go! Barbecue
Karma Metzgar, C.F.C.S., regional director, Northwest Region, University of Missouri Extension
While some save barbecuing for summer, we strike up the grill
nearly every week of the year - if I don’t let the grill tank run
out of gas.
I consider myself a fairly plain griller. Put the food on the
grill, turn occasionally, and get it on the plate before it’s a
burnt offering! Sometimes I like to baste for added flavors. Others
like to marinade or marinate their foods. It’s really a matter of
how far you plan ahead.
What does marinade or marinate mean? Marinade is a seasoned liquid
mixture that adds flavor and in some cases helps tenderize. Some
marinades are homemade mixtures. Other times they are bottled dressings
or sauces. Marinate means to steep the food in a marinade. If the
meat is a tender cut, marinate it for a short time, or you’ll have
a mushy, soft entree!
Whenever marinating, do it in the refrigerator. If your recipe
calls for basting the cooking meat with marinade, reserve some of
the mixture which HAS NOT been in contact with the raw meat. Otherwise,
you are contaminating cooked meat with raw meat juices - a food
safety NO-NO. Instead of using a basting brush to apply the marinade,
to prevent cross-contamination, try applying with a spray bottle
or a bottle with a squirt top.
The same contamination can happen when the plate, which held
the raw meat, is used for the cooked meat. Also avoid using the
fork or turner which touched the raw meat to turn or check the cooked
meat. It’s best to use a different turner each time or rinse with
warm soapy water in between uses.
A favorite homemade basting sauce of mine is one Vilas Young,
retired University Extension Area Director, shared with me years
ago. Many Extension events featured this with pork chops, however,
I like to use it on chicken, fish, pork and beef. I also use it
to baste vegetables. It’s delicious multi-purpose sauce and it’s
inexpensive to make.
Multi-Purpose Basting Sauce
¾ (three-fourths) cup wine vinegar
3 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped green peppers
1 tablespoon salt (optional)
1 can (6 ounce) frozen pineapple juice concentrate
½ (one-half) cup dark brown sugar
1 ½ (one and one-half) teaspoons soy sauce (optional)
Combine all ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. This is enough sauce for about 25 3-5 ounce portions of meat. I generally reserve what I need at the time for basting and refrigerate any remaining sauce, planning to use within 2 weeks.
Cook the meat on medium coals or heat. Baste on each side the
last 15 minutes of cooking. If you use this sauce as a marinade,
turn the meat frequently to prevent burning as the sugar content
is high and browns (and burns) easily.
Some tips to successful grilling are to use a medium heat, trim
excess fat to avoid flair-ups, and to use a thawed product.
While you have the grill going for your entree, include the fruits
and vegetables too. My favorites to grill are peppers, onions, cherry
tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple chunks, and new potatoes. These are
easy to put on skewers and keeps the heat out of the kitchen.
If you have questions about barbecue food safety, call your local University Extension Center or the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555.
Last update: Monday, April 19, 2010