Nutrition Corner: Fire up the grill for this Father’s Day meal

Nutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret -

Happy Father’s Day to all dad.

I remember Father’s Day as a day to fire up the grill. Many of us would gather for a Father’s Day Picnic at a nearby state park. Consider doing the same. Outdoor picnics are fun. They give the kids a great place to play ball, swim or just run around.

Cooking on a grill can be a challenge for some and a natural for others. Either way, practicing basic food handling rules is important for the very experienced as well as the inexperienced.

Bacteria and viruses are ever changing and new strains do surface. Hence, our food safety handling techniques today may be different from years ago. It is important to learn how to kill bacteria and viruses by cooking foods to the correct temperature.

Here are some basic food safety rules to follow when you fire up the grill:

If needed, scrape the grill before grilling. If you use a wire bristle brush, thoroughly inspect the grill’s surface before cooking. Wire bristles from grill cleaning brushes may dislodge and stick into food on the grill. Use a moist cloth or paper towel to clean the grill surface before cooking.

Heat the grill to at least 350 degrees before placing meat or poultry on it. This preheat step will ensure the food is seared instead of steamed or baked.

Keep foods separated on the grill. For example, separate chicken, hamburgers and vegetables. Consider grilling one type of food at a time.

If you do not have a food thermometer already, purchase one. Calibrate it before using. (For easy calibrating instructions, call our office at 888-825-1701).

Cook foods to these USDA recommended temperatures. Insert the thermometer in sideways at least 2 inches to ensure that it read accurately.

Ground meats – 160 degrees F

Steak -145 degrees F for “medium rare.” A “medium” steak is cooked to 160 degrees F and a “well done” steak is cooked to 170 degrees F.

Chicken -165 degree F.

Pork -45 degree F.

Note: Iowa State University Extension, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health warn consumers that burning charcoal in enclosed spaces is both a fire and carbon monoxide hazard. Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous because it has no odor and is invisible. Keep the grills outdoors and off the porch

Here is a great recipe for grilled veggies. Enjoy.

Grilled Veggies

2 medium squash, zucchini or summer

1 large sweet potato

Asian marinade

2 Tablespoon light soy sauce

2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoon minced ginger

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Make marinade. Peel potato. Clean and sliced vegetables. Brush both sides of vegetable with marinade. Grill vegetables turning once. Brush with additional marinade during grilling to ensure they stay moist. Serves 4.

Nutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Ehret.CMYK_-1.jpgNutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret

Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at mre2@psu.edu.

Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at mre2@psu.edu.