Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend Safely With These Easy Tips and Some Great Recipes!
While Memorial Day Weekend is greatly anticipated in Chicago as the beginning of barbecue season, a number of individuals and families each year end up spending the holiday weekend in the emergency room because of grill accidents and unsafe food handling. Whether you’re participating in one of the local barbecue competitions or just getting together with family in your backyard, make sure you kick off the summer right. Here are some fast and simple tips for safe barbecuing— and we’ve also included some delicious recipes from our team at Lane & Lane to help you get started!
Grill Safety Should Be a Priority on Memorial Day Weekend
Burns and grilling mishaps can put a serious damper on summer fun, so the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association urges everyone to pay attention to safety when they barbecue. Here are some of their tips for grilling safely:
- Read the owner’s manual for your grill.
- Remember that grills are for outside use only and should be used in well-ventilated areas.
- Make sure the grill is stable and won’t be accidentally tipped or knocked over—and never, ever move a grill while it is hot.
- If using electrical accessories, make sure to follow codes and keep cords taped down or out of the way.
- Use long-handled forks, tongs, and other utensils to help avoid hot grease and burns.
- Use flame-resistant mitts and towels, and make sure your clothing doesn’t have loose fabric or ties that could accidentally catch fire.
- Keep the flames under control, and keep an extinguisher nearby. If you won’t have access to a fire extinguisher, make sure you have water, baking soda, sand, or other materials that can help you put out an unexpected fire.
- Never leave your grill unattended while in use.
Paying Attention to Basic Food Safety While You Picnic or Barbecue
Burns aren’t the only danger at the family picnic. Foodborne illness is also a major concern in warm weather, so you need to take steps to make sure no one gets sick. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers the following tips on keeping food safe before, during, and after your celebration:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling any food items.
- Keep raw food and cooked food separate, and don’t reuse dishes or utensils that have come into contact with raw foods.
- Marinate food in the fridge, not on the counter.
- Cook food thoroughly, and use a meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked through.
- Keep hot food hot and cold foods cold. Don’t just leave food sitting out for hours, especially on hot days.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftover food as soon as possible.
Bonus Recipes for Our Readers: Try Some Marinated Flank Steak or BBQ Ribs on the Grill!
Once you’ve gotten safety in order, it’s time to start grilling! Are you looking for some recipes to try out this Memorial Day Weekend? Partner Mark Brown’s wife Traci has given up this awesome recipe for marinated flank steak:
Traci’s Mustard Marinated Flank Steak
- 1 flank steak, 2–2½ pounds
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (Traci recommends parsley and basil!)
Whisk together all the ingredients except steak. Place the steak in a container and pour the marinade over and under the meat until it's completely submerged. Allow the meat to marinate overnight for best flavor. Also, to let the marinade really soak into the meat. you can lightly score the meat in a diagonal crisscross prior to marinating, if desired.
When ready to grill, take the meat out of the refrigerator and let sit for a half hour prior to grilling. Turn the grill to medium high and cook for five minutes per side for medium rare. Immediately following, place the steak on a clean plate and tightly seal it with aluminum foil for 10 minutes. Cut the steak on a diagonal with the grain. Enjoy!!
Are you excited about firing up the grill yet? Here’s another wonderful recipe—this time, for ribs—from our receptionist Carolyn Torres:
Tinsey Rose (a.k.a Carolyn Torres) BBQ Ribs
Cut your slab of ribs in half.
Clean the meat and lay it out on the counter. With a sharp knife, slice multiple cuts across all of the bones, on both the top and bottom. Season your slabs top and bottom with seasoning salt, onion powder, and black pepper.
In a large pot, add enough cooking oil to just cover the bottom of the pot. Add the meat and just enough water to cover the slabs.
Cut up an entire onion and add to water. Boil for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove ribs and put on grill.
Add a half bottle of regular barbecue sauce to the broth to thicken up the sauce a little. Add a tad of vinegar and brown sugar to broth.
Use the broth along with your favorite beer to “baby” the ribs on both sides as they cook. As ribs are just about done, cut slab into servings of two rib bones each.
Add more barbecue sauce to your broth mix until thickened and douse the ribs on both sides. Watch carefully so the ribs won’t burn! Remove ribs and ENJOY!
Let us know if you decide try out some of our favorite recipes!
Do you have your own tips for safe barbecuing? Do you have a favorite picnic recipe you can’t wait to share with us and our readers? Leave us a comment below, or get the conversation started by connecting with Lane & Lane on Facebook.