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What’s going on at Emmet County Extension?

May 31, 2015
by Britney Rosburg - ISU Extension Program Educator , Estherville News

The outdoor grill is a great tool for eating healthy and if you plan well, you can also save time and money. Here are a couple of tips for using your grill safely and to get the most out of getting it fired up!

Thaw safely. Completely thaw meat, poultry so it cooks evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water.o

Marinate food in the refrigerator. If you use a marinade to enhance flavor, marinate the food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Do not reuse marinade on cooked meat that was used on raw meat. If you want to add more marinade after the meat is cooked, make a fresh batch.

Cook to the correct temperature. Grilling browns the outside of meat, poultry, and seafood quickly, so you can't rely on color as an indication of doneness. Always use a food thermometer to ensure the food is cooked to the safe minimum internal temperature.

Keep hot food hot. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could be overcooked. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in an oven set at approximately 200 degree Fahrenheit in a slow cooker (135 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) or on a warming tray.

Use different plate for serving cooked meat. When taking food off the grill, don't put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Any harmful bacteria in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food.

Make the most of a hot grill. Every time you heat up the grill, you're using fuel (either charcoal or propane). Make the most of that fuel by filling the grill and not just cooking one or two things. Besides meat, poultry, and seafood you can also grill veggies. Asparagus, slices onion and large pieces of pepper grill well. These can be used for future meals or even frozen and eaten at a later time.

Stretch meat by mixing with other foods. Grilling doesn't have to be all about meat. The most expensive ingredient in a lot of meals is the meat. You can cut down on this cost by mixing meat with whole grains like brown rice and additional protein sources such as black beans.

Emmet County Extension and Outreach will be offering pressure canner lids checks also on June 23, 2014 from 9 to 4 pm in the office at 26 South 17th Street in Estherville. Pressure canner lids with dial gauges need to be tested annually for accuracy. This service is free of charge and you can drop off your lid/gauge ahead of time when it is convenient for you. The following brands of pressure canners can be tested: Presto, National, Kook Kwik, Maid of Honor, and Magic Seal.

If you would like to get your pressure canner lid checked please drop them off at the Emmet County Extension office on or before June 23 and we will have them checked for accuracy.

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