Think of the Fourth, and you conjure the smell, sizzle and smoke of the grill. And even though it's a holiday that celebrates rebellion, there are some simple rules that you'll need to follow (you don't need to be a total caveman about it). Here are some tips from the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (which, you won’t be surprised to learn, also advises you to purchase a new grill this summer):
Do thaw frozen food and marinate foods in the refrigerator and never on the counter. [Or the bed or bathtub.]
Do sanitize cutting boards and counter tops with chlorine bleach. [Notice they don’t say Dr. Bronner’s, hippie.]
Do marinate meats at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before cooking to add flavor and coat the meat. [Again‚ not in the bathtub.]
Do position your grill, fryer or smoker in an open area away from buildings and high traffic areas. [So, not on the highway?]
Do use a meat thermometer or an “instant read” digital thermometer inserted horizontally into the side of meat, poultry and seafood to check doneness. [Check here for a handy temperature chart: http://avl.mx/gq.]
See? Safety is fun, right?
We've also asked a few local grill-masters to share some of their own tricks of the trade, with a few recipes thrown in. Read some of the tips for grilling and have plenty of fun — but please take it easy with the lighter fluid. May all of your fingers make it through the Fourth intact.