Shelly Barnes: Let’s take part in some grilling and chilling this season

Shelly Barnes • May 8, 2018 at 9:40 PM

As summer approaches and the weather warms up, it is almost time for backyard barbecues. 

Have fun and be safe with the following tips:

• Cook food thoroughly. To avoid guessing the temperature, add a food thermometer to your kitchen. See the following chart for proper cooking temperatures:

• Poultry: 165 degrees.

• Ground beef, pork, veal and lamb: 160 degrees.

• Pork chops and beef steaks: 145 degrees. Allow meat to rest three minutes.

• Seafood: 145 degrees or until opaque and flaky or when shells open.

• Leftovers and casseroles: 165 degrees.

• Serve foods at the proper temperature. Keep hot food at 140 degrees or warmer and cold food at 40 degrees or colder while serving.

• Be safe with marinates. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter, and do not reuse the marinade if it has come in contact with raw meat, poultry or seafood unless you boil it first.

• Separate raw foods. Keep raw food separate to avoid contamination of other foods. Do not reuse utensils that have touched raw meat, poultry or seafood.

• Keep your hands clean. Always wash hands before and after handling food. Soap and water is best – hand sanitizer will do if running water isn’t available.

Here is a tasty dish to include in your outdoor buffet:

Fresh tomato bruschetta

Makes 1½ cups


• 6 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped, remove most of juice and seeds.

• 2 cloves garlic, minced.

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.

• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.

• 6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced or chopped.

• 1 teaspoon salt.

• ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.


In a large bowl, stir together the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper.

Serve on small slices of French or Italian bread, toasted and brushed with olive oil.

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state and provides equal opportunities in all programming and employment. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.

For more information on this or other family and consumer sciences-related topics, contact Shelly Barnes, family and consumer sciences Extension agent for UT Extension in Wilson County. Barnes may be reached at [email protected] or 615-444-9584.

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