No matter what you're cooking or what kind of grill you're using, handling food safely is crucial. Here are our tips.

How To Grill Baby Back Ribs: Make Meat Tender
Credit: Photo: Jennifer Davick

Safety Tips:

  • Store raw meat in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill it.
  • Trim excess fat from meat to avoid flare-ups.
  • Make sure your grill is hot before placing meat on it. Allow about 10 minutes for a gas grill to heat up and about 30 to 40 minutes if you are using charcoal briquets.
  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. Color and feel are not accurate ways to check doneness. Make sure the thermometer isn't touching any bone, as this could give a false reading.
  • Plates, bowls, or utensils that touch raw meat should not be used once meat is cooked. Use clean plates and utensils for serving.
  • Boil leftover marinade that touched raw meat (including for basting) for at least one minute before reusing.
  • Never use cooking sprays around a lit grill.
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly.

How Hot Should It Be?
Confusion over the proper meat temperatures can be the pits when you're barbecuing. Here's a quick reference for the proper temperature any cut of meat should reach--whether cooked in the oven or on a grill--before you safely serve it to friends and family.

  • Beef: 145°
  • Chicken: 180°
  • Lamb: 150°
  • Pork: 160°
  • Turkey breast: 170°
  • Whole turkey: 180°