SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Nothing will ruin your holiday festivities like an accident on the grill, or not cooking meat properly!
Grilling inside is of course, a no-no and Beef O'Brady's manager Tom Pepper said it's important to keep grills at least 10 feet away from structures.
"Because [of] flare up from the fatty meats," Pepper said. "Keep a spray bottle around to dim those flare ups down."
Pepper said you should also never start your grill with the lid closed because the gas inside can build up and cause a really big flare up.
Pepper said once you're cooking, there are some other ways to stay safe.
"Keep your grill down [low] if you're overloading it with the fatty meats," Pepper explained. "Because a lot of the grease is going to drip off and then you're really going to have a big fire."
If you've got a lot of different stuff to cook at once, Pepper said the best way to do it is cook everything hot first -- sear it -- then move it to a cooler side of the grill to finish cooking so you don't dry anything out or overcook things.
To avoid getting burnt, Pepper advised using cooking tools like long tongs and even oven mitts if necessary. You should also wear an apron to protect your clothes. He said burns are often caused by overloading the grill and having grease splash up toward whoever is cooking.
You definitely don't want to ruin your holiday weekend with a trip to the ER courtesy of food-borne illness either.
Pepper said before you get cooking, it's best to just keep everything refrigerated until about an hour beforehand.
"You want to keep the temperature below 40 [degrees]," Pepper said. "Because between 40 and 140 [degrees] are the danger zones for bacteria to grow rapidly."
Once it's time to cook ...
"You definitely want to get up to that 165 [degree] mark," Pepper said. "With your red meats you're going to get into the well done zone for that. Anything below that you're going to risk food-borne illnesses."
If you haven't planned ahead and are without a meat thermometer, Pepper said there are other ways to make everything is cooked appropriately.
"Obviously with steaks and burgers, the firmer they get, the more done they're going to be," he explained. "If you just cut into it you're going to see the redness on the inside. If it's very red you're obviously in the rare area, if there's no red or pink at all, you're in the well done."
Pepper said that it's at your discretion if you're a fan of rare meat. He said some people can handle it digesting it better than others, so it's up to your whether you want to risk it. He said if you're not a regular rare meat eater, you probably shouldn't risk it and should wait for something well done.
Pepper also said you should be mindful of washing your hands if you're handling anything raw before touching anything else. Poultry and fish should be treated the same way as meat.
Pepper said the best way to avoid an accident is to make sure your grill is clean and to check for any gas leaks if you're using a gas grill.
Beef O'Brady's is located at 69th St. and Western Ave. in Sioux Falls. They've recently expanded their menu to have new steak offerings including all-you-can-eat prime rib on Thursdays. They are closed for the 4th of July, but will reopen with regular hours on Wednesday, July 5.