#FlashbackFriday podCALS. This was originally published in May 2014.
Jeff Sindelar gives us the tips and tricks to perfecting your grilling this summer.
3:04 – Total Time
0:19 – Prepare for the grilling season
0:41 – Basic grill cooking tips
1:27 – Thermometer for safety and quality
2:35 – Meat business big in Wisconsin
2:55 – Lead out
Sevie Kenyon: What kinds of things should people do to get their grill ready for the season?
Jeff Sindelar: I would spend a few minutes just to make sure that everything is in good working order, and then go ahead and spend a few minutes and clean that grill. Clean those grates, clean the cooking surfaces, clean the non-cooking surfaces, and then that way it’ll be ready to go, and it’ll be clean for the whole summer grilling season.
Sevie Kenyon: Do you have any tips for cooking on the grill?
Jeff Sindelar: Make sure that you select the right temperature for grilling. If you are cooking a sausage, like a bratwurst, you want that grill to be fairly hot, but not too hot because you don’t want the casing to burst open and lose all of those flavorful juices during the grilling process. If you’re grilling steaks, you might want to increase the temperature a little bit more, say around the 375 to 400 degrees to get a little bit of a sear on the outside of those cuts. And if you’re doing more of a slow cooking procedure with your grill, you might want to turn that grill down a little bit lower, maybe about 250 or 275 degrees, and that way you can slowly cook without drying out that food on that grill.
Sevie Kenyon: What about thermometers? You mentioned temperature here
Jeff Sindelar: Thermometers, they are absolutely critical, and I recommend that everyone invest in a good thermometer. For about twenty dollars, you can invest in a thermometer that will last you many years, and that will help make sure that you are cooking the meat products to the right temperature. This is important for two reasons. One is food safety, and so we want to cook a sausage or ground meats including hamburgers to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. In some cases, we want to cook to the right temperature for quality. If we’re cooking beefsteaks, or pork chops, or even poultry, we don’t want to overcook that product so that it doesn’t become tough, dry, and chewy. So generally, we might cook that product to and internal temperature of about 135 to 140 degrees. If we want something closer to a medium, we might cook that to 145 to around 150. If we want a product that’s well done we’ll cook that all the way up to 160 or 165 degrees.
Sevie Kenyon: Jeff can you speculate a little bit about the economic value of grilling and meat processing in the state?
Jeff Sindelar: The meat industry is nearly a six billion dollar economic component of the state. In Wisconsin we have a very large robust and historic meat industry. There are nearly 500 meat-processing plants in the state that include very large to very small plants.
Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Jeff Sindelar, Department of Animal Science, University of Wisconsin Extension and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison, Wisconsin, and I am Sevie Kenyon.