UACES Facebook Grilling Tips for Your Memorial Day Celebration!
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Grilling Tips for Your Memorial Day Celebration!

How to make you Memorial day celebration a big hit by grilling those favorite foods.

Nashville, Ark. – This weekend is the official kickoff of summer and that usually means getting out and dusting off the backyard grill.

Nothing is tastier than eating a big, juicy steak or hamburger right off the grill while enjoying time spent with family and friends.


Here are some tips to make your holiday cookout a success!

  • Place the grill in a safe space away from vegetation. We are not necessarily in a drought situation, but don’t take chances of something catching on fire.

  • The grill should be placed on a level spot especially if you are using charcoal.

  • It goes without saying, do not grill in an enclosed space. Grills can give off carbon monoxide, a poisonous, colorless, odorless gas.

  • Never leave the grill unattended, especially if there are lots of people around. Care should be taken around children and pets.

  • It is best not to use a charcoal grill on very windy days. There is a risk of the wind tipping over the grill.

  • Keep a spray bottle of water nearby in the event of minor flare ups. Use only on charcoal grills, not gas grills.

  • Never use kerosene, gasoline, or other liquids in place of charcoal lighter fluid. It’s just not safe!

  • If you gas grill flares up, turn all the burners off and move the food to another area of the cooking grid.

Grill masters see grilling as an art rather than a science. Therefore, it is important to take recipe timetables as suggested times. Never rely on time alone to make sure food is cooked through. Always check the internal temperature of foods cooked on the grill.

Other food safety tips include:

  • Store meats and poultry in the refrigerator or ice chest away from other foods. Store meats in zipper type freezer bags in the ice chest. Store meats on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

  • Never put meat on the same platter that has held raw meat. Always wash in hot soapy water before putting cooked meat on it.

  • Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of meats. Cook to the correct temperature.

  • For steaks, burgers, and other thin meats, insert the probe of the thermometer through the side of the meat so the tip reaches the center. Otherwise, insert the probe in the thickest part of the meat. The probe should be inserted up to the dimple in the stem to get an accurate reading.

  • Marinades are great for flavor and to promote tenderness of meats. Use marinade or sauce to baste the meat during cooking but stop basting about 5 minutes before the meat is done to allow the outside to get hot enough to kill bacteria. Throw away marinade that is not used or bring it to a boil for 5 minutes before using it for a sauce.

Other good summertime food safety tips include:

  • Wash all fresh produce thoroughly before using. Most can be washed under cool running water.

  • Defrost foods in the refrigerator, or in the microwave and cook it immediately. Do not thaw on the kitchen counter or sink.

  • Once your meal has been served, put leftovers away promptly. Perishable foods should not sit out longer than one hour on a warm day. That includes preparation and serving time.

  • Use paper towels to wipe hands on instead of cloth towels. Then throw them away!

  • Use sanitizing wipes for picnic tables.

  • Finally, it goes without saying, Wash Your Hands often!

Summertime is for making great memories! Make sure you have taken the necessary steps to keep you and your family safe from foodborne illness.

If you would like to receive a magnet with appropriate cooking temperatures for most foods, please contact me at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Howard County located on the second floor of the courthouse or call me at 870-845-7517 or e-mail me at I wish you all a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend!

Recipe of the Week

Be a star at your Memorial Day Cookout with these kabobs. Whether you are camping or grilling in your backyard, they are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Country Beef Kabobs

  • 1 (6 oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar

  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon ginger

  • 1-pound boneless beef sirloin steak, cut in 1 ½ inch cubes

  • 2 small red onions, cut into wedges

  • 1 medium bell pepper, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

  • 2 oranges, cut into wedges

  • 3 cups cooked rice

  1. Combine orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Place meat, onions, bell pepper and oranges in a plastic bag.
  3. Sit bag in a shallow bowl.
  4. Add marinade; seal bag and turn to coat foods with marinade.
  5. Refrigerate for 4 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  6. Drain marinade into a small saucepan.
  7. Bring to boiling; cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat; set aside.
  9. Alternately thread meat, onions, bell pepper, and oranges onto four 12-inch metal skewers.
  10. Grill kabobs for 12 to 14 minutes, turning once and brushing with reserved marinade after 6 minutes.
  11. Serve over cooked rice.

             Yield: 4 servings.


By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.