In the summertime, when the weather is hot
Here in the UK Summer is in the air, and many people are thinking about reaching for the BBQ tongs and charcoal (or gas bottle, if you’re that way inclined) for a relaxing meal in the garden with their family. Drinks will flow and more food than you really have room for will be cooked over hot coals; meanwhile someone will be scrolling through their music streaming service of choice to pick out a playlist that inevitably includes Mungo Jerry, and Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Good times!
Coal or gas? Do I need an adjustable grill height? An open grill or covered kettle grill? Should I buy a rotisserie or smoker?
Pro tip: Don’t open the lid so often - keep that heat on the inside.
Whether you’re currently looking for a new BBQ, or have already spent time picking out the best, feature-packed grill that you can afford, the chances are that you’ve gone through at least one of these questions in your mind. But have you thought about cooking temperatures, and in particular - thermometers?
Stop guessing, and start testing
These days many BBQs come with thermometers built into the lid, giving you a rough gauge of the current temperature inside of the grill; you’ll notice the needle move wildly when removing the lid to check on your food. Knowing the temperature of your grill can help you make good estimates on how long a piece of meat or fish will take to cook, but how do you know when it’s safe to eat?
The answer is simpler than you might think. A probe thermometer such as the TLC700 from ebro, will help you eliminate the risk of serving undercooked, or even dangerously raw food to your family and guests.
Pro tip: Aim for the thickest part of the food to insert your probe thermometer. Unevenly cut meat will take longer to cook at its thickest area.
This high quality precision folding probe thermometer has a clear digital display and can be set to either C° or F°. It’s easy to use and can save you from spoiling food by overcooking, as well as ensuring things like poultry - notorious for BBQ food poisoning - are cooked through and ready to serve. Simply insert the probe into the thickest part of your meat, poultry or fish, and take a reading in seconds.
Pro tip: To ensure you avoid cross-contamination always wipe clean the thermometer probe before taking a reading.
A thermometer like the TLC700 is not just for BBQs. This thermometer is ideal for use in brewing, beverage, food, cold-chain and general industrial applications where precise measurement of temperature is required.
Let’s talk about BBQ related bacteria
Thankfully, it is rare that food poisoning from a BBQ ends with serious complications, and you can normally treat yourself at home, but in some instances it can lead to a hospital visit.
Whilst preparing your BBQ, using clean and clearly marked chopping boards for different foodstuffs prevents cross-contamination of raw meat and poultry. Washing your hands regularly whilst cooking, and especially after handling raw food, goes a long way to preventing the spread of germs. However, it’s during the process of cooking that some of the biggest risks occur; using a probe thermometer to check the temperature of food is vital to fending off harmful bacteria including Salmonella, E.coli O157 and Campylobacter, which are proven to cause varying degrees of food poisoning. These germs are only killed by cooking meat until it is piping-hot throughout.
What is Campylobacter?
Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of diarrhoea in the UK, and anyone can become infected. It is usually the result of eating or handling raw or under-cooked meat or poultry, or from cross contamination during food preparation. You can prevent infection using good hygiene practices and by making sure your food is cooked thoroughly by use of a probe thermometer.
What is E.coli O157?
E.coli is the one you’ve probably heard of. Generally speaking E.coli are harmless common bacteria, normally found in the intestines of animals and humans. However, certain types of E.coli can cause infections, the most common and important of which is E.coli O157. Often contracted via poorly cooked minced beef (we’re looking at you, Cheeseburger!), E.coli O157 can cause unpleasant bouts of diarrhoea and other more serious complications. In rare cases E.coli O157 has been known to be fatal. You can prevent infection by following good hygiene practices and by making sure your food is cooked thoroughly by use of a probe thermometer.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract of poultry and other wild and domestic animals. Symptoms of a salmonella infection include watery and sometimes bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting, fevers, and headaches. Infection can be caused by contamination of red and white meat, as well as dairy stuffs and is likely to be contracted by (you guessed it) eating raw or inadequately cooked food. Prevention? It’s the probe thermometer again - a simple and effective way to check that your food is properly cooked all the way through. Oh, and remember to wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs!
The one BBQ gadget you NEED is a thermometer.
Temperature measuring tools like the TLC700 Probe Thermometer or the TLC730 Dual Infrared and Probe Thermometer are used in professional kitchens and at the BBQ by great chefs all over the world. It’s no fluke that they serve amazing, well prepared food day in and day out. Years of training, good hygiene practices, and simple to use tools like food thermometers are key to ensuring consistency within food and beverage both at home as well as at an industrial level.
Pro Tip: Cooking over a direct flame can char (blacken) your food and make it hard to judge when ready. Use a thermometer to tell what’s happening on the inside.
Suggested BBQ internal temperatures:
Chicken leg (with bone) – 75°C
chicken wings – 75°C
(When cooking chicken, always make sure the juices run clear before eating.)
Hamburgers – 68-70°C
Pork chop – 65-68°C
Pork fillet – 70-72°C
Pork sausages – 70-72°C
Lamb chops – 55-58°C (70-72°C for well done)
Fish fillets – 65°C
Whole fish – 60-65°C
Tuna steak – 50-52°C
Receive 10% off thermometers in June and July
To see our range of thermometers including probe, and infrared non-contact thermometers visit our collection here.