Traditional recipes

Your Summer Cookout Hot Dogs Have a Lot More Gross Ingredients Than You Think

Your Summer Cookout Hot Dogs Have a Lot More Gross Ingredients Than You Think

No summer cookout is complete without a hot dog or two. We suggest that you give the ingredients listing a thorough read before you buy your next batch of hot dogs, because some contain such low-quality ingredients that we wouldn’t even feed them to our dogs.

As a baseline for good-quality hot dogs, take a look at what Applegate produces: These contain only grass-fed beef, water, and seasonings. Most other hot dogs, because they’re cured, contain sodium nitrate or nitrite, which helps kill pathogens and imparts that rosy color. When you buy a pack of hot dogs, ones with ingredients like these should be the only ones you buy. Because it’s all downhill from here.

We’re not going to name names, but here are some ingredients in one popular hot dog brand: the dreaded mechanically separated chicken, corn syrup, potassium lactate, sodium diacetate, and sodium erythorbate. And here’s another leading brand: mechanically separated chicken, mechanically separated turkey, and cultured dextrose. And one last one: mechanically separated chicken, dextrose, modified corn starch, beef, corn syrup, sodium phosphate, potassium lactate, potassium acetate, sodium diacetate, and sodium erythorbate.

If you're wondering what all these ingredients are, we suggest you check out this handy guide from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, which breaks them all down one by one, and is even searchable.

So to repeat: You should probably read the ingredients listing before you buy your next package of hot dogs, and check out the healthiest and unhealthiest store-bought hot dogs.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Your BBQ Food Safety Fails Are Grossing Me Out (But I Can't Tell You)

The best backyard barbecues I attend feel like a smoky, meaty, beer-soaked version of heaven—a place where sizzling wings are served hot off the grill, and drinks are as frosty as they are refreshing.

But there have been times when the cookouts resemble hell more than heaven, a place packed with BBQ food safety fails. A place where I struggle to hold my tongue as I witness one food safety transgression after another, sapping my self-restraint as well as my appetite. So for all of you polite but hungry folks who have also been holding your tongue, I share this litany of BBQ sins, in the hopes that we may break our silence, air our grievances, and share our gripes without fear of reprisal. So here goes.

If your grill is a non-stop conflagration, it's time to tone it down.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Dawn Perry

It sure is festive out here. Your grill is going full force, and by full force, I mean two grown men are squirting the already-lit briquettes in the grill with lighter fluid, laughing as the crowd is enveloped in a thin blue chemical smoke that can only whet our appetites for the food that's infused with it. Fire! What an adventure! Except, ew. If you're using a charcoal grill, please fire up your coals in a chimney starter instead.

I get it. You have to juggle a lot of platters when you're grilling. Marinated raw chicken. Cooked kebabs coming off the grill. And where are you going to put those freshly grilled pork chops? Please please please do not put them on the same platter you used to bring them outside in the first place. Even though you think no one will notice. Because a tree falling in a forest does make a sound. The sound of food poisoning. Instead, do what my Epi colleague Rhoda does: line the platter under your marinated meat with foil or plastic wrap, then pull off the foil after the meat's on the grill. Instant clean platter.

Go for plump and shiny, not singed and shriveled.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, food and prop styling by Ali Nardi

If you've seen hot dogs at convenience stores, you've seen them endlessly rotate on the grill. This may give the impression that you can't overcook a hot dog. But that couldn't be further from the truth. If your hot dogs go from plump and shiny to shriveled and sad because you're focusing on the burgers, your hot dogs are sad. Dousing them with ketchup will hide your sins from no one.

If your raw meat is sitting around waiting for its turn at the grill, and starts forming a pool of lukewarm fluid, please rethink your life decisions. If your raw chicken is hanging around under the sun long enough to feel warm to the touch, you've created a bacterial kiddie pool that mere cooking cannot overcome. Keep that chicken in the fridge until you are good and ready to grill it, I beg you.

Marinated chicken is good. But it's best to leave the marinade behind.

Your delicious marinated chicken is in danger of turning into cinders, and all because you threw it on the grill without taking a minute to drain the marinade from the meat. The marinade will drip onto the coals. The coals will ignite into a blaze that will singe your eyebrows as well as your chicken. And who wants either of those consequences?

Uncooked meat needs to be chilled. So do your six-packs. Alas, the solution is not to throw your packages of beef patties right alongside your lagers. Thirsty guests shouldn't have to fish past leaking meat packages to achieve refreshment.

If you've put out a creamy, dairy-based spinach dip to keep guests from turning feral while you finish grilling your bone-in barbecue chicken, good for you. Not so good if it's been under the sun so long that's its begun to develop the same kind of skin you'll find on diner-style rice pudding. Better for guests to be hungry than grossed out.


Watch the video: TRY THESE 5 SUMMER COOKOUT HACKS TO IMPRESS YOUR GUESTS! (December 2021).