May is National Barbecue Month Texas Pepper Jelly might give equal play to both indoor and outdoor cooking, but when push comes to shove, our hearts in in those outdoor grills. Don’t think for a minute that outdoor cooking has only one rule: outdoors. Outdoor cooking comes with, well, maybe not “rules,” but directions. Directions that MUST BE FOLLOWED for safety’s sake. Maybe it does have “rules,” after all.

We here at Texas Pepper Jelly want you to enjoy your outdoor grilling and barbecues so much, you’ll do them all the time, but we also want you to stay safe.

Let’s start with your grill. This one is easy.

1. Keep your grill clean. Don’t be that guy who never cleans the grill because “the flames will kill all the germs anyway.” Sure, the flames will kill the germs, but you don’t want your kids eating the blackened char from last week’s cookout. Keep your grill clean.

Now, about the meat. . . .

2. Use the good stuff if you’re grilling steaks. Red meat is linked to all kinds of health hazards, but in moderation, red meat is fine. If you are fond of marinades or herbs, your red meat becomes actually healthy. There were good reasons why the Old World explorers searched the globe for spices, and one of them is that spices make red meat tastier and healthier. Some herbs or spices can actually remove the carcinogens from red meat! (Oregano, sage, rosemary, for example)

Pork and chicken are usually nice and tender no matter what the cut, but watch your cooking time. Overcooking any meat can make it tough.

3. And about those blackened carcinogens so often associated with barbecue – you do know that real, authentic barbecue doesn’t mean meat cooked over soaring flames, right? Real barbecue is cooked at low temperatures, and it will rarely blacken. If your meat still blackens while being cooked over a low temperature, it’s probably soot, not actual burned meat. Brush it off. It’s not good for you.

If you’re grilling hamburgers – and you probably are – bear in mind that grinding the meat tears up the muscle fibers, which means your hamburgers will lose moisture really quickly over heat. This is where Texas Pepper Jelly products will be most useful, for they not only put that moisture back into your burgers; they also add flavor that can’t be beaten by any other product!

Mix pretty much any Texas Pepper Jelly product into your ground beef, make it into patties, and begin grilling. The aroma will probably attract neighbors, so have plenty on hand.

This will come as a surprise to many beef purists, but don’t buy the “best” ground beef for your grilled burgers. Buy the regular stuff. Most of the extra fat will drip off, and waht remains is more for flavor than for fattening. Really.

If you’re catering to a few vegetarians, Pepper Jelly can be mixed with veggie burger material, whatever you might be using – soy, ground veggies, etc, – to create extraordinary journeys in flavor and deliciousness. Vegetables can be grilled, too – corn grilled in the husk is as good as or better than dessert! Remember that most of your vegetables are already fit to eat even when raw, so they don’t need as much grilling time as does the meat.

4. Safety is important whenever there’s fire. There will probably be children and elderly people in your back yard during a holiday barbecue, and even a healthy person with perfect eyesight can be thwarted by a pebble in the path. You don’t want any accidents when it comes to fire. Keep the hose handy, and never turn on your grill without a large container of water nearby. Better safe than sorry.

5. Bugs like barbecues as much as we do. Maybe even more. Don’t spray bug killer near food! It’s better to spray down the people, well away from the food, and put those little bug-repellent bracelets on everybody. They work.

Texas Pepper Jelly wishes you all a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Have fun with your family and friends, and never forget the family and friends who can’t be with us physically but will forever live in our hearts. That’s what Memorial Day is really about, after all.

Texas Pepper Jelly, memorial day, what it's really about