Montana Ag Network: Summer grilling season is here!

Posted at 10:47 AM, May 28, 2018

BILLINGS – Montana ranchers are helping grillers deliver a mouth-watering eating experience with one of America’s favorite proteins as the summer grilling season is now officially underway.

“We’ve been waiting all winter for this warm weather because people love to get out and grill,” said Shane Flowers.

Flowers and family own Project Meats and Ranch House Meat Company. He’s also a Montana Beef Council board member. He says it’s that time of the year when backyard grillers become grill warriors and turn raw beef into culinary masterpieces.

“You can see it in our sales all the time,” said Flowers. “When grilling season hits and the warm weather comes along, people start coming in. They’re buying rib-eyes, they’re buying tri-tips, they’re buying whatever they can put on the grill because it’s time to eat.”

He says ranchers who pay the $1 per head beef checkoff, should be proud of their investment because its helping consumers have a delicious beef grilling and eating experience.

Flowers said “They have great recipes out there that you can pick up on the internet and they have recipes in card style. They even have different trainings on how to handle meat on a food safety level for things like how it should be cooked so you can provide a wholesome and healthy product to your family and friends when they come over for dinners, barbecues, camping season or whatever it might be.”

Backyard grilling isn’t just steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs anymore either.

“I mean brisket is huge,” said Flowers. “People love to go home because they have these new pellet grills, they’re smoking and taking their brisket out there and they’re trying to emulate what people all across the country are doing. Really, it’s kind of new for Montana. Brisket, tri-tip, different things like that you can put out there on the grill that they’ve been doing in places like Kansas City for years. These guys are trying to figure out how all this works and provide a great food product.”

Food safety is also very important. Flowers offers this important tip.

“The biggest thing I always try to stress to my customers is to always use a thermometer,” said Flowers. “First of all, you’re going to maintain the quality of your product because you’re not going to overcook it from being nervous but you’re not going to undercook either and create any food safety issues for your family and friends. When using a meat thermometer on beef, you’re safe when you get those whole muscle cuts up to 145 degrees and those ground products up to 160 degrees.”

Click here for delicious summer beef grilling recipes all summer long.

The USDA offers up some safe grilling advice on their website inlcuding the following:

Grilling and Food Safety

Cooking outdoors was once a summer only activity shared with family and friends. Now more than half of Americans say they are cooking outdoors year round. So whether the snow is blowing or the sun is shining, it’s important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from causing foodborne illness. Use these simple guidelines for grilling food safely.  

  • Keep Everything Clean
  • Separate Raw and Cooked Foods
  • Cook Thoroughly
  • Safe Smoking
  • Pit Roasting
  • Keep Cold Food Cold
  • Keep Hot Food Hot
  • Leftovers & Reheating

Keep Everything Clean

  • Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters.
  • If you are grilling and eating away from home, find out if there is a source of clean water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning or pack clean cloths and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.

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