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Barbecuing 101

Having a fun barbecue can be as simple as buying some meat and inviting friends over, but serving tasty food and ensuring your guests with allergies have a good time is another thing. Here are some tips to help you make your barbecues even better this summer.

1. The Location

Mow your lawn a day or two before the barbecue so that you don't stir up pollen on the day and wipe all of your outdoor furniture down with a damp cloth before your guests arrive. Be sure to also thoroughly clean all food contact surfaces.

2. The Planning

See what you already have and make a checklist ahead of time so that you don't forget any necessities such as wood, charcoal, or gas for your grill and other basics like napkins and ice. If your BBQ is outside, tell your friends who have allergies so they can plan ahead.  

3. The Grill

Before you start, make sure your grill is clean. Burn off old grease with a new fire, scrape it with a wire brush and re-season it with fat or oil. No matter what medium you choose – wood, coal or gas –your barbecue needs to be hot before grilling.

4. The Preparation

Side dishes, such as vegetables can be chopped, steamed, boiled and grilled early. This will give you more time to socialize with your guests and reduce the amount of smoke that they inhale - people with allergies are typically more sensitive to irritants.

5. The Meat

Meat should always be cooked last and never cooked cold. Give the meat time to reach room temperature before it hits the grill so that you can transfer the heat from the outside into the middle without burning it to a crisp in the process. Once your meat is on the grill, only turn it when necessary. The more you poke, prod, flatten and flip the less tasty the end result will be. Finally, when your meat is cooked, leave it to rest until the juices are reabsorbed.

TIP: The ZYRTEC® ALLERGYCAST® app allows you to check the pollen and weather forecast so you won't be surprised by allergies on the day of your barbecue.

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