How to Cook Wings Safely When You're Cooking for a Crowd
Don't make these common mistakes with wings and other party foods
Whether you’re throwing a Super Bowl shindig or hosting neighborhood game night, keep these tips for cooking favorite crowd-pleasers in mind before the gang’s all there.
These tips from foodsafety.gov will help you fry safely.
Dry up. Use a paper towel to pat away any moisture on the wings. Otherwise they’ll cause the oil to splatter, which could result in a burn or worse. (The National Fire Protection Association recommends keeping anything that could burn, such as food packaging, towels and oven mitts, away from the stove when you're frying. And make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. UL recommends an ABC extinguisher for the kitchen.)
Stick a thermometer in it. The temperature of your frying oil should be 375 degrees F before the first wing lands in the pan.
Give them room. If you overcrowd the pan, the wings may not cook through thoroughly, which means you'll risk giving your guests food poisoning.
Make sure the wings are done. They should have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. As you finish each batch, carefully move the wings to a clean, paper-towel covered plate and use a meat thermometer to check several of them. If any aren’t done, put them all back into the hot oil for a few minutes.
Chili, burgers and other meaty treats
Key things to keep in mind whether you’re browning ground beef for nachos or grilling burgers or steaks:
Take the chill off. Be sure meat is thoroughly thawed before you cook it. The safest way, according to the Department of Agriculture (USDA): Allow it to defrost slowly in the fridge. You also can soak frozen meat in cold water (wrap it in a sealed plastic bag first, and change the water every 30 minutes or so) or in the microwave.
Marinate in the fridge, not on the counter. This keeps the meat out of the "danger zone," where bacteria can multiply. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends marinating food in a container made from glass or food-grade plastic, not metal, which can interact with the acids in the marinade.
Divide and conquer. Keep raw meat separate from other foods to avoid the spread of bacteria, advises foodsafety.org.
Cook meat thoroughly. Steaks, chops and roasts should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Ground meat should hit 160 degrees.
Foodsafety.gov offers this advice for keeping dairy-based dips and other perishable party food from going bad.
Put it on ice. This will help keep cold foods at a safe temperature of 40 degrees or below. (Hot foods should be kept at 140 degrees or higher. Keep them warm by using a slow cooker or chafing dish.)
Dole out the servings. Only put out as much of a perishable food as you think will be eaten within two hours.
Switch out the old. After two hours, throw out perishable food and replenish it with fresh food.
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