Nothing says summer more than backyard barbecues – and no mouth-watering outdoor meal is complete without hot dogs.
Entertainer Nick Cannon is getting in on the action and teamed up with contest sponsor Pepto-Bismol to be “Grill Master” of this year’s Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.
This Coney Island contest draws Major League Eaters, aspiring underdogs and footlong-aficionados from across the country. The event has become an iconic part of the holiday celebration and serves as America’s unofficial kick-off to summer.
“You better believe I know my way around a grill, but my skills are so good, that sometimes my party guests eat a little too much,” says Cannon. “That’s why I keep Pepto on-hand at the house. I know it’s got my guests covered, just like it has the contestants covered at Coney Island.”
As barbecue connoisseur, Cannon shares some of his best advice to help make sure your next summer party is a success:
- Organization is the name of the game: Estimate the number of guests coming so you know how much food to buy and prepare. Once you are ready to start cooking, bring everything you’ll need right out to the grill area, including utensils, serving plates, spices and sauces, so you can keep chatting with your guests outside and won’t have to keep running back and forth to the kitchen.
- Give it a rest: Larger cuts of meat (like steaks) benefit from resting once off the heat, and before they are sliced up and served. Allow meat to rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting to help the meat retain its juices and flavor.
- Put a lid on it: Get to know the best way to cook up your favorite foods. Traditional grilling foods – small steaks, burgers, chicken, fish – do best over direct heat (fire directly under the food), while thicker meats like roasts, brisket or pork shoulder benefit most from indirect heat (fire off to the side). No matter which way you’re cooking, it’s always best to keep the grill lid down – and don’t peek too much! Heat escapes every time you open the lid.
- Get creative: Beyond the traditional hot dogs and hamburger favorites, try skewering innovative items like shrimp or pickles. Fruit, like mango and peach, can also be great grilled. Virtually anything in your fridge will taste better with some classic charcoal flavor.
- Relish the friends, food and fun: Try to prepare appetizers, sides and desserts ahead of time so you can enjoy your guests’ company and the awesome food you’ve offered. Be sure to keep some Pepto on hand in case you enjoy it a little too much! This way, you can keep the party going all night.
Summertime is a season to celebrate all that the good weather can offer. If you want to join in on all the summer fun that Pepto has planned with Nick and others, like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/peptobismol.