COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 vaccine available to students, employees and the public. Thousands of appointments available this week. Make an appointment now. For more information visit

During this time, please contact us at

Ready, set, grill – Audio

Ready, set, grill - Audio

Jeff Sindelar, UW-Extension meats specialist
Department of Animal Sciences
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(608) 262-0555

3:00 – Total time

0:10 – Tips for great grilling
1:02 – Charcoal or gas
1:25 – Best cuts for grilling
1:55 – Making sausage
2:51 – Lead out


Lorre Kolb: Gearing up for grilling season. We’re visiting today with Jeff Sindelar, Department of Animal Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Lorre Kolb. Jeff, it’s grilling season, the official start of it, what are some tips you can give people to ensure the best grilling experience?

Jeff Sindelar: Well gosh, it sure is grilling season. To ensure that you have a great eating experience and lots of fun, it’s always important to make sure that you think of and consider just having some good food safety practices. So it starts with making sure that you have clean utensils and clean equipment, so I always recommend the first time you’re ready to fire up the grill before doing so pull out that scrub brush, pull out some soap and give everything a good wash down. And then beyond make sure that you follow the simple, good sanitary practices of washing hands, washing utensils, controlling cross contamination, keeping things with raw with raw and keeping the things with cooked with cooked; use a good thermometer to ensure you maintain temperatures.

Lorre Kolb: So what should people use, charcoal or gas?

Jeff Sindelar: Well, when it comes to grilling, it really becomes a personal preference, both do a great job. One is more convenient than the other and that being gas; charcoal is for the more traditionalist, both do the same thing, do it differently. Gas grills are convenient, charcoal takes a little more time, but charcoal does offer a little bit of a different flavor profile.

Lorre Kolb: What are some of the better types of cuts for grilling?

Jeff Sindelar: Grilling is a form of dry cookery so if you think about the types of cuts that do well with dry cookery, you want to cook the types of cuts that don’t need long cooking so beefsteaks like ribeyes and strip loins and sirloins and pork cuts like pork chops and lamb cuts like lamb chops and poultry such as chicken breasts and turkey thighs and those are great cuts. Most any sausages do well on the grill because they have enough fat content.

Lorre Kolb: So what about the people who have decided to make their own sausages, what tips do you have for that?

Jeff Sindelar: Hmmm, fun topic, sausage artists. So this definitely brings out a time when there’s opportunity to do that. Of course you can make sausage all year round, but for those that are interested in making sausage, same types of recommendations. So food safety is important. Keep things cold, keep things clean and then just getting a little bit of know how and there’s plenty of information available, either through searching on the internet for videos or blogs. There’s tons of books that are available, lots and lots of ingredients and spices and casings and equipment and all that type of stuff. So it really just comes down to if you want to dabble in some home sausage making buy some meat, buy some ingredients, buy a book, think about food safety, have a little bit of patience, have a little bit of fun and take a crack at it.

Lorre Kolb: We’ve been visiting today with Jeff Sindelar, Department of Animal Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Lorre Kolb.