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Chat Leftovers: That sinking feeling

Happy almost-June, everyone. You can tell summer’s on the way because this week we announce the results of our second annual Smoke Signals Barbecue Sauce Contest. I must say, it’s one of our favorite judging events; our panel got to taste some dynamite sauces this year. Whether you’re a fan of red sauce, mustard-based sauce or some other sauce, you’re bound to like one of the winning recipes.

Also this week, Joe Yonan’s Cooking for One column explores grilling for one. And we flip through a couple of new books about pressure cooker cuisine and give you four recipes to try.

Got any tips (or questions) of your own about barbecue sauce, grilling for one or cooking with a pressure cooker? Join us for today’s Free Range chat at noon. We’ll be glad to see you. Meanwhile, warm up with this question from last week’s chat:

After I prepare chicken, I always have chicken juice in the sink. What’s the best way to clean the sink so it’s good to go for washing dishes, filling the Brita, etc.?

The USDA, which generally takes a pretty conservative approach to food safety, says that if you wash out the sink thoroughly, you’ll be just fine. The exact words: “Always wash hands with soap and warm water before and after contact with raw poultry or its juices. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, the sink, and countertops with hot, soapy water.” I would add that if you use a dishcloth sponge to get that job done, you might want to replace it with a clean one.

If you’re really nervous about chicken juice, it might make you feel better to sanitize the sink by following the USDA’s guidelines for decontaminating a cutting board. Those guidelines call for cleaning the board with a fresh mixture of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of water. You probably don’t have to go that far with a nonporous surface like a sink, but if it makes you feel safer, then why not?

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