The Most Common Grilling Mistakes To Avoid

The Most Common Grilling Mistakes To Avoid

You are the grill master today and everyone is waiting on you. Spatula ready and a beer in hand, everyone enjoyment depends entirely on you. If these people are not happy, they could easily turn all their anger on you blaming you on how bad you are at grilling. To make sure there is no drama or chaos and to ensure everyone enjoys, here are some of the most common grilling mistakes you should avoid:

22 common Grilling Mistakes

  1. Dirty grill

We start our list for the most common grilling mistakes with using a dirty grill. A grill just like anything else requires cleaning. When using a clean grill, there is less sticking. Your food won’t lose the delicious crispiness that rips off when cooking on a dirty and sticking grill. Your meat is clean and crispy with that amazing flavor. There is also less chance of your burger catching fire caused by the gunk on the grate.


  1. Not pre-heating the grill

We understand you have a hot grill and several rumbling tummies and uncooked food. However, this doesn’t give you the right to put on the food before the grill is hot enough. You can end up undercooking the inside of your food and overcooking or burning the outside.


  1. Putting too cold meat on the grill

Before you slap the steak on your grill, make sure it is at room temperature. If you don’t let it settle from freezing point to room temperature, your meat doesn’t get a chance to get settled and it seizes up all cold when placed on the hot grill.


  1. Flipping too much

Don’t be one of those guys who stand by the grill and flip the burger every now and then. Too much flipping results in a grey steak or burger. Too much flipping doesn’t give your meat time to sear and get crispy. Relax and enjoy your day as your food cooks.


  1. Too much prodding and poking

Avoid pushing your steak down on the grill using a fork. Doing this gets rid of fat and hence the flavor on the steak. The results are a flat steak with crispy cooked sides and it’s not the best.


  1. Low heat

Preheat the grate before you put your meat on the grill. This gives your steak maximum chance for a sear or crust. Just because the flames are up and running, that doesn’t mean the grill is ready to go. Wait for at least 15 minutes for a gas grill to heat up and 5 for a charcoal grill.


  1. Too much heat

This depends on the food you are cooking but it is not recommended. Too much heat causes the outside of your steak to get burnt or charred before the inside is finished. This results to uncooked meat on the inside.


  1. Having one temperature

When it comes to grilling, one size doesn’t fit all kinds of meat. Different kinds of meats require different amounts of heat. If you only have one temperature, some of your stake might take too long to cook or burn in the process. Try grilling seafood with a super-hot grill and you will learn.


  1. Quick serving

After you take the meat off the grill, don’t serve immediately. The heat continues cooking even if it’s not on the grill. It’s also so hot and no one will enjoy slicing super-hot steak let alone putting it in the mouth. Let the meat sit for five minutes to let the juices distribute in a wonderful way.


  1. Incorrect salting time

Salt your meat an hour or more in advance or right before you place it on the grill. Salt is seasoning and contains a delicious natural alchemy making the meat more delicious. Salting your meat on the grill draws out moisture from the meat ruining things for those who love juicy steak. On the other hand, you don’t want to eat unsalted meat.


  1. Adding sauce at the wrong time

Don’t ever cover proteins with sauce which contains sugar before putting it on the grill. It produces charred meat. The sugar burns and caramelizes when exposed to high temperatures. Add sauce and other glazes minutes before you finish cooking and allow it to sit for even distribution.


  1. Using lighter fluid on a charcoal grill

It might do wonders and make things very easy and fast but it’s not recommended. Lighter fluid gives your grilled food an acidic taste. Use a chimney starter instead.


  1. Wrong positioning of food

The grill might look simple but most of them have different temperatures depending on where the burner is located. Make sure you don’t move the food to the wrong temperature zone to make sure it doesn’t burn out or dry out.


  1. Not using vents

The temperature of your grill determines how fast you cook and the type of food you produce. The vents on the charcoal grill are used to control the temperature and getting out smoke and other gases out to avoid spoiling your food.


  1. Over marinating before grilling

This comes as a shock to so many people but it’s true. Don’t over marinate especially using salt. You don’t need a lot of seasoning and you definitely don’t need sugar marinades that burn on the grill. Over marinating takes the moisture and flavor out of the meat.


  1. Wrong grilling methods

You can grill either via direct heat or indirect heat. Direct heat is for food that require to be placed direct on the grates for a good char. Indirect grilling is where a heated zone is created on one side of the grill and residual heat is used to cook the food.


  1. Vegetables falling off the grill

Vegetables have a unique and complex flavor when grilled but their size is a major limitation. Some fall through the grates causing unnecessary smoke and sometimes taste on your food. Use a veggie basket or create veggie packets from aluminum foils.


  1. Overcooking meat

Among one of the most overlooked grilling mistakes. The meat might still taste so good but it lacks the flavor you get with well cooked meat. Overcooked meat can be difficult to eat and chewy taking the fun out of grilling.


  1. Opening the lid too much

We get that you are hungry but opening the lid every now and then doesn’t add anything to the meat. It takes away the heat trapped by the lid and the meat cooks slowly. Leave the lid on and be patient.


  1. Cutting meat before it cooks

It might smell so good causing your taste buds to explode awaiting the flavor but until its done, don’t take a knife near it. Cutting the meat to taste gets rid of the fat leaving the meat dry and chewy.


  1. Testing for tenderness the wrong way

Don’t use a thermometer to puncture the meat to determine the tenderness. Use the fat pat between the index finger and the thumb instead. You can also touch the meat to determine if it is cooked. If it springs right back, its medium, if it doesn’t spring, it is rare and when it is hard and tough, it’s done.


  1. Using a BBQ fork

Avoid flipping the meat using anything that can puncture the meat. Grilled meat must be flipped but poking holes isn’t necessary.


Avoid these common grilling mistakes and everyone will have you to thank for your amazing grilling skills at the end of the meal.

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