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12 Rookie Grilling Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Last updated on: February 7th, 2020

Just because you’re known for making a good barbecue doesn’t mean that you aren’t making any grilling mistakes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to operating the grill or have been doing it for a long time, there’s a good chance you’re doing at least a few things wrong. Here are some of the most common grilling mistakes.

Overcrowding the Grill

If you’ve invited a lot of friends and family members to your barbecue, then you may get tempted to overcrowd the grill in order to cook the meat quickly. Although you can get away with this, you won’t really get the best results if you choose to overcrowd it. Instead of throwing hot dogs, kabobs, burgers, and vegetables on the grill all at once, you should grill only one type of meat at a time. This is the only what to ensure that the food will be perfect.

Overcrowding the Grill

Take Carryover Cooking into Account

A lot of people forget that the meat doesn’t stop cooking as soon as you remove it from the grill. In fact, it retains the heat from the grill for at least 10 more minutes. This is known as carryover cooking, and it’s something that you should always keep in mind when you’re in front of the grill. In order to make the meat perfect, you should take it off the grill once it is 10 degrees away from its ideal temperature.

Let the Meat Rest

Since your meat will continue cooking even when you pull it off the grill, it’s recommended that you let it rest for 10 minutes before serving it. Your best option is to cover the meat with foil as soon as you take it off. During these 10 minutes, the juices will redistribute evenly, so they don’t get all over the cutting board.

Keep in mind that the juices on the surface of the meat start going to the center of the piece once you put it on the grill. This happens when you flip the meat as well. Therefore, when you’re finished cooking it, all of the juices will be right in the center of it. By immediately starting to slice it, the juices will simply spill out.

You Overcomplicate Marinades

It seems that many people put too much effort into making some complicated marinades. However, it’s best to keep things simple when you’re cooking meat. After all, the marinade should have a very clean flavor. Olive oil, wine, garlic, salt, pepper, and some fresh herbs are all of the ingredients you need to make a perfect marinade.

Apart from overcomplicating them, some people use too much marinade. Remember that the point of using a marinade is to enhance the flavor of the meat, not hide it.

Your Grill is Dirty

It doesn’t matter if you use your grill often or not, cleaning it after every use is the first step that you’ll need to take in order to ensure that your meat turns out perfect. If you don’t do this, then the taste from the previous meal you’ve prepared will stick to what you’re grilling now. This shouldn’t take you a long time, since cleaning it is as simple as heating the grill and using a meal brush. It’s also recommended that you don’t wait until you have to use it again to clean it. Instead, clean your grill once you’re done eating.

Not Using a Meat Thermometer

Making guesses when you’re grilling will never give you good results. Even people with a ton of experience know that using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that your meal turns out perfect.

Spreading the Coals Before They Become Fully Gray

If you’re using a charcoal grill, then you may experience some problems with unpredictable cook times and inconsistent heat in case you spread the coals before they become fully gray. Many people do this because they see the meat right next to the grill and get so hungry that they stop feeling like waiting. Nevertheless, it’s important to have patience. Dealing with inconsistent heat will create a lot of problems and inevitably ruin he meal you’re preparing.

In case you’re not that happy with your charcoal grill and have been thinking about getting something different, you should consider getting a gas grill, since they’re much easier to use. You can even get a spacious vertical gas smoker if you’re often preparing meat for a lot of people. As there are countless grills on the market, you’ll need to do some research before deciding on which one you should get. The best way to make an informed decision is to read some propane smokers reviews and see what suits your needs.

You’re Thawing Your Steaks

Although having a freshly butchered steak is the way to go, most people will take the meat out of the freezer before they put it on the grill. This is perfectly fine, since you’ll still be cooking a good steak if the meat is great. However, one mistake that you should never make is thawing the meat. A lot of people have no clue that a frozen steak tastes much better than a thawed one. This is due to the fact that a frozen steak contains 9 percent more moisture than one that was thawed.

Not Preheating the Grill

You should put the meat on the grill only after you’ve heated it for 15 to 25 minutes. Doing this will not only get the temperature right, but it will kill off any bacteria on the grill. Keep in mind that preheating it for 15 to 25 minutes only applies to gas grills. If you’re dealing with charcoal, you will have to wait until it turns gray.

Not Preheating the Grill

Not Using the Right Tools

Although there is no point in getting various fancy gadgets, you’ll still need to get basic tools to ensure that you get awesome grilling results. Some of the basic tools that every person should have include long-handled tongs, a grill brush, a basting brush, a wood plank for fish, a grill basket for vegetables, a meat thermometer, and a long handled spatula.

Using Too Much Direct Heat

You may think that you’ll get better results if you use a lot of direct heat, but this is not actually the case. In fact, too much direct heat will lead to burning your steak on the outside before it properly cooks on the inside. You might not even have a place to move it to if you’re entire grill is flaming hot.

In order to avoid these problems, you should simply create a two-zone fire. In case you’re using a charcoal grill, simply put the coals under one half of it and leave the other half empty. If you’re using a gas grill, you can light the burners on just one side. Creating a two-zone fire will allow you to have more control over your grilling.

You’re Constantly Lifting the Lid

It’s normal to take a few quick peeks while you’re flipping the meat, but there is no need to constantly keep lifting the lid. Doing this will only cause you to mess up the grill temperature.

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