How To Avoid The Most Common Grilling Mistakes

How to Avoid the Most Common Grilling Mistakes

Want to make better use of your BBQ? It's important to know what not to do. Don't let your skewers overcook, your burger become bland, or your steaks dry out. Here are some basic tenets to follow to avoid the most common BBQ mistakes.

Photos by Georgi Kirichkov, Ernesto Andrade, Wicker Paradise, Paul Joseph, Meal Makeover Mums, BBQ Turner by Rosle, Chris Hsia

Let Your Meat Rest For 10 Minutes After Grilling

How to Avoid the Most Common Grilling Mistakes

We know, everybody's hungry, but resist the temptation to cut into grilled animal protein right away — all of the meat's juices will flow right out, leaving you with a less-than-succulent steak. Letting your beef, pork, chicken or lamb rest for as little as 10 minutes allows the meat's juices to evenly redistribute. And the thicker the cut, the longer you're going to need to rest it. See the difference between rested and unrested meat (and learn more about the science of resting times) in this helpful Serious Eats piece.

Similarly: Do Not Cut Into Meat to Check For Donneness

How to Avoid the Most Common Grilling Mistakes

If you're not sure if your grilled chicken, steak, or pork is done, the worst thing you can do is to cut it open to find out. There are many ways to test doneness: there's the palm test, the face test, and the most foolproof, a temperature reading using a meat thermometer. I gauge steak by touch, but when I'm cooking foods like fish all the way through, I use the fork test: I carefully stick the a fork halfway into the thickest part of the flesh, pull it out, and touch the tines to my bottom lip. If it feels hot to the touch, it's done.

Another note: please don't use one of those long meat or carving forks to pick up your steak. It's fine for grilled vegetables, but puncturing your meat with two large tines will cause you to lose precious juices.

Only Skewer Foods Of A Similar Cooking Time Together

How to Avoid the Most Common Grilling Mistakes

I have never understood the logic behind the supermarket meat counters where there are kebabs on offer with mammoth-sized hunks of meat sandwiched between thin slices of zucchini or onion. The whole point of a skewer is to cook everything on it at once, and that won't be doable unless all of the items you've skewered take approximately the same length of time to cook. In addition to sizing kebabs appropriately, also make sure, if you're using wooden skewers, that you soak them in warm water for 10-20 minutes before using them to avoid burning.

Quit Pressing On Your Burgers

How to Avoid the Most Common Grilling Mistakes

If you're pressing those burger patties down onto the grill to get a good sear, you're making a huge mistake — all of the juices from the burger are going straight through the grates. Yes, smashing burgers to achieve a rich crust can be a good thing, but not on a grill.

Don't Squirt Water Onto Flare-Ups

How to Avoid the Most Common Grilling Mistakes

Barbecue flare-ups can happen. And given the fact that you're cooking over an open fire, it's honestly part of the fun. But if you have a major flare-up, resist the temptation (no matter how great) to splash or squirt water on your flames — they will just scatter ashes, creating a mess on your food, and the water can even damage the enamel coating on your grill. To avoid major flare-ups, trim excessive amounts of fat off your cuts before placing them on the grill, and make sure to leave at least 30 per cent of your grates empty so as not to crowd the grill. If you do experience one, cover the grill. It will deprive the fire of oxygen and extinguish any flames.


    Cutting the meat to test it although not ideal (the thermometer) does very little to lose moisture and juices. See below article:

    the worst thing you can do is to cut it open to find out.
    puncturing your meat with two large tines will cause you to lose precious juices.

    What? Cutting your steak open is one of the best ways to determine doneness. Meat looses it's moisture when it's too hot. The proteins will denature and release the moisture at a cellular level and it's an irreversible process. The odd cut isn't going to drain the meat of it's moisture like you are somehow popping a "meat water balloon". Similarly, searing the outside of a steak doesn't seal the moisture in either.

    Steak is the easiest thing to cook, 2-3 minutes either side and you're done

    Pressing on your burger as soon as it hits the hot plate is fine as hardly any juices will be lost at this stage.
    Cooking a steak starting with the steak at room temperature is best if you can manage it.
    Cooking a steak should be done on a hot to very hot grill.
    Chicken and fish are done with lower heat and slower.

    Last edited 08/06/15 9:10 pm

    cutting meat loses moisture - BOLLOCKS

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