Here are some common mistakes that we make when trying to barbecue dinner. Pay attention and you won’t be serving up hockey pucks this weekend!
• Not Brushing the Grill: They are not self-cleaning. Bits of charred meat get stuck to them, and if you don’t remove them, they’ll attach themselves to your next rack of ribs. Old charred meat is not a pleasant flavor.
• Not Properly Heating the Grill: Those gorgeous rows of sear marks only happen when the grill grates have time to get as hot as the fire. Cover the grill for 5-10 minutes after lighting.
• Not Investing in a Digital Grill Thermometer: It’s an easy and reliable way to tell if food has reached a temperature that’s safe for consumption.
• Cooking Meat Until There’s No Pink Left Anywhere: Pink chicken is bad. Don’t eat or serve that. But any red meat might retain some pink tissue even after reaching a safe minimum temperature.
• Never Grilling Vegetables: Have you ever tried grilled asparagus or an ear of grilled corn? Zucchini is another favorite, and it develops beautiful grill marks when prepared correctly.
• Not Resting Your Steaks: This has less to do with flavor or juiciness than it has to do with food safety. During a rest time after grilling, the meat’s temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.
• Applying Barbecue Sauce Way Too Early: Barbecue sauce doesn’t really “seep into” meat. The best you can do is coat a piece of meat in barbecue sauce toward the end of the cooking process. Otherwise, the sauce will caramelize and burn. Not good.
• Not Adding Moisture to Chicken: Left on its own, chicken dries to a husk during cooking. Brine the chicken, use a marinade, or continuously baste the meat while cooking to keep it moist and delicious.
• Letting the Fire Touch Your Meat: Flare-ups natural, but you need to stand ready to react. If a flame shoots out at your burger, move the burger.