Grilling is a great cooking technique, especially during summers. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), 8 out of 10 adults in Canada and 7 out of 10 U.S adults own a grill or a smoker. It also highlights 4 reasons why grill owners like grilling, i.e., flavor (72%), lifestyle (52%), entertainment (40%), and convenience (33%). But, no, doubt grilling foods are enjoyed by millions of people across the world.
What are the grilling mistakes, and how can you avoid them? Of course, the most obvious mistake is cooking on a dirty grill grate and not preheating a grill hot enough. However, in these ways, you can avoid these mistakes. So, if you are interested in enhancing and perfecting your grilling skills, this is your post.
6 Common Grilling Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)
1. Leaving too much fat on meat
It’s not true that leaving your meat with fats will make it moist as the fat melts. Even if the fats are hot and melting, they will not penetrate the meat. Also, if you’re cooking on direct heat and flames, excess fat is likely to drip on an open flame and cause flare-ups. As a result, it has a likelihood of increasing the formation of carcinogens in foods. That puts your health at risk.
Solution: Trim thick layers or excess fats on meats (beef steaks, poultry etc.) before cooking them on a grill.
2. Cooking on a dirty grill
Did you ever cook foods on a grill and didn’t get an authentic grill taste, or the food was sticking on the grill? That could be as a result of cooking on a dirty grill. Anytime you cook on your grill, food particles build up on the cooking surface and can lead to the above issues. Additionally, many bacteria accumulate on the surface, and the cooking surface may not get hot enough as expected.
Solution: Use proper cleaning grill tools (like a grill brush) to clean the grilling cooking surface (grates, grill racks, grill plate) before it completely cools off after cooking. It will scrub off any food particles. You may then brush the same cooking surface with little vegetable oil.
3. Not heating your grill hot enough
Assuming your grill is hot to cook is a common mistake some people tend to make while grilling. So, what’s likely to happen? First, your food is likely to stick on the grill’s cooking surface. Therefore, you will hardly get dark and attractive grill marks on your food. Also, your food is likely to shred and tear as you flip it.
However, with an electric grill, you can easily monitor the temperature of your grill, thus easily attain the ideal cooking temperature for your respective foods. Most electric grills have a thermostat that helps in this function.
Here is our article on how hot an electric grill gets hot.
Solution: Suppose you’re using a typical grill; preheat it thoroughly (for about 10 minutes) before you start cooking. You should also allow electric grills to get hot enough before food hits on the grill plate. With a well-heated grill, there are low chances of foods sticking on the cooking surfaces.
4. Slicing vegetables too thin
Have you noticed some of your vegetable slices fall apart while grilling? This is because the slices were too thin. Also, grilling too thin vegetables makes them too tender, and that contributes to them falling apart. However, it doesn’t mean you should grill too thick slices: medium slices to attain a nice browning.
Solution: Cut your vegetables into ½ inch slices. Also, they should be even to enhance even cooking.
5. Not using a food thermometer
A significant number of people tend to judge their food doneness by the look of their eyes or the time they grill a particular food. Also, some determine it using the grill marks formed. However, using this kind of technique is a big mistake and sometimes may be misleading. Also, you might end up overcooking or undercooking your foods which is very risky.
Solution: The best way to determine the doneness of your foods is by using a food thermometer (it’s very affordable yet practical). Insert it into the thickest part of your food. It will show the internal temperature of your food. However, you must know the recommended internal cooking temperature of the specific food you’re cooking.
6. Serving grilled foods too soon
Serving grilled foods as soon you finish cooking will burn you (and your guests) and won’t absorb the juices that enhance the taste. For instance, when you slice your steak too early before it rests, it tends to lose all its juices on the chopping board.
Solution: Allow grilled foods to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving. It allows the juices to redistribute and thicken in the foods, thus making them tastier. It will also allow the foods to attain an excellent level of crispness.
Grilling is an enjoyable cooking method that allows you to prepare tasty foods. Practicing to fix the above grilling mistakes will take your grilling game to the next level, even if you’re a beginner.
You can always level up your grilling skills on our indoor electric grill that comes with a thermostat for better heat regulation while grilling. It’s also smokeless and versatile.
Lastly, check out our guide on the healthiest way to grill.