We all make grilling and barbecue cooking mistakes. Sometimes we don’t even know what they are until we realize that the barbecued and grilled food you cook is not as good as you’ve had elsewhere. Make a mental note of these outdoor cooking tips and get in the outdoor cooking game.
Your average backyard cook is no expert in the barbecue or grilling field. He has no television shows on the Food Network. He has no grilling cookbooks out. Nor has any of those been part of his lifetime goal.
No, your average outdoor cooking enthusiast makes more mistakes with BBQ grilling than you could ever imagine. The meat ends up dry and tough time after time, despite marinating for hours. Or the meat is burnt or cooked too long.
These mistakes are made time and time again because your average backyard cook usually does not know any different. He does not automatically know How to Barbecue.
Here are some of the more common mistakes and dos and don’ts made in BBQ grill cooking:
1) If you started with frozen meat, make sure the meat is thawed completely. Trying to cook the inside of a still-frozen piece of meat is next to impossible without burning the outside.
2) When using a charcoal grill, try to start the fire without charcoal lighter fluid. The lighter fluid taste will always get into your meat no matter how much you cook the coals down first. A chimney starter makes starting the fire a breeze. It also allows you to add charcoal along the way should the coals burn out along the way.
3) Never poke the BBQ meat with a fork after cooking has begun. This is one of the most common mistakes and one of the most deadly for your barbecue. When poking with a fork, the juices will run out of the meat and right into the bottom of the barbecue pit or grill. Your meat will be dry and less tender. Use a long set of tongs to turn the meat.
4) Lower the heat. Except for grilled steaks, which need a quick searing, cook slowly over low to medium heat. Lower heat is much more manageable, and it will make the meat tender and juicy.
5) Quit lifting the lid to check the meat. Every time you do that it changes the temperature inside the BBQ grill or pit. Air from you opening the lid acts like a sponge and dries the meat up. Opening the lid also increases your chances of flare-ups.
6) This is more of a food safety mistake. Do not put the cooked meat back on the same plate or platter that the raw meat was on without washing it first. Mixing the cooked with the raw just begs for someone to get sick.
7) After removing the meat from the BBQ grill or pit, let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. Cutting into or slicing the meat immediately after pulling it from the cooker will cause all the juices to flow out of the meat and onto the platter.
Of course, these are not all the mistakes made by the amateur outdoor cook but are some of the more common. But if you will prevent doing these yourself, you will eliminate many of the things that cause barbecue failures.
Your guests and family will wonder how come your grilled or barbecued food is so much better than it used to be. And, who knows?… Maybe the Food Network will come looking for you.