With summer fast approaching, visions of having a beautiful backyard barbecue are on everyone’s mind.
While a gas grill is a practical option for many, nothing beats the idea of firing up the traditional charcoal grill. You can already taste your burgers, sausages, and other delicious foods because you have infused them with that magical smoky taste.
However, before you start, it is a good idea to review some common mistakes others have made. This practice will help you get the most out of your summer grilling experience.
1. Always Clean The Grill Before Cooking
We know that cleaning grill gates is not much fun, but this will ensure that your grill will be safe to use. You’ll also get a better taste free from the residue that may have been left behind from your last barbecue.
Since cleaning is not that easy, try this tip.
Preheat the grill, and then while it is still hot, scrub away any charred debris with a stiff wire brush. You’ll get more defined grill marks, and your food will be less likely to get stuck to the grates while cooking.
2. Keeping The Coals Too Hot
Contrary to popular belief, a hot grill will not give you the best results. It can produce the opposite of what you want.
Your meat will cook too quickly on the outside, and the only way to cool them down would be to take them entirely off the grill.
Instead, divide the coal in your grill into two heat zones. One area can be used for a higher temperature, while you could keep the other at a lower temperature for foods that do not need to cook as fast or need to slow down the cooking process without stopping it altogether.
3. Oiling The Grill
Oil does not belong on the grill. If you need oil at all, it should go on the food.
Oiling the grates will not only create a fire hazard, but as soon as your food touches the grill, it will work like glue, sticking to the grates, and making it hard to flip or get off when done.
If you oil your food instead, it will lock in more juices, help with the caramelization process, and keep it from sticking.
4. Not Waiting For The Grill To Get Hot Enough
For the best results, always wait until both the coals and the grill are at the optimum temperature.
Placing your food on a grill that is not hot enough will cause the meat to stick and can give the food an off-taste from residue from coals that have not burned off yet.
To make sure the grill is hot enough, after getting the fire started, cover it and wait for at least 15 minutes. The briquettes will look gray and ashy when they are ready.
5. Adding Cold Meat To The Grill
Many worry about leaving meat at room temperature too long. Hence, the tendency is to take the meat straight from the refrigerator and place it right on the grill.
In addition to taking longer for the meat to start cooking, it will also start sticking to the grill, making it difficult to get a good sear. It is best to remove the meat from the fridge and set it aside for about thirty minutes or more before placing it on the fire.
Keep in mind that larger cuts may need as much as an hour at room temperature before cooking.
So, the next time the winter cold starts to fade away, making room for the warmer spring and summer days, don't hesitate to answer the barbecue's call.
When you understand how these common mistakes can hurt your barbecue experience, you'll know what to do to avoid them.