Bad Grilling Mistakes Even Pros Make

by wizpro

One of the best things about BBQ is unpredictability. When you come out on top, your food tastes great...but first you need to avoid these common mistakes.

Rookies can make all kinds of mistakes when they grill for the first time. Their first experience may be ruined with burned food or pieces of meat and chicken that have been overcooked way too long. Sometimes outright disasters destroy a meal while leaving quality ingredients absolutely inedible. If you've ever been in this situation, it's important to know that everyone makes mistakes on occasion, and sometimes even veterans have missteps. After all, you're dealing with high temperatures and lots of different elements cooking at the same time. It's only natural to make human mistakes or neglect some important elements when you're feeling rushed. The most important thing is to pay attention to what went wrong so that you can ensure it doesn't happen again. Here are some mistakes that you should put on top of your priority list to allow your next BBQ meal to be problem free.

Not Cleaning the Barbecue - even some of the best barbecue cooks are guilty of this mistake from time to time. The fact is no one likes cleaning and it's even worse than doing the dishes. A grill can be a large piece of equipment with all kinds of nooks and crannies to cover. But if you want the best food every time, it's absolutely essential to start off with a sparkling clean barbecue. This is why you should clean your grill after each cooking session when the barbecue has had a chance to cool down. A lot of people tend to clean the grill right before they start to cook, but that gives food and grime several days or weeks to build up!

Not Preheating the Grill - if you're using a charcoal barbecue, it's important to give yourself enough time to make sure the coals are the right temperature. You can find quick lighting coals these days that flame up and produce a tremendous amount of heat right away. Make sure that you give the coals 20 minutes to die down before you start cooking otherwise you'll end up with burned food all over the place. And if you happen to be using a propane model, it's still necessary to close the lid and preheat to the right internal temperatures. This is the best way to ensure even cooking all the way through.

Being Lazy - even veterans get lazy from time to time especially when they feel overconfident about their skills. One of the ways people are lazier than ever is by using prepackaged ingredients and food that comes ready for the grill. While this saves you time and offers a certain degree of convenience, you're never going to get results as good as something you put together yourself. Processed meats from a bag are about as far away from authentic BBQ as you can get. And if you're new to all of this, don't start with these lazy methods right away because you can develop bad habits.

Flip Flopping - whether it's because of impatience or a general lack of BBQ knowledge, rookies and veterans tend to move their food around too much. You'll encounter different theories about whether or not to flip your food constantly. Some folks say that you can create a rotisserie affect by flipping your food back and forth and turning it over occasionally. Others tell you that you should leave your food alone until it's ready so that you can preserve a crispy outside and juicy inside. It's really up to you which method you prefer, but make sure to experiment to see if there's a difference on your particular equipment. Sometimes gas grills can garner different results depending on overall temperatures and design.

A Lack of Personality - if there's one key element that people tend to ignore when it comes to backyard cooking, it's personality and individual flair. Most folks are adept at gathering the basic ingredients necessary for a comprehensive meal, but is there anything special about your routine? Whether it's taking the time to design the dining area or coming up with a theme for a great party, there are lots of opportunities for you to interject your own personal flair. It's not just the food that matters, think about music, games for the kids, drinks, patio lighting, and overall decor. If you can match great food with an outstanding atmosphere, you'll definitely make an impression on your guests that will have been talking about your food for the next few days.

Don't Fiddle with Your Food!

Updated: 01/11/2012, wizpro
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