Ah, sweet summertime! July 4th marks one of the biggest grilling days of the year. Whether you are a grilling novice or a seasoned grill master, don’t get tripped up on rookie mistakes. Here are some of the most common grilling errors and how to avoid them when cooking this Independence Day weekend and beyond.
Oops #1: You don’t preheat the grill.
The result: Undercooked meat and food sticks to the grates
The fix: Let your grill heat up for at least 10 minutes before you start cooking. A properly heated grill keeps the insides of food moist and helps prevent food from sticking to the grates.
Oops #2: You put sauces on too early.
The result: Burnt tasting sauces
The fix: Sauces can enhance the flavor of grilled foods, but timing is important. Many sauces contain sugar which can burn easily so add them towards the end of grilling.
Oops #3: You apply pressure to meat during grilling.
The result: Tough, dry meat
The fix: Handle burgers and other meats as little as possible during grilling to maintain their juiciness. Some people tend to press down on the meat with a spatula in an effort to speed up the cooking process. This releases juices and can leave the meat tough and dry.
Oops #4: You don’t use a meat thermometer.
The result: Undercooked meat
The fix: Don’t rely on the color of meat to tell when it’s done. Invest in a simple meat thermometer to ensure you are cooking meats to a safe internal temperature.
Oops #5: You don’t let the meat rest.
The result: Loss of juices, dry meat
The fix: After grilling, cover meats with aluminum foil and let them rest for at least five minutes before digging in to allow the meat to seal in all the juices. We know you are hungry to eat that juicy burger, steak or chicken, but it will be worth the wait!
Oops #6: You don’t clean the grill after every use.
The result: Food sticks to the grates
The fix: Clean grates thoroughly with a sturdy wire brush before or after each grill session so they are free from any stuck-on food. It’s easier to remove food debris when the grill is hot, so clean it off after preheating and/or immediately after use.
Need some recipe inspiration?
What are you planning to grill this 4th of July?
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