Grilling often gets a bad reputation as a very simplistic way to cook food, but there’s actually quite a lot to keep in mind. Just because the grill is outside doesn’t mean it’s any less of an important tool than the things you keep in your kitchen. This also means you could make some mistakes using it if you lack a bit of proficiency with the cooking methods that the grill gives you. Watch out for some of these newbie grilling mistakes that can ruin your food.
Opening the Hood Too Much
Many people who utilize their grills love to open the hood over and over again to make sure the food cooks properly without even realizing what they’re doing. The truth is that opening up your hood constantly lets out a ton of the heat that your grill builds up. This can lead to longer cooking times and much less appetizing food. This is especially important to remember for longer grill items, like if you wanted to smoke pork ribs. The grill needs to stay hot to cook them correctly.
Not Cleaning the Grill Thoroughly
Most people will remember to scrub their grills clean after each use, but not being thorough about it can ruin your next attempt. Food juices, as well as fat and oil, can harden onto the grill grates once they cool down. Then, when you turn the heat on next time, all that fat, oil, and juice reheats and eventually burns. This can impart an unpleasant charred flavor onto anything you cook next on your grill.
Failing To Preheat the Grill
A very common grilling mistake that can ruin your food is not allowing your grill to preheat before you use it. Grills need time to warm up, especially on colder days. If you have a specific cook time in mind for something you want to put on it, you need to let it get hot before you put the food on. You’ll waste valuable cooking time if you put food on cold grill grates.
Only Using Direct Heat
Putting food directly over the fire has its time and place, but you shouldn’t do it all the time. Direct heat is great for charring and getting those alluring grill marks on your food, but it isn’t great for evenly cooking your food all the way through. You need to use a mixture of direct and indirect heat to get that delicious bark on the outside, but still have it be cooked through and juicy on the inside.
Adding Sauce Too Early
If you plan on putting sauce on your food while it’s on the grill, wait until the end of its cook time to do so. Sugars and fats in your sauce can often cook much faster than the food you put it on. What you’ll end up with is a burnt and unappetizing dish no one will want to eat.