The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer – summer is finally here! At the latest, when it gets a little warmer outside in spring, it’s time to get our grill out of the basement and ring in the barbecue season. As soon as the weekend comes, the shopping cart is packed with all kinds of meat, sausages and vegetables and we are already looking forward to the next barbecue party with friends and family. But grilling is both a science and an art, and even experienced grill masters can get things wrong. If you’re also planning to step up to the grill and treat your guests to some delicious food, then you’ve come to the right place. To make your next barbecue a successful feast for the palate, we explain below the most common barbecue mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Table of contents
- Mistakes when grilling: Not cleaning the grill
- Lighting the grill with methylated spirits
- Putting cold meat on the grill
- Grilling too many and different things at once
- Deglazing the grill with beer
- Not preheating the grill as a common grilling mistake
- Opening the lid too often
- Mistakes you make when grilling: Not paying attention to hygiene
Error when grilling: Not cleaning the grill
You forgot to clean the grill grate after the last barbecue or just didn’t feel like it? When you prepare dinner in your kitchen, you clean the pots and pans afterwards, right? At least we hope so. The same logically applies to the grill. Reusing the dirty grill is undoubtedly one of the most common grilling mistakes that each of us has made at least once. After all, the chicken from last time has lost nothing on the fish, which you want to grill today. A dirty grill grate not only makes for a bad taste, but it can also develop unhealthy carcinogens or attract pests.
It’s best to clean the grill grate right after grilling and while it’s still hot – that way the dirt comes off much faster and easier. To extend the life of your grill and for ultimate grilling enjoyment, proper care is key. It is very important that you use the right tools for this. And this is what you need to clean your grill :
- Grill brushes in different sizes
- Scraping tool to remove residual grease
- Two-sided scouring sponge for stubborn stains
- Special cleaning sprays
- Microfiber cloths for wiping
Lighting the grill with methylated spirits
As early as the lighting stage comes one of the biggest grilling mistakes you can make – at least with charcoal grills. In order to quickly bring the charcoal to the desired temperature, many amateur grillers resort to lamp oil, spirit or gasoline for lighting. Yet these substances impart an unappetizing, chemical taste to our food and are dangerous to us and our guests. If you spray methylated spirits directly over the coals, the vapor can ignite and in some cases even cause severe burns. Meanwhile, there are many harmless alternatives on the market that you can use to light your charcoal grill. Even if it takes a little longer, it is best to use lighting aids, such as lighting cubes, and combine them with a lighting chimney.
Put cold meat on the grill
We know that you can’t wait to relax with your friends and want to prepare the grilled food as quickly as possible. But putting cold meat directly on the hot grill is also a popular grilling mistake that people often make. When you do this, the meat cools off the grill grate, the cooking process takes much longer and it will most likely stick. To avoid this and to make sure the grilled food is nice and tender, get the steaks out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before grilling. In addition, we would recommend that you let the steaks rest for a few minutes after grilling and wait a bit before eating them.
Grilling too many and different things at once
Putting chicken breasts, sausages and vegetables on the grill at the same time – how many times have you made this mistake when grilling? However, most foods have different cooking times and this kind of thing goes down the drain quite quickly in most cases. While the chicken is still raw, the vegetables are already completely charred and the steak is dry and inedible. So take enough time and find out how long the corresponding grilled food needs to cook.
Extinguish the grill food with beer
To extinguish the flames, liquids, such as beer, are often poured over the meat. But beer is only for drinking and should not be wasted. Not only does this significantly reduce the heat from the coals – the liquid swirls up small particles of ash, which are then deposited on the meat. This, in turn, is bad for our health and it doesn’t improve the taste either. So avoid this mistake when grilling and instead reach for a homemade barbecue marinade .
Not preheating the grill as a common mistake when grilling.
You always preheat the oven before you bake something, right? But do you take the time to preheat the grill? Putting the meat on the grill too early is also a common grilling mistake that people make more often. But patience is rewarded in the process. For ultimate enjoyment and to ensure that the grilled food is nice and juicy, you should first bring the grill to the right temperature. In addition, when the grill is cold, the meat sticks to the grate, which in turn makes it much more difficult to clean afterwards.
Opening the lid too often
We know – it’s very tempting to lift the grill lid and see how juicy the steaks turn out. But every time you open the lid, the temperature is lowered and that, in turn, prolongs the cooking process. The more heat that escapes, the drier and more inedible the grilled food becomes. To allow the flavors to develop optimally and to keep the temperature constant, always keep the lid closed.
Mistakes when grilling: You do not pay attention to hygiene
Food safety and hygiene are always important when cooking, but we often throw them overboard when grilling. So that the barbecue does not end with a spoiled stomach, you should also follow some hygiene rules in the process. One of the worst grilling mistakes you can make is to use the same cutlery for raw and finished meat. Some of the bacteria on the meat are killed during grilling, but viruses and germs from the raw meat can still get to the finished grilled food. To avoid what’s called cross-contamination and for your own safety, use different plates, knives and cutting boards for the different foods. This also applies to the marinade – it is best to divide it in half and use one half for marinating the meat and the other for serving.