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5 Common Grilling Mistakes to Avoid

Just before you get all judgmental and think I am a bad chef, let me make it clear that my barbeque is unbeaten around here! The only reason I am writing this post is because I realized that after long winters or extensive abstinence from grilling, the skill appears to get rusty. Therefore, let us agree that grilling mistakes are somehow inevitable, but we can reduce them. Here are the top 5 grilling mistakes that chefs, both experienced and inexperienced, make:

1) Overcooking

Any person that has ever grilled meat knows that this is the biggest challenge in the art. You see, without an oven, we can rarely control the heat level. Therefore, sometimes, we end up with food that is overcooked and dry. I, however, have learnt that this can be avoided by using instant-read thermometers to check the doneness of the food. If you are grilling fish, grill every half-inch of it for 5 minutes. Overcooking can also drastically increase the amount of carcinogens as well (don’t want those!)

2) Wrong method

This is a common error that inexperienced cooks make. They assume that grilling is just that and any type of food is grilled in the same way. They forget (or don’t know) that food can either be grilled with direct heat or with indirect heat. Sense has it that if you direct-grill food that should not be, you end with a taste that has never been!

3) Lack of adequate preparation

One of the grilling lessons that I learned the hard way was through a steak grilling mistake. When a relative invited me over to help with preparing some juicy beef steak for her guests, I was too excited that I forgot to prepare everything in advance. The journey was smooth until it was time to throw in the mixed, chopped and peeled ingredients: I had none.
So, I had to rush job. I prepared the ingredients as the beef conducted some self-grilling. When I finished, to say the least, I had nothing but halfway-burnt beef to sprinkle my ingredients on. I never like remembering what followed that. Lesson: Prepare everything in advance!

4) The vegetables

There are worse grilling mistakes like your veggies falling through the grates into the fire. So, ignore mine. In fact, this is one of the most common challenges that come with newbie grilling. The vegetables, important as they are in flavoring the food, have a habit of falling into the fire. You can prevent this by creating veggie packets using aluminum foil, or using veggie baskets to grill them.

5) Over-marinating meat

Last on the list is the common grilling mistake of over-marinating the meat. Marinating is very crucial in that it adds flavor to the vegetables and meat. Be careful, however, because if you overdo it, the meat becomes tough. Check factors such as the size and type of the meat to help you with the marinating process. You are bound to enjoy your feasting better if you can avoid these embarrassing grilling mistakes. The last thing you want is being grilled on questions such as, “what turned our beef to coal or stone?”

Bon appetit!

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