The Ten Most Common Grilling Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
|Photo by Molly Dunn|
|Grill beef patties on direct heat.|
7. Use One Temperature Zone
Use your grill to cook products on direct heat and indirect heat. Chef Goncalves says, "Use the very hot zone to fill all those juices inside the meat or vegetables, then move them to a lower temperature zone to make sure it cooks through. Dual temperature zones will help you manage things on the grill." You will need to keep an eye on any meat cooking over direct heat as it can burn quickly.
8. Check the Temperature with a Thermometer
Chef Goncalves says the Fielding's Wood Grill staff checks the temperature by touching the meat to determine its tenderness. "If it doesn't spring back at all, it is rare," chef Goncalves says. "When it springs back, it is medium, and when it is tough and hard, it is well done."
Chef Killen explains that checking the meat with a thermometer punctures the meat, which releases the juice, creating a not-so-tender protein. Use the fat pat between your index finger and thumb as a reference for determining doneness. There are a variety of methods to test for tenderness, but one of the best is to press the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index finger forming a circle, then poke the fat pat -- that is what a rare steak feels like. Place the thumb tip on the tip of the middle finger for a medium-rare steak, on the ring finger for a medium steak and on the pinky for a well-done steak.
Photo by Kimberly Park All of those juices in this tender beef rib will be lost if you cut into it too soon.
9. Remove Meat From Grill and Immediately Slice
Even if you followed every step up until this point, you would throw it all away by cutting into the meat once you take it off the grill. Yes, it is tempting when you have starving friends and family members insisting you serve the main attraction, but don't do it. Wait at least 10 to 12 minutes. Chef Goncalves says letting the meat rest after it cooks actually helps the fibers tenderize.
If you cut into the meat and see a puddle of liquid on the plate, then you didn't wait long enough. Like chef Killen says, "The key to a nice juicy steak, or anything you grill, is allowing it to rest."
10. Not Cleaning Your Grill
You should always clean any piece of equipment you cook with, especially your grill. Leftover ash from burning coals and residue from food is gross. But, before you begin to clean your grill, you need to make sure the fire is gone. Never clean a grill with flames present. (Yes we had to add that).