7 Amateur Grilling Mistakes You Need to Stop Making This Summer
Once warmer weather hits, the grill should be everyone's best friend. If you're a grilling newbie or not completely sure if you're doing the right thing, we have you covered with tips for pulling off whatever hits your barbecue. One of the best things about your barbecue is you can cook everything you need for a hot Summer night in one spot, which makes for seriously easy cleanup. Keep reading for tips that will keep your burgers from sticking and your steaks beyond juicy.
You Didn't Clean Your Grates
You're in a rush to get food on the table, but that doesn't mean you should neglect the grill — or think the ick will burn off. The best way to start is a clean grill, which also creates a base for getting a good sear. You can also oil the grates before heating up your barbecue to help keep whatever you're grilling from sticking. Once grates are sparkling, they're ready for making this delicious grilled corn recipe that's sure to become a staple.
You Aren't Grilling at the Correct Temperature
You want to make sure you're grilling at the right temperature, which keeps whatever you're cooking from turning into a crispy mess. It's also so important to cook meats to the correct temperature, which ensures you're searing safe eats. Grill thermometer to the rescue! You can use a digital read for quicker results, or go with a traditional meat thermometer that checks meats off the heat. Always make sure to cook items to the following temperatures:
- Chicken: 165˚F
- Turkey: 165˚F
- Hot dogs: 140˚F
- Sausages: 150˚F
- Beef: 140˚F
- Burgers: 160˚F
You're Closing the Grill When Cooking Burgers
You might think that closing the grill is best with quick-cook items, but it can actually trap acrid air from flare-ups, which infuses your foods with not-so-great flavor. Next time you're making burgers, go ahead and leave the lid up. This recipe for dripping-with-juice California turkey burgers is what you need to make for your next gathering.
You Aren't Using the Right Gear
Not all things are meant to be tossed directly on grill grates. Opt for a fish basket or even tinfoil when cooking fish or other delicate items like shrimp. This also keeps them from slipping through grill grates, which turns into a burning mess. Toss sliced lemon directly on grates to use for spritzing cooked fillets or making grilled fish tacos.
You're Cutting Meats Straight From the Grill
Yes, that grilled steak looks delicious straight off the grill, but it needs proper resting. While meats are cooking, the heat firms up muscle fibers while pushing out liquid. That means if you cut that perfectly seared steak straight from the grill, all that flavor will just leak out. Instead, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. For larger cuts of meat, like a leg of lamb or beef roast, let the meat rest for up to 20 minutes.
You're Only Using Direct Heat
All you're thinking about is beautifully marked franks and brats over high heat, when in reality you're going to end up with charred nastiness. Moving meats to indirect heat solves the problem. You can always mark meats before you move them off to the side, which allows them to cook through without getting charred.
You're Getting Too Saucy
Everyone loves sticky barbecue, but if you're adding sauces too early, you could end up with a burnt outer skin. Not yummy. The best bet is to dry marinate your ribs or meats before they hit the grill by rubbing with salt, pepper, and other spices such as cumin, rosemary, and chili powder. When you're in the final stretch of grilling, slather meats with . Quickly turn meats, searing in the flavor, then serve with more sauce on the side.
What's so fun about Summer grilling is you can really cook just about anything on the barbecue. Toss on asparagus, slices of citrus, turkey tenderloins, and even sliced peaches. The high heat sears in flavor, creating so many delicious things to eat.
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Jennie-O is a recognized leader in turkey, delivering quality products to turkey-lovers like you for 70+ years. We believe your favorites — like burgers, tacos, and chili — can taste just as great made with turkey. And we're traveling from coast to coast with our tasting booth to see if America agrees.