How disappointing is it to take a bite out of a freshly grilled burger and taste not meat, but soot and lighter fluid. How sad to bite into overcooked patties after sweating over a hot grill. Don’t worry! We can help. Before you start lighting those coals for the first cookout of the season, make sure you brush up on a few common grilling mistakes to avoid, so that your first grill-out is a successful one.
Even if you are a confident cook in the confines of your kitchen, stepping outside to cook on the open flame of your grill can be frustrating. There are so many factors to consider; marinades, seasoning, and controlling the temperature are among the most important and frustrating aspects of grilling.
Yet when you bite into that perfectly cooked steak, enjoy tender caramelized ribs, or enjoy smoky fall-apart pork butt, all the hassle of cooking on the grill fades into a distant memory. On the other hand, charcoal remnants of what were once freshly chopped vegetables, over-sauced, dried-out chicken, and charred steaks are cookout disasters we would all like to banish.
Luckily, most grilling mistakes are easily avoidable with a minor tweak here and there. For instance, if you don’t like the chemical taste on your otherwise perfectly cooked steak, ditch the lighter fluid for a chimney starter. If you are tired of burnt vegetables, change the way you arrange your coals in the grill.
For more expert grilling tips, like the best way to start your coals and how to check for doneness, read on for our simple solutions to 19 grilling mistakes you can easily avoid this grilling season.
Additional reporting by Angela Carlos