9 Mistakes You Should Never Make While Grilling - Backyard Boss
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9 Mistakes You Should Never Make While Grilling

To consider yourself a professional when it comes to grilling, you have to make countless mistakes and learn from them. Sometimes, it can take up to several years, and not many people have that much time to master the art of grilling.

That’s why it’s better to learn from the mistakes of others to speed up this process. So if you don’t want to sacrifice ages to learn from trial and error, discover the most common mistakes you should never make while grilling!

Before we start, check our 5 tips for amateur BBQers who want to improve!

1. Don’t use a dirty BBQ!

Dirty rusted barbecue grill detail.
Image credits: ArchonCodex via Canva

Grilling on a dirty grill is probably the worst thing you can do. It will not only make your food taste horrible, but also affect your health! It’s crucial to learn how to keep your grill grates clean before putting any food on them. Worst than a dirty grill grate is only a rusty grill grate, so unless you remove it, do not ever use it unless you want to poison yourself and your guests!

2. Don’t use too much lighter fluid

Paper on Fire
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Once your charcoal grill is clean, you are ready to light it. Even when everybody is hungry, do not rush! When people hurry, they tend to add plenty of lighter fluid. It is not only ineffective but can also affect the taste of your food. The best way to avoid this common mistake is to build a chimney starter by placing newspapers underneath your charcoals. Set it then on fire and wait until your charcoals turn grey. Since it takes a while, prepare it in advance before your guests arrive.

3. Do not use too much direct heat

Grilling Meat Patty
Image credits: pato patoouu via Canva

We tend to think that the bigger the fire is, the better it works on our food. Well, we couldn’t be more wrong. When you grill the food on a burning fire, you burn your meat from the outside when it is still rare inside. The best solution to this is building yourself a two-zone fire. Simply leave one half of your grill empty or with just a tiny layer of coals, and let it rest there when the heat on the other side is too high. It will give you more control over your grill.

4. Don’t open the lid every two minutes

Chef hand holding the lid closed grill
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You want to be sure your meat is ready to be flipped, and that’s why you open and close the lid over and over again, every two minutes. However, what you really do is mess things up. If you open the lid on a gas grill it loses the heat, which means that your meat has to cook longer. The opposite is the case of your charcoal grill. Opening the lid causes oxygen to get in, which makes the coals hotter and consequently burns your meat. If you don’t want any of that to happen, be patient and try not to remove the lid all the time.

5. Don’t guess if your meat is ready

Man using meat thermometer while barbecuing
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Checking if the meat is ready is not reading tea leaves. You cannot guess it. You have to know it. So why do you want to complicate things, by just touching the meat and guessing if it is prepared? Equip yourself with a proper meat thermometer, and be sure, either it is or it isn’t time to remove it from the grill. Of course, every piece of meat is different and requires a different temperature to be ready. That’s why before grilling the food, check on the internet what is the best temperature to make it ready.

6. Don’t overcrowd the grill

Person Grilling Meats
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Your grill isn’t Times Square on a New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t have to be crowded, so do not put too much food on the grill grate. We have already established that everyone is hungry, but again, it is better to wait and eat tasty food. Leave enough space to flip the meat and start with the ones that take less to be ready. You don’t want to serve steaks that can take a while to be ready as your first dish. It’s better to start with chicken or vegetables since they require less time.

7. Don’t forget to oil your grill

grilled dorado fish on a grill grate
Image credits: Roman-Ben via Canva

As long as you don’t have to oil greasy meat before grilling, you should definitely do that before putting food such as fish, vegetables, or fruit. Since they are lean, they can easily stick to the grate. In order to prevent them from sticking, gently pour some oil or olive oil on a paper towel and spread it all over the grill grate. 

8. Don’t apply the sauce too quickly

Grilled ribs with sauce
Image credits: Olesia Shadrina via Canva

The barbecue sauce is a perfect addition to your meat. We all enjoy it when it makes the food more juicy and flavored. However, when you put it on too early, it can spoil the whole flavor. That’s why it is best to apply it at the end of cooking when your meat is almost ready. Thanks to that, you will get this extra flavor without burning anything. Just make sure to flip the meat so both sides that contain sauce can get grilled.

9. Don’t eat your meat too fast

Rib-eye steak resting
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Once your meat is finally ready, let it rest for some time. If you don’t do that, you can first get burned, and second, the meat will unleash a torrent of juices that will cover your plate. However, if you control yourself and allow it to rest for a couple of minutes, its taste will be much better, and you won’t end up with a burned mouth.

To Wrap Up

Becoming a grill master can take up to a few years. To speed up this process, avoid making these most common mistakes. We are sure that with this knowledge you will quickly become a professional and everyone will love your barbecue!

Let us know which mistake you tend to make most often, and as always, please share!