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9 Mistakes You Could Be Making With Your Outdoor Grill

The months – and especially the weekends – between Memorial Day and Labor Day are outdoor grilling season in the Capital Region. 

On patios and balconies and lawns, in driveways, at parks and on the beach, we’re firing up our barbecues. Here are 9 common mistakes that we make when trying to barbecue our dinner.  Pay attention and you won’t be serving up hockey pucks this weekend!

Not Brushing the Grill: 

They are not self-cleaning. Bits of charred meat get stuck to them, and if you don’t remove them, they’ll attach themselves to your next rack of ribs. Ancient charred meat is not a pleasant flavor.

Not Properly Heating the Grill: 

Those gorgeous rows of sear marks only happen when the grill grates have time to get as hot as the fire. Cover the grill for 5-10 minutes after lighting. 

Not Investing in a Digital Grill Thermometer: 

It’s an easy and reliable way to tell if food has reached a temperature that’s safe for consumption. 

Cooking Meat Until There’s No Pink Left Anywhere:

Pink chicken is bad. Don’t eat or serve that. But any red meat might retain some pink tissue even after reaching a safe minimum temperature. 

Never Grilling Vegetables:

Have you ever tried grilled asparagus or an ear of grilled corn? Zucchini is another favorite, and it develops beautiful grill marks when prepared correctly. 

Not Resting Your Steaks:  

This has less to do with flavor or juiciness than it has to do with food safety. During a rest time after grilling, the meat’s temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs. 

Applying Barbecue Sauce Way Too Early: 

Barbecue sauce doesn’t really “seep into” meat. The best you can do is coat a piece of meat in barbecue sauce toward the end of the cooking process. Otherwise, the sauce will caramelize and burn. Not good.

Not Adding Moisture to Chicken: 

Left on its own, chicken dries to a husk during cooking. Brine the chicken, use a marinade, or continuously baste the meat while cooking to keep it moist and delicious. 

Letting the Fire Touch Your Meat: 

Flare-ups natural, but you need to stand ready to react. If a flame shoots out at your burger, move the burger. 

Follow these handy tips and keep your spouse from getting all up in your grill!