The 5 grilling mistakes you keep making
To help you avoid these grilling fails during your final summer days, we've made a list of different foods and the common mistakes (and what to do instead) for each. BBQ #FTW!
Common Mistake: Not letting the meat "rest." It might be tempting to cut into that juicy, lean beef right when it is hot off the grill. But doing so will actually cool the steak down quicker and release all those good juices, leaving you with a tougher, drier steak. Instead, wrap the steak in aluminum foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes or so before slicing.
Common Mistake: Choosing the wrong type of fish. Delicate, flaky fish are a challenge to grill because they will often fall apart or flake through the grates of the grill. Instead, choose a steak-like or firmer fish, such as tuna, marlin, or even mahi-mahi to make seafood grilling a breeze. Or try skewering shellfish like shrimp or scallops for a quick-cooking option.
Common Mistake: Not using a meat thermometer. Overcooking is one of the most common causes of dried-out chicken, but of course you don't want to run the risk of undercooking chicken either. A meat thermometer with grilled chicken is the best solution. The USDA recommends that chicken breasts should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Common Mistake: Using too much oil. Of course you need to use some oil when grilling veggies since this healthy fat helps the seasonings to adhere to the veggies and also prevents them from sticking to the grill. But you don't need as much as you might think. We recommend about 1 tablespoon of oil per pound of veggies. Use more than this and you may be left with soggy veggies. Another tip: Cut veggies into evenly-sized pieces and either skewer them or cook them in a grill pan (looks like a skillet with small holes) to ensure they're grilled evenly without the risk of them falling through the grates.
Common Mistake: Not forming the patties properly. Whether you are making beef burgers, turkey burgers, or homemade veggie burgers, you probably already know that forming round, proportional patties is a must. But after flattening them, try putting a thumbprint in the center of each patty. This simple trick will keep the patties flat as they cook by preventing them from balling up and shrinking.
One last mistake to avoid—regardless of what you are cooking—is constantly flipping and moving whatever it is that you are grilling. This actually makes items more likely to stick to the grill and less likely to cook evenly. Instead, aim to flip something only once, about half-way through its cook time.
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