15 biggest grilling mistakes

15 Biggest Grilling Mistakes
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15 biggest grilling mistakes

A Dirty Grill

Just make sure to clean the grill after each use. It needs to be clean every time you plan to use it. Hot grates are easier to clean so try brushing the grates immediately after removing the food.

Forgetting to Prepare Ingredients

Make a checklist so you don't forget any ingredients. Ensure that all the ingredients are chopped, mixed and ready to be cooked.

Improper Tools

No need to get fancy with your cooking tools, but make sure to have a few key ones to ensure a great barbecue. Bon Appetit recommends keeping around long-handled tongs, a long-handled spatula and several kitchen towels.

Too Much Sauce Immediately

Sauces and glazes are meant to give the meat additional flavor, but if you add the sauces too soon in the cooking process, you could risk burning the food. Most glazes and sauces contain sugars, which are more likely to burn.

Not Using A Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer will help you to accurately gauge the temperature of the meat. It's fine to cut open the chicken to check its status, but the meal will ultimately look better if you haven't chopped away at the food.

Grilling Cold Food

If you're cooking frozen meats, make sure to let them thaw out. Tossing a frozen steak onto a hot grill is a sure way to burn your dinner. Men's Health suggests letting roasts, steaks, chops and even veggies rest outside the fridge for at least 15 to 20 minutes. That's how long it should take to heat up the grill anyhow.

Pressing On Burgers

To keep burgers from getting dry, do not press on them. Pressing on burgers releases all the tasty juices. Instead, let the burger sit and grill until it gets a grill mark and then flip it only one time. Men's Health recommends adding two tablespoons of ice water per pound of burger mixture to get a juicier burger or try using meat with at least 15 percent fat.

Under-Seasoning Meat

As much as you season meat on the outside, it's hard to get the flavor to reach the inside. To avoid this problem, create a "board dressing." Try mixing six tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of fresh flat-leaf parsley with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Let the meat rest on the board and flip it once. Then, when you cut the meat, the juices will combine with the board dressing and enhance the taste. Season the meat once again before serving.

Rushing The Meat

Thick cuts of meat need to rest, at least for a few minutes, before being served. The rest allows the proteins to firm and helps the meat to seal in all the delicious flavors. Ideally, the meat should cool down to an internal temperature of 120 degrees before being cut. That can take anywhere from five minutes to twenty.

Not Grilling Fatty Foods Over Flames

Placing fatty foods like pork, beef and chicken over an open flame helps to char the outside of the meat while cooking the inside.

Cooking Veggies on The Open Flame

Vegetables should be grilled near the open flame to give them a smoky flavor, but vegetables definitely do not belong on top of the flame.

Covering The Grill

When cooking with direct heat, never cover the grill. Closing the grill makes acrid smoke build up, which will end up negatively affecting the taste of the food. That applies to grilled burgers, chicken and steaks. Covering the grill with a lid is fine for indirect grilling, according to Bon Appetit.

Walking Away from the Grill

Leaving the grill completely unattended is a big no-no. First of all, this is a safety hazard and second, you could easily burn your food. Ask a friend to bring you a drink so you don't have to leave your grilling station.

Putting Cooked Meat Where Raw Meat Was

Never put cooked meat on the same plate as the raw meat because germs from the raw meat can transfer to the cooked. Put all the raw meat together on one plate and then keep a separate clean plate for the cooked meat.

Grilling Wet Food

It's smart to rinse chicken breasts before cooking them, but make sure to dry the meat off a bit before tossing it on to the grill. Food doesn't brown until it reaches about 250 degrees and water only reaches 212 degrees before evaporating, which will cause steam.


Happy grilling season! With the temperatures heating up, that grill is just begging to be used. While we may not all be grill masters, there are a few rookie mistakes that are easily avoided. Do you ever wonder how important it is to defrost the meat? Or the ideal time to clean the grill? We've got you covered. Check out the slideshow above for the 15 biggest grilling mistakes.

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