12 Grilling Mistakes To Avoid

12 Grilling Mistakes To Avoid

MISTAKE #7: YOU THINK THAT AWESOME LOOKING FLAMES MAKE FOR AWESOME TASTING MEAT

The Thinking: The difference between cooking indoors and cooking outside is that live fire right? So it must be good to let your burgers and steaks get engulfed in flames.

The Reality: Flames engulfing your meat end up leaving sooty, nasty-tasting deposits on the surface of your food. Small flames and minor flare-ups are ok, but you definitely don’t want that fire licking your steak before you do.

The Fix: Fire requires three things to burn: fuel, energy, and oxygen. Flare-ups are generally caused by fat dripping out of your meat and igniting on the coals or the grill bars below—adding fuel. Trimming off excess fat can help mitigate some of the issues, but the fact is that with a well-marbled steak or a nice juicy burger, you want that fat to be there from the start. The easiest way to control a flare-up if you aren’t cooking too many things at once is to simply move the meat off of the hot side and onto the cool side of the grill until the flare-up subsides before carefully returning it.

But what if your grill is too full to effectively shift things around? This scenario leaves you with two options: reduce the energy in the system or cut off oxygen supply. Squirting water from a spray bottle at little flare ups will do a good job of reducing energy—that energy that was going to feeding the flare-up instead goes into evaporating the water. But it’s also a good way to spray up excess soot or worse, to spread around the fat, exacerbating the flare-up problem down the line.

Better is to simply do what you should be doing anyway: close that lid and cut off the oxygen supply. A few moments with the lid and vents closed should choke off any flame.

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