With warmer weather on its way, it’s time to start venturing outside to cook your Saturday evening meals. Nothing is more satisfying than ending a great day with a little home cooked barbecue. However, your day could be ruined when you go to pull off that delicious smelling meat and realize it wasn’t cooked to perfection. To avoid ruining the meal that you’ve been looking forward to all week, we’ve compiled a list of mistakes that many barbecue grillers make when trying to perfect their meat.
1. Keep the Lid Closed
A very common mistake for eager cooks is that they open their grill cover too often to check on their meat. Every time your open your grill, you are letting out the heat buildup and your grill will have to work harder to restore its previous temperature. Each time you take a look at your product, you are adding cooking time to your meal. You may also sacrifice the juiciness of the meat and make it tougher than it would have originally been.
2. Don’t Drizzle Too Early
Many barbecue lovers enjoy when sauces are added to their smoked meat. However, adding a sauce too soon can ruin the meat you worked so hard on cooking. Refrain from adding sauce to your meat until there is about 10 minutes of grilling time left. If you overcook the sauce, you may end up with a burnt taste rather than the saucy flavor you were looking for. You may also end up completely masking the flavor of the meat you worked so hard on.
3. Be Patient when Cutting the Meat
No matter how starving you are, you will regret cutting into the meat too soon after it has come off the grill. Letting the meat sit for a little bit after coming off the heat is just as important as the rest of the cooking process. This will allow the juices to properly distribute, giving you the perfect taste in every bite when you finally can cut into the meat.
4. Clean Your Grill!
Many people have the assumption that if they don’t clean their grill, their meat will be more flavorful because of the leftover juices from past grilling. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only does each grill session leave a multitude of germs on the grill’s surface, but the leftover residue will actually add a less than great flavor behind, rather than the desired flavor you’re looking for. To get the optimum barbecued taste, thoroughly clean your grill after every use.
5. Flip your Meat more Often
Despite the popularly held beliefs that you should only flip your meat one time while cooking, this is not the correct practice. If you want to ensure that your meat is properly “juiced” and receives just the right amount of flavor, you will want to flip it at least a few times while cooking. This keeps your meat moist and perfect for that coveted first bite.
You may not be a professional when it comes to barbecuing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make delicious barbecue on your own. With a little extra attention and care, you may just become the best barbecue griller in all the land (or at least your neighborhood). Dust off those tongs, open that freezer, and get to work!
Sammy Jo is a writer for Lutz’s BBQ, a BBQ joint in Columbia and Jefferson City, Mo, serving award-winning smoked meats and sauces.