1. You’re overcrowding the grill
Having a family BBQ? Thinking that you can cook a lot of meat quickly? Well, technically you can, but that grill real estate should be used to its full potential for the best results. Don’t jam a huge bunch of beef or chicken on the grill in hopes that as long as it’s on the grill it will cook. It is true that it will cook but crammed in with all other meats it can become soggy and not brown properly. Give the meat some space and some time to cook thoroughly and release the moisture and juices slowly.
2. You’re thawing your steaks
Yup. That’s right. Of course freshly butchered steak is always the best answer for the grill but if you’re pulling the steak from your freezer don’t thaw it. Cooking a frozen steak will actually make it taste significantly better. A frozen steak will hold about 9% more moisture than a thawed steak.
If you start by freezing your steaks flat the outcome when you go grill them will be much better. Try freezing your steaks overnight on a flat surface covered with parchment paper. This technique dries out the surface and ensures a great char. In them morning wrap them in plastic wrap and then place them in a ziploc bag. Doing this will ensure that no excess moisture forms such as those tiny ice crystals.
Take one extra step and brush your steak with a layer of light oil and a pinch of salt or your favourite rub before you freezing for added flavour.
When you’re ready to cook heat up the grill to full temperature so that and cook for about 10-12 minutes a side for a one inch, medium rare steak.
3. You’re not heating the grill properly
Before adding food to it, you should make sure that your grill is properly heated. It will help create that sear on meats and prevent foods from sticking to the grills.
4. You don’t let your meat rest
After grilling a nice juicy steak you may want to dig in right away, but it’s important to let it sit for a good 10 minutes before cutting into it. The juices need that time to redistribute and cutting into it before they’ve settled will leave all of their deliciousness on the cutting board. The same is true of chicken and pork chops.
There is a science behind resting the meat. In simple terms, when the meat hits the grill the juices on its surface are forced to the centre of the meat. This increases the concentration of moisture into the middle of the meat. When you flip the steak over the same thing happens on the other side.
Now the centre of the meat is completely saturated with liquid, too much for it to hold so once you cut into it all the extra juices spill out. If you rest the steaks all that liquid that was forced to the outer centre in flipping will make its way back to the out of the edges and your steak will be juicier.
5. You started with a Dirty Grill
Your grill should be cleaned thoroughly after every use. If it has not been, it should be cleaned completely before use. You want to taste today’s meal, not last night’s or last weeks. Heat the grill and use a meal brush to clean it. A clean grill means far less sticking.
As simple as it is, a clean grill makes for a better meal because over time an accumulation of foods on the grill can cause sticking and will tear off that beautiful searing on the meat you worked so hard to achieve. Clean the grill immediately after grilling then apply a light coat of oil and protect the grill until you’re ready to use it again.
6. You don’t have the right tools
You don’t need fancy gadgets but you do need proper, basic tools to get amazing grilling results. The basics?
- Long-handled tongs and heavy duty long handled spatula.
- A meat thermometer so you know when the meat is cooked and is safe to eat.
- A grill brush because your grill should always be clean.
- A basting brush.
- A grill basket for vegetables.
- Skewers and kebabs.
- A wood plank if you’re doing fish.
7. You’re using too much sauce or marinade
Too Much? Too soon? Marinades, sauces and glazes are designed to give grilled items that extra boost of flavour not to overpower the meat.
Don’t introduce them too soon into the cooking process or they can cause the meat to burn because of the sugar content in the most sauces.
Add and baste your meat with your sauce or marinade towards the end of the cooking process to reveal their full flavour enhancement to the meat itself.