The Ten Most Common Grilling Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Don't let that grill get too hot, otherwise you'll lose your eyebrows when you open the lid.
Don't let that grill get too hot, otherwise you'll lose your eyebrows when you open the lid.
Photo by Molly Dunn

"Do I still have eyebrows?" my fiancé said to me a couple of weeks ago after he was standing too close to my parents' outdoor grill.

You see, we turned the grill on, started talking and forgot to turn the heat down. Once we opened the grill, a blast of 650-degree heat came shooting out, burning (or singeing) anything it touched. In this case, it was my fiance's eyelashes and eyebrows. They were both scorched.

As funny as it was (sorry, Randall), it was also dangerous. That's the last time my family will forget to turn down the heat on the grill before taking off the lid, or at least won't neglect the rapidly rising temperature.

Because we don't want you, dear readers, to scorch your face or torch a piece of meat, we spoke with two chefs who know a thing or two about grilling, chef Ronnie Killen of Killen's Steakhouse and Killen's BBQ, and chef Edelberto Goncalves of Fielding's Wood Grill, to find out what the most common grilling mistakes are and how to prevent them.

Let your meat come to room temperature before you start grilling.
Let your meat come to room temperature before you start grilling.
Photo by Molly Dunn

1. Using a Poor Product

The first comment from each chef was to go for quality. Whether you're grilling a steak, chicken or even vegetables, you need to use good ingredients. As chef Goncalves says, "If you want to get good results, you need to get a good product first."

2. Place Meat on Grill Directly from Refrigerator

How many times has this happened? You're in a rush to cook dinner, so you take it out of the refrigerator then plop it on the grill. Big no-no. Just as you should let your butter and eggs come to room temperature before baking a cake or cookies, you should let your meat come to room temperature before placing it on the grill. This story continues on the next page.


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