Barbecuing is as much a science as it is an art form. While it’s great to experiment on the fly sometimes, you should absolutely be sure to practice solid basic BBQ skills. Here are seven of the most common BBQ cooking mistakes. Avoid them, and you are sure to be the hit of your next backyard barbecue fest!
Never put meat onto the BBQ smoker or grill that is not completely thawed out. Though the meat may seem thawed on the exterior, there is a chance that it may still be frozen in the center. If this is the case, your meat will be severely undercooked in the middle.
Do not use lighter fuel or chemically treated charcoal. Doing so will impart a not so tasty flavor of chemicals to your meat. I recommend that you use natural lump charcoal heated initially with a chimney style starter.
Don’t cook your meat too fast. Barbecuing and grilling are two different things. Though you do want to grill a steak at high heat and a rapid pace to lock in flavor, your barbecue temperature should stay at medium so the process takes longer. Remember, “low and slow” is the BBQ mantra.
In with the old and out with the new – wood that is. Green wood won’t smoke in the right manner and leaves a nasty taste on your meat. Make sure that whatever wood you choose to smoke with is nice and dried out.
No peaking! Grillers – especially over flippers – are known for messing about with their meat while it’s on the grill. When you smoke meat, you need to leave it alone. Close the lid, use a barbecue smoker thermometer to monitor the interior heat – set to 250 F – and let the smoking take place without interruption.
If you must use a sauce on your meat, be sure to apply it very late in the process. Nearly all barbecue sauces or “mops” have sugar in them. Sugar burns relatively easy. Applying it last will keep the burning to a minimum and will also allow the cooked meat to bring in some of the sauces flavor as it rests.
Finally, use a clean tray or platter to bring in the meat from the grill. This will help keep those nasty little micro organisms at bay.