Grilling is just about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on. Okay, there is golf and drinking beer, but grilling is definitely up there. However it's never much fun to encounter problems. Luckily several of the most common grilling problems are amazingly easy to fix. Here are four common problems along with their solutions from the grilling experts at Weekend Grillers.
PROBLEM: Grilled foods become too dry.
SOLUTION: The smoke from a charcoal fire adds great flavor to grilled food, but it also tends to dry it out.
The simplest fix for this is to buy thicker cuts. For the most part, thicker foods are easier to grill than thinner ones and hold their juices inside longer. Look for medium thick steaks, fish fillets or chops. It is also helpful (and tasty!) to marinate foods before cooking them over charcoal.
PROBLEM: Burgers and fish stick to the grate and come apart.
SOLUTION: Always keep your grill clean. The best way is to heat the grates then scrape them with a scraper before cooking anything. Grilling on a filthy grate clogged with burnt, stuck-on food is like frying in a dirty pan.
Next before putting any food on the grill, oil the grate. There are two very easy and effective ways to do this. If you are grilling steaks or chops, cut off a small piece of fat and, using a grill fork, run it up and down the preheated grates. If are cooking anything else or do not want to cut off the tastiest part of the steak, grab a couple of paper towels with your tongs, dip them in vegetable oil and rub the oil over the hot grate. Be sure to wait until the flames have died down if using charcoal or turn the flames down low if using gas before doing either method. Never, NEVER use non-stick cooking spray.
PROBLEM: The food burns on the outside before it finishes on the inside.
SOLUTION: Move the majority of your charcoal to one side of the grill or adjust one side of your gas grill to hot and the other to low to build a two-zone fire. You can sear your food over the hot zone (and help lock in the juices), then transfer it to the warm zone to finish cooking it on the inside without scorching.
Also at the first sign of a flame-up, quickly move the food that is directly over the flame to the cooler zone and wait for the fire to burn out. Use a mister if you must, but it will only get ash on your food. Better to let the fire die down naturally.
Lastly, never apply barbecue, barbeque sauce or any other sauce that contains sugar or honey until the very end of cooking and do it in the warm zone. If you apply it too early, the sugar will burn giving the food a nasty, scorched taste. Better yet, offer several sauces on the table and let you guests pick their favorites.
PROBLEM: It's difficult to monitor the temperature when roasting or barbecuing|barbecuing or roasting.
SOLUTION: Insert a grill thermometer into the lid vent of your grill. Rotate the lid to check the different heat zones. Do not let the stem touch the food.