Common Grill Myths Debunked
The proof is in the
pudding pork chop
Have you ever experienced a backseat-barbecuer? You know who I mean, the one who always mentions you’re doing this wrong, or there’s a better way to do that. Well, the next time they offer up some bad advice while you’re tending the grill, you can share these facts! We’ve taken some of the most common pieces of grilling advice and found which ones just don’t hold up anymore.
Myth #1: Sear to Lock in Juices
This is a tip that everyone has heard, that searing the meat locks in juices, and makes the meat more tender. This is false. You absolutely should be searing your meat, but not for the reason you’ve been led to believe. Searing doesn’t lock in juices, but it does add an incredible amount of flavor to your meat. This is due to something called the Maillard Reaction, which gives you that beautiful brown crust as the sugars caramelize with the heat. You will want to get that quick sear over high heat, then finish cooking your meat at a lower temperature or with indirect heat. This will give you that tasty crust on the outside, and juicy tender meat on the inside. Cooking your meat over high heat for a long time will just leave you with a dried-out dinner.
Myth #2: Oiling the Grill
Cooking on the grill is not the same as cooking on your stovetop; you don’t need to oil the grates like you would a frying pan. Avoid brushing the grates with oil, or even worse using a cooking oil spray. This can cause flare ups, or even a full-blown fire as the oils drip down into the flames. Instead, rub the cooking oil into the food itself. This works twofold, as it helps any seasoning stick to the food, and it prevents it from sticking to the grill.
Myth #3: The Juice from your Meat is Blood
You know that pink juice left in the bottom of the tray your meat came in? Another common myth is that pink juice running out of your meat is blood. This is not true, that liquid is actually water mixed with a protein called myoglobin. This is what gives the meat its red color. It's not blood and is completely safe – just be sure to cook your meat to the appropriate internal temperature.
Myth #4: Holding Your Hand Over for a Temperature Check
Yes, you can hold your hand over the grill and tell that it’s hot, but you’re not likely able to determine the actual temperature this way. The hand-hovering method is just not going to get you an accurate temperature. Just use a thermometer and save everyone the grief.
Myth #5: Looking Ain’t Cooking
People will constantly tell you to keep the lid down, which isn't necessarily bad advice. But as previously mentioned, the grill doesn’t work the same as your indoor range or oven. You will lose a bit of heat, but any food directly over the flame will continue to cook. Then you just flip it over and it continues to cook. For a smaller cut of meat like a hotdog or thin burger, you likely want to be keeping an eye on those as they can burn quickly. The times you want to keep that lid down is when you’re smoking or finishing a dish with indirect heat. In those situations, opening the lid repeatedly may end up hurting your dish. However there's no need to panic when lifting the lid to flip or rotate, baste, and temperature check. That short amount of time won't ruin your dish or add a ton of cooking time.
Myth #6: Testing a Steak’s Doneness by Poking It
Many people swear by the method of touching their finger and thumb and comparing the pad of their hand to the tenderness of their steak. Supposedly this will indicate whether your steak is rare, medium, well-done and so on. You know what method will accurately tell you your steak is done, every single time, without fail? A meat thermometer. Poking your steak with your finger does not tell you the internal temperature of the meat, a thermometer does. Whether you use an instant-read thermometer or a programmable one, you’ll get a perfectly cooked steak every single time. Bonus: your fingers stay clean as well.
What do you think, will these debunked myths change the way you grill? If you need to pick up some replacement parts for your grill or BBQ, we have you covered! Just search with your model number to find genuine OEM replacement parts. Be sure to follow along with our YouTube channel for more fun DIY videos.