Many myths surround grilling. These false beliefs can affect the quality of your food and your equipment. Some of them may even lead to food poisoning. These myths can also be confusing for new grillers, who might not know the difference between fact and fiction. Here are some examples of common BBQ myths, and what they mean.
Common grilling myths
There are many myths surrounding grilling. You may think that it is easy to cook on the grill and that you have mastered the art. You might even have learned a few tips and tricks. However, some of the conventional wisdom isn’t always the best way to cook. According to Meathead Goldwyn, author of Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling, there are some common myths about grilling that are worth busting.
First, if you use a marinade on your meat, it won’t get browned. Using rubs and salts will help you get the desired color and flavor from your meat. You can also use dipping sauces to enhance the flavor of your meats. Ultimately, temperature control is the key to successful grilling. Remember to use an indirect zone to prevent burning or overcooking your food.
How to tell if a grill or a pit is hot
One of the best ways to gauge the temperature of a grill or pit is to hold a hand near it. If the fire is very hot, you will need to remove your hand immediately. If it’s medium-hot, you can continue to hold the hand above the fire for about eight minutes. After that, the glowing bits of red will no longer be so visible, and the coals will turn a yellow-brown color. You can also use this same method for gas grills.
Some grills and pits come with an LCD screen that displays the temperature. If you’re using a Pit Boss, the LCD will be lit up and display the temperature. If the LCD is not lit, there are two possible causes. The first is that the grill may have a blown fuse or circuit board. In the latter case, you should consider getting a professional to perform the repair.
Using a thermometer to check for doneness
One of the most important tools for grilling is a meat thermometer. Without one, you’ll be risking overcooking your steak and leaving it tough and chewy. Alternatively, you can use a touch test. Place your thumb on the meat and feel for resistance. If it doesn’t, it’s raw. If it does, the meat is medium-rare.
A meat thermometer can be bought in wired or wireless versions. The wired variety is more expensive than the wireless variety, but they work in the same way.
Flavor of smoked meat
Smoked meat is a great way to add flavor to your grilling repertoire. When you smoke your meat over an open flame, the meat absorbs the smoke’s smoky flavor. The low-heat cooking method results in a more tender piece of meat. The smoke also adds charred flavor.
The smoke from the wood fire imparts a unique flavor to your meat. You can use applewood, cherry, maple, hickory, or other types of wood chips to achieve the desired flavor. You can also use a smoker for the smoky flavor. Smoking your meat is an art form and involves patience and technique.
The longer the meat is smoked, the more smoky the result. Meat should be smoked for at least two hours. After that, the meat will continue to absorb more smoke. Add more wood to your grill if necessary, or baste it frequently to increase the amount of smoke absorbed. Be careful not to over smoke your meat, though, because too much smoke can lead to bitter flavors.
Time required to cook meat on a grill
Regardless of the type of meat you choose to cook on your grill, it’s important to understand the time required to cook it to your desired doneness. For example, a 3/4-inch ribeye will require approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Steaks and chops should be flipped halfway through cooking. Thicker cuts may require indirect heat to finish cooking.
Grilling times vary greatly for different types of meat, including steak and chicken. You should use a meat thermometer to check internal doneness. You can also purchase a cooking probe that connects to your phone. There are also grilling charts that can be a handy guide.