You might think you know everything about grilling, but you could be wrong. It’s not your fault though, bad grilling advice is passed on from generation to generation, so Steven Raichlen, author of “The Barbecue! Bible,” debunked 10 of what he thinks are the biggest grilling myths. You should wait until meat reaches it recommended temp before taking it off the grill. Ratlin calls this the “carry-over factor.” “Meats will continue to cook-between 5-7 degrees- after they come off the fire, so take them off before.”
Cutting into a steak to check how well it’s cooked is bad. “A steak is not a water balloon, meaning it won’t deflate if you cut into it.”
If you can, cook everything on the grill at once. “I always try to leave at least 30% of the grill grate food-free so you have room to maneuver if you have flare-ups.”
You shouldn’t flip a steak more than once. “The important thing is to achieve a dark, crisp char on both sides. If you can do that with one turn, great, but if you need to turn the steak repeatedly, that’s fine too.”
It’s impossible to know how long your charcoal will be hot enough to cook on. “Figure on one chimney’s worth of lump charcoal for a 22.5 in kettle grill for a 30-45 minute session, or 45 minutes to an hour for briquettes.”
Charcoal is the best fuel “The best fuel for grilling is wood. Period. The next best is charcoal because it burns hotter and drier than gas, but you can do a fine job on a gas grill provided you preheat it screaming hot.”
You should always sear meat on high heat to lock in the juices. “That’s how I always cook tender cuts like steak. You don’t need to do this with low, slow-smoking large cuts like brisket and pork. Those will cook for 6-12 hours.”
Thicker cuts of meat require higher heat. Raichlen considers this to be one of the most misunderstood things about grilling. You should reserve a hotter fire for smaller, thinner cuts like steaks, chops and burgers and a more moderate one for large cuts like tenderloin.
All meats should rest for the same amount of time once off the grill. Ratlin says you should follow this key: 2-3 minutes for a steak, 10 minutes for a loin or tenderloin, and 1-2 hours for brisket or pork shoulder.
Marinating rules are pretty much the same for every meat. “It depends on the meat’s size and the marinade. A thin, half-inch steak needs 1-2 hours. A roast might go overnight. And a sharply acidic or fiery marinade works faster than a mild herb one.”