Whether you’re heading out on your first long road trip or you’re a seasoned camper who’s been around the fire a few times, you’re bound to make a mistake here or there. Club House® La Grille is here to help you avoid to most commonly made grilling mistakes and ensure your meal is grilled to perfection.
1. Grilling on Dirty Grate
Whether you’re cooking on a campsite grill or using your own, scrape off any gunk that’s accumulated on the grate. A dirty grate can make your food taste off and increase the chance your food will stick. Start with a cool grill, use a grill brush with metal bristles, and don’t be afraid to throw in a little elbow grease. No grill brush? A balled-up piece of aluminum foil can work in a pinch.
2. Not Getting Your Grill to the Perfect Temperature
You may be avoiding bears, but Goldilocks had it right when she picked just the right temperature. The best way to tell if your grill has hit the perfect temperature of 400-500°F (205-260°C) is to use your hand as an impromptu thermometer. Carefully hover you hand over the grill and if you can hold it for 1 second = 550°F (288°C), 2 seconds = 450°F (232°C), 4 seconds = 375°F (190°C), and 6 seconds = 325°F (162°C).
3. Not Seasoning Your Meat and Veggies
So, you’ve logged a few miles on the trail, your stomach is rumbling and you’re ready to eat. Before you throw that chicken or burger on the grill, don’t skip the spices. Always have on hand: salt grinder, black pepper grinder, garlic powder, oregano and crushed red pepper.
If you really take grilling seriously, you’ll also want a few more spices like Smouldering Smoked Applewood Seasoning and Chipotle Mango Seasoning for more flavour and variety. You can even make a simple steak marinade on-the-go with soy sauce, olive oil and Montreal Steak Spice Seasoning.
Don’t forget the condiments! After all, is it really a burger if you don’t top it with ketchup (or no sugar added ketchup) and yellow mustard? For the kids, you’ll want to bring plenty of ranch for dipping. It wouldn’t hurt to pack some French's® Fried Onion Crunchy Toppers to add a little extra crunch to burgers and sandwiches.
Hot sauce lovers can’t forget Frank’s® RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce, Buffalo Wings Sauce and Seasoning Blend to add a bit of heat while grilling on the road. These condiments and sauces will come in handy for foods outside of grilling, including sandwiches, salads, snacks and more!
4. Overcrowding Your Grill
Everyone is social distancing these days, and your grill shouldn’t be the exception. Give your pieces of meat, grilled shrimp or grilled veggies a few inches of space between each to avoid trapping the airflow and causing too much smoke. When grilling chicken wings, evenly distribute the chicken rather than placing the wings on top of each other. The needed space will ensure your grilled items are as tasty as possible.
5. Being a “Pit-Peeker” or “Pokey Poker”
All weekend you’ve avoided your brother who likes to poke you in the ribs- but remember to also avoid poking or peeking at your food too much. The more you open the grill hood, the more heat escapes and messes with the grill temperature. As for all that poking, your meat will come out tough and hard to chew. Patience is a virtue.
6. Removing Your Meat Before Its Fully Cooked
You can’t always tell by looking at your meat whether it’s fully cooked and safe to eat. To avoid running into the outhouse all night long, use a meat thermometer to achieve that perfect temperature. A cut of beef that reached 145°F (63°C) will be medium pink throughout. Hamburgers need to reach 160°F (71°C) and chicken to 165°F (74°C).
7. Cutting Your Meat Before Its Rested
Nobody likes to burn the roof of their mouth, so be sure to let your meat cool off for a few minutes after it’s off the grill. This will also help the juices in the meat distribute more evenly. A steak or boneless chicken breast should only need about five minutes of rest. Tent the meat loosely with foil to prevent it from cooling off too quickly.
8. Getting Distracted
Ring toss, beer pong, throwing the ball around- they’re all fun and games until you forget that you’re the grill master and your meal goes up in flames. You’ve done the prep, achieved the perfect grill temperature, and now it’s time to follow through and see your grilling glory to the end. Keep your eyes on the grill and only pull your phone out when the meal is done and has made it to the picnic table. Then you can relax and enjoy your delicious meal!