Six - most common BBQ mistakes


Find out the Six (6) most common mistakes people make when barbecuing and what you can do to avoid them?


According to exclusive consumer research some 73% of Americans own a grill. The outdoor barbecue market, is estimated at $4.93 billion, and can be segmented into charcoal, gas, and electric grills-as well as barbecue equipment accessories. This translates into an 11.6% growth from 1998 to 2008, largely due to increased home ownership and the resulting purchase of home goods.


Barbecuing as a cooking technique combines the American love of the outdoors with the love of convenience.


The outdoor barbecue market is susceptible to the vagaries of the economy, and with this financial downturn consumers are again focused on entertaining at home and dining out less.


This brings us to our topic "the Six (6) most common mistakes people make when barbecuing and what you can do to avoid them."


  1. Too much charcoal lighter fluid
  2. Not enough heat - Undercooking - Food Poisoning
  3. Flame too high - food over cooked - carcinogens
  4. Flame Ups - Grease fires
  5. Over-marinating
  6. Too much smoke


Item 1: Too much charcoal lighter fluid

Cooking with charcoal lighter fluid can be good and bad. The lighter fluid will cause the food you are cooking to taste different than with other types of grills.


However, attempting to not use lighter fluid may cause a lot of frustration due to the fact that charcoal can be difficult to light without lighter fluid.


When you are lighting the charcoal for your barbecue, be sure not to use lighter fluid to start the fire. The fluid is going to impart an awful smell and taste to your food. If you need to start a fire using lighter fluid, first cover the charcoals evenly with the fluid. Allow the fluid to soak into the surface layer of the charcoal so that the charcoals are not wet in appearance. This will protect you from immediate flame ups and charcoal fires that can spill out of the grill. If you over spray the charcoals and see puddles of the lighter fluid, allow the fluid to evaporate first before lighting the charcoals. One the charcoals are lit allow the charcoal to burn for at least 30 minutes to eliminate the fluid's odor. After that, clean and prepare then place your food on the grill.


Item 2: Not enough heat - Under cooking - Food Poisoning

When food is cooking it may be tempting to open up the lid and check on the food, but opening the lid too often will cause the food to cook even slower. This is because as you open the lid, the heat is released and the temperature will drop. So, be sure to keep the lid closed for a long time before you check on the food. It's good to set increments of time such as 10 or 15 minutes in which to check on the food. Once you open the grill you can expect as much as 5 additional minutes of heating required to bring the grill to the temperature it was before you opened it. (Click Here to See our Cooking Chart)


Item 3: Flame too high - food over cooked - carcinogens

Barbecuing in large part is about managing expectations; you will need to realize that it's going to take some time. For instance, when you grill the meat on the barbecue, it can take about an hour to be totally cooked (depending on the type of BBQ you're using) so it is best to be patient and have a lot of time to spare when you have a barbecue. Usually a barbecue can take the whole day, so if you are going to invite families and friends, be sure you pick the right day.


Too often people will get anxious thinking that by adding additional heat this will in turn achieve the results of cooking in a shorter time. Remember that the higher the heat is NOT always the better. While it is ok to quickly cook food, turning the heat up will just cause the meat to dry up and potentially burn and will not allow your expensive barbecue sauce or marinade to work its magic. Check our temperature cooking chart or find a cooking chart that you're familiar with. Once you got the temperature figured out along with the time required along with an interval for checking on your meat then you can begin.


If foods are overheated or burnt, a group of carcinogenic substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are produced. PAHs represent a very large group of compounds. Chemically, they consist of fused aromatic rings made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms.


After being ingested, PAHs can be absorbed in the intestine and distributed to other organs through blood circulation. Besides cancer-causing, PAH exposure is also associated with many adverse effects in laboratory animals, including reproductive toxicity, cardiovascular toxicity, bone marrow toxicity, immune system suppression, and liver toxicity. The safest thing to do when food is burned is to simply remove any burnt or charred portion before eating.


Item 4: Flame Ups - Grease fires

Flare-ups occur when splattered grease or fat makes contact with the heat source and sparks into a flame. To prevent flare-ups, make sure your grill is clean before you start-even old grease splatters can cause flare-ups and charring. Make sure you perform the regular maintenance check-ups recommended by your grill's manufacturer.


When cooking meats, trim off as much fat as possible before grilling. This will prevent excess fat from causing flare-ups during grilling.


To tame flare-ups on a charcoal grill, keep a spray bottle of water handy and squirt the coals as necessary. If flare-ups occur more frequently than you'd like, temporarily move the food so it's not directly over the heat.


Do not use the spray bottle to contain flare-ups when using a gas grill. Move the food over indirect heat temporarily to avoid further charring. Close the lid and reduce the heat to control the flames.


5: Over-marinating

Using marinades properly is the key for great-tasting barbecues. We've outlined some important keys to remember when marinating meats.


Acids and other tenderizers, though important in the marinating process may cause the meat to become overly soft. As such, don't leave your meat soaked for too long in marinades especially if it uses a lot of acids. A good timeframe is anywhere between 30 minutes to overnight, depending on the desired effect. Chicken, compared to pork or beef does not require lengthy soaking as it easily absorbs flavors.

Refrigerate marinated meats, seafood or poultry and leftover marinades until you're ready to barbecue as a marinade, no matter how great it may be, has a short shelf life. If the meat, seafood or poultry is not entirely soaked, be sure to turn those several times to ensure that all sides are properly coated or covered with the marinade.

Do not use aluminum pans for marinating or for storing leftover marinades. The acids on the marinade may react with the aluminum. Good examples of non-reactive containers include glass, ceramics, plastic ware and even re-sealable plastic bags.

Most importantly - NEVER REUSE YOUR MARINADE. Whatever it is that you marinated, there could be bacteria left on the marinade that can cause severe sickness. In addition, reusing marinades may also cause undesirable tastes and flavors. If you wish to use your marinade for basting while grilling, set aside a portion of the marinade before putting in the raw meat, seafood or poultry on the barbecue grill. But after that, throw away any left-over marinade.


Item 6: Too much smoke

Wood smoking is extremely popular although for some it still remains a mystery. Here's how to best deal with wood smoke. When choosing woods always go for seasoned wood. A mix of green wood and seasoned wood is acceptable, only if the amount of green doesn't exceed the seasoned. If you've been grilling for some time and know how to control the fire to make sure that the meat doesn't taste bitter then mixing woods are o.k.. If you're a beginner at wood smoking it's best to use seasoned wood only until you get the hang of your grill. Plain and simple using too much wood for too long can ruin the meat in a nice barbecue. When using unfamiliar woods it's best to test the smoker to see how things work, and to familiarize yourself with your new smoker. This as you will find is best to avoid embarrassment, should there be any mistakes or if the smoker if not functioning properly. If you follow these rules, you are going to have a fantastic time barbecuing!


Jake's, your source for 100% Southern style Real Barbecue Sauce, Dry Rub Seasonings and Marinades committed to your complete BBQ satisfaction.


This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 21 September, 2017.

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