9 Common Grilling Mistakes Playing Spoil Sport on Grill Day

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Nothing is better than a barbecue party with your friends and family, right? If you’re planning one soon make sure you avoid these common mistakes.

Having a barbecue party is one the most glorious times you spend with your friends and families, leaving behind all the stress and gathering across the nation over those hot coals and mouth-watering food. Barbecue cooking is not at all an easy deal.

You get to explore something new with every attempt, which also makes it quite tough to master this skill. It may be easy for a skilled barbecue-ist to understand how to prepare food to perfection without making the least mistakes.

Even professionals, despite years of practice, end up making mistakes. Here are a few common barbecue mistakes that you must take care to avoid:

Mistake 1: You’re always in a hurry

Barbecuing demands time. The more the patience you show the better will be the results. In an ideal case, you must plan the amount of time you will spend grilling and seasoning, a day in advance.

Stand prepared with all the ingredients chopped, peeled, mixed and ready to go before you light the barbecue. The only thing you would want to worry about is the meat on the grill and not about getting things together while your meat is going into flames!

Mistake 2: You do not Preheat the grill

Sometimes people end up spoiling their barbecue even before placing the meat on the grill. Either they are too ignorant or too impatient to preheat the grill properly.

Preheating helps you cook faster and better, making the meat tender. It is advisable to wait for at least 15-20 minutes to get the grill ready for lighting it. Once you reach the desired temperature, place a lid on the grill to retain moisture.

Mistake 3: You don’t clean your grill regularly enough

Not having a clean grill can really spoil the taste of your food. Residues left from your previous barbecue session need to be cleaned before you begin. One easy trick is to clean the grill is right after preheating.

Use a brass bristle or an aluminum foil held by a pair of tongs to scrape off the ashes. It is advisable to clean your grill before and after every use and go for a deep cleaning once or twice a year if you’re a regular user. In case you own a gas grill check out our post on cleaning a gas grill and in case you’ve got a charcoal grill to check out the video below.

Deep cleaning a Charcoal Grill


Mistake 4: You use frozen meat and veggies

The temperature of the meat is as important as the temperature of your grill. Do not use meat directly out of the refrigerator while barbecuing. Most of the recipes you might refer to assume that the meat is at room temperature.

This really affects the taste and texture of the final product. However, leaving meat outside of the fridge for hours before barbecuing must also be avoided. It not only becomes susceptible to bacteria but will also cut cook too quickly.

Mistake 5: You’re poking the meat too often

Never use a fork or any sharp object to flip the meat.  The juices are precious and once they’re gone, you can never be sure about the taste of your food.

To avoid losing juices, make sure you use a pair of tongs to carefully flip the meat. Not only poking but pressing the meat/vegetables too hard might also squeeze out juices. Ideally, an item should be flipped just once during the whole process.

Mistake 6: You’re using lighter fluid

While gasoline is usually the preferred choice of fuel and yes, who doesn’t love those lamb racks or veggies with a hint of gasoline scent on them but truth be told quick and hurried isn’t always the way and lighting your grill with patience and the right lighter fluid is going to make all the difference.

Yes, the grill sellers are going to make it seem like lighting up the grill is impossible without it but such promises are usually vague. You’re most likely to only get an instant fire and after an initial poof of smoke the flame will subside and die within minutes.

So don’t go for the so advertised quick fixes, when grilling patience is a virtue. Here’s how to get it up and running . for a long lasting and flavorsome grill. Crush a bunch of old newspapers into a mound and place it in around some coals. Set fire to the paper and don’t let the flame off, leave the lid off for constant oxygen flow. Not able to get started? Then we’d recommend you get a chimney starter.

How to use a Chimney Starter


Mistake 7: You’re opening/closing the lid unnecessarily

The lid isn’t there to make a fashion statement and there is absolutely and we cannot stress it enough, ABSOLUTELY no need to want to get the lid of every 5-10 minutes. On a gas grill, it’s more likely to result in a longer cook due to lack of heat. On a charcoal grill, you’ll make the grill hotter by letting in oxygen drying out the juices and in turn the flavor.

Be confident, trust your instincts and use a thermometer and timer if need be and only lift the lid towards the end of the cook. This will help you maintain temperature resulting in flavorsome and quick cook.

Mistake 8: You mistime the sauces

Most people tend to lose patience towards the end of their barbecue and become too eager to glaze the food with sauces. However, they sometimes end up ruining the entire cook in the bargain of ending it quickly. Most of the barbecue sauces contain high amounts of tomatoes and sugar.

Both of them cook way too early than meats and vegetables and, if added before time, they will end up black and burnt by the time your food is ready! Sauces must be added to boost flavor only during the last few minutes of grilling on a moderated flame. New to grilling? Check out Jamie Oliver’s BBQ Sauce recipe for a yummy twist to next BBQ night


Mistake 9: You do not let the rest meat post the grill

Now that you’re towards the end of the cook you’re more likely to turn on the afterburners and get it out for serving ASAP but hang on, did you let it rest long enough. Letting it rest allows the meat to loosen up in turn and take on its juices after all flavor is key right? A waiting time you and your guests will not regret.

And in case you’re busy with other arrangement and worried someone else might get their hands on it just use a sign saying’ DO NOT TOUCH” or “RESTING TIME”. Wait for about 5-6 minutes before serving it out but in case you do get your timing and it ends up cold, relax, just flash grill it for 20-25 seconds on each side and it will have the sizzled finish you crave.