The Fourth of July is the biggest grilling occasion of the year and McCormick Grill Mates wants to make sure grillers are at the top of their game. The Kansas City Barbeque Society, the official sanctioning body for more than 450 barbeque competitions annually, recently surveyed its 20,000 members and uncovered some of the most common cookout pitfalls.
“Of the 4,000-plus survey respondents, more than 72 percent are certified barbeque judges who have seen firsthand what can go wrong at the grill,” said Mike Peters, president of the Kansas City Barbeque Society. “According to those surveyed, people most often get tripped up on the basics.”
- 59 percent said grillers are cooking on too high of heat, which leads to dry, unevenly cooked meat.
- 37 percent said the food lacks flavor because people aren’t seasoning or marinating their meat before grilling.
- And when it comes to burgers, the king of backyard grilling, 48 percent of respondents said the most egregious offense is mishandling the meat by flipping and pressing too much, while nearly 20 percent say people should offer condiments beyond the basics.
“These grilling mistakes are easy to avoid,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “Even if you’re not a barbeque expert, it’s easy to get pit-master flavor. Simply sprinkle on a spice blend or try a 5-minute marinating trick and don’t crank up the grill heat too high.”
Beat the (Too High) Heat – Banish dry chicken from the grates by using a reverse sear method. Start with indirect heat for evenly cooked, juicy meat, and then finish over high heat for a crispy char on each side. Easy recipes like Carolina Mustard BBQ Chicken and Sweet Soy Bourbon Chicken use this tried-and-true technique from the barbeque experts.
Make Flavor Fast ‘n Easy – Skipping the seasoning is a major offense. With McCormick’s 5-minute marinating hack, you can add tremendous flavor in the time it takes to heat the grill. Simply place the meat and marinade in a plastic zip-top bag, press out all the air, seal the bag and massage for five minutes. This technique works well on almost any meat – try it with Grilled Sweet Tea & Soy Pork Tenderloin or Brazilian-Style Garlic-Cilantro Steak Skewers.
Treat Your Burgers Right – Avoid tough, dry burgers by not over-mixing the meat and pressing down on patties while grilling. Make tastier, juicier burgers in a snap with Grill Mates Steakhouse Burgers Sauce Mix-Ins. To punch up the flavor, add toppings like grilled avocado and lime mayo, or stuff them for a melt-in-your-mouth surprise in every bite. Try Jalapeño & Cheddar Stuffed Burgers, Vietnamese Banh Mi Burgers with Sriracha Mayoand Southwestern Smoky Ranchero Burgers with Grilled Avocado for delicious beyond-basic burgers.