The Fourth of July is the biggest grilling occasion of the year and 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 barbecue judges who have seen firsthand what can go wrong at the grill,” said Mike Peters, president of the group. “According to those surveyed, people most often get tripped up on the basics.” For instance:
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.
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And when it comes to burgers, 48 percent of respondents said the most egregious offense is mishandling the meat by flipping and pressing too much.
Here is some help from McCormick spices:
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.
Make flavor fast ‘n easy — Skipping the seasoning is a major offense. It’s an easy fix: Place meat and your favorite 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.
Treat your burgers right — Avoid tough, dry burgers by not over-mixing the meat and pressing down on patties while grilling. 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.