5 Common Grilling Mistakes to Avoid on Your Charcoal BBQ

Summer is grilling season, and we all dust off the grill and get ready to fire it up to take advantage of those glorious warm days to have a backyard BBQ. Gas grills are certainly convenient but there is something that will never take the place of cooking over charcoal in my opinion. There really is more to a good backyard BBQ than just the ability to buy some steaks and light the grill. I'm sharing 5 common grilling mistakes people make when they cook on their charcoal BBQ's. Don't get caught making these mistakes!

Grilling Mistakes to Avoid on Your Charcoal BBQ
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1. Not cleaning a public grill before you use it.

Gross. Just gross. Charcoal grills require some cleaning and maintenance and public grills don't always get the attention they deserve. No worries, it nothing you can't do yourself. Take a wadded up piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and rub down the grill grate. Anything that doesn't come off with the first swipe can be removed on another pass through after you heat up the grill. There is nothing worse than old food bits from lawd knows who on the food you are cooking. So take a second to clean off those public grills at the park or at the campsite or where ever you find yourself.

2. Using lighter fluid

You walk down the aisle to buy charcoal at the store and what do you see right above it? Lighter fluid. It's like they go hand and hand and you need one to make the other work. But I'm telling you, lighter fluid is the number one reason I bet people hate using charcoal grills. You might think that if you douse your coals in lighter fluid that you can light your charcoal BBQ faster. Not only does it not really work, it leaves your food tasting like gasoline. It doesn't matter how long you let the lighter fluid burn off, you can still taste it.

It's why I use a HomeRight Electro Light fire starter. It's a multipurpose fire starter that quickly lights your charcoal grill, wood burning fireplace, campfire and more! It only takes 2-3 minutes to light your charcoal BBQ and you don't need a single drop of lighter fluid. The Electro Light uses nothing but super-heated air so your food doesn't have to taste like chemicals anymore!

3. You add food to the grill too soon.

Grilling takes time, especially when it's heating up. Make sure you set aside enough time to heat up the charcoal appropriately. Cooking before your coals are ready can give you inconsistent heat and unpredictable cooking times. Wait until all the coals are covered in grey ash before you add your food. 

Most people have to wait 15 minutes until the coals are heated, but if you use the Electro Light, your coals will be grey and ashy in 2-3 minutes. It's because the ElectroLight uses 1300 degree hot air and a built-in blower that will help get your fire going in no time!

4. Don't use too much direct heat

When you cook your food directly over hot charcoals, it's like cooking your food on high heat. Some foods are better cooked with direct heat {like burgers, hot dogs, steak and chicken breast}, while others {like whole chicken, pork loin and ribs} do better over indirect heat. You don't want to over cook, under cook or burn your meat, so consider what type of meat you are cooking first and where you should place your coals before you light them for the best heat to cook. 

5. Keep a lid on it!

Fight the urge to keep checking on your food like a child on a road trip that keeps asking are we there yet? No! It's not done yet. Every time you lift the lid on your charcoal BBQ you are making your grill burn hotter. {FYI the opposite is true if you are cooking on a gas grill}. When you lift the lid you are making the heat temperature inconsistent. When you open that lid time and time again you are running the risk of burning your food. Keep the lid on your charcoal grill closed as much as possible. 
And don't forget to adjust those vents on the lid to control oxygen and heat flow inside your BBQ as much as possible. 

It doesn't take much to avoid some common grilling mistakes. Get yourself an Electro Light fire starter to make everything that much easier and fire up that BBQ!

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disclaimer: This post is sponsored by HomeRight all opinions are 100% my own. This post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!

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