No matter how experienced cooks are they will still make mistakes when grilling, but the more novice at grilling you are the more simple mistakes you will make.
One of the most basic grilling mistakes is the temperature of the grill. While you may think the hotter the grill the better sometimes this can be your downfall. A hot grill while cooking the outside of a piece of meat is great, but it can leave it very rare inside, which can upset your guests. The best way to prevent this is to have different heat zones set up. The easiest way to check the temp on you grill if you do not have a digital thermometer, you can use your hand. To use this method place your hand about three inches above the grill and count to five or until you have to move away before injury occurs. For each second away from five add one hundred degrees.
The next most common mistake is over or under cooking the meal. Taking the old standard of x-amount of minutes per side really doesn’t work. The best way is to close your hand and using your index finger press right where your thumb meets the hand, the tenderness there would be the same as a rare piece of meat. For each press moving towards your index finger will give you the consistency of the meat. So starting at the thumb you would go rare, medium rare, medium, medium well and well.
The next grilling mistake is wanting flames. As with cooking with a wood fire you want the fire in your grill to be smoldering coals. Flames while they look good and make you feel like you are an expert chef, really only end up burning the meat. Always keep a small bottle of water close by to extinguish unwanted flames. Besides burning you food flames can be a safety hazard. Even though you don’t think of the flame in the grill can be a hazard think about reaching over and having that flame jump on you. If that were to happen you stand a good chance of receiving severe burns. Another hazard that very few think about is fire. The flame can catch the house or surrounding area on fire and spread very quickly.
While it does not take a rocket scientist to be a great griller it does take time to perfect the skills to do it. The best thing to do is expect to make mistakes, and burn things. Enjoy the mistakes for each one will bring you closer to making less of them.