We’ve all heard about outrageous stories, tips, hacks and myths about grilling from “experts”. These information are readily available on the internet and there’s too much that we don’t know which ones are true anymore. Unless you’ve tried and tested all of it, that’s the only time you can prove their validity.
But considering science and popularity, here are 3 of the most common grilling myths and the truth behind them:
The more you check, the longer your food will cook on the grill
Surely you’ve read a tip about this – they usually advise against checking on your food too much because it lengthens cooking time. Some even say that you add 15 minutes of cooking time to long cooks (like beef brisket) every time you peek. The truth is, no matter how many times you check your food, it doesn’t make much of an impact on the temperature, let alone the cooking time. According to Boston University’s Professor Greg Blonder, a food scientist and physicist, opening the lid drastically makes little or no impact on the temperatures of the meat’s surface and center, therefore not changing its cooking time.
Marinade longer to tenderize the meat
We’ve all heard of it – the longer you marinate your meat, the better it penetrates the meat for flavour and the more tender your meat will be. It’s not entirely true, though. It may work for thin cuts of meat, but for usual cuts such as chicken breast or regular pork chops, marinades are just treatment for the surface. While salt can penetrate deep into the meat, other spices (like garlic and pepper) have huge molecules and can only penetrate up to 1/8 inch of the meat’s surface even when marinated overnight.
To prevent food from sticking, oil your grill grates first
This is probably one of the most common tips you’ll encounter when you first read about grilling. Honestly, it does work sometimes – but the chances that it won’t are bigger. Oiling the grates below smoking point may work (doing so above smoking point will definitely make your food stick), but the better option is to oil your food, not the grates.
If you’re not convinced, put these grilling myths to the test to find out if they are valid. When it comes to grilling, what works for someone does not mean it will work for you. Experience will let you know what’s best!