The days of summer backyard barbecues are in full swing, but before you send out the invites for your next soiree, it’s time to debunk some longstanding grilling myths that are sure to ruin any well-planned meal.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not possible to tell if chicken is done by the color of the juice. The juices in chicken, turkey and pork are all colored pink by the protein myoglobin, and unfortunately, there is no fixed temperature at which myoglobin turns clear when cooked. Several factors, including the acidity of the meat, vary depending on the animal’s genes, pre-slaughter conditions and climate, all of which can impact the color of the juices when cooked.
With all of the time and preparation that comes with smoking your culinary feast, you don’t want it ruined by the wrong type of smoke. Although billowing white smoke seems like the sign of a good smoking fire, white smoke is actually indicative of smoldering wood that is starved for oxygen. Instead, you want the wood chips to burst into flames and produce barely visible blue smoke that flavors your food better than white smoke.
An enduring grilling practice suggests swabbing the grill grates with oil to prevent food from sticking. While oil can keep food from creating a sticky mess on your carefully prepared grill, put the oil on the food instead to keep the oil from burning or cracking when it hits the hot grates. First, pat the meat dry before applying some oil and placing it on the grill. As the food cooks, water will evaporate and turn to steam, which combined with the oil, provides a nice separation from the grill and ensures you’re not leaving more food on the grill rather than the plate.
Now with these outdated myths dispelled, it’s time to invite your friends and family over to celebrate summer with your best barbecue yet.