If you enjoy cooking outdoors with one of the best grills, you’ll want to master your backyard barbecues this summer. Be it cooking up a family feast, or hosting garden gatherings, nothing beats the delicious taste and aroma of flame-grilled food.
But, while you might think that you can throw anything onto the grill and get perfect results, think again! There are certain foods that you should never cook on a grill. In fact, if you attempt to grill these favorites, you'll either end up with messy results or even a fire!
So before you master your top grilling tricks, avoid these popular 7 foods you should never cook on a grill!
Be sure to steer clear of these 7 grilling mistakes you didn’t know you were making as well.
1. Pork chops
If pork chops are your favorite dish, you’ll be surprised to know these cuts of pork are not ideal to throw onto the grill. Unlike pork ribs or the shoulder, which can be grilled to perfection, pork chops tend to have a lower fat content. This essentially means that it can easily dry out and affect the flavors.
Instead, sear your pork chops in one of the best cast-iron skillets before transferring to the oven. This will ensure you get succulent and tasty results each time.
2. Delicate fish
By definition, flaky or delicate fish will literally fall apart when cooked on a hot grill. In addition, this would make the texture dry and flavors ruined. The best fish to grill are the more fatty or oily types such as salmon or tuna steaks.
To prevent fish from falling apart, however, use a plank of wood or fresh slices of citrus fruit to grill it on top of. Not only will this retain the flavor but will ensure your fish stays in one piece. And the last thing you need is to be scrubbing away at stuck-on fish on the grill grates!
While you might love the taste and smell of crispy bacon, never cook these on a grill. Surprisingly, grilling bacon is a potential fire hazard! This is because the splatters from the bacon grease are easily flammable, especially if they go anywhere near the open flame. What’s more, your smoky bacon is likely to burn and become tasteless.
It’s always advisable to cook your bacon in the oven or on a non-stick, frying pan — the traditional way! At least you will have perfectly crisp bacon for those tasty brunches.
Cooking the right kinds of food on your grill is just one of the 5 tips to make your grill last longer — and perform better.
4. Peeled shrimp
We all love the taste of grilled shrimp, but this only really works when it’s still in its shell. Peeled shrimp, on the other hand, should not be cooked on the grill.
Similar to the delicate fish varieties, peeled shrimp is known to easily dry out over high heat. In addition, this will cause a rubbery texture, ruining the taste and appearance of your dish. So, if you want those smoky, delicious flavors, always keep the peels on! The same applies to scallops, which should always be pan-seared rather than grilled.
Whether you’re vegan or cooking up meat-free alternatives for guests, you should never put tofu on the grill. Since tofu has a soft texture, this would only fall apart on a hot grill, and ruin the overall quality.
Instead, pan-fry or cook tofu in a skillet over medium-high heat. This will give you a crunchy, golden-brown texture, before adding sesame oil or a tasty sauce of your choice.
6. Leafy greens
While grilled vegetables make a healthy, tasty addition to your outdoor feasts, avoid grilling leafy veggies. Greens such as spinach, kale and lettuce tend to have a high water content. Once these hit the hot grill, the heat will make it wilt or cause it to burn and fall apart. If you must grill lettuce, however, it’s best to cook on a lower heat.
In any case, you can always save your leafy greens to use in one of the best juicers to make super healthy drinks instead!
If you love the taste of juicy, grilled tomatoes, these are not the best foods to cook on a grill. Since they have a soft structure, tomatoes can easily fall apart when cooked over high heat. Not only will this ruin the texture and taste, but you’ll end up with messy grill grates!
It’s best to stick to root vegetables like carrots, beets or even zucchini, which are better for grilling and won’t fall apart. Another tip is to always place veggies on the upper grilling rack to avoid overcooking.
Foods that you can cook on a grill
- Strip streak
- Short ribs
- Shelled shrimp
- Sweet peppers
- Root/sturdy vegetables
- Corn on the cob