This Is The Biggest Grilling Mistake People Make, According To Bobby Flay

Chef, restaurateur, and Food Network personality Bobby Flay has plenty of tips when it comes to getting the most out of your grill. While there are quite a few areas for improvement to focus on to master your grill, there's one particular mistake that Flay says is the biggest one people make — simply not letting the grill do its job (via Food Network). In other words, many home grillers are handling their proteins or vegetables way too much, moving them around the grill and flipping them over and over.

As Flay told Insider, if you keep disturbing the meat by flipping it and moving it around the grill, you'll end up getting proteins that are steamed rather than seared. To really get that great crust on the exterior, chef Mark Forgione suggests leaving the item until there's a bit of a crust that forms on the area making contact with the grill (via Delish), which takes a few undisturbed minutes.

It may be hard to break the habit of lingering by your grill, shuffling items around as the heat wafts towards your face. However, if you're on the quest to become a grilling pro, you simply need to stop! As Flay advises, just add a bit of oil with a neutral flavor and high smoke point, such as canola oil, and allow your grill to take the lead. If an item is sticking, it's likely that it just isn't done yet and you should give it some more time.

Put trust in your grill and prep it properly

If you want to allow your grill to do the heavy lifting when it comes to cooking, you need to prep it properly. For example, when you're getting ready to cook, you should allow it to preheat for about 5 to 15 minutes — shorter for a charcoal grill, longer for gas (via Cook's Illustrated). The preheating will help get the grill ready, and will also burn away any bacteria or stuck-on food (via Real Simple). This preheating stage is also an ideal time to scrub the surface and ensure the grates are clean.

Temperature is another key component to mastering your grill. Flay suggests having two zones on your grill, one for direct heat and one for indirect heat (via Food Network). That way, you're able to use the direct heat zone to get that undisturbed sear and char on the exterior of your meat and vegetables, and then finish off the items in the cooler area with indirect heat. After all, if your food isn't cooked through, it doesn't matter how perfect your sear is. 

Chef David Burke agrees with Flay's philosophy and suggests that indirect heat can be ideal for items that take longer to cook, such as chicken breast (via Men's Journal). Using both the zones of your grill can allow you to get the crispy skin of your dreams while avoiding overcooking your meat on high heat.