Why You Shouldn't Flip Meat Too Early When Grilling

If you want to earn the coveted title of grill master in your home, then you need to hone your craft and bring the beef (or in some cases a plant-based meat substitute of your choice). Of course, there are recipes perfect for the grill that have nothing to do with steak or hamburgers at all, and anyone with a BBQ is probably well-aware of that. But, when cooking meat on your cherished outdoor rack, there are some general rules that help create the tastiest and tenderest bites.

First things first. You must ensure that you avoid any common mistakes and adhere to some of the simple rules of best grilling practices. After all, some of the biggest missteps made on the grill are the most basic ones, but if you're willing to heed the advice of the experts then you can take your grilling game to the next level.

One oft-committed grilling sin is flipping meat too early. Place your items on the grill and give this wonderful cooking apparatus time to work its magic. According to experts (per Real Simple), resist the temptation to move around that charred deliciousness too much too soon, as this can mess with the process. The appropriate moment for flipping steaks comes when it "un-sticks" from the grate.

Meat flipping tips from the pros

Leonard Botello, pitmaster and owner of TRUTH BBQ in Texas, told Mashed that "Most people constantly flip their steak in fear that it will char or overcook." But this approach does more harm than good, according to Botello who advises, "leave the steak face down for about four minutes and really let that crust build before you flip it to the other side." Clearly, patience is a virtue when cooking steaks on the grill.

You might be surprised to learn that a similar mistake is made when grilling burgers, according to Laura Pauli, a chef and sommelier at Cucina Testa Rossa in San Francisco. When burgers receive the same over-flipping treatment as steaks, it can negatively affect the outcome and Pauli says "Let it cook for about 3-5 minutes (depending on size and level of doneness) then flip only once to finish cooking, never pressing down on the burger."

Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay agrees with this being a big grilling mistake people make and says that people are simply too handsy with their meats. As a matter of fact, per FNDish, Flay says overhandling meat is, in fact, the number one thing people get wrong when grilling.

Now that you know the flipping rules, following the advice of the experts will lead to juicier, more flavorful steaks and burgers, and may even help you earn the crown of "king of the grill."