Incinerated (or raw) meat, lighter fluid-spiked food, and falling-apart fish can really put a damper on a summer barbecue. Our tips will help get things in order.
You flip meat frequently
THE RESULT: Dried-out, tough meat with barely-there grill marks.
THE FIX: It’s hard to resist poking and prodding meat to try to check on how it’s doing. But when the fire is good and hot and the food is cooking, step away: Once a piece of meat is on the grill, avoid moving it before it’s ready so the outside develops a good char. To test when a burger is ready to flip, slip the edge of a spatula under the edge of the burger and lift up gently. If the meat is sticking to the grate, let it be and try again a minute later. If the grate is properly cleaned and oiled, the food should lift up easily when it’s ready to flip.