Overcome 3 Common Grilling Mistakes

Overcome 3 Common Grilling Mistakes with Girls Can Grill

It doesn’t matter who mans (or womans) the grill. We all make mistakes.

Sometimes we get distracted by kids, Netflix, refilling the wine glass…you know, life.

Somehow in that short amount of time, dinner can go from well thought out to burnt, dry, rubbery and just plain hard-to-swallow.

But Girls Can Grill is here to make dinner better.

I’ve found in my years of grilling there are three mistakes that I’ve made more than once, more than twice. Okay sometimes life distracts me, and I still make these mistakes.

Burnt + Raw

As a newlywed, I was so excited when my husband assembled our first grill. I was going to show him that I was a great catch. Barbecue chicken couldn’t be too hard, so I started with that. It’s only two ingredients: chicken and barbecue sauce.

Here’s the mistake I made: barbecue sauce burns and chicken takes time.

If you slather your chicken with sauce and throw it on a hot grill, the sugar in the sauce is going to burn.

Naturally, you’ll pull the burnt meat off the grill thinking it’s gotta be done.

But I’ll never forget my husband’s look of disgust when he cut through the blackened skin to discover raw chicken. 20 years later, I’ve never lived this down.



Season your chicken pieces with a little salt and pepper or Poultry Powder, and grill them over medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Then, and only then, slather them in your favorite barbecue sauce. Flip them around a bit, so the sauce caramelizes (about another 10-15 minutes), and then serve them on the plate.

The skin will be slightly crispy, the meat will be moist, and you will prove that you’re a prize catch.

Grilled Chicken with Barbecue Sauce


Grilled Chicken with Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Fish Flop

Grilling fish can be really discouraging.

Fish costs more than chicken, so when you ruin it on the grill, it burns your ego twice as bad.

And we’ve found that a lot of people grill fish because they’ve made the hardened decision to change their habits and eat healthy. When you fail at the basics of a habit, it’s really hard to stick with it.

Speaking of sticking to things…that’s the problem. If you don’t grill fish right, it will stick and half of the fish will slip through the grate.


Don’t flip it until it’s ready.

Rub your fish filets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat the grill to medium-high, oil the grates and place the fish on the grill.

Leave it. Really, don’t touch it! It will tell you when it’s ready to flip.

If you try to flip it too soon, you’ll break the tender filet. Wait until you can easily slip a spatula under the filet. That’s when it’s ready. It will flip with ease.

Continue cooking until the meat is tender and flaky, and you’ve got a quick, healthy, tasty meal.

Grilled Fish


Grilled Fish Recipe

Pitiful Burgers

If your burgers aren’t at least the size of your buns, you might be making pitiful burgers.

Don’t worry, even at Girls Can Grill, we’ve made this mistake, too.

You shape your patties, and they look like they’re going to match the buns just fine, but then you remove the burgers from the grill, and hear whispers of “Where’s the beef?”


We like to make 6-oz. burgers and shape them a little bit larger than the circumference of our buns.

Then, we press a shallow dimple in the center of each patty. This will keep them flat. (This may be the only time that dimples and buns are a good thing.)

Sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper or steak seasoning, and grill the patties on a hot grill about 5 minutes per side. Assemble with condiments, and parade your platter of pleasing (not pitiful) burgers to your awaiting diners.

Classic Hamburgers


Classic Hamburgers Recipe


  1. Anthony Smits July 1, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Great tips Christie. You explain it all really well. My fish will be edible next time . . .

    And CONGRAULATIONS. This post was one of the winners in the ‘Best Blog Posts’ Comp. Not hard to see why. Well done.


  2. Gigi J Wolf July 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tips! I always remind my guy he found a wiener when he found me! Congrats on winning the BBT writing competition! Glad to be in such awesome company!

Leave A Comment Cancel reply

Your Information will never be shared with any third party