SOS: 17 Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Barbecue Get Your BBQ Accessories & Skills Ready

Classic scene: you followed all the instructions of the latest book you bought, you read every post and article on the topic, you bought many BBQ accessories, you took part to dozens of discussions on forums and Facebook groups, you asked for advice, you stalkered an expert friend in chat. Who’s going to stop you now? You feel confident that your barbecue will become legendary in the whole neighborhood.

Ready, excited, self-confident. Everything seems to be going all right, you can already imagine loads of compliments coming from your guests. Your expression of fake modesty when you explain that you’re just a barbecue beginner. One cold beer next to you, a pat on your shoulder from your best friend. What could go wrong then?

The odds are that reality might be entirely different and harsher on you. This is especially true if you commit one of the following barbecue sins:

  1. You cook combos of food at the same time;

Not all foods were born equally. Resist the temptation of cooking everything in the same way at the same time.

(Unicook Outdoor Portable Charcoal Gril

  1. You place food on a cold grill;

The grill should be burning hot before putting any foods on it. Your meat will stick to its surface, and it will be unevenly cooked.

  1. You start cooking frozen food;

Be sure to cook food only at room temperature. Avoid any thermic shocks between your food and the grill; you can take the meat out of the freezer one hour before heating it or pre-cook it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Longer defrosting times can spoil your food and affect its taste.

  1. You cook chicken strips on a barbecue;

One of the secrets for a perfect barbecue is selecting the most suitable cuts and sizes of meat. Preparing food that is more suitable for pans, like chicken strips, will affect its final taste and suck out its juicy flavors. Marinating, which is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned liquid before heating them, is advised for more prolonged and slower cooking, especially for bigger pieces of meat. If you want to grill some foods with quick cooking, then you can skip marinades.

  1. You add lighter fluid as if there was no tomorrow;

It is perfectly normal to panic the first time you feel that the temperature of your barbecue is getting lower. But then you might want to add charcoal lighter fluid as an extreme solution to save your dinner. You risk to burn yourself, burn your guests, and burn your food. If you escape two out of three, the lighter fluid will still leave a weird aftertaste to your meal. If you prepare enough braces and woods before you start cooking, everything should be fine.

(Unicook Remote Digital Cooking Thermometer with Dual Probes)


  1. You cook all the meat before your guests arrive;

If you planned to do this, reset your friendship goals. Cooked meat can easily become uneatable even just after an hour or so. Better to prepare and serve food on the spot.

  1. You don’t prepare everything in advance;

Raise your (virtual) hand if you have ever started cooking and only then realized that something was missing. With barbecue, that’s the same. But in this case, the braces will become cold once you finally find what you were looking for. Or, even worse, something can catch up on fire in a matter of just a few minutes. Get everything ready before heating your barbecue that will save your efforts, time, and relationships.

  1. You don’t have enough fuel;

As for what we just said, be sure to have enough extra charcoal for any emergencies. Using all of your fuel at once means that you will have to drive to the closest shop to buy more of it. Your guests won’t appreciate the interruption.

  1. You invite friends and relatives at your first barbecue ever;

There’s nothing worse for a beginner cook to deal with hungry and impatient guests. One single mistake is enough to raise your performance anxiety levels. Be sure to give your barbecue a try or two before starving your friends and relatives.

  1. You add more braces than necessary;

Braces are like sun cream, you should spread them all over the cooking surface on the grill uniformly. The risk otherwise is to end up with some half-cooked and half-raw foods. By adding too many braces to your barbecue, you can end up creating so much unnecessary smoke that you will hear Greenpeace activists knocking at your door an instant later.

  1. You use a carving fork to move food;

Carving forks are not a great idea for your barbecue. They can punch your meat and let all its water and delicious juices to come out before you can appreciate their taste.

(Unicook BBQ tool set)


  1. You add salt before cooking meat;

That’s more a good practice than a real sin, unless if your goal is to dry out your meat and make it stringy. Prefer using rock salt and add it once your meat is almost cooked.

  1. You wear slippers, flip flops, and undershirts while cooking;

That’s not only a matter of style but also a safety measure to ensure that your torso and feet are protected. Wearing other types of clothes and footwear can protect your body more. You can thank us later.

  1. You gather all of your friends around the grill;

It might sound like a great idea to get all of your friends near the barbecue. You can show them your progress and grow their expectations. But also consider the risk of burning them with any braces that might unexpectedly fall from the grill.

  1. You don’t know where to place cooked food;

You can’t wait to eat the food you just prepared, but once you turn around, you realize there is no free space on any surface in the nearby. You might decide to place the food back on the grill and then to free up some space. But more plainly than ever, you will just move a few things around with your elbow. Be sure to put back what you don’t need anymore right after using it.

  1. You practice the meat dance;

Except for a few dishes, like chicken wings and legs, most of the food cooked on a barbecue doesn’t need to be moved around or rotated too many times. You can turn once a little over halfway through, and that will be enough for most steaks, pork chops, fillets, fish slices, meat skewers, fruits, and vegetables.

  1. You don’t consider your guests’ taste;

8,000,000 people in the United States are vegetarian, 1,000,000 are vegan. You don’t need to disappoint your meat-eating friends either. Better still to ask if any of your guests dislikes or is allergic to some ingredients. Barbecues are made to be stress-free, not the other way round.


Now that you’re ready to enjoy your barbecue without much hassle get your equipment and accessories ready to redeem yourself from these sins. Practice makes perfect, but you can exceed your expectations by following the right advice and using the right accessories at the right time and in the right way. If you are planning to start inviting your friends over or want to keep organizing barbecues, we can recommend you get one of the BBQ cookware made by UniCook. They manufacture all sorts of allies for your summer outings, such as grill covers, brushes, BBQ tools, thermometers, bakeware, heat plates, burners, ignitors, and other sorts of BBQ accessories, grill parts, cookware, and kitchenware.

Quality is their first and primary concern, so their products will have your back in your progress towards becoming a barbecue pro. Like Robin for Batman, Sam for Frodo, Turk for J.D. in Scrubs. Don’t worry, using the UniCook products doesn’t count as cheating.

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