We’ve all been there: we heard an urban legend that could just be true that makes it easy to believe. Or, maybe we learned an old superstition that we knew was a dud but still followed the precautions. There are some of these about grilling as well. Your local butcher shop provides you with quality cuts that just want to cook, but what myths are you letting get in your way? You want to take that grill out, so you might as well find out the truth behind some of our favorite old wives’ tales that spread about grilling.
Having a cook out with a grill? Let’s invite the neighbors over for a barbecue.
- While this is common in New England, just please don’t do this. Grilling and barbecuing are two very different things. Grilling is typically done at high temperatures and is quick. Barbequing uses flavored wood in a large smoker at a low heat (around 250 degrees) and takes hours. Large cuts of meat and briskets get used with barbecuing, while steak, seafood, and burgers usually cook on the grill. Chicken is great with both, though.
Wash Meat Before Grilling
- NO! Not for any cooking that you do. When you visit any local butcher shop, they will tell you the same thing. Washing the meat will just spread the bacteria that could cause foodborne illness. How would you like getting salmonella from a carrot?
Grilling Your Meat Leads to Cancer
- If you want the truth, there is a chance that anything you do could potentially lead to cancer. However, eating meat cooked on the grill won’t magically cause the cancer cells to activate. So, enjoy that steak with the sear and devour that juicy cut.
Frequent Flips Will Cause Your Meat To Get Tough
- If you have a tough cut of meat, the meat will be tough no matter what. However, flipping your meat will not cause your tender cut to turn to a rough cut instantly. You need to be able to cook your meat evenly, which means you will need to flip it. Just be gentle and don’t flop it around and you will be okay.
Raw Meat Is Still “Mooing” And Will Leak Blood
- Okay, maybe this one isn’t specifically for the grill either, but we couldn’t resist. That red liquid that everyone calls blood from raw meat is not blood at all. It is the juice locked into the flesh, which is called myoglobin. While it does sound similar to hemoglobin which is actually in the blood, myoglobin is found in all muscles and is a protein made of iron and oxygen (Encyclopaedia Britannica). It is what provides oxygen to your muscles when you work them. In short, no, you are not eating blood from a raw steak, so if you like it “mooing,” eat away.
There you have it. Five myths officially debunked by your local butcher shop. You heard it from us, and we know a few things about cooking our meats.