Why You Should Never Cook Meat On A Cold Grill

As the summer approaches and the pandemic (hopefully) recedes, it's time for pool parties, hangouts, and endless grill sessions in the backyard. Arm yourself with some tongs, dig out that corny apron, and preheat your grill! 

As any grill master or amateur steak-slinger will tell you, grilling is an art that requires lots of practice and can easily be messed up. The chiefest and most cardinal of the sins of the grill is throwing on your meat and veg before the grill is appropriately hot. 

According to Weber, putting meat on a cold grill will produce terrible results for two reasons. First, cooking on an initially cold surface will cause the meat to stick to the grill, and it will cook for too long, resulting in dry steaks and crumbling burgers. Second, cold grills will prevent your meat from developing those flavorful scorch marks that are the trademark of successful grilling.

Proper heat is vital for a perfect steak

The perfectly seared steak that every grill artist is chasing is the result of the Maillard reaction, a complex reaction that occurs when certain proteins and sugars in food are transformed through the application of heat. The resulting flavors, juicy insides, and beautifully crusted outsides are much more difficult to achieve when you're cooking on a grill that's not up to proper cooking temperature yet.

Because heat is the name of the game, make sure to close your grill when cooking, too. The saying goes, "If you're lookin', you're not cookin'," and this makes the same sound sense that preheating your grill does. An open grill loses a lot more heat than a closed one, and overextended cooking times are never good for your food. 

So, please — for the sake of the meat and your upcoming meal — make sure to properly heat your grill, and only put your cuts of meat on the most ripping-hot of grills to truly maximize flavor.