Why You Shouldn't Move Food Around When Grilling

The perfect sear of a burger or steak is a proper thing of beauty. The smell of a barbecue on a hot Summer day is normally enough to get mouths watering, but adding that visual stimulus of the perfect grill marks takes things to the next level.

Some researchers believe that barbecue is a human practice close to a million years old (via Live Science). With a tradition as old as this you would think we have it all figured out, but one of the hardest grilling skills there is to master is the simple act of patience. It can be tough standing over a hot flame, waiting for steaks, burgers, and hot dogs to finish cooking. It encourages boredom, and some people become understandably fidgety with the tongs while they wait. That's why it's important to find some zen and let your meats stay where they are if you want the perfect char coming off the grill.

Resisting the urge to flip gives meats better grill marks

Eat This, Not That notes that it's important to leave the meat alone while it's on the grill because it allows them to cook through completely and will leave you with the best grill marks. Beauty takes time, and if having the lines of the grate seared into your steak is important to you then you have to give it the time to develop. It'll also take time to get your grill hot enough before cooking. Making sure the grill is at an adequate grilling temperature before slapping a few slabs of beef onto the flames will help you to identify its hot spots.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay says that this is the number one mistake made by most cooks at home (via Food Network). He says that his preferred practice is to wipe his grill down with some canola oil that won't smoke when it gets too hot, put his food on the grill, and leave it alone until it's ready to turn. With this method, he says that if the food is sticking it hasn't finished cooking yet.

The same goes for vegetables, according to Bon Appetit. Their favorite method is to put vegetables on an oiled grill that's been allowed to sit on high for some time, and then lower the heat to let everything cook through gently. Give it a flip to reveal that beautiful, charred exterior, and take it off once it's finished cooking all the way through.