Why You Should Slightly Undercook Foods When Grilling

Grilling is the perfect option for the summer. Whether it's a backyard party for friends or just a party for one, firing up the grill means you don't have to heat up your kitchen and the flavor is unmatched. Plus, the options are endless; there's a grill-based recipe out there for every course. Case in point: You can make a grilled cabbage and mango slaw, whip up a homemade grilled hanger steak, and top it off with our luscious cast-iron plum cake recipe.

Backyard grilling as we know it became popular after World War II, according to the Food Network. This makes sense, as it was a time when many people started moving to the suburbs. Before this, grilling was mainly done away from home at places like campsites or picnics. Backyard grilling became even easier with the invention of the Weber grill in 1952, per Popular Mechanics. The gas grill entered the market in the 1960s, thanks to the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company trying to get more people to buy natural gas. No matter which type of outdoor cooking you prefer, grilling foods to the correct temperature is important for food safety — but that doesn't always mean you should grill your food for as long as possible.

Temperature is the key to grilling

Undercooking your dinner may seem like a bad idea, but the Food Network actually recommends slightly undercooking when it comes to the grill. This is due to something called "carryover cooking." Even once the food is taken off the heat, the temperature of the food will rise up to five degrees.

This is why the experts at Napoleon, a company that makes grills, emphasize the importance of having a good meat thermometer. In order to prevent overcooking, you'll need to know when the meat you're grilling is five degrees away from being done, so you can pull it off the grill. It's also important to let the meat rest before serving to ensure it has reached the ideal temperature. So next time you fire up the grill, remember to have your meat thermometer handy. You don't want carryover cooking to spoil your backyard cookout!