Tips to stop meat sticking to your BBQ

Why does meat stick?

There isn’t much worse than spending hours getting your BBQ ready, buying the perfect cuts, preparing them, and then cooking them to perfection, only for half of the cut to tear off when you go to take it off the grill. Meat sticking to your BBQ can not only ruin your presentation, it can also damage equipment. Find our tips to prevent meat sticking and help pull off a successful BBQ.

Whenever we watch a cooking show on TV, you often hear chefs talk about the chemical make-up of meat and how it changes during cooking. It’s due to the composition of BBQ meats, namely the proteins, that they can stick to metal surfaces when cooking. When the meat cooks, the chemical bonds break down on the exterior closest to the heat. Under certain conditions, these free bonds can then join with the material of the grill which causes part of the meat to stick.

Source quality BBQ meat

At The Village Butchers, we’ve spent decades building up a reputation for affordable quality through partnering with accredited suppliers across the country. Being a family run business, we know the importance of sharing food with family and friends around the BBQ. That’s why many of our meat products are intentionally prepared for grilling. Get in touch if you have any questions.

Tips to prevent meat from sticking to your BBQ

Luckily, there are a number of simple steps you can take to help stop meat sticking to the BBQ without having to splash out on expensive equipment. This includes:

  1. Preheating the grill – it’s important to make sure the grill is fully preheated before placing the meat on the bars. This is essential to sear quickly, thereby creating a natural non-stick surface.
  2. Clean grill grates – leftover food and dirt can create a rough surface that causes the meat to stick in places. Passing over the bars with a grill brush will help remove this debris. It’s then recommended to lightly oil the grill with a paper towel before cooking.
  3. Oil meat for grilling – applying a light coating of oil to your chosen meat forms a barrier between it and the metal of the grill grates to reduce sticking. Marinading meat ahead of time can create a similar barrier. BBQ rubs can also be effective at preventing sticking as they help dry the exterior of the meat out.
  4. Don’t move meat too early – meat that’s grilled or fried on high heat will naturally release from the surface over time. If it’s moved prematurely, you could interfere with the sear and cause the meat to stick.
  5. Use non-stick spray – nowadays there are many kinds of non-stick spray that are specifically designed for outdoor grills. Be careful to apply the spray before heating for safety. Additionally, this might not be successful in preventing sticking if there’s debris on the grill.

When grilling larger cuts of meat like a BBQ pork belly, it’s often best to start the cooking process with the meat covered. This allows the meat to cook through without drying out, which can then be finished on the direct heat. It also eliminates the risk of sticking as the meat isn’t in direct contact with the bars until it has already developed a crust. Read our recipe for BBQ Tomahawk Steak to see how to prevent sticking when grilling premium steak cuts.

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