Eight Grilling Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

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Grilling is supposed to be easy. You just heat up the grill and throw your food on, right? Well, not exactly -- but it isn't much more complicated than that. As summer approaches, don’t let popular grilling "wisdom" overcomplicate the issue. Read on to find out which so-called tips you can definitely ignore.

1. DON'T skip the salt: You might have heard that salting meat before grilling will toughen it. Nope, it won't! In fact, season your meat about 30 minutes before you get grilling.

2. DON'T use lighter fluid to get the grill going: You’d be better off using a chimney starter -- unless you like the taste of lighter fluid.

3. DON'T press hard on your burgers -- especially while they're cooking: If you do, you'll watch the flavor and moisture drip right into the grill. Much better to place them on the grill and then leave them alone until they need to be flipped (which should only happen once!).

4. DON'T flip out: Grilling isn't fussy, so there’s no need to keep flipping your meat. Turn it only once -- twice at most.

5. DON'T use that barbecue fork: Remember what happened when you got your ears pierced? The same will happen if you stick a fork into a steak on the grill. We beg you, use tongs or a spatula.

6. DON'T battle flare-ups with a spray bottle of water: Water + grease = not a good time. Calm grease fires with a flame-resistant kitchen towel.

7. DON'T use a knife to check for doneness: That's one sure way to ensure a dry, tough piece of meat. Like babies and college kids, steak needs to rest. Take it off the grill and leave it alone for a 10 minutes (more or less, depending on thickness).

8. DON'T cook meat all the way through: Remember, meat continues to cook even after you take it off the heat, so remove it before it's exactly to your liking.

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