#TastyTuesday: Grilling Mistakes, McDonald's New Sandwiches and More!

It is grilling season and making the perfect meal on a sweltering summer day is ideal. However, grilling mistakes can get in the way of that goal. Here are 12 grilling mistakes to avoid when cooking that scrumptious steak or hamburger.

1 Using lighter fluid or match-light coals. When using either of these when grilling, it can make the food taste like gas and lighter fluid. To avoid this, opt for placing newspapers on the coal and light it up. This will take away any gas tainted taste from food.

2 Spreading coal before it turns gray. The coals need to be fully gray or otherwise, there will be ‘inconsistent heat’ and ‘unpredictable cook times.’

3 Not preheating the grill. After immediately lighting the fire on the grill, make sure to put the lid on for about 10 minutes before laying any food on. The grates themselves need time to heat up for proper cooking.

4 Not cleaning the grates. Left-over food remains from a week earlier can stick to a freshly cooked steak if the grates have accumulated food remains. Make sure to brush the grates right after preheating.

5 Placing the food over too much heat. This causes the meat to char and burn before properly cooking inside. Divide the grill into halves; one side has coals and the other doesn’t or very little coals. One side is used for quick searing and the other is for ‘gentle’ grilling. For a gas burner, one side has the burners on and the other side has the burners on low heat or off.

6 Lifting the lid repeatedly. This action doesn’t keep the heat inside. Patience is key here.

7 Big flames doesn’t necessarily make great tasting meat. Deposits left by the flames make the meat taste off and scorched. Be aware of flare-ups. Fat dripping onto the fire is one cause of flare-ups.

8 Not using vents. Vents actually help keep control and flow of oxygen in the grill.

9 Adding BBQ sauce prematurely. This causes the sauce to burn. It’s better to add the sauce towards the end of grilling the meat.

10 Cooking various items at once. Foods cook at different time intervals and can cross-contaminate on the grill. Cooks foods one at a time.

11 Using finger to determine if meat is done. Use thermometer.

12 Serving meat too soon after cooking. Let food set for a few minutes so that the juices can soak into the meat instead of spilling out everywhere.

See the full list and story on Seriouseats.com.

McDonald’s adds new artisan sandwiches to menu

McDonald’s upgraded its food options once again with new artisan sandwiches which were added to the menu on May 1.

The three new artisanal sandwiches include Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon and Maple Bacon Dijon and are part of the company’s launch of its ‘Signature Crafted Recipes.’

“We need to bring more food news like this, in order to appeal to Millennial customers, who are seeking new taste experiences,” said Chris Kempczinski, the president of McDonald’s USA.

The sandwiches range around five dollars each and give customers an option for a more ‘upscale’ choice.

See the full story on USAToday.com.

Mom and Pop restaurants are taking over

Fast-food chains are facing a financial blow as people are choosing to visit mom and pop restaurants rather than whipping through the drive-thru.

Some chains like Subway have seen their sales fall and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. is just one of the other restaurant chains that are closing locations.

An industry reporter called Pentallect Inc., said that “customers these days believe locals have better food, service, deals and even décor.”

Websites such as Yelp Inc. and the social age of Instagram have given a boost to independently owned restaurants.

According to data form Pentallect Inc., independently owned restaurants will grow around 5 percent in the next few years while chains will lag behind at only a 3 percent growth.

Darren Tristano, chief insights officer at Technomic, said, “The independents and small chains are now outperforming. The big chains are now lagging.”

See the full story on Bloomberg.com.

Falsely labeled organic foods

A shipment of soybeans and corn that have made their way to California were labeled organic when in reality, the foods actually weren’t.

The Agriculture Department is currently looking into and investigating ‘fraudulent organic grain shipments.’

The department released a statement which said, “We are continuing the investigation based on the evidence received.”

Foods that have the label ‘USDA Organic’ on them most likely have been grown in the United States, but other foods like coffee and soybeans can be shipped from over 100 different countries.

However, some critics call the system ‘weak.’

Mischa Popoff, a former USDA organic inspector, said, “The certifying agencies can choose who and when they test. That’s why the results they can get are completely arbitrary.”

See the full story on the WashingtonPost.com.

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