Seasonings, marinades and sauces are the secret to success when cooking on the grill. Whether you're smoking or grilling the right spice makes it nice. So lets talk about some of these and how they can be used to enhance your grilling experience.
Rubs are one of the easiest items to work with and can produce excellent results when used in conjunction with the right piece of meat. You might see some rubs at the local grocery store such as Corky's or Rendezvous. Many specialty stores carry even larger numbers of these rubs. Rubs can be used on pork, beef, fish and even vegetables. A classic pork rub might contain brown sugar, garlic salt, pepper, and onion powder. The rub is applied to the outside of the meat from 1 to 5 hours before cooking time. You can experiment at home making rubs by using the two oldest spices know to man, sugars and salts. Just remember when cooking sugars tend to blacken and salts tend to dry out meat. So getting the right combination may be a challenge at first. There are also plenty of books out there with recipes on making various rubs.
Marinades are liquids used to flavor the food prior to cooking. Most marinades contain some type of acid like lemon juice, apple juice, vinegar or wine. When marinating with these types of acids remember that marinades can cause meat to be mushy when left on two long. There are also several marinades available at the store today such as Wickers and Allegro.
BBQ sauces themselves are the topping on the cake and work well in the final stages of the cooking process. They are also great for dipping. Use sauces on your meats in the final stages of cooking to add color, shine and flavor to the outside of the meat. You can create your own or you can take a commercial product and add to it. Some good things to add are honey, molasses, jellies and fruits. Experiment.
Finally remember when making all these wonderful spices and marinades to keep a journal. Keep records of amounts, types of products used, type of meats used, etc. By doing this you can go back and experiment more until you get that winning combination!
Here are a couple of recipes for sauces and marinades:
1 cup orange juice
1 cup California French Dressing
1 teaspoon bay leaves
Mix all items in sauce pan and heat. Place chicken in a bag and pour marinade in bag. Allow to sit for minimum 2 hours. Grill or smoke. Double the mixture and use Â½ for a finishing sauce for the chicken.
1 cup red wine
1 teaspoon bay leaves
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup chopped strawberries
Place mixture in bag with steak. Allow to sit 2 hours minimum. Double the mixture and warm half for a finishing sauce for the steak.