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Apr 13 15 2:32 PM

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How do we feel about our grills & our grilling methods? -- We love using our grill & are lucky to be able to grill yr-round because we live on the 3rd floor of a condo bldg w/an enclosed balcony we open up while grilling. We just bought a new grill & Siggi is happy. Pretty isn't it?

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There's a discussion (just begun) in the Australian forum about meat marinades & I know there are a lot of them, but most food info sources/experts seem able to agree on only 1 thing -- “Most marinades work by using an acid base (vinegar, wine or lemon juice, for example) to weaken muscle tissue & make the meat feel softer & juicier on the palate.” After that bit of wisdom, there's a great variety of marinades that seem to have little in common. 

… BUT I read in a prior marinade “scouting trip” on the internet that how we handle the process is probably more important than the marinade (or rub) we use to tenderize the meat. 4 things mentioned in the discussion were:
1) Using a fork to pierce the meat & allow flavors of the marinade to penetrate the meat
2) The use of a meat mallet to break connective meat tissues
3) Marinating overnight vs a few hrs prior to grilling
4) Heavy emphasis was placed on resting grilled meat for at least 10 min (loosely covered in foil) -- Something most impatient diners skip, but shouldn’t. The meat is given the time needed to regain its natural juices lost in the cooking process. AND you don’t end up w/a soupy plate of meat drippings after you’ve eaten dry meat! My ex-MIL had a great term for pan drippings, meat juices, gravy & the like -- She called all of them the “tender meat that has escaped & you need to recapture”.

I’ve always been more of a recipe-based cook rather than 1 w/the natural talent to create recipes. I easily find ways to modify recipes for 1 reason or another, but I do have to start w/a RECIPE & work from there. The 3-ingredient marinade I use for all grilled meats contains olive oil, soy sauce & Montreal Steak Seasoning (usually w/extra garlic). It was found on the MSS label (except for the extra garlic). I occasionally modify it by adding lime juice for seafood & chutney or a berry-flavored liqueur which works esp well for lamb. Since Iceland's economy is largely based on the fishing industry & lamb is its primary red meat, I have my main targets covered. What about you?


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#1 [url]

Apr 13 15 6:29 PM

Good post, Twissis.  
I'm a charcoal griller.  Grilling is fast cooking, usually too fast for me.  So, I typically set up a searing section (directly over the heat) and an cooking section (indirect heat).  If I marinate, I normally use a soy based marinade like Dale's Steak Sauce and use short marinading times since Dales is a strong, salty sauce.  There's little tenderizing with this kind of marinade - it's for enhancing flavor.

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Red Apple Guy

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#2 [url]

Apr 13 15 10:19 PM

I'm basically a propane griller, just because it is mostly me or 1-2 friends; however, I do have a charcoal grill (webber). I also, have a full size smoker.

When, grilling on propane or charcoal for larger meats, I do use direct and indirect; so, you get a nice sear then can finish off on the other side.
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I cook mac and cheese, all my veggies, spuds; pretty much everything on it. I use my cast iron, and aluminum pans on the grill all the time.
I love my grill basket for small veggies, potato wedges, shrimp or scallops, etc.
But, I love to put shrimp, scallops, and veggies on skewer and grill.

I will pull out my charcoal when friends are over for a big chicken or steak dinner.

I have even smoked on my gas grill. I made a beautiful tri tip.

I almost always use some type of wood chips in my small smoker box which sits right in the grill; and, gives great flavor to just about anything.
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A meat thermometer is a must
Keep your grill clean and conditioned
Make sure to NOT OVERCOOK your protein
Let it rest plenty of time tented in foil before serving

Letting beef dry in the fridge with a salt rub is a great way to get a fantastic sear on your meat
Make sure your protein is ROOM temp. NEVER COOK WITH COLD proteins
Make sure the grill is up to temp before adding your proteins - this goes for any type of grill
I never poke my meat, just larger pieces where I want to get the marinate in the meat; and never as it cooks - DO NOT use a fork, use tongs
I will use a meat malet to flatten the protein
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As for marinades ...

I rarely use soy (a few recipes), adds flavor; but, does not tenderize. I think it takes away from the true flavor of the protein.
I like to use fruit juices, vinegars, fresh herbs, onions, coffee, ketchup, mustard, honey, etc.

But, be careful with citrus and thinner cuts of chicken and pork; they can actually start to COOK the meat. Depends on the amount of citrus in the marinade.

Dry rubs and marinades work differently, but both offer intense flavor. So does a brine; which can add flavor, and a bit of tenderness.
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Marinades and Rubs:

Will be back, on another computer!

Kim ~ Eat, Live, and Love! 

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#4 [url]

Jun 8 15 3:58 AM

I have a fireplace in the the livingroom. In winter this is very useful as I can heat the house usuing it and the heating fan. In sommer I keep open the door to the garden.
I prepare my charcoal myself using wood. I roast peppers while the wood is till burning and I have flames, then it's the turn of other veggies and the meat. I prepare paella on the fire and sometimes chickepeas soup asw well. Other favorites are flatbreads as pita bread. 
In the garden I have the wooden oven, where I can combining grilling with baking. I almost always use wood.

I change the marinades but I have my preferences from where I start and I make variations:
Lamb: olive oil, lemon, time, garlic....
Beef: olive oil, red wine or balsamico vinegar, pepper,...
Pork: rosemary, wine, pepper, mustard... 
Chicken: lemon, pepper, thyme...
Fish: Oil, ginger, lemon, pepper...
 

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#5 [url]

Jun 11 15 12:10 PM

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This is my bad boy.  We usually use the charcoal side, but it is nice to have the propane at the ready for quick barbecuing.  We've only used the smoker once or twice so far.  I don't like the sear burner too much because it uses a lot of propane up fast.

Here's my tip:  I read that marinating is important, especially for red meat, because it prevents carcinogens from forming at high heat grilling.  

I find a dry rub imparts more flavor and that tenderness is more or less determined by the grade and quality of the meat you are cooking (and price!)  A tough piece of steak and a very tender steak both benefit from fast cooking over high heat.  An in between grade can cook longer to "loosen up" the tissues.  Sometimes, especially for what passes as London broil around here, can only be saved by slicing it thin against the grain.  I think I have grilled almost every day since the weather started getting nicer.  I am learning a lot.


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#6 [url]

Jun 11 15 8:24 PM

That is one awesome grill! : )   We have both a charcoal and a gas grill.  Love the combo on yours.  I prefer charcoal, but when I pressed for time or just want to eat fast -- we use the gas grill.  I love roasting peppers and veggies and I have purchased some interesting gadgets for the grill:

~DD gave DH a really cool stuffed jalapeno holder for the grill
~I purchased a chicken drumstick/wing holder with a drip plate.  Keeps them from sticking to the grill.
~ Have some cool veggie grill pans and kabob holders


Hope everyone enjoys their summer grilling.




 


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