Chef Todd taught an incredible class at our Grilling Gala where he divulged his grilling and marinating secrets about how to barbecue the perfect vegetables and meats this summer.
Understanding The Heat
Grilling is a dry heat cooking method. The flavor of the grill we love so much comes from char or caramelizing of the product. Another important factor when grilling is picking the right meat. Choose meats that have good fat content to them. The fat will melt as the dry heat cooks the meat keeping it moist. Good fatty meats such as a rib eye may not need more than a good seasoning to be a great grilled item.
Other meats that may contain less fat and juice need assistance in cooking with “moping and basting.” Marinating and seasoning of meat should always be done with the purpose of enhancing the natural flavor of the meat or vegetables not to mask or take away from the product itself. To have a successful grilled meal it is important to understand heat. Bigger pieces of meat need lower heat and longer cooking time or the outside will char or caramelize too quickly leaving it over cooked on the outside and still raw on the inside. Low and slow with basting and finishing techniques during the cooking process will make you a grilling master.
The 3 Basics of Marinating
1. Flavor – rubs, herbs, garlic, salt, pepper and a well blended season mix
2. Acidity – citrus, vinegar, wine, Worcestershire, hot sauces
3. Fat – oils, butter, lard
Generally all meats need to be finished with a flavorful liquid at the end of cooking to help keep moisture and shine to the meats. Simple ideas are as follows:
1. Butter or flavored butters rubbed on meats or served with grilled meats
2. Fresh olive oil marinades not contaminated with raw meats
3. One of Chef Todd’s favorites is a mixture of butter or olive oil, lime juice, and Cholula hot sauce
4. Glaze: BBQ, teriyaki, sweet and sour or savory meats
5. Fruit juices – specially good on fish or white meats