Grilling is undoubtedly a favorite way to cook food in the summertime, but you can use your grill all year long to give your food extra flavor and picture-perfect grill marks. If you’ve been grilling the same old foods in the same manner for too long, it’s time to do things differently!
Whether you’re working with a gas grill or a charcoal grill, there are plenty of ways you can infuse extra flavor into your meals. Try some of these tasty methods for your next BBQ cookout.
Marinating your meats not only adds extra flavor but can even help tenderize them. Marinades that tenderize are dairy-based and use ingredients like buttermilk or yogurt. Marinades are likely one of the simplest ways to add extra flavor when grilling.
Creating your marinade can be very complex and contain many ingredients, or it can be as simple as dumping some Italian dressing onto your meat. To get the maximum amount of flavor from a marinade, it’s best to let your meat marinate overnight or longer.
Basting your food is another easy method to add extra flavor when grilling. Your baste will typically be the ingredients you used to marinate with. Basting meats while grilling them creates an appealing glaze. Use a grill-basting brush with a long handle to avoid getting burned.
When making your marinade, you can reserve a portion of it to use later for basting. Or, you can use the marinade from your raw meats and cook it over the stovetop to kill harmful bacteria. This method can also thicken your marinade, making it ideal to use when basting.
A brine is a liquid with a high salt content. As food sits in the brine, the proteins of the food become infused with flavor and salt, which causes it to become tenderized and moisturized. The brine helps your food hold onto moisture during the cooking process.
Chicken, turkey, pork, beef, fish, and even vegetables can be brined. Many different liquids, like beer or apple cider, can be used as the base for a brine. You can also add sugar, herbs, fruit, and vegetables to your brine to help infuse extra flavor. Don’t brine too long, or your food will become salty!
Injecting your foods with flavorful solutions can have wonderfully tasty results, but you must purchase a meat injector. A meat injector resembles a large needle that is used to distribute liquids into the meat’s membranes. Affordable meat injectors will only cost you around $10.
Injecting your meat is like marinating it from the inside instead of only marinating the outside portion. You could use a simple water and salt solution to mimic the effects of brining, or you can get fancy with spices, broth, juice, and more.
Infusing delicious flavor into grilled foods is easy when you’re using a charcoal grill. Charcoal starts off as wood before it is turned into charcoal, so that natural, earthy flavor will always be added to your grilled foods. Adding hickory, mesquite, cherry, or other wood chips to your coals will give you extra flavor.
So, how can you get the flavor of charcoal when cooking on a gas grill? You can find gas grill accessories that allow you to use charcoal with your gas grill. These accessories give you that delicious charcoal grilled flavor with the convenience of gas grills!
When working with undesirable, tough cuts of meat, cooking them low and slow lets their fats render. That rendered fat is distributed throughout the meat and adds flavor. A low and slow cook will take plenty of time on the grill, but the process will deliver tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat.
When cooking your meats low and slow, a drip pan is often placed directly below the meat. It catches fat that can cause flare-ups, and is filled with a liquid to help make a moist environment when grilling. Plain water can be used, or beverages like beer and apple juice can give your grilled meats extra flavor.
When working with more pricey cuts of meat like ribeye steak, a quick sear is just what you need to lock in flavor and juices. Once you’ve achieved a sear with beautiful grill marks, you can move your foods to a cooler part of the grill to continue cooking.
Many of the flavorful grilling methods above can be used with meat, fish, veggies, and even fruits like pineapple. It’s time to get creative and try out some new recipes and grilling methods. We hope these tips will make your next cookout one your guests will talk about all season long!