LOS ANGELES, June 3, 2011 — The grill is ready to go and it’s time to start cooking.
Marinades, rubs and bastes are an essential part of summer cooking. We all want our meats to taste restaurant quality with layers of flavor and have a delicious mouth feel. Mastering the grill is only half the battle.
Marinades are used on tough pieces of meat like tri tip or flank steak. The proteins need the acid to help break down the muscle. Marinades work best if they’re left on for two to three hours and, if you have something that is really tough and large, you can leave it to sit for up to two days.
The flavor of the marinade will penetrate deep into the meat, giving you restaurant quality flavor.
Rubs are a mixture of seasonings and help to layer in flavor. Rubs are best used before grilling with any type of proteins (chicken, beef, or fish) but can also be used with vegetables. The key to rubs is to use a little bit of oil and rub the seasonings into the meat. It will create a nice, crusty layer.
Basting is a liquid like barbecue sauce, honey mustard or a reduced orange juice that seals in the juices of the meat.
Bastes are used toward the end of cooking; they can have a lot of sugar in them and if you baste meats too early the sugars can flare the fire and end up burning your perfectly cooked meats. When you baste at the end, it reduces and caramelizes onto the meat leaving a delicious outer layer of flavor.
While you’re grilling you can use all three of these techniques. The flavors should be similar or complementary to prevent your taste buds from fighting.
A few examples to use all three, a marinade, rub and baste, together.
Marinades- Orange juice, beer, olive oil, water, parsley, onion
Rub- paprika, salt, orange zest, dried parsley
Baste- reduced orange juice, soy sauce and honey mustard, lemon juice
Herbs of Provence-
Marinade- white wine, onions, garlic, leeks, lemon juice
Rub- Herbs of Provence, salt and pepper
Baste- juice from grilled lemons and oranges, and Dijon mustard
Marinade- onions, barbecue sauce, garlic
Rub- Creole seasoning
Baste- barbecue sauce
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