One of the most appetizing aromas and sounds to a hungry party-goer is the sizzle of the summer time grill. With quality ingredients, a tasty marinade, and a little preparation, the average BBQ chef can grill almost anything nowadays. I remember watching some cooking shows and travel channel specials recently about firing up the grill, and my mouth was watering through the TV. Chef and pit masters alike were grilling everything from different cuts of steak and seafood on wood planks, to seasonal fruits. I kept watching these programs, while thinking all the years my family and I have been grilling, as it dawned on me: it’s time to put more emphasis on the marinade!
1. Homemade Should Always be an Option
I’ve always been a big fan and supporter of homemade anything. With just a few simple and fresh ingredients, you can create a super light and flavorful marinade. My old faithful goes a little something like this: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Fresh Chopped Parsley, Dried Oregano, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Olive Oil. You can put this recipe on Steak, Chicken, and especially Seafood. The acidity of the citrus cuts down your marinating time too, only needing a little over an hour prep time!
Quick Tip: When grilling seafood, feel free to go citrus crazy. You can use lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, or pineapple juice.
Dry Rubs are also an excellent choice, especially if you are trying to enhance the smokiness of the grill. When creating a dry rub, just remember “red is good.” The most popular rubs on the market usually have a reddish tint to them because the individual seasonings most likely have a paprika or chili powder base. Combine all these dry seasonings to create a great seared crust: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika, and Ground Cumin. I personally like to add a little Cayenne or Chili powder for some spice, but that’s completely up to preference.
2. When There’s No Time for Homemade: Bottle Marinades I love
I’ve definitely been in the party-crunch situation where I just don’t have the time to do a lot of food prep. Between all the little details of a backyard party, and times where some guests arrive early, as hostess, its impossible to have complete control. There are exceptional bottled marinades that I always have in my pantry from the moment I undercover the grill: Hoboken Eddie’s for Beef, Lea & Perrins for Chicken, and Stonewall Kitchen (anything fruity) for Seafood. These marinades are full of flavor, don’t taste over processed, and a little goes a long way.
Quick Tip: Pierce whatever you are grilling to allow the marinade to soak into the meat or fish. It really does make a difference.
I’m personally not a pit master, as the majority of my expertise comes from inside the kitchen. However I’ve learned that with the right method and recipe, a tasty BBQ feast isn’t something only for the grilling greats. If a grilling method has worked for you in the past, as mine have, chances are lighting can strike twice on the grill.
Posted on 5/9/2013 at 5:45:00 AM