Grilling for the Holiday

So I’m seeing all the food info sites are giving everyone cooking advice for the weekend, and I was struggling to find something I could add to the conversation. The first thing I would clarify is the difference between Grilling and BBQ, for whatever reason here on the west coast whenever we cook outside we call it BBQ… this is incorrect, and it doesn’t matter if I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN… My father spoke Ukrainian as his first language so growing up we knew that “Getting a Sandwich” meant lunch and not literally a sandwich, that didn’t make it correct. However what most of us do on weekends is Grilling not low and slow BBQ, so please be a little more accurate in your terminology… and yes I’m aware it’s a lost cause to crusade against language and its use. Back to cooking… Simple grilling advice… If you need to cook something through like chicken or sausage use lower or indirect heat, for a gas grill turn the heat down, on a charcoal grill increase the distance between the meat and the heat either vertically or horizontally. If you like rare stuff  high heat will give you a nice char and rare inside. The other key to grilling is for the “griller” to monitor their drinking until the food done, it sounds simple but observation has shown it is difficult to put into practice.

Now lets talk about flavor & Cooking, there are a myriad of rubs, marinades, sauces, and dressing recipes and techniques available to anyone online. My first rule is to salt any raw protein before anything else…. always season your meat. Second, bring your meat to room temperature if possible, especially if you’re looking to cook it well done. I know this isn’t always possible because of people who may be milling around questioning your food safety, but I’m not talking about leaving meat out for days, just enough time to bring the temp up a tad. When you want to add more flavors like herbs, aromatics, and other spices I recommend you start with a Mayo base, I know cooking Mayo is counter intuitive but stick with me here. Mayo at it’s core is oil suspended in an acid & egg protein emulsion, so if you take some mayo (oil) and add a rub mix to it and marinate your meat with it, once it hits the grill it will actually produce a crust of flavor from whatever you choose to put in your marinade. From here you have a blank slate chiles, spices, vegetables… whatever, a food processor or blender comes in handy for these. If your mayo marinade is too thick, it can always be thinned out with a little vinegar, however the thinner you make it the less crusting you’ll get. If you want a dipping sauce for your Grilling meal use your marinade recipe and add a little sour cream and season to taste. It’s not a good idea to use a marinade that has been used on raw meat as a dipping sauce. I wish you the best of Holidays and remember that the most important ingredient to any meal is the company you keep.

4 thoughts on “Grilling for the Holiday

  1. Well, I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your tips & tribulations; even made a marinade for my grilling adventures the other day, adding sour cream to my simple marinade. YuM! As I stand over my grill these coming years, be sure that I will be thinking of you & sending you lots of positive nursing vibes!!
    You’re on my mind & in my summer BBQ experiments! Keep the genius tips & medical tribulations (and vice versa!) coming!!
    Much love…….sandy


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