4 Ways to Add Flavor to Grilled Food

4 Ways to Add Flavor to Grilled Food

When warm weather hits, people want to get grilling. When you want to get the best-tasting foods possible, you can use various flavoring methods to bring your grilled meals to a new level of deliciousness. With some planning ahead and experimentation, you can feel like a master of the grill.

1. Use Dry Rubs/Pastes

A simple yet effective way to flavor foods before grilling is using a rub or paste. There are numerous dry rub recipes to try, or you can make your own custom rubs. Both rubs and pastes can deliver bold flavors to foods.

For the dry rub, you simply remove excess moisture from the meat and apply your spice mixture on all sides. For pastes, mix your spices with a bit of liquid in a small bowl, then apply it.

If you wish to flavor several smaller portions of meat with a dry rub, you can add it to a gallon freezer bag and shake well to cover them completely.

2. Use Marinades

Marinades are another way people like to flavor their food for grilling. To marinate meats, you combine a liquid and some herbs and spices to soak your meats in. The liquid is often acidic to slightly break down the protein fibers of the meats to be cooked.

When using marinades, it’s important to use non-reactive containers for storage due to the acidity levels that they have. You can use glass or stainless steel, for example. If you’re going to marinate longer than 30 minutes, refrigerate the meat to keep it safe.

Be conscientious of the type of meat you’re marinating. Some types take far less time than others.

3. Use Brining

Brining meat is very similar to marinating, but it delivers flavor much deeper into the meat. Brining leaves meats moist, flavorful, and easy to eat.

The basic formula for a brine includes salt and a liquid of choice. The combination of flavors you choose can be sweet, savory, or anywhere in between. Once you have your brine recipe prepared, you add it to a non-reactive container and put your meats in. Refrigerate until needed. Brining times will vary depending on thickness and type of meats being prepared. Do not reuse brine. Being able to prepare and grill or smoke delectable meals for friends and family is definitely something to look forward to.

4. Use Wood

Flavoring food with wood is one of the oldest techniques around, and one that people stand by today. The type of wood used during the grilling process will impart a lot of flavor to your food and make it that much more delicious. Some woods that people use for grilling include:

Hickory: Hickory wood gives food a bold and smoky flavor. It’s often used when cooking pork or beef.

Oak: Oak is a versatile wood that gives long-burning coals. People use it to grill anything from wild game to seafood, beef, and even poultry.

Fruit woods: Woods like plum, peach, apricot, and nectarine bring out the sweetness in grilled foods. They are commonly used to grill poultry, seafood, or pork.

If you will be grilling with wood, please use only food-safe woods such as those listed and avoid chemically-treated woods to ensure safety.