Sometimes meats need a little extra love before they are ready for the grill. Marinades, brines and rubs are sometimes just the thing you need.
Marinades are simply flvaor infusing liquids. Besides using herbs, condiments, oils and spices, marinades typically include an acid, such as wine, vinegar, or lemon juice. The acid helps to tenderize the meat and balances out the sweet or spice flavors. Marinades are best for tougher cuts of meat. Remember to always marinade in the refrigerator and if you want to serve your marinade as dipping sauce be sure to bring it to a rolling boil first. This will remove any contamination from the raw meat.
Brines are salty solutions in which lean meats soak. They help meats retain moisture, so they stay juicy and tender during grilling. Sugar, spices and herbs are sometiems added to the liquid as well. Meats should be soaked in a large container so the meat is completely covered without allowing it to float in the solution. Store in refrigerator. Prior to grilling, be sure to rinse the meat to remove any excess salt and then dry with a paper towel.
Rubs are seasoning mixtures that can be applied to meats prior to grilling. Rubs add a spice or smoky flavor to meat. The best rubs often contain strong and mild spices and herbs that enhance the flavor of the meat without being overbearing. When oil or another wet substance is included in the rub recipe, it is called a wet rub. A little moisture helps the rub adhere to the meat. Letting a rub sit on the meat anywhere from 30 minutes to over night allows the spices to permeate the meat.
In the days to come I will list some marinade, rub and brine recipes for you try. Hopefully these will help spice up your grilling.