With Father's Day coming up, it's a great time to give that special guy some tips for saucing up his grilling game.
And chances are, he's a griller. Seventy-five percent of adults in the United States own a grill or smoker, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.
Steven Raichlen, an award-winning barbecue cookbook author and master grill jockey, has just released "Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades - Bastes, Butters, and Glazes, Too," his 13th book on the subject. Heck, the book alone would make a great gift for Dad. You'd be giving him a do-it-yourself doctorate on the subject. At the very least, make a batch of Raichlen's All-purpose Seasoned Salt, since virtually every recipe cooked on the grill calls for salt and pepper.
Got questions about how long to marinate meat or seafood? What's the best way to baste or glaze? What are popular grilling seasonings in other countries? How do you use rubs, marinades, and sauces to successfully turn out championship barbecue every time? Raichlen has answers.
Let's start with a primer of seasoning terms:
- Marinades - These are a combination of herbs, spices, aromatic veggies (like garlic, onion and peppers) and flavorful liquids, like soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar or yogurt. Foods get seasoned with these ingredients to acquire intense flavors and, in some cases, for tenderizing.
- Brines - These are saltwater solutions for adding moisture to meats like turkey or pork. They prevent the meats from drying out on the grill.
- Cures - Similar to brines, cures have high salt content and are intended to dry the food instead of keeping moisture in.
- Bastes - These are liquids brushed on food during cooking.
- Glazes - Similar to bastes, glazes include some sort of sweetener and are added at the end of grilling for a shiny finishing coat.
- Rubs - There are two types. Dry rubs contain only dry ingredients. Wet rubs, also known as spice pastes, are made with liquids like water, oil or yogurt.
- Barbecue sauce - Raichlen devotes an entire chapter to American barbecue sauces and another full chapter to sauces from around the world. There's something for every flavor profile, from sweet ketchup to smoky hot chili choices.
- Slather sauces - These are condiments that are spread or slathered on grilled fare.
And that's just a tease for what you can expect to delve into in this informative cookbook.
Finally, here are some tips about food safety before you even heat up the grill. These apply to camping as well:
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Life begins at 40 (degrees) and ends at 140 (degrees).
- Use disposable rubber or plastic gloves when applying rubs to meats, especially poultry. Throw away the gloves when finished.
- Marinades can become contaminated with meat juice. Food should be marinated in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or tightly covered container. Use a marinade only once and discard.
- Use separate cutting boards for raw and cooked meat. Never cut other ingredients like veggies on a board that has been used for raw meat. Scrub the boards with hot water and soap.
- Use separate platters for raw and cooked meat.
- Make a sanitizing solution of water and a couple of capfuls of bleach to wipe down the sink and countertops (or other work area) after working with raw meat, poultry or fish.