System Pavers Outdoor Lifestyle Blog

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Less is More

Less is More

Mar 21 2015

Written by: Sam the Cooking Guy “Hey Sam, what do you like to marinate a steak with?” I get asked that all the time. It seems as if there’s a desire to complicate things at the grill, especially when it comes to beef - and frankly I just don’t get it. Unlike cooking in an oven or on the stove, part of the beauty of a grill (especially a charcoal one) is that the flavors are naturally enhanced by the cooking process itself. When something cooks in an oven and fat drips off – nothing happens (apart from the food now sitting in it’s own fat). But when you cook on a grill and the fat drips – everything happens! The fat hits the grill briquettes or charcoals, flares up and sends the most fantastic grill-filled smoke and flames back up to the food. That’s where the flavor comes from. And when you start adding a ton of other flavors, you mask or completely hide that wonderfulness. lemon seasoning So here’s my suggestion. Buy great beef, or fish, or poultry and try seasoning only with Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper (check out my previous blog Salt & Pepper). That’s it. But don’t be afraid to season liberally, because even a modestly thick steak will need it. Then cook your food and bring it off the grill. At this point with beef, I do nothing more than let it rest. But fish or poultry I’ll sometimes add a squeeze or two of fresh citrus – especially lemon or lime. A little acid from the citrus can really boost the flavors. Then if you’re still starved for a sauce of some kind, maybe add a little to the side for dipping. But trust me - great ingredients don’t need much more than a little seasoning. bbq sauce Ok, one last thing. For those who MUST add a sweet sauce to the grilling food, do it in the final minutes of cooking. Adding a sugar-based sauce too early will only encourage flames and possibly char up the outside before the inside is done. And no one wants that.

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