Flavor Secrets

Grilling Safety
Flavor Secrets
Recipes
Marinades

 

For more information, contact
Marjorie LaFont
, Extension Educator,
U of I Extension Peoria County
.

 


When you cook meats, poultry or fish on the grill, it is a good idea to use marinades to enhance the flavor rather than a sweet barbecue sauce. Marinades can be made from a combination of fruit juices, wines or spirits, herbs and spices, garlic, onions and peppers. Some marinades also help to tenderize. Don't forget to select lean cuts of meat and trim all meat and trim all visible fat.

Vegetables marinated and cooked on the grill are wonderful too. Combine different vegetables or mix with fruit. The more vegetables and fruits are better, because it is important to have at least five servings of vegetables and fruits a day.

Dry beans and peas are high in protein and high in many of the vitamins and minerals provided by meats. They also are high in carbohydrates and fiber and are low in fat. These versatile vegetables are good in salads. You may want to include White Bean Salad as a side dish or create a bean salad of your own.

10 Flavor Secrets for Outdoor Cooking

  1. Sprinkle some orange, lemon, or grapefruit peels over hot coals in the last few minutes of grilling to add zesty flavor to chicken, ham, fish, pork, or beef.

  2. For convenience, marinate foods in zipper-Iock plastic storage bags; just turn the whole bag over a few times to distribute marinade. Otherwise, use a deep glass or stainless steel-not aluminum-container.

  3. Try marinating food in store-bought Italian or oil/vinegar salad dressing-but don't get one with a thick consistency (it will char too quickly). Delicious on beef, fish, chicken!

  4. Quick basting sauce: Brush beef or poultry with your favorite spaghetti sauce during the last 10 minutes of grilling.

  5. Turn up the outdoor flavor in foods even if you're broiling them inside-by lightly brushing them with liquid smoke during cooking. Look for this bottled seasoning wherever sauces or condiments are sold.

  6. For good taste-and for safety's sake, to kill any bacteria from raw foods-be sure to heat leftover marinade to full boiling, then simmer for five minutes before serving as a sauce.

  7. Brush on thick marinades-made with honey, sugar, jelly, preserves, pureed fruit, or other sticky ingredients-only during the last few minutes of grilling to prevent bumming. Light sauces made with oil and seasoned without sugar can be brushed on food earlier if desired.

  8. Add aromatic wood chips to hot coals to produce smoke that seasons grilled (To bring out the flavor and prolong burning time, soak chips first. Place in water, press a small plate on top to hold chips down.) Choose from mesquite, apple, peach, grapevine cuttings lend nice flavor too. Add large chips at the start of grilling, small chips near the end.

  9. Sprinkle fresh rosemary sprigs over coals near the end of cooking to enhance lamb. Try fresh thyme for seafood, bay leaves for steak or burgers. When basting meats or poultry with barbecue sauce, scatter fresh basil, oregano, marjoram, or all three over the coals for tantalizing flavor.

  10. Dampen a couple of whole, unpeeled garlic cloves and place on coals during the last few minutes of cooking to add a little something extra to meal, poultry, and seafood. Barbecue doesn't get any better than this!

Grilling Safety | Flavor Secrets | Recipes | Marinades