Articles & Recipes

Everything You Need to Know About Marinades, Spice Pastes & Sauces

July 27, 2018

Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh, author of 100 Best Grilling Recipes, says all you really need to know about marinades, spice pastes and sauces is:

They are designed to add flavor, pizzazz and, in some cases, to tenderize certain cuts of meat.

A marinade can be as simple as a one-ingredient preparation such as a couple of steaks submerged in red wine before grilling. Generally speaking, however, a marinade will always contain an acid component (citrus, vinegar, wine), a fat (oil or butter) and an assortment of herbs and spices (garlic, freshly ground pepper, rosemary, etc.).

Sauces are used towards the latter half of cooking because they generally contain some form of sugar. Sauces enhance the flavor profile of what you’re cooking.

Glazes are used at the very end of cooking or even after a food has left the grill.

Compound butters are a complement to food that is being served. Picture a hefty steak still sizzling and treated to a chunk of pungent Roquefort butter.

The more of these methods you employ, the bigger the payoff in terms of flavor intensity. Think of these preparations as support networks for grilling — the rules are more fast and loose than hard and fast, so get creative!

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