Summer is well along, and if you’re like many of us, you’ve probably already had your fill of burgers, hot dogs, steaks, chicken, and ribs as well as any number of delicious meats on the grill.
Why do I use the word grill? Although we often use the term barbecue when we’re talking about what’s for dinner, the vast majority of us are really grilling.
What’s the difference?
Grilling, unlike true barbecuing, is marked by its rather short, hot approach. It gives your meats less smoke but provides the opportunity to form a crispy exterior crust and a rarer doneness, if that’s what you like.
It also gives you the opportunity to apply a basting of sauce, which because of the higher temperatures that grilling requires, caramelizes and turns into something truly wonderful.
It’s amazing to see a sauce whose taste isn’t something you’d enjoy raw completely morph into an irresistibly delicious glaze once it’s grilled.
Your standard barbecue sauce does this to some degree, but I think once you’ve reached the 4th of July, you might think about giving that tomatoey, ketchupy sauce a break and move on to some other well-deserved flavors.
Ready for a change?
If so, I have a few NEW grilling sauces that will perk up your next grill out. They’ll give your backyard cuisine some new flavors to see you straight through to Labor Day.
My first recipe, which is on our website, is fantastic with pork and chicken. It’s my Mongolian Marinade & Basting Sauce. This marinade is hoisin based and has just the right amount of acidity to counterbalance its sweetness. It has just enough spice and hot kick to keep you interested in every bite. I’d suggest marinating your pork or chicken in this sauce for an hour or two before grilling. Also, give your meats at least three bastings while cooking over medium to medium-high heat.
Love the flavors of the Southwest? Have a little maple syrup in your pantry? This recipe is waiting for your grill!
I’ll caution you, however. This recipe requires REAL maple syrup in order to stand up to all the other ingredients. You may also want to chop a little extra fresh cilantro to have on hand for garnishing your finished meats. And speaking of meats, this grilling sauce is great on EVERYTHING, even fish. Go for it!
Sweet Maple Chipotle Grilling Sauce
Makes about 2 cups of marinade
2 Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce (canned)
2/3 Cup Maple Syrup
1 TBSP Garlic, Minced
¼ Cup Green Onion, Chopped Fine
2 TBSP Teriyaki Sauce
¼ tsp Oregano, Crushed, Dry
2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 TBSP Sesame Oil
½ Lime Juice from ½ Lime
¼ Cup Cilantro, Chopped
Just mix all of these ingredients together in a non-reactive (glass, plastic or stainless-steel) bowl, and allow them to marinate together for an hour or two before using. Like all marinades and basting sauces, it’s best to let your grilled meats soak in some of the flavor by marinating an hour or so before grilling. Then apply at least two or three bastings while grilling, generally over medium or medium-high heat.
The last (and by no means the least) sauce you MUST try is my Jamaican Jerk Sauce and Marinade.
It’s a rather classic version, with a few nuances that make it a little more complex. I’ll explain: Some ingredients just MAKE Jamaican Jerk what it is, and that means a balance of sweet spices and thyme with garlic, soy and heat (a little).
My recipe does the following
- Adds honey as well as brown sugar
- Replaces soy sauce with teriyaki sauce to kick up the ginger and garlic component
- Requires sherry vinegar and Spanish onion versus cider vinegar and any onion
- Uses frozen, concentrated orange juice to intensify that sweet citrus flavor you get in jerk
Again, I recommend an hour or so of marinating before grilling and then a few bastes over medium heat.
Makes about 3 cups
½ Cup Green Onions, Finely Chopped
1 TBSP Thyme, Fresh Minced
2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 TBSP Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Honey
2 tsp Allspice, Ground
1 tsp Nutmeg, Ground
1 tsp Cinnamon, Ground
2 Habanero Peppers, Finely Chopped
1/2 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Sherry Vinegar
1 Cup Spanish Onion, Finely Chopped
¼ Cup Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice
1 tsp Ginger, Fresh, Minced
Once again, just stir all of these ingredients together and let them rest and marinate together an hour or so before using.
Do you have a great grilling sauce recipe? Share with me in the comments below!