This back-to-school season, learning isn’t just for the kiddos. Now is a great time to take a refresher course on bar-b-q, grilling and the ins and outs of this cuisine we love so much! Just read on for a few delicious lessons.
Grilling is part of a great global tradition
First, a brief history lesson!
Every time you fire up the grill, you are partaking in a long-running global tradition. The word barbecue itself stems from the Caribbean Taino people’s word, barbacoa, referring to cooking meat (prepared with herbs and spices) over a pit of fire. And across the world, over at Stonehenge, researchers have discovered pots and animal bones with fat residue and burn patterns consistent with “barbecue-style roasting,” according to Smithsonian Magazine! Good bar-b-q may thrive in the South, but ours is just one small, delicious slice of a very active international bar-b-q, grilling community.
Go against the grain
Now for some flavorful physics. When cutting into a freshly prepared Dustin’s steak (or even one of your own!), be sure to locate the muscle fibers’ direction (small lines in the meat itself), and cut the opposite way. You might think that cutting with the grain would be easier and more intuitive, but this will leave the stringy muscle fibers intact leading to a chewier steak. When you cut against them, you’ve done some of the work so your mouth won’t have to, leading to a more tender, juicy experience bite after bite!
Give it a rest
Another top tip for steaks, roasts and ribs? Let them rest after cooking! As little as five minutes for steaks and ribs, and 10 to 15 for larger roasts, can help your meat finishing the cooking process. (What’s really happening, of course, is that the juices inside get a chance to redistribute throughout the meat, leading to a juicy, mouthwatering meal.)
Show some love for the Maillard reaction
Chemical reactions happen every day, even outside of the lab. Foodies and bar-b-q enthusiasts will enjoy learning about the Maillard reaction, in which amino acids and sugars interact with heat to produce a golden-brown coloring and distinctive flavor—the defining characteristics of a good steak or fried chicken!
Clean your grill before digging in
You may already know all there is to know about grilling and how to achieve the perfect bar-b-q at home—but for backyard cookouts, it’s also worth learning about the best cleanup practices! Though the first thing you will want to do after grilling is, naturally, to dig right in, take a minute while your grill is off but still hot to brush away any crumbs or spills. These spots will be much harder to clean off later, when your grill is cold, and can interfere with your next cookout by flaring up in the heat.
Looking for bar-b-q restaurants in New Smyrna Beach and the surrounding area? Stop by your local Dustin’s and dig in! Equipped with the essential bar-b-q know-how, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite flavors even more. We can’t wait to see you soon.