Rubs, Marinades, and Spices
By David Huston
When it comes to marinating your meat you have 3 options; dry rub, paste, or liquid. A dry rub are spices blended together then hand rubbed onto your meat, then placed in refrigerator to marinate. A paste is a combination of fresh herbs and spices with a small amount of oil added, then placed in a food processor to form a paste substance. Then you spread paste on meat and let rest for a few hours before cooking. A liquid is usually a water and oil base with coarsely chopped spices that are mixed with a whisk then poured over the meat to marinate for a couple of hours.
I highly recommend you marinate all pork, chicken and some of the cheaper cuts of beef. Not only will it add flavor but it will help make the meat tender and lock in the juices. I do not recommend marinating fish, it is too delicate and the extra liquid will break down the fish and make it soggy and broken.
Experiment with your spices, know which ones go with others, and play to your taste buds. If you like Italian try oregano, parsley, and garlic. If your want that Middle Eastern flare try cumin, turmeric, and curry powder. If you want that western BBQ flavor try smoked paprika, sage, and tarragon. For heat add jalapenos, red pepper, or a chili paste. Try and compliment the meat you are working with and not try and over power and hide the natural flavor of the meat. Remember to always salt and pepper your meat before you start cooking process, this will help to bring out the natural flavor of the meat. The only caution I will give you is to watch your salt when working with pork, pork has a higher natural salt content then the other meats.
The bottom line is to have fun creating new and exciting dishes that you and your family can enjoy. Do not be afraid to fail; after 35 years in the food industry I still experiment and end up at a restaurant due to bad preparation. It’s called plan B. Enjoy and stay tuned grilling recipes are on their way.