The month of May brings us National Barbecue Month, Beef Month, Hamburger Month, Asparagus Month, Strawberry Month, Egg Month, Salsa Month, Salad Month and Celiac Awareness Month. If you’ve been paying attention along the way, you are quite aware of our fondness for grilling – beef, Beef and BEEF; as well as the fact that ALL of our products are gluten-free. There’s a reason for that!
Most are familiar with and swear by Good Seasons Salad Dressings and McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning. We used to use both…until we found out that “natural flavor” as listed in the ingredients is code for pseudo-synthesized MSG. That mean’s the gluten intolerant at your table WILL have issues if you choose to use either of these seasonings in your grilling efforts. That realization opened our eyes to lots of gluten based grilling and barbecuing products from seasonings to rubs to sauces. That was a rather disheartening discovery. Primarily because it’s the MSG that makes most of those things taste so much better…or so we thought.
Prepare to embark on a culinary journey. Make a concerted effort to avoid any MSG laced seasonings, sauces, dressings or rubs for the entire month of May. We know it sounds drastic, but your taste buds will thank you! (our salad dressing discussion ends here today, but you can pick up our earlier comments here)
The primary flavors that come from well cooked proteins on the grill are developed not by the myriad of seasonings you put on those proteins (though they can help), but through the Maillard reaction (pronounced: My-yar). This reaction does not start occurring until the surface of the meat reaches at least 309° F. From there, the denatured proteins in the presence of sugars released during the denaturation process actually produce the browning that we refer to as ‘sear’. It’s this seared ‘crust’ on the surface of the protein (think steaks here) that actually provides the greatest amount of flavor.
With beef, this process can be assisted by ‘sweating’ your burgers or ribs or steaks before you cook them. (Be advised, that sweating your chicken will make it tough, chicken needs to be salted 24 hours in advance. That’s a discussion for another day.) Use a Sel Gris or a Black Truffle Salt to sweat your steak while it’s warming closer to room temperature. This allows you to sear and cook your steaks quickly.
More than 600 components have been identified in the aroma that grilled beef gives off. When done correctly, you won’t really be able to name any of those 600 specifically except one – delicious. Scientists have not yet been able to find this singular component, but are certain it exists based on empirical input provided by millions of beef eaters. The good news is this – pork and chicken seem to contain this same component!
Take advantage of BBQ Month, or even Hamburger Month (this week is National Hamburger week by the way – kinda doubling down on the hamburger theme this month right?). Start by grilling some burgers if you like, or go out on a limb and enjoy Roast Leg of Lamb Day today!
No matter how you grill it, it’s bound to be tasty! If it isn’t, come see us for some more suggestions or seasoning options! Best of all, it’s all gluten-free!