Now more and more friends are trying to make BBQ barbecue, I think this is a great start. But at the same time, I also found that people have a lot of questions about the type and use of spices and want to know the answer. So I decided to write this column to share my superficial knowledge of the spices commonly used in BBQ.
1. Salt and sugar
When we are making BBQ marinade, the first thing to pay attention to is the ratio of salt to sugar. What you’ll be grilling and how long you’re grilling will greatly affect this ratio. Personally, I think beef, fish and poultry should be mostly salt-based, with a little sugar. And pork should be served with more sugar (including white sugar, brown sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, etc.) than salt. At the same time, it should be noted that the longer the baking time, the corresponding sugar content will be reduced. This is to prevent excessive caramelization, commonly known as burnt…
Commonly used salts are: fine salt, coarse raw salt, sea salt, seasoned salt (such as garlic salt) and rock salt.
We usually use coarse raw salt and sea salt to make BBQ. Note that sea salt is significantly less salty than ordinary kitchen salt, so you should pay attention to your own taste in the amount. When using fine salt for pickling, be careful to use less than coarse salt and sea salt (50%), otherwise it will be too salty. And rock salt (rose salt) is mostly used for adding salt to finished barbecued meat, not for pickling.
Commonly used sugars are: white sugar, brown sugar, brown sugar.
2. Peppers and Chilli
In addition to controlling the proportion of flavors in a successful BBQ marinade, spiciness is also an important aspect. Different peppers and chili peppers have different flavors and levels of spiciness. For example, black pepper has super flavor, but only a medium level of spiciness, which is used in almost all BBQ marinades.
The spiciness and flavor of white pepper is softer, but with a unique reflowing warmth.
Most of the chili peppers are used to strengthen the front spiciness that black pepper and white pepper do not have, so the amount is generally small.
Peppers and chili peppers are added gradually as you make the marinade, tasting each bit until it suits your taste. Don’t add too much at once, a little is fine, if you add too much at once you won’t be able to separate them out.
Let’s make a sample base for the marinade: 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon chili powder.
3. Tonic spice
After we have the base of BBQ marinade, we found that although the above five ingredients can already provide enough sweet, salty and spicy flavors, there is still a lack of flavor, that is, fragrance.
When we prepare BBQ marinade, in addition to finding a balance in various flavors, we can’t make the flavor of the marinade too sharp, so we need to use supplementary spices at this time. In addition to providing a more muted aroma than other spices, complementary spices can also color the meat.
Commonly used filling spices are as follows:
(1) Mixed spice bottle (the most common on the market): It is blended by a variety of spices in a certain proportion, and the content of each spice is not much, so the taste is even and balanced. Generally contains garlic, dried peppers, cumin, coriander, oregano, cloves, etc.
(2) Cumin: One of the most well-known spices for barbecues, it is generally used in large quantities by grilled skewers. But in BBQ marinade, not much is used.
(3) Sweet red pepper powder: There are many kinds of sweet red pepper powder, Spanish red pepper powder, Belgian red pepper powder, smoked red pepper powder and so on. I use bottled red chili powder that I can get from the supermarket. The taste is moderate, slightly sweet, and provides a medium coloration.
After adding the complementary spices, we can make the sample marinade: 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 cup sweet red paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin.
OK! So in fact, the above sample marinade can already be used directly for the marinating of BBQ grilled meat. But as you may know, I have used many other different spices, and these spices can actually be added according to personal taste. It can be said that after continuous experimentation, we can concoct our own style of barbecue marinade. Below I will share with you the general characteristics of these spices and what I think are suitable meats.
4. Optional flavoring
Allspice: Pimento tree fruit that tastes a bit like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Jamaican barbecue must use spices. Good for pork and chicken.
Basil: Strong licorice flavor spice. Suitable for fish.
Celery Seed: Mild celery fragrance with a slight earthy smell. Suitable for fish.
Cinnamon: Medium sweetness slowly evolves into a slightly sweet and bitter taste. Good for pork and beef.
Cloves: Strong pepper-like flavor. Rarely used. Good for pork.
Coriander: In fact, it is coriander. Everyone knows the taste. Some people love it and some people hate it. More commonly used in BBQ, suitable for pork, lamb and beef.
Dill: Much like tiny fennel, it’s great for chicken and fish, and it’s very fragrant when you bake potatoes.
Garlic Powder: A suggested stock spice that provides a milder garlic flavor than fresh garlic. Suitable for almost all meats.
Sweet oregano: Slightly bitter, with a slight sweetness. Good for beef, lamb and pork.
Oregano: Has a stronger spicy flavor than sweet oregano. Suitable for beef, lamb.
Mustard seed powder: strong spicy flavor, good deodorizing effect, and greasy reconciliation. Suitable for beef, lamb, poultry and pork.
Onion powder: Most marinades can be used, but the flavor is too strong and I use less. Suitable for most meats. In fact, it is the same as marinating meat with onions.
Rosemary: A strong spice, a bit like pine. Although some people use it on fish, I only use it on lamb.
Sage: A slightly bitter and minty spice. Good for lamb.
Tarragon: Aromas of celery and licorice. Good for fish, lamb and pork, seafood is fine too. I sometimes use it on beef that is high in fat.
Thyme: A well-known common spice for beef, it is almost a must for frying steak. In fact, pork, fish, pork, and poultry can all be used.
Next, we can prepare our own BBQ marinade based on the above optional spices.