Grilling Term Glossary
Cajun is a common flavor profile for grilling. Cajun flavors often involve pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, and thyme.
One of the first steps of many grilling recipes is to make up a mix of spices and then sprinkle it over the item you're cooking. You rub it into the item so the spices get into it. This is a dry rub.
The metal bars that you put the food onto is called a grate. Grates can be made of a variety of substances, such as stainless steel, cast iron, and porcelain coated metal.
Grill is what the whole unit you cook on is called. The act of using a grill is, naturally, grilling.
Jerk is another common flavor mix for grilling. Jerk flavors hail from the Caribbean and typically involve pepper, onion, thyme, and cinnamon.
A marinade is a liquid based flavoring system for the item you're cooking. A marinade can be any of a variety of flavors. Often you mix up the marinade and then put the item plus marinade into a zip-lock or a vacuum seal bag. The item then sits in the marinade for a period of time to soak in the flavors.
A mop is a liquid that you paint over the cooking item while it's cooking. This helps to prevent the food item from drying out during the cooking process. Often a mop involves vinegar, cider, fruit juice, and spice.
Oils have different temperatures that they start to smoke at. Normally you want to aim to cook with an oil that can handle the temperature you're using. Be sure to know the smoke points of the oils you use.
There is an actual unit called a "smoker" which is separate from a grill and can be used to infuse great flavors into food. However, in natural gas grilling terms, to smoke a food is to artificially add smoke to it. Usually how this is done is wood chips are put in a container in the back part of the grill. The aromas that come off those wood chips then gets into the food and adds that smoky flavor.
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