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But first, read some of our favorite #grilltips below to get inspired.
You’ve got that just grilled flavor down pat, but now it’s time to make things a little more exciting for your taste buds. Add flavors in different ways with marinades, rubs and sauces to really bring your food to the next level. We’ve got a helpful guide below for anyone who has ever asked how to make the perfect grill rub, or how to make barbecue sauce that will wow your block party guests, and especially for those who wondered what a mop sauce is. Use our tips below to find the right combo for your meats and when to use them.
Marinades are a liquid mix of fat and acid (like vinegar, wine or lemon juice), that flavors and slightly tenderizes. Soak foods 30 minutes to 2 hours before cooking. Adding sweet ingredients to the marinade can help form caramelized coatings. Remember to always marinate in the refrigerator and do not to use the same marinade that raw meat was sitting in for later basting.
Best with: leaner or bland foods like chicken breast, pork chops or vegetables.
Rub is a powder or paste of herbs, spices and other ingredients that forms a crust to help flavor each each bite. Pat rub on foods 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. Can also set aside rubbed meats for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight to allow the spices to permeate the meat.
Best with: fatty meats like pork ribs, pork loin, lamb chops, salmon and skin-on chicken.
Barbecue Sauce is a usually thicker, sweet sauce that adds flavor and a caramelized coating to meats. Brush on meat during the last 5 to 15 minutes of cooking.
Best with: chicken, ribs and shrimp.
Mop Sauce is a thinner liquid with ingredients like tomato juice or beer that adds moisture during low-heat slow cooking. Baste on foods during the cooking process.
Best with: tougher, long-cooking cuts like ribs, pork butt and briskets.
Other flavoring options to use on foods that come off the grill include herb butters for steak or fish, fresh salsa or relish for pork and chicken, and pestos, chimichurris and tapanades for most just-off-the-grill foods.