Summer is all about being outside as much as you can. That means cooking too! Although some people still use their gas grill in the winter months, everyone is bound to have some sort of grill fired up for the summer. Not many people think much of throwing things on the grill and usually hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks and chicken are the first things to come to mind when you think of grilling. Have you considered that there are actually different grilling styles? There are six notable different styles of grilling throughout the world, although many would argue there are considerably more. The basics are Pacific Northwest, Memphis, Kansas City, India, Argentina and Indonesia.
To grill in the Pacific Northwest style they both smoke and grill. You can use alder wood chips to add a smoky yet sweet flavor to wild caught salmon, vegetable kabobs with tofu, seitan or poultry. Need a marinade? Pacific Northwest style says use lemon, dill, soy or ginger in your marinade or sauce.
Memphis mean barbecue! They like to smoke and grill in Memphis. They barbecue is a dry rub with the end result being a spice crust. Make a great rub by mixing together garlic, paprika, finely chopped onions, cumin, salt and pepper and then coat whatever you are grilling. After your food is done, people don’t have a problem with sauce in Memphis, they just don’t like to use sauce to grill. A nice easy dipping sauce would be made up of a simple mix of ketchup, brown sugar, a bit of white vinegar and a dash of dry mustard. Fantastic!
The people from Kansas are also know for their barbecuing and grilling. They, just like those from Memphis, like a dry rub on their barbecue. Their favorite? A sweet smoky rub made from paprika, brown sugar, salt and pepper. The brown sugar on the grill gives it a nice caramelized finish that can’t be beat! This way you won’t have everyone fighting over the piece with the crispy edges. Make sure you make plenty of sauce!
Now we move to South America to Argentina. They are famous for their barbecue and the huge slabs of meat coming from their ranches. They way to grill in Argentina? Charcoal and chimichurri sauce. Make your own chimichurri sauce at home by mixing chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and crush red pepper flakes together. Let it marinade and then brush it on while it grills. Have you ever seen the size of their grills? Look for the old episode when Anthony Bourdain went their with his brother. You simply will not believe it. Absolutely sensational.
You usually don’t think of India and Indonesia when you think of grilling, but it is actually quite popular there. Not to mention they were grilling way before the United States was even colonized. In India, they marinate before grilling. They marinate their chicken, lamb, seafood and even their cheese! The most popular marinate is a mixture of plain yogurt, garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper. Mix it up and grill it tandoori style. A tandoori oven is an upright clay type oven/barbecue pit. The heat is very dry and it is similar in style to a pizza oven. Don’t want to go though the hassle of buying or making a tandoori oven? Just use your gas or charcoal grill at home. It won’t have the exact result, but you food will still be darned tasty.
Last but not least, we are in Indonesia. Indonesian food is often grilled in the form of kabobs where the meat, fish and/or vegetables are cut up and skewered on a wooden or stainless steel rod. They like to marinate their chicken, beef, lamb or seafood before the grill it. A common marinade is a mixture of garlic, ginger, turmeric and lemongrass. Nice and light herbs and spices keep it simple. Serve it with a nice spicy peanut sauce on the side.
Grilling is not just an American tradition. The grilling process happened long before the United states came into being. Next time you turn your grill on, try something different. Cuisines from around the world are easily adaptable to grilling. Broaden your tastes. Broaden your horizons. You taste buds will thank you!