BLOG: The Thrill of the Grill

June 25, 2014 - 13:01
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UNLV Ed Outreach
It’s summertime again. While it brings the heat, it also ignites my love of grilling. I grill just about everything I can get my hands on almost every day during the summer to keep my house cool. I had been thinking about taking a course in the Barbecuing Series offered by UNLV Continuing Education. The first class is Sauces, Rubs & Marinades, followed by Grilling, then Barbecuing—all taught by Chef Les Kincaid.

When I signed up for Sauces, Rubs & Marinades, I was really looking forward to the technical side of this class. How long do you marinade different types of proteins and why? What is the base of all rubs and how much do you use per pound? Do you really only put sauces on at the last few minutes? Which of these can be used on vegetables, or is there another base for those? Well I went to the class and had my questions answered.

The featured meats were pulled pork, chicken, and salmon. Chef Kincaid made a sauce for the pulled pork and marinades for the chicken and salmon. I learned a lot of in-depth details to distinguish between grilling and barbecuing, and that different meats are marinated by the density of the meat. Since fish is flaky, the marinade permeates faster than a pork roast. If you marinate too long, the meat becomes mushy. There is no standard base for rubs, as they vary from region to region, just like the sauces. Speaking of sauces, most barbecue sauces are tomato based. Since tomatoes burn quickly, the sauce should be put onto the protein half an hour before it is done.

One of the most versatile kinds of food to be cooked on the grill is vegetables. I learned to always use a light coating of olive oil so the vegetables don’t stick to the rack; you can season them with just salt and pepper or a little bit of rub. 

As usual, Chef Kincaid was generous with the recipes he handed out, so I can’t wait to experiment. Please check out the other classes Chef Kincaid is offering through UNLV Continuing Education this summer and fall.