Some foods take well to marinades and everyone knows to use them: poultry is a good example. However, hot dogs, fruit, and even beef can be marinated before dropping them on the grill to add new and interesting flavours to barbecue classics.
Everyone knows that a good brine or marinade for chicken and turkey can amp up the flavour, but there are lots of great foods that you may not consider marinating, much less grilling, that can bring great taste to your backyard barbecue.
- Hot Dogs: Good. Food. Stories suggests marinating your hot dogs in a bath of ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, and some other spices to give them a kick that visitors to your backyard barbecue won't soon forget. The trick to marinating hot dogs is to cut cross-hatch patterns in them before you drop them in the bath. That way you give the marinade a way to seep into the dog and work its way into spaces where it'll stay when as it cooks on the grill.
- Fruit: Marinating fruit isn't a new idea, but marinating fruit before grilling it is a bit more contemporary. Most people marinate their fruit when making a chilled fruit salad, but dropping your pineapple slices in a mixture of rum, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg before putting them on the grill can make a great dessert for when you're finished the burgers and steaks. This About.com piece on grilling fruit can get you started.
- Steaks: In most cases, we wouldn't suggest marinating beef – it's so easy to ruin a good cut of beef when you should just salt and pepper it and toss it on the grill. However, one study showed that marinating steak in beer or wine added deliciousness and reduced the potentially carcinogenic chemicals created when grilling meat. The New Scientist, which published the study, noted that marinating steak in beer was more effective (and tastier) than wine, and suggested that those people who love to grill but are concerned about how grilling could impact their health give it a try.
The next time you head over to a neighbour's for a barbecue, or you fire up your own grill before the weather turns cold, consider marinating some of the food you already know how to grill to take its flavour to the next level. What are some of your favourite grilled foods? Sound off in the comments below.