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What makes grilling so good?

March 26, 2019

The weather is FINALLY warming up! Sunshine, blue skies, and brats! Brats? Well, I don't know about you, but here at home, we can't wait to break out the grill and celebrate the sunshine!

As we were dreaming about all of the 2019 grill-outs to be, we wondered, "What is it about grilling that makes the food taste so good?"

So we did a little digging and found a few things out.

Much thanks is to be given to the "Maillard Reaction". 

What in the world is a Maillard Reaction? 

Well, without getting too deep into the nitty gritty chemistry, the Maillard Reaction is a basic chemical reaction where the heat from your grill breaks food's proteins down into amino acids, which react with sugars in the food to create that distinct, dark, crisp mark of delicious flavor - aka the sear on your steak or that crust on your tri-tip roast. It's similar to caramelizing sugar, but because of the proteins in meat and veggies, the process is slightly more complex.

Now the specific flavor you get from your grilling your food is primarily a result of the drippings. When the drippings hit the heat source of the grill, be it charcoal or hot plates with gas, the combination of oil, sugar, and protein bursts into flame, creating new molecules that rise in smoke and add to the flavor of the food you're grilling. 

Using charcoal can deepen the extent of that smoky, aromatic flavor even further, marking that signature scent of summer.

Different rubs or marinades can complicate and elaborate the flavors even more. A solid spice rub will result in a nice crust on your steak that can really add to that "famous grill flavor" we all love.

And with that, our mouths are watering! We have to stop. There's surely more pro grill tips to learn, but we'll leave it there for now. 

Please share any additional comments below! Thanks :)

Anastasia Wolf-Flasch

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