M&M Food Market’s resident grilling expert and certified Red Seal Chef, Chef Michael Gray, understands the nervous excitement of sparking up the barbecue and the challenge of cooking for a crowd. He’s curated his own glossary of helpful barbeque terms to help novices and big-league BBQers alike to cook (and talk) like a pro:
Grill capable – Grill capability is a veggie or plant-based burger rarity. It refers to a burger that holds itself together rather than crumble and fall through grill grates. M&M has just launched an all-new, Canadian-made plant-based burger that’s not only grill capable, it rivals any veggie or meat-based burger out there
Shiner – When a grill greenhorns’ butchering techniques leave much to be desired. Carelessly hacking (versus patiently trimming) a rack of ribs will cause the bone to “shine” through. Maybe leave the finesse work to the pros
Bark – the flavourful crust that forms on a cut of meat and is the result of a delightful balance of open flame, indirect heat, seasonings, caramelized sugars, rendered fat and smoke.
Smoke ring – a product of skill and a full day toiling over the coals, a smoke ring is the flavour-infused band of pink meat found below the bark layer of a smoked pork shoulder or beef brisket. For the uninitiated or those who wish to spend their time in the company of others, M&M’s new slow smoked brisket delivers smoke ring magic in a big way.
Al dente – grilling vegetables can be a challenge for all cooks. Leave them on too long and they turn to mush. Not long enough and they’re raw. Grillers should aim for that sweet spot in the middle or what’s known as al dente. Tender or slightly firm with some nice grill marks and warm all the way through.
If you’re looking, you aren’t cooking – this refers to nervous backyard chefs who repeatedly lift the BBQ lid to check progress. “Opening the grill releases heat and smoke and that can affect cook time and flavour. When friends ask for a peek at what I’m grilling, I offer them a fruit bar as a distraction. It works every single time.”
Flame kissed – putting dessert on the barbecue can add incredible flavours but fruit fillings and pastry can scorch and become bitter if you’re not careful. The key is to only allow the flames to briefly kiss the dessert rather than let it linger in high heat.