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The Thrill of the Grill

Butcher Block Gourmet Store

Thursday, November 07, 2019

T here's something hypnotic about fat dripping from meat onto blistering hot coals beneath.

Scientifically speaking, grilling is a dry-heat cooking method that uses a “significant amount of direct, radiant heat” that prepares food quickly — grilling temperatures often exceed 260C. Cooking is an art but grilling, like baking, is a science. There are few things as fundamental to anthropology as man's relationship with fire. But because it's science, some fundamental rules should be followed to result in a thrilling grilling experience.

Firstly, ensure that the pieces of meat are cut uniformly. Meat of varying thicknesses will result in different cooking times, and even the most adept grillmaster can undercook or overcook a piece of meat.

Next, ensure that your grill — whether gas, electric, or charcoal — is hot. Here's a quick tip to determine if your grill is ready for meat to be placed on it. If you aren't able to hold your hand above the grill for more than two seconds, it is hot and ready. If you can last five seconds or more, then, your grill is too cold.

Then, get that char! Grilled foods taste better because of the browning of proteins and sugars. This is called the Maillard reaction, and it creates beautiful brown colouration and extra flavour on meat and vegetables. The Maillard reaction occurs when foods reach an excess of 155C, and that browning is what makes the crust on bread, jerk chicken and pork, the edges of cookies and brownies, burgers, cooked bacon, and seared steaks so delicious.

And, if you can't be bothered, then let Butcher Block do it for you. Cue: drumroll.

On Sunday, November 10, between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Butcher Block is collaborating with Roast by Simon Levy to host our first open grill event where you buy it, and we grill it. Any selection from our fresh meat counter will be grilled to perfection and enjoyed in our courtyard. Chilled bottles of wine will be on sale, and for those with a sweet tooth, Candy Craze will have delicious desserts. There will be live music, and the event is fun for the entire family.

Until next week, keep informed and well-fed!