(NC) - Nothing beats a cold beer, good friends and food sizzling away on the grill on a hot summer day. But beer shouldn't only be seen as something to sip while manning the barbecue - it's a versatile ingredient that can add unique flavor and flair to grilled foods of any type.
The folks at Rickard's would like to offer a few helpful tips to help you make the most of the summer grilling season:
Match the depth of flavour of the beer you are serving to the type of food being prepared. Are you planning on serving lighter fare like seafood or something more flavourful like a steak? To boost flavour to the max, grilled meats like steak, burgers and ribs should be paired with a full-flavoured beer like Rickard's Red to complement the flavours that result from the carmelization that occurs during grilling. Less rich, more delicate foods like seafood and vegetables are beautifully complimented with a lighter, citrusy beer, like the wheat-style Rickard's White.
Beer makes an excellent marinade. For full of flavour yet tender, melt-in-your mouth results, there's no better option than a beer marinade. Delicately-flavoured meat and veggies should be marinated in lighter flavoured beer while more flavourful foods should be marinated in a full-flavoured beer. For best results, marinate heavier cuts of meat in the refrigerator overnight to maximize the tenderizing qualities of the beer and to allow maximum flavour absorption. Set aside a second batch of marinade and continue to baste your meat as you cook.
Add unique flavour and keep meat moist by grilling with wet wood chips. Try soaking apple wood chips in beer and placing them in a barbecue safe foil pan. The pan should be placed directly on your barbecue's charcoals or in the drip pan beneath your meat while grilling to infuse rich, smoky flavour into any meal.
Cut down on charring by applying barbecue sauces containing sugar only in the final stages of grilling. For sauces without sugar, apply liberally to keep meat moist and tender and to lock in the flavour.