Something magical happens on your grill. If you ever happened to taste the grilled food, you would have dreamt of owning your own grill just for the sake of the flavor grilled food carries with it. It is pretty much the forte of a grill to produce a better tasting delight effortlessly, often leaving you wondering about the process. If deductions are to be considered, it is not something magical that happens on the grill. It is actually the magic of science.
Well yeah, it is magical indeed but has its proofs and reasons backing it up. While the question in the title may seem downright stupid, it is pertinent. So let us go through an elucidation that comes from science.
What actually happens
You fire up your grill to reach a certain temperature. Once this temperature crosses the threshold of 285 degrees, a reaction that has been called as Maillard reaction in chemistry takes place in your food. This reaction is essentially a reaction between sugars and amino acids found in the food that we you generally barbecue. This reaction takes the responsibility for the seared taste and brown color of barbecued food. Consequently, you may thank Maillard reaction if you love your barbecued food.
Then there is caramelization
Another reaction that complements the aforementioned Maillard reaction is termed as caramelization. This is basically the oxidation of sugars found in your food. The result of this reaction is a sweet taste you would often encounter with your barbecued food. You may link this reason to the mystery of stellar taste of grilled vegetables. The sugars present in these vegetables turn into flavor rich clusters when caramelized. However, the heat required for this process depends heavily on the specific vegetable.
But before you get too excited
Heat is essential for the Maillard reaction and caramelization but we warn against overdoing your food. Before increasing the amount of heat you provide to your food, do realize the fact that excessive heat not only destroys the taste produced but also leads to the production of cancer-causing compounds. Instead of investing too much into the heat, consider buying yourself a reliable thermometer so as to keep a check on the heat.
Pertinence prevails in matters of grilling. You see, everything is pertinent enough to raise questions. Similar is the case with the color of your grilled food. It is advised that your meat should have the quintessential ruby red color. This color is the result of its exposure to oxygen which leads to the production of a compound called myoglobin.
Then comes the type of grill
A charcoal grill is capable of producing better flavors. This can again be attributed to chemistry. The smoke from charcoal produces certain aromatic compounds which further enhance the flavor
of your grilled food.
You now know the reasons and can now draw better food from the chemistry involved. With this, we hope that you leverage this knowledge without exploiting it. Happy grilling!