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How Cooking With Lump Charcoal Affects Food Quality

June 14, 2022

When planning to cook outdoors using a grill, one of the first considerations you will give to the food's flavour is where it will be cooked. Cooking with charcoal results in food that has a robust flavour with a hint of smoke, and because of this, many charcoal enthusiasts refuse to use any other cooking method.

If you've ever eaten at a real barbeque joint, you've observed that charcoal is the primary fuel source used in the large pit where the meat is cooked.

A feast with a lot of flavours is created by all of these items, but what exactly is flavour? Let's investigate the science of barbeque and why cooking with lump charcoal greatly affects the quality and taste of food.

Charcoal Grilling Releases Great Heat

Charcoal gets hot. It's very hot. The best charcoal grills can get much hotter than their gas-powered counterparts. Two of the best reasons to use it are that it is cheap and gives off heat. But more than anything else, the taste is the most important reason. The Maillard reaction is a chemical process that happens when food is heated until the surface gets blackened. Chemicals that react to the Maillard reaction make flavours and smells that are more complex. This is why a pale steak that isn't cooked enough doesn't taste as good as one with a tasty crust. Charcoal speeds up this process, and because the heat source is right below the food, it also speeds up another process.

The Science Enriches the Flavours

Food cooked on a charcoal grill gets its rich, smoky taste, not from the smoke, but the Maillard reaction and the vaporised juices. You can also add smoke to your charcoal grill, which will make the flavours of your favourite foods even more interesting. In contrast to a gas grill, you can put wood chips or pellets right on top of the coals in the firebox, close the hood, and let the wood do its job.

Fusion With Other Flavours

Other than sweet and sour and bitter and salty (which you probably already know), what other flavours do you taste regularly? Yumminess or deliciousness is the Japanese word for umami (oo-mah-mee). In the scientific food community, it has only recently been recognised as the fifth flavour. Umami can indicate the presence of protein in a dish. When the Maillard Reaction occurs while grilling, it signifies that the food is fully cooked and safe to eat on a primitive level. Make your next barbeque even more flavorful by adding umami to the mix with a little feast and some high-quality lump charcoal and it will result in an insanely flavorful dish.

It’s in the Fat

A lot of food's flavour is determined by its fat content when it's cooked. The flavour of the meat is greatly influenced by its fat content, which is why we seek out well-marbled cuts of animal protein. When heated with high-quality lump charcoal, those fat striations dissolve. The water in the muscle fibres of beef repels amino acids and carbohydrates that are reacting with one another through the Maillard Reaction. An alternative explanation for meat's flavour and the scent is that the fat absorbs such particles. Aside from that, the oxidation of this fat during grilling adds to the flavour. Fat also has a pleasant taste to it. There is a delightful crunch from high heat when it melts and feels silky-smooth, such as in the case of cheese sauce, chocolate, butter, or French fries, or the crust on a perfectly cooked steak. Finally, fat in meals changes the way your taste buds respond to food. You get more nuanced sensations and an even better aftertaste because some flavours stick to the fat molecules and extend their release on the tongue.

Think about how flavours develop on your tongue the next time you eat something wonderful. The Science of Barbecue goes much beyond a simple understanding of how a grill works. When it comes to grilled food, preparation, cooking methods, and even the chemical components of the meal all have a role. Make your grilled flavour bombs with Charcoal Melbourne. Call us now for some excellent grilling tastes and more exciting things that we offer.

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