Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue: A Must-Attend Event for Barbecue Lovers

The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is one of the most prestigious barbecue competitions in the world. It is held annually in Lynchburg, Tennessee, the home of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. The competition attracts the best pitmasters from all over the country and the world, who compete for a chance to be crowned the World Grand Champion.

The event is more than just a competition; it is a celebration of barbecue culture. There is live music, food vendors, and a variety of other activities for visitors to enjoy. The event is also a great opportunity to learn more about barbecue and to try some of the best barbecue that the country has to offer.

Here are a few reasons why the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is a really good event to go to:

  • The food: The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is a great place to try some of the best barbecue in the world. Teams compete in a variety of categories, including ribs, brisket, chicken, and pork. Visitors can sample barbecue from all over the country and the world, and there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.
  • The competition: The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is one of the most prestigious barbecue competitions in the world. The best pitmasters from all over the country and the world compete for a chance to be crowned the World Grand Champion. Visitors can watch the competition unfold and see the best pitmasters in the world at work.
  • The atmosphere: The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is a fun and festive event. There is live music, food vendors, and a variety of other activities for visitors to enjoy. The event is also a great opportunity to meet other barbecue lovers and to learn more about barbecue culture.

If you are a fan of barbecue, then the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is an event that you should definitely consider attending. It is a great opportunity to try some of the best barbecue in the world, to watch the best pitmasters in the world compete, and to experience the best of barbecue culture.

Here are some tips for making the most of your experience at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue:

  • Arrive early: The event is very popular, and the lines can get long. Arriving early will give you plenty of time to sample all of the different barbecue and to enjoy the other activities that the event has to offer.
  • Bring your appetite: There is a lot of great food to sample at the event, so be sure to come hungry.
  • Bring a cooler: You can bring a cooler to the event to store any drinks or food that you purchase.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: You will be doing a lot of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring a sunscreen and hat: The event is held outdoors, so be sure to protect yourself from the sun.

With these tips in mind, you are sure to have a great time at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.

How to Power a Complete Outdoor BBQ Kitchen Off the Grid

I have now been reviewing barbecue products for over a decade. I started my YouTube channel back in January 2017 and have uploaded over 90 videos from how to build a Weber Kettle Barbecue to how to cook the perfect brisket. The one thing I have not done is design and build the perfect Outdoor BBQ Kitchen. So starting today I am going to start a Blog/Video series on just how to do it.

The Requirements

After reading thousands of posts and articles on what makes an Outdoor BBQ Kitchen great I found that the location of this kitchen is critical to success. Now realize an outdoor kitchen does not mean it is attached to your house. It could be part of an RV or pad for an RV. Next to a cabin or outdoor shelter or just sitting out in the middle of nowhere. The only way that you can power a kitchen like this is to be Off the Grid.

So if you are off the grid then you need to get power from alternative sources. The good news there are a handful of companies that are now addressing this need by making Solar Generators.

So what is a Solar Generator? In almost all cases it is a battery, a battery charger, and an inverter. The battery is to hold power for later use, the charger is to recharge the battery and the inverter is to convert battery energy into 120 volts, AC power so you can run standard home appliances. Part of the charger can use solar panels so the battery can be charged directly from the sun.

So how much Power do we need?

That all depends on how many devices you want to run. Let’s start off with the primary component of the kitchen and that is the grill.

The Grill

Most wood and charcoal grill do not use electricity but that is starting to change with a newer charcoal grill like the Masterbuilt Gravity series. Also, there are now temperature controllers for even the Weber Kettle and they all require power. The most popular grill in the market are pellet grills and they all require power to run. Actually for the first 5 to 10 minutes of turning the pellet grill on requires a lot of power so the pellets can ignite. That is typically 300 to 500 watts. After that, the power requirements drops to 30 watts or less power than a standard lightbulb.

The Refrigerator

So what do most people do when they are grilling? They usually drinking something like a beer, a soda, or like me a margarita. The last time I checked all these drinks need to be cold and nobody likes sticking their hand into an ice cooler. You need a refrigerator and a good one. Depending on the size the power requirement will be 100 to 250 watts.

A Blender

Now if you are a beer drinker this might not be high on your list but if you like margaritas or slushes a blender is a must Power required is 250 up to 1,000 watts while running.

Ice Maker

People are always buying ice and they now have countertop ice makers that can make ice in 6 minutes. Why would you ever want to buy another bag of ice? The power requirement for an ice maker is 100 to 200 watts.


When it gets dark and the party is still going on you are going to need lights. The best for a patio/kitchen area are LED string lights. Two 48ft strands with 30 bulbs would use 60 to 100 watts.

The Math and the Solution

So let’s add all the numbers. To have plenty of margins let’s act like everything is running at the same time. Never going to happen in real life but you will be guaranteed the system will always work.

Grill 500 watts
The Refrigerator 250 watts
Blender 1,000 watts
Ice Maker 200 watts
LED Lights 100 watts
Total2,050 watts

If we can supply 2,050 watts of continuous power then we can power this kitchen without issue. So what are the solar generators that can meet that requirement?

Jackery Explorer 2000 – This unit can supply 2,200 watts of continuous power for up to 45 minutes and surge power of up to 4,400 watts. Can accept up to 800 watts of solar panels and can fully recharge the unit in 3 to 3.5 hours.

Bluetti AC200P – This unit can supply 2,000 watts of continuous power for up to an hour and surge power of up to 4,800 watts. Can accept up to 700 watts of solar panels and can fully recharge the unit in 3 to 3.5 hours.

Monstar M2000 – This unit can supply 2,000 watts of continuous power for up to an hour and can store 2220 watts of power. Can accept up to 200 watts of solar panels.

So which one is better? That has more to do with personal preference than actual usage. Both units will easily power the outdoor BBQ kitchen and I would be happy with either one.

Umami Barbecue – The Adventure Begins

Today I posted my first Umami Barbecue Video. The first one is all about pulled pork but this is not your ordinary pulled pork. This one has onions, shiitake mushrooms and a boatload of high in glutamates sauces.

Watch it but if you want to see the next video please hit the Subscribe button. If Facebook or Instagram is your thing then go like or follow us at @learntobbq .

So you know the next video is going to be Umami Baby Back Ribs do make sure you subscribe or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

On a side note, the grill I am using is designed to allow multiple items to cook at the same time. When cooking Umami Barbecue you need to integrate different ingredients at different temperatures and at different times. The Camp Chef Windwood is the only grill I know that can smoke ribs and let me make a special Umami sauce at the same time on the same grill.

To learn more about this grill or where you can purchase one click here.

Umami Barbecue – What is it?

We all know what barbecue is but what is Umami?

Umami is a Japanese word that means “yummy” or “delicious” and it’s the name that’s been given to what is called the fifth taste. The other four tastes are sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.

In 1908 a Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda determined the source that stimulates this 5th taste.

Mr. Kikunae Ikeda

Ikeda began trying to replicate the flavor of a traditional soup he made from boiled kombu (seaweed) and dried tuna. He mixed together salty, sweet, bitter and sour, but it was something altogether different. In his lab, he finally managed to isolate the substance that gave the broth its distinctive taste: glutamate, the most plentiful of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins.

Ikeda named the taste of glutamate Umami

Other scientists soon got involved and found that other amino acids compound this deliciousness, These are nucleotides, the molecular building blocks of DNA, found in a wide range of foods, including shellfish, pork and, mushrooms. They impart some umami on their own, but more importantly, they magnify the umami of foods rich in glutamates. Foods like chicken, tomatoes, aged cheeses, fresh corn, and almonds.

When nucleotide-rich foods are added to foods rich in glutamates, the result is even more intense flavor.

So how does this affect barbecue? Big Time. First meats are full of Umami and then when you cook them you get the benefit of the Maillard Reaction and Caramelization that improves the taste even more. Then you use tomato-based sauces. Tomatoes are full of Umami.

So if barbecue is already full of umami then what is the big deal?

The big deal is you can always make it better and a better barbecue is what your barbecue enthusiast is always pursuing.

Let look at a standard barbecue meal like pulled pork. First, you season it with salt, pepper and garlic. Garlic is full of Umami.


Next, you cook the pork shoulder until the internal temperature of 200F plus. This allows the outside of the pork shoulder to reach temperatures of 280F plus allowing the Maillard Reaction to kick in. Now you know why the end pieces of a roast always have a more intense flavor.

Now you shred the pork and mix a tomato-based BBQ sauce into the meat and then serve. Tomatoes, as we mentioned before, are full of Umami.

So how do we improve this barbecue classic? How about getting rid of the bbq sauce and add this instead. diced tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and even some fish sauce. Yes, fish sauce.

I did this recipe and it was the best pulled-pork I have ever had. No one ingredient stood out but the flavor was so intense without being too sweet or spicy. It just tastes great.

Keep coming back to this site for we will be doing a full series of Umami Barbecue recipes and videos.

What is Santa Maria Style Barbecue

santa maria style barbecue

So we start with the question? What is Santa Maria Style Barbecue?

Well, I will tell you what it is not Argentinian Barbecue or Asado.

The physical grills are similar but the barbecue that comes off those grills is very different.

Let’s start with where is Santa Maria valley.

It is positioned in a valley by the pacific coastline. 150 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and about 65 miles northwest of Santa Barbara.

map of santa maria

The city is notable for its wine industry and Santa Maria-style barbecue.
Sunset magazine called Santa Maria “The West’s Best BBQ Town

wests best bbq town

So what is so special about santa maria?

First the weather is perfect for year round growing of grass. The average highs in July are 74 F and the lows 54 F. In January the average highs are 66 F and the lows 39 F. The last time they had snow was 1945.

santa maria weather

With ideal weather and location In the 1800s, the land was divided into large cattle ranches. The outlines of which still define roads and town boundaries today.

Santa Maria-style barbecue is thought to have evolved in the mid-1800s, in the valley of Santa Maria. Local ranchers would host Spanish-style feasts each spring for their vaqueros or cowboys, following big cattle roundups.

Spanish style feasts

They barbecued meat over pits filled with hot coals of local red oak.

In 1931, the Santa Maria Club started a “Stag Barbecue. This was held on the second Wednesday of every month, with up to 700 patrons attending each event.

Stag Barbecue

stag barbecue santa maria

Over the years, the legend of Santa Maria Style Barbecue grew, turning a local treasure into a major attraction.

In those early days, the favored cut was top-block sirloin. The meat was rolled in a mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic salt before being barbecued. Cooked over the red oak coals, which contribute a smoky, hearty flavor.

top block sirloin santa maria

In the 1950s, a local butcher named Bob Schutz perfected the tri-tip, a triangular bottom sirloin cut that quickly joined top-block sirloin as a staple of Santa Maria Style Barbecue.


tri tip santa maria

President Ronald Reagan was an avid fan of Santa Maria Style Barbecue. Local barbecue chef Bob Herdman and his “Los Compadres Barbecue Crew” staged several barbecues for President Reagan, including five feasts on the South Lawn of the White House.

So what is a Santa Maria Style BBQ grill?

It is a grill that had a large pit area that’s primary fuel is wood or lump charcoal with wood.

It also has a grate that can be raised or lower depending on how much heat you want to apply to the food.

The other way the pitmaster can control temperature is just by using a shovel or rack to move the coals around.

The grill I have also has a rotisserie accessory that is connected to the grate allowing you to move the food on the rotisserie up and down giving you great control over the cook.

As you can see Santa Maria Style BBQ is a simple but effective way to prepare barbecue. It has a 200-year history and if you are a BBQ enthusiast like me it is one of the more enjoyable ways to prepare a great meal while showing off your true barbecue skills.

One of the nicest Santa Maria Grills on the market is The Puma.

Garlic A Quick Guide

Garlic, there’s nothing like the smell of garlic. It’s great in soups and sauces, roasted with meats or on it’s own, and it’s wonderful mixed with butter and slathered on bread and then baked.

The scientific name for garlic is Allium Sativum. It is related to the lily and the onion. Although related to the onion, and having a flavor that very slightly resembles that of an onion, garlic does not bring tears to the eyes when chopped.

When buying fresh garlic, be sure that the head feels very firm when you squeeze it. Over time, garlic will soften and begin to sprout, which turns the garlic bitter. To store fresh garlic, keep it in a dark, cool place, such as the basement. Do not refrigerate or freeze the garlic, as it will begin to loose it’s taste.

To peel a clove of garlic, place it on a cutting board, and put the flat of the blade of the knife against it. Press down on the other side of the blade with the heel of your hand, flattening the garlic slightly. The skin will come right off.

The strong flavor and odor of garlic come from sulfur compounds within the cells. The more cells that are broken, the stronger the flavor of the garlic will be. For the mildest flavor, just use a whole or slightly crushed clove of garlic. For a bit stronger flavor, slice or chop the garlic, and for the strongest flavor, mash the garlic into a paste.

Cooking garlic tames the strong flavor, and changes it in different ways, depending on how it’s cooked. If using in a sauce, it can be sweated or sauteed. In sweating the garlic, it is first chopped finely, and then added to a cold pan with some oil, it is then gently heated, causing the oil to become infused with the garlic flavor. To sautee garlic, heat the oil in the pan first, and then add the chopped garlic, stirring frequently, and being careful not to let the garlic burn and become bitter.

Roasting the garlic softens the flavor, and makes it soft and perfect for mixing with cream cheese to spread onto toast, or just spread on the toast itself.

To roast the garlic, take a whole head of garlic, and remove the papery outer skin. Place the garlic on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with some olive oil. Loosely wrap the garlic in the foil, and place it into a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove the garlic and let it cool. When cool enough to handle, separate the cloves of garlic, and squeeze each one. The flesh should pop right out. The roasted garlic is great mixed with cheese or potatoes, or on it’s own.

Don’t be afraid to use garlic in your cooking. Garlic is flavorful, and healthful, and of course, it will keep those pesky vampires away.

Grilling Secrets For The Perfectly Grilled Steak

There is nothing quite like a good, juicy steak cooked on a grill. But, many people don’t know grilling secrets such as the best cuts to use, what size they should be, how long to cook the steaks, and marinades to use.

Choosing the correct cut of meat is very important when grilling. Some of the best steaks for grilling are the premium cuts such as:

Filet Mignon

The filet mignon is a stylish cut taken from the heart of the beef tenderloin that has outstanding taste as well as texture.

Top Sirloin

The top sirloin is a juicy cut taken from the center of the sirloin – the tenderest part – and a great cut for grilling.


The t-bone is a succulent cut that is a favorite of steak fans. It is both a strip sirloin (with the bone) and a tender filet mignon.

New York Strip (sometimes known as Kansas City Strip)

The New York strip is such an excellent cut for grilling, many grilling experts refer to it as the “ultimate” steak for cooking out.


The Porterhouse is a very large steak that is actually a combination of two steaks: the New York strip on one side and a tender filet on the other.

Rib Eye

Another classic cut, the rib eye has marbling throughout the meat – making it one of the juiciest cuts as well as very tender.


Thickness of the steak is very important. Each cut should be between 1 inch and 1 ½ inches thick. The strip steaks and top sirloin should be a little less expensive than the filet mignon, t-bone, porterhouse, and rib eye.


Many people like to marinate their steaks before cooking. You can purchase marinades in the grocery store (A1 brand offers several different types) or make your own. If you are not opposed to using alcohol, beer makes an excellent marinade. You can combine 1 12-ounce can of beer, ½ cup of chili sauce, ¼ up of salad oil, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Let that simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat. Marinate your meat in the mixture overnight in the refrigerator to tenderize and allow the meat to absorb the flavor. You can also brush your meat with the marinade as you cook. Another great homemade marinade includes 1 ½ cup of steak sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/3 cup of Italian salad dressing, 1/3 cup of honey, and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.


Many people prefer to use a rub on their steaks rather than marinate them. A rub is a combination of spice and herbs that is rubbed on the meat about an hour before grilling. It adds a great flavor to the meat, but is quicker than marinade as it does not require overnight soaking. An excellent recipe for a rub that will give your steaks a smoky flavor is 1 tablespoon of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cracked black pepper, white pepper, and kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons of oregano, 1 teaspoon of coriander, and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. If you use a rub, be sure to rub the mixture into the cut of meat, not just daub it across the top.

Other Options

There are other options for cooking steaks other than marinades and rubs. Many times, filet mignons are served wrapped in bacon (held on by a skewer). You can cut your steak and combine it on a skewer with vegetables like peppers, squash, and onion to make a shish kabob.

Coat your grill with non-stick kitchen spray before you begin to keep your steaks from sticking to the grill. Preheat your grill before placing your steaks on. Resist the temptation to put your steaks on before the grill is properly preheated. The proper temperature for grilling steaks should be around 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim any excess fat from the side of the cut to prevent flare-ups and curling when grilling.

You should only turn your steaks once on the grill to prevent drying them out. How long you will cook your steak depends on how well you want it cooked. You can use a digital thermometer to see how well done your steak is. If you want your steak rare, the temperature should be no more than 120 degrees when done. If you want medium, the temperature should be no more than 130 degrees when done. Finally, if you want well done, you should have a temperature of at least 140 degrees.

After grilling your steak, allow it to set for five minutes before serving to let the juices settle. Serve with a baked potato, salad or other side dish and enjoy!

Red or Green? Chile that is!

Go to any New Mexican restaurant and order a New Mexican meal and this will be the question.

You are now going to learn what the difference is, what the history is and what you may want to or not want to try.

Chile peppers are not members of the pepper family. Chile terminology is confusing: pepper, chili, chile, chilli, Aji, paprika and Capsicum are used interchangeable for “chile pepper” plants. Chile peppers are actually part of the Capsicum genus. The word Capsicum comes from the Greek language meaning “to bite.” In Mexico, Central America and the Southwestern United States, it is referred to as a chile pepper.

What causes the burning sensation is the alkaloid capsaicin. It is very stable and can retain a certain heat level regardless if it is cooked, dried or frozen. Many varieties of the Capsicum species are not hot, or pungent.

It is thought that chile peppers made their first appearance around 7000 BC in Central Mexico. The first European to discover chiles was Christopher Columbus in 1493. He was looking for another type of black pepper. What he found were small hot pods that had been used as seasoning by the Native Americans. He called them Pimientos meaning black peppers in the Spanish language. The chiles were then introduced into the European community. To this day, the popularity of chile peppers has increased dramatically

For the most part, green chiles are fresh, while red ones are dried. As with everything concerning chiles, there are a few exceptions to this rule of thumb. All chiles start off as green. As they ripen, they turn red or yellow. Most red chiles are then dried and must be reconstituted in hot liquid before use. But sometimes a chile, such as the jalapeno, habanero or serrano, will become red and still be used in its fresh form.

On a scale of hot rating (Scoville Rating) from 0 to 300,000 the New Mexico chile is rated between 500 – 1000..

New Mexico peppers are mild to moderate in heat, hotter and richer in flavor and are preferred for many uses in dried form; New Mexico Red chiles are mild with a simple earthy flavor with a hint of cherry.

New Mexico has twelve chile producing counties, with Dona Ana County leading. Chiles are the state’s top cash crop and New Mexico ranks first in the amount produced and acreage planted; double that of its competitor, California.

Hatch in southern New Mexico is where much of the New Mexico chili crop is grown. Hatch is called the Chile Capital of the world and has its annual Hatch Chile festival on Labor Day weekend.

In New Mexico when ordering chile with your meal the chile is typically the Hatch Chile. The green ones are usually roasted and the red ones are dried before they are used in cooking.

Remember this when asked red or green? Or Christmas? The green is hotter and the red is a more pungent but not so hot a taste. Christmas is both red and green for those of you who want to try both so you can make the decision as to what you like.

At the Santa Fe School of Cooking they use the New Mexican Chile in many of their New Mexican recipes. You might want to check out their schedule when you visit to see what types of classes you can take and learn to cook with chiles.

So here are some of the restaurants in Santa Fe that have a incredible dishes where the chiles are a major component: The Pink Adobe which features the Steak Dunigan with green chiles, Café Pasquals which features their Blue Lady Enchiladas for lunch and Spinach, Jack Cheese and Red Onion Enchiladas for dinner. The Authentic Northern New Mexico restaurant where the locals go is El Comedor; there you will find their entire menu of lunch and dinner with choices of red and green chiles everywhere.

When you go to New Mexico you will see many a set of hanging red chiles in front of houses. This has become a decoration, but started out as a drying method. Many beautiful wreaths, Christmas decorations, and gifts are made in New Mexico with these dried red chiles. The Chile Shop in Santa Fe is a great shop to see these items as well as many street side vendors.

Whether you are eating the chiles of New Mexico, or buying them for decoration, they will always bring enjoyment when you come to visit the Land of Enchantment.

Matanza – A New Mexico Celebration

In this country there is no better place to find the preservation of the old Spanish ways than New Mexico, as this state is well known for having been isolated hundreds of years by vast rugged distances and warring Indians.

So well preserved are the origins of the American West that even the 15th century “foundation” livestock scarcely available in other parts of the world thrive in New Mexico. You can still find descendants of the rugged, enduring, power house-in-a-small-package Spanish Barb horses, Churra sheep, and Corriente cattle. You can hear cowboy history in the old, spoken Spanish. Although these old vaqueros are increasingly hard to find, there remain a few smaller than average, more rugged than average Onate colony decendents who will speak to you in the 15th century Spanish of the conquistadores preserved through fifteen generations of oral tradition.

Happily, to this day, the romance of wide open western spaces lives on in New Mexico. The Spanish caballero, already sporting a legacy of proud horsemanship even before Columbus’ arrival in North America, saw the first rodeos whenever young vaqueros had some free time, an opportunity to turn work into play, and to show off their skills.

The first American Rodeos which took place in the early 1600’s were conducted by the first American cowboys, the Spanish vaqueros. Two hundred twenty three years before the first easterners arrived in Texas to learn the art of cowboying the vaquero was already a folk hero in New Mexico. He had come to be known as a horseman of great skill and bravery. He was a solid comrade with his fellow vaqueros and a die-hard loyalist to his ranch and it’s brand. He was looked up to by wranglers as a man who could rope anything that moved and ride anything that bucked. He could successfully do just about anything from a saddle. During the time of these first rodeos standardized rules and point systems were developed to determine who would win the vaquero competitions. “Jueces de campo,” or rodeo judges presided over the rodeos to settle ownership disputes and assure that stock were branded correctly. Generally the vaqueros tended the stock on the open range until it was time to sell, brand, or butcher the animals. Anyone of these events required a rounding up of the animals – “al rodear.” This was called a rodeo.

The killing (butchering) of an animal which frequently accompanied a rodeo was called a “matanza.” The first recorded references to a Rodeo in the official republic of the United States are made in old New Mexico family journals.

As matanza researcher Cynthia Martin explains “A traditional Matanza is a family and community-gathering event, with friends and neighbors helping in the labor-intensive job of processing a large pig, goat or sheep”.

“Taking at least an entire day, the process goes from the slaughtering the animal and butchering the meat to cooking the various meat products and preparing what is left for distribution and storage. Of course all those helpers also need to be fed, so the women in the family plan and prepare large amounts of food for the event.”

Today some Matanza celebrations are coming back. They are more in the tradition of Home cooking, Family and friends in the 21st century.

Historically the celebration was done in the winter to prevent spoilage and so the tradition is carried on in the winter today too.

The Hispano Chamber of Commerce in Valencia County New Mexico have begun the tradition again and made it into a fund raising event. Teams compete each year for prizes in the butchering slaughtering and preparation of traditional matanza foods.

Why does food taste better on a Santa Maria Style Grill?

Why does food taste better on a Santa Maria Grill vs other ways to cook? Well, there are two reasons. The Maillard Reaction and Caramelization.

The Maillard Reaction is is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. Seared steaks, pan-fried dumplings, cookies and other kinds of biscuits, breads, toasted marshmallows, and many other foods undergo this reaction. It is named after French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard, who first described it in 1912 while attempting to reproduce biological protein synthesis.

The reaction is a form of non-enzymatic browning which typically proceeds rapidly from around 140 to 165 °C (280 to 330 °F). Many recipes call for an oven temperature high enough to ensure that a Maillard reaction occurs At higher temperatures, caramelization (the browning of sugars, a distinct process) and subsequently pyrolysis (final breakdown leading to burning) become more pronounced.

With a Santa Maria Style Grill you can put your food in that sweet spot of 280F to 330F by controlling the distance from the flame and heat. Also, the flames give the food a burst of heat off and on meaning the Maillard Reaction and Caramelization are more intense meaning more of the food is affected and just taste better.

Signals Thermometer