Direct grilling, Maillard’s reaction in simple words

How many times during the cooking of our cuts of meat did we happen to not reach perfection?

A lot of times, especially as beginners, because Maillard’s reaction was not yet known.

So what is Maillard’s reaction?

By Maillard reaction we mean a complex series of phenomena that occurs as a result of the interaction of sugars and proteins during cooking. The compounds that are formed with these transformations are brown. The reactions are quite complex and heterogeneous but through the formation of an intermediate (composed of Amadori) different substances are formed such as melanoidins with a characteristic smell and color. The reaction owes its name to Louis Camille Maillard (1878-1936), the French chemist who studied it for the first time.

In a nutshell this reaction allows you to have the classic grilling marks typical of cooking right on our rib or steak (but it can be created on any grilled cut).

The formation of these grilling marks is given by the violent cauterization of the meat at high temperatures that allow the caramelization of the sugars and amino acids present in the cut.

How to facilitate the process?

To start the reaction process it is necessary to reach temperatures close to 140°C for cooking and to have the grill very hot to avoid further drops in temperature.


-Always check that you have the hot grill at the right point, to avoid incorrect cooking of the cut and then have a hard result. So always allow time for the grill to warm up.

-Do not cook the meat just taken out of the fridge, because the cut needs a rest time proportional to its weight and thickness before being put on the grill.

-Always dry the meat well before putting it on the grill, as humidity does not favor the Maillard reaction

My opinoin

To start cooking on the grill it is essential to know this reaction that allows us to have the meat cooked in the correct way, and where taste and softness meet creating a culinary orgasm for the palate


What do you think?

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