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To Bake, Grill Or Smoke: Which Method Is Best?

Summer is here – time to preheat the oven, light the grill or fire up the smoker! The choice between baking, grilling or smoking hinges on the dish you're creating and the flavour profile you crave. Each method boasts unique advantages and knowing which to use can take your culinary creations to new heights. In some cases, you can cook the same food with all three methods, each delivering a distinct outcome.


Let’s dive into the delicious world of cooking methods and discover which one reigns supreme for different foods. Spoiler alert: they all do, but in their own unique ways!

Baking: Convenience and Versatility

Busy weeknight? Baking offers a convenient, hands-off approach. Set it and forget it while you prep other dishes or soak up the sunshine. It's also perfect for delicate foods and larger cuts of meat that take longer to grill. However, baking won’t deliver the smoky flavour and crispy texture achieved through grilling or smoking.


Baked back ribs in barbecue sauce

Why Bake?

  • Even Cooking: Baking provides a consistent, even heat that’s perfect for dishes that need a steady temperature.
  • Convenience: Pop your dish in the oven, set the timer and let the magic happen. It's a hands-off approach that’s perfect for busy weeknights.
  • Seasonality: Baked dishes are perfect for colder months. Imagine a chilly winter evening with the aroma of a roast beef filling your home.

What To Bake: Back Ribs

Craving fall-off-the-bone ribs that are bursting with flavour? Try Sealand's Gluten-Free Back Ribs in Barbecue Sauce. Marinated to perfection in tangy BBQ sauce, these ribs are prepped and ready to pop straight into the oven. Here's how to achieve melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F
  2. Arrange the thawed ribs on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and the sauce begins to caramelize.
  4. Baste the ribs with additional BBQ sauce during the last few minutes of baking for an extra layer of flavour and that irresistible sticky glaze.

Grilling: The Summer Star

There's a reason grilling is synonymous with summer: the smoky flavours and satisfying sear it creates on steaks, burgers and vegetables are simply irresistible. Grilling offers a faster cooking method than baking or smoking, making it perfect for those impromptu get-togethers where everyone's hungry and time is of the essence.

While grilling offers convenience and speed, it requires a bit more attention than baking. Learning to control the heat, prevent flare-ups and achieve the perfect sear is a skill to be mastered.


Salmon fillets in a pan

Why Grill?

  • Flavour: Grilling imparts a smoky, charred flavour that’s hard to replicate.
  • Speed: It’s a quick cooking method that’s perfect for a sunny day.
  • Seasonality: Grilling is synonymous with summer. It’s time to break out the barbecue and enjoy the sunshine.

What To Grill: Salmon

Salmon is a quintessential summer grilling protein, and Sealand's Skin-On Centre Cut Canadian Salmon offers the perfect canvas for showcasing the magic of grilling. The skin helps to keep the flesh moist and flavourful during cooking, and it crisps up beautifully on the grill for an added textural delight. Here's how to achieve restaurant-quality grilled salmon at home:

  1. Preheat your BBQ to medium heat and brush the grates with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Rub the thawed salmon with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the salmon skin-side down on the preheated grill. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes on the first side.
  4. Flip, and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the fish reaches 145°F.
  5. A squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of fresh dill add a delightful finishing touch to this already flavourful dish. Grilled salmon pairs beautifully with a variety of summer sides, such as potato salad, grilled vegetables, or a refreshing summer salad.

Smoking: Low and Slow for Rich Flavour

Smoking uses low temperatures (around 200-225°F) over a longer period to gently infuse food with smoke, creating a rich, savoury taste that enhances natural flavours. Unlike grilling's sear on the surface, smoking infuses food with smoke throughout.

The drawback of smoking is that it takes significantly longer than grilling (anywhere from 45 minutes up to several hours). However, the reward is an unparalleled depth of flavour that can't be replicated with other methods.


    To Smoke: Ribeye Steak

    While smoking a ribeye steak might seem unconventional, it brings out an unmatched depth of flavour and tenderness.

    • Depth of Flavour: Smoking infuses the steak with a rich, smoky flavour that permeates the meat, unlike grilling which imparts smoke only on the surface.
    • Tenderness: The low and slow cooking method of smoking helps break down the meat fibers, resulting in a tender and juicy steak.
    • Versatility: Smoking can be done with various types of wood chips, allowing you to experiment with different flavour profiles.

    For a truly unforgettable summer feast, why not try smoking a decadent ribeye steak? Sealand's well-marbled 12 oz Ribeye Steaks offer the perfect amount of fat content, ensuring a juicy and flavourful result. Here's a basic guide to smoking the perfect ribeye:

    1. Generously season your ribeye steak with salt and pepper. Allow it to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before smoking to create a dry brine.
    2. Preheat your smoker to 225°F and add your wood chips.
    3. Rub your seasoning mixture of choice onto all sides of each steak.
    4. Place the steak on the smoker grate and smoke for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the desired level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature: 125°F for rare, 135°F for medium-rare, and 145°F for medium.
    5. For an optional finishing touch, you can sear the steak over high heat on a grill for a minute or two per side to create a beautiful crust.
    6. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before eating.

    Bonus: Sous Vide

    Looking for something a little different? Try the sous vide method! This French technique involves precisely controlling the water temperature to slow-cook food in a vacuum-sealed pouch, ensuring even cooking throughout. Sous vide takes longer than traditional methods, but the flavour payoff is incredible.


    Sous Vide half chicken

    Don’t have a sous vide? No problem! Try our pre-cooked Sous Vide Half Chickens. Simply finish them off on the grill or in the oven for a crispy, golden skin.

    Why Should You Sous Vide?

    • Precision Cooking: Achieve perfect doneness every time with precise temperature control.
    • Enhanced Flavour and Texture: Lock in natural juices and flavours, resulting in tender and flavourful dishes.
    • Convenience: Set it and forget it—free up time for other tasks while your food cooks.
    • Nutrient Retention: Preserve more vitamins and nutrients by cooking at lower temperatures.
    • Perfect Searing: Finish with a quick sear for a beautiful crust without overcooking the interior.

    No matter which method you choose, Sealand Quality Foods has everything you need to create a summer feast to remember. Order online today and enjoy free delivery across Canada!

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