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Pride of New York

Glossary of Sauce & Rub Terms

A marinade is a liquid or a mixture of liquids like vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce or wine used to tenderize and flavor meats.  Dry ingredients like salt, herbs and spices can be added to enhance both tenderization and flavor.  Fresh herbs can also be used as well as vegetables like onions, garlic, celery and carrots.  Certain plant enzymes and acids found in these ingredients can break down muscle and connective proteins in meats and fish making them tender.  Direct contact is important for the chemical reaction to occur.  By soaking a piece of meat in a marinade, penetration will only go just so far into the surface of the meat.  Therefore smaller, flatter cuts of meat benefit the most.  Leaving larger cuts of meat in a marinade for too long will only make the outside soft and mushy.  Sometimes injecting the marinade into the center of larger cuts is a better method.  Be sure that your marinade is cold when you use it and refrigerate the meat during the marinating process.  Let the meat come to room temperature before cooking it and discard any leftover marinade. Shop our selection of marinades.

A sauce is any combination of liquid and fresh or dry ingredients used to enhance the flavor of meat, poultry, fish, vegetables or other foods.  Some sauces that are higher in acids can be used as marinades while others are best used during the cooking process (BBQ sauces) or afterwards as table sauces (like gravy).  Generally, most sauces are higher in sugars than marinades and are less effective as tenderizing agents.  Care should be used during the cooking process not to burn the sauce (sugar) since this will cause the food to taste bitter. Shop our selection of sauces.

Dry rubs or spice rubs are simple mixtures of salt, sugar, spices and dried herbs used to season raw meat, poultry or seafood before cooking, especially when grilling or smoking.  The rub mixture is applied directly to the surface of the meat and rubbed or worked in.  Once you apply a rub, you can cook foods right away or wait awhile, sometimes overnight, so that they can better penetrate and develop flavor.  Fish and shrimp are best when cooked within an hour of rubbing.  Most rubs will tenderize the meat somewhat when left on for a longer period of time.  A light coating of olive oil will help the rub stick to the meat and will help hydrate the spices.  Be sure to keep the meat refrigerated during the process and bring to room temperature before cooking.  A “wet rub” generally refers to a dry rub mixture that is mixed with oil, water or beer before applying. Shop our selection of dry rubs.

Spices and herbs are commonplace in today’s world.  Both are used to flavor foods and some for medicinal purposes.  Herbs and spices are obtained from plants and both are best used fresh but can be preserved by drying.  While there are similarities, there are also subtle differences between herbs and spices.  Herbs are obtained from the leaves of plants that do not have woody stems.  Spices are obtained from the roots, flowers, fruits, seeds or bark of non-woody as well as woody plants.  Some plants like coriander and dill are both herbs and spices.  The essential difference between an herb and a spice is where it is obtained from on a plant. Shop our selection of dry rubs and spices.

Gluten is a complex of proteins found in wheat, rye and barley.  These grains comprise significant components of the Western diet, so gluten is literally everywhere.  The human digestive tract cannot break down gluten into its component amino acids, so glutens remain in the gastrointestinal tract until they are eliminated.  In susceptible individuals, the gluten proteins may be considered “foreign” and will cause an immune system reaction.  Celiac disease is a form of a severe reaction to gluten.  People who cannot tolerate gluten must have a “gluten free” diet.  Products that do not contain any gluten proteins are considered “gluten free”.

Many individuals embrace a diet that is free of meat, fish and dairy products.  The degree of this abstinence varies from individual to individual and the term “vegan” refers to a more rigid adherence to these values.  When we say that something is “vegan friendly” we mean the item does not contain any of these products or by-products.