The Science of Yakitori & Yakitori

The Science of Yakitori

Grilling (Yaki)

First of all, Yaki (grilling ) is the heating of food at over 200℃ without using water or oil.Heating at over 200℃ makes food tender and juicy, as protein gets condensed by heat. Also, it produces flavour and adds a spicy taste to it. An internal temperature of 75 to 90℃ for meat, 105 to 110℃ for vegetables, and a surface temperature of 250℃ or 300℃ for high moisture content food is ideal for grilling. Compared to other methods of cooking such as boiling (100℃), steaming (150℃) and deep frying (200℃), grilling requires a much higher temperature. The difference between the internal and surface temperatures is the secret that underlies its flavour and taste.

The Temperature Difference is the Key

It is difficult to grill in the microwave because it is hard to create the required temperature difference between the inside and outside of the food. However it can be useful for raising the internal temperature to the desired level, and then raising the surface temperature under a direct flame.The question is, how can we create the temperature difference? In Japan, we have several ways to do this, such as moving it off the heat source, sprinkling salt, bringing the temperature down using Miso (bean paste) and soy sauce, adding sugar water, or wrapping with tin foil, wet paper or leaves. The two main ways would be either cooking under a direct flame or heating indirectly using tin foil, paper or leaves.