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“I can’t get enough of BBQ!” Here Are 5 Scientific Reasons Why Barbecue Tastes So Good


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Source: Guinness & 123RF

Got a soft spot for barbecue? The mere thought of char and smoky flavours can easily get our mouths watering! Truth be told, there are actually scientific reasons behind our unwavering love for barbecues. Let us tell you why food tastes so much better on the grill!  


1. High heat can work wonders ?

Different from cooking with pans and ovens, grill grates expose food to a broader temperature range through conduction (where the food touches the grill) and radiation (from the flames below the grill)

The heating process releases distinct and complex aromas that stimulate our sense of smell and saliva ducts. This intensifies our perceptions of taste by sending signals to our brains, creating anticipation that the food is going to taste amazing! 

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2. The Maillard Reaction 

Heating food directly above a flame triggers the Maillard Reaction, where proteins, carbohydrates, and sugars undergo chemical reactions to produce complex molecules on the food’s surface. This causes the meats to become more savoury which adds depth to the overall flavour. ?

Besides, diverse flavour profiles are created when the chemical reaction takes place with other ingredients in marinades, sauces, and barbecue rubs! 

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3. It’s a flavour explosion! 

When barbecued, protein releases umami flavours that originate from one of these elements:

  • Glutamate: naturally occurs in meat, fish, eggs, and seaweed.
  • Inosinate: found in muscle fibres of meat and fish.
  • Guanylate: produced from seaweed, yeast, and fish. 

What’s more, when we consume different umami-rich foods (e.g. meat and mushrooms) at once, it creates Umami-bombs, an explosion of rich flavours in our mouths!?

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4. The perfect crisp and char 

Prolonged exposure to high temperatures breaks down the non-carbon atoms in food, leaving behind the crispy, black carbon. This gives us the unique crisp and char on barbecued foods that are to die for! ?

While a completely burnt piece of barbecued meat tastes bitter and awful, little splashes of char and crisp can significantly enhance food textures and flavours

Portrait Portrait Happy Young Asian Woman Camping Alone Grilled Pork Barbecue Picnic Pan Cooking Food While Sitting Chair Camping Site


5. Distinct smoky flavours 

Just like how our fried dishes MUST have wok hei, the smoky flavour is yet another hallmark of barbecue foods! When cooking over charcoal or wood, a lot of smoke is produced and all the delicious flavours from the smoke will be absorbed into the food.

After all, fat and water in foods are exceptionally good at retaining aromas from smoke and other ingredients. Do you know how else you can enhance the distinct smoky flavours? Add a little booze!?

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Booze like Guinness brings out the best in barbecue by binding to both fat and water molecules in food, producing rich and savoury flavours like no other. Similar to the Maillard Reaction, Guinness’s iconic barley roasting process takes place at a whopping 232°C, taking the tastes of their stout to a whole new level! 

Now you know why booze-infused barbecue tastes like heaven! Already salivating but don’t have the time or equipment for your own barbecue party? We know the perfect place to satisfy all your cravings:

This 18 to 20 August, visit the Guinness Flavour by Fire Festival at Sentul Depot to enjoy Guinness-infused dishes + live music by famous artistes and MORE! 

That’s right, @GuinnessMY is going beyond the ordinary by marrying the worlds of booze and fire, creating one-of-a-kind flavour experiences you will never forget! Before you RSVP, let us walk you through all the fun you can expect from this exciting festival: 


  • FEAST on Guinness-infused dishes

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Fellow foodies, here’s where you can satisfy your taste buds with over 20 Malaysian-favourite dishes, but with a little twist—the vendors will be incorporating Guinness stout into their recipes! 

From juicy satays to crispy tacos, these Guinness-infused dishes are going to taste fantastic! Here are just some of the vendors you can expect at #Flavourbyfire festival:

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  • Enjoy live music by renowned artistes

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While filling your tummy with delicious foods, you also get to enjoy non-stop live music performances by a group of talented musicians! 15 artistes will be taking the stage to keep you entertained. Wondering if your favourite artistes are performing? Check out the artistes line-up below: 

A) Talitha Tan

Talitha is known for her soothing voice and solid vocal techniques. In 2016, she released her debut song, “Okay”, which garnered 1.8 million streams on Spotify. A year later, she released her second single, “Please Stay”, and the song hit one million streams on Spotify in months!  

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B) lost spaces

This indie synth-pop band released their debut album “no-vacancy” in 2019, and it has garnered 6.5 million streams to date. The band also performed at Good Vibes Festival 2019, where fans from the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore flew in just to watch their sets!

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C) Masia One

This Canadian rapper released her debut album “Mississauga” in 2003 and quickly rose to fame as a hip-hop-reggae music artiste. She also became the first female rapper who was nominated for “Best Rap Video” in the MuchMusic Video Awards! 

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Other than the artistes above, there are still many more remarkable musicians to look forward to, including:


  • KLites & Penangites, wait no more!

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Planning to spend your weekend at Guinness’ #Flavourbyfire? RSVP here and make sure to arrive early because the first 500 visitors daily can redeem a Guinness Draught for FREE!

If you can’t make it to Sentul Depot this weekend, don’t worry! Other than Kuala Lumpur, Guinness #Flavourbyfire will also be visiting Penang this September! So mark your calendar and don’t miss out okay? 

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For more information regarding Guinness Flavour by Fire, visit their official website. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates! 

*For non-Muslims aged 21 years and above only.
*Guinness advocates responsible consumption and we urge you to #EnjoyResponsibly. Do not drink and drive.

Source: Min An
Source: johnstocker
Source: Min An
Source: @talithabe
Source: @lostspaces_
Source: @masiaone

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