Just a little steak for lunch.
March 17, 2013 by BBQ Jim
December 25, 2012 by BBQ Jim
April 2, 2012 by BBQ Jim
If you have friends then you’ve been on one side of this situation: You are tired of screwing something up yourself so you call someone that knows what they are doing to help you out. Like Stevie said, that’s what friends are for.
When a friend told me that her and her husband were tired of burning their food on the grill I knew I’d be asked to step in and "put out the flames." The arrangement was simple; they would provide the food, drinks and grill I would show them the ropes.
First we talked about what the issue was. It was the most common request I hear; I want to stop burning food. Solving this is the simplest to explain and hardest to implement. Simply lowering the cooking temperature is the solution but what comes next is where the challenge comes in.
Learning how to tell when food is ready to be turned or taken off the grill where most people struggle. The cues can vary greatly depending on what is being cooked and what flavorings are being used such as dry seasonings or marinades.
The best way to learn is trial and error. Think of it as a scientific experiment and take multiple pieces of the same food prepared the same way. Turn each piece at different intervals and observe how the food reacts. Look at the coloring and constancy of both the top and bottom corners of the food as it cooks.
Simple rule of thumb is that if the food sticks then it is too soon and if it breaks apart then it is way too late. Unless you are cooking to a well-done temperature, food should still be moist to the touch. Expect food to be singed slightly but not charred of the surface more than 25% just like lightly toasted bread.
Next comes what I like to call "lid control." Whether you leave the lid up or down depends on whether you are willing to watch over the food carefully and whether or not you are using direct or indirect heat to cook.
Using no lid at all means that you will want to use a low, direct heat. This is best for fruits, vegetables, boneless meats and fish. Lid down you will want to use indirect heat as much as possible. This is best for bone-in meats and adding smoked flavors.
With these tips in place the ground work is laid to head down the road of better cooking. Next time you grill see if following these steps equates to better food coming off the grill.
March 5, 2012 by BBQ Jim
Week 3 – We took a closer look at burgers and hot dogs but more so burgers. What goes into making a good burger? The right meat/fat ratio for starters. Add to that you best seasonings or marinades prior to committing meat to heat. But it doesn’t stop there! Once the cooking is over the right condiments, toppings choice of bun or cheese can dramatically affect flavor.
Ideally condiments should compliment not season your meal. Too much ketchup or a strong flavored pickle and ruin a mouth full of juicy burger.
Week 4 – Who doesn’t like ribs? Even if pork isn’t you thing beef or lamb pack the right amount on the same sized bone.
Preparation is one of the keys to great ribs. Never broil or boil prior to cooking. Doing so only removes flavor. If you are doing so to make cooking easier try cooking your ribs with indirect heat or a lower temperature. Ribs are best when cooked slowly and covered with the grill lid. The smoke generated is the best flavoring source you have. Wood chips in this case will be your best friends.
Your other best friend will be a good seasoning. Experiment to find the right dry seasoning to your liking. Season different sections of the ribs with different seasons and have your own tasting experience.
Week 5 – There’s more to a BBQ than meat and there are more sides out there than potato salad! No meal is complete without the compliment of side dishes and BBQ is no exception.
Almost any vegetable can be grilled if it is large enough to not fall through the grates. For long vegetables, you would cut it on the bias as demonstrated in this video:
Other sides that are BBQ favorites include baked beans, Deviled Eggs, corn on the cobb, salads and casseroles. For any side that you may have out remember to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. If you are planning to be outside, keep an extra bag or cooler of ice on hand just for food purposes. Don’t leave food sitting out in the sun or uncovered under a tree.
August 26, 2011 by BBQ Jim
Huuricane Irene is coming so I wanted to be stuck in the house with my favorite type of food; BBQ. Problem is, the rain came before I could finish. Oh well, I did get the chicken and burgers done.
August 15, 2011 by BBQ Jim
August 12, 2011 by BBQ Jim
Breaking out the grill for some chicken thighs and veggie burgers. Yeah I know but I like the both.
July 18, 2011 by BBQ Jim
It never seems to amaze me how much I get so caught up in the process of grilling that I miss the simple things. Take for instance boneless chicken breasts.
I know that if they’re too think I should whip out my mallet to flatten them or a knife to butterfly them. I seem to re-learn this lesson a lot. Hopefully someday it will stick.
July 7, 2011 by BBQ Jim
So I’m going to sneak in a quick grilling before the showers. On tap are burgers and dogs and if there’s time wings then ribs. It’s probably not that safe but I’ve been thinking about it all day.