RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘grilling’

  1. Hidden Dangers of Grilling

    June 14, 2012 by BBQ Jim

    I came across an article on NPR the warnings of using wire grill brushes. In the article, they explore incidences where people swallowed pieces of a grill brush. That’s a scary thought! I’ve handled more grill brushes than most people will in their lifetime and to my knowledge I’ve never heard of such an problem thought I do see how it could happen.

    In the fast pace restaurant setting, it’s possible to miss such a thing though the physics of how it could happen greatly reduces the chances of it happening. When a piece of wire breaks off the brush, it would simply fall into the fuel bay below unless it became lodged at a crosshatch of the grates.

    Regardless of how common it is, keep your eyes on your grilling surfaces as well as your food. Some people don’t think to clean their brushes or even change them. When your brushes have gone beyond their normal lifespan, be sure to replace them. There really isn’t a guide as to how long a brush should last but you should always use the mantra of the Health Department: When in doubt, throw it out!

  2. Friends with Benefits

    April 2, 2012 by BBQ Jim

    Food with friends

    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.

  3. Looks like rain

    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.

  4. Happy Father’s Day

    June 19, 2011 by BBQ Jim

    Do dad a favor, fire up the grill for him and cook for him. If you don’t know how (or he won’t allow it) clean his grill, get him some new fuel and some of his favorite grilling items and encourage him to get out on the grill. You may not think he wants to cook on this day but trust me, he’ll enjoy the smiles on you faces it creates.

  5. First Flame

    May 23, 2011 by BBQ Jim

    First flame has come and gone but I’m just getting around to writing about it. What is First Flame? It’s the first outdoor BBQ of the year. For now, it’s not a major event for me but I do celebrate it in my own way each year.

    First, I deeply clean my grill.  I want it to last a long time and since I use it heavily it must get an annual proper cleaning.

    Next comes a resupply of charcoal.  Kingsford is my brand of choice. I’ve used many different brands and types extensively and nothing compares to the consistent burn it gives throughout the life of the briquette.

    While I’m at it I always grab a new light stick, grill brush and lighter fluid (also by Kingsford).

    Once I’m fully stocked and cleaned comes the setup. Nothing elaborate about that.

    The menu consists of a wide array of food. Ribs, chicken wings, veggies, fish, sausage and burgers.  Why so much? It’s simple, First Flame is the way to start off the year by working out all the kinks and get the pallet ready for the flavors of the year.

    Now that the sun is warming the air you should have your First Flame if you haven’t already.