Performance, preparation and patience - Grilling Season has begun!

Pork Picnic & Rhubarb BBQ Sauce with Apple Radish Slaw Recipe below...


 

Are you one of them? Do you feel less than sufficient when you’re doing it? Do you feel your confidence shrink as the sun sets and the anticipation grows? Do you fear you won’t perform with satisfying results as you feel the heat coming from the red hot bed? As you prepare your meat do you hear the snickering in your head? Many men suffer from grilling-tile dysfunction, you’re not alone. It’s more common than you might think and every guy has a reason, coals aren’t right, fires too hot, didn’t marinate long enough… Face it guys some of us weren’t born with the “G” shaped chromosome, it’s not natural for you. Fortunately it can be taught, as well as perfected with the right guidance and instruction you can go from Grill-Zilla to Grill Master!


It’s one of those macho things we know we're supposed to do, fire up the grill and BBQ some steaks or chicken. I used to say the sign of a good weekend was whether or not I fired up the grill. Although I must confess, I was not always a grill master. I wanted to be but didn’t give the grill the respect it demands, I thought I could just toss some chicken in a little oil, and vinegar a blend of spices and throw it on the grill with a beer in my hand and have a conversation with a few peeps while I let the grill do it’s thing. It took more burnt, dry chicken than I would like to admit and a lot of trial and error to get it right. I have a few great tips that will get you off to a good start, as well as some tried and true recipes that will satisfy those carne urges!

When grilling, whether it is wood, charcoal or gas it is critical that you have a clean grill. I always burn off, clean and oil my grill after using it. This ensures that at the beginning of each grilling opportunity the grill is seasoned and ready to receive the next item. This goes for the space under the grill itself too, you cannot expect your grill to work at optimum when you build a fire on top of old ashes and suffocate the fire. Temperature dictates technique, for direct grilling, that is over higher more intense heat, arrange coals by using long-handled tongs to spread them evenly in a single layer. Extend them about 1 inch beyond the area of the food. This is best for boneless steaks, sausages, tri tip, prawns and fish filets. For indirect grilling, that is using your grill more like an oven, you need a disposable drip pan large enough to cover the surface below the food. Buy a few disposable foil pans and keep them around. Place the drip pan in the center of the firebox. Use long-handled tongs to arrange the coals around the pan. This technique is great for the Holiday turkey, larger roasts, chicken on the bone, that kind of thing. What I like about this technique is you can use the area over the coals to do some direct grilling and create some char then finish in the center over the indirect heat for a thick Cowboy Chop or Kansas City Steak. When you use this technique you will find you may need to add a few coals to each side every hour or so, to keep that oven like performance. You need to be able to judge how hot the heat is coming from your grill, because not all foods are cooked at the same temperature. Hold your hand, palm side down, where your food will cook and at the same height as the food that will be grilled. Count by saying, "one thousand-one, one thousand-two" for each second you can hold your hand there. The number of seconds before you must take your hand away from the grill dictates your temp. 1 second or less and the grill may be too hot to control, 2 seconds -- grill temperature High , 3 seconds -- grill temperature Medium-High , 4 seconds -- grill temperature Medium, 5 seconds -- grill temperature Medium-Low, 6 seconds -- grill temperature Low, maybe too low for grilling any more, you may be down into the smoking temps… Which will work great for the recipe included… When it comes to preparing meat for the grill, I like to pull my meat out 30 minutes to an hour before I am going to cook it to allow it to temper a little. This will help with the time it takes on the grill. I also believe that a good piece of meat doesn't need more than coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper… However, if you're looking to add a unique flavor profile or need to add a sweet, salty element to caramelize on the grill there are a couple options. Our Original Rub is a great, sweet, subtly smoky rub for beef. Our Pig Powder has a little more heat and a little less sweet for pork. And our Poultry Powder is designed to bring a little life to sometimes boring chicken and is also great on popcorn! By the way, If you ever want your meat rubbed, just ask.. We can rub your meat, we rub ours all the time. When it comes to marinates remember less is more, marinating is important when you are using a less tender cut of meat, Skirt Steak or thicker pieces of meat that surface seasoning may not be enough, tri tip. We also offer a couple different marinades. Our Root Beer-Molasses or Red Wine & Garlic to mention my two favorites.

Glazes are a different thing altogether, they should be sweet, spicy, tangy and expressive and applied throughout the grilling process. During the summer we grill everything, especially veggies out of the garden, zucchini, bell peppers, red onions, asparagus, eggplant etc. Tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper grilled over medium-High till lightly charred yet still vibrant and crisp, right at that point I drizzle everything with a mixture of balsamic, chopped garlic, and basil, throw the lid on and let a little smokey love happen!

No matter what, grilling takes practice and perseverance, there is no little blue pill for this one. Till we meet again, grill ON little soldier!


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