Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Teach a Man to Grill a Fish and His Family Eats Well for a Lifetime!

Grilling fish is not easy.  Just consider the myriad of grill gadgets designed to make it easier to grill fish because grilling fish is truly hard. Before GrillGrates I never grilled fish. We wrapped fish in aluminum foil so it was essentially steamed on the grill. Many people avoid grilling fish altogether or resort to baking it or only eating fish out at restaurants just to avoid the grill. GrillGrates solve this fishy dilemma. Most of us would eat fish more often if it were as easy to prepare and cook as beef or chicken. With GrillGrates grilling fish is as easy as grilling a steak or a hamburger.

The raised rail design supports fish filets, shellfish, crab cakes and more while the GrateTool reaches below the fish to gently lift, rather than scrape it off the grill. The GrateTool is an integral part of the patented GrillGrate grilling system. Part fork, part spatula, The GrateTool fits between the rails to make it easy to lift and turn even the most delicate fish. Together they overcome the fish sticking and breaking apart problem. GrillGrates also provide protection from flare-ups and hot drying air that quickly dries out a moist filet. Fish can be grilled hot and fast like a steak and seared just as pretty too, while whiter, delicate filets can be marinated and grilled at lower temps.

In addition to using GrillGrates- Follow these tips to grill perfect fish fast and easy.

  1. Oil the fish then season.  Lightly coat with olive oil or avocado oil if grilling very hot for fish such as tuna or wahoo. The oil helps the seasoning stick to and penetrate the flesh. The oil also helps when the fish is placed on the grill to prevent sticking.
  2. Grill on a HOT / clean grill. Most people don't grill fish hot enough. Oil the GrillGrates (use a paper towel with Canola oil) just before putting fish on the grill.
  3. Don't touch it! Leave the fish sitting where it hits to allow searing and better release. Grill 60% of time before turning and cook to finish. One flip is plenty.
  4. Two skewers are better than one. Smaller shrimp and scallops are ideal to use a skewer but only one skewer allows them to rotate and some will not turn. Using two skewers solves this dilemma and makes turning all at once easy.
  5. Leave the shell on. Think of the shell as a flavor savor. The shell keeps marinades and moisture in the shrimp or lobster. The shell itself is a flavor booster.
  6. Marinade shell fish, salmon, talapia, catfish. Simple oil and spice mixtures are easy and flavorful. Give the fish a soak prior to grilling.
  7. Top with relish, salsa or olive tapenade. Whitefish such as Talapia are mild and benefit from a tasty topping such as mango peach salsa with bits of chopped shrimp.
  8. Don't fret if you get some sticking. With GrillGrates, the meal will not be lost nor will the fish break apart. The GrateTool will lift the fish off with just a few morsels left on the rails.

Grilling fish is a key element of the griller's diet!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Conductivity- The Science Behind the Sear

In our continuing quest to define the science behind GrillGrate, we challenged Ian the Intern to come up with a conductivity chart comparing common grill surfaces. It was impressive to watch him use Wiki-pedia, Google and other pillars of knowledge to come up with this chart. Explaining Watts Per Meter – Kelvin took him some doing!

Aluminum's conductivity is 3 times that of cast iron and over 15 times that of stainless steel. 

GrillGrates conduct heat more efficiently and more evenly. The hottest part of the GrillGrate is the cooking rail as heat is conducted up and through the grate. 

The conductivity of the GrillGrate panels and the radiant heat (infrared) they generate is the reason why they grill food so much better. 

Should we give Ian an A?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Grill for Your Best Health & Beat the Cancer Hysteria

Spring is finally here and so to are the stories and articles about the dangers of grilling!  HOGWASH! Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook, AND there are simple steps we can take to minimize and neutralize the "potential" carcinogens that are formed during high temperature cooking of proteins.
Together with our daughter, Dr. Sara Jean Barrett ND, who compiled research studies, we released to the press healthy grilling tips and links to those studies to counter the grilling causes cancer scare AND ... a little 1 min rant video from me.  You can view the press release and 1 min video here.

Introducing The Griller's Diet...Don't Let Your Meat Grill Alone!

Grill for Your Best Health!  It's our motto!   I ate my first beet at 50! I now love sweet potatoes and a host of vegetables that I never ate before.  We ALWAYS grill at least one and often two vegetables every time we grill.
I lost 30lbs and improved my cholesterol and blood sugar while grilling more not less.
 Tips for Healthier Grilling:
  1. Meat is not the enemy- just don't burn it: The research is not in dispute here. Charred, burned meat does contain known carcinogens (HCA's and PAH's) but there are plenty of ways to off-set them. Grill food to goal temps, avoid too much open flame or grilling too well done. Grilling faster can also reduce the amount of char.
  2. Eat more vegetables: Grilled vegetables contain counter-balancing antioxidants that research shows neutralize carcinogen formation and works to counter-act it.  Research points to this neutralizing effect with the use of herbs and spices too.
  3. Grill more kinds of vegetables: No butter or calorie-rich sauces required. Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and squash caramelize at grill temps letting the natural sugars deliver the best and tastiest flavor. Grill peppers, onions, zucchini, with just a touch of olive oil and pepper. Enjoy all that antioxidant power working to improve your health while offsetting the effects of cooking red meat.
  4. Grill more fish and chicken: Grilled chicken does not have to be slathered in barbecue sauce. A simple rub of herbs and spices is healthier and contains more antioxidants. Salmon is ideal to spice up and grill hot and fast like a steak. Is there a tastier way to eat fish than grilled?
  5. Grill on a clean hot grill and ban flare-ups. Eliminating flare-ups is the best way to control char and gain control of the grill.

Spices & Marinades Have Anti-Oxidant Power to Neutralize and Inhibit the formation of Carcinogen Compounds

  • Spice up grilled meats: The antioxidant power of herbs, particularly rosemary, paprika, garlic, sage and black pepper, retard the formation of HCA's. For example, adding dried cherries to hamburger shows significant reductions in HCA formation.
  • Marinade meat before grilling: Research again points to significant reductions of HCA's. Be careful not to use flammable marinades as they may do more harm than good.

Introducing Dr. Sara Jean Barrett ND

Sara Jean is a Naturopathic Doctor and is tuned into how food is a key driver for overall health and wellness.
As her proud parents we are excited to watch her build a growing practice in the Minneapolis area and beyond.  She not only contributes to our health but our business as well!
I encourage you to sign up for her newletter.  Here are a couple of links to recent blog posts:

GrillGrate, Eat Well and Prosper!
Welcome Spring 2014! 
We Wish You Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Grate Grillling!

Friday, March 14, 2014

GRATE Times at the National Barbecue Association Annual Conference

The NBBQA holds a special place in my life and our business. We met Mike Mills in a dusty parking lot in Douglas GA in October 2008. He encouraged us to join the NBBQA and come to their conference in 2009 and we've gone every year since. The NBBQA is the heart and soul of this all american industry.

Three organizations/companies really stood out to help make this year's conference the best yet!
  1. The SHED, Linda Orrison aka “Mama Shed” is the incoming president of NBBQA. She
    worked incredible hours before and during the event to pull together so much content and talent it is hard to fathom. Linda had a lot of help but she herded the cats. The family SHED always shows up big and is always giving of their time and energy. What excites me the most is what will Linda do now that she is president? I have high expectations for the future of NBBQA!
  1. Meyer Natural Beef Products. There was a different smell in the air this year and it
    wasn't blue pork smoke! Meyer brought the world of red meat to NBBQA and fed this gang better than I have seen at any previous event. I learned a lot about “never / ever” beef and humane practices for beef production. Chef John Enright needs to do a Ted Talk! He has such a powerful message that is very timely to this organization and the public. Chef John also was the featured speaker / teacher in a day long workshop that has become a highlight of the annual conference. Meyer Natural Angus Beef Products are in stores under popular brands such as Laura's Lean Beef, Local Harvest, Greenwise and others. 
  2. Steak Cook-off Association. Brett Galloway brought the world of steak competition to the NBBQA. Brett convinced 3 World Championship Steak Cook-off winners and the organizer of the World Championship Steak Cookoff to come to San Marcos to compete in a steak competition. These champions were also pitted against 16 Low & Slow champions on Friday night in a celebrity grill-off . To cap it off these steak champs grilled 250+ steaks (in a driving rain) on Saturday night for the awards banquet. Merging the world of traditional barbecue contests with steak competition is magic. We all witnessed that Friday night and again on Saturday.

GrillGrate got a lot of content for our 2014 TV spot but more importantly we all got a much needed injection of time well spent with good friends around the grill! Thanks NBBQA for being such a unique and outstanding group of people. See you next year in Nashville!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Grate Shadow Of Winter Is Lifting!

To hell with the groundhog! GrillGrates are casting a shadow on my grill and that tells me spring is almost here. Warmer weather and longer days means we can cook outdoors once again. Time to dig out, clean up and tune up your grill!

Spring is the perfect time to give your grill some attention. A few hours devoted to your old friend now will help keep it working flawlessly all summer long. My 4-burner Char-Broil gas grill has been a year round workhorse since I bought it 7 years ago and of course GrillGrates have made it a grilling machine with terrific control and consistency. I've become attached to this grill and a tune-up was over due but I had never repaired a gas grill before, I just junked them. This Char-Broil is a grill worth saving and I'm proud of the fact that it cost under $100 to make it as good as new.

  1. Burners and cooking grates are the first thing to wear out on most grills. Broken burners are not hard to replace, contrary to my expectations. No screws or bolts involved. Replacement burners sit inside an area behind the knob. I decided to replace all 4 burners even though only 2 were broken. I did not bother repairing the igniter, using a lighter is just as easy and less chance of a ka-boom after lots of clicking on the starter.
  2. Replace the flame tents- also known as "flavorizer bars". They are there to diffuse the heat around the tent to provide more even heating and to protect the burners from debris. I discovered that If you let them deteriorate they'll collapse on to the burner and take it out too.
  3. Careful removing too much of the rust inside your grill you may not have anything left! I realized that the bottom of my grill will be the next thing to go so I gently removed some of the rust pile but stopped after realizing it was going to cave in. 
  4. Hats off to Char-Broil for a super replacement parts web site that led me right to the parts I needed. Right now they are offering 15% off grill parts.
  5. Replacing the existing grates with GrillGrates is a turbocharger for your grill! For the first 3 years I had 5 standard 13.75” GrillGrates across the grill with a couple of inches clear in the back and I was thrilled. I finally listened to our customers and introduced longer lengths. I replaced the 13.75" with our 18.5" GrillGrate 2 years ago. My Char-Broil is like a souped up Chevy Nova! It gets hotter faster and uses a lot less propane. My grill is better than new and may have another 5 years in it!  Grate Grilling Ahead!
Check out our YouTube video about cleaning your GrillGrates

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winter Grilling Keeps The World Warm!

A while back we were approached by one of our dealers in Europe, Haupert Klaus-Dieter, about sending some of our GrillGrates over for an upcoming grilling competition. 
We gladly obliged and sent them twelve round GrillGrate kits and banners. These grates were to be distributed to the teams that were competing and to be used on various charcoal grills. Haupert and his gang of grillers are big fans of our product and have been using them for years but these grates were destined for the uninitiated.

A month or so goes by and then one day we are treated to a few hundred of the most incredible pictures from the event! Come to find out the event was called “Jack the Iceburger” and it was held high up in the Allgäu mountains at a ski resort. As the name entails this was a burger grilling competition with teams coming from all over Europe to give it their best shot.

GrillGrates were very well represented at the event. Our banner was everywhere and it seems as if everyone had a GrateTool in hand at one point. The teams prepared some amazing renditions of their take on the American classic with a lot of emphasis on presentation and garnish. These guys were not afraid to push the envelope and combine some very untraditional and unique flavors like brie and cranberry. In the end, the winner was a team named “Smokin BBQ Team” but for us the real winner was the multitude of amazing photographs. One of the guys in the competition, Tom Heinzle, recently came out with a book called “WinterGrilling”. He attended with one of his photographer friends in tow. The resulting images are some of the finest grilling photographs we have ever seen. We want to share them with you.

See more Grate pics from the event here or  see all 200+ pics from the event here

We here in America are finishing up one of the roughest winters in years but as our Facebook friends will testify- the grill still works in the cold. Many of us have persevered and were not slowed down by snow and sleet, literally digging our grills from the blanket of white stuff to cook our food in the great outdoors -the way it was meant to be. Our friends over in Europe don't seem to have a problem with winter grilling and it was really inspiring to see how they do a competition across the pond. Grilling and BBQ are truly an international language and the smell of smoke and cooking meat is universal in its appeal.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Two Original Grilled Desserts to Wow Your Sweetheart & A Valentine's Day Photo Contest for our Grate Customers.

Valentine's Day 2014

While many people will brave the crowds and eat out at their favorite restaurant on Valentines Day many couples will be staying home cooking their favorite dinner for 2 together.  I would venture to guess that grillers especially GrillGrate owners are more likely to be staying home for Valentine's day and grilling their meal.

After you've grilled that delicious dinner for two, leave the grill on low and grill up some sweet desserts for your partner at the table of life!

Here are two dessert recipes that are simple and easy to make ahead and be ready for that right moment to grill sweets for you and your sweetheart. Both these original recipes use flour tortillas, simple stuffings and delicious fruit:

Win $50 in GrateBucks and a GrillGrate T-Shirt!  

 Please share your grill and grate plate pictures to win!

 Snap a few pics of your Valentine's Day grill on on on Facebook or We'll pick one lucky winner next week. 

Happy Valentines Day from all of us at GrillGrate!