Friday, April 24, 2015

The Grate Debate... Go on Top or Replace with GrillGrates

This is the question that gas grillers have to decide and this blog post is designed to help that decision.

When we introduced GrillGrate eight years ago, it was one size and one application, to sit on top of the existing surface of any grill, like re-surfacing a road by going on top of the old one. We began offering longer lengths and different shapes to cover more and more grill surface and more types of grills. Last year we began a custom cutting service due to strong demand for precise lengths. WHY? To replace the old, rusty, nasty grill surface, not sit on top of it. 

My grill is two years old and my grates are shot. We hear this every day.

We've always believed that over time GrillGrate would become a standard grill surface, not just an accessory. Today many of our customers are covering most or all of their surface either on top or replacing the existing grates. We are now in the business of full grill replacements as well as an "on top" solution.

Weber Spirit Grill with GrillGratesGrillGrates cook food identically whether they sit on top of existing cooking grids or not.
The difference is how the grill performs and it can be a big difference, especially if the old grates are cast iron. Cast iron is a heat sink. It takes a long time to get hot and a long time to cool down.  The opposite is true with aluminum. Stainless steel does not slow down GrillGrates heating up as much as cast iron.

Replacing your grates with GrillGrates will turbo-charge the
Charbroil grill with GrillGrateseffectiveness of your grill:
  • Very responsive- faster to heat up and cool down, and adjust grill temperatures.
  • More efficient- GrillGrates trap and hold more of a grills' heat, so gas consumption will be less. That saves you money each time you grill.
Weber Genesis Grill with GrillGrates
Precautions with GrillGrates in complete grill replacements:
  • Your grill will run significantly hotter, you may never use high heat setting again.
  • Clean out the grease tray and any grease in older grills before installing replacement GrillGrates.
  • Ideally, leave a gap on the left and right to allow heat to escape into the hood. The gap helps
    keep heat from building up inside the  The GAP is your friend and can be used to separate your grill into zones for searing and roasting as shown. 

2 zone grilling with GrillGrate
Need help deciding the best GrillGrate solution for your grill?
Now there are two ways to re-surface your grill with GrillGrates.  On top or a full grill replacement.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grate Spring Cleaning!

After a long hard winter, it was time to clean my GrillGrates and tune up my grills. The GrillGrates have not been off my grills since last spring- so it was time for their once a year deep cleaning.

Here are the steps to deep clean and “re-set” your GrillGrates:
  1. Remove GrillGrates to a driveway or area suitable for hose and water.
  2. Use the GrateTool on each panel starting at the hinge and scrape the build-up off as much as possible.
  3. Soak in a large (long) plastic container. I used Simple Green this year based on positive feedback from customers. 10:1 dilution. Soak for minimum of 3 hours, even overnight.
  4. Remove from soaking and use a scrubby on the raised rails and in the valleys. The rails should be smooth and slick after using the scrubby.
  5. You can also use brillo on the raised rails if they are not smooth and slick after using the scrubby.
  6. Hose off to rinse any remaining residue away.
  7. Back to the grills for a long summer ahead of grate grilling!

Other Deep Cleaning Methods:

  1. Power washing also works well.
  2. Face-down burn-off, just don't go to your neighbors for a beer! This will dry out the cooking rails requiring re-seasoning.
  3. Self cleaning oven works well but only if you have good exhaust. Do not use your oven to burn off without good exhaust- the smell is not something you want in the house. This will also require re-seasoning.

Do NOT Use:
  1. Aluminum foil over hot GrillGrates as it can cause temperatures to spike to over 1000F and cause warping or even melting.
  2. Oven cleaner or other caustic degreasers as they will pit and tarnish GrillGrates over time.

Got any tips to share how your care and clean your GrillGrates?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Back to The Griller's Diet

Now its official, I brought out the summer shorts over the weekend and they confirmed what my tight jeans were telling me... I packed on a few pounds over the winter and it looks like I gave up a belt notch too!
Time to get back to the griller's diet that helped me drop those pounds and inches in the first place. I've dedicated April to be  healthy grilling month with two simple rules to grill by:
  1. Never let the meat grill alone. I'm taking this one a bit further by dedicating a grill just to vegetables when we have friends and family over for dinner. Family style vegetables off the grill really helped my broaden my eating habits.
  2. Grill more fish, chicken and lean. You would think we're practicing for Steak Competitions with the amount of red meat we grill. Time to sharpen the shears and get spatchcocking chicken! Instead of rib-eye steaks, I'll be grilling salmon and tuna like a steak- hot and fast!

Two Zone Grilling Vegetables Roasting while Steaks are Searing

These vegetables are the top 5 vegetables that are most often on my grills. They pack tremendous health benefits beyond helping with weight!  GrillGrate, Eat Well on the Grillers Diet.

Food Antioxidants Benefits
Beets Betanin and vulgaxanthin, Lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Protects the skin and promotes healthy eyes
Red Bell Peppers Cartenoids-alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin. Vitamins C prevention of cardiovascular disease and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Promotes healthy eyes. Anti-cancer benefits, anti-inflammatory properties
Sweet Potatoes Beta-carotene, peonidins and cyanidins, sporamins antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties, helps prevent oxidative damage to our cells, may reduce the risk of breast and other types of cancer, promotes healthy eyes
Yellow Squash alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin, Vitamin C prevention of cardiovascular disease and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Promotes healthy eyes. Anti-cancer benefits, anti-inflammatory properties
Asparagus asparanin A, sarsasapogenin, protodioscin, and diosgenin, quercetin, rutin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese, and selenium, glutathione Anti-inflammatory, reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, helps regulate blood sugar, supports healthy eyes

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Honey You Can Start the Grill!

King Crab on GrillGrateThose are some of my favorite words! I don't know about you but I am not taking my sweetheart out to dinner on Valentine's day.   We'll be grilling dinner for two at home.  Granted we grill a lot, GrillGrates has taken over the menu.  Before GrillGrates I was more a bystander in the kitchen and only occasionally at the grill doing the regular old routine- hamburgers, steaks, chicken. We've or should I say I have come a long way since.

Happy Valentines Day! Honey You Can Start the Grill!
Grilled Corn Cake on GrillGrate

Here's a Dinner Menu for Your Valentine:

GrillGrate, Eat Well & Prosper!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

GrillGrate is EIGHT!

It's hard to believe we are entering our 8th season with GrillGrate. Eight years and a lot of customers later my enthusiasm and excitement for this business continues to grow. What a blessing to be working in such a terrific industry.

Rewind to 10 years ago:
  • I owned one grill, a Weber Kettle ( I did most of GrillGrate testing and development on the
  • I did not use (or know about) a charcoal chimney. I loved lighter fluid!
  • I never used an internal thermometer. I even cut into steaks to check doneness!
  • I enjoyed grilling but it was stressful and I put plenty of over cooked and undercooked food on the table.
  • I never did ribs on a grill, only the oven.
  • I never grilled a pizza, veggies went in foil, fish too. I pretty much grilled the same things over and over. Steaks, hamburgers, chicken and chops.
10 Years later:
  • I use 4 grills regularly all with GrillGrates including that old Weber Kettle. Sometimes I use 2 or even 3 grills for one cook.
  • I always use an internal thermometer and own a good number of BBQ accessories.
  • I've learned the difference between BBQ and grilling, and love low and slow as much as hot and fast!
  • I no longer get stressed grilling and have greatly expanded what we grill. My wife thinks I'd grill her if she stood still long enough!
Many of our customers own several grills and have followed a similar path to grilling prowess. The grill industry is hot and healthy, and I am proud to be a part of it with GrillGrate. Grateful is an understatement. GrillGrate, Eat Well!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Recipe for Stress Free Holiday Grilling: Equal Parts Technology and Technique

For years, I felt pressure during the holidays when I was charged with grilling large (and expensive) cuts of meat. How long would it take? How will I avoid under cooking or over cooking it? What if the meat is finished early? Or worse if I keep everyone waiting for the meat to be done?  Now as the holidays approach I am confident and look forward to grilling those fine roasts. The secret is the sum of two parts: the right technology and the right technique.

The first key to proper holiday grilling is a good digital instant read thermometer. Quality meat thermometers instantly display the internal meat temperature. Using them to measure temperature progress helps reach the target temperature without under cooking or over cooking. The peace of mind is worth the investment. Digital instant read thermometers generally range from $20 to $85.

The second step for holiday grilling is in the technique of the reverse sear.  
The reverse sear allows you to control the timing of the cook, and includes a rest period that can last a few minutes or a few hours, depending on your timing needs. The reverse sear (also known as Sear in the Rear) consists of three parts:
  • Long, slow roast of the meat: The target internal temperature of the meat is 10-15 degrees under the finished temperature.
  • Off grill rest period: Once the meat reaches its target, it can sit off the grill for up to 2 hours. The meat will not rise in temperature more than 5 degrees, and the you can relax and prepare other side dishes as the meat rests.
  • Hot sear to finish: When you are ready, sear the meat at a very high temperature before serving. Searing the meat at the end of the cook browns and caramelizes the exterior of the roast while finishing to a perfect internal temperature.
Tips for preparation of the meat: Olive oil and rubs are superior to elaborate marinades and pastes, as the host will be handling the roast more and heavier crusts won’t stand up. Some cuts, like lamb, are best tied with butcher’s twine. The more rounded and uniform the cut, the more consistent the cook.
Tips for grill setup: Two-zone grilling is another great technique for holiday grilling. If you have two grills this is a good time to use them both – one for low roasting and the other for the hot sear. The hot grill can grill sides during the slow roast, and then get turned up for the hot sear. Gas grills and charcoals grills can also indirectly cook meat at low temperatures, and then the heat can be applied when it’s time to finish.
  • Roasting grill temps: 225° - 250° F
  • Sear Grill temps: 550°-700° F
  • Smaller cuts require approximately 30-45 minutes, while larger roasts can take 1 – 1.5 hours – but the most important aspect is the internal temperature, not the time of the cook.
Three Holiday Grilling Recipes Using The Reverse Sear Technique– prime rib, boneless leg of lamb, and rack of lamb.
    • Slow Roast
    • Rest
    • Sear
    • Slice
  • Reverse Seared Boneless Leg of Lamb. In this recipe we remove the lamb from the netting, lay it out flat and divide it into two equally shaped and sized portions. The lamb is then seasoned and formed into two roasts.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Grateful is the Operative Word

I am grateful to be able to write this blog post.
I am grateful for my wife, my family and friends.
I am grateful for the opportunities I've had and being able to follow my dreams.
I am grateful for all the people who have helped me in life and business.
I am grateful to be an American and live in this wonderful country.

This morning in our office meeting, I expressed how grateful I am for our team and the work we are blessed to create and be a part of. I asked them to take 30 minutes and phone 3-4 people. No emails, no texting. Call them, thank them for their friendship and support. Tell them you appreciate them.

Especially with the turmoil in the world and in our own backyard, it's more important than ever to stop and give thanks.

Who are you going to call?

Happy Thanksgiving!