Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's Turkey Time! Grill Your Best Turkey Ever This Year!

Turkey is not an easy bird to cook perfectly. Naturally I wander over to where the turkey section compounds in size every year. More science, more techniques, checklists and even Meathead's concern about winning the war on Thanksgiving. When Black Friday encroaches on the traditional Thanksgiving meal and people are in stores or working in stores we are losing an important part of our American heritage. Meathead opines that Thanksgiving is the most important American holiday and he's right.

Gather the family, cook a turkey, cook all day, be together, and most important of all be grateful.

I'm not exactly sure what recipe we'll be doing with our Turkey, that is the boss's job... I just know it will be grilled or maybe smoked. Here's a handy chart to help you grill your best turkey whether you are smoking, roasting or grilling.  Remember, you can't grill a great turkey without a quality meat thermometer.

3 Recipe Ideas for Roasted, Smoked or Grilled Turkey:

One more resource I found very informative was Chris Mark's of The Good One Smoker. Chris recently posted The Science of Cooking Turkey with an emphasis on smoking. I am lobbying to smoke our turkey this year after reading Chris's article.

Please share your comments and ideas and enjoy being part of a 400 year old American tradition to give thanks!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Want to throw a great afternoon food festival?

Here is a simple formula.
  • Beer from great local breweries
  • Hamburgers from great local restaurants and pubs
  • Bands, you guessed it from great local talent
Presenting- The Battle of the Burger- Asheville, NC 8/10/14

How is this for a great ticket? $35 gets you a judges badge and a blue cup. You are now able to
sample all 10 restaurants burgers and enjoy free beer for 3 hours and don't forget to vote! Not into all you can eat and drink? Then buy some burger bucks and just sample a few burgers and a beer or two.

Strategically located between the beer tent and potties!
Congratulations to Kelly Denson of Lush LifeProductions for putting together the first annual Battle of the Burger- Asheville, part of the Asheville Food Fight series.  The winner even got a Golden Ticket to participate in the World Food Championships in Las Vegas in November.

We enjoyed being a sponsor and a judge. Congrats to Rankin Vault Lounge on their big win. I hope we see you in LasVegas! We now has a list of great spots to hit on our next visit to Asheville!

Oh and the people watching was exceptional!

We'll post burger pics soon- the creations were fabulous.  I was too busy judging and eating to take pictures.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Take Fourth of July Entertaining to the Next Level with Two Sweet Grilled Dessert Recipes

Keep the grill hot after the cook-out and grill desserts to top off their 4th of July holiday celebrations.

You will be the neighborhood hero when you grill s'mores for the gang after dinner.  Be prepared to make a plate or start an assembly line with eager volunteers! Or try the fruity Red, White and Blue Dessert Quesadilla. Both recipes are easy to make and easy to grill.

Grate Grilled S'mores

  • Graham Crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Hershey's Chocolate Squares
Grillling S'mores
Ingredients To make one S’more:
  • 1 Graham Cracker in 2 halves
  • ½ Hershey's Chocolate Bar
  • 1 Marshmallow
Grilling Instructions:
  • Spear marshmallow (1-2 at a time) on GrateTool or large grill fork
  • Hold the marshmallow just over the grillgrates and it will soon start to soften and melt
  • Lower the marshmallows onto the raised rails briefly- turn and repeat
  • Place ½ graham cracker with chocolate on top onto the grillgrates
  • As soon as the chocolate shows signs of melting place marshmallow on top
  • Place top ½ of graham cracker over marshmallow and pull off the fork or gratetool to complete the grilled s'more.
It is a fast grill, less than 1 min for each marshmallow and 30 seconds for the graham cracker and chocolate to be ready for handing off (Tip: have lots of napkins on hand for gooey chocolate) or plating. If possible, let the s'more sit for 2-3 minutes after grilling for the chocolate to firm up a bit.

Red, White and Blue Dessert Quesadilla on the Grill

Blueberries, raspberries, and white chocolate chips are the ideal ingredients for a great dessert
quesadilla. Pre-make ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator.  Keep entertaining family and guests with this nutritious fruity dessert.
raspberries, blue berries and white chocolate chip quesadilla 
  • Four Flour Tortillas
  • Cup of white chocolate morsels
  • Cup of fresh raspberries
  • Cup of fresh blueberries
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Vanilla
dessert quesadilla on grillMAKES 2 Dessert Quesadillas:
Making the filling:

  • 8 ounce container whole ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Mix ingredients together in a food processor -- this makes the filling for two quesadillas.
Making the Quesadilla:
  • Spread 1/3 of the filling on one tortilla (this is the bottom)
  • Sprinkle semi-sweet morsels
  • Place 2nd tortilla on top
  • Spread light film of filling
  • Decorate top with raspberries and blueberries
  • Add a few more white chocolate morsels

Grilling the dessert quesadilla:
  • The grill should be at medium heat, about 400F. Use a grilling spray or wipe the raised rails with oil
  • Slide the Quesadilla off the cutting board onto the GrillGrates- close lid
  • Check in 3-4 minutes by slightly lifting an edge to see the sear marks
  • Quarter turn the quesadilla if dark searing or wait and quarter turn in 1-2 minutes. Close lid
  • Use The GrateTool to check for firmness of quesadilla,it should be crispy and firm
  • Determine whether to give it a couple of more minutes or off it comes onto the cutting board
  • Let stand for 2 minutes
  • Cut and Serve

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rembering Dad at the Grill on Father's Day

Cheers Dad!
Father's Day at the grill is especially poignant for me as my Dad was a big griller and I have carried on the flame, but not his syringe for putting out flare-ups! (Dad was in the syringe business) Grilling with my Father are some of my fondest memories.

His signature dish was marinated london broil which became my signature dish as a young man. Every Father's Day we break out Dad's recipe of marinading a large london broil over night in Catalina French Dressing and pepper corns. That sweet tangy dressing really permeates the meat and makes for a great bark.

I'll hoist my scotch to you Dad when I've got that London Broil searing!

Grilled Breakfast Pizza on GrillGatesLinks to 3 Grate Father's Day Recipes that have become staples in our house:
  • Ultimate Breakfast Pizza- Pre-cook the ingredients the night
    before so in the morning its just assemble grill and eat.
  • London Broil on GrillGratesBurgers Brats & Beer- Be ready for the crowd by keeping extra packages of brats and burgers around if Dad's buddies show up
  • My Father's London BroilMy Father's London Broil- A family tradition in our house started by my Father more than 50 years ago.

Friday, May 30, 2014

GrillGrates Dominate 25th Annual World Championship Steak Cook-Off®

GrillGrate is excited to announce that all five money winners at the 25th Annual World Championship Steak Cook-Off May 16-17th grilled on GrillGrates. The 25th annual competition saw 81 teams vying for the $4,000 grand prize, with prize money paid through 5th place.

Smokehouse Rats of Boyd, Texas won this year’s contest, a $4000 check, and the Governor's Trophy.

“This is the fourth year in a row the winner has grilled on GrillGrates and the first time all five money winners used GrillGrates”. Even more exciting is the enthusiasm of the backyard griller who consistently share pictures and comments about grilling their best steak. GrillGrates have become synonymous with perfectly grilled steaks.

GrillGrate was proud to be a sponsor at this year's event. We prepared breakfast pizzas for the teams on the Grand Prize  Yoder Smoker that was given away to the winner of the Champions of Champions contest.

Steak grilling competitions have become a significant competitive sport with competitions paying sizable sums for that perfect steak. The SCA-The Steak Cook-Off Association was recently formed to help coordinate and standardize steak cook off events and judging. “Steak competitions are the next big thing in the world of grilling”.

Jazzie B and Shannon W were the Grand Prize winners!
The end of May also marked the end of our promotion with Meyer Natural Angus. We asked our fans and customers to submit their best pictures of grilled steaks into one of two categories- #GRATESTEAK for pics of gorgeous sear marks and #PERFECTCUT for pics of perfectly cooked steak interiors. Two winners were chosen along with two runners up. The grand prizes were $129 gift packs of steaks from Meyer and the runners up each received $75 in product from GrillGrate. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Steak Grilling Tips from Steak Cookoff Pros and GrillGrate

photo courtesy of  "I Eat, I Shoot, I Post"
With the World Championship Steak Cookoff® right around the corner, GrillGrate today released steak grilling tips from several World Championship Steak winners and grilling experts. The patented GrillGrate has become synonymous with the perfect steak as the past three world champions all grilled on GrillGrates.
Every griller worth his salt and pepper is on a life-long quest to grill the perfect steak. To some it has even become a competitive sport, with steak competitions popping up all over the US and Canada offering big prize money to winners. Imagine winning $4,000 for the best steak – that’s the payout from the upcoming World Championship Steak Cookoff® held every year in Magnolia, 
Arkansas on the third Saturday in May.

With the 25th Anniversary World Championship Steak Cookoff right around the corner, GrillGrate LLC is excited to release steak grilling tips in conjunction with grilling experts and past championship grillers.

The experts and champions offer tips and advice for anyone who wants to grill like the pros:

Jon Enright, Corporate Ranch Chef, Meyer Natural Angus

1. John Enright, Corporate Ranch Chef for Meyer Natural Angus. “If you would like to set yourself apart from the rest of the field start with the best beef available. Better beef comes from animals that are naturally and humanely raised, with no steroids or antibiotics, on a wholesome diet. That adds up to tastier, higher quality beef. Consumers are asking for natural beef. It’s not a trend anymore it is a way of life. Ask for Meyer Natural Angus and start to set your meals apart from the norm.”
Brett Gallaway, USA Cookteam 2011 World Champion

Johnny Joseph, Milam Cook Team 2008 World Champion 2. Brett Gallaway, USA Cookteam 2011 World Champion: 
“You have to know your grill and meat temperatures. Grilling steaks happens hot and fast and requires precise timing. An instant read thermometer is a must. Grill steak to a target internal temperature and not by the clock. I use a laser thermometer to measure the cooking grate temperature too. I want the GrillGrate to be at least 600F.”

 3. Johnny Joseph, Milam Cook Team 2008 World Champion: 
“I wet my steaks with a special marinade first, then I put my rub on so it dissolves the rub and doesn't wash it off. The steaks go wet on the grill for a hot and fast grilling.”

Ernest Servantes, 2012 Food Network Chopped Grill Masters Champion

4. Ernest Servantes, 2012 Food Network Chopped Grill Masters Champion: “You've got to have those killer diamond sear marks. Diamonds are a grills best friend. People eat with their eyes first and a perfectly seared steak sets off the senses. I lift and twist the steak before turning to get perfect diamond sear marks. Beautiful presentation sets the stage for that first cut.”

Monte Brown, Trash Can Cookers 2013 World Champion

 5. Monte Brown, Trash Can Cookers 2013 World Champion: 
“I grill using a process called the reverse sear. First I cook the steak at 225F to slowly bring the internal temperature up, then I remove the steak and get the grill very hot for the final sear. Just a couple of minutes a side to sear and darken the outside. The steak will be medium to medium rare.”

Although these professionals and champions all use their own methods, one thing is certain: a perfectly grilled steak starts with GrillGrates.
The World Championship Steak Cook-off® is the centerpiece of the Magnolia Blossom Festival held the third weekend in May in Magnolia, Arkansas. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the steak cook-off. All previous winners have been invited back to compete in a Champion of Champions contest that will run concurrently with the 2014 contest.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cinco de Mayo Is The Perfect Time To Try Grilling Quesadillas

Old man winter finally released his grasp and warmer weather has returned across the country. Even our friends way up north are finally thawing out and embracing the change of seasons. April found us doing our spring cleaning and getting our grills ready for action and now that May is upon us we are locked, loaded and ready to grill!
cinco de mayo art

Cinco de Mayo is the first holiday of grilling season. Many folks will be celebrating the occasion with a cook out. Contrary to popular belief Cinco de Mayo is not independence day for Mexico but rather a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Good enough reason to fire up the grill and crack open an icy cold Corona! Along with this day comes a lot of tasty Mexican food and there is no reason you should not join in on the fun at your grill.
Grilled quesadillas
Grilled flour tortillasWe have found one of the easiest and most versatile things you can grill is a little gift from our friends south of the border- the flour tortilla! Traditionally tortillas are toasted on a super hot “camal” or a cast iron skillet before serving. Toasting the tortilla brings out an authentic nutty flavor and crispiness that will make your taste buds sing. Put two of these tortillas together with some killer fillings and you have a recipe for something truly Grate, the quesadilla. Naturally the quesadillas translate perfectly to the grill and we find ourselves cooking them all year round. GrillGrates allow you to toast the tortillas in a much more controlled fashion than a traditional grill surface. The end result is a crispy golden brown exterior with stunning grill marks.
grilled tortillas with salsa

Tortillas are the perfect platform for any number of ingredients and go well with just about everything. Quesadillas can be made well in advance and thrown on the grill as needed. But don't stop there, why not gather a bunch of tasty toppings? Salsa, guacamole, sour cream and fresh veggies all lend themselves nicely to quesadillas. We like to set up a toppings bar of sorts and let our guests customize to suit their individual tastes. A toppings bar is perfect for parties plus it's fun, kind of like a quesadilla “social” if you will.

Our go-to recipe for grilled quesadillas includes quite simply mashed/seasoned black beans, salsa and cheddar cheese. The prep work is minimal, just buy canned black beans, your favorite salsa and shredded cheddar cheese. You can feed an army of folks for next to nothing using these humble ingredients and of course your GrillGrates. This year try adding quesadillas to your cook out menu and your guests will all be saying “Viva Mexico!”