By Kent Whitaker Fall is coming which means more tailgates centered around football tailgates! And that means more and more people are going to toss bratwursts on the grill! And, at the same time – some people shy away from grilling brats because of the perceived mystique of the stuffed link! Have no fear – grilling Brats – aka Bratwursts – is as easy as grilling a batch of hotdogs. Here’s a couple of tips that you can use for serving up some perfect brats every you toss some on the grill. Beer Bath or Veggie Boil Yes, you can use a beer bath to add some bonus flavor to your brats. However, most brats are sealed in a casing which limits the transfer of juices. So, that beer bath may not add as much flavor as you think to your finished bratwursts. On the other hand, most people toss a whole bunch of veggies in with the beer. The veggies, most often onions and pepper slices, cook in the beer mixture, along with drippings from the bratwursts, and whatever added spices you toss in. Before serving up the bratwurst simply toss some of the bath boiled veggies onto the hot grates to add some grill marks. Serve those tasty slices of flavor on the finished bratwurst. Some people use a beer bath, some use a fruit juice bath, some use a light marinade bath, and some just toss the things on the grill and go for it. All the above are fine. Method for Bath Grilling a Bratwurst My personal preference for grilling bratwurst with a beer, or fruit juice, bath is to rotate the bratwurst from bath to grill grate and back. Then, finish off with a quick roll across the hot grates. I start the bath first in a foil pan. This gives a chance for the liquid to heat up. Then, place the bratwurst on the grill grates to add some marks before moving them to the bath. Toss your sliced veggies, if using any, into the bath as well. Let the bratwursts simmer a bit and then move them back to the grill, then back to the bath. Keep them warm in the hot bath until someone walks up with a plate and bun. Roll the bratwurst across the grates to let any excess bath burn off before placing on the bun. What’s up with the No Fork Rule? I’ve had several people question me over the years about why people say [...]
By Kent Whitaker Summer grilling is a fantastic opportunity to expand your grilling repartee beyond traditional meats, veggies, and hotdogs. Why not look towards the fruit bowl in your kitchen for some inspiration. There are a bunch of fruits suited for great grilling that can be used as a side dish, a garnish as well as an ingredient in a recipe such as grilled mango salsa or pineapple with a nice hamburger! Then there’s always the dessert consideration. Fruit is naturally sweet, so why not take that attribute and put it towards good use when you’re thinking about your after-dinner dessert? Here’s my top-three pieces of fruit that I love to grill and serve with ice cream. Consider these starting points for your next family favorite recipe. Make these starting points your own with your own flavor additions. Grilled Peaches and Cream Something about a grilled peach says summertime! Just like a grilled apple reminds me of fall! Select several nice peaches that are not too soft. You’re looking for something that will hold up well when on the grates and when turned. Rinse the peaches off, slice them in half, remove pits, brush the tops with soften butter, and grill butter side down over medium high heat. Allow them to cook for a few minutes, then turn, and continue to grill for only a few minutes more. Brush with additional butter if desired, sprinkle with brown sugar, and serve hot with cinnamon crisps from the deli if available and a scoop of ice cream. NOTE: You can use peach slices as well with a grilling basket! And, why not grill up some peaches for your next peach cobbler? Give it a try. Grilled Honey Coconut Rum Bananas Here’s an idea that’s steeped in one of my friends Cuban background. They loved using traditional plantains but turned towards the banana as the main ingredient because bananas were easier to find. This is probably one of the easiest grilling recipes around when it comes to fruit. Slice the banana lengthwise, keep them in their peals, brush with butter or use butter flavored non-stick spray. You can use a griddle, on prepared grates, in a grilling basket, and even on foil. Grill the bananas with the peel over medium high heat just long enough to add grill marks and brown the edges slightly. The banana will start to cook and pull away from the peel slightly. Drizzle with a bit of honey and a dash of coconut flavored rum. [...]
By Kent Whitaker Summer is here! Grills and smokers will be fired up for holidays, family meals, and outdoor dinner parties. Now’s the time to check your outdoor cooking items to make sure they’re in good shape. And, it’s perfect time to a few grilling safety tips into consideration. After all, you don’t want you grill breaking before the steaks are done. And, as I say during my book signings and chef demo’s; when it comes to food safety you want your guests to remember the wonderful time and tasty meal. Not a trip to the emergency room due to food poisoning. Here’s a brief Summer Grilling Checklist! GRILL CHECK: Before using a gas grill after it’s been sitting dormant for a while you should check the lines for damage. Replace any worn burners, tighten loose bolts and nuts, clean any rusted areas and clean out debris from the last grilling session! Perform similar maintenance on gas grills and smokers. PREHEAT: Pre-heat your gas grill before using to burn off any residue from cleaners. When you light the charcoal, or fire up the gas for the first time, you might run off a few insects that have made your grill their home. CHECK YOUR FUEL: Before the neighbors come over for your cookout you should double check your fuel. There’s nothing wrong with an extra bag of charcoal or making sure you have enough fuel. CHEF TOOL SPRING CLEANING: Throw away and replace any damaged or rusted utensils, sharpen knifes, and check the batteries in your instant read thermometer. WASH YOUR HANDS AND SURFACES: This act cuts down on cross contamination. If you don’t have an outdoor sink at your grilling area then simply place several handy wipe containers around for you, and your guests, to use freely. Constantly clean around your cooking area as well. ICE FOR DRINKS & ICE FOR EVERYTHING ELSE: If you’re having more people over than you would for a normal family cookout then plan on having two containers for ice. One container holds cans and bottles of beverages that are covered in ice while a separate container holds clean ice for consumption. An ice scoop should be used as well. Any ice used for keeping food chilled should be separate. TEMPS: I’m not going to go over all of rules for keeping foods at the proper temperature. What I’ll do instead is give you a rule of thumb that I mention during my chef demos. “Keep the cold food cold and [...]
Here we go again. I just read an article on Yahoo about what is the best tasting BBQ Sauce. In my humble opinion - we all have different taste buds so, it seems to me that we would all prefer something different. I have a tendency too, with my growing health concern to look at the ingredients in some of this stuff to see what exactly is in them. The point is that in my opinion. It needs to taste good but it needs to have wholesome stuff in it, or you are sorta of defeating the purpose, after all BBQ sauce is still a food product. It should be reasonably good for you too. Here is the Yahoo article, Yahoo's conclusion was Sweet Baby Ray's - a sauce I have never heard of before. What exactly are the ingredients of Sweet Baby Ray's? Well, I give them credit, they publish online their ingredients. However, thats where I stop, the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, - more sugar for our diabetic population. The rest of the ingredients were fairly acceptable, except, sodium benzoate. These days I try really really hard to make sure I eat nothing with sodium benzoate. Sodium benzoate is what they use to set off the firecrackers on the 4th of July and has been proven to have cancer causing tendencies. Here is a quote from Wikipedia "In combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C, E300), sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate form benzene, a known carcinogen. However, in most beverages that contain both, the benzene levels are below those considered dangerous for consumption. Heat, light and shelf life can affect the rate at which benzene is formed." I would gather that most people don't know this about sodium benzoate. The fact is that you can make foods and bbq sauces without this ingredient. One should strive to eat organic and GMO free. These preservatives are simply not needed and can cause the human body a lot of problems. As for the best tasting bbq sauces? First ask yourself what is better, the taste? or your health? and second go to the health food store and look for bbq sauces - that taste go and are preservative free. Most by the way have vinegar in them which kills a lot of bacteria and the chemical preservatives are simply not needed.
Wow, these really look good, Leave it to the pit boys to come up with a mixture of spare ribs and margaritas.
If you have been to any good health food store lately and really looked around you would realize that there are all kinds of veggie foods being offere. I am a fairly new vegan, so I definitely have been looking. First if you are having a BBQ - don't omit your vegan friends. The health food store has all kinds of vegan burgers, some gluten free. These would BBQ great with some BBQ sauce on the grill. There are all kinds of cheeses in the health food store. I try to avoid dairy. In the health food store you can get vegan cheeses made from rice and one of my favorite is one mozzarella cheese made from almonds. There are all kinds of cheddars. Veggies can be grilled and taste great. Try corn on the cob, wrap it in foil and then remove the foil for the last few minutes to add bbq grilled flavor. Sweet potatoes also taste great grilled. Here are some great recipe links for Vegetarians Balsamic Green Beans and Peppers Packet-Roasted - this recipe does have feta cheese California Grilled Veggie the following does have yogurt Veggie Burger This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan. Veggie Burgers
this is an interview with Andy Sullivan, the BBQ guy of Man Cave, January 2011 Man Cave was founded with a simple vision - Letting men be men. A man cave is a man's sanctuary, a place where he can get away from the stresses of life and be his true self. With products ranging from grilling to beer accessories, to premium meats - Man Cave provides men with the essential items to be all that is man. Andy and family at a event Andy will be at this years Des Moines Home and Garden Show and the Minnesota Home and Garden Show, also. Visit Andy and learn more about having a BBQ event at your home at his - Website
Interview with Carolyn Wells, Executive Director of the Kansas City BBQ Society