Check out what you can do with this nifty BBQ Grillin’ Gadget called the SLOTDOG. Kinda like this Outset Spiral Cutter for Hot Dogs and Weiners – 4 Pc on Amazon – a gadget custom made for customizing your hot dog. It’s a BBQtrick we used a while back on GrateTV called Hot Dog Dogs — > HERE The SlotDog Worked for me right away and gave my Oscar Mayer wiener a Gator-like tire tread look. I figured Oscar Mayer would be a “typical” hot dog for testing purposes. Dont have a slot dog cutter and you’re in a hurry? Well – try to do a spiral cut like shown HERE. Either way it’s a fun conversation starter at your next BBQ and kids would probably love it. Top this! Tell us how you can do a better hot dog in the comments… #topthis
Why You Should Marinate Your Meat Before You Grill
The summer is in full swing which means you are likely putting your outdoor grills to work as you cook up some of your favorite grilled meats. We all know that when grilling meat, fish or poultry, it’s all about the marinade. You may think that the sole purpose of marinating your meat prior to cooking is to enhance the flavor, but there are actually health benefits associated with marinating your meat that go beyond satisfying your taste buds.
So here is what you do know. A marinade acts as a tenderizer and brings out the meat’s natural flavors before grilling. What you may not know is that marinating is one of the most effective ways to reduce the formation of cancer-causing compounds, known as heterocyclic amines (HCA’s). These compounds are produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures, like in grilling. Marinades can reduce the formation of these carcinogenic compounds by up to 99%. You can even boost this benefit by adding rosemary to your marinade. This herb contains the antioxidant carnosol, which has some specific anti-cancer properties.
Though it is unclear why marinating meat before grilling effectively eliminates HCA’s, it is believed that the marinade acts as a barrier between the meat and the direct flames. The cancer fighting power of marinades may also lie in the type of ingredients used. Vinegar, citrus juices, herbs, spices, olive oil and safflower oil are common marinade ingredients that all seem to contribute to the prevention of HCA formation. These acidic ingredients seem to slow the growth of harmful bacteria, like listeria, tenderizing the meat to make the protein easily digestible and moisten the meat, preventing it from becoming tough.
If you are someone who never uses marinades, now is the time you should start! Eating healthy does not mean your food has to be tasteless and bland, especially now that you know marinades do great things for your health. There are endless amounts of ingredients that can be used to create healthy and tasty marinades for any kind of meat, fish or poultry. Start to create the perfect marinade by first knowing the basic ingredients:
1 part acid (vinegar, citrus juice, yogurt)
1 part oil (olive, canola, safflower)
2 parts aromatics (herbs and spices)
Salt and sugar to taste (can substitute with low sodium soy sauce and/or honey)
This is a ratio you can always refer back to when creating your marinade. To keep the calorie count down and avoid having leftover marinade, only use about � cup of marinade for every pound of food, unless you have large pieces that may require a little more. Total immersion is not necessary, but the food should be turned occasionally, so that all surfaces will be in contact with the marinade long enough to benefit. Use non-metal containers or re-sealable plastic bags to hold the marinating food. You may also want to marinate your vegetables to add extra flavor. If this is the case, always make sure you keep the vegetable marinade separate from the meat marinade, to avoid cross contamination of bacteria. Also keep in mind that if you are making skewers, keep vegetables on their own skewer, since meat typically requires longer cooking times.
There has never been a more delicious way to prevent cancerous compounds than marinating. The sky’s the limit when creating a tasty marinade. So, get creative! Make use of a variety of herbs and spices to add natural flavor to your marinade. Yogurt in a marinade is thought to tenderize meats and help balance out sweet and spicy flavors in marinades. While it’s best to use herbs and spices, if you are going to add salt to your marinade, don’t add it until just before you cook the meat as the salt will draw out the moisture creating tough, dry meat.
Bonnie R. Giller is a registered and certified dietitian nutritionist and certified intuitive eating counselor who helps chronic dieters break free of the pain of dieting and get the healthy body they love.
Bonnie utilizes the principles of intuitive eating in her work with her clients, which is eating based on internal signals of hunger and satiety versus situations or emotions. The result is they lose weight, keep it off without dieting and live a healthy life of guilt-free eating.
Download Bonnie’s free e-book “5 Steps to a Body You Love Without Dieting” at http://www.DietFreeZone.com
For more information on Bonnie’s programs, books, lectures and presentations, visit http://www.brghealth.com
The tips and tricks – paraphrased below- are basic but worth noting:
- Get Toasty. Toast Your Spices and maximize the potency. This releases oils and flavor.
- Stay cool. Never store the spices above a stove. Heat degrades flavor.
- Don’t store spices too long. Keep it fresh.
- Use your freezer. Dark and sealed dry.
- Keep them in the dark. Sunlight degrades flavor too. See tip 2.
My favorite spice trick is using a Monday to Sunday travel pill box to store just enough spices for that trip to the beach… more here…
Got a favorite spice trick for BBQ or just cooking? Love to hear it. Share it in the comments.
Here’s a fun way to celebrate the All American BBQ on a patriotic holiday.. a fun trio of BBQ sauces done up in flag wavin’ Red – White – and Blue. We have a great red sauce (Almost Award Winning) here – but there wasn’t a VIDEO RECIPE FOR THE WHITE OR THE BLUE BBQ SAUCE – so we put one together HERE on YouTube.
First the WHITE SAUCE:
Big Bob Gibson’s is a big name in BBQ especially when it comes to this white sauce…. An Alabama Barbecue traditional ce uses Mayonnaise at it’s core and Bob Gibson of Decatur, Alabama is the guy who launched it back they say in the 19-20’s
Youll want to apply this only at the very end of your grilling or smoking. It will breakdown and separate if it is heated too long.
It’s tangy and thinner than you might think – when grilling chicken; brush lightly over the chicken during the last few minutes of grilling.
Here’s what you’ll need for White BBQ Sauce
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup apple juice I tried corn syrup here
1 tablespoon powdered garlic
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground cayenne pepper
Place all ingredients in a very large blender or food processor. Blend for 1 minute, or until thoroughly mixed and sauce is smooth. I used a bullet blender – remember it’s almost like a mop – use it to slather on in the very end of the cooking process but you may first want to try it as a dip – again mainly for chicken…
Some people also like to use it a a base for cole slaw and potato salad….
Next THE BLUE SAUCE is unlike anything you’ve tried before.
This version uses dried blueberrys because we couldn’t find fresh at the time… and True it’s not really a Smurf blue color… and that’s probably a good thing. The color is subtle (in fact hard to see here). But the blueberry is defiantly in the flavor.
Perfect for beef or chicken. A side of blue potatoes?
The added bonus is there is a nice hint of blue in the sauce and it’s a great conversation starter.
2 cups water
1/2 cup tomato catsup
1/2 cup dried blueberries minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Add water, blueberries and vinegar to sauce pan and simmer for five to ten minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat until desired thickness.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain out blueberry pulp using spoon to force out additional liquid. Discard MOST pulp.
If you want to try a fresh blueberry version ——-from blueberry council.org
Try with 1 to 2 cups fresh (or frozen blueberries) blended in a blender first – let me know in the comments
Team this Blue sauce up with our almost award winning red sauce and a unique Alabama White sauce and you have a RED, White, and Blue patriotic BBQ.
For more tips tricks and other fun stuff head over to www.barbecuetricks.com
Cooking with The Big Boss Oil-Less Fryer is quick and easy, and my special Pork Skin Pork Chops come out crispy and delicious every time. First you will need to have this fryer… (get it here and support the site) Amazon has it and you will be amazed.
The Big Boss 1300-watt oil-less fryer cooks with low energy and offers triple cooking power with halogen, convection and infrared heat. You can cook from fresh or frozen with no thawing time, and has 2 trays, and holds 16 quarts so you can cook multiple foods at the same time. It even comes with a metal collar so you can “fry” a turkey in it. It cooks up to 3x faster than the oven without preheating, and leaves food moist on the inside and crispy on the outside with little to no fats or oil, so food is not greasy and you don’t have to figure out how to dispose of oil after cooking. There are three cooking elements working in uniform. The halogen directly heats the surface of the food for browning, roasting and flavor. The convection circulates the hot air, evenly distributing the heat for faster cooking, and the gentle infrared heat cooks food from inside out, sealing in the juices. Works great for roasting turkey, baking fish, broiling steaks, air frying chicken, grilling meats, toasting breads, steaming veggies, and even makes dessert.
Pork Skin Pork Chops you will need:
The Big Boss 16 Quart, Oil-Less Fryer
1 bag pork skins
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp Cayenne pepper (to taste) – we like it spicy!
4-6 thick cut pork chops
Bacos – Imitation Bacon Bits
Olive oil spray (optional)
Crush the pork skins into a fine powder, and pour into a mixing bowl. Add the pepper, garlic and cayenne, and blend thoroughly with a fork. Beat the egg in a small bowl and add a little water. Dip each pork chop in the egg wash and dredge in the crumb mixture to coat on all sides. Place the chops in the wire basket provided with the Big Boss, and place on the higher rack. Spritz the chops with a little olive oil if desired.
Plug the Boss in, set the temperature at 400 degrees and set the timer for about 16-18 minutes. Turn the pork chops half way through, and use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Pork should have an internal temperature of 145°. The chops will come out crispy and moist!
Here’s a fun and fast way to pinpoint the hot spots on your grill. We use a few tubes of refrigerated “poppin” biscuit dough. A few tips: get your gas flowing freely first… start with all your dough the same temperature… and make sure the dough slices are of identical thickness. Take a biscuit selfy and save if for future reference. Carolina Pitmaster Jack Waiboer suggests this as the first cook on any new grill. A GRATE idea.
Watch the Grill HotSpot Video HERE
My family loves a good pizza… I’m from Chicago so it’s kinda in my DNA. I always go for the DEEP dish heavy thick slices from Pizzaria UNO (one a pretty wide spread chain that has it’s origins in Chicago).
But, alas, the pizza caught up with me and in January of this year I signed up with MediWeightloss. Thankfully MJ, my wife. was on board too and in the next few months I lost 55 pounds.
Part of the routine was a low carb Acute phase. Needless to say pizza is a tough one. However we found that on YouTube cauliflower pizza crust is all the rage and we loved it. Watch us make the BBQ version HERE on YouTube.
No, it’s not exactly the crun-chewy crusty carbloaded bread we may be craving, but if you love cheesey toppings equally as much this faux crust should be a suitable base to curb your craving for a heavy slice.
1 head cauliflower
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup mozzarella cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup almond meal
Wash and dry the cauliflower before cutting off the florets. Discard the stems and leaves. Chop florets into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until it looks like snow (about 30 seconds).
Pour cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave on high 4 minutes. Let it cool slightly and pour cooked cauliflower onto a clean dish towel or cheese cloth. Wrap up tightly, and holding over the sink, squeeze repeatedly to remove as much water as possible. This is key! Dump squeezed cauliflower into a mixing bowl. Add egg, spices, cheeses and almond meal, mixing thoroughly.
Pour mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and spread out, shaping into a circle about ¼ inch thick. Press a paper towel over the top to remove excess water. Place parchment paper on a preheated grill stone on the grill, close lid, and grill approximately 10 minutes on medium heat until browned.
While it cooks, gather the toppings:
¼ cup BBQ sauce
½ cup pulled pork
½ red onion, sliced
¾ cup Mozzarella cheese, divided
To turn the crust, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a second baking sheet, slide the crust off the grill onto that second baking sheet. Place the parchment lined baking sheet upside down on top of the crust, carefully flip and remove the original piece of parchment paper from the top. Now using the new parchment paper, slide the flipped crust onto the grill stone. Close the lid and grill another 5-10 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Add toppings to the pizza right on the grill:
(I mixed a sweet tomato based BBQ sauce with a low fat vinegar based sauce and added a little sugar free syrup)
To cook this in the oven, preheat oven to 450° and follow the same procedure. Alternate toppings:
You can also prepare this with frozen cauliflower florets. Thaw the florets completely and prepare the same, decreasing the microwave time from 4 minutes to 2 minutes. The turkey pepperoni will curl in the oven, so put some cheese on top.
Just announced – another Zac Brown Music and Food Festival for October – here’s a look at the 2013 event.
If you like the look of the STAGE Boxes shown in the video… act fast… the special all you can eat and drink seating sold out last year and the 2014 tickets JUST went on sale — more HERE
You can usually find some great BBQ or other Southern fare from a bunch of local vendors (and Zac himself).
Not a BBQ competition… but definately a good time when weather in SC is at it’s best.
Warmer weather is finally here, and that means it is officially grilling season!
There are few things that feel more like summer than standing around a grill with friends on a warm evening. While some people fire up their grill without putting any thought into how they will be cooking their meal, others are dedicated to certain methods and techniques.
Some people prefer the convenience of using a gas grill, while others are fiercely loyal to charcoal. Traditionally, grills are designed to cook with either gas or charcoal. If you like to use both fuel sources, hybrid grills are a great solution.
There will always be a debate about which fuel source is best when it comes to grilling. Here is a quick guide to help you determine which fuel source is best for the cooking at hand:
There is one advantage that gas grilling has above all other fuel sources: convenience. To start a gas grill, you simply have to turn a knob and press a button. Once lit, you have an easily controllable heat source to cook your food. Gas grills are also relatively easy to clean because there are no leftover ashes.
While gas grills are probably the easiest to use, grilling enthusiasts often have one major complaint: a lack of flavor.
- Pros: Easy to light and control temperature, very little clean up.
- Cons: Gas adds no flavor to food, and produces a more moist heat.
When you burn wood in the absence of oxygen, the remains of this natural process is lump charcoal.
One of the great aspects of lump charcoal is how quickly it gets extremely hot. This typically takes only 10 to 15 minutes. Because lump charcoal gets so hot, it can sear foods rapidly. It also produces a very dry heat, which creates that delicious, caramelized crust on the outside of your food.
This quick heating process makes lump charcoal great for grilling foods that cook quickly.
Once lump charcoal reaches maximum temperature, it loses heat quickly, which can be disadvantage. If you want to use lump charcoal and sustain a high temperature, you will need to replenish the charcoal periodically. Because you are using charcoal, there will be ash cleanup involved.
- Pros: Lights quickly, burns hot, great for searing.
- Cons: Burns quickly, more expensive, takes time and effort to light.
Briquettes are similar to lump charcoal in how intensely they burn, but the similarities end there. One of the easiest ways to discern them is to look at their shape. While lump charcoal is inconsistently shaped, making it difficult to stack, briquettes usually have a uniform shape.
An advantage briquettes have over lump charcoal is that they burn for long periods of time, which makes it easier to cook at a more consistent temperature than lump charcoal.
While lump charcoal is created through an all-natural process, briquettes are not. Briquettes typically contain additives that help them light, burn and keep their shape. These chemical additives will give off a distinct smell when they are lit, but if you wait to start cooking until all the briquettes are covered in white ash, that smell shouldn’t transfer to your food.
- Pros: Burn time, consistent temperature, cheaper.
- Cons: Chemical smell, ash to clean.
This is a guest post by Arianna on behalf of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. Visit kalamazoogourmet.com to find out more about our hybrid grills.
More fun with a BBQ dessert in a Dutch Oven! We claim this is the World’s Easiest Pineapple Cake Recipe. Watch as we spell out the sweet details using only 6 ingredients (Our cake batter is only 2 ingredients – icecream and self rising flour!). But don’t try this at home… watch and tell us what you think of the surprise ending…