We’re a bit late on the ole Mardi Gras thing… but this Jambalaya is worth the wait. Watch us make it and get the recipe and more HERE
Archives for February 2013
There are hundreds of ways to cook a steak. Most BBQ aficionados and backyarders keep it simple. Fire up high heat and sear the beef and hope the middle is still good. The traditional thought is that the initial sear “Locks in juices.” The reality is the sear will not lock in anything… it’s kind of BS… in fact we’ve all seen a seared steak still pool with juices.
But the fast sear is fine for most – honestly I could eat a steak no matter if you cooked it in a crock pot… even when it’s bad – it’s still pretty good….but lately there has been talk of a reverse sear method. Here’s the deal:
It’s basically the opposite of that fast sear and bake. In this case you START the steak off low and slow – between 250 and 300 on indirect heat. You grill until the internal temperature reaches a temperature that is about ten degrees BELOW your final desired internal temp.
If you want it around 150 degrees Medium -( USDA may differ) target 140 with a quick read thermometer. Then pull it off the heat for a few minutes until it just starts to drop below 140. That’s your cue to fire up the high heat or searing burner as you see here and blast ut on both sides to achieve the charred caramelization and crust. Pull and enjoy.
Some xperts say the low and slow reverse sear method gives you a more tender steak allowing natural anzymes some additional time to do some magic. Most say it wont affect flavor all that much – but I believe you do end up with a better char and crust.
For traditional flavor use a Canadian or Montreal style spice like the one below.
The Best Way to Cook a Tri-Tip
By Bob Moglia
I have attended BBQ contests, mixed and matched spices and rubs and have tasted so-called winners “Best”. Honestly, few have lived up to their billing. While attending a BBQ contest last summer, I spoke with three competitors who all cooked their Tri-tip roasts differently. The first group smoked theirs in a hanging smoker. When served, the temperature was 135 and rare. The sauce a mix of ketchup. The first rule of thumb is…
TEMPERATURE; You need to achieve slightly pink in the middle and totally done around the exterior. In order to achieve this, I pull my Tri-Tip at 138 degrees. Let the meat sit for 15 minutes and it will come up 10 degrees in temperature. Remember, 140 is rare, 150 medium, 160 well. A well done Tri-Tip is chewy and lacks flavor and taste.
The second competitor called their entry “Santa Fe style”. They used a Santa Fe style rub on the beef. They also had a special red tree bark thrown on to smoke the last 10 minutes which was supposed to impart a special flavor on the beef. What I found was very little flavor from the rub, and no extra special taste from the bark.Dull and bland!
PREPARATION: I have found little to no difference utilizing countless rubs on Tri-Tip. Remember you are cooking a roast. If you really want to impart flavor, use a wet marinade. You have a thick piece of beef and you need penetration. Try to marinate for at least 24 hours with potent flavors to build character and flavor profile. You can add your spices to the marinade.
The last competitor and winner of this BBQ Tri-Tip award was a local winery, whose chef did little to no prep but creatively hid his trip tip in a small brioche bun with a bit of home made chutney. I thought it was smart, but far from showcasing the meat product. He hid it!
BUILD CHARACTER AND FLAVOR: the meat should be marinated to build a rich flavor. The longer the better but try for over night. Sear the outside of the roast first to help build a char and a crust. If you have a bit of a fat layer, this will help build a good crust. A total of 5-10 minutes over direct heat when you are getting the coals going should do the trick. Once the sear is complete, pull it across the grill and indirectly smoke it. Use chip and chunk and a mix of hickory, apple, cherry or other fruit. Hickory for its pungent signature and fruit wood for its mild taste. Watch your temperature and pull it at around 138 degrees. Sit it for 10-15 minutes before cutting into it ENJOY!
What You Need to Know About Using BBQ Marinades
By Les Fenton
Take your barbecue and grilling skills to a new level by learning how to make marinades for the food you cook on your bbq grill. By using your own bbq marinades you can not only produce lots of exciting and different food flavors, but also ensure that your barbecued food is more pleasant and healthy to eat.
What is a Marinade?
Marinating is a process used before barbecuing or grilling to impart flavor and also, especially for meat dishes, to tenderize. The marinating process is carried out by soaking your fish or meat in mixtures of different ingredients (the marinade) before cooking, sometimes for just a few minutes and sometimes for many hours or even overnight. You can use marinades for any food you cook, but they really come into their own when used on the food cooked on your barbecue grill.
This article will introduce you to the different types of marinade you can use and outline the steps you should follow for successful marinating. It will also point out some of the mistakes commonly made when making and using bbq marinades.
Use a Marinade for Flavoring
There are thousands of different marinade recipes which can be used to flavor foods cooked on a bbq – meat, fish and vegetables. The intensity of the flavor produced depends upon the ingredients of the marinade and the length of time used for marinating.
For example, if you are going to cook shrimp on your bbq you might choose a lime marinade. The lime flavor to enhance the flavor of the shrimp when it’s cooked. As we’ll find out later though shrimp should only be marinated for about half an hour. If you do it for longer the strong flavor of the lime will dominate that of the shrimp and spoil your dish.
However, the same thing doesn’t apply to all fish dishes. Tuna has a strong flavor so you might choose a recipe which recommends marinating for several hours. As a general rule, stronger flavored and less delicate fish can be marinated for longer, but the length of time used will depend upon the ingredients in your marinade.
If you are working on a jerk beef marinade recipe with all manner of spices and sauces you’ll want your bbq beef to be tender and have an intense flavor. In this case you would marinade for at least eight hours. The longer period of marinating affects both the flavor and the tenderness of the meat once it is cooked.
Using Your Marinade for Tenderizing
Marinating is an excellent way of tenderizing meat. The amount of tenderization depends upon the ingredients you use. For tenderization bbq marinades can be either acidic or enzymatic:
– Acidic Marinade
Acidic marinades contain vinegar, cider, lemon juice, or wine as ingredients. These ingredients act on the coiled protein substances within meat (or fish), breaking them up by causing them to unwind. The process of unwinding softens them.
It may seem rather strange to use acidic marinades for fish, but they can produce the most wonderful flavors. The key is to use the correct strength acid for the type of fish you’re marinating. The shrimp marinade described above should be a low-acid marinade (perhaps one part mild acid to four parts oil) to avoid making the shrimp tough.
A fairly tight-textured cut of meat like flank steak can survive a more acidic marinade because the marinade only penetrates the meat by a fraction of an inch and therefore won’t toughen it.
– Enzymatic Marinade
Enzymatic marinades contain ingredients which break down the connective tissue in fish and meat. Raw pineapple, figs, papaya, honeydew melon, ginger, and kiwi all contain these enzymes (known collectively as proteases or protein enzymes).
The enzymatic marinades need to be used carefully because they can work almost too well. They will, for example, turn tough meat muscle into mush if it’s left in the marinade too long. In some cases the meat won’t even pass through any intermediate stage of tenderness.
Make sure you use a proven recipe when preparing marinades for your bbq. As a general guide marinate fish for short periods of time (anything from 30 minutes to 2/3 hours depending upon the texture of the flesh) and meat for much longer periods (8 to 24 hours).
Marinades for BBQ’s – Three Steps to Follow
Find a good marinade recipe and prepare your marinade. Make a careful note of the recommended times for marinating.
Use a large porcelain vessel (with a lid) to marinade your fish or meat. You’ll need just enough marinade to cover your food. If you have an excess of marinade, you can save it in a sealed container in the fridge for use on another occasion.
When you have covered your food in the marinade put the vessel in the fridge. The lower temperature will inhibit the growth of bacteria in your raw fish or meat and prevent oxidation of the marinade ingredients.
When your bbq has reached the required temperature remove the food from your marinade and put it on the hot grill. During cooking don’t baste your meat with the raw marinade, and don’t use the marinade left over in your basting vessel to prepare any sauces unless you intend to boil them first to destroy the bacteria.
The flavoring ingredients in a marinade can include a wide range of juices, oils, herbs, and spices. Marinating is used for barbecuing and grilling all over the world for many different types of national cuisine. For example, the marinades used for Indian cuisine contain lots of spices such as, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, paprika.
Once you start preparing marinades for your bbq you should start investigating the many global internet sites where you can find marinade recipes. Make a folder for these recipes as you discover them, but I recommend that first of all you should start with the well-established recipes, later moving on to recipes which might not be so well-known, but can be great fun to experiment with.
And while you’re there don’t forget to sign up for our FREE “Barbecue Secrets and Tips” Newsletter.
Recently my family traveled to Florida and stayed in a condo with a full kitchen but, of course, there was no pantry items available for a rental. Have you ever had to buy twenty dollars worth of salt, pepper, and other spices you probably already have at home?
Here’s a simple solution… If you do a lot of traveling you’ll save some money by having a portable handy spice rack ready to go. This trick comes compliments of Chef Paul Stewart of Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe on Hilton Head SC and it’s a keeper. He says to use one of those inexpensive “day of the week” pill dispensers to act as your seven spice rack. It may not hold enough rub for a BBQ competition but it can probably store enough for a weekend at the beach.
Our suggestion: keep it in a zip-lock bag in the suitcase to keep your underwear from smelling like garlic. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.