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
Archives for August 2014
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
BBQ purists don’t get mad… we won’t argue that traditional low and slow smoking is the BEST way to go when looking for succulent – championship – style ribs, brisket, and chicken. But hey this is http://bbq.backstage.gq and we love a cool kitchen or grilling gadget. So we couldn’t resist giving PolyScience The Smoking Gun Handheld Food Smoker a quick trial run.
I actually received the gun as a Christmas gift and have been dreaming up all sorts of ways to use it. The compact battery operated (four AA) squirt gun sized piston works as promised. Spitting out a heavy stream of your favorite airborne hardwood. The gadget uses surprisingly little wood dust and the BBQ Smoking wood flavors are fairly plentiful.
I think it would be pretty easy to set off smoke alarms with the gun so use caution in the kitchen (check out the cloud I made in the video).
I still want to try a blast or two of smoke in the slow cooker but have played with a few other dishes including chicken in the oil-less fryer (smoke dissipates instantaneously: FAIL). In the video here I attempt to make a smoke infused coffee (I wanted to call it a SMOchacchino) but the smoke did not seem to penetrate the liquid dispite the nifty hose forcing the smoke bubble into the top of the brew. I’ll try smoking the steamed milk next time with hopes the fat or milk will give the smoke something to bond to. Stay tuned.
Cheese worked brilliantly.
Do you have suggestions of a food that would be better with smoke? Feel free to share it in the comments.
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.