Tips for Summer Grilling (AM Northwest)

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Hey, if you followed the link from AM Northwest, thanks for watching the show! We had a great time (as always) and (also as always) I only got halfway through my notes! 😉

Here’s an overview of what we covered, and what we didn’t have time to share, as well as some videos and links to some of my favorite (and delicious) ways to put these tips into practice!

Grill Like a Pro AM Northwest
Click here to watch the segment on AM Northwest!

Be sure to subscribe to my page (in the upper right-hand corner) to get all of my latest tips, tricks, and recipes!

~Chef Perry

Brining & Cuban Mojo Marinade Recipe

Spatch-cocking & Injecting

(Be sure to subscribe to My YouTube page, so you don’t miss a single video!

Near Room Temp Meat

In order to achieve the best results in your BBQ and grilling, you will want your meat to be near room temperature when cooking begins. You want your meat to cook evenly from edge to center. Therefore, the closer it is to its final eating temperature, the more evenly it will cook. You can increase the rate at which it warms by placing it on a highly conductive metal, like aluminum (this is also a great way to speed up the thawing process for frozen foods.

Dragon Claws Appetizer

Dragon Claws AM Northwest
Click HERE for the recipe!

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Multi-zone grilling

Click on the link to see my article on multi-zone grilling, the various configurations, and which works best for different types of BBQ & grilling.

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs

How to use the A-MAZE-N Smoker

Resting

See the article at this link to learn how and why resting meat before cutting can make or break your meal!

Cleaning

Clean your grill while it’s still HOT. Burn any remaining crud to carbon, brush with s stuff metal grill-brush. Cool until warm to the touch, and brush lightly with a high-heat oil, like Grape-seed.

Chimney Steaks

My personal favorite way to quick-grill a steak for maximum flavor and tenderness.

Now, get out there and grill!

~Chef Perry

PS ~ For even more BBQ and grilling articles and recipes, check out my outdoor cooking blog at www.lacajachinacooking.com


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Kettle Grilling: #1 ~ Advanced Charcoal Techniques

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Home Chef Techniques for the Weber Grill: Part One

Advanced Charcoal Techniques

(Excerpt from Grilling: A Home Chef’s Guide)

I started out with a good old fashioned Weber Kettle (you’ve already read that story), the most popular charcoal grill in American since…well, ever. 😉

Sadly, these marvels of simplicity rarely get used to their full potential. Sure, you can grill up endless burgers, dogs, and brats…and they’ll be awesome, but let’s look at some advanced (dare I say Home Chef?) techniques to take this old classic to the next level!

I have used the Weber to make everything from jerky, to smoked salmon, to traditional Southern Pulled Pork, to authentic Texas-Style Briskets and Pork Bellies, and I’m going to show you how to, as well.

Over the next few posts, we’ll take a look at:

  • Advanced Charcoal Techniques
  • Using Water Pans
  • Real “Pit-Smoking” with a Weber Grill
  • Turning your Weber Grill into the Ultimate Pizza Oven
  • The Perfect Steak: Reverse Grilling
  • Amazing Mods YOU can make to your Weber Grill

So, let’s start with:

4 Advanced Charcoal Techniques

Direct Grilling 3

Direct vs. Indirect

There are two basic styles of grilling, direct & indirect.

Direct Grilling cooks your food “directly” above the hot coals. Best for searing and charring foods that you want to grill quickly.

Of course, with this higher heat, you have to be more watchful to ensure that foods, especially those with sugary marinades or glazes,, don’t burn before they’re cooked through. A double layer, direct fire on a standard kettle-style BBQ can get as high as 500F.

Rule of thumb: Thin foods, with low sugar and water content, and that cook quickly, cook best over direct heat:

  • Steaks
  • Fruits & Veggies
  • Chicken breasts
  • Hamburgers
  • Fish fillets & shellfish
  • Pork tenderloin

Indirect Grilling uses an area of the grill that doesn’t have coals directly beneath it. By placing your food over this “cool” zone, and covering it with the lid, your kettle becomes an oven, allowing you to bake, roast, or BBQ, foods that take longer to finish, without burning the exterior. Temperatures typically run in the 225f-250F range, making this method ideal for BBQ and smoking.

Rule of thumb: Thicker and sugary foods, and tougher cuts (especially of beef) that requires longer cook times at lower temperatures:

  • Roasts
  • Ribs
  • Whole chickens
  • Large whole fish
  • Pork shoulders, and loins

Direct Grilling 3

Single Zone Grilling

Single Zone grilling is your basic, direct heat method. Coals are layered evenly across  the coal grate, the number of layers dependent on the amount of heat you need.

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2 Zone Grilling

As we saw above, 2 Zone grilling is best for “low & slow” techniques.

Prepared coals are spread over one side of the coal grate, while the opposite half (or more) is left clear. This let’s you “roast” thick cuts of meat with burning, though you’ll typically need to rotate large cuts at some point, so they cook evenly on both sides.

Another common technique for 2 Zone Grilling is to caramelize (char) the exterior of the meat over direct heat (all sides), then move it to the indirect area to complete cooking.

Tri-tip roasts, steaks thicker than 2″, and bone-in chicken peices grill best by this method. Caramelization (the technical term is the “Maillard reaction*” adds tons of flavors to foods, and some believe that it can help deal in the juices of meats, to help prevent any unnecessary moisture loss. It’s a fantastic method for roasting whole (brined) chickens, as well.

You can even serve grilled “baked” potatoes that will drive your guests crazy!

*Maillard Reaction: A chemical reaction between the amino acids and the reducing sugars that gives browned and grilled food its distinctive flavor.


Giveaway Time!

91p7yLnTXJL._SL1500_TODAY…one lucky reader will win this new Digital Meat Thermometer!

Waterproof
Fast Instant Read
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I’ll pick a random comment from today’s post, and YOUR thermometer will ship tonight!

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Split Fire3 Zone Split Grilling

This is the method I use most often, as it finds it provides the most consistent results (and is most forgiving of my ADHD forgetfulness!) 😉

Prepared coals are split evenly along the opposite sides of the coal grate, leaving a place (cool zone) between, large enough to move the meat to once the outsides are browned. This allows medium to thick cuts to finish cooking, while providing even heat from both sides, and save you the trouble of having to rotate the meat, halfway through cooking.

There are also times when you might prefer a three-zone “split” fire, where the coals are separated into two equal piles on opposite sides of the charcoal grate.

Split Zone Indirect Grilling
3 Zone Split Grilling

This gives you two zones for direct heat (high, medium, or low) and one zone between them for indirect heat. This also works nicely for cooking a roast over indirect heat, such as pork loin or beef tenderloin, because you have the same level of heat on either side of the roast.

You can also use this method to create “High, Medium, and Low” zones in your kettle. By stacking two (or more) levels layers of coals on one side (high), and single layer on the opposite side (medium), the middle section, with or without a water pan*, becomes the “Low” zone.

*We’ll talk more about water pans in a future post.

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Ring o’ Fire (low & slow/smoking)

Ring of Fire Smoking Method
Setting up for slow smoking

The ring of fire is…awesome! By layering your coals in a semi-circle around the outside of the coal-grate, and then lighting one end of the “ring”, you create a domino effect, as each coal lights the next, working it’s way around the ring for hours, and provided low, even heat.

To turn your Weber Kettle into the perfect smoker, just pre-soak a few chunks of your favorite hardwood, and space them evenly atop the first half to three-quarters of the ring.

Meat will only accept smoke for the first three hours or so, so there’s no point in wasting the extra wood.

Plus, over smoking can leave meat with a bitter, acrid flavor, and a nasty tar-like coating.

I used this method for many, many years, with great success, until I discovered the A-Maze-N Smoker products, which are even simpler to use that this method. (I’m all about the “idiot-proof!” LOL) Here’s a quick video on how I use them in my roasting boxes, and it’s the same method I use with my Webers.

chefperryperkins.com and/or lacajachinacooking.com are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by the product manufacturers of any products mentioned in this post, or any of their affiliates or subsidiaries. We declare no affiliation, sponsorship, nor any partnerships with any registered trademarks.

 

In our next lesson, we’ll take a look at how (and why) to use water pans and drip pans in your Weber Kettle.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog (top of right column), to make sure you’re notified when the next post in this series is live!

See you then!

~Chef Perry

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