Turning out perfectly grilled foods in your own backyard requires balancing two important variables: time and temperature. Too hot, and the food gets overly blackened and burnt before it's cooked through. Too short, and the surfaces don't have enough time to caramelize, brown, and develop that characteristic charred flavor that makes grilling worth the effort in the first place.
A solid grill thermometer can help, but here's the bad news: standard bi-metal dial thermometers, the kind present in almost all backyard grills and smokers, can be off by as much as 75° F in either direction. Which, if you're going for low and slow cooked flavors of barbecue, is enough to totally ruin your meal and your day. Here's how to fix it.
Making great tasting ribs is certainly a little more involved than grilling a great tasting steak or burger, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. The concern for most people is that this is a task better left to professional pitmasters or your local paper-towel-on-the-table BBQ joint. So many of us are just afraid of messing it up.
But here's the good news: you won't. As long as you understand that ribs are a working muscle and become their best selves with the use of low and slow heat. You can do this with any grill. Literally - any. grill. You don't need a dedicated smoker, and you can even finish the project in your oven if you'd like.
Last weekend I grilled in a public park for a friend's birthday and my buddy remembered all of the necessary ingredients... except for the grill. Someone dashed out to pick up a cheap grill from Target ($16!) and I began scouring the internet for cool ways to good meat on a cheap grill. And that's how I learned about the Snake Method...
Here's all the info you'd ever want about different meat cuts, what part of the cow they come from, and how to cook them -- all compiled into one massive infographic. Never again find yourself standing in the butcher section stalling as you realize you don't really know exactly which cut is best for whatever you're hoping to prepare.
If you had to name a manly flavor offhand, chances are your first thought would be barbecue. It’s a pretty universally loved flavor by both sexes so chances are you have some on hand, but why not branch out a little and try making some of your own?
If you've ever watched an old school pitmaster, or read a single book or recipe on slow smoking and barbecue technique, you're no doubt familiar with "the mop." It's a flavorful combo of liquids that gets regularly added during a slow cook to help aid smoke absorption and the creation of a great bark.
Some will add the mop with a spray bottle, but the mop, the liquid ingredient, comes, of course, from its application - an actual mop.
Fact: Food tastes better when enjoyed outside. It might not show up in a scientific journal, but all the anecdotal evidence supports the superior flavor of eating in the open air, whether it's a restaurant patio, your backyard deck, or a neighborhood block party.
It's a bit of a run on sentence but you get the idea. Make a foray into the world of blacksmithery in an easy and manageable way and get some awesome tools out of the deal. The best part about this idea is that 1. it works, and 2. you can create it from a totally normal barbecue and use a standard airbed inflation fan as the bellows.
Sure, you could go for burgers and dogs this holiday weekend, grilling to order like many a man on Memorial Day before you.
Or you could eat one of these.
A countertop cold smoking machine is a great way to add a depth of grilled or barbecued-style flavor to a simple weeknight meal, or to up the excitement of a standard cocktail or a less-expensive dram of whiskey. They're easy to use, relatively small to store, and really can bring a different level to simple plate of roasted vegetables or pan-seared protein, especially in the dead of winter.
Made from an affordable 55-gallon steel drum and some easy-to-find parts from the home improvement store, this DIY smoker can produce excellent results, and unlike many DIY grilling projects you'll find online, doesn't require a welder or advanced metal working skills.
In my line o' work, I'm lucky to come across hundreds of creative DIY projects and ideas each week, and I'm always inspired. But every once in a while, I discover a truly clever project that reminds me why I do this work in the first place, and gets my DIY heart all aflutter. This is one of them.
If there was ever a truly American food tradition, my vote goes to barbecue. This unique culinary tradition is quite a hot button issue in the "barbecue belt," which extends from the Carolinas through Tennessee and Georgia then into Missouri/Kansas and Texas.
There are few things in life I have trouble resisting...and barbecue potato chips are on the very top of that list. Bad ones are awful, but great bbq chips have a perfect blend of salty, smoky, sweet, and savory, all bound in a great crunch. I'm a total sucker...
Perhaps this weekend, you'll find yourself about a campfire: a trip outdoors, a gathering with your friends, an excuse to build a campfire. And perhaps, if you do, you'll want to take advantage of the warm, smokey heat, and whip up what may be one the tastiest, and manliest, meals of all time: campfire brisket, slow, wet, and amazing.
With record temperatures in most of the U.S. in March, we're well into grilling season. Which means it's time to move beyond the "we're just thankful that we can fire it up again" stage to start trying new things for the season.
Enter: Guinness barbecue sauce. It's
If you've ever had an expertly cooked, dry-aged steak at a restaurant, you can certainly tell the difference between that experience and those you can buy at the grocery store and cook at home. Dry aging removes up to 25% of the water, leaving behind all the flavorful compounds and concentrating the beef-y flavor.
Turns out, you can apply the same that steak houses use, at home, turning your supermarket cut into a thing of wonder.
There's not too many toys that make me wanna to live in them. Barbie's dream house is a definite no-way, and while I definitely wanna visit Castle Grayskull, it seems kinda dank and drafty.
But I might be convinced to enter a miniaturizing ray chamber if my ultimate destination were this: The Sunday Barbecue Cut Out Set by Argentinean illustrator Maxim Dalton.
Master Seamstress Betz White writes, "I was trying to come up with a fun Father's Day project when I spied my pile of canvas totes. Nice durable canvas...handy cotton webbing straps...then it hit me. These would make great utility aprons!"
And she was right. Minimal sewing, maximum coverage, and if it happens to get unsightly soiled from too many splatters, you can easily whip up another one.