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Burger Grilling Tips To Kickoff Tailgate Season

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Labor Day has come and gone, and summer is (almost) officially behind us. But that’s no reason not to keep grilling up your favorite Burgers! Fall means tailgate season is ready and waiting for you! But don’t head out to the stadium just yet. Unlike backyard barbecues, tailgates have their own rules and best practices.

To make sure you’re prepared, we put together a list of Burger grilling tips to kickoff tailgate season. Make sure to read through them all if you want to make your next tailgate one to remember.

Burger Grilling Tips To Kickoff Tailgate Season Bring The Right Grill. When it comes to tailgating, it’s all about the grill. Ensuring the you have proper grill for the space where you’ll be tailgating and the number of people you’ll be cooking for is key to the very best tailgate. In case you missed it, check out our article about How To Pick A Portable Grill. Keep It Simple. Everyone loves creative and inventive Burger builds. But when you’re tailgating, simplicity is paramount. Think about it: You’ll likely be serving ten, twenty, or more people and won’t have access to your home kitchen and pantry. Best to offer a few great options like two or three cheeses, only a handful of toppings, and three or four sauces. Think simple, classic, Americana: We’re talking American and cheddar cheese, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, and mayo. Of course, what you offer is up to you—just keep in mind you’ll have to haul it in coolers to your tailgate spot. Pack Right. In keeping with our “Keep It Simple” rule, make sure you are packing efficiently. Since you’re dealing with fresh ingredients, you’re going to need coolers and ice packs to keep things at the right temperature. Pack your Burgers and toppings separately—this helps with organization as well as acts as a safeguard against any leaks ruining all of your ingredients. Also, don’t forget to make sure you keep you Burgers under 40 degrees Fahrenheit until you’re ready to throw them on the grill to prevent spoiling. Organize Your Food Stations. One of the factors that makes any tailgate successful is the organization of your food stations. Just because you’re camped in a parking lot before the big game doesn’t mean things need to be cluttered and messy. Make sure you have your cooking ingredients (Burgers and cheese) beside the grill and your toppings spread out on adjacent tables. You’ll want to make a clear path from grill to table for your guests to optimize the Burger building (and eating) experience. Prepare Some Ingredients In Advance. For you more adventurous tailgaters out there who like to serve complex Burger builds no matter the setting, try prepping some of these ingredients in advance. For example, if you want to serve sauteed onions as a topping, cooking those at home on the stove-top so that all you have to do is heat them back up at your tailgate site. Same goes for any other toppings that need cooking or other prep work. Do as much as you can in advance to make sure your tailgate is seamless. Be Prepared. The old Boy Scout adage doesn’t just apply to hiking and camping. Consider your audience and their needs before you pack for your big tailgate. Are there dietary restrictions you need to consider? Does anyone have serious food allergies? Do you have ample paper towels and other cleaning supplies? Do you have enough food to accommodate all of the tailgaters you’ll serve? Do you have enough fuel (propane, charcoal, etc.) to run your grill for the duration of the tailgate? Make sure you consider these questions carefully and act appropriately.

With tailgate season finally open it’s time to put your grilling skills to the test and cook up some Burgers for the hungry sports fans in your life! Remember to keep our recommendations in mind and let us know how your tailgate goes. Were our tips helpful? What else would you recommend for the tailgaters out there? Let us know in the comments!

The post Burger Grilling Tips To Kickoff Tailgate Season appeared first on Schweid & Sons.

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This Twice-Baked Soufflé Is Twice As Forgiving

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https://images.food52.com/70XXUJHm-NgaDqH_UXWOO4gsSN8=/b485e1ad-a01f-48d6-b65e-86dea76c5746--2018-0328_twice-baked-souffle-process_3x2_ty-mecham_022.jpg

Please raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimized by soufflés.

Well, it’s not just you—soufflés have quite the reputation. You can pour your heart, soul, and frothy mixture into little ramekins and they still deflate like a sad balloon as soon as they come out the oven. Even Julia Child wrote 16 (!) pages on mastering soufflé techniques and recipes.

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But San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jessica Battilana has a smart sidestep in her new book, Repertoire: All the Recipes You Need:

One easy work-around is to bake the soufflés twice, a trick I learned from Anne Willan at La Varenne; it liberates the cook from the high-stakes moment of pulling a soufflé from the oven and serving it before it deflates.

Liberating is right! This approach follows the familiar formula of whipping egg whites and folding into a velvety yolk mixture, baking until puffed and golden brown, then removing and watching them deflate. Once cool, remove the soufflés from the ramekins into a gratin dish and coat with cream and cheese. Sure, you could pop them back in the oven, but what’s the rush?

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“Take your time!” —these soufflés Photo by Ty Mecham

“At this point, the soufflés can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours,” says Battilana. “I’m telling you, this recipe is magic.”

A second turn in the oven puffs them right back up. Maybe soufflés aren’t so mean after all.

Makes 6 soufflés

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped leeks
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 eggs, separated

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What’s your best tip for soufflé success? Share in the comments!

Tags: Tips & Techniques, Books

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This Twice-Baked Soufflé Is Twice As Forgiving was originally posted at https://food52.com/blog/22065-twice-baked-souffles-are-the-nicest by Katie Macdonald

 

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Best Tools for Lighting Charcoal

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If you can’t light your charcoal, nothing is getting cooked tonight.

But what’s the best way to get that pile of cold charcoal burning hot?

If you have had a bit of a poke around the internet, you might have heard of charcoal chimney starters. They’re a pretty standard way to light charcoal. But are they the best option for you? What if you don’t have any extra cash to buy a gadget that will help get the job done? Will a splash of lighter fuel be of any assistance?

We have sought out the best tools available for lighting charcoal. We also have some handy information to share with you regarding what you should definitely not be doing when lighting up your smoker.

Best charcoal chimney – Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter

Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter

The Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter is a great example of a well made, reasonably priced chimney starter. The Weber Rapidfire holds enough coals to fill a 22½ inch Weber Kettle, and is about 12 inches high.

There isn’t much more to a chimney starter than a thick metal tube divided into an upper and lower compartment, and a handle. But don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the concept. We have heard from some who have bought cheaper chimney starters that they just don’t work. And that’s even after dousing the coals in lighter fuel.

So why is it that such a simple design can fail, especially when most people who use chimney starters swear they work so well? It all comes down to the subtleties of the design.

The Weber Rapidfire has a cone shaped bottom which means it starts up fast, and channels the heat to the coals, where you want it. This further reduces the temptation to use lighter fuel, which you should definitely not do (more on that later in the article).

To use it, scrunch up 2 or 3 sheets of paper and place them in the bottom compartment, and place your coals in the top compartment. Light the paper and wait for around 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, grab the starter by the handle and give it is shake to make sure all the coals are lit. After about 15 minutes, have a peek — all the coals will be white hot and ready to go.

 

What We Like:

  • It’s made by Weber. There is a level of confidence that comes with a product made by a trusted brand in the barbecue world.
  • The double handle system makes pouring out the hot coals a lot easier. As this is a bigger chimney, you don’t want to be dropping those red hot coals on yourself!
  • The cone shaped interior helps light the coals quickly and evenly. You won’t even be tempted to use lighter fluid.

What We Don’t Like:

  • We have heard some complaints that the metal and rivets are a little flimsy. But on the whole, most who have bought this product feel that the quality is not a problem.

A note on safety — when the coals are lit, you will need to wear gloves while handling the chimney. The chimney starter gets incredibly hot, so you need to be careful when handling it.

We have even heard that you can use a chimney starter to cook! Place your wok on the top of the chimney starter once the coals are lit and it is just as good, if not better than, any hotplate you have in your kitchen!

Just about everyone we have heard from who has one of these say it works every time and makes lighting their coals a breeze. A common comment is that they are all a little baffled as to why they didn’t purchase one sooner.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

 

Best Propane Charcoal Starter – Red Dragon Propane Torch

Red Dragon VT 3-30 C 500,000 BTU Heavy Duty Propane Vapor Torch Kit

If you like the idea of hitting your coals with some serious heat to get them cranking fast, then the Red Dragon Propane Torch is worthy of some attention.

In fact, some may even feel this starter could fall into the “overkill” category, as it is a heavy duty unit. It can also be used to kill weeds and clear scrub, so it is a great tool to have on hand if you have a bit of land to maintain.

Despite it’s heavy duty appearance, the blowtorch is actually the perfect way to light your charcoal for a low and slow cook efficiently. The idea is to light just enough coals so that the barbecue comes up to the desired temperature and stays there, rather than getting hotter than the target temperature and dropping.

To do this, fill your cooker with charcoal, and target 2 or 3 spots with your blowtorch, for a minute or two each. Give the charcoal full access to oxygen for 5 or 10 minutes, then shut the lid. Watch the temperature rise and stabilize at the level you are after, and you are ready to add your smoking wood.

The Red Dragon Propane Torch attaches to a regular barbecue gas cylinder. While your cylinder may be quite cumbersome, if you are using it to barbecue, all this equipment is likely to be in one spot anyway.

This unit has a squeeze handle, meaning you have nice control over the intensity of the flame. We have heard from those that have bought the unit that it is well built with quality fittings. It is also easy to assemble; all you need is a wrench and the ability to follow some instructions.

 

What We Like:

  • This is a heavy duty unit and is multi-purpose. In fact, you might find this a handy piece of equipment to have on hand for more than just lighting your barbeque.
  • The unit is well made and should last a long time.
  • Assembly is quick and easy. You will need a couple of wrenches, but that’s all.
  • Unlike gasoline or other fire starting chemicals, propane is flavorless and odorless.

 

What We Don’t Like:

  • This is not built purposely as a barbecue lighter. As such, the long nozzle and general size of the unit can make it a little awkward to use. This is especially true in the case of ‘green egg’ cookers, as you will need to get the nozzle down into the barbecue to light the coals.

We have heard that some people experience gas flow issues.

In reality, this unit is a little more than a charcoal starter. While it will do a great job of lighting your coals fast, if you are also after a way to control weeds without the use of chemicals, or burn off some greenwaste, this is the perfect tool for the job.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

 

The Best Electric Charcoal Lighter – Looftlighter Charcoal Starter

If you don’t have much patience when it comes to lighting your charcoal, a little extra cash can buy you a product that gets your charcoal red hot and ready to go in around 10 minutes.

The Looftlighter is an electric device that blows superheated air out the end of a nozzle. And by superheated, I mean more than 1200°F.

Start up the device, and place the nozzle in contact with the charcoal. When the charcoal starts to light up, you will see small sparks flying out. Once this happens, pull the nozzle back from the charcoal a little, but keep the hot air up to it.

At this point, you can either focus on heating up one area of the charcoal, or move the Looftlighter around and light up the edges of individual coals throughout the pile. Either method will work and it really comes down to your preferences after some trial and error.

This product comes with a 2 year warranty. This is good to know because, compared to other charcoal lighting tools, this one is a little expensive. However, most people who have purchased one find that they are well made and work as described.

The unit’s power chord is 10 feet long. While the chord length is generous, you will still need to think about where you place your barbecue in relation to power outlets, which could be a bit of a pain. When camping, for example, this might not be the best tool.

 

What We Like:

  • The speed at which you can have your barbecue lit and ready to go when using this device is very appealing.
  • Quality construction with a 2 year warranty.
  • No need to use paper or fuels to get your coals lit. Even if you are using a starter chimney, in windy conditions the ash coming off the paper can be messy.
  • The unit comes with a hanger which doubles as a bottle opener. Nice touch.
  • The air that the Looftlighter blows out is so hot that you can light wood with it, making it a bit of a barbecue allrounder.

What We Don’t Like

  • The unit is a little noisy. While this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, be warned that the sound is akin to that of a small leaf blower. If that kind of a sound would grind your gears, it is worth considering that before you outlay the money.

Unlike chimney starters, you do have to physically hold the unit to the coals throughout the lighting process. While it only takes 5 – 10 minutes to do the job, you might find this a little irritating.

While you could be forgiven for thinking this is just a toy for big people, we have found that it does actually work, and works well.

It is built to last, lights your charcoal fast, and saves you the task of sourcing old newspapers, school books or bank statements to burn in order to get your barbecue started.

Get the latest price from Looftlighter.

 

How NOT to light charcoal

I have alluded to this topic throughout this article. One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that fuel, gasoline, spirits (anything smelly and chemical-ly) is a good way to light your coals. It is not.

Not only is it unnecessary (especially now that you know what great options that are out there), but it will also make your food taste terrible. It will taste like petrol, or lighter fuel, or whatever it is you doused your charcoal with.

Worse still, using such chemicals can be downright dangerous. The fumes that come off them are toxic, and the very worst case scenario is that they can kill.

Not to mention the potential for burns. Stray sleeves, arms and faces, for example, hovering over a struggling fire while lighter fluid is being squirted onto it is a recipe for disaster.

What about the easy lighting charcoal you see in the stores? In the wise words of Meathead Goldwyn from Amazingribs.com

 

“… stay away from the easy lighting charcoal. Just open the bag and smell. They are soaked in mineral spirits. All the way to the core. So petroleum products are in the smoke right to the end. And you can taste it in the food.”

 

Light Charcoal the Low Tech Way

We have talked about the latest and greatest way to light your charcoal, but if you don’t have the inclination or the extra cash to buy one of these tools, don’t forget you can go old school. Yep, some paper and a match will still do the trick.

Exact methods vary, but the basic idea is to put down some paper, egg cartons, old bits of cardboard, with or without some fire lighting cubes underneath your coals. Light the paper, and wait for the charcoal to light up.

There are some minor variations to consider. For example, how tight to scrunch the paper, whether to douse the paper in cooking oil or not, or if fire lighting cubes are really necessary. But you get the basic idea.

Just be careful of the ash that can blow off your paper or cardboard. In windy conditions, ash can take off and light up your garden, which you really don’t want happening. If you are lighting up low-tech under a tree with low hanging branches, or the lawn has dried out a bit in the summer, it is a good idea to take extra care.

 

Wrapping It Up

We hope you have enjoyed our roundup of the best tools for starting charcoal. Lighting your charcoal need not be a stress inducing aspect of the barbecuing experience. With the right tools and a little bit of know how, it is not too difficult.

Whether you go high-tech with a gadget like the looftlighter, or stick to the old school techniques such as scrunched up paper and matches, there are plenty of ways to get the job done.

What method do you use to light your charcoal? Do you have any tips or tricks that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below. And if you have found this article helpful, but sure to share!

The post Best Tools for Lighting Charcoal appeared first on Smoked BBQ Source.

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Best Tools for Lighting Charcoal was originally posted at https://www.smokedbbqsource.com/best-tools-for-lighting-charcoal/ by

 

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Streusel Coffee Cake: The Perfect Recipe for Brunch

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Its crispy topping, gooey center and buttery flavor make streusel coffee cake a perfect treat for any time of day, especially for Sunday brunch. If you have never made this classic cake at home then it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to baking.

Making streusel coffee cake isn't a complicated process. It begins with the crumbly topping – usually a blend of butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Next comes the delectable filling (also laced with cinnamon) then it's time to whip up the batter and put it all together. Sounds easy, right?

If you are hungry for a homemade sweet treat give this ultimate streusel coffee cake recipe next time you have the gang over for brunch.

Streusel Coffee Cake Recipe

Give this video a watch to learn how to make a streusel coffee cake from scratch. You'll learn plenty of nifty tips and tricks from Lindsay over at Everyday Food. Her cake is drizzled with icing but you can make your streusel coffee cake without it.

Find the full recipe here. Bon appetit!

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Streusel Coffee Cake: The Perfect Recipe for Brunch was originally posted at https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/food-drinks/streusel-coffee-cake/ by Rose Y. Colón-Singh

 

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