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Grilling Tips

Ready, Set, Grill



Today's backyard chefs are exploring all that backyard cooking and patio cuisine have to offer, grilling breakfast, lunch and dinner outdoors. They are using new and improved grills, new grilling tools and new techniques, all designed to keep up with this lifestyle shift outdoors.

If you're in the market for a new grill, consider how often you will use it, storage space and fuel type.

A portable charcoal grill may be the best choice for someone who will tailgate or occasionally barbecue at the beach or the park. Someone who plans to grill on the patio several times a week may need an easy-to-use propane or natural gas grill with temperature control. Electric grills are the right choice if you don't want to use gas or charcoal or your living requirements won't allow such a grill.

The availability of storage space is another consideration. A well-ventilated space and a grill cover are needed to store a grill outside. Grills can also be kept indoors if they are disconnected and the gas cylinder valve is plugged before storing the gas container outside. Never store the gas container in your house.

When buying the grill, consider the cooking surface, cooking system, burners and accessories. Porcelain is common and inexpensive; however, cast iron has better heat distribution and temperature control. Higher BTUs mean higher temperatures; lower BTUs mean better temperature control.

Burners, including rotisserie and back burners, allow for versatility in the amount, preparation and kinds of foods cooked.

Once you choose your grill, you may want to learn some grill safety skills:

• Never light any grill indoors, and place the grill at least 10 feet away from any structure.

• Children should be kept away from a grill that is in use or cooling down.

• For gas grills, always check the tubes, connectors and hoses for any sign of blockage, cracking, holes and leaks, and cover gas hoses to protect yourself from hot surfaces or dripping grease.

• For charcoal grills, never light or burn charcoal indoors-carbon monoxide buildup can be deadly-and never pour lighter fluid on charcoal that is already lit. Finally, never leave any grill unattended when lit.

The Home Depot offers a wide variety of gas and charcoal grills and “Grilling 1-2-3,” a do-it-yourself book with tool selection tips, helpful techniques and step-by-step recipes for a safe and successful outdoor cooking experience.

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Grilling Tips

How I Won a Virtual Barbecue Competition



These days, we are all are doing things differently due to the pandemic. Live cooking competitions have been on hold for obvious reasons. Video conferencing has become a way to stay connected to family, friends, and co-workers. A virtual cooking competition? I was skeptical at first, but it was a blast! I belong to the Northeast Barbecue Society (NEBS). Recently, it hosted a Chopped-style barbecue competition on Zoom.

There were seven enthusiastic teams participating in the initial Zoom meeting. They had cool team names, and I could tell some of them knew each other from competing at live events. Was I out of my league?

Each team had a day to come up with a plan for four basket ingredients that were revealed via email—ground turkey, cantaloupe, cornflakes, and a chocolate rabbit. The judges were introduced (four were certified Kansas City Barbecue Society judges) and they verified that the mandatory basket ingredients had not been altered. Teams then had 45 minutes to make an appetizer, entrée, or a dessert.

I recruited my wife, Karen, to help me since I didn’t think I could complete everything in the allotted time by myself.

Our goal was to create a Southwestern Pub Burger with a grilled cantaloupe salsa and a cantaloupe and grilled jalapeño-infused margarita. I wanted to use the basket in as many ways as possible and put as many ingredients as I could on the grill since NEBS is a barbecue group.

When the clock started, I immediately placed ears of corn on a kettle grill set up for indirect grilling/smoking. (I had two grills hot and ready, which was within the contest rules.) The gas grill was set up for direct grilling and heated too high. Karen started with our Mexican-inspired Mole-in-a-Hurry— a combination of ketchup, chipotles in adobo sauce, lime juice, shaved dark chocolate, and a homemade Southwestern rub. We used ground cornflakes to thicken the mixture. The mole sauce was used three ways: as a binder for the turkey burgers; as a sauce for the pretzel bun; and as an unconventional rim for the margaritas.

Karen then made cornflake and Monterey Jack cheese crisps for the burger and as “chips” for the salsa. We also dipped tomatillos in egg and crusted them with crushed cornflakes and cornmeal for a twist on fried green tomatoes.

Meanwhile, I grilled the cantaloupe, halved limes, fresh tomatillos, and jalapeños.

The moderator periodically checked in with the teams to ask questions and keep everyone on task. We obsessively checked the clock, and were so focused on cooking, it was hard to answer any questions.

Time was winding down, and we still had to cook the turkey burger, grill our pretzel buns, and plate our food. We thought we were organized before the cook, but when I started grilling the turkey burgers and buns, I realized I forgot the spatula inside. When I returned to the grill, the buns had burned. (Steven’s words, “Never desert your post!” rang in my ears.) Luckily, I had two more buns at the ready.

Too quickly, time was up! Fortunately, we got everything on the plates. The burger came together with the mole sauce spread on each half of the pretzel bun. The pan-fried cornflake-crusted tomatillo went on next, followed by the turkey burger, cheese crisp, and grilled cantaloupe. The turkey burger was served with our grilled cantaloupe salsa, more cheese crisps for dipping, and our grilled lime, cantaloupe, and jalapeño- infused, margarita rimmed with mole.

Each team was required to have a presentation plate and a separate plate to eat from while “selling” the flavors to the judges. Plates were judged based on creativity, presentation, and the drool factor. As judges were not able to taste the food, each team did their best to describe and present their dishes. All the dishes looked awesome—among them, meatballs, chili, salsa, lettuce wraps, enchiladas, tacos, stuffed poblanos, a variety of mole sauces, and cocktails.

During our presentation, I highlighted all the ways we used the basket ingredients, always grilling or smoking when possible. To score points for the drool factor, you had to describe the flavors in the dish so the judges can imagine eating your food. In my first bite, the heat and sweet of the chocolate mole sauces jumped out. I noticed the juiciness of the turkey burger from the sauce and sautéed onions and mushrooms. The pan-fried tomatillo and cornflake crisp provided a salty-cheesy crunch to the burger. The charred and cool cantaloupe helped balance the heat from the mole sauce. The salsa was sweet due to the grilled cantaloupe and corn but had heat thanks to the jalapeños. The grilled tomatillo and onion provided texture and crunch. The acid from the grilled limes and the fresh cilantro balanced out the salsa. The salsa even had a hint of smoke from the corn. The cantaloupe and jalapeño- infused tequila and grilled lime juice margarita was refreshing and the mole and salt rim took it over the top.

We knew we had a chance when the first question we got from one of the judges was, “What’s your address?” The judges deliberated and returned with the results. There was a tie for second place between the “USS BBQ and Crew” and the “Lizzie Borden Choppers.’ Then the winner was announced…the Backyard BBQ! Our team. Karen and I will receive a trophy and a cash prize.

The post How I Won a Virtual Barbecue Competition appeared first on

Contest,Homepage Feature,News & Information,burgers,grilling,Virtual Barbecue Competition

By: Daniel
Title: How I Won a Virtual Barbecue Competition
Sourced From:
Published Date: 04/02/21

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Grilling Tips

Honey Mustard Wings



Now that I'm about 40 recipes deep into my grilled wings explorations, I figured I had all the basics covered. I have a steady stream of new wing ideas that I keep jotted down and I had some pretty unique ones on tap for my 2020 Meatwave season. Of course, that was the season that never was and I wanted to hold onto my more ambitious ideas for when I had a taste testing audience, so I began to examine if I had any omissions in my reliable wing bench that needed filling and realized I had never done the tried and true classic of honey mustard wings. To be totally honest, this is probably because they're not my favorite, but the recipe I put together ended up being so delicious I couldn't stop myself from eating the entire plate almost by myself!

I can't deny that when sharp and pungent mustard is combined with sweet honey, the two form a pretty irresistible union. It's one that's so ubiquitous at this point though that it doesn't feel exciting, and is definitely not novel. So when I decided to approach my own honey mustard wings recipe, I wanted to still featured those two primary players front and center, but add more depth to maybe make this recipe a little different than others out there. One way I did that was by using a rub where I began adding complimentary ingredients like garlic powder, mustard powder, and light brown sugar, but those components have different flavor effects in their dry form over their liquid ones.

Before applying the rub, I patted dry my wings with paper towels to start with a semi-dry and tacky surface that the spices would adhere to well. I then tossed the wings with the seasoning in a large bowl until they were all more or less evenly coated.

Part of that seasoning mixture was baking powder, which isn't a flavoring component, but one that works to give the chicken skin a textured surface that holds sauce well, akin to what you get when frying wings. That's one part of getting a crackling skin on the grill, the other is allowing the chicken to air dry for at least eight hours in the fridge to remove almost all surface moisture. I do this by placing the wings on a wire rack set in a sheet pan so as much of the chicken skin is exposed as possible for full exterior drying.

With the wings in the fridge, I turned my attention to the sauce, which will come as no surprise started with Dijon mustard and honey. I then added a splash of apple cider vinegar, and after mixing those three items together, I felt like I needed a little more sugar to achieve the right balance. I worried more honey would begin to overpower the flavor, so I grabbed the light brown sugar I already had out for making the rub, and that was able to boost the sweetness without the scaled tipping too far in the honey direction, plus I got the added bonus of a light molasses touch. I then rounded out the sauce with Worcestershire for a savory quality and crushed pepper for different type of heat than the mustard provided.

It was the next day when I fired up the grill to cook these and I arranged my freshly lit batch of charcoal so all the coals were situated on one side of the grate to create a two-zone fire. I then placed the now dry-looking wings on the cool side of the grill, covered and let them roast.

Unlike with other cuts of chicken, I'm cooking wings to get the right exterior color and crispness over internal meat temperature. It actually takes a good 45 minutes for wings to get a crackling skin using a high heat fire, and the chicken meat has surely “overcooked” by this time, but what makes wings so easy and versatile is that amount of fat in them, which allows them to take this beating and still remain nothing by tender and juicy inside.

Once the wings were done, I transferred them to a large bowl, poured in the sauce, and tossed to coat. The heat of the wings released a great aroma as the sauce heated up, which started warming my heart to them more than it was when I first set out on developing this recipe.

I was left pretty surprised that these were not only better than most honey mustard wings I've had in the past, but they may have ended up being my favorite wing recipe I did this year! I would normally be drawn to spicier creations like my jalapeño wings, but these delivered such a pleasing sharp and sweet flavor that it was hard not to fall in love and keep eating one after another. It wasn't that honey-mustard flavor that hooked me though, it was the extra depth these had, mainly from the garlicky undertones and crushed red pepper that added just enough heat to keep my spice-loving taste buds happy. If the pandemic hadn't left me with the inability to host cookouts this summer, I may have never even made these, so I guess you could consider that some type of odd silver lining.
Published on Thu Jan 21, 2021 by Joshua Bousel

Print Recipe

Yield 4-6 servings

Prep 15 Minutes
Inactive 8 Hours
Cook 45 Minutes
Total 9 Hours

For the Sauce
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
For the Wings
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and crushed red pepper. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To make the wings: In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, mustard powder, and black pepper. Place wings in a large bowl, pat dry with paper towels, and sprinkle in seasoning mixture. Toss until wings are evenly coated in the seasoning. Arrange wings in a single layer on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, leaving a little space between each wing. Place baking sheet with wings in the refrigerator for 8 hours to overnight.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the wings skin side up over the cool side of the grill, cover, and cook until skins are crisp and browned, about 45 minutes.
Transfer wings to a large bowl. Add in sauce and toss to thoroughly coat wings. Transfer wings to a platter and serve immediately.

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By: (Joshua Bousel)
Title: Honey Mustard Wings
Sourced From:
Published Date: 01/21/21

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Grilling Tips




This Dutch oven Pot Pulled Pork cooks in around 3 hours so its fast and real easy to do. Using some not so typical ingredients you can expect to be blown away from the great flavor and tender results as shown here by the BBQ Pit Boys You can get the full recipe right here:

By: BBQ Pit Boys
Sourced From:
Published Date: 02/06/21

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