Monday, June 3, 2013

Food Challenge: Grab and Grill

It's that time of year, time to get outside and cook the way nature intended, over an open fire. That's right, it is grill and barbecue season and that means we at Saltbox House challenge our readers and authors to do just that; to grab and grill something.  There's nothing hard about grilling on a simple gas grill, but when it comes to Charcoal grilling it may get tricky. Either way, we challenge you to fire up your long time favorites or venture out and try something new. Good luck! 

Fun facts about Barbecuing
Briquettes were invented by Ford and Edison- in 1920, Henry Ford made his own briquettes from sawdust and wood chips that where laying around in his car factory. he put it together with the help of Edison. Later on, Kingsford bought the invention and commercialized it (It was a success).
Father's Day is the biggest BBQ day next to the 4th of July
* When it comes to who will be barbecuing it is dad 60% of the time. But, when it comes to who chooses what to BBQ, it is mom 100% of the time ;).
The Most common BBQ items are: burgers, chicken, hot dogs, and corn on the cob

General Grilling and BBQ Tips:
Use high quality hardwood charcoal to make the hottest, longest lasting fire.
Line the bottom of the fire bowl with aluminum foil.
Allow the starter fluid to remain on the coals for a minute before lighting.
Let the coals burn for about 35 minutes before placing food on the grill.
Allow 1 inch space between the coals.
Charcoal briquettes should always be stored in an airtight plastic bag since they will absorb moisture very easily-that way, you will have as good as new briquettes next time.
Window cleaner sprayed on a warm grill (not a hot grill) will make it easier to clean. Do this shortly after you are done barbecuing your food.
Always turn steaks and chicken with tongs to avoid puncturing them. By not puncturing them, your meat will not dry out and will remain as juicy as ever.

BBQ sauce generally has sugar in it so it can burn easily.
Don't put the BBQ sauce on until it is almost fully cooked.
The best way to BBQ Poultry is to cook on a lower heat and for a longer time period.

You can have burgers ready to go by reducing their grill time.  Layer your patties between tin foil on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Then finish them on the grill. For hot dogs, bake for 10 minutes.

Flavor Tricks:

Bury an onion wrapped in foil in the coals for an hour, you love the flavor it gives to your burgers.  

Different herbs can be placed on the coals to flavor food. Some of the best are Rosemary and Basil .
When wrapping corn in tin foil for barbecuing, place a sprig of marjoram next to the ear of corn.
Wood chips on the coals will add flavor

Nut Shells on the coals will also add flavor

Safety Tips:

If coals ever get inflamed or too hot, you can always lay lettuce leaves on them.
Coat your grill with oil (spray is best) before starting the fire then clean it shortly after you are done barbecuing.
Never spray the oil on the grill after the fire is started if you want to keep your eyebrows ;)

Never re-use the same plate or utensils that you handled your raw meat with.

Barbecue Resource- Bader, M. 2003. 20,0001 Food Facts, Chef Secrets, & Household Hints. USA, Bader Publishing.
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