Getting Your Grill Ready To Start The Season To prepare your grill for the first use this season( many of us grill year 'round) It's important to make sure the cooking grates are clean. To do this you can use a couple different methods. The first is to build a large fire(for charcoal users) or turn the grill on high for 10 to 20 minutes, and brush the heck out of the grates, or, secondly, remove the grates after only a few minutes of warming them up and use either a kitchen "Scotchbrite" type scrubber or your BBQ brush with soap and water. Avoid using oven cleaner as it not only is very smelly, but you may not be able to wash off all the chemicals before cooking on them. A light coating of either olive oil or "Pam" spray on oil will ease the cleanup the next time around, as well as help prevent any rust or corrosion.
Use both a timer and meat thermometer Zier recommends digital type as they are very accurate within 2-3 degrees-only problem is replacing battery now and then and they are not recommended for temps over 500 degrees.
Using Rubs Sure, since most rubs have an ingredient that may temporarily stain your hands(toasted wheat or caramelized sugar) pour the rub into a large size baggy put in meat and just shake to coat evenly. Apply rubs 10 to 20 minutes before grilling. When grilling, wait until the last 10 minutes to apply your bbq sauce that contains sugar, as it will burn at high grilling temps. When doing a low and slow bbq, go ahead and apply the sauce at the beginning as long as you are doing an indirect cooking session.
Add more smokiness to your grilling Soak some wood chips, hickory, mesquite or any fruitwood, minimum of 20 minutes or longer in water. wrap loosely in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil, ( a handful is enough for a quick grilling session) place the packet of wood chips directly on the coals, or if on a gas grill ,over an unoccupied burner turned on high. Close lid and grill like you normally would.
Turn your grill into an indirect cooker Before you light your charcoal, position two common bricks on either side of your charcoal so that you can place a large ceramic tile or terra cotta planter dish inverted on top of the bricks, light the charcoal, position cooking grate as you normally would and you will have turned your grill into your own indirect cooker, for ribs, chicken, etc. You should also have room under the grate for a drip pan to avoid any flare up.
Don't overload your grill Always leave at least one third of open space. Every grill will have a hot spot, you will need space to move things around when cooking to avoid burning anything.Even if you have to have two cooking sessions it's better than having some things well done and some things undercooked.
Use Your Vent Any one who has used the newer ceramic cookers will have done this at least once; you've taken everything off the grill, only to find out not everything is cooked to perfection, so you throw it back on the grill. You open the lid (after having closed all the openings to shut down the combustion) , and suddenly a fireball erupts through the opening directly at YOU! To avoid this, before lifting the lid, open all vent holes on the top before cracking open the lid. This is known as flashback, and obviously have serious consequences apart from ruining your meal.
The Proper and Easiest Way to Light Charcoal Never use lighter fluid, look into buying a "charcoal chimney" from your local hardware store, or use a portable propane torch to ignite your Natural Lump Charcoal. While different from briquettes, Natural lump charcoal actually burns hotter and longer, if you can avoid the smell of petroleum products in your food, wouldn't you try this? Also when you shut down your grill the fire goes out and you can restart the leftover embers, not likely with briquettes as they contain chemicals and starches to burn up faster.
Cleaning Your Grill While it's Still Warm Dave don't clean up while the grill is flaming hot. To do this take a sheet of ordinary aluminum foil, put on your oven mitts , crumple the foil loosely, and use this to scrape any bits still left on the grates, then just throw away!
Searing Meats Searing your meats will give you a taste experience not duplicated in your oven, but here's why you do it: You don't, contrary to popular belief, seal in the juices. you are not cauterizing the meat, you are changing the chemical makeup of the outside of the meat by converting the carbohydrates to sugar on the surface of the meat or chicken or even fish to a lesser extent( think caramelizing) Don't forget to turn down the heat after the searing is completed, only takes a minute or so on each side
Grilling Steaks Sear them first 1 min. on each side with high-reduce heat if using gas grill with the MOM method-medium off medium?depending on thickness-recommend taking off 5 min. before they will be done-remove and platter and cover and they will continue to cook.
Grilling Poultry There are new cooking guidelines for temperatures from USDA-cook internal temp to 160 degrees. Remove from grill at 150 degrees-let stand 5-10 min. before carving for juicy poultry
Grilling Pork Do not overcook your pork-the parasite is killed under 140 degrees. Zier recommends cooking pork to 155 degrees and the juices can still be pink.
Grilling Ribs Start on high temperature to sear meat and reduce heat-cook indirectly. Wait to apply sauce in the last 10 minutes so sugar won't burn.
If you can not grill outside Try this: brush your steak with olive oil or butter and put into very hot cast iron/stainless steel skillet-sear the meat 1 min. on each side and put skillet in oven for 200 degrees-using digital thermometer rare 125/medium rare 130/medium 140---do not recommend anything over medium.
DAVES' KOMODO COOKER
Dave is showcasing the newest cooking craze, ceramic cooking. It's an ancient style of cooking from the Far East that has been modified to cook in your own back yard. Zier is the only retailer available country to distribute this unique grill. The Komodo Kamando grill (Gen II model) is an insulated ceramic cooker. Cooking temperatures can safely reach from 180º to 800º F. Retails for $2998; there is also a $ 250 setup fee, including a whole pork shoulderfor making pulled pork.
For more information: contact Dave Zier at Dave@ziersprime.com; or visit Zier's Prime Meats, Inc., 813 RIDGE ROAD WILMETTE, IL. 60091; 847-251-4000. Or check out his Zier's Web sitewww.ziersprime.com