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When it comes to grilling there’s one common challenge every professional and backyarder alike must learn to overcome and that’s flare-ups. There’s nothing worse than ruining a perfectly good piece of meat no matter how expensive or inexpensive may be and thus ruining your meal.

In my constant search for that perfect grilling experience, I ran across this unique grill grate from GrillGrates. Here’s an introduction about them:

“Simply lay GrillGrates on top of any existing grill, gas, charcoal or electric. GrillGrates are modular plates that interlock to cover all or part of your grill. GrillGrates are a new cooking surface that sears in juices while controlling flare-ups and removing unwanted fat. GrillGrates make it easy to cook lean meat, fish, grilled pizzas, vegetables, and pasta on your grill without worry of burning, drying out or charring. Put away the spray bottle and pick up the GrateTool™ to lift, turn and serve succulent lean meat, fish, vegetables and crispy grilled pizza.”

No flare-ups huh? No more dried out meat? No more charred meat? No more embarrassment from your bad grilling experience? Okay, you’ve got my attention! After seeing the advertisements & reviewing the site, I wondered if the GrillGrate was as good as advertised.

I decided to order a set of GrillGrates and it arrived at my house within the week and I could not wait to try this bad boy out. As timing would have it, I had a catering job for a private party the very next day and decided why not give them a test try at my catering event.

GrillGrate Tri-Tips

The featured meat was Tri-Tip Steak and anyone who has cooked Tri-Tip knows that between the marinade and the natural fats rendering out of the meat, it’s a cause for alarm, a three alarm fire if you know what I mean.

So I anxiously put three of the GrillGrates on our commercial grill and threw on a couple of Tri-Tips on the GrillGrates and placed a couple of Tri-Tips to the right-hand side on the normal grill surface. I wasn’t prepared for what happened next! Nothing at all….on the GrillGrate side that is! All I heard was a nice sizzle and I saw no flare-ups whatsoever. Just like they advertise! However, the Tri-Tips that were on the right-hand side of the GrillGrates had nothing, but massive flare-ups happening which was to be expected with this type of meat.

GrillGrate Tri-Tips

I immediately went into my fire management techniques with these Tri-Tips. When I tended to the flare-ups coming through the regular grate that were burning the Tri-Tips, I was cooking on a two zone fire meaning there were coals on both the right and the left sides of the grill leaving the middle as a safety zone. When dealing with flare-ups, it’s a matter of moving the meat to the safety zone (the middle) to tame the fire and then returning the meat to the hot side if necessary. Even while I was managing these flare-ups on the normal grill surface, the Tri-Tips on the GrillGrate never once flared up at all and that definitely impressed me.

GrillGrate Burgers

So after how successful the GrillGrates were with the Tri-Tips, I decided to see if I could get the same type of results with a much fattier type of meat, 73% ground beef burgers. The only exception to this test is that I would be grilling them on my 22’ Weber Kettle Grill while still using the same grill testing methods as we used on our commercial grill. The reason? Not everyone has a commercial grill so we thought it would be best to show you how well they’ll perform on a grill that most backyard BBQers might use.

GrillGrate Burgers

And to no surprise, the end result was the same! In fact, it was even more obvious with this test just how well the GrillGrates did compare to the normal grilling surface on my Weber Kettle Grill. You can see in the picture below that the GrillGrate didn’t have problems with flare-ups at all while the same can’t be said for the burgers on the right-hand side of the grill. I don’t know about you, but I know which burgers I’d want to eat based on their appearance.

GrillGrate Burgers

On my Weber Kettle Grill, I used the same fire management techniques in regards to managing your flare-ups as the commercial grill. I was cooking on a two zone fire while leaving the middle as a safety zone. Quite a few times, I had to move the burgers on the normal grilling surface to the safety zone. Yet, never once did I have to move the burgers that were being grilled on the GrillGrates to the safety zone. I think I’m in love with these GrillGrates. Ever since I tested them, I’ve been using the GrillGrates for all of my BBQ catering jobs. Even with my 25+ years of experience in the restaurant & catering industry, they make the plating presentation of your meat that much better!

Here’s some more information on the GrillGrate:

  • No flare-ups
  • Nice looking grill marks on the meat
  • Great color and caramelization of the meat
  • Juicier and tenderer meat
  • Great for open flame & camp fire grilling (Grill Temps 1000F+)
  • Easy clean up
  • Will never rust

We rate this BBQ accessory product a must buy for everyone no matter your BBQ skill level! If you want to grill the perfect meat every time you grill, we suggest you get the GrillGrate! With these unique GrillGrates and your grill, soon you’ll be able to BBQ Like A Pro!

The Que’ Dude

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Recently I visited the #1 ranked bbq site for “beef rib mop sauce”  (http://bbq.about.com/od/moprecipes/r/bl90710a.htm) to look at different mop sauces specifically for beef. This practice is not uncommon amongst professionals as we take a recipe to play with it and modify to our liking.

As I was saying, I found this recipe on the #1 ranked bbq site for “beef rib mop sauce” and decided to give it a try. Now typically, I will take a look at a recipe and instantly know what’s wrong with it. This recipe was no exception, I looked through all the ingredients and came to the conclusion that something’s going to go wrong.

What happened next was really stupid, against my better judgment, I made the following recipe as written solely on the credibility and reputation of this particular blogger. Big mistake!

You see, cooking is a science and it’s important not only to know the ingredients you’re going to be using, but equally as important is to know what’s in them and how they will affect the outcome of your finished product.

The recipe I used (listed at end of this post) is identical in description, ingredients and directions as it was posted by the blogger.

MY REVIEW OF THE SAUCE RECIPE

When we analyze this recipe we want take a look at every ingredient, so lets start with the wet ingredients.

The two recipe killers in this ingredient list are the soy sauce (7360mg sodium) and the worcestershire sauce (416mg sodium). The lonely dry ingredient killer is a whopper the salt (2880mg sodium). The total sodium in this recipe is 11,156mg! Just as a note, The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1500mg daily consumption! This one recipe calls for almost 7.5 times the daily recommended use.

If you take the 11,156mg of sodium from these ingredients alone and compare them against the rest of the ingredients, there isn’t enough of these other ingredients to off-set the amount of sodium, thus resulting in a finished product that rivals the Dead Sea.

Also, there isn’t enough brown and white sugar to make it lightly sweet as the blogger described. The rest of the ingredients are just enough to make this recipe a gross and disgusting train wreck. Adding 1 tablespoon of oregano only adds to the confusion as it doesn’t belong in this recipe.

When pulling recipes off the web, having a basic knowledge of ingredients and how they work, is essential in understanding whether the recipe makes sense or not. A lot of the web recipes have not been tested, just hijacked and posted elsewhere.

Otherwise, purchase a cookbook where all the recipes have been tested, and you can be confident in following the recipes as printed, then tweak it to make it your own if you choose to do so.

THE END RESULT

Due to how bad the recipes turned out, I ended up throwing away a beautiful slab of center cut beef ribs by following the blogger’s recipe.

============================================

Beef Rib Basting Sauce Recipe

This beef rib mop has the right amount of vinegar to keep the ribs tender and moist. It also has a slightly sweet, but mildly spicy flavor which will produce a tasty rack of beef ribs.

Prep Time:
15 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup cider vinegar
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
• 4 tablespoons paprika
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 2 tablespoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 2 tablespoon ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon ground oregano
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon cayenne

Preparation:
Mix spices, sugars and salt in a nonreactive bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

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Tailgaters Game Day Checklist

Planning your tailgate party can be an overwhelming challenge as you make sure that you have the necessities to ensure a successful tailgating party.You’re going to want to make sure you have enough food to feed you and your tailgate neighbors that decide to drop by when they find out you’re headed to the stadium on Game Day. Planning ahead for extra people can indeed be a challenge make sure you have plenty of liquid refreshments on hand to host a few of your fellow tailgaters.

Use the list below as a guideline to assist you in your tailgating preparations.  I’ve tried to divide everything in categories, providing most tailgaters with a basic checklist to follow, of course you’re going to adjust the list to your own personal tailgating needs.

Must Haves

  • Game Tickets
  • Grill
  • Grill Scraper
  • Grill Spray or Oil
  • Burners
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Propane
  • Charcoal
  • Starter Fluid
  • Matches or Lighter
  • Extension Cords
  • Flags-Flag Poles
  • Tarps-Tents-Canopies
  • Bungee Cords-Tie Downs
  • Coolers
  • Ice
  • Pots-Pans
  • Basting Brush and Pan
  • Carving Knives
  • Spatulas
  • Tongs
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Lg Spoons for Cooking (Slotted and/or Solid)
  • Cutting Board
  • Bleach to Sanitize
  • Oven Mitts-Apron
  • Plastic Wrap-Foil
  • Trash Bags
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Plastic Eating Utensils
  • Plates- paper or Plastic
  • Disposable Cups or Other
  • Table Cloth
  • Chairs
  • Folding Table
  • Cooking Water
  • Can Opener-Bottle Opener-Corkscrew (Wine)
  • Zip Loc Bags
  • Disposable Aluminum Pans
  • First aid Kit

Food

  • Steaks
  • Chicken
  • Roast Beef
  • Turkey Breast
  • Hamburger
  • Hot Dogs
  • Sausages (Pork, Bratwurst, Italian)
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Deli Meat
  • Eggs
  • Vegies

Condiments

  • Hot dog-Hamburger rolls
  • Bread-Sandwich Rolls
  • Ketchup-Barbecue Sauce-Mayonnaise-Mustard-Relish-Horseradish-Hot Sauce
  • Chili for Chili Dogs and burgers
  • Baked Beans
  • Lettuce-Cheese-Tomatoes-Onions-Pickles
  • Sweet Peppers-Hot Peppers
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Beverages

  • Bottled Water
  • Adult Beverages of Choice (This Means Alcohol)
  • Margarita Mix
  • Bloody Mary Mix
  • Coffee-Creamers-Sugar
  • Iced Tea
  • Juice
  • Sodas

Salads

  • Potato
  • Coleslaw
  • Macaroni
  • Green and Dressing

Extras

  • Potato Chips and Dips
  • Tortilla Chips and Salsa-Nacho Cheese
  • Pretzels
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Beef Jerky
  • Cookies and Crackers
  • Serving Trays
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Skewers

Recreation/Comfort/Amenities

  • Sun Glasses
  • Sun Block
  • Blankets
  • Cell Phone
  • Camera
  • Camcorder
  • Binoculars
  • Generator
  • Radio-TV
  • Rain Gear
  • Hat-Beanie
  • Sweatshirts-Coats
  • Gloves-Mittens
  • Umbrella
  • Heater
  • Football-Poker Cards-Frisbee
  • Antacid
  • Aspirin
  • Visine
  • Tissue
  • Toothpicks
  • Newspapers-Books-Magazines
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