Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oh Thank Goodness I Love It

Ever since Barry "CB" Martin and the folks at Char-Broil asked me to guest chef at Memphis in May, I've been thrilled...but with one hesitation. I'd never cooked on an infrared grill. What if I didn't like it?

At home I've always preferred charcoal grills, and ever since we shot our last gas grill, we didn't feel the need to replace it. So when the above little Quantum infrared grill show up yesterday (was it really only yesterday? I feel like we've known each other so much longer), I took a deep breath and said hello.

It's important to get to know your equipment and I always find hello is a nice ice breaker.
Then I fired her up.

Since yesterday I've cooked pork chops, sausages, pork loin cutlets, a roasted pork loin and a gorgeous fillet of black cod. Don't worry, I've had people over to help eat all of this.

Here is my initial impression: I love it!!! I really do. And thank goodness I do because I'm going to be talking about it all next week. But truly I'm a believer.

Let me tell you why.

Char-Broil would have me blab about the science of it all. It heats the food upon contact, not the air...yada yada yada.

I like it because when it is hitting 600 degrees I can still wave my hand over the grill grate. It never feels too hot or out of control. I don't even think a flare up is possible on this thing.

Then there is the fact that every thing I cooked was tender and juicy. I could pat myself on the back and say, Damn I'm good, but truth be told, all the cook times were full of distractions. Baby girl has been super clingy, like she knows I'm going away next week. She cries every time I put her down. My 4-yr old is on a constant hunt for sharp objects. Tonight I actually heard him shout, "I need something sharp!" as he tried to break through the tool shed door. We've had birthdays and neighbors dropping in and staff forgetting they were working...

It's amazing we ate food in the past two days. Yet I've been churning out perfect plates of meat to those passing through our little corner zoo, thanks to my trusty Quantum infrared grill.

Lastly, it's a snap to clean. I'd read mixed reviews about cleaning infrared grills because of the tiny little holes. I don't know what those people are cooking, but I merely lifted up the grate once it was cool, brushed it with my grill brush, and it was clean.


I'm going to be talking up this grill to some seriously hardcore barbecue people at Memphis in May, but I would also recommend this grill to a beginner. It's understated. Instead of making a big show with flames and smoke, it quietly sears your food at 600-700 degrees without hardly a murmur. It's just the sort of equipment that someone tentative on the grill could get the hang of right away.

Now all I have to do is convince old school barbecue folks steeped in tradition, that this is not cheating. It's just good.

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