Friday, June 28, 2013

Seven Secrets of a BBQ Restaurateur and One Not-secret BBQ Sauce Recipe

If you know me, you know I'm a talker. My report cards in school without fail said, "Julie is a good student but she talks to much in class."

I still am a good student and I still talk too much. That's just who I am. So in my latest post for Char-broil, as a Char-broil All-Star, I got to dish up secrets of of running a BBQ restaurant. I wanted to go to eleven, so I could say it. You know. These go to eleven*. But they stopped me at seven. Something about the fact that most people won't read past three paragraphs.

That just makes me want to put the really good stuff at the bottom where only those listening get a chance for a prize. Hey, there's an idea.

Click here to read the entire post, and all seven secrets of a BBQ Restaurateur. One of my secrets involves cleaning smelly grease traps.. And yes, I always have to check the spelling of restaurateur.

If you simply want a BBQ Sauce Recipe that rocks and can be changed according to what is in YOUR refrigerator, right now,, not that. Nothing moldy. You should really throw it out, but that other thing, yeah that bit of jam and the Thai chili sauce next to it would work.

Right. The barbecue sauce recipe. Just one click away. Right in time for the 4th of July. Barbecue sauce is one of the easiest things in the whole barbecue world to make. It cracks me up how people guard their sauce recipes with such ferocity. Totally smoke and mirrors, pun intended. It's the one thing about owning a BBQ restaurant that, once you have a sauce you like, really doesn't give you trouble. It doesn't show up late to work, it doesn't require a permit, it doesn't even clog up the grease trap. Sauce graciously accompanies your smoked meats each and every day without complaint. I really love barbecue sauce.

My next post will be a series on smoking a whole pig so come back soon!

Pssst. Down here. If you were listening, you know that by reading to the very very end of this blabbering post, you get a chance to win something. Here is the contest: In the comments below, mention what the * indicates in this post, and say something that you liked about either the "Seven Secrets" post or the "Barbecue Sauce" post on Char-broil to show me you've read one of them. That will enter you into the contest, and let me tell you, it will be a small pool of contestants so you have an excellent chance of winning. I will draw out of a hat one name of one entrant who will win (drum roll please): 1 rib rack, a tin of Smokin' Pete's BBQ Rib Rub, a signed copy of She-Smoke, a Smokin' Pete's BBQ T-shirt and one action figure or creature from my kids' toy bin. That's quite a haul. Don't tell my kids about that last bit. Contest ends on midnight, July 4th. Good luck!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Three tips for grilling fish

It's definitely fish grilling season because the salmon have started to run! I love grilling fish, but it's definitely the protein that causes the most anxiety for people. For one, it's expensive and (hopefully) wild. There is a certain pressure to perform when handling $15/lb fillet that has a limited availablity, right?

Fish is also more delicate than a big thick steak or hamburger, so people are afraid to grill it. Here are three of my top tips to success on the grill with fish.

1) Buy good, wild fish. When purchasing, make sure the eye is not cloudy, nor should the flesh feel overly tacky. Check that the bones aren't pulling away from the flesh in spots - that's an indicator that it's been sitting for awhile. Starting out with a good product means much less work in the cooking process. You don't need a ton of seasoning or sauces because the fish is good on its own.

2) Oil the fish, not the grates. That said, make sure your grill is well-seasoned and well pre-heated before starting. Give your fish a light coating of high-heat oil like canola.

3) Grill flesh side down first and let the fish tell you when to flip. Really. The fish will tell you when it's ready. Place the fish, flesh side down and leave it. When the fish gently releases from the grill it means the collogen has started to release, and the fish will release from the grilll. Too early and it will stick.

Enjoy the tips, and if you want more or have a question about grilling fish, just ask me in the comments. I answer back.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Smokin' on my Big Easy: a video post

I'm having a lot of fun with my Char-Broil electric smoker named The Big Easy, so much so that I was inspired to make a video. When it first arrived at my doorstep, I harbored doubts of The Big Easy's smokability. It was, after all, electric. But as you will witness in my goofball video, this baby brings it. I've decided she's a she. As for names, I'm thinking Bertha or Betty or She-easy. I'll take suggestions. You do all name your grills and smokers, right?

I'm writing a full post about smoking a whole picnic pork shoulder for Char-broil, but until then, check this out!