Tuesday, January 05, 2010
My son's girlfriend came for a visit - for the first time, so I thought that I'd put some steaks on the grill. It is, however, really cold here. I finally had to peek at the weather report, and it was 30 degrees when I was headed out the door to gril and wind chill at 24 degrees. With the sun dropping while I was out there, I can attest that it was pretty darn cold. Brrrr!
I figured I'd go with the PK Portable Kitchen outdoor cooker, since it's made of cast aluminum and holds the heat better than other grills. In fact, the PK can be used as a smoker if the coals are offset. I offset the charcoal tonight anyway, so if some steaks got done faster than others, I'd have a space for them to rest without getting cold.
Before I started grilling, I ducked outside and got the coals going with my chimney starter. One of the best grill purchases I've ever made. Just dump the coals in, wad up a piece of newspaper there in the bottom and light it. Instant fire and perfect red hot coals.
Here you can see the coals are super hot. They're Kingsford charcoal. I still like that brand the best. Some folks prefer natural lump charcoal, but I must like chemicals or something. Kingsford is what I associate with grilled foods and flavor. Yum! And, I know I'm not the only one. That's the best selling charcoal in the United States.
I let the grate heat well which is always important but especially so in cold weather, and the steaks quickly seared (or got grate marks). If the grates are cold, then meats will tend to stick, so always heat up those grill grates. You can also use Pam cooking spray to help with any sticking problems, but it's rare to have foods stick to good hot grates.
These are thinner steaks. With it being so cold out, I wanted steaks that would grill quick. The rib eyes were not real thin - about 1/2 inch thick. My favorite cut would be around 3/4 inch up to an inch. That's a good thickness for grilling steak and a nice starter cut. You have to watch thin steaks as they will be overcooked in a heartbeat, and the real thick ones are hard to nail in terms of doneness.
The meal turned out good, and my younger one got back from a swim meet just in time to eat with us. So, he got to enjoy his ribeye steak with hash browns, salad, and rolls without having to heat them back up. That's always good timing.