Thursday, June 30, 2011

Green Grill Fire Starter - Never Buy Lighter Fluid Again

Green Grill - Eco Friendly Fire Starters That Really Work

The most impressive thing about my grill out tonight was Green Grill which is a environmental friendly fire starting product produced by RJR Global LLC.

Tori emailed to ask if I'd like a free sample, since Green Grill (fire starter) is currently available only in Texas (which is a long drive from here). I don't use lighter fluid, since it gives grilled food an off taste and also isn't all that safe (kaboom - I did that once). Generally, I use a charcoal chimney starter, but it's kind of bulky to carry when tailgating or camping. I've tried a number of fire starters previously, but most end up falling pretty short. I'm always hopeful and will try out new products, but I don't get my hopes up.

In this case, Green Grill Fire Starters impressed the heck out of me. The directions say to use one of two, and I decided to start with one and see how that worked. Like a charm. This new fire starting product is so easy to use, and I had a perfect fire going in no time.

Green Grill Fire Starter with Charcoal Pyramid

I got one of the Green Grill starters out. It's about 4 inches long and around 3/4 inches wide. It looks and feels kind of like a hospital bandage wrap coated in parafin (wax).

The directions said to pyramid the charcoal. If you were in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, you know what that means. You need to kind of build a little tent or house with the charcoal. Here I'm using coconut charcoal which is super easy to stack, but other types of charcoal would be easy as well. You just want to leave an open space in the middle - kind of like a little mini fireplace.

Lighting the Green Grill Fire Starter

I only built part of my fire pyramid to start with, because I wanted to see what Green Grill was doing in there. I was hoping it did not burn too hot or fast, because my plan was to complete the pyramid after I lit the fire starter.

This approach worked out fine, although I could have built the whole pyramid and done the lighting from the outside. Green Grill starter does burn slow and smooth. It was no problem to continue to build after I set it on fire.

One Light - And That Did the Trick

I watched Green Grill for a couple of minutes to be sure that it was burning and getting the charcoal started. No issues at all. I just stood there. Then, I went inside and made up a potato and onion pack to grill. That took around 15 minutes, and the charcoal was burning well when I went back out.

At this point, I spread the charcoal around (with a stick) and then added a few more coconut charcoals. The smaller pyramid would be fine for many food items, but I knew the potato pack would need to be over the fire (with the lid closed) around 45 minutes.

Check Out my Charcoal Started with Green Grill

When the tin foil potato pack was close done, I opened the grill lid and had nice hot charcoal - just perfect to quickly grill pork chops.

I was really impressed with Green Grill fire starters. They are made of natural products and don't have any odor at all. They are super easy to use. It only took one BIC flick to light the Green Grill, and it burned nice and slow so that the charcoal actually did start up and stay going and with only one piece of Green Grill.

Look for Green Grill fire starters at HEB Central Markets in south Texas and at HEB's Mi Tienda in Houston. You can read up about the fire starters at the My Green Grill and if you sell grilling products, then the company does hope to expand and get the product more widely available.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Knock! Knock! Let me in the Man Cave for some of those Buffalo Bleu Cheese Brats.

Man Cave Buffalo Bleu Cheese Brats

Tonight I fired up the grill and put some Man Cave Buffalo Bleu Cheese brats on to grill. These are gourmet brats. Well, you could probably guess that. It's not like you go down to the grocery store and buy buffalo meat brats with bleu cheese. Well, it's not like that around here at least.

The guys here really love our standard beer brats, so it's kind of hard to get them excited about changing things up. They like what they like, but they will humor me.

My favorite of the Man Cave brats had been the dried tomoato. Those are really good, but the guys here were still leaning toward our regular recipe. They liked the veggie herb brats fine, but they still aren't much for branching out.

Then, there's the Buffalo Bleu Cheese brats . . .

The brats are made with a spicy buffalo sauce and have some bleu cheese but not over the top. These are spicy brats and perhaps more what many people would think of a really good spicy Italian sausage.

They were outstanding. In fact, I put one in the freezer for my son who is up at his college apartment this week. He loves zippy food, and I'm sure he'd think these brats are terrific.

I would make a couple of notes on the Man Cave buffalo bleu cheese brats:

1. They are not for the faint of heart or those who do not like heat. They won't burn you totally up, but they do have spice. Just a really nice kick for those who like hot foods.

2. With these gourmet brats, you want to grill them lower and slower. They have cheese in there, so you don't want to hit them with super high heat. Let them grill along slower - more like a burger.

Grilled Man Cave Buffalo Bleu Cheese Brats

Man Cave is a party oriented type sales concept. You host a Man Cave event. I've not been; I'm not a man. But, they certainly have some excellent products, and you can order online if you're not a man or if you're not into the party thing.

O Grill - Portable Gas Grill review

O Grill 3000 - Red

Perhaps you've seen the O Grills (no - the O is not for Oprah) or maybe just photos of these neat compact gas grills. I know they caught my eye over at Amazon. They're bright colored cute grills, but you buy grills for how they grill (or I hope you do).

Cyndi With Compact Q Grill - Gas Model

It's hard to get a feel for the size from basic model photos, so here you can see me carrying the O Grill 3000. This is the larger size which is great for families or tailgating. The smaller one is the O Grill 1000 which would be perfect for RVers.

For reference, I'm 5 foot 4 inches, so I'm not particulary tall, and I have no problems carrying this grill which checks in at 25 pounds. Yes. It is heavy for the actual size, but that's due to the quality materials used.

You can look at, touch and lift the O Grill and tell that the construction is solid.

The main body is sheet metal, but don't let that fool you. I worked sheet metal in high school and college. There are various grades. A good quality sheet metal with quality paint is perfect for a smaller grill (keeps the weight down). The photos you see are after eight months with this grill, and you can see that the grill still looks perfect. They did a super job with the body on this grill.

What does add the weight here would be the grate which is cast iron. The benefit of cast iron, in addition to being longlasting, is that the cast iron holds heat really well. When you fire up this grill, then the grates get good and hot with uniform temperatures. If you're looking for grill marks, you can certainly get them with this grill.

Super Easy Set Up - O Grill

Iroda (the company that makes O Grills) says it takes 10 seconds to set up the O Grill. Frankly, you're kind of slow if it even takes you that long.

All you do to set up the O Grill is flip down the legs. The grease pan then positions on its own. Then you screw in a gas bottle. You can use the large size, but I go with the small travel size gas cannisters.

Son Setting Up O Grill

My son who won the North Carolina Scout of the Year through the VFW is doing the grill set up here. It took him maybe 5 seconds. I only had time to snap off one photo.

Ready to Grill on the O Grill

Once the O grill is ready to go, you just slide the orange latch, and it opens up to a very generous size. You could easily grill 6 or 8 steaks at once and a lot of burgers or hot dogs.

Fire Up and Grill

Once you open you the grill (always do that with gas), turn the large and easy to turn knob to light. Then, press the red ignition button. The burner fires up immediately. No problems with the ignition which often is a problem on portable gas grills.

Grilling on the O Grill

You can, of course, grill all the traditional grill foods on the O grill. I'm grilling cheese here, because it's a pretty tough test for a portable grill. The grates must get good and hot, but you have to be able to adjust the temperature and pull it down to get the cheese marked but not melting through the grates.

The O Grill 3000 even passes the cheese test, so I'm impressed. With just a short warm up, the grate was good and hot. I dropped the temperature down, and the heat did drop as I wanted and expected (or hoped).

Halloumi Cheese Grilled on the O Grill

Here's our cheese grilled on the O Grill. And, yes, it does taste as great as it looks. It's my son's all time favorite grilled food.

The O Grill 3000 is an excellent portable gas grill. It comes in fashion colors and really stands out in terms of appearance. The quality construction is quite impressive. The real test - the grilling - O grill nails it.

There are some accessories for the O grill like a stand so that you can grill waist high. I don't have the stand, but I'd think that would be nice to have as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Country Chef Grilling Sauce Chipotle - Barbecue Sauce Review

Country Chef Grilling Sauce Chipotle

Mike Espey, the Country Chef, got in touch about his line of grilling sauces. I'd read that he made some really great sauces, so I was interested in seeing if the buzz was on target. The sauce is available at most Ingles grocery stores, but we don't have those around here. So, Mike sent me some sauce to try out.

If you're going to market as a country chef with all natural ingredients, then I would expect a really special product. I was not disappointed with this first bottle we tried out last night.

Mike does have professional labels and all the usual required info on the label, but he does use what I think of as home canning jars. The lids are not the thin top with the screw on piece, but these sauces do look and feel like home canned products. Even the sauce moved around in the jar like food my Grandma put up, and she was an excellent home canner.

When I opened the jar, I again got the home canned feel. This sauce smelled wonderful. I got a spoon and had a sample cold taste. Normally I grill and test hot, because that's how I use grilling sauces (and how I think most readers use it). But, this jar was calling my name, so I couldn't wait. The flavor was rich and full. I did catch the fresh ingredient taste. Again, I could imagine that my Grandma had made this grilling or barbecue sauce.

We had chicken last night, so I wanted something different and thought pork chops would be good. They are good for checking out sauces, because they are mild as far as the meat flavor.

Pork Chops with Country Chef Grilling Sauce Chipotle

One of the guys went to get the pork chops while I got the grill going. These ended up being really thin chops - like 1/4 inch thick. Ouch. It's really hard to do thin pork chops, and I recommend that you go 1/2 inch or thicker.

I've been grilling forever (like 38 years or so), so I can do most anything on the grill including thin chops. I sauced these chops and put them on. They were ready in under 5 minutes due to the thin cut. This meant the sauce did not set up or caramelize like you see in most of my home grilling photos. That's only due to the quick time on the meat. This is a tomato based barbecue sauce so does have the sugar to thicken and turn a prettier color. Dried out pork chops on the grill aren't good, so I had to put these on fast and pull them fast, so the sauce really ends up just heated.

We definately got the full flavor of Country Chef's Grilling Sauce. Thankfully, this is a delicous sauce, because it took center stage with thin pork chops. As with the cold taste, Country Chef's was bursting with homemade flavor. You could taste tomato, green pepper and onion like a home canner would include, but the vegetables were balanced with nothing overpowering - just a smooth flavor. The spices including the chipotle were spot on. There was the soft hot pepper kick but not enough to rule this one out for general friend and family gatherings.

I wish my Grandma were still living. This is the kind of barbecue sauce that would get her seal of approval. It is a great garden style barbecue sauce. If you hid the bottle, you could pull this off as your own, but I'd sure give credit to Mike, because it's nice to tell folks when you find a product at the grocery store that really does stand out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Easy Peasy Foods Chicken Insurance Marinade and BBQ Sauce - review

Grilled Chicken with Chicken Insurance Marinade and Barbecue Insurance Sauce

Easy Peasy is out of the gate with a new chicken marinade and barbecue sauce, and Aaron emailed to see if I'd like to try out sample bottles. We grill a lot of chicken around here, and I'm always looking for ways to jazz grilled chicken up, so I said I'd give it a try.

I went to pick up some chicken breasts on sale at the IGA, but they said someone got the last pack about a half hour before I got there. I grabbed some boneless, skinless chicken tenders instead. As hot as it is outside, that was probably a better idea. Grilled tenders are our fast food out here in the country, since they take 10 minutes or less to grill.

Easy Peasy Chicken Insurance Marinade

With boneless, skinless chicken, marinade is a good idea, but there are not a lot of good marinades on the market. Chef David Moncur who developed these Chicken Insurance products had noticed the same thing. He was using Italian dressing like I often do but wanted something better, so he came up with his marinade recipe.

Chicken Marinating in Chicken Insurance by Easy Peasy Foods

I put my chicken in a bowl and poured on some Chicken Insurance marinade. It poured out rich and thick and smelled really great. I had a little taste, and the flavor was excellent as well.

Since I planned to use the companion barbecue sauce, I did grill a couple of chicken strips with just marinade to see how it would do and how it would taste. The marinade stayed on well (prevented any sticking) and held in the juices, and I didn't have any grill flare problems which can happen with some marinades. The flavor grilled was also rich without overpowering the chicken. The chicken in marinade only as our appetizer got three thumbs up from the crew here.

Barbecue Insurance from Easy Peasy Foods

The Easy Peasy barbecue sauce was also thick and the smell was sweet. This is a natural barbecue sauce made from fresh ingredients. That does make a difference.

If doing whole chicken pieces, I'd sauce with this the last 10 minutes or so, since it has a tomato base. If you put tomato based barbecue sauces on too soon, they will burn. Since I was doing the small chicken tenders, I sauced them and put them straight on. Since they only grill around 10 minutes total, that works out perfect.

Grilled Chicken Tenders Sauced with Barbecue Insurance

I grilled the chicken around 5 minutes until the sauce was set and then flipped it and did the same on the other side. That's why I call this fast food. I was in and out super fast.

The Chicken Insurance marinade and Barbecue Insurance provided a nice layered flavor on the chicken. The overall taste was rich and sweet but there was a light kick of heat. One son can't handle much heat, and he was fine with this barbecue sauce. So the heat note was there but is not zippy enough to rule this barbecue sauce out for a big gathering with a range of people who may or may not be able to handle heat.

Both the marinade and the sauce by Easy Peasy were very good. The products were easy to use, and the flavors were very nice.

Easy Peasy products are available in limited areas now (Michigan, Texas, Florida and parts of the Midwest) but are slated for expansion. If you don't live in those areas, then you can get Chicken Insurance and Barbecue Insurance at Easy Peasy Foods online.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Weber Grilling Book Review - Weber's Time to Grill - Get in. Get out. Get Grilling.

Weber's Time to Grill by Jamie Purvance

I've been having a blast with the new Weber grilling cookbook - Time to Grill: Get In. Get Out. Get Grilling by Jamie Purvance. This grilling book has more of a gourmet slant, but it's easy gourmet and fine for all level of grillers. I find that many of the fancier grilling books are too complicated or time consuming for the average home griller. Time to Grill is an exception. The recipes are creative and taste great but are quick and easy with excellent directions.

Things You Need to Know to Get Started

Time to Grill is more than a book of grill recipes. It's packed full of helpful information like the prep guides. If you know how to prep shrimp, then it's simple. If you don't, then you may not have a clue where to start. In this book, you get step by step instructions along with excellent photos. This makes the basic tasks understandable and simple. It's a shame to skip over great and easy grilled foods just because you don't know how to get it ready to go on the grill.

Haven't Tried Grilling Zucchini? You're Missing Out.

Time to Grill has sections for everything from meat and vegetables to eggs and desserts. There are a lot of chicken recipes which I like, because chicken is less expensive usually and healthy. With a simple marinade made in your kitchen, you have some rocking Easy Rosemary Roasted Chicken.

Then there are unique recipes like the zucchini stuffed with sausage. We always have a bumper crop of zucchini her in North Carolina, and I'm always looking for new ways to cook or grill zucchini.

French Toast on the Grill

Speaking of unique, then perhaps you'd enjoy making French toast on the grill. Yes. This book shows you how to do that, and it's simple. When we vacation, we like to rent houses through Vacation Rentals by Owners. I always double check that the homes have grills, and then we do almost all our meals outside for the whole week. I'll have to try out one of the French Toast recipes next month when we go to Emerald Isle.

One of Our Favorite Grilled Appetizers

The appetizer section is one of my favorites in Time to Grill. I like to put something on that's quick while I'm working on a grilled meal. We've been doing grilled nachos for years. They aren't as jazzed up as the recipe you see above, but they are easy to put together and done in literally minutes or less.

I've never bought a Weber grilling book that I've not loved. In fact, I often buy Weber grill cookbooks for gifts. I usually start off with a basic one like grilling on charcoal for someone with a charcoal grill. Time to Grill will make a good follow up gift for those who want to go beyond the classic hot dogs, burgers, and steaks.

You can learn more about Time to Grill and the chef - Jamie Purviance at the Time to Grill web site. You get a lot of extra information including some of the recipes to try out.

I did get a copy of the grilling book to review, but I always give honest reviews. I wasn't so sure that a Weber book with the gourmet slant would be solid for all readers, but I give it the thumbs up for all levels of grillers. The food is fancy (as we'd say here), but it's easy to find the ingredients and make the recipes. These don't take all day, and you don't have to babysit the grill every second to turn out fine grill dining. You can impress your family and friends without breaking a sweat (other than from the heat of the grill).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Good Pre-Made Burgers for Grilling -

We Got Burgers Italian Patties Grilled

We grilled up some gourmet Italian burgers with These are quality pre-made hamburgers out of California made by Frank.

Yes. I'm in North Carolina, so you may wonder how I'm getting California hamburgers. We Got Burgers ships across the United States. I wasn't so sure about this whole idea until I tried it several years back. I really couldn't imagine meat coming to my front door, but it works out fine - at least with the companies I've tried.

Frank sent the burgers out packed in a cooler with dry ice packs. They arrived totally frozen and in perfect condition. Each pack comes in a box with four burgers per box.

Here you can see a box of This one is the Italian flavor.

Out of the box, you can see that these are generous half pound burgers. They are not skimpy. That's for sure. And, there is very little shrinkage.

I grilled the burgers on a Char-Broil Urban grill which is a small balcony sized grill that I really love. It's infrared and heats up fast and does a great job on burgers.

There are a variety of gourmet burgers in Frank's We Got Burgers line, and he adds new ones (so keep watching). The Italian is kind of spicy (but not real hot). My older son said it was kind of like a zesty meatball taste. We served them up plain on buns to check out the flavor. I'd probably go with an Italian theme on toppings next time to compliment the Italian flavor - perhaps a zippy tomato topping and some Italian cheese.

Generally I hand pat my burgers, but there are times when I'm feeding a larger group or when I'm wiped out and like to have burgers I can just put on the barbecue grill. I've tried a few local ready made burgers, but they were very disappointing I'm sorry to say. By going online I am able to get some pre-made burgers that actually have flavor and taste great.

The Italian flavored burger is unique, so don't expect a traditional burger taste. This is a gourmet burger to get if you want something different. If you want a more traditional burger taste, then try the bacon cheddar. My favorite of the is the teriyaki pineapple though. I guess it's kind of different as well, but I sure love the pineapple in with the meat. That one just really stands out for me.

If you've wondered about ordering burgers online, then I can tell you that it can be expensive especially if you order from quite a distance. You can imagine that they have to ship fast and pack well. We Got Burgers certainly delivered on delivery as well as quality. They have easy-to-grill burgers in a variety of flavors and have a variety pack if you want to test drive various flavors. If you want to splurge on a treat and have a special but super easy grilled meal, then you can't go wrong with the Burger Man's gourmet hamburgers.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

BIC Flex Lighter Father's Day Giveaway Winners 2011

Harry and Mom

The BIC flex lighter contest ended last night, and I took my step dad Harry and Mom out for lunch for Father's Day. Harry picked the winning entries, since he doesn't know anyone who visits my blog. Actually I don't think he knows how to get to my blog. Maybe I better run over and bookmark that (-:

The winnners of the 2011 Father's Day Bic Flex Lighter Giveaway are:

Breanne from Hawaii
Robert from New Jersey
Mozja from Pennsylvania

Thanks to eveyone for entering, and congratulations to the winners. I left messages on blogs for two of the winners, and I'm Facebooking one winner. Once I get the three addresses, BIC will mail out the lighters.

Follow my blog or sign up for email alerts if you enjoy contests. I do those now and then as well as doing barbecue product reviews and grilling and barbecue recipes.

And, Happy Father's Day Harry!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to Make Low Country Boil or Frogmore Stew

Low Country Boil is Easy to Make and Delicious

We made Low Country Boil (also called Frogmore Stew) for my son's high school graduation. It's an easy meal to put together, and makes for a fun outdoor party.

You can make Low Country Boil inside in a big pot like my son is doing here:

Caleb Rocks the Low Country Boil in the Kitchen

More often Low Country Boil is an outdoor project though. You'll often see people using an outdoor gas burner with a big pot. These set ups are usually called turkey fryers. They can be dangerous though, so we use the Masterbuilt Butterball indoor/outdoor turkey fryer. It's like a big fryer for French fries, but you have more room and can fry a turkey or you can make other dishes with the Masterbuilt like Low Country Boil.

Masterbuilt Turkey Fryer - Also Great for Low Country Boil

Once you decide on how and where you'll make the Low Country Boil whether it be inside or out, you will need the following ingredients:

Low Country Boil Grocery List (for approximately 8 people)

1. Crab boil (2 teaspoons per quart of water). Crab boil is labeled just like that - crab boil.It's usually sold at the seafood counter, but it can also be found in some grocery stores with baking items like flour and cornmeal.

2. 6 good smoked sausage links (sliced kind of thick). We like the IGA brand Italian sausages which are kind of spicy. There are many varieties. It's fun to try out different ones to see what everyone likes or to have a mix.

3. 15 new red thin-skinned potatoes. Don't slice them. You want the potatoes whole so that they do not get watery.

4. 6 ears of fresh corn (cut in small rounds). You might be able to use frozen corn on the cob, but I've never tried that. Fresh corn is much tastier.

5. 3 pounds uncooked shrimp (unpeeled - heads on or off). This can be fresh (really great) or also frozen but thawed out before making the Low Country Boil.

How to Make Low Country Boil

1. Fill a big pot with water (my home pot is a 12 quart). Add crab boil seasoning and bring to a boil. Play around with the crab boil. Some families like more (and a few like less).

2. Add the potatoes and sausage and let cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.

3. Add the corn and cook 10 more minutes.

4. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 or 3 minutes depending on the size. The shrimp should turn an orange like color. Don't overcook at this point or the shrimp will be tough. Once it's orange, it's ready.

5. Pour the water off the food. Get as much water off as possible, since it gets the newspaper wet when the Frogmore Stew is served.

6. Cover a picnic or folding table with newspaper. If it's windy, a little tape is helpful (or you can buy plastic clamps).

7. Dump the Low Country Boil on the newspaper (or butcher paper) and let everyone eat right off the papers or hand out paper plates so eveyone can mingle around.

8. Obviously you'll want plenty of paper towels on hand, because you're going to get kind of messy. That's half the fun but also why this is a good outdoor meal.

Low Country Boil - Time to Dig In

Father's Day Giveaway - BIC Get Fired Up Contest - Ends June 18, 2011

New BIC Flex Multi-Purpose Lighter

BIC is thinking about grillers this year. They have just released a new multi-purpose lighter with a flexible end which makes firing up the grill or smoker so simple. As you can see, the new BIC lighter features the big handle and the extra length which is so convenient when lighting charcoal or wood.

I really like the flexible option, because I generally use a charcoal chimney starter. I can bend the end of the BIC lighter so that it slips under the edge of the chimney starter and catches the paper up hands free.

Alice sent me the new BIC grilling lighter which is also terrific if you have a fireplace and is also great for lighting candles in glass containers. You know how hard it can be to light those when the wax gets down low.

Love the Flexible End on the New BIC Grill Lighter

BIC wants others to enjoy the new barbecue lighter as well, so they are offering BArbecue Master readers a chance to win a free lighter. There will be three winners in this easy contest.

How to Enter the BIC Lighter Contest

To enter, just leave a comment telling me what you want to fire up for Father's Day. My comments are moderated to prevent spam and ultra naughties. I check and approve them quickly though.

Be sure to provide some way to get in contact. I'm not collecting your information, and BIC isn't either. I just need some way to get in touch to get mailing information for the winners. Then, BIC will mail the lighters out directly to the three winners.

You can get an extra entry if you FaceBook the contest or if you Twitter it or blog. Just be sure to leave a note telling me you did so in comments, so I can add your extra slip or slips.

The giveaway ends June 18, 2011 at midnight EST, and I'll have my step-dad draw the winners on Father's Day.

That's it. Super easy. No strings. Just great lighters to the lucky winners compliments of BIC.

Note - Winners will need to have US addresses. Sorry about that all my readers from outside the States. Mailing lighters across country borders would be a problem.

Thanks to All Who Entered! I posted the winners, and BIC will mail out the lighters as soon as I have mailing addresses.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Squealer's Smokey Sweet Barbecue Sauce - BBQ Sauce Review

Squealer's Smokey Sweet Barbecue Sauce

It was another grilled pork loin at my house. Some people are a bit nervous about grilling a whole pork loin, but it's actually pretty easy.

Squealer's mailed me some of their southern style barbecue sauce, and I'd hit a pork loin sale which is always a good thing. I'd not heard of Squealer's. They are a barbecue restaurant out of Indianapolis and appear to be growing, since they now offer franchise opportunities. They have also started selling their sauces including an online option.

With a thicker barbecue sauce like this one which would be in the Texas range as far as thickness and with a tomato base, you need to grill the meat close to done and then sauce. If you start out with sauce on the meat, then it's going to burn before your grilled meat is done.

I offset charcoal in a Weber 22.5 inch Kettle grill. You can use gas as well. To offset on a gas grill, just turn one side on and leave the other off. Offsetting allows you to grill low and slow. You can also get a dedicated smoker to do the same, but if you don't have a smoker, you can do most meats including a pork loin right on your home grill.

The pork loin grilled along on the side of the grill without coals for a half hour or so. I checked it with a pocket Taylor thermometer now and then. The target temperture is 145 degrees F, and it's hard to tell if you don't use a thermometer. For more well done pork, you can run up to 155 degrees. My boys like it more on the done side with very little pink, so when I hit 145, I went ahead and sauced the meat and let the sauce carmelize for a little while longer to get the pork on up to a more done stage.

Pork Loin Sauced with Squeale's Barbecue Sauce

Once the Squealer's Sauce was set, I pulled the pork loin off. It definately looked pretty. The sauce is a rich and pretty color, and it set up well on the meat.

You can wrap a pork loin in aluminum foil after it comes off the grill and let it rest. If so, then you probably want to shoot a bit under the temperature, since the meat will continue to cook more while wrapped.

We were pretty darn hungry, and the sides were ready, so I sliced and served the meat right off the Weber.

Pork Loin Off the Grill and Sliced with Squealer's BBQ Sauce

The Squealer's BBQ Sauce we used was the Sweet and Smokey. It definately had a rich and sweet taste. It has high fructose corn syrup, honey, and molassas, so you would expect it to be pretty sweet. There are other seasonings as well but the sweet notes are the strongest. All in all, it has a popular flavor that appeals to general crowds. I could serve Squealer's to friends and neighbors, and they would like this barbecue sauce.

In this category of thick and rich sauces, Squealer's is solid. It has a fuller taste than the sweet sauces you may usually get at the grocery store. This one would be good on ribs which is one of the key dishes at the restaurant. Ribs, of course, take longer to smoke and would be more heavily sauced than my pork loin.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Guy Fieri Has Barbecue Sauces on the Market - BBQ Sauce Review

Guy Fieri is Out of the Gate with Barbecue Sauces
I'm a fan of Guy Fieri and his Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." So, when I got an email from Keith letting me know that Guy has a barbecue sauce line, I was curious. This is a rural area, so it's not likely that we see new products early on, and Keith said that he'd send me sample bottles. That's really the only way I'd get to check out brand new barbecue sauces and I'm known to be quite (sometimes brutally) honest, so I cleared out some time on the schedule to grill this week.

Four New Barbecue Sauces by Guy Fieri
There are four barbecue sauces in the Fieri line. Those are:

Carolina #6 Barbcueque Sauce & Marinade: Mop and Slop
Bourbon Brown Sugar Barbeque Sauce: Sweet & Sticky
Kansas City Barbeque Sauce: Smoky & Sweet
Pacific Rim Barbeque Sauce: Wok & Sauce

NC #6 Barbecue Sauce by Guy Fieri

Since I'm a North Carolina girl, I thought I'd go with the hard test first and grill with the North Carolina #6. I would drop the "slop" part of the name. In the South, slop is what you feed to the pigs. My Grandma always had a "slop bucket" where you'd put the food scraps which were fed to the pigs. OK. The word likely does not have the same conotations everywhere. I just move on as far as that.

Chicken Marinating in Chef Guy Fieri's NC #6 Barbecue Mop Sauce
North Carolina has a very different approach to barbecue and barbecue sauces. Most big name brand BBQ sauces that say North Carolina are really Kansas style with some extra vinegar. In other words, they are tomato based and thick but just add some vinegar flavor.

I shook the bottle of Fieri NC barbecue sauce, and it seemed more in line with what we do here. Then, I opened the bottle, and it was, indeed, a vinegar based barbecue mop sauce and also smelled true to the area (vinegar kick and some heat from pepper seeds). Flying colors on test one. I do love barbecue sauces from other areas, but I don't like to see one billed as North Carolina if it's not.

With most barbecue sauces, you put the sauce on the last 5 minutes or so to carmelize. With North Carolina sauce, you do literally mop it on and often while the food is grilling or smoking. You can also marinate the food in a mop sauce, so that's what I did as you can see above. That just lets the flavor settle in the food.

Barbecue Smoked Chicken on the PK Outdoor Cooker with Guy Fieri BBQ Sauce
There are a number of methods for grilling with mop sauce. I decided to go with an offset on the charocal on my PK cast aluminum grill and then slow smoke the chicken after letting it "set."

The steps for barbecue smoking North Carolina chicken this way are:

1. Let the chicken marinate in the mop sauce.
2. Start the coals and let the charcoal get hot. Then, put the coals on only one side of the grill, so that you have a hot and cooler side. You can do this on gas as well by just heating one side.
3. Put the chicken over the hot coals, until you get grill lines.
4. Keep mopping the chicken as it grills/smokes. You can do this all along.
5. Flip the chicken on the hot side of the grill and let it grill mark again.
6. Keep mopping.
7. Move the chicken off the hot coals to the cooler side of the grill. Shut the lid. Let the chicken cook off until done.
8. You can check the chicken and mop it with the sauce all you like, but don't overcook it, or it will be tough.

North Carolina mop barbecue sauce is unique, so I would not have been shocked if Guy Fieri had offered up a hybrid that was more tomato and thick with just some vinegar and pepper kick. He went beyond my expectations with having a sauce that really is true to the small niche area.

With this being said, I would again note that home grillers need to understand mop sauce. It is not like other thicker barbecue sauces. You can use it as a marinade. You can mop it or (if you prefer the term) baste it on. It's a thin type barbecue sauce so the grilling is a little different.

Yehaw! My Grilled Chicken Rocked with Guy Fieri NC Barbecue Sauce
If North Carolina barbecue sauce is done right - both as far as the sauce and how it's used on the food - then it's a great way to add flavor. I have found that it's usually just North Carolina people who "get it." So, I must say that I'm impressed that Guy Fieri does offer a NC barbecue sauce that is true to the area. I give his sauce the thumbs up, and I'm a tough critic on our local style. If you want to try to do North Carolina style barbecue and don't want to make your own barbecue sauce, then I'd say you can't go wrong with Guy Fieri's North Carolina #6.

C-Dub's Barbecue Rub - Review

Grilled Pork Loin with C-Dub's BBQ Rub

I found a really pretty pork loin at Food Lion and decided to smoke it for dinner. After looking through my barbecue rubs, I decided to go with C-Dub's. It's a mild but very tasty all--purpose rub that can be used in dishes like beans or chili as well as rubbed on meat.

I found out about C-Dub's through Facebook where I have a lot of friends that go wild for barbecue. Charles and Allegra sent me some samples. The wing rub was too hot for my family, but I'd recommend it for those who love lots of heat. The rub, on the other hand, is not a heat product. It has a blend of traditional rub ingredients like sugar, salt and pepper plus herbs. There are no additives. It's a natural rub family made.

We had tried C-Dub's on beef ribs. It was good, but I liked it even better on the pork loin. The pork did not overpower the lovely blend of spices, and the spices did not cancel out the nice flavor of the smoked pork. It was just spot on.

I would highly recommend C-Dub's regular barbecue rub for the more delicately flavored meats like pork and chicken. It's fine on beef too, but you'd want to rub it on heavier with bolder meats.

Another thing I would note is the wonderful color. This is one of the prettiest pork loins I've smoked thanks to the rub. Outdoor food isn't all about the presentation, but I really do enjoy making something the comes out so pretty. With the really balanced but mild flavor, this is a rub that can be used for any family or group gathering.

The C-Dub's have a sense of humor too. The package says "Get Naked." My son laughed about that. I wouldn't suggest that while grilling or smoking, but hey perhaps that works for after something delicious grilled up with C-Dub's rub.