Sunday, June 17, 2012

Schwan's Grill Pack - Excellent Quality and Yummy

Two Grill Wok Night with Schwan's BBQ Foods

Brandi contacted me on behalf of Schwan's Foods to see if I'd do a honest taste test and review. What she didn't know was that I graduated with a guy who drove a Schwan's truck and remebered that the company had some great foods. Of course, that was a LONG time back, so you just never know how a company fares over the years. In any case, I was game to try out Schwan's again to see.

First, I was surprised at how many foods Schwan's has geared toward grillers now. They even include the directions for grilling. Before, you could, of course, put their foods on the grill, but you'd have to figure out frozen/unfrozen on the grill and times and things like that.

Schwan's sent a big box which came by UPS, so I don't think we have a truck out on our route now. I know I've not seen one here in years - since my high school friend opened up a landscaping business.

I called the boys in to see what they'd like to try out. The beefs tips caught their eyes, and the youngest loves asparagus (though usually the mushy canned type - go figure).

Schwan's Beef Tips for Kabobs

The Schwan's beef sirloin steak tips came boxed for kabobs including the kabob sticks and directions. I could have made some beautiful kabobs, but I must confess to finding it tedious to string kabobs and turn them all the time to ensure even grilling. My solution to that is what I call deconstructed kabobs. You can call me a genius or lazy - either works.

What I did was season the kabobs with some Steak Splash out of Canada (can use Italian dressing or any favorite marinade) and with lemon pepper as you can see below.

Schwan's Beef Tips - Seasoned Up

The meat looked beautiful. It was bright red and had some marbling but not any fat blobs. No trim up needed. These are just right out of the Schwan's box.

I sprayed a little non-stick spray in my wok grilling basket and poured in the beef tips. They made a nice sizzle and colored up well. After around 8 minutes, I added the onions and green peppers. Beef really needs more grill time than those vegetables, so I start the meat and then add when the meat is about 1/4 to 1/2 done (depending on the heat on my grill).

Beef Tips Sizzling Away on the Grill with Green Peppers and Onions

Then, it was time for the Schwan's asparagus spears, but again they are easier to handle in a grill wok. I got a second wok for Christmas, so I woked the asparagus right beside the meat and covered the entire PK grill.

The aspargus went in frozen (and my Facebook friends thought I had fresh asparagus - should I tell them it's frozen?). I brushed it with some Garlic Gold (olive oil - my favorite) and just grilled until it had some grilled color. This took around 10 minutes - a little less than on the box directions (but my fire was pretty hot by this time).

It All Comes Down to the Taste - How Did Schwan's Do?

I was very impressed with the Schwan's grilling foods (and we still have some to test out and share).

First, the food was packed well and looked good. Brownie points for that. But, I've had some products sent that did look great but did not taste that great.

The meat (and our fresh veggies) which I ate with a knife and fork and the boys made into wraps with burrito wraps was moist and very flavorful. Some tips are kind of tough and fatty. Not these. In fact, I'd say the Schwan's are as good of beef tips as I've grilled out. Tasted like good restaurant quality. No leftovers though. Bummer on that. The boys put a hurting on the beef. Thumbs up - for sure on the kabob pack (even if I did not kabob them).

As far as the asparagus, I lived on a farm with a fresh bed. So, I spent a couple of summers eating tons of asparagus but not anytime recently. It's kind of hard to find around here. I'd never thought to get frozen asparagus and wasn't sure what I'd think of that.

If I'd not grilled the asparagus myself, someone could have pulled these off on me as fresh. The color was perfect, and the flavor was spot on. As I said, my grilling friends on FB thought I'd picked up fresh asparagus. It's grilled the same, so either one is fine (as I found with this pack). I'd not hesitate to buy Schwan's asparagus again. It really was excellent.

If you live in a Schwan's area, ask your Schwan's guy or girl about the grilling products. They really are high quality, and the directions for success are right on the box if you need them, or you can think outside the box as I did here.

Great dinner and Schwan's goes on my recommend list.


Darla Sue Dollman said...

My children buy from Schwans and love it. Our neighbor in Texas drove a Schwans' truck--everyone in the neighborhood bought the food. It was very popular.

Grill Girl said...

Maybe they will start delivery here again. I was not buying the food back then, but I know the products were good and that a lot of neighbors bought from Schwan's.