Saturday, April 26, 2014

Building a Better Burger with Steakhouse Elite

Kobe-Crafted Steakhouse Grilled Burger

You may think a cow is a cow is a cow, but that is not the case. Most of us typically only have the mass produced slaughter house beef, but there are a number of small producers who provide beef that is better for you, better tasting, and more humane for the livestock.

One top line of beef is Wagyu out of Japan. There's very little land space in Japan, and beef is a luxury. For these reasons, Japanese beef farmers take great care to ensure a top quality product.

Steakhouse Elite builds on this tradition of excellence with beef that is required by the USDA to be at least 50% imported Japanese Wagyu genetically. This brings the quality flavor of Japanese beef to the United States at an affordable price, since the meat is not imported.

The company sent me burger patties and ground beef as well as all beef hot dogs. The samples were provided so that I could see if I thought there is a difference.

Ironically I lived in Japan and have eaten the original Wagyu which is a very tender beef with a rich flavor. I only had it a few times due to the high price in Japan.

The Steakhouse Elite version is quite similar. I would say there's a bit more fat in the American version, although you want a pretty good fat ratio for grilled burgers to maintain good moisture and flavor.

Here you can see the SteakHouse Elite burgers before they went on the grill:

Now here are the Wagyu burgers right off the grill in a different but same size plate (never use the plate with raw juices to plate the finished burgers).

These grilled hamburgers were cooked to just medium so as not to lose the flavor. With most ground beef I'll go just to the edge of well done as the quality is not so good. With this higher quality ground beef, medium was perfect for my family.

As far as the Wagyu flavor, it's kind of a mild buttery taste with American Kobe-Crafted beef. Quite smooth. Very nice taste and texture. Yes. There is a difference.

If you want some very tasty burgers, then the SteakHouse Elite provides an option that you won't find typically. There are burgers and then there are really tasty burgers. These are excellent.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nonni's THINaddictives are Perfect for Those Long Nights Smoking Meat

Nonni’s, creator of the number one selling almond thins, have added THINaddictives in Banana Dark Chocolate and Blueberry Oat to grocery stores nationwide.
 Yum! These are So Good, I Could Have Them for Dessert.

My big time barbecue buddies (especially those on BBQ competition teams) know it takes untold hours to smoke up pork, beef, and chicken.

The coffee is usually perking to keep everyone kind of half way functioning. Add these nut and fruit thins, and your taste buds will jolt you back awake.

I'd never been a big thins fan (just not on my radar), until I got these. They are so good, I am sitting here thinking about eating my photo packs, so I better get them up quick.

OK. Now I Can Eat Them!

Nonni's sent them over and told me they were really good and also guilt-free with real ingredients like whole blueberries and bananas. Sugar is low (5 grams or less) and so are the carbs (14 grams or less). They run 100 calories per serving but taste more like a sinful dessert.

I got to check out the two new flavors and the pistachio which is one of my all time favorite flavors ever. The nut one is crisper. The fruity one are crisp but a little softer with the fruits (which my son prefers).

There are five flavors total, and I loved the three I tried, so I'd imagine everything in this line would be tasty.

Google or Bing THINaddictives and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram for healthy living tips and for chances to win. They are running contests now, and I'm sure they will have more in the future.

If you don't know where to find these healthy treats, then here is the store locator on the Nonni's site. The two near me are Harris Teeter and Wal-Mart. I'd never seen them but never looked. Now I'm hooked. They really are that good and much better for me than a big, old candy bar.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bella Vita Wine Nets - Pretty, Practical, and Cute as Can Be

Quick Quiz - Guess What These Are?

If you were thinking pot holders, trivets, or Frisbee tossing disks, then you're on the wrong track.

These are actually wine nets (or bottle nets) by Bella Vita. I kid you not. These little flat disks will make carrying your wine easier and so much sportier.

Off to Party with my Wine in Bottle Nets

You know it can be hard to carry in wine or other bottled beverages, but it's super easy with the bottle nets. Also, you look quite elegant (especially if you wear your dress clothes which apparently mine were in the wash). The yellow one on your right even makes a flower shape at the top.

These are green (as in can be used over and over), and they also would make a nice gift along with the bottle of wine. Just use a little ribbon to keep them pulled up around the bottle. They go back to the flat and easy to store shape when you let them go.

A Closer Look at the Wine and Bottle Net

My barbecue buddies think these are really neat (although many of them are beer drinkers - may have to try these on a 40), and so do I. In fact, I love the whole concept and how these wine carriers work. It's two thumbs way up from me.

You can find these at Bella Vita. Now I'm lusting after the lavender and red one. I guess I'll have to drink a lot of wine and wear mine out (bet that would take a long while), or I could pick up some of the other colors for holiday gifts.

I hope everyone will like these as much as I did. I was confused when I opened the package, but once I figured these out, I was wowed (which does not happen too very often).

Sunday, April 20, 2014

BBQ Grilling Giveaway - Wonderful Ted Reader Cookbook and Spices/Sauces (ends May 5, 2014)

New Cookbook Out from Ted Reader - You Could Win It!

Kara got in touch with me about Ted Reader's newest cookbook. She didn't have to sell me. I've known Teddy for a while. We're Facebook friends, and someone gave me some of his sauces some time back. His pineapple barbecue sauce was so yummy and smelled so good the people grilling beside me at the beach came over to ask why our food smelled so much better. I still love that Ted Reader pineapple sauce.

If you'd like to see what the buzz is with this Canadian BBQ guru, then now is your chance. Kara sent me Gastro Grilling to check out and some grilling seasoning (and a review - honest good or bad). You can get the book and some flavorings too free with my latest Barbecue Master giveaway sponsored by Ted and his hard working marketing group.

How Do You Enter to Win the BBQ CookBook and Seasonings?

I keep my contests low tech and no spam. I don't like to jump through hoops, and I hate spam, so I don't do that to my readers (and thank you all for making my Barbecue Master blog so successful).

Just comment in my comment section and tell me why you'd like to win this great prize. Also leave some way to let you know if you win. I don't need your firstborn, but be sure I have some clue as far as getting in touch. I don't add you to lists or anything other than contact the winner and the company who will send the prize directly, so it doesn't get run through the mail twice.

Extra Entries?

Some onliners love extra entries, so I'll add a couple of those too. You don't have to do anything extra. The comment gets your name in the hat. These extras just give you extra slips. Do add a new comment to tell me about extra entries. I don't want you having to PM or hashtag me all over the internet. Just put something like: Extra entry - tweeted etc. (and again some kind of contact).

So, here's what you can do . . .

  1. Visit Ted Readers FB page and let me know what you see. I first said to leave a "Cyndi said hi" message on his page, but he is maxed on the FB limit.
  2. Facebook my contest link.
  3. Tweet the barbecue gift contest.
  4. Google + the contest. Does anyone G plus? Some I'm sure.
  5.  One selfish request - subscribe to my blog, so you won't miss out on future contests. That's on the right bar. I don't see the info. Promise. You get an email by way of Google, but you can see from the title if you're interested (which I hope you are).

That gives you the basic comment entry and five more if you are the high achiever type. It only takes one, and I've certainly had a one entry person win.

How Long Do You Have?

My last class day at the college is May 5th (2014) at 10 pm EST, so I'll make that the deadline, so I can celebrate along with you. 

*Please not that I am not an auto blogger. I check every comment, so you won't see your comment immediately, unless I'm online. I'm not a control freak. If you saw some of the dirty stuff and spam people put up, you would know why I check to make sure things on my blog are the real deal. I'll make sure you're entered, but it may take me a few hours especially if I'm sleeping. I love my ZZZZs.

Good luck. This is a very nice free giveaway prize!  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wilton Armetale Grilling Chili Pot - I Just Love Their Grill Pots and Griddles

Wilton Armetale Chili Pot for the Barbecue Grill

Kristen contacted me to see if I'd like to test out one of their grillware products in exchange for an honest review. Since I already have the Wilton Armetale barbecue grill wok which is one of my favorite pieces of all times, this was a no brainer. Unless they'd done something different to the line, I knew this would be a barbecue piece I'd use and treasure.

What I love about this BBQ Gourmet Grillware product line is that the metal is heavy duty like cast iron and holds the heat like you would not believe, but you don't have to worry about rust.  My wok looks new after a couple of years. Very impressive. 

I use mine on the grill, but you can also use them on the stovetop and in the oven up to 1000 degrees.

Wilton Armetale believes in their products. They offer a lifetime warranty against breakage under normal conditions.

The chili pot is really pretty as you can see, and it's perfect to serve from right off the grill. Do use potholders as the metal (as I mentioned) has excellent heat retention.

Here is a small batch of chili I made with my son in from college this weekend. It's actually a tex mex chili. One of our favorites.

Our Weekend Grilled Chili in My New Gourmet Grill Pot

Well, you can't see the chili with the lid on, so here's the chili right before I took it off the grill for my always hungry son.

Yum. Chili Dinner Right Off the Grill.

If you're interested in the recipe, it's at my Yes You Can Cook as Taco Soup. As you can see, it looks more like a chili. The seasonings give it that taco kick.

I get to try out a lot of great products (and a few duds) as a barbecue blogger. Now and then I come across a brand that I stand behind 100%. Wilton Armetale is one of those. They look a little expensive, but when you consider how pretty they are, how well they work, and that they are a lifetime investment, I can't think of anything I'd change (other than I wish I owned the whole collection - perhaps some day though).