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Labor day is coming!!!


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Ok, this is going to be a whopper, but just bear with me. :lol: I’m just settling down after my wife’s 37th birthday extravaganza. I grilled her up some beautiful New York strips on the grill, and we had salad, and artisan bread toasted up in the broiler, and a wonderful Kendal Jackson cabernet sauvignon (for those of you that don’t drink, I acknowledge this and respect your decisions. ::D: ) My wife (who’s almost as nerdy as me) got the soundtrack for Howl’s Moving Castle, an Inuyasha action figure to go by the computer, a new dress (with a matching one for the 7 year-old,) and the new Eldest book. :B):

 

Whenever there is a bash to be had, grilling is always the first choice. I’ve just returned to school and we were just talking about the good-old-days. We met in college, and she always tells me that one of the biggest things that impressed her when we started to date was that I knew how to cook (kinda!) :lol:

 

This got me to thinking (a dangerous thing, I know) that with the encroachment of Labor Day there might be some young whipper-snappers out there that might need some cooking advice. Labor Day for us has always been a big friend get-together time. All my buddies would come over with their girlfriends (soon to be future wives) and we always had a huge barbeque blow-out on Labor Day (with all the obligatory nerd gaming talk. :lol: ) Maybe you have a young lady friend out there and you’re looking for the perfect excuse to get together (besides gaming. :lol: ) You can conscript all your buddies to be your partners in crime. Maybe you just want to get together with all your buddies and have a guy’s day out (I mean besides gaming.) Maybe your parents have that grill outside that you’ve been dying to get a shot at trying to burn the house down. Maybe you thought about going out and buying a barbeque grill but the only thing holding you back is that you don’t even know how to make oatmeal in the microwave and you don’t want to give everybody food poisoning. :blink:

 

I’m here to save the day! I’m sure with all the other codgers on the forum, you too could get enough information to only slightly poison the bulk of your closest friends! :wacko:

 

I personally know how to cook on charcoal and gas grills. I flipped hamburgers for three years in the food service industry, and I was certified by the state for food safety! :;): I can cook (specifically on the barbeque) chicken (cheap!), steak (expensive!), ribs, brisket (cheap!), hot dogs, sausage, veggies, hamburgers, and shrimp. Sorry, I haven’t done fish, my wife doesn’t like it. Do you, Conan, know the secret of meat!?

 

Just trying to get the gears in motion. Share your BBQ stories, inquiries, secrets, or catastrophes! :poke:

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Not usually a huge fan of them, but babyback ribs smothered in a bit of Dave's Insanity Salsa and your favorite rub. Smoke 'em with hickory wood for an hour or so and then wrap 'em in foil till they're done, usually only a few hours. Any body out there that knows Dave's know it's crazy hot but this seems to take some of the heat out and make them bearable.

 

Damn, it's been too long since I fired up the smoker!

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If you want some really good cheeseburgers, take the ground beef, and mix in some shredded cheese, then cook as normal. You'll have cheese melted not only on top of the burger, but all the way through. I usually mix cheese types- use cheddar for the middle and american or muenster for the top.

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Also for pretty cheap take a chunk of a stick of bologna from the deli at the store about 6 inches long or more and smoke that for 2 or 3 hours.

 

Very simple and really good with some homemade barbecue sauce on the side.

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I was also a chef at a Seafood resteraunt as well. For 12 years :)

If you ever want to know some recipes for cooking shrimp.. lobster or fish on the grill I can give some good advic e and or recipes as well :)

(the resteraunt was Red Lobster btw ) :)

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I am a lucky girl becauae I married a man who shares my love of cooking. He's the barbecue technician and has the sense to leave the baking and other more complex culinary feats to me.

 

But IMHO what he's best at...is kebobs.

 

I LOVE 'em. My favourite is shrimp, pineapple, cherry tomato and zucchini. squash. I like them served over rice pilaf with a good homemade bread on the side and perhaps a light salad or some other steamed green veggie with.

 

My speciallty is homestyle ice cream..though I don't get to make it often, cooking for one lactose-intolerant adult and one vegan teenager.

 

Also, I am a huge fan of the low country shrimp boil. My mother was the champ with those.. red potatos, baby corn, polska kielbasa and jumbo shrimp, all boiled up in a big vat full of Zataraine's shrimp boil and served with mounds of coleslaw, potato salad and beeeeeer.

 

*sigh*

 

I'm hungry now.

 

Lucky for me this year I get labour day off. It's been ages since I've had that holiday and I plan to make the most of it this time around.

 

BTW Lithian, congrats for having survived three years of foodservice. *high fives*

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Hmmmm love grilling. If there's 2 feet of snow on my balcony, there's a shovel to clear a path to my Weber. Charcoal only, and not those nasty briquettes, real hardwood charcoal. And never a drop of lighter fluid. Spend the $15 bucks and buy yourself a charcoal chimney and use 2 sheets of newspaper to get it all good and glowy coalness.

 

We usually get together on Labor Day at a friends and fire up two grills to cook up some big ole slabs of pork.

 

Low, indirect heat, a good rub, a little moisture (water w/ rosemary in an aluminum tin near the coals) and you're good to go. Then just let it take its sweet arse time cooking until it's ready to fall apart when you move it ::D:

 

Don't forget that if you have a really high heat going to sear, the inside of whatever you're cooking is going to likely be rare. If you want things cooked through, make sure it's hot, but not scorching (or at least leave it scorching at the very beginning to get your grill marks and a nice crust on the presentation side) then move it off to a more indirect heat.

 

Grilling is just like broiling, but upside down.

 

Oh yeah, and remember that sauce or rub will burn if it's on too heavy and iut's high heat. Carmelization is good. Carbonization is bad :poke: Don't go crazy with a lot of either.

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I had decent luck with brats on the 4th.

 

Two yellow onions, a couple tablespoons of butter and a pan set on low. Just let them sit and make the house smell good until they are golden brown. Stir occasionally.

 

Get good brats (Johnsonville are quite tasty). Fill a pot with one bottle of good beer (I prefer Shiner) and water to top off. Bring to a boil and cook em till they look done. About 10-15 minutes.

 

Toss em on the grill to pick up the smoke and char. Five minutes or so on a side.

 

Tasty as hell and difficult to screw up. Just be sure not to pierce the skin on the brat during cooking, use tongs not fork.

 

Good with potato salad, if you like that kind of thing.

 

Hob

 

*NOTE: As that was the first time I did brats, it was an experiment of sorts. Near unanimous desicion was that Boiled+Grilled were better than just Boiled or just Grilled.*

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Best advice I can give - Marinate all non-ground meats. Overnight in the Fridge at minimum- I generally prefer to start them marinating the day before in the morning, let them marinate all day and all night.

 

And long cooking at low heat is better than fast at high heat. a brisket that took you less than 4 hours to cook will not be as good as one that roasted covered for (My favorite) the entire day. I put mine in my oven at 200 when I leave for work, get home, and take it to the smoker! mmmmmmmmm

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Want to try something different?

how about pizza cooked over a wood fire?

 

start your grill however you wish (I prefer the hardwood charcoal) when it's glowing hot push the coals aroun the outside of the grill leaving a ring of hot coals and the center open.

sprinkle wood chips and then place your pizza on the cooking grill. keep an eye on it because it will burn if you don't

 

Grilling Motto - If you can find it you can cook on it!!

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Something I've started doing on the grill is LETTUCE! That's right....hear me out....

 

Take a romaine heart, cut it in half and brush on (I just rub with my hands) some olive oil.

 

I do that to carrots, green onions and an avocado. Put it all on the grill. (The carrots take the longest). Let the lettuce get just a bit dark on the edges.

 

Take the avocado and one carrot and a couple of green onions and put into the blender with salt, pepper, a dash of lemon juice (sometimes crushed garlic), thyme, basil and about 1/2 cup olive oil. Blend. Add more olive oil as necessary to make this to dressing consistency. Cut up everything else and toss into a bowl with dressing.

 

I call it a fire roasted salad. I've done cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus...you name it, I've grilled it. Tomatoes are okay, but I don't like them in salad so I don't do them often....oh... and bell peppers and jalapenos are great!

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Don't forget that if you have a really high heat going to sear, the inside of whatever you're cooking is going to likely be rare.  If you want things cooked through, make sure it's hot, but not scorching (or at least leave it scorching at the very beginning to get your grill marks and a nice crust on the presentation side) then move it off to a more indirect heat.

That's actually the only thing I've figured out, and it doesn't seem to advice that's spread enough. Do sear the beef.

 

I like mine well done, so I seared the beef quickly then moved them to low heat. It kept them very juicy even though they got well done. I'm a brute when it comes to hamburgers though: shape and cook.

 

My rub for steaks:

Black pepper and garlic powder as a base. It's cheap but also provides a good base of flavor.

Habanero Tabasco (just a few drops)

Cumin

Cayenne Pepper

Garlic Salt

Chili Powder

Orange Peel (citrus + spice = yum)

 

Really, the cumin should be added enough to match the pepper and garlic when you taste it. You have to appreciate spicier foods for this, but I do try to offset it with actual flavor.

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Mythbusters (might have been America's Test Kitchen though, I forget) actually did some tests on whether searing will keep the juices in the meat or not. They found there was no appreciable difference in liquid loss (measured via loss of weight, presumably the juices) between a seared piece of meat and a regular piece.

 

 

No beef should be cooked well done unless it's going into stew or chili. :devil:

Rare or Medium Rare if you are squeamish ^_^

 

 

 

That's a pretty tasty sounding rub you have there SD. Are the seasonings in roughly even portions? If you're like me, the rub will be ohhhhh some of this and some of that and about that much. I won't ask for exact tsps and stuff.

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