As the sun warms overhead and bronze bodies line the beach, thoughts of easy cooking fill your head. Outdoor grilling becomes a passion, making no exception for the occasional rainy day. Torrential downpours and thunderstorms can be a problem, but the seasoned griller with the right equipment transitions easily enough to indoor grill surfaces. Discover your preferences, and delicious brochettes of beer marinated beef or beer-can chicken are right around the corner.
Grills and Grilling Tools
Charcoal Grill Direct method food is placed directly over the coals, opening lid only to flip foods
Gas Grill Direct Method preheat grill with burners on high, place food on cooking grate, then adjust the burners to appropriate temperature. Open only to flip food.
Charcoal Grill Indirect Method place a drip pan under meat (e.g. a whole chicken) with coals on either side of the pan. Add water to drip pan to keep grease from burning. Place meat on grate above drip pan. Open lid only to baste meat. Baste often.
Gas Grill Indirect Method preheat with all burners on high. Then, turn off burners beneath meat, but adjust burners on the sides to the appropriate temp. Place the meat on a roasting rack inside a disposable heavy gauge foil pan. Add water to pan to prevent drippings from burning.
Two-Sided Contact Grills cook foods twice as fast very little air circulation for moisture evaporation. Trapped moisture steams the food while the deep grilling ridges simultaneously create caramelized grill marks.
Hibachi Style Grills Nonstick with interchangeable grill and griddle plates. Uses water to minimize smoke and prevent drippings from burning.
Combination Grills Deep Electric Fry pans with grilling ridges
Infusion Grills Have grilling ridges to add caramelized lines to foods, while liquid in the infusion cup steams the food and adds moisture during cooking.
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Tools for Grilling:
Spatula for flipping burgers, veggies and chicken. These should be made of stainless steel, and may have wood handles.
Fork large steaks or lobster tail is more easily turned with a grilling fork. Note that grill tools have longer handles, often of rosewood.
Combination Tool combines a spatula for flipping foods, grill scraper, tenderizer, serrated knife edge for cutting meats, and a bottle opener,into one easy tool.
Basting Brush Stiff brush made of natural fibers or silicone for easier clean-up.
Sauce Mop An ideal tool for reaching into all the nooks and turns of poultry, seafood and roasted vegetables and fruits. It looks like a miniature mop.
Skewers May be curved to fit around a plate, making a pretty presentation; metal; bamboo and wood. Note: the natural fiber and wood versions must be soaked for 30 minutes before using.
Digital fork Thermometer - These cost around $24.99, but are fast and accurate.
Turning Hooks A pronged, curved tool that is more secure and allows easier turning of meats and poulrty
Cedar Cooking Planks For a big infusion of woodsy flavor.
Tongs May be traditional styles, or in combination with a spatula on one side.
Marinade Injector like a big-ace hypodermic needle that allows you to inject juicy marinades into the deeper parts of a roast. When marinating thicker meats and poultry, the complex flavors of the marinade may be unevenly distributed throughout the meat with traditional marinating methods. This allows your marinade to permeate all layers.
Specialty racks Corn on the Cob, Fish ( for large and small cuts), Rib racks Different configurations allow for ease of cooking, and save space on your grill.
Grilltop cooking grid or grill/flip basket Smaller cuts can be grilled, wok style
Grill Cleaning Brush Metal prongs make for easier clean-up.
Vertical Chicken Roasters Used for Beer Butt Chicken Recipes, these may be fashioned in a bent wire form (you must use a beer can for these), or may be wok style with a center hull, or reservoir, allowing you the versatility to pour beer from a bottle into the center, rather than using a beer can.
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How to Make Beer Can Chicken
Beer can chicken was the brainchild of Steven Raichlen, the offbeat, creative king of the barbecue. This easy recipe keeps the meat moist, enhances herbal flavors, and creates a tasty, crisp outer skin.
Choose a beer style, rich in caramellized flavors, to echo the caramelization that occurs naturally when cooking chicken or turkey. Fruity beers can add a surprizing hint of zest to meats. Adjust your spices to suit the style of beer used. Brown Ales, Scottish Ales, Porters, or Barleywines are my favorites for this recipe:
Meantime London Porter English Porter Meantime Brewing Company, Greenwich, London, UK
Newcastle Brown Ale - English Brown Ale Newcastle Breweries, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Turbo Dog English Brown Ale -Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, Louisiana, USA
Hazelnut Brown Nectar American Brown Ale - Rogue Ales Brewery/Brewers on the Bay, Newport, Oregon, USA
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale Scottish Ale - Boston Beer Company, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Allagash Musette Scottish Ale/Wee Heavy - Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, Maine, USA
Old Horizontal American Barleywine - Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pennsylvania, USA
Anchor Old Foghorn American Barleywine - Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco, California, USA
1 Roaster Chicken, cleaned and rinsed
Ό C. olive oil
½ C. Turbinado Sugar
2 tablespoons Dippy Chick Its Okay Bayou Cajun Mix
1 tablespoon Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon thyme
Ό teaspoon parsley flakes
Hickory chips, soaked in water and beer for 1 hour
Can of Beer Make 3 holes in top of can with church key can opener. Pour 6 ounces onto wood chips (option 2: Use water on wood chips and drink the 6 ounces of beer). If using a wok-style vertical roaster, pour 6 ounces of beer into center reservoir. Add 2 teaspoons Dippy Chick Its Okay Bayou Cajun Mix, 1 teaspoon Caribbean Jerk Seasoning, thyme and parsley flakes.
Secure can on vertical roaster.
Prepare chicken Remove giblets. Remove extra fat around the cavity. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Oil chicken, inside and out. Mix together the remaining Dippy Chick Its Okay Bayou Cajun Mix with Caribbean Jerk Seasoning. Vigorously coat chicken, inside and out, with Turbinado Sugar; then sprinkle with seasoning mixture.
Place chicken on beer can, standing upright with cavity of bird lowered down over the can or reservoir of roasting pan. Use the legs of the chicken to support it. Place on grill above disposable alumium drip pan that has been filled with water. Pack hot coals around the outside of the water pan. Sprinkle hickory chips that have been soaked in beer/water mixture over hot coals. Close lid and roast for 1-1/2 hours or until done. Note: If grill top isn't high enough to close over the vertical chicken, create a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil - this works just as effectively.
Presentation Remove chicken from roaster after allowing to set for 5 minutes. Be very careful not to spill the beer in the reservoir or can. Place chicken on on a serving platter, garnished with roasted veggies.
Grills come in all shapes and sizes, from this standard, easy-to-use gas grill to simple and super-deluxe models. Grilling is fun and there is nothing quite so satisfying as that outdoor flavor.
Weber 586002 Q 320 Portable Outdoor Gas Grill