June 2018


Charcoal Grilled Asparagus

Our asparagus after seasoning and ready to become Charcoal grilled Asparagus!

Our asparagus after seasoning and ready to become Charcoal grilled Asparagus!

Guest Blogger

By Chef C. V. Calle Guest Chef in Residence, SmokinLicious Kitchens

By Chef C. V. Calle Guest Chef in Residence, SmokinLicious Kitchens

 

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Nothing in the vegetable word represents late spring-early summer than fresh local asparagus but the window for fresh local asparagus is a short one. The growing season in our area (Western New York State) typically begins mid to late May and lasts until mid to late June all depending on the weather. Buying your asparagus at a Farmers Market or a Farm Stand provides the highest quality asparagus.

Luckily asparagus season corresponds to the beginning of outdoor grilling season and that is a good thing. If you have never prepared asparagus on the grill read this and you may never want to boil or steam asparagus again.

Fortunately for me, my good friends Terry and Donna Grant, owners of SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products in Olean, New York provided me with their locally manufactured charwood product for grilling. Try it and you will never go back to charcoal briquettes again. SmokinLicious® all-natural charwood, adds flavor as well as the high heat needed for proper grilling. Remember, cooking with wood is not just a heat source because when you grill with high-quality wood products like SmokinLicious® you add substantial and delicious flavor to whatever is on the grill.

This is a simple recipe and takes just minutes to prepare.

Ingredients: (serves 2 to 4 persons as a side dish)

1 pound local farmer’s market asparagus

high-quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

salt & pepper

Procedure:

Asparagus on the charcoal grill

  1. Wash and break off the tough bottom two inches of each asparagus spear
  2. Toss with EVOO and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
  3. Place asparagus on a hot grill top
  4. Cook 3-10 minutes; depending on the size of the stems and until lightly charred on the outside but the stems remain firm and crisp (al dente). Tasting a spear or two while cooking will let you know when they are ready to eat
  5. Remove from grill, add salt and pepper to taste and you are ready to go
  6. Optional plating technique: top with fresh Parmesan Reggiano cheese and drizzle with a high-quality balsamic glaze

Charcoal grilled Asparagus with Parmesan Reggiano cheese

 

 

 

Chef’s Recommendation:

The above recipe is suitable for anyone including vegans. If you are a meat eater, always grill your asparagus after you finish grilling your meat. While the beef, pork, lamb or chicken rests you can complete this process. Place asparagus spears on the grill where the meat was located, and the small amount of fat left on the grill top adds to the flavor of the natural wood. (This recipe can also be used on a gas grill with wood chunks placed on the heat shields).

Purchase products:

Charwood

Additional reading:

-WHY CHAR-WOOD IS THE BETTER OPTION OVER CHARCOAL

-EMBER FIRED ASPARAGUS ON THE HIBACHI

-Flank Steak Pinwheels with Ember Roasted Asparagus

-Crostini with Smoked Asparagus

Thank you, Chef Calle, for this Charcoal Grilled Asparagus recipe- It was yummy!

Thank you, Chef Calle, for this Charcoal Grilled Asparagus recipe- It was yummy!

Our shopping cart full of products ready to be shipped to customers by FedEx. Shipping is included in our price which is why we won’t sell product on amazon

Our shopping cart full of products ready to be shipped to customers by FedEx. Shipping is included in our price which is why we won’t sell product on Amazon.

WHY WE WON’T SELL PRODUCT ON AMAZON ®

SUMMARY:

We have been an online shopping source since 2005! We promote quality products and living wages for our employees! Producing a list of food safe woods, bark-free cooking wood only from the heartwood of a tree! Our internet online business brings “fresh” products to you! Which is why we won’t sell product on Amazon!

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I won’t deny that I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to wanting more out of every 24 hours I can get.  This is the main reason why I am an internet shopper.  I rarely frequent an actual retail store aside from a wholesale club to purchase office supplies and the occasional trip to the grocery store.

I also won’t deny that I am an avid Amazon.com shopper!  Just about everything you can think of, I have purchased: clothes, specialty paint, make-up, kitchen supplies, food products, small appliances, area rugs – like I said, just about every category they offer.

So why aren’t SmokinLicious® products offered for sale on Amazon.com?

“Negative” Feedback Services

 Today, there is literally a service for anything and everything.  That includes services to pay individuals to post negative reviews on a seller’s product and services.  Let me be clear.  SmokinLicious® certainly has had negative issues arise from time to time in the past 13 years.  When they occur, we have our own procedure in place for remedying the situation which often results in great appreciation from the customer and a brand loyalty relationship developing.  However, when negative feedback occurs when selling on Amazon.com, it can take a little as .0008% reported issues of the total products sold to kick you out as a seller!  Kicking you out means you’ve lost all the inventory costs you started out with as Amazon.com ties up your account.

Open Market for Copy Cats

As anyone who has been in business for themselves can attest to, you spend months working on verbiage for your products, photo imagery for a gallery, and unique header descriptors to bring attention and get you sales.  The last thing you want is someone stealing your work and posting to a seller’s listing on Amazon.com.  That can and has happened!  When it does, you are obligated to show proof of ownership of all content if you want to bring issue against an Amazon.com seller.

Worse yet, the other seller may be allowed to continue to sell a product that looks exactly like yours but maybe lesser quality in similar packaging!  Plus, it is easy for your photo to be high-jacked and replaced with another image to cause high percentages of returns.  Remember, there is a return option that states the item “does not match description,” allowing the buyer to make the return easily while you get a demerit from Amazon.com.

Sinking Price Margin

By far this is the number one issue for my brand to use Amazon.com.  For a good majority of shoppers on this site, they are price driven in their choices.  Imagine SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® wood chips going against the company that sweeps wood shavings off the floor from their flooring or cabinet making business, placing them in a cheap plastic bag, and slapping a simple label over the bag.  That company can afford to list the price at $3.99 a bag when they have no extra costs involved for the material, just the cheap packaging.  We are not in the market to compete on price.  We are in the market to compete on quality and purity of product.  That’s it!

For the brand SmokinLicious®, we are all about quality, safety, legitimacy, and value!  Our goal is to enable anyone around the globe who enjoys wood-fired cooking to do without having to think about the cleanliness and type of wood.  We’ve selected the safest hardwoods to cook with, stripped them of all the impure bark, reduced the wood to just heartwood so you have the fillet of the tree and dialed in the moisture so you have success at the grill, smoker or plancha every time.  You’ll find us online 24/7 to fill your needs in North America, the UK, and soon, in South Africa and New Zealand.

 

I hope you gained a better understanding of SmokinLicious® and why we do what we do!  Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest articles and information on recipes, techniques, and the science beyond the fire, smoke, and flavor.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips: Grande Sapore®, Piccolo®, Minuto®

Wood Chunks: Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-THE SMOKINLICIOUS® STORY

-HOT TREND MAY NOT BE THE SAFEST BET

-WHAT’S IN THE SMOKINLICIOUS® WOOD CHUNK BOX?

-IT’S A MATTER OF PRIORITY! DON’T PUT US LAST!

Dr. Smoke our reasons on why we won't sell product on Amazon® at this time

Dr. Smoke our reasons on WHY WE WON’T SELL PRODUCT ON AMAZON at this time

Our suggestive tips to avoid WHY IS MY BARBECUE MEAT DRY

Our suggestive tips to avoid WHY IS MY BARBECUE MEAT DRY

WHY IS MY BARBECUE MEAT DRY??

Summary:

The best way to keep meat moist while smoking is to follow the recommended cooking temperatures for meats! Wood fired cooking, wood smoker, electric smoker, charcoal grill, or gas grill a meat thermometer is a MUST! Meat cooking temperature is important for outdoor cooking to prevent why is my barbecue meat dry!

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You thought you timed the meat perfectly on your smoker or grill.  When it came time to cut it, all you found was a gray, dry former piece of meat staring back at you.

What went wrong?

Don’t fall into your old habits when it comes to outdoor cooking, whether you’re using a traditional wood or electric smoker, charcoal grill or gas grill.  Learn some easy tips to keep your foods juicy and enticing this outdoor cooking season.

Tip #1: Own a Good Meat Thermometer

There is no way around it!  You need to own a good meat thermometer.  That is truly the only way to know when meats are done before you keep them on the grill or smoker too long.  There is no one internal temperature that is good for all meats either!  Don’t think because you cook chicken until 160°F that this is the ideal temperature for beef, lamb, fish, pork, and sausage.

Tip #2: Know Ideal Food Temperatures

It is vital that you know when to pull the meat off a grill or smoker.  All chicken and turkey need to cook until 160°F (71°C).  Ham, sausage and hot dogs should have a minimum temperature of 140°F (60°C).  Pork including ribs and shoulder need to register 145°F (63°C) while pork steak, chops, roasts can have a range based on doneness preference: 120-130°F (49-54°C) for rare, 130-135°F (54-57°C) for medium-rare/medium, 145-155°F (63-68°C) for medium-well, and 155°F (68°C) and above for well-done.  Beef, lamb, and venison range 120-130°F (49-54°C) for rare, 130-145°F (54-63°C) for medium, 145-155°F (63-68°C) for medium-well, and over 155°F (68°C) for well-done.

Tip #3: Flip, Flip, Flip

When you grill over high heat, it becomes vital that you learn to flip more often.  The results will be better flavor, better color to the food, even doneness and a quicker cooking time.  The flip ensures that only even heat levels get in instead of too high which results in a burnt, charred mess.

Tip #4: Moist Burgers Every Time

Burgers can become extremely dry due to the higher heat level they are cooked over.  To keep as much moisture into the meat, here are a couple of tricks.  The first is to add 1-2 tablespoons of either mayo or Greek yogurt to your ground meat or turkey.  Mix well then form into your burgers. I sometimes like to mix in ricotta cheese!  Or you can add an herb-butter patty to the center of the burger to add moisture.  Be sure to follow Tip #3 with burgers!

Tip #5: Consider Marinating

Although you can now purchase cuts of meat in most stores pre-marinated, I beg you to do this step yourself to control the additives and preservatives that are commonly found in the prepackaged items.  Marinating cuts of meats, especially thinner cuts, produces great flavors and can make for a moister experience as the liquid finds the cracks and crevices on the meat.  It helps to make small slices in the cut of meat to help with the marinade absorption.  There really is no need to marinate overnight though you can do that.  Just know that a couple of hours for meat in a marinade is enough to produce a great outcome.  Plus, marinated foods reduced the unhealthy chemical compounds that can form when you use a hot grilling technique.

Tip #6: Considering Brining

A brine is a wet, salty, slightly sweet mixture that you soak your meat in.  The salt and sugar react with the protein in meats to help retain moisture.  It’s like having a protective moisture-shield around the meat.

Tip #7: Use an Indirect Method of Cooking

An indirect or two-zone cooking method refers to using one side of your equipment for heat while the other side is used for the actual food placement.  By keeping the lid on the grill or smoker, you will retain the heat and radiate it throughout the grill.  If you want to produce a crust on your food, you can easily move it to the direct fireside for a few minutes to accomplish that.  On a gas grill, you would lite the burners on only one side of the grill.  On a charcoal grill or smoker, you would place and lite the charcoal on just one side of the charcoal area.

Tip #8: Foil Wrap

Aluminum foil, the heavy-duty kind, works wonders at keeping foods moist.  By adding 1-2 ounces of liquid to the foil with the meat placed inside and any other ingredients you want to incorporate flavors from, you allow steam to be produced inside the packet and keep everything super moist.   Just be sure you crimp the foil tightly around the food so nothing escapes.

Tip #9: Extend the Cooking Time

If you’re able to plan out your outdoor cooking event, then consider doing a combination of a two-zone cooking method with lower level temperature cooking.  Any time you can cook at a lower temperature for a longer time, you allow the collagen in meat to breakdown producing a gelatin that releases great flavor.  The two-zone cooking method will allow the meat to receive heat in every direction at an even level.

There you have it!  Some concrete tips to ensure you can produce tender and juicy results on your grill or smoker and won’t say Why is My Barbecue Meat Dry!

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®, Minuto® & Piccolo®

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON

-WHY WON’T MY WOOD CHIPS SMOKE??

-WHAT WOOD TO USE FOR SMOKING: A PRIMER

-HOW MUCH WOOD TO ADD WHEN SMOKING

 

Dr. Smoke- slow and low will prevent your guest saying Our suggestive tips to avoid WHY IS MY BARBECUE MEAT DRY

Dr. Smoke- slow and low will prevent your guest saying Our suggestive tips to avoid WHY IS MY BARBECUE MEAT DRY