September 2020


Smokey Hungarian Peppers on our kettle Grill!

Smokey Hungarian Peppers on our kettle Grill!

Let's Do Smokey Hungarian Peppers on the Kettle Grill! Click To Tweet

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I love growing Hungarian wax peppers in my garden and then harvesting for recipes and freezing for future recipes. Hungarian wax pepper come in different levels of heat depending on the variety chosen. Mine are a hot variety but work perfectly for mixing with other creamy flavors to produce some great condiments and sauces. I will introduce you to two versions of my Smoked Hungarian Pepper Spread in our recipe blog which will post soon.

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logo and grill introducing our COOKWARE THE GRILL

Enjoy our COOKWARE FOR THE GRILL

COOKWARE FOR THE GRILL-THAT WORKS!

Top 5 cookware accessories for your grill Click To Tweet

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If you’ve followed my writings for some time now, you’ve likely learned that I believe outdoor equipment is the same if not better than the traditional indoor options. You literally can make anything on the outdoor equipment that you make inside your home.

Knowing this, I have received many questions regarding the type of cookware that I use when grilling and/or smoking on said equipment. Today, I’m going to discuss the preferred cookware materials and the potential issues that can arise if you use a material that is not considered ideal for high heat temperatures.

Material #1: Cast Iron- Cookware for the Grill

This is my first choice and many other cooks, and the only material I use when I coal cook with cookware. Why? It is durable, it is relatively inexpensive, it is unbelievable at heat retention, and you can cook almost anything in it. Literally, it never wears out!

Downside? It is a material that needs to be maintained meaning oiled consistently. It is heavy!

Material #2: Carbon Steel- Cookware for the Grill

Carbon steel is a beast at retaining heat and it can be used on any cooking surface. Although lighter in weight than cast iron it is still heavier than stainless steel. Similar in many attributes to cast iron, it also requires frequent seasoning and the base of the pan will become discolored from the high heat exposure. Plus, it is not dishwasher safe so you need to love this material and be willing to put some work into maintaining it. If you’re lucky enough to find a piece you love, you will make magic in it whether near or in the fire.

Material #3: Stainless Steel Combo

I’m sure every one of us owns at least one piece of stainless steel. This is a very attractive piece of cookware from the aesthetic view. However, on its own, stainless steel is not the best heat conductor. This is the main reason why it often is combined with another material to improve its heat retention properties and keep it light in weight. Suitable pairs you’ll find for stainless steel include copper and aluminum. All three of these materials on their own, are not ideal. Cooper and aluminum heat very quickly which means they can burn very quickly as well, while stainless steel on its own can take forever to heat up. But combine copper and aluminum or aluminum and steel and you have an ideal heat conductor and safe high heat material. Rule of thumb: never use aluminum and copper cookware on their own for high heat cooking.

Material #5: Enameled Cast Iron- Cookware for the Grill

Know as the “pretty” cookware, enameled cast iron is cast iron at the heart-and-soul but with beautiful ceramic enamel outside surfaces. It has fabulous heat conductivity and retention but it is not non-stick which can cause some issues. I find it works really well when I use more of a two-zone cooking set up rather than direct coal or heat cooking.

Material #5: Non-Stick

Teflon is a non-stick, promoted material, that should be avoided. It has no ability to be used for high heat and in fact, excessive heat can melt this material. Also, Teflon is documented to flakes off after extended use, moving these flakes into your foods. At higher temperatures, the material produces toxic fumes that have been proven to be a health risk.

What Are High Heat Levels?

Now we know what materials are optimal for high heat cooking but what are the actual temperatures that can be handled?

Cast iron and stainless-steel combos can tolerate 1500°F, with stainless steel excelling to 2200°F. Although copper has a melting point of 1984°F and aluminum at 1221°F, cast iron, and steel materials in cookware still perform the best.

Now you have the education behind your choice of cookware. My last piece of advice is to always think about how you plan to use the cookware. If you love to nestle in the coals or be as close to the flame as you can, the items that may not look as pretty are likely the best choice. Take our tips in this blog USEFUL COOKWARE OPTIONS FOR YOUR GRILL and expand you cooking/Grilling skills and techniques!

SmokinLicious® products used in this blog:

Wood Chunks: Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on Cookware for the Grill

More Related reading on Cookware for the Grill

Related reading:

-TOP TOOLS NEEDED FOR GAS GRILLING

-TOP TOOLS TO OWN FOR CHARCOAL GRILLING

Dr. Smoke- I hope you enjoyed this blog- Cookware for the Grill!

Dr. Smoke- I hope you enjoyed this blog- Cookware for the Grill!

-THE WOMAN’S GUIDE TO ‘MAN’-ING THE GRILL

Our top 12 Grilling Mistakes!

Our top 12 Grilling Mistakes!

Did you do one of these top 12 grilling mistakes this Year? Click To Tweet

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As a billion-dollar business, selling grills is likely not going away any time soon. In fact, sales are gaining strength thanks to COVID-19 which forced many to find ways to keep cooking and eating interesting while forced to stay out of restaurants.

When asked, most people say they grill or barbeque for flavor. If that is the case, then why are some of the most common practices the ones causing the most variation in the taste of your grilled foods?

Here are the top 12 grilling mistakes you should avoid.

#1 Skipping Preheat of the Grill

It does not matter if you prefer to use a gas grill or a charcoal unit, you need to preheat the grill before adding food. Why? It is the only way to avoid having your foods stick to the grill grate. When you allow the metal to heat to a very hot level, the protein in meats cannot form a bond with the metal grate. Plan about 5 minutes preheat time for charcoal grills and 15 minutes for gas units.

#2 Cooking on an Unclean Grill

Yeah, I know. The grill is located outside so you think it does not need the same care and cleaning as your kitchen equipment indoors. Wrong! Leftover food particles, grease, smoke tar and creosote can build up on various parts of the grill and cause changes in food flavors as well as make the food stick. Plus, a grease trap that has never been emptied can ignite which will ruin your planned grill day! Get in the habit of scraping the grill grate after preheating and lightly scrub the cooled down grill including the lid area, with steel wool and water. The lid likes to hold on to carbonized grease which becomes flaky and falls off onto your foods if left in place.

#3 Not Oiling the Grill Grate

In addition to preheating the grill oiling the grate is key to keeping food from sticking. This needs to be done whether your cooking on gas or charcoal. Using tongs, dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and wipe the preheated, scrubbed cooking grate before adding food.

#4 Using Lighter Fluid

For charcoal grill lovers, stop ruining your foods with lighter fluid. Coals are easier to lite with lighter fluid for one reason only – the chemicals make for quick lighting. They also impart those chemical flavors to your food. Learn to use a chimney starter with either newspaper for lighting or a Firestarter placed at the bottom. And this leads us to …

#5 Not Having Enough Coals

Depending on the size of the chimney starter you purchase, the average weight of charcoal used in one is 3 pounds. If your planning a full day of grilling, that one chimney starter will not be enough. Do not forget to load the charcoal area of the grill with unlit charcoal before the hot coals are added. The hot coals will gradually ignite the unlit and keep the temperature going so you can keep cooking.

#6 Pouring the Coals Too Soon

Once you have the chimney starter lit, leave it alone! Too often, the chimney is poured before the top layer of coals is covered with ash. That means, the coals are a gray color not black. If you do not allow the coals to fully heat, you will not be able to sustain the temperature of the equipment for cooking or worse, the fire could go completely out.

#7 Turning Meat Too Soon

We covered why it is so important to preheat the grill before placing food on the grate. Part of the “non-stick” relates to turning meat. The meat’s surface needs to be hot enough to release from the grate. If you don’t wait long enough, the meat will tear. Wait until you can easily lift the meat before making the turn.

#8 Running Out of Propane

I think just about everyone at one time or another makes the mistake of starting a grilling day and the propane tank runs out! Here is a trick for those who own a tank that has no fuel gauge. Boil one cup of water and pour it down the side of the tank. Feel the metal with your hand. Where you feel warmth on the tank means that area of the tank is empty. Feel coolness, that is the current level of available propane.

#9 Cooking with the Lid Open

Apart from lighting a gas grill, which should always be done with the lid up, you should do cooking with the lid down. Remember, gas grills deliver less heat than charcoal models. Keep the lid down to trap as much heat as possible.

#10 Lifting the Lid During Cooking

Having a hinged lid seems to imply that you are to readily open and close it at a whim. Nothing is further from the truth! Just like your oven, ever time you open the lid on the grill, you allow heat to escape forcing it to work harder to maintain the heat setting. Leave the lid alone!

#11 Using Vents for Proper Airflow

Comparable to the dials on an oven, vents are what control airflow to either boost the heat of the grill, reduce the heat, and extinguish fire/heat. On a charcoal grill, there are vents on the bottom of the charcoal area as well as the top of the lid. The bottom vents draw in oxygen to feed the fire while the top provide for the draft. Balance the two openings and you succeed in reaching regulated temperature, just like setting the dial on your stove. Gas grills also have vents but they are usually fixed and intended to release some gases and heat from the higher BTU burner ratings.

#12 Using Only One Cooking Set Up on the Grill

Grills allow for so much versatility in cooking essentially any food item, whether that is animal protein, fruit, vegetables or even bread and baked items. Do not limit yourself to just one grill set up! If you are one to lite up all the burners on the grill or place your hot coals all throughout the charcoal area of your grill, then you are missing out. Direct fire works for quick cooking methods like burgers and hot dogs, but it is not the best set up for other foods. Learn to use a two-zone set up: heat on only one half of the grill area while food is placed on the unheated side. You will have the benefit of controlled cooking when needed and the option for direct char and searing for finishing items or for quick cook foods on the direct fire side.

Did we miss a grilling mistake? Leave us a comment to let us know. We welcome all types of questions and encourage you to follow and subscribe to our social channels so you don’t miss anything. We look forward to providing you with tips, techniques, recipes, and the science for all things wood-fired cooked.

SmokinLicious® products used in this blog:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chunks- Single & Double Filet

More Related reading on Grilling mistakes and other good Techniques to follow

More Related reading on Grilling mistakes and other good Techniques

Related reading:

-COOKING WOOD WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

-WHAT WOOD FOR SMOKING: A PRIMER

-10 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING WOOD FOR COOKING, GRILLING & SMOKING

 

 

Dr. Smoke- Our Dozen of top grilling mistakes people make! Avoid these to be king of the Q

Dr. Smoke- Our Dozen of top grilling mistakes people make! Avoid these to be king of the Q

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To our blog kiwifruit gets smoky

A SPICE FOR YOUR EQUIPMENT: SMOKIN’ DUST®

There seems to be some legend out there that wood-fired cooking methods are all about the endless hours of tending food and fire that produce taste results that are only granted to a small percentage of committed cooks; nothing could be further from the truth. Ready for simple methods of wood flavor infusion that do not take stockpiles of wood and equipment so large, you start thinking about adding on to your house?

Wood-fired cooking includes the simplest methods of wood infusion like the current rage with hand-held food smokers or even the stovetop smoker. Kitchen gadgets that have opened the door to anyone who wants to explore the fragrant and flavorful bounty that awaits all foods and beverages. One thing that still is evolving is the concept of spices not for your food but for your equipment!

If you’ve read some of our previous articles on wood flavoring you’ll come to understand and appreciate that there is no set rule on wood-fired cooking. Oh, yes, there is plenty of science when it comes to cooking with fire or as I like to say when you combust to flavor, which is what you are accomplishing with wood for cooking. I feel more attention should be given to the actual wood products; rather than focusing on the ingredients to the foods being cooked.

Wood is an ingredient

First, wood to us IS an ingredient, one that still needs to be balanced with the other components to bring forth a food memory. As an ingredient, the easiest by far to manage for wood flavor infusion is sawdust or in our Company’s listing, Smokin’ Dust®. Compatible with all types of equipment, Smokin’ Dust® literally becomes a ‘spice’ for your equipment.

Thinking of island flavors of pineapple, coconut, and mango for a recipe? Why not add one or more of those flavorings through the wood product? Yes, using all-natural flavoring infused into our Smokin’ Dust® is one of the quickest methods of getting the great flavor to a specific regional dish. With 15 flavor-infused options that are 100% all natural, designed for cooking, and infused in hardwood, as well as 8 natural hardwood flavors, we’ve given new meaning to the word ‘spice’ as ours can now apply to the wood product! Remember, applewood doesn’t smell or taste anything like an apple. Use our apple infused product, and you’ll experience hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and the bite of an apple!

Why settle for a run-of-the-mill smoking sawdust product that you don’t know where it comes from? A softwood, swept from the floor, shoveled from the ground, or worse, taken from under an animal? Instead, get excited about the flavor opportunities awaiting you and your equipment when you use a smoking sawdust product from a real cooking wood company. Get excited about the opportunities out there to experiment with, whether for hot smoking, cold smoking, handheld food smoking, stovetop smoking, or even traditional LP and charcoal grilling. And get ready to experience the world through flavor aroma!

Smokin Dust is one of our most customized and versitle cooking wood product.

Dr. Smoke- “Smokin’ Dust is one of our most customized and versatile cooking wood product.” which is a spice for your equipment

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-TASTE IS AROMA!

-JUST BECAUSE YOUR SMOKING (FOOD THAT IS!) DOESN’T MAKE IT ALL BAD!

-KIWIFRUIT GETS SMOKY

Our products used in this Blog:

Flavored Smokin’ Dust

Our nicely grill marked avocado halves look yummy after we did our wood grilled avocado technique explained in this blog.

Wood grilled avocado is a fun way to add different flavor to this wonderful fruit.

WOOD FIRED GRILLED AVOCADO

To our blog kiwifruit gets smoky

Oh, the wonderful, healthy, creamy, flavorful avocado. With more potassium than a banana and 18 amino acids for daily intake, you can’t go wrong with this single seed fruit.

Did you ever think to grill this fabulous fruit with a little wood to give it even more flavor? We’ll show you just how easy grilled avocado can be on the gas grill using wood chunks for your smoke infusion.

Grilled Avocado with a Wood Fired Touch

Regardless of the brand of gas grill you have, you can add wood chunks to the grill for wood fired flavor. My grill has heat shields over the burners so I use that area to add one small wood chunk under the grill grate, directly on the heat shield. No, you won’t damage your grill, as the wood combusts to ash and basically blows away.

One chunk is all it will take to get great flavor into the avocados. I keep the burner that the wood chunk is located on set to medium as well as the burner next to that one on medium. Since I have 4 burners, 2 are on and 2 are off.

Once the grill is to 300° F, this technique will take less than 20 minutes.

Simple Preparation for Wood Fired Grilled Avocado

The only preparation needed for the avocados is to cut them in half and remove the seed. The avocados are placed flesh side down on the grate only on the side with the burners off. The heat captured within the grill will spread throughout the grilling area and cook the avocado while adding wood smoke vapor. Note, it’s important that you don’t attempt to move the avocados for at least 10 minutes otherwise you will find the avocado flesh will stick to the grate and you’ll lose much of the fruit’s flesh. Wait until some of the fat renders and chars making removal so simple.

Grilled Avocado- Prep To Finish In Less Than 20 Minutes

In less than 20 minutes you will have wonderfully wood flavored, charred flesh avocados ready for your favorite recipes. Think of using this fruit in smoothies, dips, on salads, as a creamy ingredient for sauces – remember, avocado can be used to substitute the amount of butter used in most recipes. We will take some of our avocado and make a wood fired guacamole first. Our recipe will post soon so stay tuned and don’t’ forget to send us your pics of wood fired avocado.

Did you get motivated to fire up the grill with wood? Send us a comment or your avocado fired pics and don’t forget to subscribe. Bringing you fun, innovative tips, techniques and recipes on all wood fired methods for foods, beverages, spices, herbs and so much more.

More Related reading on "What Wood for Smoking" and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

More Related reading on “What Wood for Smoking” and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

Be sure to check out:

-The Top 10 Vegetables To Cook In Hot Embers

-HOW TO TURN YOUR LP/GAS GRILL INTO A SMOKER

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Dr Smoke- "For a great smoky flavor try a wood fired grilled avocado."

Dr Smoke- “For a great smoky flavor try a wood fired grilled avocado.”