Temperature control is all in the air flow with our offset smoker showing the flow of air and where the air is controlled

Your Temperature control is all in the air flow for smoking and grilling with equipment!

TEMPERATURE CONTROL IS ALL IN THE AIR FLOW

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How do you keep a charcoal grill at 200°F? How do you cool down a charcoal grill?  Do you keep the vents open all the time?

These are some of the common questions posed when it comes to learning how to control the temperature of a grill or smoker.  This can be a challenge specifically for charcoal/wood units as they rely on the human hand to determine when to add fuel as opposed to a gas/LP unit that has continual, regulated flow.

You might assume that the only combustible material used in these units is charcoal or wood but there is another one.  Oxygen.

I’m going to provide my top tips on gaining control of temperature by instructing you on airflow or oxygen regulation in specific styles of charcoal/wood burning equipment.

Intake and Outtake

For many of the charcoal/wood using units, they are built with an intake and an outtake vent.  Let’s make sure you understand what these vents are and what the purpose of each is.

Intake Vent: It has one job – bring in oxygen to control the heat of the fire.  If you need to raise the temperature of your unit, open the intake vent.  Too much heat, close the intake vent which starves the fire for oxygen.  Note: if you close the intake vent entirely while keeping the outtake open, you will still starve the fire and put it out.

Here’s the trick – each unit will have a “sweet spot” for the perfect balance of oxygen flow.  Find that spot, and you can maintain a temperature easily in your equipment.  But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself.  Let’s discuss the opposing vent.

Outtake Vent:  This goes by different names (chimney, flue, outtake, vent) but has the same purpose regardless of what you call it; vent out the gases from the combustible material and pull in oxygen from the intake vent which is commonly know as draft.  Remember a charcoal/wood fire produces gases which need to be vented.  If they aren’t properly vented, they will smother the fire.

When learning how to regulate your equipment for the desired temperature setting, always start with the outtake vent fully open.  This allows you to manipulate only the intake vent until you reach the desired temperature.  That will help you learn where the sweet spot is on your equipment.

When You Never Find the Sweet Spot

There are times when no matter how you play with the intake vent, you never seem to get the temperature to hold.  What now?

Time to look for leaks in your equipment.  If an access door or lid are bleeding smoke, then you know where the extra oxygen is coming from.  That will affect the draft between the intake and outtake vent and result in fluctuating temperature that cannot be controlled.  Best course of action is to try to seal the leaks with food grade silicone or other materials suitable for high heat appliances.

The Shape of the Equipment

In my opinion, the vertical-style equipment models tend to be much easier to get airflow/temperature control.  Horizontal units also referred to as off-set smokers and grills, specifically the inexpensive models, tend to have poor design in the vent placements as well as poor insulation that results in heavy leakage.

If you insist on purchasing a horizontal unit, read reviews and ask questions about how the unit is insulated.  Get specific with the materials used, quality of the metal parts, etc.

Other Tips

Always try to light your initial fuel product, whether briquets, lump hardwood charcoal, or charcoal in a chimney starter so you can control the quantity with every cook.  Use the chimney to add hot coals to the unit when you need to increase temperature.  Although you can have unlit charcoal in your charcoal area so it will ignite as the lit produce makes contact, this isn’t always a guarantee that you won’t produce some temperature variance.  The best chance of getting the temperature regulated is by adding hot coals as needed, even if this may be every hour or so.

 

To summarize, learn to control temperature by using the same quantity and type of material for the fuel, lit it with a chimney starter, only add hot coals to increase the temperature, and always have the exhaust vent open at least ½ way when cooking.  Remember the number one thing is Temperature control is all in the air flow and you will have tasty grilling results!

SmokinLicious® Products Used in this Blog:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

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

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Related reading:

-WHY IS MY BARBECUE MEAT DRY??

-THE WATER PAN EXPLAINED FOR GRILLING & SMOKING

-WHY WON’T MY WOOD CHIPS SMOKE??

-WHY CHAR-WOOD IS THE BETTER OPTION OVER CHARCOAL

Dr. Smoke for best results in your grilling and smoking enjoyment follow temperature is in the air flow principles and enjoy great results!

Dr. Smoke for best results in your grilling and smoking enjoyment follow temperature control is all in the air flow principles and enjoy great results!

 

Fresh Fava Beans with Butter ready to become Grilled Fava Bean with a smoky flare!

Fresh Fava Beans with Butter ready to become Grilled Fava Bean with a smoky flare!

ODE TO THE GRILLED FAVA BEAN

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I love when the ideal weather comes around when at the same time there are so many options for fresh produce either at the Farmer’s Market or local grocery store.  I tend to lean toward my grill and smoker for most of my cooking when the weather turns hot and steamy.

Beans are one of those vegetables that are spectacular on the grill but they get even better when you add a few wood chunks.  I’ll show you how to prepare Fava Beans for the grill and give you my easy, fool-proof technique for incorporating wood chunks for flavor.

Grill Set Up

Before preparing the Fava beans, get the gas grill heated by turning on only half the grills’ burners which will be the side that radiates out the heat and holds the smoker box.  For the smoker box, I’m using a stainless-steel model that has a hinged lid.  I place 3 double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious® in the box in a combination of woods.   I’m using hickory, white oak and sugar maple to give me a great smoke balance to the beans.  This will ensure I don’t overpower with the smoke vapor.  By placing the smoker box with chunks on the grill grate as it preheats, it will be smoking by the time you have the beans ready.

 Simple Bean Prep

There is little to do with the Fava beans before they go on the grill.  Wash them to start to make sure all the dirt and debris is removed.  Pat dry with a paper towel and then move them to the cutting board.  Remove any leaves and cut just the stem end to remove the stem.  Place in a disposable foil pan, spread out evenly, and add roughly 6 tablespoons of butter to the beans, as well as salt and fresh ground pepper.  That’s it.  Leave the bean pods intact as they are going to act like a miniature steamer to cook the beans and ensure they don’t become over smoked.

The Grill Act

With the grill heated and the wood chunks smoking in the smoker box, place the pan of beans on the unlit side of the grill and close the cover.  Check that your grill temperature steadies out at about 375°F.  If lower, simply increase the heat setting on the active burners.  Too high, decrease the heat setting.  Leave the beans untouched for about 30 minutes.  Return to the grill, stir the beans and check the wood chunks.  If the chunks are still emitting smoke, close the grill lid and leave for an additional 10 minutes or so, or until fork tender.  Remove the pan from the grill and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Buttery, Smoky Finish

finished Fava beans with the smoky appearance to the outside podsAfter the beans have cooled enough to be handled, take each pod and push the beans out one end into a bowl.  You may keep the empty pods to use for making broth or for puree in a sauce or smoothie.  These Fava beans are now ready for you to enjoy as is or use in your favorite recipe.   Now, I’m taking my Fava beans and making a dip with goat cheese, lemon and tarragon.

 

 

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

-WOOD GRILLING AVOCADO

-INFUSING WOOD SMOKE INTO BRUSSELS SPROUTS

You Can take your fresh Fava Beans and put them on the Grill with wood chunks to do a "Grilled Fava Beans" for your favorite dip or condiment!

You Can take your fresh Fava Beans and put them on the Grill with wood chunks to do a “Grilled Fava Bean” for your favorite dip or condiment!

TOP 10 TIPS FOR GRILLING SAFETY

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We all love the time of year when we can abandon the indoor kitchen and head out to the grill for open air breathing, relaxing, and some great food.  For those of you who are new to outdoor grilling or who may need a refresher, we are giving you our top TIPS FOR GRILLING SAFETY so there’s no chance your summer grilling season is remembered for another reason.

Tip #1

You probably wondered why about 15 years ago, outdoor kitchens became all the rage.  The real purpose in having an area designated for outdoor cooking took hold when people realized these structures were highly durable and allowed for measures to be in place to ensure rogue hot coals from charcoal fires or excessive heat from gas grills didn’t ignite the surrounding structures like the house and garage.  If you can’t afford a full outdoor kitchen layout, at least follow some of the basic ideas: set the cooking area a distance away from any building and preferably on a fire-proof surface like concrete, that is safely away from trees and grass.

Tip #2

Keep your grill clean.  Whether it’s propane, natural gas, electric or charcoal, all grills need periodic cleaning to keep them performing optimally as well as to prevent those surprise grease fires.  Any grill can have a grease fire!  Clean the drip pan, grease pan, lid, walls and grilling grates.  In addition to the safety need, this will give you the longest life out of the grills parts.   If you grill a lot in a single season, then clean the equipment more than just at the start and end of the season.

Tip #3

Don’t use lighter fluid.   This is a chemical designed to give quick life to briquets, charcoal, and wood.  Don’t use it!  It adds a prominent chemical taste to your foods and can result in a fire that goes wild.  Learn what a chimney starter is, buy one, and use it.  It is the safest and easiest method of lighting a fire for a charcoal/wood grill.

Tip #4

Take note of the clothing you choose to wear when you know you’re going to be in control of the grill.  No dangling sleeves, strings, or flammable materials should be near the grill.  Aprons are a great way to keep clean as well as to keep flowing clothing under control.   Just be sure the ties to said apron don’t become a fire starter.

Tip #5

Outdoor cooking is an adult activity.  Don’t assign a youngster to watch the grill.  Grease fires account for most of the damaging fires resulting from grilling.  Plus, it is so easy for youngsters to receive burns from brushing or directly touching the hot grill surfaces.   Animals, too, should be kept away.

Tip #6

Always prepare for catastrophic events!  That means keep a fire extinguisher handy, sand, or baking soda at the ready.  Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water.  Remember, when using a fire extinguisher, spray ahead of the fire and then move toward it.

Tip #7

Understand how your grill works.  With multi-fuel options in one piece of equipment, you need to know how to close vents, valves to gas, and output drafts.  Firing up the grill and having something uncontrollable occur is not the time to learn what those knobs, slides, and dials are for.

Tip #8

If nuts, bolts, or screws loosen up, take the time to secure them back in place, especially if they are on lids, wheels, or fuel areas.  Grills need to be sturdy to withstand the constant opening and closing of the lid.   Protect the surface the grill is on by investing in a grill mat that is fire retardant.  Not only can it prevent the start of a fire, but it will protect your deck or patio material from needing replacement.

Tip #9

When lighting a gas grill, be sure to keep the lid open.  Lighting when the lid is down can result in the gas pooling and exploding.  This will result in the lid becoming a weapon of its own when it is blown off the grill!

Tip #10

Never move a grill indoors including to a garage!  I know.  Space is always an issue when you entertain and a grill can take a lot of that valuable space.  But there is no way around the fact that these pieces of equipment require outdoor air to prevent accumulation of volatile gases that can make you and everyone around ill or worse.  Plus, these units radiate a lot of heat and that heat can spread quickly to other surfaces like the garage door, walls, siding, canopies, lawn chairs – you name it.  Always maintain a 3- foot barrier around the grill including above it to ensure no issues.

Have you experienced a disaster while grilling?  Tell us what safety tip you wish you had known about before disaster struck.  Get tips, techniques, recipes, and the science behind the flame and fire to improve your skills with wood-fired cooking! Follow our TIPS FOR GRILLING SAFETY for a wonderful safe grilling season!

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

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

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

 

The top Ten TIPS FOR GRILLING SAFETY we hope will make your grilling season safe and tasteful!

The top Ten TIPS FOR GRILLING SAFETY we hope will make your grilling season safe and tasteful!

Outdoor kitchen location tips

Wonderful article on Outdoor kitchen location tips

Wonderful article on Outdoor kitchen location tips

Guest Blog – Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor Kitchen Location Tips

by Phil Zaleon

When you are going through the steps of installing an outdoor kitchen, you’ll quickly find that deciding where to set it up is one of the most difficult and impactful decisions of the process. Since you have multiple options, it can be hard to figure out exactly where to put it. We’ve come up with a list of things to consider to help you decide!

Be Conscious of Sun and Shade

Summer is prime time for outdoor kitchen use. So, when planning your outdoor kitchen, bank on warm temperatures and lots of sun, and take reactive measures. Placing your outdoor kitchen under existing shade, or planning to add new sources of shade will provide you and your guest’s comfort year-round.

Natural shade from trees and vines is best because they ventilate easily. As an added bonus vines and trees “transpire,” evaporate moisture to cool themselves, creating their own natural misting system.

There are plenty of man-made shade options as well, such as pergolas, or trellises. The growing popularity of transition rooms provides an even more permanent and durable option for your outdoor kitchen.

Leverage Your Natural Space

Do you have a pool or hot tub in your yard? A beautiful garden? When choosing where to add your outdoor kitchen, take note of any existing structures or features that you want to complement. Also be wary of design overlap. The last thing you want is for your outdoor kitchen covering to inadvertently shade your vegetable garden.

In addition, when planning the placement of your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to consider the relationship between the indoor and outdoor versions, and how they will be used together when cooking or entertaining. If you have a large outdoor space to work with, it may prove prudent to place your outdoor kitchen in closer proximity to your indoor kitchen to create a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors.

Consider the View

Another crucial element to consider when you’re placing your outdoor kitchen is your views and sight lines. You can have the most beautiful outdoor kitchen in the world, but when your guests sit down to eat at the table, if they’re facing a brick wall or the old shed in your backyard, that’s what they’re going to remember. So, be sure to consider the view when you’re trying to find the perfect location for your stainless steel outdoor kitchen.

Another key consideration is the location that will provide the most privacy from neighbors. Screening views with trees and shrubbery will provide privacy while also providing a noise buffer for your close neighbors.

Don’t Forget Utilities

When planning your outdoor kitchen layouts, keep in mind the best practical placement or installation of the necessary gas, water, and electrical supply. Note where your water, gas and electric lines are, and design your kitchen accordingly.

Furthermore, when placing your grill or smoker, think about the natural flow of wind – make sure that smoke from the grill will be carried away from dining and living areas. You should also think about making sure the kitchen area is located a safe distance from doors and entryways to keep foot traffic away from potential hazards.

Additionally, make sure to place all outdoor cooking appliances away from areas where children play or where people play sports. You’ll want to avoid basketballs or soccer balls bouncing over onto a hot grill.

Don’t Shy Away From the Roof

When one thinks “outdoor kitchen,” the tendency is to think of backyards – but that doesn’t have to always be the case. Especially if you have a small or nonexistent lawn space, building your stainless outdoor kitchen on the roof can prove a very viable design option.

If you are choosing this option though, pay special attention to restrictions and codes. They vary by municipality, so check with your town’s building department to find out rules about setbacks, fire safety, and what kind of permits you’ll need to file. We recommend working with a general contractor so you are up to code and all safety requirements are included.

Fit Your Needs

The right spot to place an outdoor kitchen will vary from homeowner to homeowner. You may like the idea of an outdoor cooking area just outside the back door of your house or a freestanding pavilion near your pool area.

At the end of the day, there’s no one “right” spot for your outdoor kitchen. But by using these outdoor kitchen location tips, you’ll ensure you make an excellent choice.

Are you ready to build your dream luxury outdoor kitchen?

 

Call Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens on 203-871-3804 today to get started!

Related Reading:

-Electric Smoker Guy-HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST ELECTRIC SMOKER

-Does Outdoor Kitchen Stainless Steel Rust

Dr. Smoke- things you should consider on Outdoor kitchen location tips

Dr. Smoke- things you should consider on Outdoor kitchen location tips

Our Char-wood is produced by Direct firing our North American hardwood blocks until the right amount of Carbonization is achieved!

Our Char-wood is produced by Direct firing our North American hardwood blocks until the right amount of Carbonization is achieved!

WHY CHAR-WOOD IS THE BETTER OPTION OVER CHARCOAL

SUMMARY:

Binchotan charcoal is made from the Japanese direct fire method of making charcoal with Kiln! Japanese charcoal making has been around for centuries and burns longer than lump hardwood charcoal! We have replicated their process and make our Char-wood from our North American hardwood blocks! Carbonization is key to Char!

Listen to the audio of this blog

Frankly, the term “charwood” may be a new one for you.  Although its function is like charcoal, the benefits clearly outweigh those of charcoal.  Let’s examine the key reasons why charwood may be the better option for outdoor cooking over standard charcoal.

Carbonization

Hopefully, if you’ve been engaging in outdoor grilling and/or smoking for some time. You’ve understood the need for a fuel material that burns evenly and hot.  You’ve likely also heard the controversy that’s brewed for years about what is the best product to use for the fuel.  Products range from briquets, lump hardwood charcoal, specialty wood charcoal, and compressed woods like pellets and compressed wood blocks.  The key is to understand that some of these products could contain binding agents as well as accelerants to make for easy lighting.

Carbonization is the conversion of an organic matter into carbon.  Carbon is an element that forms when the organic matter is heated to a high level without oxygen, burning off the volatile gases, leaving the pure carbon behind.   Although commercial material production, whether briquet, hardwood charcoal, or standard charcoal have different percentages of carbonization in the outcome, most are above 90%.  That high level of carbonization is what allows for heat to be produced for outdoor cooking.

Flavor

When you use straight charcoal briquets, you are getting heat only with no flavor as that is a fully carbonized or charred product.  Many prefer to use briquets because they are uniform in size and give the same outcome every time they are used.  Fill a chimney starter with briquets, and you’ll have the same number of briquets fit in the chimney every time.

When you use lump hardwood charcoal, you will get variation in sizing from small, chip-like pieces to half-log size pieces.  Here’s information you need to know.  Although the label may read “hardwood”, there is no information on where that hardwood derived from.  Often, manufacturers of lump hardwood charcoal produce their product from recycled materials such as old pallets, lumber scraps from flooring, cabinet, and furniture makers.  They may take in scraps from lumber mills.  When this material is carbonized, it will do so at various levels due to the variation in material sizing.

That means when you cook with it or for that matter when you lite it, expect great variation from use to use due to all the inconsistency in sizing.  The inconsistency will produce a lower percentage of carbonized material than briquets.  So know you may get some minimal flavor from lump hardwood due to poorly carbonized larger pieces of product.  This is the reason there is more ash production with lump hardwood charcoals.

Specialty charcoals, generally made in other countries, are a particularly hard substance, light in weight product, that can be a challenge to lite.  Once they are ignited, however, they produce a lot of heat – often more than the standard briquet.  Very little ash is produced and there is no flavor from this product.

Benefits of SmokinLicious® Charwood

When SmokinLicious® made the decision to manufacture a charwood product, we researched extensively why the Japanese binchotan charcoal, also called white charcoal, was so popular and expensive.  We found that though it could be a challenge to lite, it burned extremely hot, clean, leaving little to no ash, produced no smoke and no flavor.  We produced a similar set up to the Japanese direct-fire method with our charwood production.  Instead of using miniature branches, we use consistently sized wood blocks.  Unlike the binchotan, we do not do a complete carbonization.  The result is you get the ease of lighting like a lump hardwood charcoal, the flavor of premium hardwood.  Plus, the reduced ash production of a briquet, and reduced smoke output than burning wood alone.  We see this as the best of all the options out there.

Now, instead of viewing your charcoal as just a heat generator, when you use SmokinLicious® charwood you have one product that can be used as fuel for temperature while the reduced carbonized center portion produces the flavor.  A premium product that gives premium results!

Purchase products:

Charwood

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-WHY CHARCOAL IS NOT AN INGREDIENT

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON

 

Dr. Smoke- Your will love using our Charwood!

Dr. Smoke- Your will love using our Char-wood!

"You are what you eatII" saying is more true today than it was years ago!

“You are what you eatII” saying is truer today than it was years ago!

‘YOU ARE WHAT YOU EATII’ APPLIES TO WOOD COOKING

Summary of You Are What you EatII

Healthy eating recipes, eat smart with Bark free cooking wood, cooking wood as a food ingredient is a clean eating basic. Responsibly sourced wood and only using heartwood Hardwoods avoids what woods are toxic to humans. Please remember you are what you eatII when it comes to smoke flavor in food and your sourced wood.

We’ve all heard it, likely from our mothers.  You are what you eat.  If you truly understand the meaning of the statement, you know that we extract necessary nutrients from the foods we ingest to energize and stabilize our bodies.  The nutritional content of what we eat determines the composition of our cell membranes, bone marrow, blood, and hormones.  Every day we lose cells which is why the foods we consume are so vital to our body’s health.

Like Any Other Food Choice

If you’ve been a follower of my writings then you are aware of the stress I put on recognizing the wood used to cook foods is just as important an ingredient as the cut of meat, choice of spices, quality of oil, etc.  There has been a lot of focus on the origin of food and how important it is to source locally both as a means of supporting local business and to control what you’re putting in your body.  From our perspective, you want to know that the wood used for cooking is sourced close to the growing area.   This ensures that there is knowledge about how the wood is processed before it gets to you and it assures the freshest product.

Minimal Processing

Just as with the clean food concept which focuses on minimally processed foods and as direct from nature as possible, SmokinLicious® holds to the same approach.  Sourcing wood from forest regions (direct from nature) that are in close proximity to our manufacturing facility, provides us with the unique advantage to process into the various cooking products the hardwoods harvested that meet our strict criteria: 100% bark-free (we don’t allow any bark-on product to cross our threshold), 100% heartwood (no outer cores of the tree cross our threshold), harvested hardwood that is less than 6 months of age (ensures this is still a “green” product), chemical-free (no pesticide or growth enhancement techniques employed), and in raw state to allow us to process it into a suitable cooking wood size.

The Risks

If you love foods that are cooked with wood, then you should know a few specifics to keep you on the path to health and long life.

Hardwoods only!

  • Softwoods or coniferous woods should never be used for cooking as they have elevated sap levels and more air in their cell structure. This causes them to burn fast, produce lots of sparks, and unpleasant flavors that are not ideal for flavoring foods. These include pine, redwood, cedar, fir, spruce, hemlock, larch, cypress.

Toxicity Risks:

  • There are many known toxicities in certain species of wood with softwoods containing the highest risk. Other woods have the potential to cause sickness and in some cases death if a person’s system is already compromised. Most of the risks are associated with the cooking process rather than the ingestion of the actual wood-fired food. But know that if a balance of the wood-tar creosote is not found, then the ingestible risks of the food heighten.  One of the best means of obtaining a balance is by starting with hardwoods that are considered safe for cooking, are clean, are bark-free, and derive from the inner cores rather than outer of the wood, where more impurities lurk.

Cooking Technique Influence Risk:

  • At some point, I’m sure you’ve read about heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These are the chemicals that form when meats, poultry, and fish are cooked using higher temperature methods like grilling. Why does this pose a health risk?  Because these chemicals cause changes in DNA and when you change DNA and they are metabolized by specific enzymes in the body, you can increase the risk of cancer associated with these compounds.  There is no definitive link between HCA and PAH exposure from cooked meats and cancer in humans.  There is no way to differentiate between other exposures to the chemicals from the food exposure.

HCAs are found to only be associated with meat cooked at high temperatures. While PAHs can be found in other smoked foods.  Remember, PAHs are also in cigarette smoke and fumes from car exhaust.  A recommendation is to remove any charred portions of meat, continuously turning meat over the high heat source, and avoiding direct exposure of meat to the open flame to reduce exposure.  Here’s a tip that can also reduce the risk of forming HCAs – marinate your foods for at least 10 minutes.

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:

-Food & Smokehouse Processing Double Standard?

-TO BARK OR NOT

-COOKING WITH WOOD YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT YOUR SAFETY

-HOT TREND MAY NOT BE THE SAFEST BET

Dr Smoke-As we promote a healthy diet enjoying different foods please remember "you are what you eat" !

Dr. Smoke- As we promote a healthy diet enjoying different foods please remember “you are what you eatII” !

We do a summer favorite WOOD FIRED GRILLED WATERMELON!

We do a summer favorite WOOD FIRED GRILLED WATERMELON!

WOOD FIRED GRILLED WATERMELON BECOMES A STAR

Summary:

Learn how to do wood fired Grilled Watermelon by using your gas grilling techniques, charcoal grilling techniques, wood grilling delicate fruits and other gas grilling tips and tricks. Wood flavors add to grilled watermelon taste for a spicy grilled watermelon desserts. Add to your grilled watermelon recipes!

Listen to the audio of this blog

You may have seen segments on grilling watermelon before which show slices of watermelon on a standard gas grill.  Although I agree that the heat generated from the grill will produce a sweet outcome, there is no comparison to doing a grilling technique that incorporates wood for added flavor.

In this segment, I’ll show you how to grill watermelon on a grill of your choice with wood chunks for the unique combination of sweet and char flavors that only comes from grilling with wood.

Easy Prep

I think this is by far, the easiest preparation for the grill.  All you need is a watermelon of your choosing and a grill; gas, electric or charcoal.  Just 2-3 wood chunks from SmokinLicious® and about 20 minutes once you have a lit grill, and this method of bringing flavor to the standard watermelon will be complete.

As watermelon contains a lot of water, it is essential that you work with a medium heat setting on your gas grill and hot coals with a moderate flame for the charcoal grill.  If using a gas grill, be sure to set up the wood chunks on just one side of the grill and allow the chunks to smolder first so there is plenty of smoke vapor.  Since watermelon grills in no time at all, you want to have enough smoke vapor produced to give a great tasty outcome for both a gas grill or charcoal grill method.  Electric smokers are self-contained allowing for simple dialing in about 15 minutes worth of smoking time.

our slices ready to be wood fired!

For the watermelon, cut lengthwise in half and cut each half into individual slices about 1-1/2 to 2” thick.  Or, you can remove all the rind and grill just the watermelon meat.  Keep fire safe tongs at the ready so you can turn the watermelon slices just once as they evaporate some water and sweeten up.  DO NOT leave the grill!  This fruit requires a careful watch so stay put and you’ll have every piece cooked to perfection.

So Many Uses

You’ll see how the watermelon darkens in color, get bits of char coloring to the skin, and is less water soluble.  That’s the perfect outcome.  Now it’s time to think about how to use your wood flavored melon.

Our finished wood fired grilled watermelon

First, you can enjoy it as is.  When I serve this naked, I just give one additional flavor such as fresh, chopped mint.   But if you’re looking for a lunch or lite dinner entrée, think salad by including some baby arugula, goat cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  For a spicy version, sprinkle the wedges with red pepper flakes, a bit of granulated sugar, and lime zest.  Wood fired watermelon also works great with other summer favorites like grape and cherry tomato, pepper slices, sugar snow peas, and cucumber.  No matter how you choose to serve it, grilled watermelon with wood flavoring is going to top your list of grilled favorites.

 

 

Proving that there’s more to wood-fired cooking than just animal proteins, SmokinLicious® brings you great ideas for recipes featuring a wood-fired ingredient.  Bringing you tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-PEACHES WOOD FIRED FOR A SMOKY FLAVORFUL GAZPACHO

-Smoked Snow Peas With Cucumber Salad

 

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke- Wood fired grilled watermelon is my favorite summertime dessert!

 

This bucolic photo can be yours if you follow our 6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON

Follow our 6 tips for a healthy outdoor cooking season in 2018!

6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON

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Everyone seems to be so much happier during the seasons that allow for outdoor cooking and entertaining.  Whether it’s a planned cooking event or spur of the moment decision, these cooking events turn into an opportunity to relax, kick back and truly enjoy life.

There are steps you should take to ensure that the foods you enjoy outdoors remain safe.  What follows are the top tips for making this your best outdoor cooking season ever, no matter what you elect to cook.

Tip #1

There are times when you want to marinate meats and poultry before cooking on your grill or smoker.  Know that foods will only remain safe if you marinate in the refrigerator in a covered container, not with the marinated foods laying out on the kitchen counter.  Also, if you plan to incorporate some of the marinades into a sauce, be sure to reserve some before it is applied to the raw foods.  If there is marinade leftover from the raw food marination, be sure you boil it before using as anything that has contact with the raw food can carry bacteria.

Tip #2

You can grill a variety of foods on the same equipment but to know when everything is cooked, you will need to have thermometers.  It’s best to use a different thermometer, marked by color, for each type of food: beef, pork, chicken, fish.  The thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the meat or poultry to get an accurate internal temperature reading.  Here is a guide on temperatures:

  • Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145°F/62°C
  • Ground meats & sausage: 160°F/71°C
  • Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165°F/74°C
  • Hot dogs: Cook until steaming hot

Remember, thicker cut meats and poultry will need to be placed closer to the fire or heat.  Utilize the upper grill grate for those items that are more fragile like thinner fillets of fish, vegetables, fruit, or for heating sauces.

Tip #3

You cannot partially cook meats and poultry by parboiling or microwaving and then placing in the refrigerator for grilling the next day.  Although you may think this will lessen the cooking time on the grill, what you’re doing is introducing the potential for everyone to become sick.  The reason?  Partial cooking does not eliminate all bacteria growth.  The reality is, you would be allowing bacteria to continue to grow.

Tip #4

Take the time to properly clean your grill or smoker at the start of the outdoor cooking season.  It’s common to close vents on the grill or smoker when you cover it up for the winter season but these aides in stimulating mold growth on the grill grate and/or inside cover and walls.  For that reason, it’s important to scrub down the interior of the grill or smoker using a cleaning mixture; 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water or a bleach to water blend if you’re not opposed to the more toxic bleach.

Tip #5

Be sure you start with a hot grill or to cooking temperature smoker.  That means, preheat.  Preheat your grill 15 to 25 minutes before you start cooking to make sure it reaches the right temperature to ensure all bacteria is killed.   Your grill should be 400-450°F for high, 350-400°F for medium-high, 300-350°F for medium and 250-300°F for low heat.   By having a properly heated grill, you will guarantee a moist outcome for your meat and poultry.

Tip #6

There are many of us we prefer a good charcoal grill versus gas.  It is important that you understand that there are many more influencers to altering the flavor of what you’re cooking when you cook over charcoal.  Be sure to use an additive-free lump charcoal, which is charred wood.  Conventional briquettes, which are easy to find, may contain wood scraps and sawdust as well as coal dust, sodium nitrate, borax and additives like paraffin or lighter fluid. As for lighter fluid, NO!  Lighter fluid can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, leave an unpleasant flavor to foods, and pose a serious danger if used improperly.  Skip it altogether.

Without question, our 6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON should help you on your way to a healthy, memorable outdoor cooking season.  Likely, the best ever!

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:

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

-HOW TO TURN YOUR CHARCOAL GRILL INTO A SMOKER

-THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU COULD SMOKE

-WHAT WOOD TO USE FOR SMOKING: A PRIMER

Dr Smoke 6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON

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Our coals showing their hot embers and ready for direct ember coal cooking!

Our coals showing their hot embers and ready for direct ember coal cooking!

THAT EMBER GLOW DIRECT EMBER COAL COOKING!

So what exactly is an ember and why is it suddenly gaining attention as a method of cooking?  Well, first, it’s most certainly not a new cooking concept.  Cooking over a fire and hot coals have been around for thousands of years.  Recently, some Chefs and well-known restaurants have taken to returning to this method of cooking because they know where great flavor can come from and they know how to manage the heat from hot coals.

An ember is a glowing, hot coal made of greatly heated wood, coal or other carbon-based material that remain after a fire.  The heat radiated from hot embers can be as hot as the fire which created them.  You can see this first hand, by placing new wood pieces on hot embers and watching a full fire develop.  An ember is usually formed when a fire has only partially burnt a piece of fuel and there is still usable chemical energy in that piece of fuel.  It continues to stay hot and does not lose its thermal energy quickly because combustion is still happening at a low level. The small yellow, orange, and red lights are often seen among the embers are actually combustions. There just is not enough combustion happening at one time to create a flame.   Once the embers are completely ‘burned through’, they are not carbon as is commonly believed (carbon burns, and is not normally left behind), but rather various other oxidized minerals like calcium and phosphorus. At that point, they are commonly called ashes.  But why cook on the embers versus over a live fire?  Because embers radiate a more constant form of heat, as opposed to an open fire which is constantly changing along with the heat it radiates (think water trapped within the wood and you’ll understand why there is heat fluctuation).

Ember cooking techniques include placing thickly skinned food items directly into the embers (i.e. garlic, onion, peppers, eggplant, steaks, etc.), placing a cast iron skillet into the embers that can hold any food items from vegetables, meats, poultry, fish – really anything.  The results produced from this method are super moist, super flavorful, and the aromas are exceptional.

Peppers being cooked over embers

Sweet Peppers over direct ember coals cooking

Dr. Smoke- You don't need a flashy grill, a simple fireplace with enough room, just like Asado, you can do your direct ember coal cooking

Dr. Smoke- You don’t need a flashy grill, a simple fireplace with enough room, just like Asado, you can do your direct ember coal cooking

Be sure to follow us on Instagram (Smokinhow-to-download-instagram-video_thumb800licious) and Twitter (@DrSmokeSmokin) as we highlight some of our ember cooking techniques, especially as we enter Farmers Market season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our old Hibachi Grill after the spring cleaning

Our Old Hibachi Grill after the spring cleaning

DOING THE HIBACHI GRILL WAY!

Everyone starts their grilling career on this convenient, inexpensive, small piece of equipment.  But do we do it correctly?  Let’s review the basics.

First, this is for grilling over an open fire; it needs high heat to cook.  It has a low (height) fire pan and generally no hood or lid.  Great high heat cooker/grill – not a smoker.

Lesson #1: plan what you cook properly!

Now, let’s review how to set up the fire. The region that gave the hibachi its popularity is the Far East which has access to a type of charcoal called “bichiton”.  This is a very dense, heavy charcoal made from oak that is direct fired to a high carbonization level.  This charcoal produces an extremely high heat; 3-4 times the heat level of an American charcoal!

Can’t locate “bichiton” charcoal or don’t want the expense if you find it?  Well, you can use SmokinLious® products to get close to the results.  Let’s begin with charcoal – North America produces lump charcoal pieces that are too large for the small Hibachi. So take 2-3 pieces(depending on size), put them in a small paper bag (lunch bag size) and press with your hands to break them into smaller “thumb” size pieces (or you can use a meat mallet).  Then pour into the firebox.   If the firebox is not full –repeat until you fill it.  If you don’t have a small torch available, put some paper under the charcoal, then ignite.  Or, you can place the original charcoal pieces in small paper bags, then break the pieces apart, and place the bag in the firebox for lighting.

Once the charcoal burns down (gray in color), start adding Grande Sapore® wood chips as this will provide for immediate heat and eventually, some flavoring to the food.  Once the charcoal/chip combo’s flames settle down, you can begin cooking!  Remember, hibachis are traditionally used for thin meats so adjust your cook time to what you’re cooking.

What I like about hibachi cooking is the ease of adding more wood chips when more fuel is needed!

Once you master the fire set up, you will enjoy some wonderful food and some really fun cooking the Hibachi way.  Think Korean BBQ!  Yum!

 

Bon-Bar-B-Q! (be sure to check our Pinterest feature on the Hibachi cleaning before you discard one that is rusty!)

Dr. Smoke- I love the Hibachi Grill for not just direct grilling, but as a side grill for ember roasting vegetables.

Dr. Smoke- I love the Hibachi Grill for not just direct grilling, but as a side grill for ember roasting vegetables.

 

 

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