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Food Do you grill, bbq, smoke?

Discussion in 'Tilted Food' started by Borla, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    I absolutely love to grill. The last several years I've really become more serious about it. For most of the year I grill out probably 2+ times per week, including all winter long. For most of the last 2 years I've used a Chargriller like this:

    [​IMG]

    It was cheap, and I could use the main part for a grill, or if I wanted I could use the sidebox for the fire and slow cook/smoke stuff.

    Finally, earlier this summer I invested in something a little more serious:

    [​IMG]

    It's called a Big Green Egg. It is ceramic (the thing weighs over 200lbs, it was way heavy to carry into my backyard by myself!), and is super efficient. I've smoked things on it for 20 hours in a row without having to replenish charcoal or wood. I absolutely love it, and would highly recommend it for someone who is serious about grilling.

    As I get time I'll post some threads with recipes (and pics when possible) of things I'm making or have made on it. My favorite is steaks, but I've done everything from whole chickens to briskets to ribs to shrimp to whole pizzas. :)

    Do you grill, bbq, smoke, or otherwise cook outside over some sort of fire? :p Pics of your setup? Favorites?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Ice|Burn

    Ice|Burn Getting Tilted

    I really want to get into smoking. Some of the smoked meats I've had were simply awesome. I of course have no clue where to start though.

    However I do a lot of grilling year round. I use charcoal for hamburgers and gas for things like tri-tip and chicken.
     
  3. Willravel

    Willravel Getting Tilted

    My god, that chargriller is glorious! I might have to look into getting one of those.

    I have a classic Weber circa the 1960s. It has the older, thicker grate that's better at holding heat for searing. I use it maybe once every 2-3 weeks on average per year, with most of it happening in the Summer. I'm a big fan of utilizing the full features of a grill to cook as much as I can. For example, a few weeks ago, I grilled hamburgers, corn on the cob, red onions, Italian sausages, and then did a bit of smoking at the end. I got 70/30 chuck and had it ground there at the store for me, I got home and made gigantic patties and coated one side with plenty of kosher salt to make that crispy layer. I sliced up the red onions and coated them in olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. I used provolone, because I think it goes well with the strong but sweet red onion flavor. Twas a good meal.

    I'm thinking about experimenting with making my own charcoal instead of just buying it, but apparently I need a big metal drum for that. Does anyone here make their own charcoal? What kind of wood do you use? I've heard pine burns fairly clean and consistently.
     
  4. uncle phil

    uncle phil Moderator Emeritus (and sorely missed) Staff Member

    Location:
    pasco county
    charcoal - as often as i can (at least four times a week) - love my webers (i have smoky joe and the medium size...)
     
  5. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    I learned most of what I know by researching online, then trial and error. I'd recommend someone start with a cheap smoker (the one I posted first isn't a bad starter) to be sure you really like doing it before you invest in a higher end smoker. It's an investment to smoke sometimes because of the amount of time many things take to finish (a brisket or big pork shoulder can be a 14-20 hour smoke), but I love doing it.

    The Chargriller was a good starter. Once you get serious it has a few flaws when it comes to smoking. The walls are thin, so it doesn't hold in heat well, and the lid and vents aren't air tight at all. That means you have to monitor the fire a lot closer than you would a better insulated unit. I basically would have to check on it every 15 mins at most when smoking. With my Big Green Egg I can set it and forget it for 6-7 hours and the temp will barely budge, no matter what the weather outside is.

    As far as charcoal, I use lump charcoal, not briquettes. I like it a LOT more (and I have to use it with the BGE). I've never made my own, but I wouldn't think you'd want it to be pine. Pine has too much resin and sap and will leave a bitter taste in the food. You'd want to use hardwoods like oak, mesquite, or hickory. When I'm doing pork or poultry I also will throw in a few presoaked chunks of cherry. I use cherry because I have a neighbor who has a ton of it and shares it, so it's available. But any fruit tree will do. If you are smoking something, make sure you add the fruit wood at the beginning, because that's when it'll have the biggest effect on the flavor profile. Once you get past the first couple of hours it's not going to do much for you that normal hardwood does.
     
  6. SuburbanZombie

    SuburbanZombie Housebroken

    Location:
    Northeast
    I've been using the propane grill a lot this year. Not out of any great love of outdoor cooking (which I do enjoy) but simply because it's too hot to turn the oven on.
    I do prefer using the charcoal grill, but it's time consuming.
     
  7. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pav├ęs, la plage Donor

    Location:
    Temasek
    I used to own a grill in Toronto but have been living in a condo for the past few years. I just moved into a place with an actual backyard and bought myself a grill. I have already started to dream of the things I am going to cook on it.

    This weekend is satay. I am keeping it simple as there are still too many moving in projects to do, so I don't have the time to babysit the smoked ribs I want to do next weekend.
     
  8. Zen

    Zen Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    London
    Borla, there needs to be a 'green with envy' button. Magnificent grillers, but what blew my head off was that exquisite work-slab and the wheeled wooden trolley for it. I'm drooling :)
     
  9. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    The table I got with the Big Green Egg as part of the package. I shopped all around, then went to a local small business owner who was a dealer. I told him that I'd rather buy from a small local business, but I needed him to be competitive. He asked for a few minutes to go in the office and review his costs and get back to me. He came back with a great offer that included the table that I couldn't pass up. I basically got about $800 off of list price for the grill, table, and accessories, plus the 5% cash back my Chase card was offering.

    The granite I got because a friend of a friend does granite and had a remnant left that fit my table almost perfectly. He gave me a killer deal on it and I couldn't pass it up. :)
     
  10. Have heard great things about the Green Egg. Maybe someday. Have a built in gas grill on the patio connected to the house's natural gas supply and a Webber kettle sitting next to it. Fall is coming, great time to pop a pork roast in the Webber. That is sooooooo good. The gas grill is wonderful for quick grilling: burgers, brats or steaks and I never have to worry about running out of propane.
     
  11. Rekna New Member

    Yes to all of them. I also brew my own beer....

    I hear the egg is phenomenal but I can't justify the price just yet. Plus I don't have the space for this plus a gas grill. I've also heard the primo is good.
     
  12. raptor9k

    raptor9k Vertical

    I have a Chargiller duo but the gas side is falling apart because of the terrible design of the drainage system. I'm looking to separate the two and go for a nice stainless gas grill and stand alone smoker. I'm actually considering turning the firebox on my chargriller into the body of a blacksmith forge.
     
  13. Fremen

    Fremen Allright, who stole my mustache? Donor

    Location:
    E. Texas
    Right now I have a cheap charcoal grill that I bought at Walmart. It's pretty decent about grilling burgers and brats, but it's getting to be rusty.
    I'm thinking about buying a Weber Performer Grill.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PZ6W3M/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER
    It has a butane starter in it that lets you start the charcoal faster than a chimney.
    Plus I like the built in table. I can also buy some cast iron grates that fit perfectly, for the heat retention.

    That's a sweet set-up, Borla.
     
  14. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    For years I thought the BGE was overhyped and couldn't be that great. I was dragged kicking and screaming into belief. Now I am kicking myself for not getting one sooner.

    My buddy has a duo and his gas side is giving him fits too. He has to keep pulling it apart and cleaning it up to get good flow to the burners.

    Thanks:cool:
     
  15. Fremen

    Fremen Allright, who stole my mustache? Donor

    Location:
    E. Texas
    Btw, I forgot to ask, does anyone know how to season a grill?

    I was watching a bbq contest on one of the learning channels last night, and a woman whose equipment didn't show up was using three borrowed Big Green Eggs.
    She was having trouble with the heat on one of them which caused her food to burn.
    One of the other contestants commented that you didn't cook on untried grills and expect to win.
    He said that he spent a year seasoning his grill to where he likes it.

    What does seasoning the grill involve?
     
  16. Liquor Dealer

    Liquor Dealer Vertical

    Location:
    Southwest Kansas
    We have a Traeger. It's not worth a damn for grilling but magnificent for smoking and slow cooking. If you're not familiar with a Traeger it's a pellet grill - thermostat controlled. The best prime-rib and absolutely the best turkey you will ever eat comes out of a Traeger.[​IMG]
     
  17. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Two things come to mind. One is that you have to season cast iron. I upgraded to cast iron grates on my BGE. So to season them you rub them with oil (I prefer olive oil) and cook some fatty meats on them first. Don't wash them after, just brush them off. It's similar to how you'd season a cast iron skillet (bacon is great for that, btw). The other thing is that different grills, and different types of grills, develop unique hot spots and other characteristics that you basically only learn through use. I feel totally competent and confident on my grill, and on previous grills I've owned. I have a reputation among my circle of friends of being a bit of a grilling savant. So sometimes my less experienced friends will ask me to do the honors at their house with their grill when they have a BBQ. I usually agree, but I'm always nervous because I don't know their grill's idiosyncresies the way I know my own. Also, a ton of what goes into successfully grilling food is the prep work, which may mean that I'm already doomed to mediocrity no matter what I do over the fire, but that's an entirely different subject. So my answer to "how to season a grill?" is twofold. One, the basics of seasoning the cast iron grates. Two is learning how your grill works, including hot spots, venting, temperature control, etc.

    I looked at a Traeger before buying my Big Green Egg. You already covered the difference that made me go with the BGE, I wanted something that was great for grilling too. If I was only concerned with smoking, the Traeger would've been right up there.
     
  18. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member Donor

    I want a Traeger, after I have kids and need to smoke meat for large family events. They're made in Oregon. My father-in-law, grandpa, and uncle all have Traegers and love them. What's funny is that they also all have gas Weber grills right next to the Traeger.

    Personally, I have a Weber Silver One-Touch, a Smokey Joe, and a small Weber propane grill. We use the One-Touch about once a week or so in the summer. I need a new grate for it, but other than that, it's fabulous. I made some awesome steaks a couple weekends ago on it. Nom.
     
  19. Zen

    Zen Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    London
    Thanks for the story, Borla. Looks like the most perfect deal around.

    It popped into my mind that I have done some outdoor grillign myself. My ex-girlfriend and I would cook in a chimenea ... the grill space was enough to do a social BBQ for four, as long as we didnt all want to start at the same time.
    [​IMG]
    This is an Amazon stock-shot. Ours was terracotta :)
     
  20. Devoid

    Devoid New Member

    I just really got into grilling a couple years ago, but love love love it now. My dad has always been a charcoal purist, but mine is propane and I love it. There's just something about going out in the backyard with a plate full of steak/chicken/hot dogs/whatever and a beer that makes me feel totally zen. :)