Patio Pit Master – Plank Cooking

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Plank Cooking is easy and fun!  This week Jack took us for a culinary ride on planks.  Salmon, a vegetable medley that included squash and asparagus, and a simply delicious planked loaded mashed potato were the highlights of the evening.

The salmon was delicious.

The first step was finding great Salmon.  Shop better grocery stores with a solid reputation for quality fresh seafood.  The salmon can be skin on or skin off.  Jack prefers skin off, but that’s only because he doesn’t really like salmon skin.  You choose to your liking.  The fish filet should be a bright and deep orange and have almost no odor.

When you are ready to season the fish, place it on your counter on a sheet pan.  Run your hand gently over the fish against the grain to detect any pin bones that your seafood monger might have missed.  Remove the pin bones with your hands or for stubborn bones, use a pair of needle nosed pliers.

Wash the fish and pat dry.  Our filet was coated with a fairly generous sprinkle of John Henry’s Mohave Garlic Pepper Blend, a little salt.  Your choice of seasonings may vary.  Choose something light because the fish has a delicate flavor and you do not want to overpower it.  Allow the seasoning 15 minutes or so to rehydrate and soak into the meat.  Add some lemon wheels on top and place on the plank of your choice.  Jack  used Cedar Planks, it’s a classic!

The vegetables were prepared simply as well.  The squash was cut into coins and the asparagus was cut into manageable lengths, and we added some grape tomatoes cut in half for color and texture.  All were added to a bowl, coated with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, seasoned with the John Henry Mohave Garlic Pepper blend and put on an alder plank.

The mashed potatoes were the highlight of the meal.  Jack used a loaded instant mashed potato package and just piled the potatoes high on a maple plank.  The result was a little unexpected.  The mashed potatoes were infused with the gentle maple smoke.  They were delicious.

The XL Big Green Egg was fired up and set up for direct cooking.  425 – 450 was the target temperature.  The meat took about 20 – 25 minutes and the vegetables took about 15 – 20 minutes to finish.  The potatoes were already cooked, so it only took about 10 minutes for them to heat up.

The meal was a huge success!  The fish was tender and tasty, the vegetables were cooked to perfection, and the potatoes – simply delicious!

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Cooking Classes take place at the Palmetto Outdoor Kitchens show room in the Queensboro Shopping center in Mount Pleasant every Thursday evening from 6 – 8pm.  Click on the events calendar and enroll today.  The classes are informative and delicious!

Patio Pit Master – Pizza

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Pizza on the BGE

Big Green Egg chefs around the world know that, when cooking with indirect heat, the EGG performs as a very efficient fire-brick oven — just like those found in the ruins of Pompeii and adapted for use in pizzerias around the world today.

In fact, the Big Green Egg bakes and roasts better and quicker than these wood fired ovens ever could … because heat from the natural charcoal radiates within the thick ceramic walls of the dome, allowing your food to bake quickly and evenly.

No need to buy a high-priced pizza oven … you can bake and roast your way to culinary perfection by cooking with indirect heat using the ConvEGGtor™ Plate Setter and Pizza/Baking Stone. You must try this to believe it … you may never cook indoors again once you experience how your Big Green Egg achieves better results — with more intense flavor — than your kitchen oven!

In this lesson we fired up the Large Big Green Egg placing in the plate setter when the grill reached about 350 degrees.  We continued to run the vents wide open and got the Egg up to about 650 degrees.  Pizzas took about 4 1/2 minutes to cook to perfection.

Big Green Egg Pizza Recipes

Big Green Egg Eggcessories

Patio Pit Master – The Whole Bird

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We had a great time learning about Whole Chickens in this weeks class.  Attendance was great and the weather was Perfect!

The Class in a Nutshell

Proper selection was first on the itinerary.  There is quite a difference between “natural” and “enhanced” chicken.  Characteristics of both and their respective uses was thoroughly covered.

Jack demonstrated Beer Can (pedestal) Chicken, spatchcocking, and a whole cut up chicken.

The discussion then led to brining, marinating and seasoning.  A simple brine was developed, and Italian dressing was used for the marinade and Big Green Egg Whirly Bird seasoning was the seasoning of choice.

Preparation, trimming and a demonstration on how to cut up a whole chicken delighted the guests.  Jack showed just how easy it was to cut up a whole chicken with the proper tools.

The Seasoning: Big Green Egg Whirly Bird Seasoning

The Marinade: Great Value Zesty Italian Salad Dressing

The Sauce: Big Green Egg Carolina Style Bold and Tangy

The Brine Recipe

 O’reilly’s Chicken Brine

1 gallon water

3/4 cup salt

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon dried tarragon, thyme; and black pepper

Directions:

Put water in a large non-aluminum container, add salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Add soy sauce, tarragon, thyme and pepper. Submerge birds in brine.  Refrigerate overnight.

 

Patio Pit Master – The Burger

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We had a great first lesson with the Big Green Egg on Thursday April 28, 2015.  The weather was very cooperative and although class attendance was low, it served as a perfect way to work out the “bugs” for future lessons.

We focused on the hamburger.

The first thing we prepared was Pig Candy to use as a topping.  Easy to make on the grill or if you prefer in the oven. The main ingredient, of course is Bacon.  Choose Thick sliced bacon for this application, it works much better.  Lay the bacon flat on some aluminum foil and coat it liberally with rub, then brown sugar.  I like it spicy so I used a product from Oakridge BBQ called Habanero Death Dust.  Flip to the other side and repeat the process.

Preheat your grill to 350 and cook the bacon with the BGE lid down until it starts to crisp up, about 10 minutes.  Watch closely because it will burn easily with all the sugar.  Flip and continue until you get the right “crisp” on our bacon.  Please be cautious.  There is plenty of bacon fat on the grill and you don’t want to get a flare up!!  Remove the bacon and let it drain on a wire rack over a sheet pan with paper towels.  This Pig Candy makes a delicious topping for just about any sandwich.

For the Sliders we used this Ratio:

1 pound of 80/20 Ground Beef

2 slices of cheap white bread

1/4cup of milk

1 tablespoon of Garlic Pepper Blend

1 Egg

In a small bowl add the bread, then pour the milk over.  Let the milk absorb completely into the bread

In another bowl add the ground beef.  Add the bread mixture, then the egg, 1 tablespoon of Garlic Pepper Blend and mix well.

Form into patties and grill over a medium hot grill for about 10 minutes a side and the internal temperature is at least 145 degrees.

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Burgers with BBQ Sauce

Easy and delicious.  Make a ground beef patty large enough to be able to support a pineapple ring.  Add the pineapple ring and wrap a piece of thick sliced bacon around to hold the pineapple ring in place.  Secure it with a couple of toothpicks and grill over a medium high fire until the bacon is cooked.  We added some Nephews Mustard BBQ Sauce.  Delectable!!

The Juicy Lucy

First thing you need is the Big Green Egg Stuff a Burger Press.  Here is what it looks like.

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This press is available at the Palmetto Outdoor Kitchens Showroom.  It’s less than $15.  Follow the directions for use that are printed on the box and stuff a burger with whatever you want!  We stuffed it with seasoned mushrooms and swiss cheese.  It was Delicious!!

Make sure you head over the Event Calendar and sign up for our future events.  We are going to have a great Patio Pit Master Series of Outdoor Grilling Lessons for you to improve your Culinary Skills on the Patio.  Sign up Today!! Check out the newsletter for promo codes to save money on each class.

BBQ Chicken

 

Note that chicken thighs and legs will hold up better to long, slow heat than will breasts which can more easily dry out. If you barbecue breasts, keep them on the coolest part of the grill. This recipe assumes fairly large chicken pieces (like the main pieces from a 4 to 5 pound whole chicken). If you are working with smaller chicken pieces, they may require a shorter cooking time. If you are cooking wings, they too may be done before the other larger pieces. A note about the skin. Even if you do not plan on eating the chicken skin, it’s best to barbecue it with it on. The skin will protect the chicken pieces from drying out.

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Ingredients

4 pounds of your favorite chicken parts (legs, thighs, wings, breasts), skin-on
Salt
Vegetable oil
1 cup barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade

Method

1 Coat the chicken pieces with vegetable oil and sprinkle salt over them on all sides. Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. If you are using charcoal or wood, make sure there is a cool side to the grill where there are fewer coals.

2 Lay the chicken pieces skin side down on the hottest side of the grill in order to sear the skin side well. Grill for 5-10 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is (you do not want the chicken to burn). Once you have a good sear on one side, move the chicken pieces to the cooler side of the grill, or, if you are using a gas grill, lower the heat to medium low. Cover the grill and cook undisturbed for 20-30 minutes.

3 Turn the chicken pieces over and baste them with with your favorite barbecue sauce. Cover the grill again and allow to cook for another 30 minutes. Repeat, turning the chicken pieces over, basting them with sauce, covering, and cooking for another 30 minutes.

4 By now the chicken should be cooked through. You can check with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken piece. Look for 165°F for breasts and 170°F for thighs. Or insert the tip of a knife into the middle of the thickest piece, the juices should run clear. If the chicken isn’t done, turn the pieces over and continue to cook at a low temperature. If you want can finish with a sear on the hot side of the grill. To do this, put the pieces, skin side down, on the hot side of the grill. Allow them to sear and blacken slightly for a minute or two.

5 Paint with more barbecue sauce and serve.

Cowboy Cut Grilled Tomahawk Ribeye Steaks

Author: A Bachelor & His Grill

Prep time:  

Cook time:  

Total time:  
Serves: 1 Steak
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Ingredients
  • 1 bone-in cowboy-cut ribeye steak, +2″ thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for basting
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus additional to garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Chopped green spring onions, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Trim excess fat from steaks, pat dry, liberally rub-in dry seasonings and sugar, wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour, up to 4 hours.
  2. Remove steaks and bring to room temperature, 20 minutes prior to grilling.
  3. Unwrap steaks from plastic and brush with olive oil.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat grill to hot.
  5. Lay steaks over hottest grill grates and sear 4-5 minutes per side, turning ¼ turn after 2 minutes.
  6. Move steaks to cooler, indirectly heated grill grates and cook until desired internal temperature reached, basting intermittently with olive oil and flipping once every 5-10 minutes using tongs.
  7. Grill to medium-rare at 145F. Grill to medium at 155F. Grill to medium-well at 165F.
  8. Remove steaks from grill and tent with tin foil for 5 minutes, allowing meat to reabsorb its juices.
  9. To serve, top with tablespoon of butter, additional seasonings to taste, and thyme to garnish.
  10. Serve.

Had a great time meeting everyone and cooking on these great grills.   Here are some photos of the event.

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