Archive for the ‘Grilling’ Category

I pride myself in being the mistress of the grill in our house. Steak, chops, burgers, and brats all are within my domain, not Gavin’s. He has no shortage of opinions about how he wants things grilled, but still usually leaves the job up to me. When it was time to upgrade our grill, about four years ago, that job was mine too.

I researched grills online and in my favorite food magazines. When it came down to the best grill for our money, the Weber Genesis won out. It had stainless-steel grates, three burners and 40,000 BTUs. This baby was exactly what I wanted. Gavin questioned my decision to not get a side-burner, but I was quick to ask, “Who uses those things anyways?” I didn’t think I would. I didn’t have marinades simmering alongside while I grilled. I couldn’t imagine boiling corn outside when we had a perfectly good stove inside.

Fast-forward to today. It’s warm and sunny, and Seattleites are enjoying being on the water, camping trips, outdoor concerts, and more. We, on the other hand, are still up to our eyeballs in the remodel of our home. We are living in the basement, surrounded by boxes of our junk, using our laundry room as a makeshift kitchen and our grill on nights when it’s actually warm enough outside. Cooking is otherwise almost non-existent since it isn’t very appetizing in our dark, dusty, cramped basement.

On the menu for tonight – and probably the next several nights – are bratwurst. They’re cheap, easy, salty, and satisfying. The thing is, we like to boil our brats in bath of beer and onions prior to grilling. Boil. In a pot. On a burner. I’ve tried to deny it before – that a side-burner would have been a nice thing to have on our grill. I’ve pulled a one-burner unit out on the deck to steam oysters – but still didn’t admit defeat. In the last several weeks, we’ve boiled pasta on that unit as well.

But tonight, I’m feeling weak. I give up. I can’t deny it anymore. I made a mistake. I should have bought a grill with a sideburner.

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Driving home from work last night…I could smell the sweet, mouthwatering smell of charred meat. I love barbecuing year-round (which is why I bought a Weber Genesis two years ago). Something about these early days of Spring however, give me grill-fever.

Last night was the Dine Out for Life though, so while we feasted on Red Mill burgers, we plotted a scheme for firing up the grill on Friday – a forecasted 70-degree day. We had a coupon from our local grocery store for buy one, get one free bone-in rib-eye steaks from Painted Hills Farms. And, one thing we’ve noticed recently – on trips to Chicago and The Met – is that we LOVE bone-in rib-eye steaks. I used to be a well-done steak lover. Then, I liked medium rare, but filet mignon or New York steaks. The rib-eye steak however, is the ultimate journey to Flavor Country.

So, it’s Friday. We arrived home from work and immediately took the steaks out of the fridge, salt and peppered them and let them get up to room temperature. I’ve been reading Ruhlman’s The Elements of Cooking, in which he says that steaks can be salted as soon as you buy them. It not only prohibits the growth of microbes, but it also allows the salt to distribute itself throughout the meat. I should have thought about that last night…but at least the steaks got a good hour of salt.

One thing we’ve learned in our samplings of great steaks is that char is key. Our grill will get up to about 700 degrees, about half the temperature of the smoking grills at Gibson’s. For us however, that appears to be plenty-o-heat. The trick is to throw the steaks on the grill, shut the lid and walk away. For. Two. Minutes. Then, open the lid, flip the steaks, shut the lid and walk…away. Again. For…two minutes. Then, assess. Depending on the thickness of the steaks, you can move them to a cooler part of the grill or remove and let rest. I am a fan of the finger test for doneness. When they are near your desired doneness, remove from the grill and tent with foil for 2-10 minutes.

So, it’s Friday. There is something SO comforting about meat and potatoes. We fired up the grill, cooked the rib-eyes, baked some potatoes and opened a nice bottle of Washington wine. And then, we feasted.

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