Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Burgers, Beer & Brats for Grate Grilling for July 4th!

Celebrate America’s Independence with Johnsonville Brats, burgers and your favorite beer! Over the past several weeks we've been grilling a lot at friends houses (mostly those with pools) and its always the same- "bring what you have to grill." We call that Kitchen Sink Grilling. Last weekend it was potstickers, quesadillas, corn and a couple of packgages of Brats. There never seems to be any brats in the left-over pile to divy up though!

Gathering around the grill with friend's over the 4th of July is an All American Tradition. If you are invited to a barbecue this holiday weekend, pick up a couple of packages of Johnsonville Brats, they are a welcome addition to any grill! Johnsonville has a fun contest going on too- create your own VILLE. Check it out

God Bless America and our Troops!
GrillGrate, Eat Well. Have a happy and safe holiday.

Update: Tips for Getting the Most out of your GrillGrates

  1. Twist First, Flip Second: It only took me 30 years to learn this one! Get killer sear marks and only turn the food once. Mike Mills from 17th Street Bar & Grill showed me how the restaurants do it. Lift the food, twist (i.e.from 10:00 to 2:00) and place back down on the GrillGrates. The GrateTool makes this technique a snap. Then turn to reveal beautiful cross-hatch sear marks (this gives you the presentation side) and finish to desired doneness and remove. One twist followed by one turn.
  2. Warm up Your Grill to Grilling Temperature: Avoiding high heat burn-off keeps your grill from getting too hot (700F and higher) and the possibility of a burned meal. Gas Grillers tend to heat their grills to max temp (and then get a beer) and turn their grill into a blast furnace to burn off any debris and prepare the grate. A hot grill takes a while to cool down to 450-500F. Warming up the grill to grilling temps will save a lot of fuel and you won't burn off all that wonderful seasoning on the GrillGrates. The raised rails clean-up very easily during warm-up, so there is no need to burn-off the remains of your last meal. Warm up, clean-up, Grill Grate!
  3. Use Grilling Spray: GrillGrates have more surface area than regular grills. With Hard Anodized GrillGrates, use Weber Grill Spray or Pam for Grilling especially in the beginning. The sprays are built for high temps and aid in the non-stick until the GrillGrates become seasoned. Olive oil can also be used to prepare the raised rails. Over time the non-stick of the raised rails gets better and better.
  4. Clean Hard Anodized GrillGrates as little as possible in the beginning: This will aid and speed up the seasoning process. The entire Grate will blacken except for the raised rail grilling surface. Use a grill pad or brush to wipe the rails clean. Beyond that, just keep debris out of the valleys.
  5. Bring on the Marinades and Sauces because you can with GrillGrates: No more starting bonfires with marinades. You can marinate early in the grilling process. The valleys sizzle and steam the marinade back up tot he food. Enjoy the sounds of a sizzling sauce and taste the difference too. Extra marinade burns on the bottom of the GrillGrates, not of your food.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

UpGrated Tommy Boy's Grill!

Tom & Bev graciously encouraged us to hang at their pool this weekend while they were out of town- which we did. Tom has a super man-cave / chilling shed with Stella on tap! Next thing you know we're grilling for eight! Friends brought chicken, brats, burgers, corn, pot stickers, and quesadillas which I grilled in a procession on Tom' new grill. This grill is the size of our Volkswagen and I finally got the opportunity to upgrade Tom with new GrillGrates for his new grill. I've tried to swap out his old testers that he's had for over a year but he kept saying they were just breaking in! I went back to our house and picked up 5 new GrillGrates and my camera.
Tom's signature dish is wings, he grills them several times a week- every week. His teenage daughter is seriously addicted to her Dad's wings. Wings are like that annoying tree in your yard that drops junk year round, but is just too beautiful to chop down. The grease that comes out of wings is amazing and so were the condition of Tom's GrillGrates! I bet that Tom has grilled several hundred pounds of wings on these grates dating back to his old grill. The grates were some of our first test products, they were stuck together, most of the holes were plugged up. I got my chance to UpGrate Tommy Boy's grill and hit the reset button. We ate well and I even let Ralph (the hound) have a beer! Thanks Tom and Bev! I did clean the pool while we were relaxing with Stellas!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Finally GrillGrates for the cult of the Big Green Egg!

It only took two customers to lead me to this very nifty solution for the large Big Green Egg. Cutting of the corners on two GrillGrates creates left and right halves that allow for three GrillGrates, not 2 on the large BGE. All that is involved is cutting 2" triangle off of four corners of two grill grates. We'll put a quantity in inventory and get product sheets ready asap. Working on the medium BGE (15inch diameter) too. Green Egger's are an amazing bunch and are the most loyal, rabid consumer cult I know other than iPhone users! Just goes to show how deep the thrill of the grill runs in America.

I'd love to hear from our BGE customers, email me pictures! (info@grillgrate.com) We're putting together a web album in your honor. GrillGrate, Eat Well!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Burgers, Beers and Brats! Life is Good

We grilled at a friend's farm this weekend. I mountain biked for the first time. It was a hot 95F afternoon with our host leading the way followed by my 19 year old son. The others smartly walked the trails. I was winded in 5 minutes, but managed to bring up the rear without incident or accident. Sitting on the porch next to a cooler of Moosehead beer was all I could muster after that, but grilling duty called.

We brought the burgers but forgot to pack the GrillGrates. This family has been a GrillGrate clan from day one and I knew we would find a few in the cooking shed. We built a wood fire that required a couple of beers before it was ready. Right before it was time to grill, I added a layer of smaller wood on top and we were hot! GrillGrates were a super flame shield and kept the Brats from becoming black sticks, and the burgers from being hockey pucks! The smoke got in our eyes a bit but it kept the bugs away. I nearly burned the hair off my legs, tending to the grill but we prevailed and put out a juicy feast complete with 17th Street Beans. After dinner I fished, Susan and Francoise lounged at the dock, and Don led the rest of the troops to the sauna and then into the lake. What a great way to spend the solstice and Father's Day weekend! Thanks!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gratest GrillGifts for DAD (and me)

Forget the neckties, and go for great grill gifts this Father's Day.
  1. GrillGrate Gratest Gift Bag- Upgrade Dad's grill and his grilling skills with GrillGrates, The GrateTool and Steam Cleaning Brush all in a convenient store and carry bag. $85.00 after 15% discount (NBBQA discount code) at grillgrate webstore.
  2. Smoke Like a Pro Kit from Peg Leg Porker. Everything a Dad needs to get smoking like a pro. Rubs, sauces, brines and the tools to use them. $39.99 from Peg Leg Porker. Also seen on QVC.
  3. Grill Clips- Magnetic tool hangers for all the tools that we need at the grill. $14.99-$29.99 from Improvements Catalog.
  4. Peace Love & BBQ- Hailed as the only BBQ book Dad will need. Mike and Amy Mills reveal secrets of the pit and recipes for their Magic Dust and more. $14.93 from Amazon.
  5. KCBS Membership- The Kansas City Barbecue Society is a vibrant organization that sanctions all things BBQ. The Bull Sheet is outstanding read that Dad will look forward to every month. $35.00 annual membership
  6. Glow in the Dark Instant Read Thermometer- Includes easy to read dial with handy pocket case and a bonus magnet for the fridge for a quick reference for doneness. $6.99 from Grill Friends.
Grill Great, Eat Well Dad!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This just landed on my patio!

I've wanted a Big Green Egg for quite a while but have never been able to get approval from the boss for the purchase. A generous friend learned that this Kamado was not going to move with its owner out of state and bought it for me as a gift! Some gift and some friend. At least I'll be smoking on the patio here in Georgia since I could not make it to the Big Apple BBQ in New York this weekend! Looks like my Weber Kettle might get lonely for a while!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Healthier Grilling = Grill More, Eat Less!

I feel compelled to weigh in on the healthier grilling subject since we get bombarded with the grilling = cancer message every year about this time. Here is the latest summary from Washington that was published yesterday (June 8 2009 reprinted below)

“Summer is just around the corner, and Americans are already firing up their grills. As a dietitian, I'm concerned by how many consumers are unaware that grilled meat can increase their risk of cancer.”

"Meat cooked at high temperatures has already been linked to colorectal cancer, and it a
lso seems to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a new study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. In this nine-year study, researchers analyzed the meat consumption levels and preferred cooking methods of more than 62,000 people. Study participants who cooked meat at high temperatures and consumed more well-done meat had about a 60 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer, compared with other people”.

There are easy ways to reduce our cancer risk without giving up grilling. For a healthy backyard barbecue, try throwing veggie burgers, veggie hot dogs or portabella mushroom "steaks" on the grill -- and make sure to fill up on plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Krista Haynes, staff dietitian
The Cancer Project
Washington, D.C.

This study better illustrates the dangers of over-consuming meat in general, particularly lots of well done, charred meat, and should not be a condemnation on grilling meat. Grilling is best way to cook anything healthier and that especially includes meat. Fats are extracted and flarvorized but are not in the final product. Seasonings, marinades and sugars caramelize meats and vegetables to be their best with a grilled taste that cannot be duplicated indoors. So keep grilling meat, just don’t burn it and lets work on proportion control. Grill less meat and more vegetables is the formula for healthier living and healthier grilling. The cancer project has that part right, but they really should be putting out the message of Grill More, Eat Less!Gathering around the grill leads to healthy meals and healthy conversation. For 30 years I was a main meal guy at the grill-- lots of meat and little else, now appetizers and vegetables extend our grilling time and we are grilling less meat, and I am eating my vegetables for the first time in my life- even beets!

Too much meat in general is the problem and grilling should be a big part of the solution! Grill More, Eat Less!

Monday, June 8, 2009

ACE is the Place for GrillGrates

Thank You to our local ACE Hardware here in Cartersville who is supporting the home town brand! And Thank You to the Barrett girls for coming out to support Poppa and GrillGrate at the Georgia BBQ Classic. I also want to thank you girls for keeping me from drinking all the beer myself and having Moma Barrett come and get me! All the proceeds- close to $30,000 benefit the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter here in Cartersville, GA. Karla Barrett you are a grate woman!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Get Dad Grilling Pizza this FATHER's DAY

Grilled pizza has become a staple at our house and thanks to MamaMary's Gourmet Crusts it has become a staple with many GrillGrate customers too! Now through Father's Day all orders for GrillGrate products will include a coupon for a free package of MamaMary's Crusts- a $5.00 value. Find MamaMary's in the deli section of your favorite supermarket and get grilling great pizza! This link takes you to recipe ideas with MamaMary's crust. Enjoy.

Get Dad Grilling Grate this Fathers Day!