Tuesday, June 25, 2013

GrillGrates Improve Couples Love Life!

We love getting feedback like this!  From Mike B. in CA

"60 years on the Planet, and 33 of them with the same Babe who has endlessly lamented the absence of nice uniform grill marks on her BBQ like she gets in the fancy steak houses. Then came my beloved Grill Grates. I waited 6 months to write you folks, after cooking EVERYTHING except Pizza. 33 years and the wife finally... truly... loves me totally. She has her perfect grill marks every time and even better, perfect steaks, ribs, chops, burgers, chicken (whole or part) and... so far everything else I have cooked. We have both enjoyed a literal change in our lifestyle because of Grill Grates, so we are building a 6' x 12' covered and windowed BBQ patio onto the house that has the grill opposite a window in the kitchen so we can cook 24/7-365 and hand the raw and cooked meals through the window, rain or shine! We cook our breakfast sausage on the Grill Grates... start slow, (off the flame) and then crisp over the flame. Real sausage casings will snap in your mouth like a rubber band. Bacon only gets slow cooked on Grill Grates at our house. No more messy pans or stove to clean, and the end results put a pan or Jenn Air to total shame. Grill Grates are by far and away one of the best darn BBQ inventions ever. Who would have thought Grill Grates could improve your love life?"

We're sending Mike a GrillGrate T shirt and looking forward to seeing a picture of him at the grill through their new BBQ window!
GrillGrate, Eat Well Mike! Thanks for writing!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Using Multiple Grills for Grate Dinner Parties

We've been doing a lot of entertaining lately being in a new house and with the onset of summer. We've been grilling big cuts of meat on multiple grills.  Using more than one grill to cook large cuts of meat such as prime rib (standing rib roast) and beef tenderloin really makes the job easier and in my opinion even more fun! 

multiple grills for dinner parties
The average griller owns 3.2 grills!
Firing up multiple grills for entertaining also makes it easier to bring a lot of family style sides to the table too. Stuffed onions, sweet potatoes, and corn have been our staples along with large salads and other sides brought by our dinner guests.

Here are five suggestions for entertaining at the grill.  Searing first (preferably on a charcoal grill or Kamado) followed by a slow roast is a common theme using 2 grills.

    • grilled prime rib roast, rare prime rib roast
      We like our Prime Rib a bit on the rare side!
      Cut away the bones (and grill separately as beef ribs) trim and tie the roast into best round shape for even cooking.
    • Consult Meathead for a nice crust building recipe and allow to rest at room temp for up to an hour before grilling.
    • SEAR over high heat for 5-10 minutes, moving and rolling it every 2 minutes.
    • Move to 2nd grill that is pegged at 300-350F to slowly bring the roast up to temp.
    • Use an internal thermometer and pull 5 degrees less than desired temp and allow to rest 5 minutes.
    • Slice thick- serve immediately.
    • grilled tenderloin, beef tenderloin on the grill
      Blue cheese stuffed onions 1 or 1/2 per person
      I prefer the pre-trimmed ones. Fold the thin end under and tie to create uniform round thickness.
    • Apply a thin coat of olive oil, salt and pepper liberally allowing to rest outside the fridge for 30 minutes before grilling.
    • SEAR over high heat – preferably a hot Weber Kettle open lid. Sear for 5 minutes rolling every minute to brown and sear.
    • Move to 2nd gas grill or smoker set at 350F and grill for 15-25 more minutes to desired internal.
    • A bearnaise sauce is suggested to pop the flavor on the beef.
  1. Rack of Pork- Double seared with a twist!
    Grilled rack of pork
    Easy dinner party for 4 couples
    • Trim and season with Cavender's Greek Seasoning and allow to rest at room temp for 1 hour prior to grilling.
    • Sear on a hot grill. Lay rack meat side to the GrillGrates on a diagonal In two minutes lift and turn rack to the other diagonal for pretty sear marks and allowing time for the meat side to crust and brown. Turn and sear bone side down for 2-3 minutes.
    • Move to smoker or gas grill set at 300F and grill for 30 minutes to desired internal is close to 145-150F. (we still don't like our pork pink despite FDA lowering internal safe temp)
    • SEAR AGAIN. Remove the rack to a cutting board and cut into think chops one bone per chop. Take to hot grill and sear for 2 – 3 minutes a side. This adds another layer of searing and allows you to perfectly dial in doneness.
    • Marinate as much as 24 hours. My Father's London Broil recipe used Catalina and the sugar really breaks down the meat. 50 years later its still a great dish.
    • Grill fairly hot 15-20 minutes.  For thicker cuts a hot sear followed by longer roast is advisable.
    • Rest for just 5 minutes
    • Slice fairly thin across the grain.
    • Nice selection of rare to medium to appeal to all tastes
      Dry rub ( we often use Cavender's Greek Seasoning) or marinate and allow to rest at room temperature for 15-30 minutes prior to grilling.
    • Grill hot and fast, timed with with the other grilled sides etc.
    • Grill 5 minutes a side or less, rest only 3 minutes and slice thin across the grain while hot and serve immediately.
    • Pair with garlic toast or texas toast for a gourmet open face steak sandwich.  Grill an extra one for left-overs!

Monday, June 10, 2013


 I couldn't resist taking up Walmart's “Steak-Over” challenge, especially after Walmart hired my buddy Brett Galloway of USA Cook Team to be in one of their TV commercials. He grilled on GrillGrates at Southfork Ranch in Dallas-- how cool is that!

For steak-off #3 our gang had concluded that we needed to try a different cut other than rib-eyes since there is a lot of variation in the rib-eye steak. So it was to be sirloin for our next steak-off. That's when I remembered Walmart's campaign and headed to their meat department to
investigate. I like Walmart's campaign: surprising people after they ate a great steak, "Your steak came from Walmart- Surprise!" The commercials are fun and compelling and you can watch Brett's spot here.

I was delighted to see some very pretty, nicely thick NY Strips. I needed 8 and there weren't enough. I was even more delighted to find a Walmart associate who went to the back and brought out a whole tray of thick NY strips. I picked 8 that were similar.  They were in the $10-$11 range- not inexpensive- but the quality sure looked great. I grabbed a bag of Kingsford charcoal and we were all set for Steak-Off #3.

My buddies and I have gotten our timing down well on getting the four grills all up to 600-650F at the GrillGrates. I even started the chimney a bit a ahead of their arrival so we had some smoke billowing from the deck when they arrived with the salad and sides. Martinis preceded the lighting of the other grills!
  • Weber Kettle chimney full of Kingsford is lit first. The chimney is piled higher than normal for extra coals. I left a bed of the old coals from the last cook to bring the coals closer to the GrillGrates. The goal is one HOT Kettle.
  • Kamado Joe is lit next with lump charcoal. I picked out a few oversized pieces to keep the size as consistent as possible. Our infrared studies showed that more evenly sized lump radiates more even heat.
    Time to refresh the cocktails while we wait to light the other two grills in 15 minutes.
  • YODER Pellet Grill is plugged in, pellets loaded, switched on.  It's puffing smoke in 5 minutes which leans out quickly as it heads to 350F its pre-programed start point. The plan is to goose it to 550F once it reaches 350F. The heat deflector is removed and we're grilling with GrillGrates right over the burn pot.
  • Charbroil Gasser is the last to fire up as it heats up fast. It was 650F at the GrillGrate in less than 10 minutes! I never had the grill on high and it was bumping 700F before the other 3 grills and I had to back it down a bit like a galloping horse!
The “gals” had the steaks (seasoned only with salt and pepper) plated on 4 separate plates, and onto Phase Two!  HOT and FAST grilling 8 very nice NY strips, 4 grills, lots of sizzle and smoke! No one even asked about the meat. Timing becomes critical to grill each steak to medium rare erring to the rare side. We want to work each grill to its best, running each grill hotter than I grill any other foods. Steaks (in my opinion) cook better at hot temps. The reverse sear crowd will argue with me on that one. I defer to the competition teams that primarily are grilling hot and fast too.

My buddy Don is always pushing to remove the steaks too soon. Thankfully our trusty instant read thermometer keeps us well informed. The goal is to pull at 120F and give the steaks a very short rest before Susan cuts them into quarters for everyone to get a good size piece of all 4 steaks. The plastic tooth-pic plate looks mouthwatering and we sat down to another grate meal.

The steaks all looked similar and the cook was very consistent, every one agreed the most level
playing field yet. It was interesting to see the difference in the strips from the first taste to a later bite as the steak cooled down and firmed up a bit. Everyone agreed on the deliciousness of the steak and voting was tough.
  • The Kamado Joe won by a resounding margin!
  • The Weber Kettle and Charbroil TIED for 2nd. This was the first time that the Charbroil placed better than dead last. 
  • The Yoder pulled up the rear after being strong tied for 2nd in Steak Off #2
Conclusions- BRING the HEAT when Grilling Steaks!   The Kamado Joe probably ran a bit hotter followed by the Charbroil and the Weber. The Yoder was at 600F but likely could not hold it as well as the other grills.

I encourage you to have your own steak-off with your grilling buddies!
Simple guidelines:
  1. A Weber Kettle and Kingsford Briquettes are essential to compare to all other challengers!
  2. A gasser equipped with GrillGrates is also essential.
  3. A 3rd and 4th grill is not mandatory but fun to add to the mix. A Kamado, or Off-set Smoker (think reverse sear) is ideal.
  4. Buy good steaks, and take a look next time you are in Walmart- look for their Steak-Over signs!
  5. We'll post the scoring sheets we've developed shortly- if anyone want me to email click here.
Let us know if you have your Steak-Off and send any suggestions for future ideas.  The one that I am toying with is reverse sear- versus hot and fast on thick steaks, ummmmmm....

PS- I did not get any grief when I announced at the end of the meal the steaks came from Walmart!  Everyone agreed they were worthy!  

GrillGrate, Eat Well!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Art & Science of GrillGrate

Grilling is a passion of mine and millions of people around the world. I'll admit to turning way too
cold red center hamburger, well cooked hamburger
Hot spots and cold spots result in under cooked food.
many meals into a photo shoot before we eat, but I never thought I'd be using an infrared video camera and conducting food experiments! We grilled chicken, steaks and mountains of hamburgers with and without GrillGrates. We weighed and measured, took film, cut into food immediately- taking infrared video, and of course we ate the results! We still are eating the results! We have bags of cut hamburger quarters still in the freezer.

GrillGrates on Weber Kettle, Infrared GrillGrates on Weber Kettle
Briquettes + GrillGrates = Infrared Squared!
All this studious grilling led us to finally articulate what our taste buds told us long ago! There is science to why GrillGrates grill so much better.  We've had a lot of input and 5 years to put forth the 5 elements to the science of GrillGrate.
infrared images of grilling, flare-ups through infrared cameraInsights into Infrared Grilling:
Infrared grilling was not in our vocabulary or marketing when we started GrillGrates in 2007. We just knew GrillGrate cooked better, kept flareups under control and put out beautiful, juicy food.  Infrared radiant heat is different from conventional heat.  The 2 minute video below reviews the 5 elements to the Science of GrillGrate. 

Science of GrillGrate Infrared heat is the heat you can't see. IR rays travel through air / space and warm an object. Radiant heat from the sun warming us on a sunny day is infrared heat. 
  • On hot grills, GrillGrates act as an infrared emitter- they capture the heat of any grill and radiate it up to the food.
  • Infrared heat warms from the inside out as well as the outside in, while traditional heat (hot air or fire) cooks from the outside in. 
  • GrillGrates amplify and focus IR heat just as a magnifying glass can focus the rays of the sun. 
This is the long-form answer that took 5 years with a lot of help from our friends!

GrillGrate, Eat Well!

 Further thank you's:
  • It took Francoise our talented designer only a few hours to create this beautiful web page. 
  •  Thanks to Ian, intern Boy Friday for his great photography and video work- particularly on the video below. 
  • And finally thank you to Sam the wild man who tamed the FLIR Infrared Video camera and ate quite well!