Thursday, July 25, 2013

PRE-Smoking on the Weber Kettle

Sept 27th Update.  Meathead ( asked me to emphasize that pre-smoking is NOT COOKING it is a way to impart smoke then cook as normal.  Cold smoking fish and meat is a preservation process best left to the pro's.  Pre-smoking food followed by a normal cook still requires proper food safety handling and cross contamination awareness.  Be careful out there! We want all our grate friends and customers healthy!  Thanks Meathead! (the post below has been modified to eliminate the improper use of the word cold-smoking)

I've found a new use for my old Weber Kettle.  I only break it out for steaks anymore and the Kettle actually got removed from the deck... for a while. But the Weber Kettle is back on the deck and smoking again! 

smoking on a gas grill with Amazen Tube Smoker
Lit the tube before the grill
I recently added the A-Mazen Tube Smoker to my arsenal of grill tools.  It was all the rain we've had in Georgia that led me to purchase the Tube Smoker so I could bring more smoke to grilling ribs on my gas grill. My evolution as a griller has brought me to the threshold of achieving great smoke but only in the ceramic Kamado Joe which has seen little use with all the rainy weekends we've had this summer.

Boy was I impressed the first time I lit the A-Mazen Tube Smoker a few weeks ago. Once lit it smouldered beautiful smoke for more than two hours over a couple racks of ribs that were on my Charbroil low and slow. I have not stopped playing since.

smoking with pellets on a gas grillI have to interject a recent conversation with a customer who emailed pictures of BBQR's Delights pellets in the valleys of his GrillGrates. I emailed him back to ask about the smoke profile he achieved with the rib-eyes. “Some smoke flavor but not much” was Chris's reply.  He sent me to his post on the Virtual WeberBulletin Board where he shares his perfect way to grill smokey rib-eye steaks. His technique calls for using two grills:
  • Weber Kettle with lots of chips and low temps to pre-smoke and slowly bring the steaks up to temp. 
  • Then onto a very hot gas grill with GrillGrates to sear in the end.  
  • This technique is known as “sear in the rear”
This led me to the idea of pre-smoking steaks on the Weber before grilling them hot and fast as normal. No charcoal heat, just smoke for 20 minutes, A modified sear in the rear- Pre-Smoking followed by Hot Grilling!

Smoking steaks
Pre-Smoking on the Weber Kettle- No heat, just smoke!
Another tid-bit Chris shared is to bring the meat into the smoke cold- directly from the refrigerator as colder meat accepts smoke better. Hotter (grilled) meats do not accept smoke hardly at all. 

The salted steaks spent an hour on a rack in the refrigerator and then rack and all went onto the Weber with the Tube Smoker below puffing away Jack Daniels barrel flavored smoke. Whatever the outcome I was enjoying the process! I don't smoke cigars, but watching the Kettle billow smoke made me want to grab my scotch and a cigar! My wife astutely pointed out that I found a way to play with my meat longer!

All puns aside, I got a 'Standing O' from a very tough crowd! Of course we are repeating the process tonight to try it out on a few friends. Pre-smoking and hot grilling what a grate combination!

Thank You to 2 Grate customers for the inspiration and Meathead for his help on my misuse of the term cold-smoking!

August 8th Update.  My wife accuses me of trying to smoke everything!  Frankly she's right.  Tonight its salmon for a brief smoke prior to hot and fast grilling.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meet Chef Michael!

 Meet Michael Dellaporta! Michael has been our part time IT / Webmaster
for the past two years while working full time as a chef. Now he's flipping his career to become full time with GrillGrate for IT/Web support AND to become our corporate chef and culinary liaison to our customers. Sounds like a grate job, Welcome Michael!

Michael has been a professional chef for nearly 20 years; working in boutique restaurants in Vail, CO (BK... before kids) and most recently at a respected downtown restaurant here in Cartersville, GA. Over the past 2 years Michael has been my culinary advisor as well. He's done trade shows with us and has helped us gain business with commercial customers in catering, restaurant, and food service.

Michael will also help with recipe development, blogging, social media and YouTube videos. Michael is an avid griller. He owns two Weber grills- a Genesis Silver gas grill and his baby, a 18.5 inch kettle. He also owns a custom water smoker. A die hard lump charcoal guy, Michael grills 4-5 times a week. Now he'll be grilling once a week at the office too!
Grilling Lunch Once a Week, add to the job description!

Welcome Aboard Chef Michael!