Friday, December 5, 2014

The Recipe for Stress Free Holiday Grilling: Equal Parts Technology and Technique

For years, I felt pressure during the holidays when I was charged with grilling large (and expensive) cuts of meat. How long would it take? How will I avoid under cooking or over cooking it? What if the meat is finished early? Or worse if I keep everyone waiting for the meat to be done?  Now as the holidays approach I am confident and look forward to grilling those fine roasts. The secret is the sum of two parts: the right technology and the right technique.

The first key to proper holiday grilling is a good digital instant read thermometer. Quality meat thermometers instantly display the internal meat temperature. Using them to measure temperature progress helps reach the target temperature without under cooking or over cooking. The peace of mind is worth the investment. Digital instant read thermometers generally range from $20 to $85.

The second step for holiday grilling is in the technique of the reverse sear.  
The reverse sear allows you to control the timing of the cook, and includes a rest period that can last a few minutes or a few hours, depending on your timing needs. The reverse sear (also known as Sear in the Rear) consists of three parts:
  • Long, slow roast of the meat: The target internal temperature of the meat is 10-15 degrees under the finished temperature.
  • Off grill rest period: Once the meat reaches its target, it can sit off the grill for up to 2 hours. The meat will not rise in temperature more than 5 degrees, and the you can relax and prepare other side dishes as the meat rests.
  • Hot sear to finish: When you are ready, sear the meat at a very high temperature before serving. Searing the meat at the end of the cook browns and caramelizes the exterior of the roast while finishing to a perfect internal temperature.
Tips for preparation of the meat: Olive oil and rubs are superior to elaborate marinades and pastes, as the host will be handling the roast more and heavier crusts won’t stand up. Some cuts, like lamb, are best tied with butcher’s twine. The more rounded and uniform the cut, the more consistent the cook.
Tips for grill setup: Two-zone grilling is another great technique for holiday grilling. If you have two grills this is a good time to use them both – one for low roasting and the other for the hot sear. The hot grill can grill sides during the slow roast, and then get turned up for the hot sear. Gas grills and charcoals grills can also indirectly cook meat at low temperatures, and then the heat can be applied when it’s time to finish.
  • Roasting grill temps: 225° - 250° F
  • Sear Grill temps: 550°-700° F
  • Smaller cuts require approximately 30-45 minutes, while larger roasts can take 1 – 1.5 hours – but the most important aspect is the internal temperature, not the time of the cook.
Three Holiday Grilling Recipes Using The Reverse Sear Technique– prime rib, boneless leg of lamb, and rack of lamb.
    • Slow Roast
    • Rest
    • Sear
    • Slice
  • Reverse Seared Boneless Leg of Lamb. In this recipe we remove the lamb from the netting, lay it out flat and divide it into two equally shaped and sized portions. The lamb is then seasoned and formed into two roasts.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Grateful is the Operative Word

I am grateful to be able to write this blog post.
I am grateful for my wife, my family and friends.
I am grateful for the opportunities I've had and being able to follow my dreams.
I am grateful for all the people who have helped me in life and business.
I am grateful to be an American and live in this wonderful country.

This morning in our office meeting, I expressed how grateful I am for our team and the work we are blessed to create and be a part of. I asked them to take 30 minutes and phone 3-4 people. No emails, no texting. Call them, thank them for their friendship and support. Tell them you appreciate them.

Especially with the turmoil in the world and in our own backyard, it's more important than ever to stop and give thanks.

Who are you going to call?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's Turkey Time! Grill Your Best Turkey Ever This Year!

Turkey is not an easy bird to cook perfectly. Naturally I wander over to where the turkey section compounds in size every year. More science, more techniques, checklists and even Meathead's concern about winning the war on Thanksgiving. When Black Friday encroaches on the traditional Thanksgiving meal and people are in stores or working in stores we are losing an important part of our American heritage. Meathead opines that Thanksgiving is the most important American holiday and he's right.

Gather the family, cook a turkey, cook all day, be together, and most important of all be grateful.

I'm not exactly sure what recipe we'll be doing with our Turkey, that is the boss's job... I just know it will be grilled or maybe smoked. Here's a handy chart to help you grill your best turkey whether you are smoking, roasting or grilling.  Remember, you can't grill a great turkey without a quality meat thermometer.

3 Recipe Ideas for Roasted, Smoked or Grilled Turkey:

One more resource I found very informative was Chris Mark's of The Good One Smoker. Chris recently posted The Science of Cooking Turkey with an emphasis on smoking. I am lobbying to smoke our turkey this year after reading Chris's article.

Please share your comments and ideas and enjoy being part of a 400 year old American tradition to give thanks!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Want to throw a great afternoon food festival?

Here is a simple formula.
  • Beer from great local breweries
  • Hamburgers from great local restaurants and pubs
  • Bands, you guessed it from great local talent
Presenting- The Battle of the Burger- Asheville, NC 8/10/14

How is this for a great ticket? $35 gets you a judges badge and a blue cup. You are now able to
sample all 10 restaurants burgers and enjoy free beer for 3 hours and don't forget to vote! Not into all you can eat and drink? Then buy some burger bucks and just sample a few burgers and a beer or two.

Strategically located between the beer tent and potties!
Congratulations to Kelly Denson of Lush LifeProductions for putting together the first annual Battle of the Burger- Asheville, part of the Asheville Food Fight series.  The winner even got a Golden Ticket to participate in the World Food Championships in Las Vegas in November.

We enjoyed being a sponsor and a judge. Congrats to Rankin Vault Lounge on their big win. I hope we see you in LasVegas! We now has a list of great spots to hit on our next visit to Asheville!

Oh and the people watching was exceptional!

We'll post burger pics soon- the creations were fabulous.  I was too busy judging and eating to take pictures.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Take Fourth of July Entertaining to the Next Level with Two Sweet Grilled Dessert Recipes

Keep the grill hot after the cook-out and grill desserts to top off their 4th of July holiday celebrations.

You will be the neighborhood hero when you grill s'mores for the gang after dinner.  Be prepared to make a plate or start an assembly line with eager volunteers! Or try the fruity Red, White and Blue Dessert Quesadilla. Both recipes are easy to make and easy to grill.

Grate Grilled S'mores

  • Graham Crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Hershey's Chocolate Squares
Grillling S'mores
Ingredients To make one S’more:
  • 1 Graham Cracker in 2 halves
  • ½ Hershey's Chocolate Bar
  • 1 Marshmallow
Grilling Instructions:
  • Spear marshmallow (1-2 at a time) on GrateTool or large grill fork
  • Hold the marshmallow just over the grillgrates and it will soon start to soften and melt
  • Lower the marshmallows onto the raised rails briefly- turn and repeat
  • Place ½ graham cracker with chocolate on top onto the grillgrates
  • As soon as the chocolate shows signs of melting place marshmallow on top
  • Place top ½ of graham cracker over marshmallow and pull off the fork or gratetool to complete the grilled s'more.
It is a fast grill, less than 1 min for each marshmallow and 30 seconds for the graham cracker and chocolate to be ready for handing off (Tip: have lots of napkins on hand for gooey chocolate) or plating. If possible, let the s'more sit for 2-3 minutes after grilling for the chocolate to firm up a bit.

Red, White and Blue Dessert Quesadilla on the Grill

Blueberries, raspberries, and white chocolate chips are the ideal ingredients for a great dessert
quesadilla. Pre-make ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator.  Keep entertaining family and guests with this nutritious fruity dessert.
raspberries, blue berries and white chocolate chip quesadilla 
  • Four Flour Tortillas
  • Cup of white chocolate morsels
  • Cup of fresh raspberries
  • Cup of fresh blueberries
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Vanilla
dessert quesadilla on grillMAKES 2 Dessert Quesadillas:
Making the filling:

  • 8 ounce container whole ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Mix ingredients together in a food processor -- this makes the filling for two quesadillas.
Making the Quesadilla:
  • Spread 1/3 of the filling on one tortilla (this is the bottom)
  • Sprinkle semi-sweet morsels
  • Place 2nd tortilla on top
  • Spread light film of filling
  • Decorate top with raspberries and blueberries
  • Add a few more white chocolate morsels

Grilling the dessert quesadilla:
  • The grill should be at medium heat, about 400F. Use a grilling spray or wipe the raised rails with oil
  • Slide the Quesadilla off the cutting board onto the GrillGrates- close lid
  • Check in 3-4 minutes by slightly lifting an edge to see the sear marks
  • Quarter turn the quesadilla if dark searing or wait and quarter turn in 1-2 minutes. Close lid
  • Use The GrateTool to check for firmness of quesadilla,it should be crispy and firm
  • Determine whether to give it a couple of more minutes or off it comes onto the cutting board
  • Let stand for 2 minutes
  • Cut and Serve

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rembering Dad at the Grill on Father's Day

Cheers Dad!
Father's Day at the grill is especially poignant for me as my Dad was a big griller and I have carried on the flame, but not his syringe for putting out flare-ups! (Dad was in the syringe business) Grilling with my Father are some of my fondest memories.

His signature dish was marinated london broil which became my signature dish as a young man. Every Father's Day we break out Dad's recipe of marinading a large london broil over night in Catalina French Dressing and pepper corns. That sweet tangy dressing really permeates the meat and makes for a great bark.

I'll hoist my scotch to you Dad when I've got that London Broil searing!

Grilled Breakfast Pizza on GrillGatesLinks to 3 Grate Father's Day Recipes that have become staples in our house:
  • Ultimate Breakfast Pizza- Pre-cook the ingredients the night
    before so in the morning its just assemble grill and eat.
  • London Broil on GrillGratesBurgers Brats & Beer- Be ready for the crowd by keeping extra packages of brats and burgers around if Dad's buddies show up
  • My Father's London BroilMy Father's London Broil- A family tradition in our house started by my Father more than 50 years ago.

Friday, May 30, 2014

GrillGrates Dominate 25th Annual World Championship Steak Cook-Off®

GrillGrate is excited to announce that all five money winners at the 25th Annual World Championship Steak Cook-Off May 16-17th grilled on GrillGrates. The 25th annual competition saw 81 teams vying for the $4,000 grand prize, with prize money paid through 5th place.

Smokehouse Rats of Boyd, Texas won this year’s contest, a $4000 check, and the Governor's Trophy.

“This is the fourth year in a row the winner has grilled on GrillGrates and the first time all five money winners used GrillGrates”. Even more exciting is the enthusiasm of the backyard griller who consistently share pictures and comments about grilling their best steak. GrillGrates have become synonymous with perfectly grilled steaks.

GrillGrate was proud to be a sponsor at this year's event. We prepared breakfast pizzas for the teams on the Grand Prize  Yoder Smoker that was given away to the winner of the Champions of Champions contest.

Steak grilling competitions have become a significant competitive sport with competitions paying sizable sums for that perfect steak. The SCA-The Steak Cook-Off Association was recently formed to help coordinate and standardize steak cook off events and judging. “Steak competitions are the next big thing in the world of grilling”.

Jazzie B and Shannon W were the Grand Prize winners!
The end of May also marked the end of our promotion with Meyer Natural Angus. We asked our fans and customers to submit their best pictures of grilled steaks into one of two categories- #GRATESTEAK for pics of gorgeous sear marks and #PERFECTCUT for pics of perfectly cooked steak interiors. Two winners were chosen along with two runners up. The grand prizes were $129 gift packs of steaks from Meyer and the runners up each received $75 in product from GrillGrate. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Steak Grilling Tips from Steak Cookoff Pros and GrillGrate

photo courtesy of  "I Eat, I Shoot, I Post"
With the World Championship Steak Cookoff® right around the corner, GrillGrate today released steak grilling tips from several World Championship Steak winners and grilling experts. The patented GrillGrate has become synonymous with the perfect steak as the past three world champions all grilled on GrillGrates.
Every griller worth his salt and pepper is on a life-long quest to grill the perfect steak. To some it has even become a competitive sport, with steak competitions popping up all over the US and Canada offering big prize money to winners. Imagine winning $4,000 for the best steak – that’s the payout from the upcoming World Championship Steak Cookoff® held every year in Magnolia, 
Arkansas on the third Saturday in May.

With the 25th Anniversary World Championship Steak Cookoff right around the corner, GrillGrate LLC is excited to release steak grilling tips in conjunction with grilling experts and past championship grillers.

The experts and champions offer tips and advice for anyone who wants to grill like the pros:

Jon Enright, Corporate Ranch Chef, Meyer Natural Angus

1. John Enright, Corporate Ranch Chef for Meyer Natural Angus. “If you would like to set yourself apart from the rest of the field start with the best beef available. Better beef comes from animals that are naturally and humanely raised, with no steroids or antibiotics, on a wholesome diet. That adds up to tastier, higher quality beef. Consumers are asking for natural beef. It’s not a trend anymore it is a way of life. Ask for Meyer Natural Angus and start to set your meals apart from the norm.”
Brett Gallaway, USA Cookteam 2011 World Champion

Johnny Joseph, Milam Cook Team 2008 World Champion 2. Brett Gallaway, USA Cookteam 2011 World Champion: 
“You have to know your grill and meat temperatures. Grilling steaks happens hot and fast and requires precise timing. An instant read thermometer is a must. Grill steak to a target internal temperature and not by the clock. I use a laser thermometer to measure the cooking grate temperature too. I want the GrillGrate to be at least 600F.”

 3. Johnny Joseph, Milam Cook Team 2008 World Champion: 
“I wet my steaks with a special marinade first, then I put my rub on so it dissolves the rub and doesn't wash it off. The steaks go wet on the grill for a hot and fast grilling.”

Ernest Servantes, 2012 Food Network Chopped Grill Masters Champion

4. Ernest Servantes, 2012 Food Network Chopped Grill Masters Champion: “You've got to have those killer diamond sear marks. Diamonds are a grills best friend. People eat with their eyes first and a perfectly seared steak sets off the senses. I lift and twist the steak before turning to get perfect diamond sear marks. Beautiful presentation sets the stage for that first cut.”

Monte Brown, Trash Can Cookers 2013 World Champion

 5. Monte Brown, Trash Can Cookers 2013 World Champion: 
“I grill using a process called the reverse sear. First I cook the steak at 225F to slowly bring the internal temperature up, then I remove the steak and get the grill very hot for the final sear. Just a couple of minutes a side to sear and darken the outside. The steak will be medium to medium rare.”

Although these professionals and champions all use their own methods, one thing is certain: a perfectly grilled steak starts with GrillGrates.
The World Championship Steak Cook-off® is the centerpiece of the Magnolia Blossom Festival held the third weekend in May in Magnolia, Arkansas. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the steak cook-off. All previous winners have been invited back to compete in a Champion of Champions contest that will run concurrently with the 2014 contest.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cinco de Mayo Is The Perfect Time To Try Grilling Quesadillas

Old man winter finally released his grasp and warmer weather has returned across the country. Even our friends way up north are finally thawing out and embracing the change of seasons. April found us doing our spring cleaning and getting our grills ready for action and now that May is upon us we are locked, loaded and ready to grill!
cinco de mayo art

Cinco de Mayo is the first holiday of grilling season. Many folks will be celebrating the occasion with a cook out. Contrary to popular belief Cinco de Mayo is not independence day for Mexico but rather a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Good enough reason to fire up the grill and crack open an icy cold Corona! Along with this day comes a lot of tasty Mexican food and there is no reason you should not join in on the fun at your grill.
Grilled quesadillas
Grilled flour tortillasWe have found one of the easiest and most versatile things you can grill is a little gift from our friends south of the border- the flour tortilla! Traditionally tortillas are toasted on a super hot “camal” or a cast iron skillet before serving. Toasting the tortilla brings out an authentic nutty flavor and crispiness that will make your taste buds sing. Put two of these tortillas together with some killer fillings and you have a recipe for something truly Grate, the quesadilla. Naturally the quesadillas translate perfectly to the grill and we find ourselves cooking them all year round. GrillGrates allow you to toast the tortillas in a much more controlled fashion than a traditional grill surface. The end result is a crispy golden brown exterior with stunning grill marks.
grilled tortillas with salsa

Tortillas are the perfect platform for any number of ingredients and go well with just about everything. Quesadillas can be made well in advance and thrown on the grill as needed. But don't stop there, why not gather a bunch of tasty toppings? Salsa, guacamole, sour cream and fresh veggies all lend themselves nicely to quesadillas. We like to set up a toppings bar of sorts and let our guests customize to suit their individual tastes. A toppings bar is perfect for parties plus it's fun, kind of like a quesadilla “social” if you will.

Our go-to recipe for grilled quesadillas includes quite simply mashed/seasoned black beans, salsa and cheddar cheese. The prep work is minimal, just buy canned black beans, your favorite salsa and shredded cheddar cheese. You can feed an army of folks for next to nothing using these humble ingredients and of course your GrillGrates. This year try adding quesadillas to your cook out menu and your guests will all be saying “Viva Mexico!”

Friday, April 18, 2014

GrillGrate Spring Cleaning Survey Results

Thank you to the 100 people who took our survey last month. It was great to hear the various things people have done to clean their GrillGrates.

35% of People Owned their GrillGrates 3+ Years!

Deep Cleaning:
  • Never 17%
  • 1-2 times a year 36%
  • 3-4 times a year 17%
  • 4 times or more 32%
75% Use GrateTool to Clear Valleys and Sides

72% Have Never Soaked GrillGrates

22% Flip GrillGrates Over and Burn Off

Other interesting methods and our comments:
  • Power washing & steam cleaners- I took my buddy Tom's GrillGrates to the car wash once! It works. One customer “bungy corded” GrillGrates to a tree and power-washed them after rending a dozen pork butts on them. Believe me I asked for a picture next time! Maybe he should leave them out over night for the animals to feast on pig love?
  • Oven Cleaning Cycle- Several reported using the self clean setting on their ovens with great success. Just a little ash left. I need to try it and see no reason not to. I suspect a re-oiling the first use might be needed.
  • Pry Bars, Butter Knives and Ash Tools along with the GrateTool to clean the valleys of debris.
  • Turn to high and wait until they catch fire! Then turn off the gas and let them burn off. We don't suggest this method but have experienced a few fires in the valleys, especially from juicy rib-eyes.
  • Aluminum foil sheet over GrillGrates at high temps for a few minutes. Again a risky move if left on for 30 min or more 1000F temps will be reached and WARPING is eminent!
  • Dry Grass Trimmings to remove grease and clean them? How green!
grill brushes we've tested
Nothing beats the GrateTool in the valleys

Our BRUSH TRIAL was a failure and we learned that a valley brush gunks up so fast and bends too easily. However the survey did lead us to a simple ash tool. Stay Tuned!

Groover On the Grill Cleaner
On the Grill Cleaner

Thanks again to people who responded. We welcome you to take the GrillGrate Cleaning Survey or send us your tips and ideas via email. We really appreciate the feedback.

We sent out 25 packages of Groover and based on positive feedback will be selling soon on our webstore.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Teach a Man to Grill a Fish and His Family Eats Well for a Lifetime!

Grilling fish is not easy.  Just consider the myriad of grill gadgets designed to make it easier to grill fish because grilling fish is truly hard. Before GrillGrates I never grilled fish. We wrapped fish in aluminum foil so it was essentially steamed on the grill. Many people avoid grilling fish altogether or resort to baking it or only eating fish out at restaurants just to avoid the grill. GrillGrates solve this fishy dilemma. Most of us would eat fish more often if it were as easy to prepare and cook as beef or chicken. With GrillGrates grilling fish is as easy as grilling a steak or a hamburger.

The raised rail design supports fish filets, shellfish, crab cakes and more while the GrateTool reaches below the fish to gently lift, rather than scrape it off the grill. The GrateTool is an integral part of the patented GrillGrate grilling system. Part fork, part spatula, The GrateTool fits between the rails to make it easy to lift and turn even the most delicate fish. Together they overcome the fish sticking and breaking apart problem. GrillGrates also provide protection from flare-ups and hot drying air that quickly dries out a moist filet. Fish can be grilled hot and fast like a steak and seared just as pretty too, while whiter, delicate filets can be marinated and grilled at lower temps.

In addition to using GrillGrates- Follow these tips to grill perfect fish fast and easy.

  1. Oil the fish then season.  Lightly coat with olive oil or avocado oil if grilling very hot for fish such as tuna or wahoo. The oil helps the seasoning stick to and penetrate the flesh. The oil also helps when the fish is placed on the grill to prevent sticking.
  2. Grill on a HOT / clean grill. Most people don't grill fish hot enough. Oil the GrillGrates (use a paper towel with Canola oil) just before putting fish on the grill.
  3. Don't touch it! Leave the fish sitting where it hits to allow searing and better release. Grill 60% of time before turning and cook to finish. One flip is plenty.
  4. Two skewers are better than one. Smaller shrimp and scallops are ideal to use a skewer but only one skewer allows them to rotate and some will not turn. Using two skewers solves this dilemma and makes turning all at once easy.
  5. Leave the shell on. Think of the shell as a flavor savor. The shell keeps marinades and moisture in the shrimp or lobster. The shell itself is a flavor booster.
  6. Marinade shell fish, salmon, talapia, catfish. Simple oil and spice mixtures are easy and flavorful. Give the fish a soak prior to grilling.
  7. Top with relish, salsa or olive tapenade. Whitefish such as Talapia are mild and benefit from a tasty topping such as mango peach salsa with bits of chopped shrimp.
  8. Don't fret if you get some sticking. With GrillGrates, the meal will not be lost nor will the fish break apart. The GrateTool will lift the fish off with just a few morsels left on the rails.

Grilling fish is a key element of the griller's diet!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Conductivity- The Science Behind the Sear

In our continuing quest to define the science behind GrillGrate, we challenged Ian the Intern to come up with a conductivity chart comparing common grill surfaces. It was impressive to watch him use Wiki-pedia, Google and other pillars of knowledge to come up with this chart. Explaining Watts Per Meter – Kelvin took him some doing!

Aluminum's conductivity is 3 times that of cast iron and over 15 times that of stainless steel. 

GrillGrates conduct heat more efficiently and more evenly. The hottest part of the GrillGrate is the cooking rail as heat is conducted up and through the grate. 

The conductivity of the GrillGrate panels and the radiant heat (infrared) they generate is the reason why they grill food so much better. 

Should we give Ian an A?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Grill for Your Best Health & Beat the Cancer Hysteria

Spring is finally here and so to are the stories and articles about the dangers of grilling!  HOGWASH! Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook, AND there are simple steps we can take to minimize and neutralize the "potential" carcinogens that are formed during high temperature cooking of proteins.
Together with our daughter, Dr. Sara Jean Barrett ND, who compiled research studies, we released to the press healthy grilling tips and links to those studies to counter the grilling causes cancer scare AND ... a little 1 min rant video from me.  You can view the press release and 1 min video here.

Introducing The Griller's Diet...Don't Let Your Meat Grill Alone!

Grill for Your Best Health!  It's our motto!   I ate my first beet at 50! I now love sweet potatoes and a host of vegetables that I never ate before.  We ALWAYS grill at least one and often two vegetables every time we grill.
I lost 30lbs and improved my cholesterol and blood sugar while grilling more not less.
 Tips for Healthier Grilling:
  1. Meat is not the enemy- just don't burn it: The research is not in dispute here. Charred, burned meat does contain known carcinogens (HCA's and PAH's) but there are plenty of ways to off-set them. Grill food to goal temps, avoid too much open flame or grilling too well done. Grilling faster can also reduce the amount of char.
  2. Eat more vegetables: Grilled vegetables contain counter-balancing antioxidants that research shows neutralize carcinogen formation and works to counter-act it.  Research points to this neutralizing effect with the use of herbs and spices too.
  3. Grill more kinds of vegetables: No butter or calorie-rich sauces required. Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and squash caramelize at grill temps letting the natural sugars deliver the best and tastiest flavor. Grill peppers, onions, zucchini, with just a touch of olive oil and pepper. Enjoy all that antioxidant power working to improve your health while offsetting the effects of cooking red meat.
  4. Grill more fish and chicken: Grilled chicken does not have to be slathered in barbecue sauce. A simple rub of herbs and spices is healthier and contains more antioxidants. Salmon is ideal to spice up and grill hot and fast like a steak. Is there a tastier way to eat fish than grilled?
  5. Grill on a clean hot grill and ban flare-ups. Eliminating flare-ups is the best way to control char and gain control of the grill.

Spices & Marinades Have Anti-Oxidant Power to Neutralize and Inhibit the formation of Carcinogen Compounds

  • Spice up grilled meats: The antioxidant power of herbs, particularly rosemary, paprika, garlic, sage and black pepper, retard the formation of HCA's. For example, adding dried cherries to hamburger shows significant reductions in HCA formation.
  • Marinade meat before grilling: Research again points to significant reductions of HCA's. Be careful not to use flammable marinades as they may do more harm than good.

Introducing Dr. Sara Jean Barrett ND

Sara Jean is a Naturopathic Doctor and is tuned into how food is a key driver for overall health and wellness.
As her proud parents we are excited to watch her build a growing practice in the Minneapolis area and beyond.  She not only contributes to our health but our business as well!
I encourage you to sign up for her newletter.  Here are a couple of links to recent blog posts:

GrillGrate, Eat Well and Prosper!
Welcome Spring 2014! 
We Wish You Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Grate Grillling!

Friday, March 14, 2014

GRATE Times at the National Barbecue Association Annual Conference

The NBBQA holds a special place in my life and our business. We met Mike Mills in a dusty parking lot in Douglas GA in October 2008. He encouraged us to join the NBBQA and come to their conference in 2009 and we've gone every year since. The NBBQA is the heart and soul of this all american industry.

Three organizations/companies really stood out to help make this year's conference the best yet!
  1. The SHED, Linda Orrison aka “Mama Shed” is the incoming president of NBBQA. She
    worked incredible hours before and during the event to pull together so much content and talent it is hard to fathom. Linda had a lot of help but she herded the cats. The family SHED always shows up big and is always giving of their time and energy. What excites me the most is what will Linda do now that she is president? I have high expectations for the future of NBBQA!
  1. Meyer Natural Beef Products. There was a different smell in the air this year and it
    wasn't blue pork smoke! Meyer brought the world of red meat to NBBQA and fed this gang better than I have seen at any previous event. I learned a lot about “never / ever” beef and humane practices for beef production. Chef John Enright needs to do a Ted Talk! He has such a powerful message that is very timely to this organization and the public. Chef John also was the featured speaker / teacher in a day long workshop that has become a highlight of the annual conference. Meyer Natural Angus Beef Products are in stores under popular brands such as Laura's Lean Beef, Local Harvest, Greenwise and others. 
  2. Steak Cook-off Association. Brett Galloway brought the world of steak competition to the NBBQA. Brett convinced 3 World Championship Steak Cook-off winners and the organizer of the World Championship Steak Cookoff to come to San Marcos to compete in a steak competition. These champions were also pitted against 16 Low & Slow champions on Friday night in a celebrity grill-off . To cap it off these steak champs grilled 250+ steaks (in a driving rain) on Saturday night for the awards banquet. Merging the world of traditional barbecue contests with steak competition is magic. We all witnessed that Friday night and again on Saturday.

GrillGrate got a lot of content for our 2014 TV spot but more importantly we all got a much needed injection of time well spent with good friends around the grill! Thanks NBBQA for being such a unique and outstanding group of people. See you next year in Nashville!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Grate Shadow Of Winter Is Lifting!

To hell with the groundhog! GrillGrates are casting a shadow on my grill and that tells me spring is almost here. Warmer weather and longer days means we can cook outdoors once again. Time to dig out, clean up and tune up your grill!

Spring is the perfect time to give your grill some attention. A few hours devoted to your old friend now will help keep it working flawlessly all summer long. My 4-burner Char-Broil gas grill has been a year round workhorse since I bought it 7 years ago and of course GrillGrates have made it a grilling machine with terrific control and consistency. I've become attached to this grill and a tune-up was over due but I had never repaired a gas grill before, I just junked them. This Char-Broil is a grill worth saving and I'm proud of the fact that it cost under $100 to make it as good as new.

  1. Burners and cooking grates are the first thing to wear out on most grills. Broken burners are not hard to replace, contrary to my expectations. No screws or bolts involved. Replacement burners sit inside an area behind the knob. I decided to replace all 4 burners even though only 2 were broken. I did not bother repairing the igniter, using a lighter is just as easy and less chance of a ka-boom after lots of clicking on the starter.
  2. Replace the flame tents- also known as "flavorizer bars". They are there to diffuse the heat around the tent to provide more even heating and to protect the burners from debris. I discovered that If you let them deteriorate they'll collapse on to the burner and take it out too.
  3. Careful removing too much of the rust inside your grill you may not have anything left! I realized that the bottom of my grill will be the next thing to go so I gently removed some of the rust pile but stopped after realizing it was going to cave in. 
  4. Hats off to Char-Broil for a super replacement parts web site that led me right to the parts I needed. Right now they are offering 15% off grill parts.
  5. Replacing the existing grates with GrillGrates is a turbocharger for your grill! For the first 3 years I had 5 standard 13.75” GrillGrates across the grill with a couple of inches clear in the back and I was thrilled. I finally listened to our customers and introduced longer lengths. I replaced the 13.75" with our 18.5" GrillGrate 2 years ago. My Char-Broil is like a souped up Chevy Nova! It gets hotter faster and uses a lot less propane. My grill is better than new and may have another 5 years in it!  Grate Grilling Ahead!
Check out our YouTube video about cleaning your GrillGrates

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winter Grilling Keeps The World Warm!

A while back we were approached by one of our dealers in Europe, Haupert Klaus-Dieter, about sending some of our GrillGrates over for an upcoming grilling competition. 
We gladly obliged and sent them twelve round GrillGrate kits and banners. These grates were to be distributed to the teams that were competing and to be used on various charcoal grills. Haupert and his gang of grillers are big fans of our product and have been using them for years but these grates were destined for the uninitiated.

A month or so goes by and then one day we are treated to a few hundred of the most incredible pictures from the event! Come to find out the event was called “Jack the Iceburger” and it was held high up in the Allgäu mountains at a ski resort. As the name entails this was a burger grilling competition with teams coming from all over Europe to give it their best shot.

GrillGrates were very well represented at the event. Our banner was everywhere and it seems as if everyone had a GrateTool in hand at one point. The teams prepared some amazing renditions of their take on the American classic with a lot of emphasis on presentation and garnish. These guys were not afraid to push the envelope and combine some very untraditional and unique flavors like brie and cranberry. In the end, the winner was a team named “Smokin BBQ Team” but for us the real winner was the multitude of amazing photographs. One of the guys in the competition, Tom Heinzle, recently came out with a book called “WinterGrilling”. He attended with one of his photographer friends in tow. The resulting images are some of the finest grilling photographs we have ever seen. We want to share them with you.

See more Grate pics from the event here or  see all 200+ pics from the event here

We here in America are finishing up one of the roughest winters in years but as our Facebook friends will testify- the grill still works in the cold. Many of us have persevered and were not slowed down by snow and sleet, literally digging our grills from the blanket of white stuff to cook our food in the great outdoors -the way it was meant to be. Our friends over in Europe don't seem to have a problem with winter grilling and it was really inspiring to see how they do a competition across the pond. Grilling and BBQ are truly an international language and the smell of smoke and cooking meat is universal in its appeal.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Two Original Grilled Desserts to Wow Your Sweetheart & A Valentine's Day Photo Contest for our Grate Customers.

Valentine's Day 2014

While many people will brave the crowds and eat out at their favorite restaurant on Valentines Day many couples will be staying home cooking their favorite dinner for 2 together.  I would venture to guess that grillers especially GrillGrate owners are more likely to be staying home for Valentine's day and grilling their meal.

After you've grilled that delicious dinner for two, leave the grill on low and grill up some sweet desserts for your partner at the table of life!

Here are two dessert recipes that are simple and easy to make ahead and be ready for that right moment to grill sweets for you and your sweetheart. Both these original recipes use flour tortillas, simple stuffings and delicious fruit:

Win $50 in GrateBucks and a GrillGrate T-Shirt!  

 Please share your grill and grate plate pictures to win!

 Snap a few pics of your Valentine's Day grill on on on Facebook or We'll pick one lucky winner next week. 

Happy Valentines Day from all of us at GrillGrate!