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Direct grilling is great for fast cooking, and works best with smaller portions of food.

Direct cooking means that you place the food directly over the fire. It is a faster cooking method because more intense heat is provided and allows for browning on the outside of foods. This method of grilling works well for foods that require short cooking times such as burgers and/or foods with a low fat content, such as well-trimmed steaks and chops. The food product must be turned during grilling to cook on both sides.

Fire is the beginning of cooking. Before you can master grilling you must first master fire. Knowing how to put together a good cooking fire is a skill you will always be glad you learned. One of the keys to good grilling is an even fire. The only variations in heat should be the ones you plan for. Randomly spreading hot coals in your charcoal grill will make a series of hot and cool spots. Even distribution of coals reduces this variation to a minimum. This is important to get even grilling, especially if you have a large amount of food on the grill.

Once you have mastered even heating its time to step up to the professional level. Chefs like to have controlled temperature variation, meaning a hot area and a not so hot area. In grilling we call this a two level fire. If you imaging a dual burner gas grill set one burner on high and the other on medium. The advantage of this is that you have an area to sear foods and an area to cook them through. In a charcoal “Grill On The Go™” you will want to set up half your fire grate in a single layer of coals and the other half in two or three layers of coals. This will give you the hot and medium areas to do you cooking. This method is also good if you are cooking different types of foods. For instance if you were grilling up some steak and vegetables, you could sear the steak over the high heat and cook the vegetables over the lower heat. Once you have mastered the two level fires you will definitely see the advantages.

The last thing to consider when building a fire is hardwood. If you want to add wood chips to your fire it’s best to have a place to do that. With “Grill On The Go™” you need to use moistened wood chips spread out over the coals; they will smoke but not burn away quickly.

Arranging Coals for Grilling

Try one of these set-ups for direct grilling

For direct grilling, arrange coals by using long-handled tongs to spread them evenly in a single layer. Extend them about 1 inch beyond area of the food.

  • TIP: Never use a cheap charcoal. Many of the cheap charcoals are made with sawdust and glues. They simply just don’t do anything for your flavor but make it worse. Always be sure your charcoal is made with a hardwood.
  • TIP: When using charcoal lighter fluid to start your fire make sure the coals have burnt the lighter fluid off or turned gray. Also, don’t use the charcoal briquettes that have added starter fluid built into them, as they seem to leave a nasty taste in the product.

Grilling and Smoking Meat, Poultry, Fish, and Seafood

Trim excess fat from meat. Rinse fish or seafood; pat dry with paper towels. If grilling poultry, fish, or seafood, lightly grease the rack of the grill or lightly coat with cooking spray. Preheat the grill to the desired temperature. Place your meat, poultry, fish, or seafood on the grill rack. For fish fillets, tuck under any thin edges. Grill for the time given below or until done. All timings are based on a medium coal temperature for direct grilling (350- 400 degrees) and low and slow smoking of (200-225) degrees.

Cut or Type

Thickness, Weight, or Size

Doneness

Direct Grilling Time (minutes)

Smoking Time (hours)

BEEF

       

Boneless rib eye, tenderloin, or top sirloin steak

1-1 1/2 inches

Medium Rare Medium

14 -18 18- 22

2-3 3-4

Boneless sirloin steak

1-1 1/2 inches

Medium rare Medium

14 –18 18 – 22

1-2
2- 2 1/2

Flank steak Brisket

1⁄2 inches 10-12 pounds

Medium Well

12 – 14

1 8-10

T-bone or porterhouse steak

1-1 1/2 inches

Medium rare Medium

8 – 12 12 – 15

1–2 2-3

Ground meat patties

1⁄2-3⁄4 inches

No longer pink

14 – 18

1

LAMB

       

Rib or loin chop

1-1&1/2 inches

Medium rare Medium

10 – 14 14 – 16

2 –3 3- 4

PORK

       

Boneless loin

1-1 1/2 inches

Medium well

10 – 15

3 -4

Shoulder or Butt

5-8 pounds

Well

 

4-6

Iowa Chop

1 1/2 inches

Medium well

18 – 25

2-3

Americas cut or boneless chop Loin back ribs

1 1/2 inches
1 3/4 -2 pounds

Medium well Well

15 – 18

2-2 1/2 31/2 – 4

POULTRY

       

Chicken breast

4-5 ounces

Tender and no longer pink

10 –15

1

1⁄2 chickens whole chickens

1 1/2 pounds 3 pounds

Tender and no longer pink

20-25 30-35

2-3 3-3 1/2

Turkey breast

1⁄2 inch

Tender no pink

12 – 15

1-2

Whole turkey skinless

12-18 pounds

Tender no pink

 

4-6

FISH/SEAFOOD

       

Fillet or steaks

1⁄2 -1 inch

Flakes

4-6 per 1⁄2 inch thickness

3⁄4 -1

Sea scallops

12-15 per pound

Opaque

5-8

1⁄2-3/4

Shrimp

Medium to large

Pink

6-8

1⁄2-3/4

Lobster

12oz –1 pound

Pink

10-12

3⁄4-1

Tailgating

“As American as Professional Football, College Football, or Baseball”

Tailgating can make an ordinary football game into a special event. It brings together friends, family, fans and food.

Tailgating represents the time you spend before a football game gathered in the parking lot of your favorite college or pro team. It represents the end of the summer and the beginning of football season.

For many of us we have talked about and dreamed football since the last game was played last year. And then, the season starts and we can’t wait to get to the game so we have created this party before the game known as tailgating.

Basics of Tailgating

Tailgating is about having fun. Eating some good food. Doing some armchair quarterbacking. Tailgating is talking about how the game will turn out in your opinion (before the game) and then dissecting every play (after the game).

You do not have to have a fancy RV or even a tent. All you really need is a car, van or truck with a trailer hitch. Then add Andy’s “Grill On The Go™” and get out there and have some fun.

What will you need to bring with you: Andy’s “Grill On The Go™”

  • Plenty of food for everyone to enjoy, and have some extra people you run into while you are out at the stadium. More on this in a minute.
  • Chairs, have some chars out there for your friends to sit down in
  • Get a good location in the parking lot so you will be around other tailgaters and folks just passing by headed into the game.
  • Choose a spot in the parking lot where you get a great view of the stadium. Some folks may elect to stay at the tailgating site for the entire game, so a view of the scoreboard is always good to get.
  • You are going to need plenty of water. You will always need plenty of water to drink but you need water to put out the fire in the grill. You will need water for people to wash their hands in after eating. You will need water to clean up the area you are in.
  • Paper towels. Bring twice as many as you think you will need. They are always great for napkins, cleaning rags, etc.
  • Toilet paper. Have some available in case the port-a-cans don’t have any
  • Paper plates, plastic forks, and spoons
  • Wet toilettes or baby wipes will work well
  • Aluminum foil, you can use this for a bunch of things
  • Aluminum or disposable serving trays
  • Garbage bags
  • Ice and at least three ice chests. One ice chest for your drinks, an ice chest for storing left over food, and a third ice chest to store ice. Have plenty of ice if there is nowhere to get any.
  • Decorations for your favorite team
  • Andy’s“ Grill On The Go™”
  • Salt and pepper, spices for cooking Barbecue rub for everything

And the Food

The Commissioner of Tailgating has been busy getting some statistics on tailgating in America. What he found in his survey I found quite interesting. You can visit his entire statistics at www.tailgating.com Here are some of the statistics he found.

  1. Most tailgaters are between the ages of 25 to 44
  2. Most tailgaters are men
  3. The majority of tailgaters have a college degree
  4. A large percentage of tailgaters will tailgate anywhere from 6 to 10 times a year
  5. A majority of tailgaters will arrive at the stadium 3 to 4 hours before the game
  6. An over whelming number (93%) will prepare their food at the stadium
  7. Over 85% will prepare their food for the tailgate using a grill or a smoker

The assortment of food found at tailgate parties includes a wide variety of dishes. You will typically find regional foods at tailgates. The menu can be very simple or it can be very extravagant.

In general the grill and/or smoker is the cooking equipment of choice. So whatever you find on the grill or smoker will typically show up at the tailgate party. Hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages are the easy menu items many will choose. But chicken wings, both friend and grilled make their way to most tailgate parties.

Dips of every style and variety will also show up to add their cool refreshing flavor to the party. And of course chips and breads for the dips will be close by.

We will begin to post here several recipes for the tailgater here very shortly. Just have some fun.

Remember, you can cook at the house and take the cooked food to the tailgate party to eliminate some of the preparation on site. So let your imagination go to work. Brisket, pork butts, ribs, chicken can all be prepared at home and enjoyed at the stadium.

And Finally…

Go out and support your team. For college and pro football fans, the players need you to support them. It does not matter is you have a national championship contender or a super bowl contender. The idea is to get out there and support your team.