Archive for March, 2007

Barbecueing and Cancer

Grilled recipes are among the tastiest foods ever and most Americans simply can’t have enough of barbecues. But, don’t you know that grilled foods can cause cancer? Well, you probably know it, but barbecues are simply irresistible. Yet if you want to live longer (which I know you do), you should try safer or rather healthier methods of grilling such as lowering the temperature or removing burnt or darkened parts.

Pit Cooking

Pit cooking is on of the oldest methods of cooking just like grilling or barbeque. It is done by digging a hole in the ground, lining the hole with bricks, filling it with charcoal, and cooking the meat, usually a large animal, in the pit for hours. The end-product is a well-cooked flavorful meat that can be shared with guests in a big occasion. While there are many methods of doing it, some people know it as Hawaiian Luau. The meat involved is usually a large pig, a whole lamb or a side of a beef.

When digging the hole, it is important to consider the size of the meat to be cooked. Measure the meat then with that measure add an extra 1×1 feet so that the heat can freely circulate around the hole to cook the meat well. The size of the pit also determines the amount of the charcoal to be used. After digging the hole, you can line it with clay bricks. The purpose of which is to hold the heat in the pit. Once you’ve build your fire, prepare the meat by seasoning it with your desired rub. Cover the meat with aluminum foil or banana leaves to prevent the coal from touching the meat and to retain moisture. If it’s a large hog it usually takes 12 hours to cook. If its a smaller animal then it would take 6-8 hours.

Teriyaki Marinade and BBQ Sauce

Once summer has started, it is sure that barbeque will take the front seat and so is the sauce. Remember that the secret to a perfect barbeque is the sauce and you can only achieve the perfect mixture by making one of your own. Here is an easy-to-prepare barbecue sauce I got from Meal-Master.

1 cup Soy Sauce
1 cup Water
2 teaspoon Vinegar
2 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Powdered Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Hot Pepper Sauce (optional)
2 tablespoon Corn Starch

Whisk together all the ingredients except the corn starch. Marinade the meat long enough to flavor and tenderize- 1 hr for young chicken breasts or fish, overnight for round steak and up to 5 days for some game cuts. BBQ and baste with the marinade. Make a slurry of the starch and a little water and whisk into the marinade. Bring to a boil, stirring as the sauce thickens. Serve with the BBQ’d meat. The secret of the sauce is in the spices, i.e., garlic and ginger. You can also use as a substitute wine, orange, sherry or pineapple juice for some or all of the water.

Barbecue Sauce Royalty

I normally don’t watch cooking shows. I swear to be dead before you even catch me watching lifestyle shows. I’m a laid-back guy, and my choices are usually as simple as a beer-marinated steak. I am not even a gym-going health buff but flipping through the channels once, I spotted the show, “Barefoot Contessa”. I was intrigued when the host said that she’s been making her favorite barbecue sauce. She claimed that she’s been using the same mix for over two decades. I wondered how good this sauce is, and was surprised at the bounty of ingredients.

Barbecue Sauce a la Ina Garten

355.5 ml chopped white onions
1 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic (three cloves)
120 ml olive or vegetable oil
237 ml tomato paste
237 ml cider vinegar
16 tbsps honey
8 tbsps worcestershire sauce
16 tbsps Dijon mustard
120 ml soy sauce
16 tbsps hoisin sauce
6 tsps dried chili powder
3 tsps cumin, ground
1 1/2 tsps pepper flakes, crushed

Saute garlic and onions in oil in a heavy saucepan until cooked. Add the rest of the remaining ingredients and simmer until thick. Adjust seasoning according to your palate. Use this to marinade meat or poultry.

Mind you, this makes a large batch enough to marinade 3 pounds of meat or chicken. If you’re wondering if the instructions are finished, yes it is. I was also surprised that something with a lot of ingredients takes a short time to cook. There is also no difficult technique, just saute and boil. Any person wno know his way around a stove can do this. I’ve just tried and have fallen in love with it. I’d have asked the Contessa to marry me if I met her earlier. I know, I would also be using this sauce for years.

Barbecues Need Rest

Most people think that as soon as the meat is cooked, it’s chow time. I used to do that too, but after learning and trying this grill technique, I restrain my appetite a bit longer. I find that my food tasted better and is more flavorful. Expert chefs also advocate this idea and I am sure that after trying it out, you will have better barbecues. Note that this trick applies to all cooked meat and poultry as well.

After taking the meat out of the pan, oven, or grill, cover or wrap it with aluminum foil and leave it to rest. The foil keeps the meat warm and prevent possible contaminants like hungry people from picking the meat. Allow the meat a 10-15 minute rest to redistribute its juices. The heat during the cooking makes the juices come rise to the surface and out of the meat. Drip and roasting pans are used to catch the juices. Significant amount of these juices escape in to the pan and only the surface of the meat remains moist. So do not be fooled in to thinking that your meat is juicy, the meat in the center has probably dried out.

Leaving the meat to rest before slicing allows the juices still in the meat to redistribute. Therefore, each slice is genuinely moist and not just drenched in sauce. It is such a simple technique, but it makes for a juicy steak or fabulous roasted chicken.

Cookshack AmeriQue Smoker

Do you enjoy smoking? Well, everybody’s telling you to stop it but I’m here to tell you not to stop it. Go on and smoke all your life. Your whole family would love you for it. Just be sure that you’re using the latest and the perfect smoker like Cookshack new grilling product called AmeriQue. Apparently it is especially made for barbecue lovers and grilling connoiseur. This is made for your family’s cravings stomachs (just like mine right now).

Smoke Like A Pro

Trying hard smokers are losers! Don’t do it if you cannot because it will only turn out bad. This new Cookshack smoker is an innovative technology that allows you to grill inside your house without smoking the entire area. Before, this product was only available to pro chefs but Cookshack wants to share this new facility to home-smokers. It is a silver smoker that gives a restaurant quality to your barbecue that you can make it a business. Just be sure you know about managing a business.

Pests and Barbeque

Summer time means barbecue time. And since though it’s the best season for barbecue, it’s also the season that pests love. A study by the National Pest Management Association or NPMA shows that 67% of people get bothered by pests especially during the summer season. It is during these hot summer months that pests and insects become very active and hence pose serious threat to our barbecue cookout. The NPMA’s recommendations on driving your pest away during this important event is something to get serious about so read on.

As much as you can, set your BBQ activities indoors. While at first it may look like pests are just roaming around your backyard, they can swarm over your food once it is served. Don’t ruin that perfect cookout by inviting guest-pests. Before firing up your grill, turning the music up and getting into the party mode, remember to clean your backyard (if you must do it outdoors). Remove sources of stagnant water which may be breeding places for mosquitoes. Put leftover food in sealed containers. You don’t want to get infested with ants and flies, do you? Lastly, do not use fragrant candles during the party. It can attract wasps that can sting your guests.

Grill Alert Talking Remote Meat Thermometer

Very rarely do consumers encounter a good product that they can efficiently use in cooking. And that’s when the Grill Alert Talking Remote Meat Thermometer comes in. This is not some run of the mill thermometer. It’s a hi-tech, wireless cooking gadget that monitors your cooking so you can avoid overdone or half-done entree in a snap while you have the freedom to roam around the kitchen while preparing your salads or desserts. The voice-prompts give you alerts when your dish is either “Ready” or “Almost Ready” from a distance of 300 feet away. A great companion when you’re grilling, this gadget takes away the guessing in your barbeque as it gives you accurate readings in a clear and easy-to-read display.

It also works great with your outdoor cooking or even inside your stove or oven top. It’s as easy as inserting the stainless steel probes in the meat’s center, then select the type of meat and how you like it done. There are settings for beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, hamburger, among others. Once you have installed the thermometer over the meat, you’re ready to leave it. Just listen to the voice prompt or else be prepared to serve an overcooked turkey.

Filipino Style BBQ

Filipinos are known for their famous barbecue grilled meat that they usually serve during their beer or “inuman” sessions. barbecue in the Philippines is a popular and tasty street food that usually goes with a spicy vinegar sauce. Also, restaurants in the said country also serve different grilled barbecue versions that foreigners and tourists usually crave for. Meanwhile, Filipinos also prepare special home made barbecues that is so easy to prepare. Here’s how.

Filipino’s grilled pork barbecue is usually marinated with special concoctions, then grilled over live coals and served with “achara”. First, one needs to wash the bamboo skewers and soak them for 30 minutes before using, so it won’t burn. Then, cut the pork or meat in 1/4 to 2×3 pieces. After which, place them in a clean bowl. Mix soy sauce, minced garlic, onion, catchup, pepper, and sugar to make a thick barbecue sauce, then pour or mix the pork. Using both hand, soak the pork thoroughly into the marinate sauce. Cover the bowl and leave it for an hour. Afterwards, drain the skewers and wrap them in a kitchen cloth to dry. Thread the pork pieces for at least four to five pieces per skewer. Do not rid of the marinade since it is still needed for basting the grilled pork. To test if the pork barbecue is done, cut a slice of the pork, and if the juice runs clearly at the skewer’s middle, then the grilled pork barbecue is cooked and ready for serving.