Time to stoke your fires and get your rubs on. It’s prime grilling season, people, and we are here to help. We’ll guide you through some tools and other accoutrements for grilling and barbecuing (plus explain the difference!) as well as some gift ideas for Dad. But first, a little safety lesson: never use the pan or tools you used for raw proteins to take the finished dish off the grill, and make sure food is cooked fully to the proper temperature.
Here is a quick guide to proper minimum cooking temperatures:
145° –Fish, and solid cuts of meat like steaks, chops and roasts.
155° – Ground beef or pork, and anything that is stuffed.
165° – All poultry and anything that is being reheated.
These temperatures are your target temperatures. With poultry and larger cuts like roasts you will have what is called “carryover cooking.” As your food rests, (resting allows the juices that have come to the outside parts of the meat to recede back in, giving you a much juicier dinner!) it will continue to cook about 5° before starting to cool a little. Therefore, if you want your turkey to cook to 165°, take it out of the oven or off the grill when it hits 160°. That could be the difference between a juicy, tasty turkey and one that is dry and overdone.
Since we just talked about proper temps, let’s talk how to measure them! Here are some of our favorite thermometers:
For a quick check of many items, we love the CDN Digital Insta-Read for its easy-to-read display and quick response time. It also works with thinner cuts of meat.
If you want to keep a close eye on larger cuts and leave the probe in what you are cooking, we recommend the CDN Dual Sensing Probe Thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperature of both the meat you are cooking, and that of the oven or grill.
There is also the CDN Bluetooth Dual Probe Thermometer & Timer which has 2 probes if you are cooking for a crowd and have a couple of roasts or birds on the grill, and connects with your smartphone to alert you not only when it IS ready, but will give you an anticipated time when it WILL be ready!
We have fallen in love with the new Kitchen Grips Glove set, available in small or large sizes, for both the grill and the oven. They fit snugger than most big grilling gloves, and the non-slip material is safe to handle things up to 500 degrees!
For picking things up to turn, we love the Rosle 16” Grill Tongs for the length, comfort (no sharp edges!) and the one-handed locking mechanism for ease of use when holding something in your other hand.
For delicate or small items, try the Outset Grill Grid, easy to clean thanks to the silicone non-stick coating, and perfect for smaller items
The Emile Henry Plancha is great for fish, small potatoes or anything that might roll away or slip off, thanks to the lips on the back and sides, as well as a juice well and pour spout on the front.
Emile Henry also makes our favorite Pizza Stone, which will work on any grill; Stuart uses it on his Big Green Egg, getting it up around 800 degrees! Speaking of which…
The Big Green Egg does everything your grill can do; and more…and better. From smoking at low temps (around 180 degrees), barbecuing, grilling, baking (the most amazing chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever had! Crispy outside and cakey inside. It’s cookie nirvana…) and the above- mentioned pizza.
The ceramic body holds the heat, making the efficiency of the real lump wood charcoal even more efficient and recovery time from opening the grill about 2 minutes. With a little practice it is easy to regulate and control the temperature.
It is easy to light, as well. It basically has its own built-in chimney due to its shape and takes only 10-15 minutes to get to 350 degrees. The shape also helps it cook efficiently, especially when cooking indirect.
This is truly the ultimate cooking tool for the outdoor cook. Stop by either of our stores and our staff can walk you through the process and answer any questions you might have.
The differences between these methods can be broken down into time and temperature. The first two fall into the “Low and Slow” category. Smoking is cooking at around 150° to 180°for a long time. Barbecuing is a smoking method, cooking at 200-300° for a long time and usually with a rub and/or a sauce. The sauce is basted on several times during the process. These methods are always done with indirect cooking and using real charcoal or wood as the smoke source.
Grilling is done either direct or indirect depending on the food and the outcome you want, between 350-550° and done quickly.
For a great, moist burger, try cooking it the indirect method. Sear your burger (seasoned right before putting it on the grill!) for 2-3 minutes on each side over direct heat, then move to indirect heat and cook, with the lid closed for more flavor, until the desired doneness is reached. If cooking on a Big Green Egg, setup for indirect and cook at 400° with the lid closed and cook 2-3 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. The convection will give you a crusty exterior and a moist interior.
By Steven Raichlen(Workman Publishing)
Just what the title says, an amazing collection of over 200 recipes for anything imaginable you’d put on you your grill, with influences not only from America, but around the world. After all, cooking over flame is a universal thing.
Not much goes better with grilling than a nice cold (adult) beverage. If dad is the fancy type, he will love the beautiful copper shaker from Sertodo
If dad is not the flashy type, this hammered steel shaker will still keep things fresh and classy.
Looking for a great addition to your mixed drinks? Inna Shrubs, a blend of fruit juice, sugar and vinegar is perfect for cocktails or even mock tails for the kids at the Q. If you are new to shrubs, we recommend the gift set with a small bottle of four seasonal flavors, all made in Emeryville from local, organic heirloom fruit.
If dad’s idea of a mixed drink is putting an ice cube in his whiskey, then we have just the thing for him! Peugeot’s Whiskey Tasting Set will keep things cold without dilution thanks to the chiller base, and the unique shape of the bottom helps dissipate alcohol fumes so you smell the whiskey aromas instead of getting a nose full of ethanol! We know it works, because we have put it through some stringent testing.
Our Giveaway this month is a Finex 1 Qt. Sauce Pan, perfect for keeping your mop-sauce hot on the grill! To enter the drawing, go to our Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz Facebook page and comment on the giveaway post.