Ultimately, writing a book about a single dish, even one as flexible as a hamburger is not an easy task. The authors here have gone back to the origins and even mythology of the burger and, at the same time, to grinding, blending, barding, and larding meats. There really isn't an aspect of burger potential that isn't harnessed in this book. And, as is typically of grilling books, there is plenty of discussion of equipment, methods, side dishes, drinks, and desserts. This is one burger book that brings the whole kitchen (indoor or out) in to play and serves it up with a complete meal.
For the casual griller, this cookbook might be too theoretical. For the most adventurous of cooks or the burger fanatic this might just be one of the beloved tomes that will hold a place of reverence on the bookshelf for years to come. This is both an homage to the burger, and a roll up the sleeves, hard work book that makes even the most experienced burger fan sit back and think of the possibilities.
Compare Prices for Wicked Good Burgers.
Image: Fair Winds Press
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May is National Barbecue Month and so lets get a feel for how often you head outback to grill or smoke. I realize that if you are reading this that you probably cook outdoor often, but still it doesn't hurt to ask. Once, a few years ago I set out to cook three meals a day on the grill or smoker for a full week. Turned out that the family ended up eating more than normal, but it certainly wasn't a chore to do. I've found that once you've got the experience with a wide range of foods you really can do all the backyard cooking without a lot of extra work. Anyway, this weeks question is:
There are a lot of different kinds of charcoal grills that offer many different features. I've picked the best charcoal grills from the simple kettle grill to large full functional charcoal grills that can cost well over $2,500. Pick the grill that is right for you and right for your pocket book. These grills represent the diversity of charcoal grills on the market whether you are looking for one that can smoke, one that can grill like no ones business or just let you cook up a simple meal. Updated for 2013.
Take a look at the Top 10 Charcoal Grills for 2013.
Photo: Weber Stephen Products Company
Finding the right gift for Dad this Father's Day (June 19th) can be a real challenge. if your Dad is a backyard cook however, you have a lot of great options. A new grill (gas, charcoal, or a portable or maybe a smoker would be the perfect gift. Otherwise, check out my ideas for the perfect Father's Day Gift.
I've watched a lot of people cook at the grill or smoker over the years. One thing I have noticed is that most people have a favorite BBQ tool and will use it most all the time. Sometimes it might not be the most appropriate tool for the food, but people stick with it anyway. Personally I have a good pair of tongs that I use most the time. Anyway I thought I would ask what you like so this weeks question is:
A few years back Mark Vinci set out to make a great rack of ribs on a gas grill. Not necessarily as easy as it might sound. Gas grills do not hold smoke, so it is hard to transfer that flavor to the food. Then there is the problem of not burning the ribs, while still getting a good crusted surface before the ribs dry out or fall apart. Remember if the bone falls out you are not eating ribs, you are eating slabs of boneless pork.
The fruition of Mark's experiments is this product. The Ribalizer is basically a stainless steel wire rib rack that fits into a standard, disposable aluminum steam table pan (24 x 14 X 8 inch). Place ribalizer rack into one of the pans and load up to six racks of ribs, either spare ribs or baby backs. Place the whole thing on the gas grill over a medium high heat and throw wood chips or chunks on the grill to product smoke (there are several ways to make smoke on a gas grill). Fill the pan with water up to the bottom of the ribs, but not touching. Check occasionally to make sure the grill is as hot as possible without the water boiling. After 45 minutes, top off the water and put another of the aluminum pans on top of the Ribalizer rack. This makes an enclosed oven that cooks the ribs. After 1 hour 15 minutes, the ribs are done. Add sauce if desired.
Conclusion: The Ribalizer actually works. The ribs it produces are tender, yet firm. The meat holds to the bone, but comes way clean when you bite. There is a definite crusted surface and the flavor is not steamed or boiled. Additionally, the Ribalizer is easy to use. Other than checking the water level and putting on the lid, this method is easy and can produce up to six racks of ribs in two hours. Personally, I found the smoke flavor lighter than I would like, but again, smoking on a gas grill is a difficult proposition at best.
Perhaps the best feature is the cost. The special introductory price is $24.95USD and that includes four disposable aluminum pans, enough for three cookouts. You can order more replacement pans at their site as well.
Find out more at The Ribalizer.
Photo © 2013 Regarding BBQ Inc., licensed to About.com, Inc.
The line up of Gas Grill at Home Depot for 2013 relies heavily on Weber for higher end products and Brinkmann for the lower priced grills. Prices range from $99 to $900USD in most stores with a wide selection of sizes and features. Amongst these grills you will find one with a built in smoker, a number of Char-Broil's infrared gas grills, a nearly complete selection of Weber Grills. Availability of products depends on location.
See the whole line up of Home Depot Gas Grills for 2013.
Just in time for spring, when the grills are firing up, Asparagus makes in appearance and gives us all a great opportunity to grill our vegetables. Asparagus is perfect for the grill. Keep the stalks perpendicular to the cooking grates, place them over a high heat, and gently give them an occasional roll. Asparagus can be grilled in as little as five minutes to tender perfection with just the right amount of crunch.
Try one or all of the Top 10 Grilled Asparagus Recipes
For 2013, Weber has revamped its Performer line adding a new model, the Performer Silver. Basically, the Silver is little more than the standard One-Touch Gold Kettle built into a cart with a fold down side table. The advantage is that it does not take up a lot of space while still offering the best feature of the Performer line, a table to set a plate on. However, the retail price on the Performer Silver is nearly $100USD more than the 22.5 One-Touch Gold at $250USD. This model does not have the gas powered charcoal ignition system that can now only be found on the Performer Platinum.
Prices for the three models of Performer Grills:
- Silver: $249USD
- Gold: $319USD
- Platinum: $369USD
Image: Weber-Stephen Products Company