Let’s face it – America has a love affair with grilling meals, and the heart of the season for grilling is here. That is not to say it’s not a year-round activity because even in the depths of a Western New York winter, the hard-core grillers will stay at it. But for the majority of us, the summer is the time to explore the thrill of the grill.
Options are endless. From accessories, to recipes, to techniques, there are numerous facets of grilling to be explored.
Here you’ll find master grill chefs giving tips on their ‘have-to-have’ grill tools. The first item listed is a light to illuminate the entire grill for night cooking and it comes from John Stage of the New York City Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. (And while this blog is about grilling at home for friends and family, don’t ever forget that Rochester is home to its own fabulous Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, bringing you great food and excellent music whenever you’re in need for either!) Other accessories that are popular (and most are pragmatic, too) include a heavy-duty spray bottle to handle flare-ups, smoke boxes of various dimensions depending on your wants and needs, digital thermometers, gloves and protective sleeves to save your arms from extreme heat if you’re cooking for many or for an extended time period, and of course a heavy and durable grill-brush to control grease and residual remnants.
The Art of Grilling
Recipes and ingredients are endless and really represent one of the most fun aspects of grilling. Rubs, sauces, marinades, flavored salts and spices – the combinations are endless. Some people love sharing each and every one of their various ingredients, blends, successes and failures. Others play it close to the vest and while they may share some of their more standard or mundane recipes, they reserve their high-caliber ones for few other sets of eyes and ears. Of course, this human connection to the art of grilling is what really has expanded the practice to its elevated status in recent years. While there is definitely a competitive element involved, more than anything there is a connecting aspect. The personal connection of creation in grilling has to be part of its great popularity – in our high-tech and digital world there is something necessary and important about producing something with your hands, head, and heart. A grilled meal represents home, hearth, family and friends.
Techniques are like the recipes and ingredients, wide-ranging and interesting. People marinade and cook for times that may be quite short or shockingly long; some like a fast-flaming fire, others prefer a slow-building burn; some grillers will recommend flipping foods frequently while others will opt for a much more limited rotation, and of course the gas versus charcoal debate rages on still (along with electric grills, smokers, pellets, hybrids and others). While there is no right or wrong answer, here’s a helpful list of thirteen grill tips by Eating Well.
The important thing is to experiment and enjoy, find what seems to fit your style, comfort, and tastes. And if you do have the hankering for some bbq in the Penfield area but find yourself unable to fire up the grill yourself, check out Good Smoke BBQ, JC’s Backyard Barbeque, or Sweet Wood Barbeque.