Grill Cleaning Tips and Hacks

July is National Grilling Month so I decided to pass on a few tips to keep your grill in tip top shape. Since this weekend is July 4th, many part time BBQ chefs will try to fire up their neglected grills. I suspect those grills are not in the best shape and need a little love. The performance of your grill can diminish over time if has not been maintained properly. Low temperatures, uneven heat, hot spots and food sticking to grates are all possible side effects of poor grill cleaning and maintenance.

Most of the year I use my grill at least two times a week. I try to keep my grill clean and ready to go. I give my Weber a thorough cleaning in the spring and fall and also follow these tips from Weber.com monthly. I also have provided 10 grilling hacks to help you become a grill master. So get out there, clean up your grill and cook up some great food this weekend.

Happy Grilling!

Grilling Hacks dadwhats4dinner.com
Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Burger

Grill Cleaning and Maintenance Tips:

  1. Wipe the outside of the grill lid with a paper towel and cleaner (glass cleaner for porcelain-coated lids and stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel lids). If your grill is stainless steel, you’ll get the best results by buffing with the grain, not against, using a microfiber towel.
  2. Clean side tables with a microfiber towel and stainless steel cleaner. Again, make sure to buff with the grain. If your tables are made of theromset plastic, use a mild dish detergent and warm water instead.
  3. Cleaning a cook box may seem tricky, but it’s actually extremely simple and can have a big impact on the way your grill performs. When your grill is completely cool, carefully remove your cooking grates and Flavorizer bars. Then, using a stainless steel grill brush, brush all excess grease and debris from inside the cook box into the bottom tray. From here, it will be easy to discard.
  4. It’s a good practice to burn off any food residue left on your grill by turning all your burners to high for 15 minutes before grilling. When your grill reaches these high temperatures, food debris will turn to ash, and will then be easy to brush off using a stainless steel bristle brush. Courtesy of Weber.com

Grilling Hacks

  1. Use an onion to clean and oil grill grates. Place 1 tbsp of oil in small bowl. Cut onion in half and soak cut side in oil. Use fork to rub onion on grill grates. Cleans and oils the grates and adds a nice flavor.
  2. Bring marinated meat to room temperatures and pat dry before grilling. Excess marinade on meat will cause it to steam and not grill, even at high temperatures. Baste with sauce if needed.
  3. Place meat on a platter covered with plastic wrap before bringing to the grill. After placing meat on the grill, remove plastic wrap. You have a clean platter ready to serve cooked meats.
  4. Bring all meats to room temperature before grilling.
  5. Make sure your grill is hot before starting.
  6. KEEP THE LID CLOSED as much as possible to retain heat and create even cooking.
  7. Brush sauces containing sugar on the meat the last five minutes of cooking. Keeps the sauce from burning.
  8. Cook all meats to proper temperature. Nothing ruins a party like under cooked meats.
  9. Check gas level before starting to grill. Keep and extra tank on hand. I have my grill hooked up to my homes natural gas so I never run out.
  10. Sear meat on high direct heat then finish cooking meat on indirect heat to ensure moist even cooking.Grilling Hacks

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Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Burgers

Fathers Day is coming up this weekend and I wanted to get this awesome burger recipe posted so you can make them for your father or husband. It’s a great twist on two favorites; Philly Cheese Steaks and Burgers.

My father passed away two years ago after battling heart disease, for over 30 years. He lived a long time with a disease that killed most of his brothers at a much earlier age. My dad was a good christian man, who would help anyone and was always there for my mother, who is blind. I think he lived as long as he did because he felt the need to take care of her.

I’m also lucky enough to have a great father-n-law, John. John has always been very supportive and a great help on projects around the house. As I was once a builder and re-modeler, we usually make a pretty good team with projects my wife wants us to complete.

.Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Burger

John has a gift for building furniture, which I do not possess. He has made many of the pieces in our home. For Christmas, this year, he made us a built-in entertainment center for our great room. Last week Continue reading Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Burgers

Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce

I’m sure everyone has had one of those weeks. I’ve had one of those weeks, maybe too. Can’t seem to get anything accomplished and cooking sounds like work. Not good when you are a food blogger. Then our refrigerator goes out on Tuesday. In truth, it has been dying a slow death since February. I am just to cheap to buy a new one until it is completely broke. Well there was no doubt that it flat-lined on Tuesday. “Hey (No Name Company) should a compressor die after 8 years?”  When you open up the freezer at 6:00 am and the ice cream is soft and when you touch the fridge, it is hot: you have a problem. I don’t make big decision easily, so trying to find the best appliances and price became a full-time job the past few days. But of course the new toys can’t be delivered until next Tuesday. Lucky I have a second fridge in the garage and a full size freezer in the basement.
Continue reading Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fire Sticks with Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce

This is the fantastic recipe to go along with my  Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce. I was a little long-winded with that post so I will keep this one more focused on the food, instead of my rants. Check it out, it’s a good read and you will learn how to make an awesome sauce. This would be a great dish to make next weekend for Father Day..

I am very lucky this week to be co-hosting Fiesta Friday #72 with Naina @ Spice in the City. She has a great blog with an international flavor.  I’ll be bringing this to Fiesta Friday number 72; Fiesta Friday is an ongoing blogging party put on by Angie of The Novice Gardener. Stop by today and bring your virtual dish. 

If you’re a blogger and you haven’t yet joined in the Fiesta Friday fun, what are you waiting for? It’s a good way to share recipes with a great group of bloggers and show off your great creations. It’s easy and here’s The Guidelines – just make sure to link properly on your blog and Fiesta Friday’s so we can find you. And if you’re not a blogger, I know you’ll enjoy seeing all the posts and maybe you could be featured. Happy FF!!

”Fiesta
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Ingredients:
Continue reading Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fire Sticks with Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce

Smoked Meatloaf

I use my Weber grill all year-long but really crank up the usage in the summertime. I am always experimenting with adapting recipes for the grill that I usually make in the oven. This meatloaf is a great example. I know, I know, you are saying, meatloaf on the grill, Quinn’s gone nuts. Well that might be true (the kids are out of school for the summer after-all) but wait it gets even better. Not only is the meatloaf cooked on the grill, but I also smoke it. The meatloaf turns out very moist, with a nice char on the top and a suitable smokey flavor.

Smoked Meatloaf

If you do not have a smoker box, just grill as directed. Basically I am using my grill as an oven by cooking the meatloaf, at a low temperature, with indirect heat. It is also important to leave the grill lid closed as much as possible while cooking. To grill the meatloaf I used two disposable aluminium loaf pans. (TIP: Poke a few holes in the bottom of the loaf pans to allow grease to drain off)

I served the meatloaf with my Roasted Veggie Hash; click here for recipe.

Be on the look out for my new weekly feature Summertime Cooking with the Kids”.

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Enjoy!


Total Time: 2hrs 20 min      Prep Time: 20 min       Cook Time: 2 hrs

Servings: around 12

Continue reading Smoked Meatloaf

Grilled Chicken Salad

In honor of Mothers Day this post is dedicated to my mother, Shelby. My mother is one of the strongest women I know. She grew up in Eastern Kentucky with 11 siblings and married at the young age of 18. She moved to Ohio with my dad where she trained and worked as mom a beautician. Unfortunately she started going blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa a progressive retinal disease. Because of the increasing loss of her vision, she was forced to quit work in her late 20’s and stopped driving by mid 30’s.

My mother did the majority of the raising of me and my sister, even though she was going blind. My dad’s job required him to work swing shifts, which disrupted his parenting time. Mom was there for everything.

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My father developed heart problems in his 40’s. My dad passed away 2 years ago at the age of 81. They were married 58 years. Mom, even though she is completely blind now, has always been very independent. When I was young she showed me that you cannot let a disability hold you back. She continued to cook, clean, exercise and stay active at her church and does so even today. Since dad passed away she has now moved in with my family.  This was extremely hard on her because the home she was leaving was designed and built by her and where she lived for almost 40 years. The house was beautiful and situated on five wooded, rolling acres. But living by herself proved to much for her and I.

Knowing how independent she is we decided to build a complete apartment in our basement. The apartment allows her to keep her independence with my family being there to help her as needed. She has her own kitchen, washer-dryer and a walkout. I’m lucky to be able to have her live with us and allow my to kids to know her better.

In November, as she was getting used to her new home, (this is not easy when you are blind) she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She never gets a break. She has completed chemo and is going through radiation. Like all the trials in her life she faced it head on with God’s help. Her prognosis is good and God willing we will have mom with us for a long time.  Happy Mothers Day Mom. We love you.

This is a great twist on chicken salad. I like the added flavor grilling the chicken adds. You could use baked, rotisserie or boiled chicken if you like. I also added guacamole to the dressing. It adds a nice touch to the finished dish, especially with the addition of the cilantro. This will go great for Mother’s Day brunch. I also added the grilling part to entice husbands and son’s to make this recipe for their wives and mothers. Easy, simple and looks great.

Enjoy!

Continue reading Grilled Chicken Salad

Smoked Chuck Roast or Brisket

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It finally warmed up here in Ohio, at least for few days. I usually grill year round, but using my Weber as a smoker is a little more difficult when the weather is cold and windy. My grill is on my deck, which sits 10 feet above the ground and we are on the top of a hill. It can get very windy. I am remodeling my deck this spring and I need to incorporate a wind break, behind my grill, in the design.

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With this weekend being Easter and Passover, I decided to post this recipe as a nice alternative to lamb, ham or turkey for your Holiday meal. I am not Jewish, but if making this for Passover you could use a Kosher beef brisket, instead of the chuck roast. If I am not correct in my understanding of the Passover meal I apologize.

This is a unique way to cook a chuck roast that creates a very tender piece of meat, with a nice smokey flavor. Enjoy your Holiday and hope you give this a try. It would be great any time of year.

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Ingredients:

2-4 lb chuck roast or a 4-6 lb Brisket (side or flat cut)

Continue reading Smoked Chuck Roast or Brisket

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce

recipe image
Photo by Baking Nana
:
In honor of National Peanut Butter Day here is a Thai inspired dish that is easy to make. I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com. Instead of cooking in oil, broil your skewers on high for 4-5 minutes per side until no longer pink.
“Flavorful Thai-style chicken skewers are topped with a sweet and spicy peanut sauce. Serve with white rice for a complete meal!”
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Inactive Time: 2 Hours
Servings: 4
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken
breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
8 skewers
DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, and granulated garlic in a bowl; add chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2. Thread marinated chicken pieces onto skewers.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken skewers in hot oil until browned and no longer pink in the center, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
4. Bring 3/4 cup coconut milk to a simmer in small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Stir 1 tablespoon curry powder into the coconut milk and simmer for 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, peanut butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, lime juice, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce; simmer for 1 minute. Serve dipping sauce with chicken skewers.

Enjoy!!

Here is the link for the original recipe: Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Valentine’s Day Dinner

dadwhats4dinner.com
dadwhats4dinner.com

Here is the menu I promised for you to impress your significant other on Valentine’s Day. Why go out when you can show your loved one your appreciation with food from the heart. My menu includes grilled strip steak, Broiled asparagus and Pommes Anna (potatoes anna). Each of these dishes are fairly simple to prepare. The Pommes Anna takes some time to prep but cooking is easy and the presentation and taste is wonderful. To me the seasoning of steaks and asparagus should be simple. Let the flavors of the ingredients come through. Pommes Anna can be made in individual ramekins for a more intimate presentation.

Continue reading Valentine’s Day Dinner

Valentine's Day Dinner

dadwhats4dinner.com
dadwhats4dinner.com

Here is the menu I promised for you to impress your significant other on Valentine’s Day. Why go out when you can show your loved one your appreciation with food from the heart. My menu includes grilled strip steak, Broiled asparagus and Pommes Anna (potatoes anna). Each of these dishes are fairly simple to prepare. The Pommes Anna takes some time to prep but cooking is easy and the presentation and taste is wonderful. To me the seasoning of steaks and asparagus should be simple. Let the flavors of the ingredients come through. Pommes Anna can be made in individual ramekins for a more intimate presentation.

Continue reading Valentine's Day Dinner