Search This Blog

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Smoking Summer!

Here in Arizona we are already expecting *100F weather for the next week or so. The Pool has been cleaned and ready to go. The BBQ is always at the ready and the cover has been dusted and folded up until the end of the summer (or the next haboob!) I have a stack of dried aged mesquite, just need to stock up on some Lump Charcoal and Hickory, buy some pig, and we are off to a great summer!
During this season, the only way to deal with the festering inferno I call my home state, is to make good food, cranks the tunes, and stay cool in the pool. That is why for the next couple of months I will be focusing on some great ways to take your  hot cooking adventures outside, Keep the cool stuff inside and give you some great tips on seasonal fruit and veg to make summer, from  bummer to a yummer!
Lets focus on some things you will need to make this summer great!
The BBQ, the pit, the grill, the beast, fire cooker, barbie, asadero, smoker, or hibachi, what ever you call it, humans have been cooking over flames since the dawn of time.
Now I know there are rabid aficionados (myself included) that would say that grilling is not BBQ, and others (including myself) who could talk your ear off about open pit smoking, offset smoking, cast iron v.s. rolled steel, to sauce or not, vinegar or tomato or both, pig v.s. beef or both, baby back, short ribs whole hog or Boston butt. The maddening schools of cooking outside can turn your brain inside out, and will never be settled as long as humans exist.
My thought is if you are cooking with passion and enjoying what you are doing and you are not eating processed, fast food and celebrating your food culture and others, then all the better. I have many opinions and have studied the art that is BBQ. I will and can give pointers and tips on how to smoke, grill, BBQ, purchase equipment and wood throughout the summer. Ask me anything!
I think if you haven't been out to the back of the house to see what you got back there or if it works now is the time. Check your pit to make sure it is clean enough to eat something cooked in it, make sure nothing is living in it;) next once it is clean make sure it works and will continue to throughout the season. If you are using gas (LP(propane) or NG) make sure you have no leaks in your gas lines. Best way to check is get some soapy water and a pastry brush and brush your lines with the soapy water while the tank or the line is attached and turned on, if you see reoccurring bubbles you have a small leak and you should repair or replace your lines, also make sure your burners and venturi in the grill are clean and unobstructed and light and stay lit properly.
If you are using a charcoal pit make sure you didn't leave any old ashes in it, if you did, clean them out and make sure rust hasn't affected the integrity of your pit.
Once clean, to insure against rust on the inside season your grill. spray the bottom and lid of your grill lightly with veg oil and turn the burners on high and close the lid and allow to heat and smoke but not burn. This will provide a thin layer of burned in oil that provides rust protection and seals the metal.
Make sure you make yourself an outdoor kitchen set up of sorts, so that you wont have to run in and out of the house for this and that. small tables for prep, Chairs for relaxing, maybe even a radio or ice chest for  tunes and refreshment. Make yourself ready and comfortable and enjoy being outside.  Make sure you are stocked up on charcoal, wood, gas tanks are full, and proper utensils are within reach, also keep a small extinguisher at the ready, near the grill, just in case.
Now that you are ready, begin to think of the wonderful meals you will cook and go make them happen! Tune in for great recipes and ideas coming your way right here, and don't forget to ask how, what and where to get great food ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment