I'm the BBQ King of the World (Well, at least Rabbitrun)

I am really writing this for my Son's in-laws who just moved back to the heartland and bought their first grill.  I guess in Las Vegas there was so many different places to eat that grilling in the heat is just not done that much.  Where to start?   I will pick a place that is my favorite and go from there.

I have had a Webber Grill for about as long as I can remember.  I am a charcoal and hickory griller and in my eyes, nothing beats a Webber Grill.  I put the coals on one side, get some hickory smoking and cook with the indirect smoky heat.  One nice part about the Webber is you can let the hickory start flaming, put the lid on and it almost immediately starts making smoke that is just yummy.  I have a house built in a hickory grove so I don't think I will ever run out of hickory.  I know some people like apple or cherry wood but nothing beats charcoal and hickory.   On to the meats.

I have found two places here that have about the best meat money can buy.  Our Sam's Club (COSCO for those without one) have packages of meat for larger parties and their prices are good.  If I buy my chicken and steak at Sam's club, I will be the better part of two hours out on the grill, but isn't that what life is for?   The other place is HiVee, an employee owned grocery store that just flat out has some great meats.  I think they buy the top grade of Iowa Beef and sell it one grade lower than it really is.  They also have a wide range of steaks that can be bought one or two at a time.  The other day I saw they had four different sizes of rib eye and one with the bone in they call the cowboy cut.  They have so many different kinds of Brats that I haven't tried them all.  Start with the best meat your can afford and move on from there.  I don't normally cook hot dogs but if there are kids, they don't know an Oscar Meyer from a rib eye.  Use you own best judgment there.  Me, I vote for hot dogs for the kids only. 

I think I have cooked on the grill only once or twice in my life that I didn't  marinate the meat first.  Chicken takes at least an hour and steaks two or three.  For chicken I use a garlic, oil and soy sauce marinade.  Taste it before you salt the meat.  Most of the time it is salty enough.  For steaks I use a product that is specially made for steaks that has a soy sauce, Worcestershire and garlic and onion powder in it.  It is called Dale's Steak Seasoning and I also baste the steak with the marinade while it is cooking. We have almost stopped using steak sauce the steaks are so good. Remember that I do not cook directly over the coals.  I do sear the outside of the steak at the very first but move them from the direct heat soon.  If you are going to cook hamburgers, skip the 90/10 stuff.  It is just too lean and the burgers will be dry if they are done.  80/20 is the leanest ground beef I will cook.  I have some dehydrated onions that I put in a pepper mill and will add about half a cup of them and a good tablespoon of powdered garlic. I have used the Onion Soup Mix as a flavoring but I find it tough to get the flavor mixed in as well as I like.   Salt and pepper those babies good as the fat dripping off will take the salt with it. 

For my birthday a couple of years back I asked for a rotisserie so I could do roasts and pork loins.  The Webber Grill has an extender that raised the lid so there is room for the meat to be above the grill.  I almost always put a pan of water in the middle of the grill and add the coals to each side with no direct heat below the meats. In fact, today in addition to all the other good meats I have cooked and ready to re-heat I have a 7lb pork loin spinning in the smoke as I write.   If it taste's half as good as it smells, every dog in the neighborhood will be at my door begging for scraps.  Not that I plan on having much left over. 

I use a starter chimney and find that I can tell just how hot the grill is going to be by how much charcoal I put in the chimney.  About half full and it will cook about 250 to 300 Fill it to the top and you will have trouble keeping it under 450.   Too hot for anything but chicken breasts with the bones attached.  I always cook the chicken first and the steaks last.  You can vary the cooking time by using direct heat or indirect heat or moving them back and forth.  Yesterday I cooked rib eye's that were about an inch thick and a Strip steak that was about two inches thick.  The rib eyes were done in about 35 minutes and the I haven't cut the strip steaks but I imagine they are medium rare.  I gave them about an extra 10 minutes.

This time I also put a couple of potatoes on the edge of the grill and let them cook.  They were a little dry but with butter they were smoky and yummy.   I have also cooked asparagus wrapped with bacon in a grill basket.  It has holes to let the smoke in and the fat to drip off.  I am careful to not overcook this as it is like any asparagus that if overcooked is a waste.   One year I also smoked some bacon that I dipped in brown sugar and soy sauce.  I am sure that my doctor would be spinning in his office if he knew that I ate most of a pound of this sweet smoky bacon jerky over the next couple of days.  It is too good.   If I am going to cook Brats, I will often pre-cook them and then put them on the side of a nice smoky fire. 

One thing I have to say is that living in Kansas, Fish is just something that has been frozen and thawed out on its way here.  Perhaps you might find some fresh fish to grill, but my family (and just as important) and I don't really like smoked fish on the grill.  I have smoked shrimp and do like that but the rest of the fish nation can just go somewhere else.  I even have a fish holder but it sits unused with my pile of grilling utensils. 

I hope you read this and it makes you want to fire up your grill and cook.  I might have skipped on some of the details of how to cook on your grill, but each grill is different and you will need to spend some time cooking with it to get really good results.  All I can tell you is that anyone that goes home hungry from a cook out here at Rabbit run does so on their own accord.  I never do, but I live here.


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