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If you are anything like us, just about every meal comes straight from the grill these days! In honor of the height of grilling season, we decided to check in with one of our favorite Grill Master's from the feedfeed community James of @zimmysnook. James hails from the Great North, but still manages to grill every week of the year, snow and all!
feedfeed: What's the number one grilling mistake home cooks make? James: Over cooking their proteins. It may be that they are entertaining (get distracted) and don't tend to the grill or they may be afraid of giving someone something that is under cooked. If you slightly under cook something, it can always be tossed back on the grill to bring it up to temperature but once it's overcooked, all you can do is add sauce or condiments to try and add moisture.
Here are two of our favorite Grilled ideas from James:
feedfeed: How long should you preheat a grill? James: The length of time you need to preheat a grill is dependent on the type of grill and whether you plan to sear or slow cook and if your cooking on direct or indirect heat. I would suggest having a thermometer to help measure the temperature. Try to get to at least 500 F for searing.
feedfeed: Any tips for grilling fish/seafood? James: All fish and seafood are great on the grill but whole fish and steaks (like salmon) are the easiest for most people to cook because they can be treated more like meat and aren't as delicate as a fillet. Cedar planking adds great flavour and makes cooking a fillet super easy. For shrimp, try seasoning them, then skewering them... it makes it a lot easier to flip them and you don't lose any through the grates.
feedfeed: What are must have features on a grill for home cook when making a new purchase? James: My advice is buy the best grill you can afford, the better grills will last longer and have the basic needs addressed better than the cheapest ones. I'm a big believer in the need for a good upper rack both for cooking and keeping items warm as you cook other items. A quality temperature gauge built in is key and heavy duty grates make grilling and clean up a lot better.
Don't forget the sides! Two of our favorite Grilled Side dishes:
feedfeed: Got a secret BBQ Sauce recipe you want to share? James: Not a secret, just a gem... I found this Jerk marinade/sauce, a few years ago, on the Jamaica Travel and Culture website. It’s become a regular in my house, because it has such great depth of flavor. We like it extra spicy but it doesn’t need to be. It’s great on chicken or pork and certainly takes it to new highs if you can marinate the meat for 24 hours. This recipe is enough for a 3.5 lb chicken but I always double it so I have more for basting while it cooks. Leftover sauce is also amazing brushed on your favourite burger!
6 sliced scotch bonnet peppers (I used 15 – 18 for my boys and me) 2 Tbsp. thyme 2 Tbsp. ground allspice 8 Cloves garlic, finely chopped 3 Medium onions, finely chopped 2 Tbsp. sugar 2 Tbsp. salt 2 Tsp. ground black pepper 1 to 2 Tsp of the following (to taste - but add at least 1 tsp of each) -ground cinnamon -nutmeg -ginger 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 cup soy sauce Juice of one lime 1 cup orange juice 1 cup white vinegar
Chop the onions, garlic and peppers. (These do not need to be chopped too fine). Blend all of the ingredients in a blender to make the jerk sauce.