A vegetarian may show up at your cookout. Do not be alarmed.
September 3rd, 2012
02:15 PM ET
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Vegetarians are (mostly) not here just to ruin your good time. Really. I swear. I was one, myself for seven years and all I wanted at a cookout was to hang out with my friends, and not have to worry that the omnivores would gobble up all the meat-free sides before I got to the table.

These days, while I'm likely to smoke up a brisket, a rack of ribs or some animal innards when company comes over, the non-meat options surely don't get short shrift.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate the bounty of the season and make sure all my guests leave full and satisfied - no matter how they choose to chow down.
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Filed under: Corn • Entertaining • Grilling • Grilling • Labor Day • Okra • Potatoes • Squash • Summer Vegetables • Techniques & Tips • Tomatoes • Vegan • Vegetables • Vegetarian


Take a stab at a slab - an intro to ribs
September 3rd, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Here's the cruddy thing about ribs: you can spend hours upon hours lovingly seasoning, basting and smoking a rack to melting, knee-knocking perfection, and at least one of your guests is going to be sitting there thinking, "Well, if I had been manning the grill, I would have..."

Fine. They get to host next time. Meanwhile, rest assured that there are as many ways to prepare ribs are there are meat-loving lunatics with nothing better to do than to spend four or more hours slaving over a hot grill. You're not going to please everyone, but if you follow these basic guidelines (and add your own touches along the way), there's an awfully good chance you'll at least please yourself.
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July 11th, 2012
02:00 PM ET
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For a safer grill cleaning method:

Remove the grates - and any other removable elements - from the grill and use a lightly dampened sponge to remove grease, rust and baked-on food. For tougher spots, make a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water and work that in with a ball of crumpled heavy-duty foil until they've worn away. Rinse away any residue with water and a soft, non-wire brush and dry all parts thoroughly.
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Filed under: Food Safety • Grilling • Grilling • Health News • Techniques & Tips


Don't bungle your burgers, don't screw up your steak
July 4th, 2012
02:45 PM ET
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We've all seen, smelled, eaten and regretted some mighty bad grilling mishaps over the years, and it's always such a shame. The meat is juuust a little overdone, under-seasoned, inedibly dry, or even reeking of creepy chemicals. With just a few tweaks, dinner would have been a winner.

This will not happen again. Not on our watch. Here is some of our best advice over the past two years.
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Filed under: Grilling • Grilling • Smoking • Techniques & Tips


5@5 - Guide to grilled pizza
June 18th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Say arrividerci to the meaty monotony of summer grilling (Fire up the grill. Add burgers. Throw on hot dogs. Repeat.) with homemade, flame-kissed pizza.

Here to give you a slice of the action is Jeff Moogk, the Executive Chef at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill.

"When grilling your pizza, it is important to remember to have fun and enjoy yourself with the process and the ingredients. Each pizza recipe I included is listed in the order that the ingredients should be placed, leaving the garnish for when the pizza comes off of the grill," Moogk says.
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Filed under: 5@5 • Grilling • Grilling • Make • Pizza • Recipes • Techniques & Tips • Think


5@5 - Last-minute advice for steak supremacy
May 28th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

We've been here all weekend to make sure your grilling success isn't at stake.

For the faint-hearted, Scott Kroener, executive chef of Del Frisco’s Grille in New York City, gives the final one-two punch to knock you into grill mastery.

Five Steps to Grilling the Perfect Steak: Scott Kroener
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Filed under: 5@5 • Grilling • Grilling • Techniques & Tips • Think


May 28th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
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So long as you're sparking up the grill for burgers or brisket or whatnot, you might as well have a heart. Or a kidney. Or possibly a liver or marrow bone.

Chris Cosentino is the chef-owner of Incanto and Boccalone in San Francisco, a competitor of the upcoming season of Top Chef Masters, and author of the new book "Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal". He's also a massive fan of offal and says, "If you are willing to kill an animal, you should be willing to eat all of it."
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Filed under: Celebrity Chefs • Chris Cosentino • Grilling • Grilling • Jamie Bissonnette • Meat • Offal • Recipes • Techniques & Tips • Video


Risk a brisket on the grill
May 28th, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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May 28 is National Brisket Day. Here's how to make one at home.

I've never had any complaints about my brisket. That could be because no one is especially keen to rag on the crazy-eyed lady wielding a hot pair of tongs and giving out free meat, but I'd like to think that it had at least a little bit to do with quality.

Burgers, hot dogs, steaks and chicken are cookout classics for a reason. They're crowd-pleasers and (with a little care) relatively un-screwuppable. They're a safe bet, but for maximum impact, only a giant hunk of meat will get the job done.

Consider the brisket. It's a big ol' flat, cut of beef from the chest of a cow, and it's the stuff of Texas legend. It's bone-free and takes a fairly long time to cook down under low, slow charcoal heat, but every last stomach grumble is worth it.

While many weekend grillers think this sort of project is best left to fifth-generation Texas pitmasters and smoke-soaked competition barbecue acolytes with big, schmancy smokers, a succulent brisket is achievable in your backyard grill.

Really. I promise. Here's how.
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Filed under: Barbecue • Favorites • Grilling • Grilling • How To • Ingredients • Meat • Smoking • Techniques & Tips


Achieve grilling greatness - tips, recipes, advice and inspiration from professional chefs and backyard masters
May 25th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
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Some people maintain that Memorial Day officially marks the start of grilling season and Labor Day, the end. Those people, for the most part, are wrong. Some folks maintain the flame in snowdrifts up to their thighs. Others won't haul out the hibachi until late September because it'll finally be cool enough to cook outside without wilting like a hothouse gardenia.

So what we're saying is, so long as our spatula isn't actively frozen or melted to our hands, and monsoon spray does not prevent us from lighting a charcoal chimney, we're going to be outdoors, putting flame to food. Why don't you just come along and join us?

Catch up on the rest of our great cookout and picnic tips below, and if you run into a sticky grilling situation - we're here to help. Share your burning questions in the comments or Tweet us @eatocracy and we'll have your festivities back on track in no time.
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Filed under: Grilling • Grilling • Help Desk • How To • Smoking • Techniques & Tips


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