Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Grilling is For Fun in the U.S. but Outdoor Cooking Can Be Critical in Other Countries.

My son, Eli, in the Peace Corps in Panama
Thanks to everyone. They made the full amount and are starting on the outdoor stoves. Bless those who help others. 

When my youngest son graduated in Environmental, he decided he wanted to start off with service to the Peace Corps which helps people in other nations. While we may think we are disadvantaged in the United States, that often means that we can't pay for HBO and such. In other places, getting enough food becomes critical.

Coming from a barbecue family, he wanted to try out some cooking and grilling. His options were a camp stove with a gas can if someone carried in the gas and an open fire which is hard on resources in the Rain Forest.

Villagers got together and voted on a project they'd support. Each family will need to donate $30 themselves, and that is HUGE there. The rest of the money will come from generous people who want to help out to make these ovens for the village . . .

Here is a Panamanian Outdoor Stove in Progress

This project will open up the door to so many more food options and also help save Rain Forest resources. I know it will make a huge difference, because I visited. The food was fabulous but only made on top of gas burners. I can only imagine how much they could do with these outdoor cooking ovens.

My son got Dengay ("broken bone" disease caused by a mosquito biting) and a few other things, and he's over half through his tour of two years and three months. This is his big project. Since he's lost 40 pounds, I'm sure he will loved to have some foods baked as well. The villagers live this life every day.

I would not that my son's village was very hospitable, friendly, and happy. Things were a lot more relaxed. Still, food is food, and we all need that. Help out by clicking below if you can. You do not have to give the amounts listed. There is a click to just give a few bucks to help out. Every little bit help. Thanks - The Barbecue Master and her Peace Corps Son

Help Build Some Outdoor Stoves So the Village Has More Nutritional Options and Has Less of an Impact on the Rain Forest

Every Dollar Makes a Huge Difference in a Rural Village of Around 100 People.

Cave Tools Wing Rack & Drip Pan for Barbecue Grilling Wings and Other Parts

Wing Rack with Drip Pan by Cave Tools Company

I had never thought about getting a chicken wing rack. I grill some wings and the chicken drumettes, but I've also been old school, turning and turning. Cave Tools got in touch and asked if I'd test and write about a product if they sent one out. I am pretty over my rain forest fall and leg injury, so I thought I check it out.

The chicken wing rack which will also work for really everything but the breasts which you might cut down and still try turned out to be quite sturdy. The rack part does fold flat, but it is solid and has a connection that holds it in place really nicely.

 Chicken Wings from the IGA - Still Scratching my Head

I ran down to IGA (the only store closer than say 1/2 hour) and grabbed a bag of chicken wings. Some pieces did look like the dumette part of the wing. Other parts . . . I just don't know. The flavor was fine, and the price was good. I do like to do pretty displays. My boys don't care on the displays, so we'll coin toss that next time.

I just slipped the small pieces and parts of chicken into the Cave Tools rack. The rack was rock solid. It was easy to load it up and cook on the rack. I also used a glove and tongs to turn the pan rack around a couple of times for more even cooking.

Saucing Up the Chicken on the PK Grill

When the chicken was down to about 5 to 6 minutes left to grill I  sauced them up, since we wanted hot wings. You can see that sugar based sauce will burn in the pan which is normal. If you want drippings for gravy, for example, do not sauce or pour off your drippings and be ready to use them later as you finish up the saucing.

Yum. Those Were Some Yummy Chicken Wings!

Using the rack which will hold up to twelve pieces was really handy. I enjoyed not having to watch close and turn the small pieces of chicken. For a group, I'd suggest a couple of racks. We ate 8 of 10 here - and the other 2 for a snack.

I'm not used to saving drippings, but this pan will make that super easy. Even if I don't want gravy or drippings on a grilling night, I can free and use those tasty bits and fat for later. I'm trying to do better about no waste grilling and no waste living.

Wing racks were an item I was ho-hum on. I knew I could do it fine without them, but it was so much easier. The juice dripped down through the wings, keeping them very moist. Clean up of the pan was easy, and I'm not ready to getting me some drippings.

Cave Tools has a lot of nice looking tools. I can say for sure that the wing rack is well made and works great. Those were the easiest wings I've made. Add in drippings, and this one is certainly thumbs up.

If you shop at Amazon, then you can pick up the chicken rack there. It would make a great gift for a home griller who does not own one yet. 

And . . . a deal for you! Use code WING15 for 15% off on your very own easy chicken wing rack.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

San Francisco Smoked Whiskey Salt Makes my Steak Spot On

San Francisco Company Whiskey Smoked Salt

I had considered getting some salt and smoking it and then grinding it down, but the San Francisco Salt Co. got in touch, and I discovered the wheel had already been invented. SFSC has smoked salt, and it is not the fake "smoke in a bottle" stuff which I do not like at all. This is naturally smoked salt, and it tastes great.

San Francisco Whiskey Smoked Salt is especially good on steak, particularly high-end, grass-fed cuts like rib steak. I don't want to drown the taste out on a good steak, but it helps to have good quality simple seasonings for the best results.

Below is a rib steak with San Francisco salt and some freshly ground pepper. The only other addition are the two little pieces of butter that are melting on top of the almost done steak. Grass fed beef is leaner, so a very small amount of real butter adds to the taste too.

 Grass Fed Beef with San Francisco Salt, Pepper, and Butter

Some people think salt is salt. That is not the case. As with most things, you get what you pay for. You also can get natural salt San Francisco salt which is healthier as well as being tastier.

This is the first time I've tried smoked salt, and SFSC did send me a bottle to check out. I'm more a pepper girl than salt (just how I roll), but I really loved this salt. I've also heard the pink Himalayan salt from San Fran Salt is fabulous. I'll have to try that out some time. The black truffle also sounds interesting.

I give thumbs up to the San Francisco Smoked Whiskey Salt. It has a delicate flavor and does not overpower my meat which is important with the cost of cuts these days. The whiskey salt just takes the steak up a few notches and will give you a bit of smoke taste even if you don't use charcoal as I typically do.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Barbecue "Fails" from the Experts Including the Barbecue Master

Oops! Fire Gets Out of Hand Due to Full Drip Pan

We all have those huge BBQ fails now and then or even little errors that make the grill-out less than stellar.

Someone forgot to empty the grease holder in the back of the grill before a simple hot dog and hamburger grill out (above), and it took some quick moving to save the day. I jerked the grill door open and cut the gas which worked like a charm. And, I cleaned out the drip box for the owners (who may not have even been aware that it was hidden in the back of the grill).

If you grill much at all, I'm guessing that you have your own barbecue blooper in mind. Or, maybe you are just starting out and want to avoid the most common mistakes.

My friend, Robert Mazarella, put together an excellent guide to the bad and ugly of barbecue by checking in with the experts (including me). Check out his barbecue guide which includes many of the top names in barbecue grilling sharing their tips and hints for outdoor grilling success every time (or most of the time). I know you'll enjoy his barbecue site and his guide for the best barbeques.