Posts Tagged ‘Charcoal’

Looft Lighter – A new gadget for lighting charcoal

I received a new toy to try out and play with the Looft Lighter In Canada the Looft Lighter is available at Ontario Gas BBQ’s and retails for $89.99.  


THE LOOFTLIGHTER STORY

It all began 1997 when theatre director Richard Looft got angry. The chicken he barbecued tasted lighter fluid!

Richard started thinking of a better and more environment friendly way to light the grill.

He poured coal into a toaster, turned the flow around in a vacuum cleaner and discovered that the coal got ready to use in just a few minutes!

In 2003 a prototype was presented to the Swedish Inventors’ Association.
In 2005 Looft Industries Ltd was established. In 2006 the first 5000 Looftlighter arrived in Stockholm and Richard then called the most exclusive department stores. Nobody wanted even to see him…

So he took his grill, placed himself outside the shops, called again to the purchasers and asked for 60 seconds of their time. They came out, Richard made his demonstration and all ordered the Looftlighter right in the street.

Today the Looftlighter is being sold as a BBQ- and fire place lighter in all of Scandinavia, more than ten countries in Europe and has also been introduced in the USA.

I have to admit I was pretty shocked at the price considering it is just a BBQ lighter. I mean who is going to spend $89.99 on essentially a lighter. Ok really its a lighter and beer opener. It would be advisable though to open your beer then light the charcoal. It is very hot once you use it rendering the beer opener unusable until the unit cools down.

I used in in my weber kettle last weekend. I wasn’t going to be cooking in fact I was out in my backyard with my daughters friends who wanted to roast marshmallows. It sounds an awful lot like a hair dryer. Which makes sense since it is hot air that is being used to light the charcoal. I simply pointed it to the pile of lump charcoal I was using and approx 30-40 seconds later it started sparking and about 1 minute later the piece of lump it was pointing to – was lit. That was it. However due to its design you only get one or two pieces lit at a time.  I left the couple of pieces lit and after 45 minutes the rest of the charcoal was ready to go. You can also use the looft lighter in fireplaces.

The lighter overall seems to be constructed well. It is heavier than it appears. Solid overall. However there is no child lock on the lighter. That would be a concern for me.

The looft lighter absolutely works as stated. No denying that fact. Its a fun expensive gadget for sure. For however many coals you want lit you have to hold the button down. IF you want a whole lot of coals lit at once that means potentially holding the button for 10-15 minutes listening to a loud hair dryer. At the end of the day I am really comfortable using my weber chimney that cost 19.99 and a sheet of newspaper (free from the assortment of flyers I get weekly) or a weber cube ($4.99 for 24 cubes). Its much easier to me to light my charcoal chimney full then go play with my kids, or prep the meats and veggies and come back and dump them in. Simple easy lighter fluid free.

Mothers Day Feast Bison Tri Tip Grilled Corn & Artichokes

Mothers day.. 2010

image via Metblogs

My husband got up this morning and made me some lovely pancakes for breakfast. The children brought me beautiful handmade cards and lovingly made presents from school. I had a nice leisurely morning playing with the kids and writing recipes. I think Mothers Day is such an overrated day. I think everyday should be Mothers & Fathers day. However I will use this day each year to get the house cleaned. I admit it I am shallow like that. Any opportunity to get the house cleaned works for me.

So while the hubby and the kids were cleaning I was playing on the grills. Now in my world a day of playing with the kids and playing with the grills rocks.

My menu for todays meal has been planned since this past Monday. I received an AWESOME present from the food editor of the Toronto Star Jennifer Bain. She also is known as the Saucy lady. I had not seen here for years though we corresponded back and forth. It was fun to grill up some items for her to be featured in a couple of articles in the Toronto Star’s food section. Jennifer brought me a present she knew I would appreciate.

Her husband is a bison rancher in Alberta. I was thrilled to see her digging out packages of meat from her bag. A gorgeous tri-tip and some other cuts to be used at a later date. I knew in an instant what I would be making for Mother’s day. I love tri-tip. Love it. I do not have it often enough. To get a bison tri-tip was really special. I can’t wait to get together again. She is a walking encyclopedia of food knowledge and funny as hell.

For those of you not familiar with Tri-tip Whitetrash BBQ had the following article and image on Santa Maria Tri Tip:

My tri-tip started its journey today in a marinade of dried rosemary, minced garlic, canola oil, and red onions.

While the tri-tip was getting happy I moved on to the side dishes. Artichokes are another one of those items that I do not eat often enough. They are labour intensive but so worth it. I started out with quite a lot of artichokes.

Then I got to trimming them with some scissors to take out the tough sharp outer leaves. I used a large knife to cut off the ends just above the choke.

They are so pretty.

I needed to trim a little faster these were browning up quickly.

Cutting them in half and using a melon baller is the easiest way i have found to clean them out quickly.

I also like eating the stem. I used a paring knife to trim out the harder outer layer.

One of the most important steps is placing the trimmed artichokes in some acidulated water. Thats a fancy schmancy way of saying some water that has some lemon juice in it. So glad I am finally putting those college degrees to use. Basically if you skip this step you will end up with very gray blotchy looking artichokes. It won’t affect the taste but they will look like crap on a plate.

After soaking them in the acidulated water for half an hour I drained them off and placed them in one of my large stock pots filled with fresh water. I boiled them in salted water for approx 1/2 hour till they were just started to tenderize. Now you can skip this step but you better be prepared to stand beside your charcoal grill for a good hour or so while they get tender. Since they are not a rib I am ok with boiling.

While they were getting their happy bath I moved on to the last side dish – corn. I love corn. If given a choice between corn or potatoes corn for me wins out every time. I remember once when I was a kid I got my a$$ seriously reprimanded for eating corn raw right in the field of the farmer that lived near us. Not only did I get the displeasure of my parents bestowed upon me for stealing our neighbours corn I had to go work for the farmer and make up for it. Sheesh I mean really to an 11 year old kid was the farmer really going to miss a couple of ears??? I still think brat (baby brother) ratted me out for that one.

Ok so getting back to the corn. I keep it simple flavorful and fresh. I peel back the husks and I remove the silks and I go right to the grill with it. I don’t season it at all until it comes off. I really find if you use a good charcoal like Basques a lot of the flavor is imparted by the charcoal itself.

When it came off I simply sprinkled chipotle powder, lime zest, salt and pepper on it with a tiny bit of butter. (please note this is the truth the Paula Deen in me didn’t come out today y’all!)At the last minute I always squeeze lime juice on as well.

As the corn was finishing it was time to get the artichokes on the grill to get a bit of char on them. It was quite windy in my backyard today.
**Ahem – note to husband a Q bana may be in my near future. Just saying its something to think about.

Please note this picture should also be proof that I do on occasion wear something other than black. Bright orange neon capris at home are perfectly acceptable grilling clothing.

While all this veggie madness was going on (see Peta I do eat veggies….) on went the tri-tip on the new Traeger 300. I am really loving this grill. Awesome color on everything and great taste too.

Today I employed the reverse sear method. It worked well again. Here is another reference to reverse sear as well.
I held it at 225F for approx 1/2 hour then I finished it at 450F. I took it to medium rare. That way everyone in our house is happy. rested it for 15 minuted lightly tented.

I sliced the tri-tip fairly thinly and served up the corn and the artichokes with a curry aioli (curry powder, good quality mayo, s&p, lemon juice, a wee bit of garlic powder, and a few pinches of turmeric).
Dinner as a family is always great and we try to eat together as much as we can. We are coming up to soccer season in our house this week. That means 3-4 times a week (for the next 12 weeks) we are either at a soccer game or at a soccer practice. I am going to cherish this dinner with family. Let me tell you it was goodness on a plate. #GOAP It was a wonderful meal for mothers day.

For all you Mom’s out there you rock. Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

Fire Wire Flexible Grilling Skewers

Received a package of FireWire flexible grilling skewers to review. They are branded independently and also under the big green egg logo of accessories.

Each skewer is 30″ long from tip to tip. Made of flexible stainless steel and are dishwasher safe.

They are available in Canada at Ontario Gas BBQ two to a package $14.99 CA and many other retailers throughout the US.

They come with a very generous warranty

Fire Wire® is warranted against failure for the lifetime of the product.
If in the unlikely event Fire Wire® were to ever fail to work as designed we
will replace it. To claim your replacement Fire Wire® just send us the defective
unit and we will send you a new one.

Here is their promo video from You tube:

I used them this past weekend to get a LOT of shrimp grilled super fast for a party.

This product lives up to the hype. Super easy to use, really helps make efficient use of limited grill space and overall anything that can go directly in the dishwasher is always good in my books. I highly recommend these for use on all your BBQ’s and grills!

My newest Toy

Well you can never ever have enough BBQ’s I don’t believe that anyone should only have one bbq or grill. There are so many different types and they are all different with great capabilities.
Thanks to the folks at BGE Canada John & Brian who came by tonight with my newest addition the Big Green Egg.
I am sure to have fun playing on it.
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Great News Basques Charcoal will be available at Goemans

My favorite charcoal Basques Charcoal and a sponsor of our BBQ team Diva Q will be available at Goemans this year. They will have the charcoal in their stores next week!!!

Goemans has 5 locations in Ontario:

  • Kitchener
  • London
  • Mississauga
  • St. Catharines
  • Stoney Creek

The difference between Basques Hardwood Charcoal and the others

What essentially differs us from the competition is our hardwood charcoal. Our lump charcoal is made only with logs which have been selected cuts grown under regulated forest regeneration programs. In fact, you will not find any construction or destruction residue in our bags. That means no nails, pieces of metal or again charcoal which may look like a two by four.

Cooking on Basques Hardwood Charcoal

Basques charcoal: 100% natural hardwood * sugar Maple
Ingredients: 100% natural charcoal for a real wood-grilled flavour

Interview with Ray Lampe aka Dr. BBQ

Danielle Dimovski Diva Q & Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ Canadian Open 2006

Ray (Dr. BBQ) was one of the first successful American Competition BBQ’ers I ever met. It was 2006 and he was the head judge for the Canadian Open. His BBQ class held in Detroit was the very first one I took. He is an extremely candid person. He never minces words.  He has no regrets about calling people out on things that are not right in his book. In the years since he has done a heck of a lot. He has 5 cookbooks published, taught multiples of classes, and has been on countless TV programs and is easily recognizable to anyone in competitive BBQ.

Who is Dr. BBQ?

Ray Lampe grew up in Chicago and after high school spent 25 years in the family trucking business. In 2000 the trucking business had run its course, and it was time for Ray to do something different. He had been participating in BBQ cook-offs as a hobby since 1982, so he decided to take a leap and try to turn his hobby into a career. In 2000 Ray moved to Lakeland, Florida and began his career as a BBQ man.

I caught up with Ray while he was prepping his gear for this weekends first KCBS competition of the year in Lakeland FLA.  I haven’t had much time to catch up with Ray over the last few years. I have been busy and so has he. It certainly hit home that we need to talk a bit more often as the conversation we had ended up being about 2 and a half hours. It wasn’t so much of an interview as it was just catching up with a friend.

D- So tell me about your new site Firecooker.com

RL-Well I am the resident Pitmaster of Firecooker.com. I want it to be a  comfortable backyard community of grillers and BBQ’ers. I wanted a place to showcase BBQ videos, awesome recipes and a great forum. I think its lots of fun and really informative for anyone out there whether they be a competitive BBQ’er looking for tips or a backyard guy or family that wants to see some great tips. It really is for everyone. Just go on and check it out then upload a video. Its really user friendly.

From the website:

FireCooker is a free service for BBQ and grilling fans. You can use FireCooker to rate and review BBQ and upload your own recipes and videos.  You can also keep track of BBQ you’d like to try and buy as well as subscribe to what your buddies have reviewed. The site was built by BBQ fans for BBQ fans.  Whether you’re grilling or slow-cooking in the backyard, we want FireCooker to be the place where you can learn new grill skills, talk to other backyard chefs and rate their recipes and videos

D- How long have you been a member of KCBS?

RL- I have been a member of KCBS since 1991. I have seen a lot . I know where the bodies are buried. (he chuckles) I was there for a lot of it.

D- You have put out 4 books over the last few years when is the next book coming out?

RL- The next book to come out will be one I did for Williams Sonoma. Ribs Chops Steaks & Wings It will be available in April and is available for pre-order. So now I have done 5 books in 5 years.  I am already working on number 6.

D- Recently you made an announcement that you are no longer the Executive Chef for Southern Hospitality.  Was the split amicable?

RL- Absolutely it was amicable. Originally the plan was to open additional locations of Southern Hospitality. Unfortunately due to the economy this just didn’t end up occurring. As such I want to be able to leave my options open. I know that’s probably selfish but I was not a partner. I would like nothing more than to hear that they are expanding the business in the future. They are great guys. Good people to work with.  I would certainly like to work with them again in the future. I wish them only the very best.

John Markus, Chris Lilly, Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ

D- Would you have liked to be on TLC BBQ Pitmasters?

RL- John Markus is a good friend of mine. We were in negotiations for me to do the show. Unfortunately at the time I was already doing Tailgate Warriors. John had such a tight schedule that I just could not be there for them. We just couldn’t work it out. Its just business. It hurts me not to be on that show. I would have loved to be there with my good friends. I know Myron, Leeann, Tuffy, and Jamie. Myron is a ball-buster for sure ( he says laughing) he is a great business man. Its all good for BBQ.

D- You have had an agent now for about a year. How has that impacted your BBQ career?

RL- The opportunity came from Southern Hospitality. My agent was at IMG and has now moved on to another agency. Have an agent that represents me works well. I fill a niche. There are more opportunities.

Some of the things this BBQ man does:

* He’s an expert judge on the Food Networks “Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri”
* He’s featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”
* He travels the country as the Spokeschef for The Big Green Egg grill and smoker
* He’s the featured BBQ Chef at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia
* He’s a spokesman for The National Pork Board
* He’s judged at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship BBQ Cookoff
* He’s judged at the Terlingua, Texas International Chili Cookoff
* He’s judged at The Best of The West Rib Cookoff in Reno
* He served as Executive Chef at Southern Hospitality BBQ in NY 2008-2009
* He writes the “Ask Dr. BBQ Column” for Fiery Foods & BBQ Magazine
* He’s been a guest chef at the Club Med Food and Wine Festival
* He’s been a guest chef at the Woodford Reserve Distillery

D- Do you have any plans for the Superbowl?

RL- I am doing a corporate Tailgate Party. Ill be working with ribs chicken and all total I will have 4 dishes. I’ll even make a Jack Daniels Pie. Whether I get to see the Superbowl live remains up in the air at this moment. I sure hope I get to.

Thanks to Todd at Plowboys BBQ for the use of this photo

D-What TV Projects are you currently involved in?

RL- Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri is something I have been involved in as an expert judge on the Food Network. I have to say that working with Guy is something. He is a real TV professional. Nothing with him is scripted. I really can’t remember if he ever had to do a retake. He is that good at it.

Also I am featured on Food Networks Best thing I Ever Ate airing this Friday (today January 29) Look for the Meatfest show and me eating a Beef and Sausage Combo in Chicago

  • Ray Lampe: Dr. BBQ – Italian Beef and Sausage Sandwich – Joe Boston’ Italian Beef

    2932 W. Chicago Ave.

    Chicago, IL 60622

    (773) 486-9536

    There are also other great TV programs currently in the works and as they come up Ill let you know

    Dr. BBQ has appeared on:

    * Food Network
    * E! News
    * HGTV
    * The NFL Network
    * The Discovery channel
    * The Outdoor Life Network
    * CNN
    * Daytime Tampa Bay
    * Good Morning Texas
    * The Howard Stern Show
    * Martha Stewart Living on Sirius
    * NASCAR Sirius Radio

D- Will you be appearing on Guy Fieri’s new game show Minute to win it?

Minute to Win It, scheduled to debut on NBC on March 14th 2010, at 8pm, challenges contestants to complete ordinary tasks in ten seconds or less. Each completed task earns money, with a maximum payout of $1,000,000 for ten successful completions.

RL- (Laughing) I have not been asked to .

D- Your classes in the past have also included the Greenbriar. Are there plans to continue teaching BBQ there?

RL-The Greenbriar classes we (Ray, Chris Lilly & Myron) did in the past were excellent.  I would expect them to continue in the future.

D-Whats on your agenda with Big green Egg?

RL- I’ll be in Phoenix for the Eggs in the Desert Eggfest with Big Green Egg.  I’ll be teaching there and hanging out with other eggheads.

D- What competitions do you plan on attending this year?

RL- I would like to get to more but I just can’t anymore. I never have time to practice either. So far this year I will be at Lakeland this weekend, the American Royal, I am trying to get up to New York for the Grilling on the Bay. I will also be attending competitive BBQ’ers first $100,000 event in Little Rock Arkansas, Smoke on the Water. I always knew it would get to $100,000. I am glad I am able to attend the first one.  I am trying to put together a schedule that will also allow me to attend some of the other Nascar BBQ events.

D- Where else will you be this year?

RL- I’ll be at the Houston livestock Finals show and the Dallas Pro Bowl event. Lots of other things and places as well. As the dates come up ill have them put on the website. Its going to be a really fun and interesting year. Check the website often for updates.

D-Whats the best advice you would give to people wanting to get into the business of BBQ?

RL- Just remember this. Have integrity. Don’t screw people over. Don’t back stab. If you say you are going to do something then commit to it. Above all BBQ is business. Just like any other business out there. This one just happens to be BBQ. Its not a mystical magical thing.  You can help people and that’s great however you have to look out for your own business needs.   You have to still meet your commitments.  At the end of the day you have to understand  its a business.

You can find Dr. BBQ on twitter & Facebook

Also you can follow firecooker on twitter .

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