Posts Tagged ‘grilling’
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.
Today’s announcement from TLC BBQ Pitmasters here are the judges for Season #2 premiering August 12 at 10pmEST/9c
Myron Mixon from Jack’s Old South and BBQ Pitmaster from Season #1
Superbowl Champ & BBQ Enthusiast
Celebrity Chef James Beard award winning author of Back to the Table and Kitchen Life
Skirt Steak is great when marinated. I love the texture. You have two options when cooking skirt steak- Hot and fast or low and slow with a braise.
Here is what I like to do with my skirt steak. Make sure you or your butcher removes the tough outer membrane before grilling.
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup reduced salt soy sauce
3 spring onions
4 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 lbs veal skirt steak
Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl or ziploc bag and add skirt steak. Marinate a minimum of 4 hours or even overnight.
Remove from marinade – heat grill to medium high heat using an all natural lump charcoal (I recommend Basques).
Directly grill each steak for 1-2 minutes. Then flip and grill for another 2 minutes. Remove from grill and rest tented in foil for 15 minutes.
Slice across the grain and serve with juices from the foil.
I love Fiddleheads. Love them dearly. I have fond memories as a kid going out to the bush around the Orangeville Ontario area with my Dad (aka Mr. Happypants) and the brat (aka my little bro) harvesting these spring time gems. We would go explore some of the Mono Cliff caves around Hockley Road ( a few minutes away from Orangeville) and then we would go harvest fiddleheads.
I did not harvest these lovely little gems but found them just being unloaded at my local No Frills grocery store. I could not resist. I really do prefer fresh fiddleheads for grilling. The frozen ones available year round are great for making a fiddlehead and leek soup in the winter but the texture is not great for a grill.
For those of you not familiar with fiddleheads here is the WIKI info for them:
Fiddlehead ferns refers to the unfurled fronds of a young fern harvested for food consumption. The fiddlehead, or circinate vernation, unrolls as the fern emerges from the ground with new growth. As fiddleheads are harvested early in the season before the frond has opened and reached its full height, they are cut fairly close to the ground.
The fiddlehead resembles the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a fiddle. It is also called a crozier, after the curved staff used by bishops, which has its origins in the shepherd’s crook.
When cooking fiddleheads, first remove all the yellow/brown skin, then boil the sprouts twice with a change of water between boilings. Removing the water reduces the bitterness and the content of tannins and toxins.
I like to soak my fiddleheads overnight in water first. Then trim any of the dark brown bits off the cut ends and remove any of the papery brown outer layer that can be sometimes attached to them. Before grilling I steam them quickly a couple of times. This is an important step as you need to remove some of the bitterness and potential toxins.
For the preparation I simply tossed them in some lemon olive oil, then sprinkled them generously with salt & pepper. Using a frogmat works great with these. Just grill at medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until tender turning a couple of times. I really like the lemon with fiddleheads. I added some lemon zest just before dinner as well.
Asparagus is in season now and its a great time to make lots of items with it.
This past weekend I made one of my favorite salads. Super simple and easy to make during the week or for a party.
Start with 4 pounds of asparagus washed thoroughly. For tips on how to clean & prepare & choose Asparagus please check out this website: The Ontario Asparagus Board.
Once the asparagus have been prepared its time to make the marinade:
- 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tbsp Finely minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp Finely chopped chives
- salt & pepper to taste
Whisk this all in a bowl. Place these all in a Ziploc bag and marinate a couple of hours.
Then prepare your grill for direct grilling. I left one side without coals and one side was hot. This enabled me to do the asparagus in batches and as they were ready I pulled them to the cooler side.
Reserve any of the marinade from the Ziploc bag for use at the end. When they are all done drizzle the remaining marinade on the asparagus. This recipe serves 16- You can always adjust this recipe to larger or smaller quantities just remember 1 pound of asparagus = 4 servings
This dish can be served cold or warm. Also if you have any leftovers they are a great addition to pasta salads potato salads etc. For more Asparagus recipes make sure to check out Ontario Asparagus Growers Marketing Board.
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.
Theres a new website online for sharing videos, BBQ tips and creating more BBQ communities:
Check it out and upload, watch and share your BBQ!
Received this book in the mail for review. From amazon listing :
The complete guide to starting your own competition bbq team, from your initial idea to cooking in your first full contest. It covers preliminary considerations, planning, equipping, set-up, and running your own team. George has gone where no other has before… he tells you how to compete in barbecue competitions. His book is a great read for anyone thinking of competing and for those already on the circuit. It’s informative and funny! Mike Stines, Ph.B. Author of Mastering Barbecue I’ve cooked on a few teams in my time on the circuit, but we never had this kind of organized approach. Now that I have George’s book, my next team will have a good plan to follow and we won’t be stabbing each other with barbecue forks! Ray Lampe, a.k.a. “Dr. BBQ” Author of five barbecue books including The NFL Gameday Cookbook A masterful yet fun journal that will teach avid barbecuers the ins and outs of competition bbq; a must-have handbook for anyone who wishes to join the ranks of the bbq world’s best practitioners. Rick Browne Host of the PBS-TV show Barbecue America
Its 108 pages of about all things starting competition BBQ. It is an introduction to the world of Competition BBQ and some of the pitfalls to avoid. What they don’t tell you is how funny this little book jam packed with valuable information is. I loved reading the stories from George’s point of view. Don’ t miss the psychological impacts of competition chicken overload. I have been there. I really related to these stories. Or even the sage advice offered on crotchel area issues on page 21.
This is not a serious book by any means. However there is some really serious decent advice and its an easy and fun read. If you are just beginning to contemplate starting a competition BBQ team you really should read this first.
You can buy a copy of the book here right on their site: www.watgbbq.com
Additionally you can always catch up with George and his teams adventures on the blog Who are those guys? Competition BBQ Team Blog.
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.
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.
Ray Lampe: Dr. BBQ – Italian Beef and Sausage Sandwich – Joe Boston’ Italian Beef2932 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
* The NFL Network
* The Discovery channel
* The Outdoor Life Network
* 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.
Also you can follow firecooker on twitter .
I have been regularly contributing to a terrific round table podcast presented by Hucks Hut. This episode was a great discussion with John Markus Executive Producer of BBQ Pitmasters on the TLC Network.
This weeks episode involves John answering a lot of questions about the show and himself in addition there was a great discussion on Super Bowl food!. Great recipes too! Listen HERE
Also just a reminder this show is part of the BCRN The BBQ Central Radio Networks