Posts Tagged ‘grilling’

New BBQ Cookbook – America Grills!!

I love BBQ cook books. I love reviewing the recipes and many times being inspired by them.

Recently on a trip to South Carolina I got to meet in person Barry “CB” Martin.  We have talked back and forth on twitter & facebook many times and on the phone but never in person. He is the contributing editor for this cookbook.

Barry exudes a lot of passion for all things BBQ and grilling – it really comes through in this book as well ! This is a happy book.  This book makes you want to go out and grill something ASAP. Lots of really useful information packed into this well laid out BBQ cookbook!


Right from the beginning the book outlines all different methods and does a fine job of it -

Beautiful pictures and 222 recipes follow all gloriously detailed!

In no way is this book pretentious. It is an easy book to read to look at and to enjoy. One of the best things about this book is that it makes you want to head to the store buy the recipes and BBQ.. That’s why I would highly recommend this book for anyone – It would be a great gift too!

The book is available from Amazon

You can find Barry on twitter and Char-broil on facebook

Diva Q Smoked BBQ Scotch Eggs Awesome Appetizer

Last year these were made out of necessity. This year I am doing them again on purpose. No bread crumbs and no deep frying for this bbq recipe. Its just my take on scotch eggs on the grill.

For this recipe I use:

  • 8 medium boiled eggs
  • 8 cevapcici (substitute your favorite sausage brand out of the casing)
  • 16 pieces roasted red pepper (Or substitute jalapenos for a spicier Scotch egg)
  • 2 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded colby cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup bbq rub
  • 1 cup bbq sauce

For each scotch egg I lay down a piece of plastic wrap first. This makes assembly so much easier.  Spread out the sausage to make a flat patty about 5 inches in diameter.

I lay down 2 pieces of roasted red pepper, some spring onions and 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese.  Lay the egg down and using the plastic wrap bring the sides of the sausage around the egg.  Making sure all of the egg is completely enclosed season them with your favorite BBQ rub. ( Please note if your sausage is not well seasoned you may want to add some bbq rub on the inside of the egg as well on the outside of the egg.) Remove from the plastic once the eggs are formed.

To the grill they go at 250 F indirect. I used a frogmat to lay my eggs on.  Grill the eggs for 1/2 hour then turn them. Continue grilling until the temperature of the sausage reached 165F.  Remove and let stand for at least 10 minutes cut and serve in halves or quarters. Super yummy. Serve with your favorite warmed BBQ sauce.

Raystown PA Inaugural BBQ @ the Beach Grilling and KCBS Event

There is nothing like deciding to go on a bit of a road trip for a contest. We decided to make a bit of a hike to Pennsylvania this past weekend with our children to attend the Inaugural competition put on by our friend Brian Nevel from Huntingdon County Custom and his partner Ed Stoddard.

They did a good job informing teams coming in of what to expect and the location was top notch. We had a great time competing in both the grilling and the KCBS contest.

You know its always so wonderful to get the opportunity to travel and see the small towns on the way to a comp. There are so many beautiful communities with interesting quirks I would love to stop at. There just never seems to be enough time. The fall foliage was breathtaking as we approached our destination. Just beautiful. My blackberry pictures don’t do it justice.

Lucky for us we had our good friends from Swamp Pit BBQ right next to us. Our kids love hanging out together and so do we!!

I also have to point out that I finally got to meet a very special little man. He is so snuggly and cute and adorable.  Cooper belongs to Kristal and Josh Shade from Tiny’s BBQ and well I was just really excited to cuddle him a bit :-)

For the grilling contest I have to give some props to our good friends Dan Hixon and Chris Hall from 3 Eyz BBQ. Since they were not competing in the grilling part they ended up being our taste testers for the trials we did ahead of the competition.   I was happy with our burger, pizza and chefs choice entires. I like having the ability to be creative. We ended up with a 1st in pizza and Reserve Grand Champion.

Here is a short video I took on the BB of the competition.

It was a lot of fun and it was great to see the other teams. I loved seeing the custom made firepits. I really enjoy sitting around the fire at a competition. I also seriously enjoyed a wicked good prime rib courtesy of the Grand Poobah himself Phil. It was awesome.   The morning shot was courtesy of MABA & Aporkaclypse now. The shot glasses were a really nice souvenir from the event.

We had a great time and I would recommend this event highly. The awards were terrific. Medals from the BBQ-brethren and custom awards from Brian Nevel.

Congratulations to PA Midnight Smokers who received two 180′s for the weekend. One in dessert and one in brisket.

Congrats to Chix, Swine and Bovine on their GC and 3Eyz BBQ on their Reserve GC for the KCBS competition. we came in 4th overall just missing a 180 in pork by less than 1/2 a point.

The reserve GC and the Grand Champion teams got to participate in a new tradition at Raystown Lake they both took a dip in the water and we all posed for a group picture:

It was great to be among friends for the weekend but its always nice to come home …..

Grilled Grouper with sweet Chili orange Glaze

I love grilling fish. Its such a nice change . I had a couple of really nice grouper fillets and I decided to make a Thai inspired glaze.


  • 2 grouper fillets
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • juice and zest 2 oranges
  • 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 stalk bruised lemon grass
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste


In a small saucepan sauté the onion in the sesame oil until soft. Add the orange juice, zest, fish sauce, chili sauce, kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass. Reduce by half and set aside.

Prepare your grill for indirect heat medium high.

Season the grouper fillets with salt & pepper and place on the grill.  Grill for 15-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets. The fillets should be semi firm to the touch. Glaze the grouper with the sweet chili orange glaze then grill for 5 more minutes. Repeat the glaze then remove from grill. Serve with remaining glaze.

I served the grouper with a mango, purple & red  pepper slaw with sweet basil chiffonade.


Need some Fathers Day dinner plans ?

This is a great deal and a good place to eat. Was in there for lunch earlier this week and saw their Fathers Day special posted:

Big Chris fathers day special folks.. Two full racks, large fries, and a large caesar salad for $35.00.. Dont make dad cook on his day, take it home and tell him that YOU MADE IT..


Barrie, ON


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.  


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.

Season 2 BBQ Pitmasters Judges

Today’s announcement from TLC BBQ Pitmasters here are the judges for Season #2 premiering August 12 at 10pmEST/9c

They are:

Myron Mixon from Jack’s Old South and BBQ Pitmaster  from Season #1

Warren Sapp

Superbowl Champ & BBQ Enthusiast

Art Smith

Celebrity Chef  James Beard award winning author of  Back to the Table and Kitchen Life

Marinated Veal Skirt Steak Victoria Day Weekend

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.

Fiddleheads Fiddleheads Fiddleheads

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.

I served them up with some nice plump tomatoes and xtra crispy cajun fried chicken. It was a good meal.

Grilled Asparagus Salad

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.

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