Gift Ideas / Prod. of the Month
Grilling Guide Part I
Grilling Guide Part II
Jo Cordi's Lifestyle Series
Brenda's Low Carb Good Life
Low Carb Ice Creams
Our Father's Day Story
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"Failure is success if we learn from it."
— Malcolm S. Forbes
P A R T I I :
Fire Up That Grill!
Since the dawn of humankind there have been but
a few earthly pleasures that have remained unchanged... and one of them
is the pleasure of eating succulent meat cooked on an open fire. There's
something about placing a thick, piece of red beef on top of a searing
hot grill that evokes those connections with our ancestors in ways that
broiling or frying can't replicate.
There's a subtle art to properly grilling a steak, and if you're
one of the many weekend barbecuers who serves 'em up like good
ol' Dad did — dry, tough and tasting of burned soccer
cleats — you might benefit from a few helpful hints.
While obviously the choice of steak is subjective, there are certain cuts that will
have your guests clamoring for just a tiny nibble more.
Willoughby, senior editor at Cook's
Illustrated magazine and
coauthor of Thrill of the Grill: Techniques, Recipes, and Down-Home
Barbeque and Let the Flames Begin, is partial to skirt steak
and porterhouse steak.
"Skirt is the most flavorful steak of them all. It has rich, deep beef flavor," says
Willoughby. "Porterhouse is that really tender steak. It has the tenderloin, the
most tender muscle in the whole animal, and the top loin — there's two different
textures of meat and the bone."
John Dewar, owner of John Dewar & Co. in Newton
Center, Mass., a meat purveyor to over 250 restaurants in New England, prefers
a bone-in ribeye steak and a boneless sirloin strip steak (also known as a New
York strip). "The ribeye probably has more flavor than the strip but is a
little greasy; the sirloin has a nicer texture and a nicer finish in the mouth,"
The one common denominator of all of these steaks: They are fattier
cuts. There's a direct correlation between the amount of fat in
a piece of beef (marbling) and its flavor. Ahhh... yet another reason to be
glad I'm a low carber!
Gas vs. charcoal, briquettes vs. wood. These issues are
endlessly debated in grilling circles. One thing everyone agrees
on is that a charcoal fire burns hotter than most gas grills, a
critical factor in getting a good sear on the meat. Willoughby
prefers a Weber kettle grill. His choice of fuel? Hardwood,
which burns faster than briquettes. He pooh-poohs charcoal with
the fluid already in it. "It gives off a chemical flavor," he
Dewar finds his gas grill just fine and dandy. "A lot of my chef
friends are purists and laugh at me that I don't use charcoal or
wood. But [my gas grill] seems a lot easier. It does a
serviceable job on the steaks, as long as you start with good
steaks. That's the secret," he says. Adds Willoughby: "Better to
grill on gas than not grill at all."
Now comes every weekend warrior's grandest moment: Dropping
those bad boys on the fire. Before you do, make sure your grill
has had time to get hot, hot, hot: Anything less and you won't
achieve those wonderful sear marks. (Searing ain't just for
looks, it helps hold in the juices.) For flavoring your steaks,
salt, pepper and a little oil will do the trick.
Keep the lid off your grill when cooking steaks; keep it on for
slow cooking roasts or whole birds.
To flip or not to flip? That is the question. Willoughby has no
problem with pushing and prodding the meat. "On the other hand,"
he notes, "you shouldn't be flipping it back and forth all the
time. When you cook on high heat, you're driving all the juices
to the center. I think flipping interferes with that."
The goal is to achieve a juicy
on the inside, nicely crusted on the outside piece of red heaven
that will have your guests hollering compliments ("This beats
a steak at Outback!") rather than avoiding any mention of
the meat "Boy, that salad was filling!").
For a 1 to 1 1/2" steak grill 8 to 10 minutes for rare, 10-12 minutes
for a reddish-pink medium rare (our favorite), 12 to 15 minutes for medium,
and 16 to 26 for well done. Use the pressure test
as a second judge, where the more rare the steak, the softer is should be.
Let the steaks sit 2 to 3 minutes before serving so the juices can flow to
the center. Remember, actual time will vary slightly with the heat of your
fire and thickness of the steak, but a little trial and error and you'll
be a pro.
Is there any aroma more appetizing than chicken cooking on the grill?
Delicious with no seasoning other than its own natural flavor cooked over
charcoal, chicken on the grill can also assume an infinite variety of tastes.
Chicken halves, quarters, or leg-thigh combinations are frequent choices for
outdoor barbecues. However, any part of the chicken may be cooked on the grill,
adjusting the cooking time for smaller parts such as breasts, thighs, and
The key to perfectly cooked grilled chicken is low temperature,
at least six inches from the heat, and adequate, non-rushed cooking
time (see table below). A cost-effective way to feed the family, entertain
friends, and save energy, grilling chicken is a leisurely process to be
savored and enjoyed.
- Thaw chicken in the refrigerator or microwave oven, never on the kitchen
counter or picnic table.
- Keep uncooked chicken in the refrigerator or cooler until its time
- Serve chicken from the grill on a clean platter, never on the dish or
platter used to hold raw chicken before cooking, unless that platter has
been washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- Wash hands, kitchen counter, cutting boards, knives, and other utensils
with hot soapy water after each contact with raw poultry or other meat.
- Chicken should be well-done, never medium or rare. If an instant-read
thermometer is used, a temperature of 180ºF should be reached; for
boneless parts, 160ºF.
(4" to 6" from coals)
|Whole Young Chicken (3-5 lbs.)
||1 to 1½ hrs.
||1½ to 2 hrs.
||3 to 4 hrs.
|Dark meat bone-in chicken parts
||40 to 50 min.
||30 to 35 min.
|White meat bone-in chicken parts
||30 to 35 min.
||25 to 30 min.
|Boneless Chicken Parts
||10 to 15 min.
|Roaster (6-7 lbs)
||2 to 2½ hrs.
||3 to 3½ hrs.
||3½ to 4½ hrs.
To preserve chicken's natural moisture and to prevent dryness, leave the skin
on during grilling and remove before eating, if desired.
Flatten chicken halves with heel of hand before placing on grill for more uniform
thickness and even cooking.
The most accurate way to tell when chicken is properly cooked is with a meat
thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 180ºF for whole chicken
or parts with bones; boneless parts should be cooked until the internal temperature
is 160º F. Chicken is done if juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
When in doubt, remove the chicken to a plate and cut with a knife to be sure the
center is no longer pink.
Chicken drumsticks, thighs and legs (which consist of thighs and drumsticks
attached) require a longer cooking time than chicken breasts.
To shorten grilling time, chicken can be partially cooked in the microwave
oven before being placed on the grill. However, partially cooked chicken should
be grilled immediately. While charcoal is heating, microwave chicken on High,
about 5 minutes per pound (less for cut-up parts), then grill about 20 minutes.
Now, here's a favorite Grilled Chicken recipe I hope you'll enjoy:
Grilled Lemon-Lime Chicken
Rinse the chicken breasts under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
Place chicken in a non-reactive container (either plastic, glass, ceramic,
or other non-metallic material). You may use a plastic zip lock bag also.
- 8 boneless chicken breast, skinless
- 1/2 cup light olive or macadamia oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
- garlic to taste (fresh or garlic powder)
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine oil, lemon and lime juices, lemon and lime peels,
garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Pour lemon-lime mixture into bowl or
plastic bag. Cover or seal and place in a refrigerator.
Marinade in refrigerator between 2 to 6 hours (the longer the better), turning
the chicken breasts occasionally.
Prepare a medium-hot grill fire and well oiled.
Remove chicken from marinade and discard all remaining marinade.
Place chicken breasts on the grill and cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side.
Only turn them once!
Total cooking time is 10 minutes. Test for doneness by cutting into the breast.
Serves 8. 2.1 grams of carbohydrate per serving.
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