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BBQ Success

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Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:16 pm
vfxtrev medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 65
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Hey guys, a while back I mentioned I finally bought a Weber One-Touch Platinum grill; and finally last night, I did my first barbecue!! :D I've been very busy lately and doing some well earned vacationing, so it took me a week just to build the kettle. Anyway, fired up the grill last night and had such a blast (no pun intended) doing it! I have some notes for you guys and would love some input.

To start... I bought lump charcoal and a chimney starter... immediately, I found that there sure were a lot of small pieces of charcoal in the bag -- in fact, when I poured the hot charcoal into the kettle, many pieces slipped right through the grate. Anyhow, I've seen it written that one chimney starter full of charcoal is good for a 22 1/2 inch grill (which is what I have). Although, when I poured that in, it definitely did not look like enough. I could have maybe just barely made a single layer of coals on the grate. It didn't seem right, so before spreading out the coals, I put more lump on top (maybe 2/3rd's of a chimney's worth). Waited for that to burn well, and then as a result, I had 2 layers worth of coals covering 2/3rds of the grate, and left 1/3rd empty for a cool zone. I could have maybe spread it out more, but as I said, smaller peices were slipping through the grate.

Once the coals had matured, I checked the heat with my hand -- wow, it was HOT!! :twisted: I could only hold my hand over for 2 seconds, so I figured it's too hot - 3 second rule, right? Now here's where I goofed a little -- once I was ready to grill, I decided to throw on some hickory wood chips (soaked) -- well I swear the temp dropped a 100 degrees or so. Hmmm, that wasn't too good - now I thought I might be below my desired grilling temp. Plus, because I was not going to be closing the lid (doing steaks), the chips just dried up and went a blaze with flames very quickly. I closed the lid, the flames choked and went out and then started up again once I removed the lid. So I'm guessing I should just use the chips if I'm doing something where I will be keeping the lid closed?

Finally to the good part.... I put on 2 rib eye and 2 t-bone steaks, and grilled 4 halves of zuckinni. I did the steaks 6 minutes per side (didn't want to do too rare on my first grill) and when I took them off and checked them under outdoor light, I was disappointed to see they looked well done. I prefer medium rare to medium. But... big BUT... when we sat down to dinner in the kitchen and started eating, we all noticed each steak had that PERFECT pink center... WOW, the steaks were so amazing and juicy and evenly grilled.

I think that's the 2 things I noticed most about using my charcoal grill for the first time... the grilling was the most even I've ever encountered... and I swear the steaks were the most juicy I'd ever had! What an awesome experience -- so much fun doing charcoal -- I can't wait to get home after work tonight and fired up the grill again!!

I know this is a long post, but if any of you experienced ones out there could give me any critical remarks, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,

Trevor

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:21 pm
Rifter well done
well done

Posts: 340
Location: Idaho, Boise

Well... give it a bit more time, and you will be like me... when going to bed, start thinking about what would be good to grill, and then start dreaming about BBQ for half the night. :-)

Of course, it helps that I read cook books before I got to sleep. Already been through BBQB, HtG, BBQ USA, and the sauces book. Now, I am on to smoke & spice. :-)

Congrats on your first grilling experince on the new grill. It is quite a bit of fun. I started the summer with 2 broken down grills, that didn't work, and a tiny kettle grill. I now have 1 full sized gas, and 1 chargriller on my porch. I keep the small kettle around, for its extra space and convience. :-)
Kevin 'Rifter' Rank
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Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:46 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Trevor congratulations on the new Kettle! Thanks for letting us share you experience with you. We don't mind the long post but it would be better if it was illustrated. :wink: Hope the new grill last many, many seasons!
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Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:03 pm
willisamrhein medium
medium

Posts: 161
Location: Louisville, KY
When I first looked at your username, I thought it said vtxtrev, instead of vfxtrev. I was going to ask if that was because you rode a VTX Honda motorcycle, followed by what model. Oh well, that's another board. Back to the "Q".

Congrats with your first charcoal experience on the Weber Platinum. I too have the Weber platinum, and absolutely love it. If I were limited to just one of the three grills, the other two being a smoker and a gas grill, I would NOT depart with my Weber Kettle. It is perhaps one of the most versatile grills out there.

I too had issues with the lump charcoal. Ok everyone close your eyes for this next one....I don't use it anymore. I went back to regular Kingsford charcoal briquettes. The problem I had with the lump was that it took soooooooo much just to get a decent sized grill, such as the 22.5, to have a hot fire for the right length of time. The last time I used lump, it took almost 1/2 of the bag to completely cover the grate (I was grilling all direct stuff, including baked potatoes and needed the lengthy time - finshed with porterhouse steaks). It took 2 Weber chimneys to get what I wanted for a heat source. So, I switched back to Kingsford. One Weber chimney and once spread out covers the grate and stays hot for a long time. Rake into a pile and leave a cool zone if you desire. Either way, it works better for me than lump.

As for the flame ups with the wood chips, I like to grill with a little wood chips also when grilling steaks. So I toss them on the coals, put my steaks opn and let the steaks seer with the lid open for the first minute. Then I close the lid and it snuffs out any burning chips. I leave the lid on for the next several minutes until it is time to rotate the steak to get the great crossed grill marks. Leave the lid off for a few seconds and then put it back on. Do the same for the other side. I was watching the foodnetwork channel one day and saw a special on the Weber Grill Restaraunt in Chicago. This is what the chef recommended for cooking steaks. He said leave the lid off for the first minute or two and then put it back on. In case you don't know about this place, they cook with nothing but very large Kettle grills...INSIDE. Anyway, all of my steaks have come out just great using this method. As for doneness, I use Steve's poke test. NEver been wrong yet.

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:12 pm
vfxtrev medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 65
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Thanks for the tip Willisamrhein... I think I will try that lid closing thing with my next steaks -- I've always been a lid closer myself, but last night I was determined to not close the lid with my steaks. I believe one of the reasons the grilling was so evenly done was for that reason -- pink was dead center of the meat -- just awesome. :)

Trevor

p.s. No matter how hard I try, I can never figure out that poke test stuff -- heard the rules a hundred times, but I touch it, and it all seems the same to me -- can distinguish from medium rare to well done? I go more with my gut feeling, stopwatch, and heat of the grill.

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:18 pm
mudx2 medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 57
Location: St. Charles, Mo
I did see that about the weber restaurant. That looks like a great place. If I ever have a reason to go to Chicago, I would definately go there!! :lol:

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:47 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
vfxtrev wrote:
No matter how hard I try, I can never figure out that poke test stuff -- heard the rules a hundred times, but I touch it, and it all seems the same to me -- can distinguish from medium rare to well done? I go more with my gut feeling, stopwatch, and heat of the grill.

Congrats on a great first cook!

It takes some practice to master the poke test, but once you do, you can distinguish between medium-rare and medium or any other degree of doneness. It's worthwhile learning, because you can't depend on time as there are too many variables, like ambient temp, wind, etc. To do the peek method, you have to cut into the steak, a definate no-no. I'd suggest this. Poke a raw steak to get the feel. Then after it has been on the grill a few minutes (say 2) on each side, poke it again. Feel the difference? When you use the peek method and get the steak where you want it, poke it again to see what that degree of doneness feels like. Keep doingn this, and you'll soon master the technique, and you can amaze your friends!

I have learned to do the poke test on hamburger or pork chops too.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:52 pm
vfxtrev medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 65
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Oh, almost forgot to mention.... just to make it interesting for my first grill, there was a slight wind. :roll: I thought, just my luck, especially since we've had nothing but hot, no wind weather lately. Oh well, thanks to the lid rest on the Weber Platinum, I was okay.

Trevor :)

p.s. I will post a pic of my first grill later tonight...

Post Tue Jul 27, 2004 2:53 am
vfxtrev medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 65
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Here's a pic from my first day of grilling... those rib-eye steaks sure were amazing!!

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Trevor :D

Post Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:31 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I swear I can smell those beauties cookin'! Great job Trevor, thanks for the pic. :D
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Post Tue Jul 27, 2004 10:42 am
Big D well done
well done

Posts: 616
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
mmmmmm looks sooooo good

Post Tue Jul 27, 2004 10:49 am
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
MMMMMM Rib Eyes! My absolute favorite steak and one of my top two favorite meals!
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:14 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
That one on the left had my name written all over it.

Great looking food. I too am a big fan of the grilled zucchini. Try them with shredded parmesan and romano cheese over them like the tomatoes I've posted about. Equally tasty.
Doesn't everything taste better with melted cheese?

Great meal!
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Post Tue Jul 27, 2004 12:22 pm
vfxtrev medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 65
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Thanks guys for your encouraging remarks... it was a good meal. I did some bbq again last night, however, it wasn't quite as successful. I did some huge burgers and unfortunately, they were very pink inside. I'm sure they were cooked enough not to cause us harm, but it was a little unsettling, especially for my pregnent wife, that they were so pink. The meat didn't appear raw which was good, but I definitely could have done them longer I suppose. These patties were about 3/4 to 1 inch thick and quite large. The mistake I made was only doing them for 4 minutes and then flipping. They then stayed on for another 10 minutes or so, because after 8 minutes total, I could tell I needed more time. However, peeked inside one near the end (was outdoors obviously) and it looked okay. But yet again, once in the kitchen eating under incandescent light, the meat was redder than I thought. This is a lesson learned --- don't trust outdoor light. :wink:

Anyway, if I do these big burgers again, I figure 10 minutes per side and close the lid for a good portion of that time.

On a better note, I did put fresh bacon and chedder cheese on these giants 3 minutes before taking them off. That was cool!

Trevor :D

Post Tue Jul 27, 2004 12:57 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Trevor here is a great way to cook large burgers offered to us by Scott (spfranz):
http://barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?p=3354
Look down the page a bit for his Smoked Hamburgers recipe. I have pictures of the ones I did on my web site link.

Here is another hamburger link to Big D's collosal heart stoppers:
http://barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?p=5857
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