The day started off cleaning a Black Stainless Steel First Generation Performer Up. She had quite a buildup of charcoal on the bowl but after a couple of hours of razor blade and steel wool she came out shining-
The afternoon brought about a walk around the Back Shore and Past The Wharf. On this walk I’d taken dozens of times and at an old apartment house I’d driven past thousands and thousands of times was a neglected pretty rare Green 18 inch Weber One-Touch Premium. She’s in very rough shape. Needing a new lid vent, a new handle(this one is melted), new charcoal and cooking grates and some serious deep cleaning. The frame and table are in very good shape though.
I spotted her on the walk but was not going to be stopping as I was with my beautiful Kate.
Later that evening I knocked on the door and asked if it was for sale. It had probable been sitting there untouched for years. We came to an agreement and she’s now in my care.
Getting home I unloaded the Green One-Touch Premium and pulled the Dove Grey Special Edition Crate and Barrel 2nd Generation Performer around front smoke the Atomic Buffalo Turd Stuffed Avocados that Kate prepared and reverse sear a NY Strip Steak. Both were elegant. Stuffing avocados and smoking them is my new favorite thing to grill.
Here’s the stuffing recipe from Kate-
“I didn’t follow a specific recipe. Ive made jalapeño popper dip in the past and just tossed the same ingredients in a bowl. Cream cheese (at room temp) maybe 1/2 cup. TBS of mayo and sour cream. Some shredded cheese, tsp of grated parm, chopped bacon and jalapeños. Mix and spoon on top of avacado. I topped it with a sprinkle or panko crumbs and a little more bacon.
Next time, I’ll add more mix to it- so double of everything. There was a lot of avacado vs popper mix.”
A very Weber day…
First make a horizontal cut in the Ribeye creating a pocket to add all our fixins.
Chop up some roasted red peppers and pepperoncini and add your favorite seasoning. I used Montreal seasoning, you can use whatever you like.
Stuff it with that yummy gorgonzola and then add the peppers.
A couple of wooden skewers to seal the pocket. It’s a good idea to soak the skewers in water for a bit so they’re less likely to burn when we sear the steaks.
After sealing the pocket a rub with EVOO and then Montreal Steak Seasoninng.
A full chimney of coals into the charcoal basket on one side of the kettle with a chunk of pecan for smoke. Next place the steak on the other side of the kettle for indirect cooking. It will absorb some nice smoke flavoring and slowly climb internal temps.
Once the steak hits an internal of 110, place it directly over the coals for about a minute on each side, enough to produce some nice hash marks.
Talk about a flavor packed steak.
First To Butterfly The Flank Steak with the grain.
Try to get it squared off when split open and laid out.
Season with whatever you’d like, I used Montreal Steak seasoning.
Next add Feta (you can use other cheeses like goat cheese if you prefer). leave a little margin around the edges without stuffing ingredients.
Add sliced roasted red peppers and pepperoncini.
Next Prosciutto di Parma
Roll tightly and secure with butchers string.
Season the outside. here I used Italian herb seasoning.
Check back for more updates.
Once grill was 350 degrees at grate temp I seared the stuffed flank steak, rolling every couple of minutes until each side had color.
Next place foil down on the charcoal grate under where we will place the stuffed flank steak, moving the roll offset the coals. We will close the lid, place a couple of chunks of apple wood over the coals for smoke and wait til she hits 130 internal to pull it off.
The Money Shot-
Ingredients, 3 medium russet potatos, four thick cut strips of bacon, some shredded three cheese Mexican blend, canola oil, coarse salt, cracked black pepper, your favorite BBQ rub, sour cream and chopped scallions (optional).
First you select some medium sized russet potatos and pierce them with a fork about three times on opposing sides of the potato. Then toss ’em in the microwave for 3 and a half minutes to soften them up. Let them cool a bit so you can slice them into just under a quarter inch discs.
Coat with canola, peanut or olive oil, some coarse salt black pepper and if you have a little rub laying around give ’em a sprinkle of that too. If you use a cheap aluminum disposable pan you can use that to toss the potatos in the oil and seasonings and then put it aside for use after they crisp up on the grill.
Set up your charcoal in the middle of the kettle and get your coals glowing red before you arrange the potato discs on the outside perimeter of the grate so it is offset of the coals. I pretty much always use charcoal baskets so I can control where I want the charcoal. If cooking steaks I want high concentrated heat to sear so I’ll place my steaks directly over searing hot coals. But for this , we want the high heat to act as convection to crisp up the potato discs not burn them.
So after about 25-30 minutes offset along the perimeter of the grate they should be a golden crispy color like thick potato chips. You can also experiment with the thickness. I like a little beefier potato disc but you can make them thinner like chips.
Next take the pan that you tossed with the oil and seasonings and place the crisped up potato discs back in, it’s good if there’s a little residual oil in the bottom of the pan. Next cover with shredded Mexican cheese or really any kind of cheese you’d like, you can use cheddar or sprinkle some shaved Romano on there. Top with the bacon bits and close the lid for about five minutes to let that cheese melt in. After that you can serve with a side of sour cream, garnish with some chopped up scallions, the sky’s the limit. I cooked up some of Kate’s fantastic turkey burgers directly over the hot coals after spraying the grates with some non-stick spray while the potatos were in the aluminum pan offset the coals along side of the charcoal baskets.
Obviously I love BBQ cooking. I love the versatility and ease of using two kettles but if I were only going to own one it would have to be a Performer. That cart just makes everything so simple and convenient. Being able to rest your tray of prepped food of hold your remote thermometer sensor makes things so simple. When you factor in the gas assist for starting your coals, to me, it’s a no-brainer to go with a Performer.
When you consider the fact that unlike gas grills , a Weber Kettle can easily last you over 20 years with the bare minimum of care and you divide out the cost of ownership over all those years, I’d recommend you buy a Performer every time. It’s only a couple hundred more and when you think that you probably only get 5 years on average out of a gas grill, the Weber Performer Charcoal grill with gas-assist will outlast a gasser by 4 times as long.
Anyway here was my set-up for some pork ribs that went on at 7:41 AM to be ready for lunch!
Snake method charcoal set-up with apple chunks and cherry chips. Ribs slathered with frenches yellow mustard and then rubbed with the Paul Prudhomme rub. Wait til pit temps hit 225 and then toss the ribs on offset the coals. Then let er rip. The top vent wide open bottom vent wide open. Because we are using the snake method, only a portion of the coals are hot at a time as it works it’s way around the bowl.
Pork Ribs Twice In One Week? When they’re that good, sometimes you gotta double up just to make sure you weren’t dreaming…
I set up the @WeberGrills kettle with the two charcoal baskets placed directly in the center of the bowl and loaded it up with 2/3 a chimney of red hot charcoal.
For the preparation of the chicken thighs I patted them down with a paper towel to remove any moisture or water (this helps to crisp the skin) . Then lightly brushed them with evoo.
After coating with the evoo six of the thighs got Paul Prudhomme dry rub and four got a sprinkling of coarse salt.
The exercise was to figure out how to get the best juicy inside/crispy skin chicken.
The chicken was arranged in the outside perimeter of the bowl indirect of the charcoal baskets which were placed in the middle. One chunk of mesquite wood was placed in the center over the coals for smoke. Top and bottom vents left wide open throughout the cook.
I used the Maverick 732 to monitor internal temps and once they hit 165 degrees I mopped 4 of the Prudhomme rubbed thighs and 4 of the salt rubbed with Sweet Baby Rays Sweet Chili Wing Sauce and Glaze. Two of the Prudhomme rubbed thighs were left unmpopped throughout the cook.
After mopping the wings, the cover was placed back on and left on for about five minutes to set the glaze. Internal temp 175 and pull the chicken off.
So the findings on the Sweet Baby Rays are a ten out of ten. The flavors are perfect. So damn good.
As for the results with mopping during the cook-
They were very very good but the ones that were left unmopped were more crispy skinned when eating.
So for the future I will prepare them this way:
Pat dry>light coat of EVOO>rub with Prudhomme Rub>cook indirectly with charcoal placed in center charcoal baskets and chicken outside perimeter>pull the chicken at 175 degrees internal temp>serve with sauce on the side.
Oh, and by the way it’s lobsterman “Johnny Action” Approved!
Grilling Calamari (Squid) on a Weber Kettle With Two Different Marinades
The calamari grilled with the butter/evoo/minced garlic/salt/pepper marinade was very good. The calamari grilled with the soy/ginger/sesame/red pepper flakes was absolutely ridiculous and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to enjoy calamari any other way after this. It was OUTSTANDING!!!!
Key is to get the grill red hot and then get a little char on the calamari basting them once or twice quickly over high heat while they are on the pit. A little flare up is not a bad thing as the char will give it great flavor. Note: “char” not burnt.
Sold the first Performer I’d ever purchased yesterday on CraigsList and fired up The Red Brick one for the first time.
It was a pretty simple cook: Flank Steak.
The Lovely Kate marinated the Flank Steak at noon time and it went on at 7:15PM
It tasted great but I probably wouldn’t have purchased it.
“Flank steak” is hot in the culinary world right now so markets price them fairly high considering the tough cut that it is. My line of thinking is that if you can get good Ribeyes on sale for $5.99 why in the world would you pay the same thing for a lesser cut of meat? When I go to the meat department I generally go with an open mind and look for value and then plan my cook around whats on sale. A lot of people get a certain recipe in their head ahead of time and no matter what the cost is, they are going to buy the protein that that recipe calls for no matter what it costs per lb. It’s the same as someone having the option to buy Rib Roast for the same price as brisket and opting for brisket. I’ll never understand that.
In any case it turned out delicious. She made a citrus/ avocado/cilantro/red onion topping that was out of this world and I really enjoyed it. She’s an amazing cook.
Set up the charcoal baskets on one side of the pit and got the coals going pretty good before I placed the Flank directly over the baskets with a chunk of mesquite for smoke.
Flipped them over and brought them to 135 internal before pulling them off, tenting them under foil for 10 minutes and then cutting across the grain.
Here it is before I scooped on the avocado mixture that Kate made-