Scott and his friend Joe smoked ribs tonight — I baked potatoes and cooked up some of the corn from our garden. Very tasty — and I need to remember that I like BBQ sauce when it’s been heated on the grill for a while and has gotten caramelized and sticky!
55 Days of Grilling: April 16
We’d made ribs a few weeks ago using my usual pressure cooking-followed by high temp cooking to caramelize the sauce approach. While that works well in an oven — where the falling-apart-tender ribs sit safely in a baking dish — it’s not great for grilling. Scott wondered how cooking some ribs just on the grill would work out. I spent some time researching how people make bbq ribs on gas or electric grills and came up with a cooking approach that sounded reasonable — low temp, long cook, and wrapped in aluminum so they don’t dry out.
After washing the ribs and removing the silver skin, I rubbed them with a blend of salt, paprika, chipotle pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, and garlic. I put the grill’s temperature sensor into a thick, meaty section and wrapped them in aluminum foil. The grill was heated to 300° F. The ribs cooked for about 90 minutes — the internal temperature was 180° F, which was in the range the cooking technique indicated. I took them inside and carefully unwrapped the foil.
I cut the rack in half because we had two different sauces we wanted to try. The larger half was liberally brushed with Guy Fieri Apple BBQ sauce, and the smaller half was brushed with the Brown Sugar version from the same company. The apple one smelled like some hand soap that had come with the house — not like actual apple, but like apple fragrance oil. I read and re-read the ingredients trying to figure out what the smell was, but didn’t find any artificial flavors listed.
I cranked the grill (set to 600° F, but never got over 550° F) and cooked the ribs for five minutes.
I then brushed more sauce over the ribs, flipped them, and cooked them for five more minutes.
I flipped them and allowed them to cook for another minute because the sauce on the side facing up hadn’t caramelized.
I brought the ribs inside and let them rest for a bit while everyone got ready for dinner.
Scott sliced the ribs, and dinner was ready. The BBQ sauce wasn’t great — the sauces were quite vinegar-y too. The ribs weren’t falling apart like the double-cooked ones we made a few weeks ago, but it could have used a little more time on the grill to get more tender and fully render the fat. But it was a nice meal (and an interesting experiment).
55 Days of Grilling – April 11
55 Days of Grilling: April 7 – Naan and Hummus
Today, I made naan on the grill.
The bread recipe is:
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 T oil
The yeast and sugar were placed in the warm water and allowed to sit for ten minutes. All ingredients were combined and kneaded until a soft dough formed. The bowl was covered with a wet cloth and allowed to rise for four hours. Once the dough was ready, I placed a cast iron pan into the grill and set the grill to 600F.
The dough ball was split into four pieces and rolled out into rounds about 1/3″ thick. The rounds were sprinkled with salt and rubbed with additional oil (to keep them from sticking to the pan).
Once the grill and cast iron pan reached 600F, two naan were placed on the pan.
They cooked for 2 minutes on each side. They didn’t bubble and blister like naan is meant to — I think that’s a combination of thickly rolled dough and a temp way under the 900 or so recipes usually specify.
But they were quite tasty! I buttered each one when it came out of the grill, so we had soft, salty naan with our hummus.
Maple Cinnamon Rolls
I made an enriched bread (4c flour, 3/4c milk, 1/4c maple syrup, 1T yeast, 1 double-yolk egg, 1/4c butter, and 1t salt). Let it rise overnight, then rolled it out into a sheet about 1/4″ thick.
Then spread about 1/3c of softened butter across the entire thing.
Sprinkled 1T of cinnamon over it.
Then sprinkled 2/3c of maple sugar over it.
Then rolled it to form a log.
I pressed the seam to seal the log.
Then sliced rounds from the roll.
Each round is placed into an orange shell. They’re going to rise in the fridge overnight, and tomorrow we’ll cook them on the grill. 400F for about 15 minutes.
55 Days of Grilling: March 28
Tonight, Scott grilled up some burgers. I didn’t mix cheddar cheese into the burgers this time, but they still ended up mushy. Not oily and mushy, but still not what I expect a burger to feel like. One thing I’ve read is that you shouldn’t add salt until the burgers are on the grill. Also seems that freezing the ground beef can produce mushy burgers. In both cases, the problem is water being drawn out of the meat. We’ll have to try with not-frozen beef to see if that makes a difference.
55 Days of Grilling: March 27 — Apple Upside-down (Pan)Cake
We made apple upside-down pancake for breakfast using the buttermilk pancake mix I’d put together a few weeks ago:
1t baking powder
1t baking soda
1/4c maple syrup
Anya sliced two apples into fairly thick rings. Scott melted about a tablespoon of butter in the bottom of a cast iron skillet. He added the apples, sprinkled cinnamon on both sides of the apples, browned them up in the butter, then added about a third of a cup of maple syrup (we want to add a lot more syrup next time — my mom’s mom’s pineapple upside down cake has a cup of sugar in the pan … so there’s a lot of increasing that could be done here).
He poured the pancake batter on top of the apples. Closed the lid of the grill and cooked it for about 15 minutes — until the edges solidified — around 450F. Thin slices of butter were added between the edge of the cake and the skillet, and the cake was cooked for another 5 minutes.
We then buttered a half-sheet tray and flipped the cake onto the tray. The cake was cooked for about five more minutes on the half-sheet. The cake was cooked well; but, to ensure both sides have a chance to caramelize, we might want to flip at fifteen minutes and cook for ten minutes on the other side.
Served with a drizzle of maple syrup — it was delicious.
This could easily be a dessert — especially with bit of ice cream (we’ve got a maple walnut ice cream that sounded superb). Needs more apple next time! Maybe apples cut in half so there’s substantial section of apple embedded in the cake.
55 Days of Grilling: March 26
Tonight, we’re grilling some pork ribs. I’ve got them in the pressure cooker right now, and we’ll coat them with sauce and crisp them up this evening. The ribs still had silverskin on, so I removed that. Then I mixed up a rub: 1/4 c maple syrup, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika.
The ribs were coated in this spice mix. I added a cup of water and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to the pressure cooker. The ribs were curled into the pot and pressure cooked on high pressure for 25 minutes.
Served with garlic corn and mashed potatoes. Next time, we’re going to try cooking the ribs on the grill the entire time — basted occasionally with sauce. Pressure cooking first means the ribs are well cooked before we even started grilling them. And “fall off the bone” isn’t a good state if you’re trying to place it on the grill!
55 Days of Grilling: March 25
We made two stuffed crust pizzas the other night and only cooked one. We modified the second one and grilled it for lunch today. There was way too much dough around the edge of the pizza (and almost no crust in the center). First, I tried to massage some of the dough from the edge into the center. Then we un-rolled the crust. The cheese, sauce, and pepperoni were spread out over the bottom of the dish. The excess dough was pulled toward the center and topped with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni — essentially making a pizza on top of another pizza. Or a pizza-topped calzone. Some butter was placed between the crust and the cast iron pan. We grilled it for 15 minutes. Unlike the pizza from the 23rd, this was actually pretty good.
55 Days of Grilling: March 23
Tonight, I tried to make a stuffed crust pizza. The dough was 4c all-purpose flour, 1 Tbsp yeast, 1/2c wheat gluten, 1 tsp salt, 1/4c olive oil, and enough water to make dough.
I tried to stuff shredded cheese into the crust — not such a good plan. Rolling the edge so there were three layers was a really bad idea — we had a circle of bread (with a bit of cheese in it) and a puddle of toppings in the middle.