Holiday Weekend Menu – Friday

Holiday Weekend Menu – Friday

Life goals – a weekend where you cook EVERYTHING on the grill.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner – let’s do it.  That’s what is so versatile about modern pellet grills – they have an automatic start-up, so no sparks, chimneys, fluids, etc. and at the same time they have amazing flavor from the natural hardwoods used to make the pellets. 

That said – not all pellets are equal – Griller’s Gold, however, are pure, 100% natural hardwood – nothing but amazing taste.

So imagine – it’s a three-day weekend like Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day weekend and the fun starts Friday evening – it’s been a big week and you’re hungry to tuck into a big ‘ol steak for Friday night dinner.  With pellet grills, it’s super easy to make them spectacular. 

Start by buying good quality meat – warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s are always good choices, as well as your local butcher. Buy the best you can afford – and if you can afford Prime, well, it’s the best. 

For this Friday night, 3-day weekend dinner, let’s get some prime ribeyes, and we’re not talking wimpy sandwich steaks but proper, 2” to 2 ½” thick-cut ribeyes on the bone.  Some butchers call them “cowboy cut” and if you get them with the extended rib bone, they are called Tomahawk cuts.  That said, don’t forget … you’re paying prime meat prices for that big impressive-looking bone. Thick cut, bone-in Ribeyes without the Tomahawk bone are the best value.

If you’ve planned ahead, try dry brining them – this is a simple process by which you just cover them with a generous coat of kosher or sea salt – about ½ teaspoon per pound of meat and then leave them unwrapped in the fridge overnight.  The salt will leach into the meat and release moisture – this surface moisture loss helps the steak form an amazing crust!  And if you didn’t plan ahead – even an hour’s worth of “dry brining” at room temperature does wonders.

Next, time to build flavor. 

Now, there are plenty of folks that say “all you need is salt” – and that’s certainly a valid argument.  That said, you can also build some very nice flavors in your crust with some simple ingredients.  One very tasty rub is from barbecue blogger Meathead Goldwyn and his Amazing Ribs site called “Big Bad Beef Rub” – it’s a mix of pepper, garlic, onion, mustard, and chili powders with some sugar and cayenne. Another one is what they call “SGP” which is simple – salt (which you’ve already done), garlic powder, and pepper.  Don’t be afraid to experiment!

To do a big thick cut like a thick ribeye right, the “reverse sear” method is the way to go – you cook low and slow to start until the internal temp is just short of your desired doneness, and then either fire up to very hot on your grill, or, our favorite method, move them to a hot cast iron skillet to finish.

After your steaks are seasoned up the way you like them, preheat your pellet grill at 250 degrees loaded with Griller’s Gold Competition Blend pellets. (Not grilling on a pellet grill? Check out our blog about how to grill with pellets on any type of grill.) These pellets offer a classic barbecue flavor with a blend of oak, cherry, and hickory hardwoods.  For medium-rare reverse sear steaks, you’ll want to cook them to about 130 degrees over the low heat – which should take about 45 minutes to an hour for 2 ½” ribeyes. 

While they cook, consider also cooking an appetizer or even baking some bread – you’ve got all that heat and smoke already going! A favorite is this spinach and cheese-stuffed Baby Bella mushrooms – put these on when the steaks go on, and you’ll have a tasty appetizer after about 20 minutes. Check the bottom of this article for the recipe.  The mushrooms only take 20 minutes or so on the grill so they are the perfect appetizer – woodsy, smokey, amazing.

To finish the steaks, take a large cast-iron skillet and preheat it on a gas grill (should this be pellet grill or stove burner) set on medium heat or in a 400-degree oven. Have some fresh sprigs of rosemary and thyme at the ready along with a couple of tablespoons of chopped garlic and a big knob of butter – about a half stick. 

When the steaks hit 5 degrees shy of doneness, take them off the pellet grill onto a warmed platter, wrap them in foil to rest for about 15 minutes, and get everything else ready to serve. 

When the steaks have rested a bit, toss the knob of butter into the big cast iron skillet, swirl it around while it sizzles and melts, then put the steaks down, pressing them to make sure they get a great sear. After about a minute, put the garlic and the herbs in the pan, and tilting the pan, begin basting them with the buttery, herby, goodness.  After another minute, turn them, baste them again for about 2 minutes – then remove them to a warmed serving platter.

You can serve them now with the butter sauce or … kick it up a level … add about a tablespoon of green peppercorns, sauteeing those in the butter for a minute or two, then a shot of cognac, flaming off the alcohol with a match.  The final touch is about a ¼ cup of heavy cream whisked in. 

Slice the steaks off the big bones, then slice each steak across the grain into about ¼” slices and pour the sauce over. Serve with some classic steakhouse sides like garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed or creamed spinach, roasted asparagus, fresh bread, and a big chewy red wine!

For a grilled main dish for the holidays, go upscale

For a grilled main dish for the holidays, go upscale

Is there a more special occasion than a home-cooked holiday feast? We think not. So we’d like to encourage you to look at holiday grilling as the celebration it is. Pick elegant foods to cook on your pellet grill before you put them at the center of your holiday table. Thanks to Peter Jautaikis, whose The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook inspired us, we propose:

Hickory New York Strip Roast for the main event

A NY strip steak is always a good call for the meat lover; it says ‘steakhouse’ and that means quality. Now picture serving thick NY strips cut right from the roast which has been smoked over hickory pellets after being rubbed with garlic and the prime rib spice mix of your choosing. The flavor is luxe, the meat is a treat. Consult your butcher to order the right size for your holiday gathering, and plan for time to marinate, smoke, and rest the meat. Something this special is worth the effort.

Now that you’ve gone all festive for the main dish, let’s move on to starters and sides

This grilled Brie with cranberries looks seasonal and tastes very rich and indulgent, too. We recommend you spread it on grilled bread slices.

Finally, for a perfect starch to accompany that fancy NY strip roast, take scalloped potatoes to a whole new level with perhaps the ultimate luxury ingredient: the truffle.

Add earthy truffle flavor to your favorite scalloped/au gratin potato recipe with a dash of white truffle oil, which is available at many groceries and specialty food stores this time of year. Or, choose a cheese that includes truffles, and grate into the cream sauce. Get even more savory by layering mushrooms into the baking pan. If you want to skip the improv and have all those ingredients mapped out in one easy yet fabulous recipe, try Chef John’s Truffled Potato Gratin from Allrecipes.

We wish you and yours all the joy of feasting this holiday season.

Give the grilling gift of the year: Bluetooth BBQ thermometers

Give the grilling gift of the year: Bluetooth BBQ thermometers

What’s not to love about Bluetooth BBQ thermometers? They generally cost around $50—a nice price for a holiday gift that’s perfectly situated between ‘stocking stuffer’ and ‘splurge.’ They help you stay warm indoors while your food heats up on the grill outside. They connect to your phone. And they earn a whole lot of enthusiasm from consumer reviewers. This helpful grilling technology also has big fans on the Griller’s Gold team—here’s how Scott summarized the joy.

“We love using ours so you can keep an eye on what’s happening without being tied to the grill or smoker.”

This is what real-world users say they’re glad to get from these grilling tech goodies:

  • Convenience and comfort—you monitor your outdoor cooking without standing outdoors. (This is especially welcome when you’re preparing slow-cooked, smoked foods.)
  • Ease of use—from quick setup on your mobile phone to clear temperature readouts on the screen.
  • Digital precision—those temperatures are going to be exact. With multiple probes, you can even check the temps in different parts of a larger cut of meat to ensure consistency.

Four top-rated Bluetooth meat thermometers

These 5 picks all get five-star ratings on Amazon. (There are plenty of additional choices that get four-plus scores, too.)

CHUGOD Bluetooth Meat Thermometer

Franker Wireless Meat Thermometer

AJY Smart Bluetooth Wireless Remote Digital Food Thermometer 

Nobebird Bluetooth Meat Thermometer

While you’re thinking about winter grilling, here are some best practices when the weather outside is frightful .  If your holiday gift shopping list needs some more items, check out our griller gift list post, updated for Christmas 2019. And send Griller’s Gold pellets to your friends with wood pellet grills; you can order on Amazon.

Happy grilling to all from Griller’s Gold!

Back to school 3 — best of BBQ hacks from Griller’s Gold

Back to school 3 — best of BBQ hacks from Griller’s Gold

Get your BBQ smarts going with this library of fantastically helpful BBQ tips. It’ll make the rest of grilling season great.

Prepare for a big BBQ — checklist

Make a list and check off your items. Here’s a recent post on the ABCs of prepping for a big party.

Basic BBQ menu planning

Getting your work done means sticking to a schedule. Here’s how to schedule your BBQ menu planning.

Best meats for grilling and smoking 101

Get to know a little of the BBQ science about why it’s actually perfect to use low-cost meats for grilling. Extra credit points here for household budget math skills!

Seasonal tomato sides for easy great taste

Let’s serve up a side of summer – while we still can. Tomatoes are a classic accompaniment to grilled meat. Check out some tomato side dish recipes.

Learn about trendy grilled fruit desserts

BBQ isn’t all about meat and the occasional veggie kabob. This uber-easy grilled peach-and-pound-cake recipe is right on trend and delicious to eat.

Once you’ve studied up, you’ll be able to do an A+ job on grilling. Revel in your top-of-the-class skills and BBQ with attitude!

Grilling with the Kids for Father’s Day and Beyond

Grilling with the Kids for Father’s Day and Beyond

Get the family out into the fresh air and bond over BBQ this Father’s Day—and all grilling season long. While you might just intuitively say ‘Yes!’ to the idea, let’s have fun and look at all the reasons this is a great plan for the family.

  • Cooking is a hands-on creative outlet for all ages
  • It’s healthy to eat home-cooked meals and preparing them together is even better
  • Education—from measuring to fractions to cooking times (Get a cool education about the science of grilling here)
  • It’s an alternative to screen time—tho recruiting the kids to research recipes online is completely legit
  • Just plain togetherness

Let’s get cooking!

Grilling safety for kids

Grilling involves a whole array of hot and sharp objects. Gauge the maturity level of your crowd and assign them age-appropriate activities. Assignments for the younger kids can include mixing and marinating, laying out trays of uncooked meat to bring to the grill, measuring and assembling ingredients, and tossing salads. Knife handling and cooking on the hot grill belong in the domain of older children.

Food safety around the grill is part of kitchen sanitation—a good habit to start young. Since grilling involves handling raw meat, proper handwashing practices rank high in importance. Remember to also provide instruction about washing cutting boards, trays, tabletops and any other surfaces that might carry raw meat juices. Finally, refer to expert references (in this case, the US government’s food safety site) for grilled meat temperatures that meet the safety standard. This highly-rated, well-priced, long-probe digital meat thermometer might be the perfect new grilling gadget for the occasion (and a Father’s Day gift idea if anyone is looking for hints). Here’s a Father’s Day grilling gift guide, coming to you directly from the dads at Griller’s Gold.

Father’s Day grilling favorites

Everything’s better when it’s grilled. Kids happen to agree with that statement. So put vegetables on the Father’s Day menu; grill portabello mushroom caps or multi-colored veggie skewers. Enjoy fancy sausage, nice steaks, shrimp, or the always-fun drumsticks on the grill.

Make the popular burger even better; read about burger trends and wood pellet techniques. And even the simplest burger is more celebratory when it’s patted into a heart shape.

Hearty, happy Father’s Day wishes from the Griller’s Gold family.

Mother’s Day blowout cookout

Mother’s Day blowout cookout

Take over cooking and take it outdoors. It’s better than brunch! Celebrate Mom by letting her put her feet up and enjoy your culinary creations. These outdoor dishes deliver intense flavor in every bite. Make sure to make dessert, too — fresh off the grill.

Oysters

For a luxurious, indulgent starter, it’s hard to beat grilled oysters. They offer enough splurgy satisfaction to stand on their own, slurped right out of the shell. A glass of sparkling wine matches up nicely — and it’s festive, too.

Chinese-style ribs

Next up, make Mom a main dish treat. Do baby back ribs with a Chinese spin — including savory hoisin sauce, complex five-spice powder, salty soy sauce and sweet honey.

Baby back ribs fit easily into your hand and pack a lot of meat onto smaller bones. Adjust cooking time and marinade quantity if you decide on larger pork ribs.

Deliciously compatible side dishes are rice and Asian-style vegetables. Try the Asian grilled cabbage recipe here. Or do up your own salad with Asian notes like water chestnuts, pea pods, mushrooms, green onions and a sesame oil dressing. For Mom’s beverage, sweeter wines like crisp Riesling and charming Moscato complement Asian flavors.

Grilled pound cake with grilled peaches and cream

This grilled lemon pound cake is sure to please. You can bake the lemony pound cake yourself before grilling. Or skip that step and buy a store-bought version; you’ll bypass the extra-credit points for baking from scratch but you won’t be sacrificing the sweet satisfaction. Top it with grilled peaches for a gorgeous finish to your Mother’s Day cookout.

It’s a menu to make Mom proud.

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