There’s a new crop of grilling books out for 2015. You may already be aware of some of these, some maybe not. All of these look interesting to me, take a look for yourself and if you’ve read any of them, let us know on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.
The Ultimate Book of BBQ builds on the expertise of Southern Living magazine to create the definitive barbecue and outdoor grilling guide. The book features more than 200 of the highest-rated Southern Living recipes for barbecued meats and sides, plus pit-proven tips, techniques, and secrets for year-round smoking, grilling and barbecuing.
John Wayne Enterprises is proud to present The John Wayne Way to Grill, a new cookbook containing more than 200-pages of Duke’s favorite meals, from Tex-Mex classics to the best of Western barbecue and everything in between. More than just a collection of recipes, this deluxe publication will be chock-full of never-before-seen photos of the actor, along with personal anecdotes and heartwarming stories shared by his son Ethan.
Wicked Good Burgers ain’t your daddy’s patty on a bun. The upstart Yankee team that revolutionized barbecue with their upset win at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational turns their talents to burgers. Wicked Good Burgers fearlessly incorporates new techniques, inspirations, and ingredients to take the burger to the next level – whether it’s the Meatloaf Burger on Pretzel Bread with Cabernet Mustard or the Island Creek Burger with Oysters and homemade cocktail sauce.
In his latest lip-smackin’ cookbook, Dr. BBQ shows how to dress up meat, vegetables, and fruits with 120 brand-new recipes for tantalizing marinades, mouthwatering injections, savory brines, flavorful rubs, delectable glazes, and full recipes for what to make with them.
Joe Carroll makes stellar barbecue and grilled meats in Brooklyn, New York, at his acclaimed restaurants Fette Sau and St. Anselm. In Feeding the Fire, Carroll gives us his top 20 lessons and more than 75 recipes to make incredible fire-cooked foods at home, proving that you don’t need to have fancy equipment or long-held regional traditions to make succulent barbecue and grilled meats.
In years past, Weber offered two types of gas grill covers: Standard-grade made of regular vinyl and premium-grade made of heavy-duty vinyl.
For 2015, Weber has begun the transition to 100% polyester fabric grill covers. The material is more supple than vinyl, staying soft and pliable even in cold weather. It’s also lightweight, making removing and replacing the cover easier than ever. Covers continue to include Velcro straps for tightening the cover when in place.
A new feature is an integrated storage pouch sewn into the cover. The cover can be folded into the pouch for storage, and when not in use the pouch stays hidden out of sight inside the cover. If you cover your grill after each use, it’s unlikely you’ll need the storage pouch. But if you cover your grill only at the end of the grilling season, the pouch may prove to be a handy feature.
Each cover comes with a 3-year warranty for defects in material (but not fading), whereas vinyl versions had a 2-year warranty. Prices are slightly higher for these new covers versus the old ones.
It’s too soon to say how well these new polyester covers will hold up to the elements; only time will tell. As we learn more we’ll be sure to let you know.
At the time of this writing, these polyester gas grill covers are available:
Some covers may fit older grills not listed. Contact Weber Customer Service at 800-446-1071 for assistance. For example, a member of The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board reports that the Model 7106 fits the Genesis 1000 and Genesis Silver A/B grills.
Polyester covers are also available for Weber 18″, 22″ and 26″ kettles and Performer grills.
The Baking Steel is a 1/4″ thick piece of steel measuring 16″ x 14″ and weighing an impressive 15 pounds. It gets so ripping hot that it bakes pizza up to 2x faster than a pizza stone and results in a taller, more crispy crust. It can also double as a griddle.
Kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper dispense a bit slowly
The Weber 6409 Salt & Pepper Shaker Set is fun and functional. If you’re a Weber fan, you’ll appreciate the way these shakers mimic the iconic Weber kettle grill, and at $5.99 for the pair, they’re not a bad deal, either.
These shakers hold a good amount of salt & ground black pepper. The clear acrylic construction is not only durable and easy to clean but allows you to see when each shaker needs a refill.
To fill, you turn the shaker upside down, remove the silicone stopper, and fill from the bottom. You must cover the holes with your hand or place the shaker upside down on a towel as your fill it. Not a huge deal, as just a few grains are lost during the process.
Using a funnel makes it easy to fill these guys neatly, and even if you overfill, the base catches the overflow so you can easily pour it back into the original container. I’m not sure if this is an intentional design feature, but it is helpful.
Table salt and regular ground black pepper work best in these shakers, but the holes are large enough for kosher salt and coarse-ground pepper. Both dispense a bit slowly but adequately.
If you intend to leave these shakers outside with your grill, you’ll want to prevent moisture or who-knows-what from getting inside. Unfortunately, they do not close, so you’ll have to put them in a Ziploc bag. Of course, if you’re using them inside the house, being able to close the shakers is not as much of an issue.
If you’re in the market for a new spatula (and who isn’t), this one’s for you. It’s the Weber 6620 Stainless Steel Spatula. Top-rated by Cook’s Country magazine (June/July 2014), they write:
“Testers loved this spatula’s slim, rounded, offset handle, remarking on the agility, sense of control, and confidence that it inspired. Particularly when the grill is really packed, this is your spatula.”
Agility. Sense of control. Confidence. Sounds more like a BMW than a spatula!
The runner-up was the OXO Good Grips BBQ Turner. It took second place in the ratings because it does not feature the offset design of the Weber, making it less maneuverable on the grill.
In July 2012, the Centers for Disease Control published an article about injuries resulting from the ingestion of wire bristles from grill brushes. The story was reported widely in the press at the time and caused quite a bit of concern about the safety of grill brushes, and rightly so, since wires can become lodged in the throat or intestines and cause severe pain.
It’s important to check the condition of your grill brush often. If bristles are coming off the brush head, or you’re finding stray bristles inside the grill, it’s time for a new brush. It’s common to not notice anything until you clean-out the inside of your grill and find the bottom filled with little pieces of wire.
Also, after preheating the grill and brushing the grates, spend a few seconds examining the grates. If you find stray bristles on the surface, carefully remove them before placing food on the grill…and then toss that old brush in the trash!
On June 8, I posted about buying a Weber plancha for my Summit gas grill. The first thing I cooked using my new toy was bacon cheeseburgers. Yum!
I preheated the plancha for 10 minutes over medium-high heat, then fried-up some thick-sliced bacon over medium heat.
Once the bacon was done, I used some long tongs and a wad of paper towels to sweep the bacon fat to the drain. Next I grilled the burgers to medium doneness. A friend recommended that I try Prather Ranch ground beef from the Campbell Farmer’s Market. Very nice meat, but about twice the price of regular ground beef. Not an everyday thing but definitely a nice treat.
I formed the patties by hand and seasoned both sides generously with kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper.
Plancha is a Spanish term for a metal plate or griddle or flat-top grill used for cooking. Here’s how the Weber plancha looks out of the box. Heavy cast iron construction with a glossy porcelain enamel coating for easy cleanup and no seasoning like raw CI. The plancha replaces one of the grates in your gas grill. The cooking surface is slightly angled forward so that liquid runs toward the drain at the front of the plancha and exits into your grill’s grease tray.
You can cook anything on a plancha that you would normally cook using CI. Think meat, fish, fruits and veggies, even breakfast foods. I’m thinking about several things I want to try and I’ll post the results here.
These planchas are not one-size-fits-all. You have to buy the right one for your specific grill. You’ll find a big selection of Weber planchas at Amazon.com.
Why not just use a cast iron skillet or a griddle on the grill? You could, but the benefits of larger size, high sides, no seasoning, and liquid drainage makes these planchas hard to beat!
When was the last time you paid attention to the cover on your gas grill? I mean really examined it carefully, with a discriminating eye? Is it brittle, faded, and cracked? If so, it may be time to treat your grill to a new vinyl cover.
Weber makes covers to fit even some of their oldest gas grills, like my dad’s Genesis 2 shown here. This is a Weber 7552 Premium Vinyl Cover that fits Genesis Silver C, Genesis Gold B/C, and Genesis 2000-5500 grills. Since the Genesis 2000 was an newer version of the Genesis 2, this was the correct cover for my dad’s grill.
If you have questions about which cover is the right one for your gasser, don’t hesitate to contact Weber Customer Service at 800-446-1071. They’ll help you figure it out.
You need to let the basket heat for 10 minutes on the grill before adding food. I would suggest hitting the basket with a shot of non-stick cooking spray right before adding the food, too.
The slots are just the right size, preventing food from falling through. The high sides keep everything in place, and the handles make it easy to remove the basket from the grill when wearing gloves.
My only negative comment about the design is that when running your hands over the bottom side, it feels just a bit like a cheese grater…like if you weren’t careful, it would grate your fingers. You’ve been warned!
The basket looks beautiful right out of the packaging, but it’s hard to keep it looking that way with use. It turns dark as a result of burned-on oil and food residue. I tried oven cleaner and got a good result. My wife went with a soaking of Simple Green, a Dobie scrubber, and lots of elbow grease and did OK with that approach.
I started a discussion thread about this on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board. The responses ranged from “Why bother?” to “Use a green ScotchBrite pad” to member Jose Suro saying that a long soak in a solution of hot water and white vinegar followed by 30 seconds of scrubbing does the trick. Jose posted some photos of the results in the discussion thread.
If you like to keep your stainless steel grilling baskets looking shiny and new, you might give Jose’s method a try.