Category Archives: Recipes

How To Grill Thin Supermarket Steaks

Many steaks sold in supermarkets are not particularly thick, perhaps 3/4″ to 1″ thick. One of the challenges with grilling steaks like this is that by the time a good sear is achieved on the exterior, the interior can be gray and overcooked.

Here’s how to solve this problem, thanks to the good folks at America’s Test Kitchen.

Two bone-in ribeye steaks

Choose 3/4″ to 1″ thick ribeye or strip steaks. Pat steaks dry with paper towels.

Kosher salt and cornstarch mixture

For two steaks, combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch.

Steaks rubbed with salt and cornstarch

Rub steaks on both sides with the salt/cornstarch mixture.

Steaks in the freezer

Place the steaks on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.

Preheat your gas grill on HIGH starting 10 minutes before the steaks come out of the freezer. Use a grill brush to clean the grates.

Applying ground pepper to very cold steaks

Just before putting the steaks on the grill, apply ground black pepper to taste on both sides.

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Grill the steaks on the first side for 2 minutes. Flip and grill for 2 minutes on the second side. Repeat the process, turning the steaks 90° to create diamond grill marks, for a total of 8 minutes of grilling. Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness; medium rare will be 120-125°F.

Steak on a plate

Remove steaks from the grill, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for just a couple of minutes while you get the other food to the table—5 minutes max.

Why This Method Works

  • Patting the meat dry with paper towels, applying cornstarch and allowing the meat to sit in the low humidity of the freezer all help to dry the surface of the meat, which promotes browning.
  • Chilling the steaks in the freezer allows them to stay on the grill long enough to sear the exterior without overcooking the interior.

Bright pink interior of steak

Note how the interior of this thin steak stays pink inside with just a thin layer of gray cooked meat around the outside edge.

Using This Method With Thicker Steaks

You can use this method for steaks up to 1-1/2″ thick.

How To Improve Searing

As nice as these steaks looked and as good as they tasted, the exterior sear could be improved by cooking them on a cast iron griddle or cast iron skillet on the grill.  Next time…

New Grilling Books For 2015

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.

Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ

Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking

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.

The Official John Wayne Way to Grill

The Official John Wayne Way to Grill: Great Stories & Manly Meals Shared By Duke’s Family

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

Wicked Good Burgers: Fearless Recipes and Uncompromising Techniques for the Ultimate Patty

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.

Flavorize: Great Marinades, Injections, Brines, Rubs, and Glazes

Flavorize: Great Marinades, Injections, Brines, Rubs, and Glazes

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.

Feeding The Fire

Feeding the Fire: Recipes and Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling

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.

Grilling Pizza On A Weber Genesis

Pizza grilled on the Weber Genesis
Pizza grilled on the Weber Genesis

My friend John K likes to make pizzas using his Weber Genesis gas grill with the help of a bread machine for the dough. I’ve eaten his pizza and it is delicious!

Here are the ingredients for three thin crusts:

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast (not rapid rise)
  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP sugar or honey (optional)
  • Corn meal for dusting the work surface

Follow your bread machine’s directions for making dough using all the ingredients except the corn meal. When done, remove dough from the machine and let rest for 10 minutes, then divide into three equal pieces.

Preheat your gas grill and pizza stone on HIGH heat until very hot, approximately 600-700°F.

Roll-out one piece of dough into a thin crust on a cutting board. When finished rolling, immediately lift the crust and dust the board with corn meal to prevent sticking.

Pizza crust with toppings

Apply tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite toppings. Slide the crust onto a thin metal peel (this works better than a thick wooden peel). Open the grill quickly, place the pizza on the stone, and close the lid.

Pizza baking in the Weber Genesis

Bake for 7-10 minutes until the crust is crispy and the cheese is bubbly. Check progress with a quick peek under the lid to keep the grill temp up.

Finished grilled pizza

Checking the crust for doneness

Once the first pizza is finished, let the grill temperature recover and repeat the process for the remaining two pizzas.

Grilled Apples

Cooking apples

Apples are a wonderful fruit to grill. You’ve always got some in the fridge, they’re quick and easy to grill, and they taste delicious!

This recipe is adapted from one published in Weber Grill Out Times in the Fall of 1997. You can download copies of this and other classic Weber newsletters at The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 3 medium cooking apples, peeled, cut in half, and cored
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Choose an apple that holds up well to baking, for example Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious.

Apples peeled, halved, and cored

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Preheat grill for 10 minutes, then hit the grates with a grill brush. Setup the grill for indirect medium heat.

Spray the cut side of each apple with non-stick spray. Place apples cut-side down on the grate, brush with sauce, and grill for 10 minutes. Turn apples cut-side up, brush with sauce, and grill another 10 minutes. Turn apples cut-side down one last time, brush with sauce, and grill another 10 minutes.

Apples cut-side down on the grill

Apples with grill marks

When finished grilling, apples should have nice grill marks on the cut side, will be slightly soft on the outside, but still crunchy on the inside.

Serve apples warm with a scoop of ice cream on the side.

Grilled apple with vanilla ice cream

Grilled Bell Peppers

Grilled bell peppers are easy to make and delicious by themselves or more often as an ingredient in a larger dish. But not everyone knows how to prep bell peppers for grilling, so we’ll cover both prep and grilling in this post.

Rinse and dry the bell peppers, and remove any stickers on the surface.

Cut off the top and bottom of the pepper.

Remove top and bottom of bell pepper

Remove the center of the bell pepper using a knife or your fingers.

Remove seed pod from pepper

Slice down one side of the pepper and open it up so it lays flat.

Opening up the pepper

Remove the internal ribs.

Remove internal ribs of the pepper

Cut into manageable pieces for grilling.

Trimmed bell pepper

Brush both sides with vegetable oil or olive oil.

Brush pepper with oil

Season both sides with salt and black pepper.

Season pepper with salt and black peppet

Preheat the grill on HIGH. Use a grill brush to remove any debris, then reduce heat to MEDIUM.

Start the peppers skin side down.

Starting peppers skin side down

Grill for 5-8 minutes until charred and blistered. Turn the peppers and grill another 3-5 minutes until the flesh is soft.

Charred bell peppers

Remove the peppers from the grill. They can be eaten as-is or cut into smaller pieces for use in other recipes.

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I always leave the charred skin on because that’s where all the flavor is!

If you have a recipe that calls for the skins to be removed, place the grilled peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam for about 5 minutes.

Steaming peppers to remove skin

Pull off the skins using a paper towel or scrape them off using a knife.

Simple Sirloin Steaks

When I was a kid growing up in the 1970s, it was a big deal to go out for dinner at Saddle ‘N Sirloin in my hometown of Santa Rosa, California. In those days, going out for a steak dinner usually meant an affordable sirloin, and it was considered a special treat. Add some A-1 Steak Sauce (we didn’t know any better), a baked potato, and all-you-can-eat salad, ranch beans, and sourdough bread and you had a real meal!

Saddle 'N Sirloin matchbook

Today, I’m more likely to enjoy a ribeye steak or a filet mignon or a strip steak, but occasionally I get a hankering for a sirloin. What a sirloin steak lacks in tenderness and fat marbling, it makes up for in good flavor without breaking the bank.

So one day I’m shopping at Walmart and see these sirloin steaks on sale. I don’t typically buy meat at Wally World, but they looked pretty good and the price was right, so I picked up two.

Sirloin steak on sale

A sprinkle of garlic salt and black pepper was all that was needed before throwing these steaks onto the grill. You can make your own garlic salt by mixing 3 parts table salt with 1 part granulated garlic powder.

Steaks seasoned with garlic salt and black pepper

Preheat the grill on HIGH for 10 minutes, then use a grill brush to remove any debris. Reduce the temp to MEDIUM and grill over DIRECT heat.

Grilling sirloin steaks over medium heat

For a 3/4″ thick steak cooked to medium doneness (160*F), grill for 4-5 minutes per side; for a 1″ thick steak, 5-6 minutes per side. Increase or decrease the cooking time to achieve your preferred doneness.

Resting sirloin steaks after grilling

In the few minutes it takes to get the steaks off the grill and onto your dinner plate, and for you to find a steak knife, these guys will have rested enough for the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

Close-up of grilled sirloin steak

These sirloin steaks are ready to enjoy!

As for steak sauce…I don’t do A-1 anymore. But in homage to the 1970s, I tried some Heinz 57 Sauce which was top-rated in a taste test by Cook’s Country magazine. They said that Heinz “provided a nice counterpart that let the meat shine through without overwhelming.” It’s “tomatoey, spicy, and earthy,” with a “sweetness [that] is rich and fruity,” and it has a “peppery tang.”

I’m not a big fan of steak sauce in general, but I thought Heinz 57 was pretty good as steak sauces go. More importantly, it served its purpose of taking me back to a simpler time when a sirloin steak and a bottle of steak sauce were not just a weeknight meal, but a special occasion.

P.S. Less-tender steaks like sirloin might benefit from the salting process described in this post: Salted Ribeye Steaks.

Butternut Squash

My good friends John & Amy live in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Silicon Valley. They have a beautiful garden in which they grow all sorts of veggies, including this butternut squash.

It turns out butternut squash is quick and easy to grill. The hardest part is cutting it up!

Peel the squash, cut into thick planks, and remove the seeds. Brush both sides with a mixture of 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2-3 cloves of garlic run through a garlic press, and salt & pepper to taste.

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Preheat the grill on MEDIUM, making sure the grates are clean.

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Grill for 6 minutes on the first side, then flip, tent with aluminum foil and grill for another 6 minutes. You may need to turn down the heat a bit to prevent burning if your grill runs hot.

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The squash is done when you’ve got good grill marks and the flesh is soft when poked with a fork.

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To serve, drizzle with a little EVOO. Taste for salt and sprinkle with more kosher salt, if needed. Enjoy!

Hamburger Sliders

Hamburger sliders are so fun and so easy to make…once you have the right buns!

First stop is the bread aisle at the supermarket. If you can find slider buns like Sara Lee Mini Buns, that’s perfect. If not, King’s Hawaiian or a similar small, soft dinner roll is a good alternative.

Once you’ve got the buns, it’s time for the beef! Buy a good quality ground beef, but not too lean so you get a nice, juicy slider. 80/20 or 85/15 lean to fat ratio is a good choice. I used Prather Ranch ground beef, something a friend turned me onto at the local Farmer’s Market. Too expensive for regular use, but a nice occasional treat and very good quality meat!

Divide one pound of ground beef into 6 portions. If you have a kitchen scale (and you should) that’s about 2.75 ounces per slider. Form into patties of even thickness and season with kosher salt.

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For me, melty, gooey American cheese is a guilty pleasure on burgers. Use whatever cheese you like best, but since a slider is smaller than a regular burger, you’ll want to scale down the cheese portion, also. I tore American cheese slices into quarters and used three pieces per slider. Even that was a bit much, you can probably get away with just half a slice of cheese per slider.

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Preheat your Weber gas grill on HIGH, making sure the grates are clean. Once preheated, turn the burners down to MEDIUM and arrange the sliders on the grill. They cook quickly due to their small size, so watch them carefully.

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When the first side is done, flip and cook for just a minute or so before adding the cheese. Quickly toast the buns and you’re ready for some slider deliciousness!

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Grilled Peaches

grilledpeaches

It’s summer time and that means it’s time for grilled peaches!

Peach lover Jo Torez recently posted this photo on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board which inspires this blog post!

TVWBB member dean offers these preparation tips: “Make sure the peaches are ripe but still firm–no mushy ones. Cut neatly in half and give a gentle twist to separate the halves. Take out the pit. Grill with the flat side down for a couple of minutes to get some nice grill marks, then flip over and put brown sugar and cinnamon in the hole left from the pit and on top. Put the lid back on and let them go for a few minutes depending on the heat (of the grill) and how you like them. These are delicious!”

Torez likes to drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon on her peaches. That’s what she did in the photo above. TVWBB member Greg Powers brushes his peaches with simple syrup before grilling, then fills the hole left from the pit with a mixture of cream cheese, brown sugar and cinnamon. Yum!

Fresh peaches won’t last forever…so get out there and grill some today!

Salted Ribeye Steaks

For TVWBB GrillFest 2 on August 2, I grilled some USDA Prime ribeye steaks over lump charcoal in my Weber 26.75″ kettle. I used a salting technique that I read about in Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Salting seasons the meat deep inside and alters the protein structure to make any steak even more tender. It works great whether grilling over charcoal or gas.

USDA Prime ribeye steaks
USDA Prime ribeye steaks

Two hours before grilling, pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides generously with kosher salt. Kosher salt is preferred because it’s easier to sprinkle evenly over the meat than table salt. Cook’s recommends 1.5 teaspoons per pound of meat, but I just eyeballed it.

Put the steaks in the refrigerator uncovered for two hours.

Steaks sprinkled with kosher salt ready for the refrigerator
Steaks sprinkled with kosher salt ready for the refrigerator

About 20 minutes before grilling, remove steaks from the fridge and pat dry again with paper towels. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Press the pepper into the surface to help it stick to the meat.

Searing the first side of the steak
Searing the first side of the steak
Steaks flipped and searing on the second side
Steaks flipped and searing on the second side

Grill to your preferred doneness. Remove from the grill, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for just a few minutes before serving.

Finished steaks resting before serving
Finished steaks resting before serving
Salted ribeye steak grilled medium rare
Salted ribeye steak grilled medium rare