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Rotisserie Grilling Tips

Rotisserie Grilling Tips
“Spit-roasting is one of the world’s most ancient and universal forms of grilling, and there’s nothing like it for producing exceptionally moist meat with a crackling crisp crust.” – Steven Raichlen

I like chicken just about any way it can be prepared, but for the juiciest, most flavorful bird, I’ll hang my hat on rotisserie grilling, even more so now with the grill accessories that are available. This even-heating, self-basting method ensures a perfectly cooked bird, with crispy skin all around. Using a grill (with a rotisserie burner) is especially convenient when cooking for parties or holiday get-togethers, as it frees up the oven and stove-top, and you don’t even have to remember to flip or baste your entrée!

Start with a good dry rub, end with proper treatment of the finished fowl, and you’ll have a winner chicken dinner that folks are going to remember!

Plus, rotisserie cooking is thought to be the oldest cooking technique known to man… so that’s pretty cool, too.

Here are 5 things to remember when grilling a chicken rotisserie style:

Dry rub 8-24 hours in advance

Rotisserie Grilled ChickenA dry rub is a combination of salt, spices, herbs, and sometimes sugars, that’s used to flavor meat in advance of cooking. Unlike a marinade or brine, a dry rub forms a crust on the outside of the meat when cooked.

The salt draws out the juices in the meat, making it more moist and tender, while the sugars caramelize and form a seal that traps in flavor and juices.

You can add just about anything you want to a rub (and you should experiment with some of your own favorite flavors) but here’s my go-to dry rub for chicken: 2 Tbsp. sea salt + 1 Tbsp. each: dark brown sugar, coarse black pepper, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, onion powder, and Italian seasonings. Combine all in an airtight container and mix until completely blended.

Once you’ve sprinkled, then rubbed the spices into (and under) the skin, and trussed it, wrap the whole bird in plastic wrap and refrigerate until 1-2 hours before you plan to start cooking it. Be sure to sprinkle some of your seasonings into the body cavity of the chicken or turkey, as well.

Truss the bird

3Trussing (tying up) a whole bird before cooking is always a good idea as it helps keep it moist and promotes even cooking (and a prettier presentation), but for rotisserie grilling it’s absolutely essential. A non-trussed bird will loosen up on the bar, legs and wings floppin’ ever which-a-way, and start burning at the extremities long before the rest of the chicken is cooked through to the bone.

Trussing isn’t particularly difficult, but it does take some practice to perfect. Google “How to truss a chicken” for any number of excellent videos and step-by-step guides to trussing.

Watch the heat

4I like to preheat my grill (burners on full, lid down) before putting the pre-loaded spit (the rod that holds the meat) in place. Watch the bird closely, checking every few minutes at first, and adjust your flame as needed to avoid hot spots or burning the skin.
Cook to the right temp

Figure about 25 minutes per pound to cook a chicken on a rotisserie, but what you’re really looking for in an internal temp in the thickest part of the thigh of 175 °F. A lot of variables can affect the number of minutes it takes a bird to cook to the bone, including starting temp of the meat, the heat of your grill, and the weather while cooking, but 175 °F is done regardless of outside influences.

Give it a rest

Once your chicken is removed from the heat, it’s vital that it be allowed to “rest” for 15-20 minutes, tented loosely in foil.

Resting allows the meat to relax and reabsorb its own juices back into the muscle fibers as they cool. The reason for tenting in foil is to keep the surface temperature from dropping much faster than the internal temp, which can lead to drying.

Once the chicken has rested go ahead and snip away the trussing (I use a pair of kitchen shears for this), cut the bird up as you see fit, and serve.

Oh, and be sure to save those lovely roasted bones and extra bits for making stock or flavoring soups or gravies. It’s gold!

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

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Some common grilling mistakes…you might be making!

We have a great guest post today from our friend’s at JES Restaurant Equipment! Check out the infographic, below, on some very common mistakes that grillers make, and the corresponding tips to help make your live-fire cooking the best it can be!

grilling

Now that the weather’s warmed up, millions of people are firing up the grill and cooking up delicious meals. But how many of you are making these common grilling mistakes?

  • Pressing your burgers flat with the spatula (smooshes the juices right out)
  • Cooking too fast (or too slow – don’t forget the sear!)
  • Burning your sauce (put sugary sauces on when you’re almost done cooking)
  • Cutting into meats without letting them rest (resting the meat for about 5 minutes seals in the juices – thicker cuts need even longer)

We focused on tips for a gas grill (like the popular Holland Grills), but these tips will work equally well on charcoal grills.

Easy tips for grilling like a pro! (Infographic)! (Infographic)

 

Source by JES Restaurant Equipment

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Safe Labor Day Grilling 101

It’s Labor Day Weekend, Baby! Backyard BBQ-masters across the country are firing up their grills and getting ready for one of the biggest grilling days of the summer! I don’t know about you, but both my wife, and my home-owner’s insurance agent seem to breathe a little easier if I go over a brief “safety-checklist” before I start playing with fire.

Here are 5 points that every winter-weary pit-master
should take into consideration:

1. If you’re firing up coals this year, check the mesh basket in the bottom of your charcoal chimney. A good chimney should provide many years of perfect service, but they can, over time, start to rust out and collapse. I’ve only had this happen once, and luckily with unit charcoal. Few things would take the fun out of outdoor cooking faster than a pile of burning coals around your flip-flops. Give the basket a couple of tugs, and check for rust––especially at the points where it connects to the wall of the chimney. Jiggle the handle, tightening if necessary, as well.

Read the rest of this article, here.

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Low and Slow Barbecue on a Gas Grill

When BBQ enthusiasts read “low and slow” our minds usually drift to images of deep smoke-blackened pits, seeping lazy tendrils of white smoke, as whole oak and hickory logs smolder beneath.

I mean, grills are made for searing burgers and dogs, or maybe getting some nice marks on a chicken breast or a thick steak…but they don’t do “barbecue”…right?

Well, I’m here to tell ya, you can get some amazing, mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone tender, low and slow barbecue from your gas grill, too. You just have to change up your technique a little bit.

Why “Low & Slow”

High heat causes rapid moisture loss. Proteins in meat and seafood naturally contain a great deal of liquid, but as heat forces these protein strands to rapidly constrict, much of that moisture, is squeezed out, and meat becomes tough and leathery. Succulent, buttery pulled-pork becomes tender when the naturally tough collagen in the meat is converted into gelatin, with a minimum loss of moisture. This transformation occurs when the pork is cooked at temperatures between 225-250 (I get better results at 225) for 10-12 hours, hence the term, “low and slow.”

Personally, I would recommend using a smoking box to hold wood chips for the first several hours of cooking time, as well. There are many commercial varieties, but a clean tuna can, filled with non-resinous wood chips and wrapped in foil (with a few holes punched through the top) works just fine too.

Read the rest of this article, and get our recipes for my favoritelow-and-slow pork shoulder, bbq dry rub, and “dirty secret” sauce, here!

Perry P. Perkins is a Grilling is Happiness sponsored writer.

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La Caja China on Bizarre Foods America, tonight!

Hey everyone,

As you may or may not know, my all-time favorite outdoor cooker, La Caja China, is being featured tonight on my all-time favorite TV show, Bizarre Foods America!

In light of this momentous occasion, I’m going to offer each of my La Caja China Cookbooks, directly from my e-store, at 20% off the cover price! (Be sure to use the links and coupon code, below). These are the ONLY cookbooks on the market for the Cuban roasting boxes, and feature dozens of delicious recipes that I’ve personally created and tested, from across the country and around the world.

Nothing roasts a pig faster, or easier, than La Caja China…but there’s a LOT more to explore that just the whole hog. Here’s a little about the cookbooks and a favorite recipe of mine, from each…

Oh, and join me on Twitter tonight to chat during the episode, just search for #BizarreCaja, and join the conversation!

Enjoy the show!

-Perry

La Caja China Cooking

The secret to perfect roasting
Authored by Perry P Perkins
20% Coupon Code: MUFRQDBX

Recipes and tips for using La Caja China to prepare fabulous dishes from around the world!

La Caja China, for all the pig-related press, is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment I’ve used in a lifetime of cooking and barbecue.

I can prepare everything from holiday dinners like St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and Thanksgiving turkey; ethnic delights like Malaysian Satays and Italian porchetta sandwiches, to Kalua pig and Moroccan lamb. I can grill steaks, braise chickens, and roast prime-rib that rivals any restaurant, and do it all in my own backyard!

And, of course, I can roast melt-in-your-mouth whole pigs that send my guests into fits of gastronomical joy.

Even more importantly, I can prepare these dishes for crowds that would normally require a smoke house, a four-foot deep pit dug in my yard, multiple gas grills, and several full-size ovens. Not only that, but I can do it anywhere, anytime!

La Caja China isn’t just about great barbecue and roasting, it’s about friends and family, it’s about creating memories, and… let’s be honest… it’s about being “that guy” (or gal) who can make the dinner, holiday, or party, a memorable event.

Featured recipe: Luau Pork Shoulders

La Caja China World

Roasting Box Recipes from Around the Globe
Authored by Perry P Perkins
20% Coupon Code: MUFRQDBX

La Caja China, the Cuban roasting box, has become the toast of food writers and celebrity gourmets, including Food Network’s THROWDOWN Chef, Bobby Flay.

In La Caja China Cooking: The Secret to Perfect Roasting, we took a gastronomic tour of America.

With this new collection of recipes, your La Caja China becomes a magic carpet, allowing you to take your friends and family to the far corners of the world, and experience the delicious wonders waiting for you there!

In every culture and country that we researched in gathering this collection, we found people who enjoyed gathering together with loved ones, lighting a fire, cooking meat over it (or under it), and eating together.

Not coincidentally, we think, these folks shared a common passion for life and laughter, as well.

In La Caja China World, we invite your taste buds to join us on a globe-trotting adventure with dishes like:

  • Grilled Tri-Tip & Chimichurri in Argentina
  • Whole Roast Pig & Coconut Rice in Bali
  • Roast lamb & Potatoes in Greece
  • Beef Short Ribs & Scallion Salad in Korea
  • Christmas Goose in Sweden

If you’re looking to roast, grill, bake, braise, smoke, or barbecue; whether you’re cooking for a hungry crowd, or creating memories with your family – look no further than La Caja China World!

Featured Recipe: Roast Leg Of Lamb With Moroccan Chermoula Sauce

About the author:
Chef, cookbook author and food blogger, Perry P. Perkins comes from a long line of professional chefs. As a third generation gourmand, he focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.

Perry has written for hundreds of magazines, everything from Writer’s Digest and Guideposts, to American Hunter and Bassmaster Magazine. His inspirational stories have been included in twelve Chicken Soup anthologies, as well.

He is also a featured blogger for Sear’s “Grilling is Happiness” website, and is the owner & executive chef at hautemealz.com, an online menu planning service for busy people who love cooking great food.

Perry blogs at  www.burninloveblog.com, www.hautemealz.com, and you can read more of his work at www.perryperkinsbooks.com.

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How to Spatchcock and Inject Whole Chickens for Grilling

Here’s a video we put together, over at our sister-site www.hautemealz.com, on how to spatchcock (remove the backbone) and inject a whole chicken with marinade.

This a a great method for adding some amazing flavors, while reducing your grilling or roasting time by almost half.

Enjoy!

Here’s the injection recipe I like to use:

Continue reading

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How to shop like a “healthy foodie”

Angel asks:

Q: Regarding dieting, healthy eating, and shopping…I’m curious if you find special challenges on this endeavor since your a chef or if it your knowledge of food helps. I’m not a chef, but I do love food and my knowledge of nutrition has been very slowly expanding since I had my son. I find myself often wishing I knew more about the taste dynamic of different herbs, spices and foods that would help me to come up with more tasty versions of healthy dishes.

A: Excellent question. I would guess that I actually have less temptation than most, as I have a very detailed shopping list to follow each week, to plan menus for our subscribers. I try to shop late at night, and eat dinner just before going to the store, so I’m not shopping hungry.

Be adventurous…there are tons of great fresh produce, meats, etc along the outside of the grocery store that you can experiment with. Try new fresh herbs, and unusual fruits. If you see something that looks interesting, write its name down, and Google some recipes until you find one that sounds good, then add that item to your next shopping list!

I’ll tell you, a handful of chopped fresh Thai basil will rock just about anything! Sample some cilantro (you’ll love it, or you’ll hate it), and find a good recipe for roasting your own garlic. Any of these will turn something as pedestrian as a Cup O’ Noodles into a satisfying repast, and turn a good recipe into a next-level one!

Personally, I think that, in terms of a general style of cooking, it’s hard to beat a great “traditional” (not Americanized) Italian cookbook for finding healthy, exiting new things to try (disclaimer: yes, I am Italian, and totally biased.) Greek cooking is pretty amazing, as well.

Brass tacks…if it’s something you love to do…DO IT…just find a way to do it right. I think the biggest deal-killer to most folk’s healthy eating, is that they believe that they have to deny themselves to eat healthy. We are, all of us, narcissists and hedonists by nature, and a deprivation mentality is a one-way ticket to a binge session. I speak from personal experience, lol.

Make learning, exploring, and experimenting with healthy eating something you love to do…and then indulge yourself! Try something new at the grocery store…take a field trip to your local farmer’s markets…throw a “healthy (country of choice) dinner” for your friend’s or family.

Make it fun…make it something you want to do…and you’ll do it!

Just one guy’s opinion.

– Perry

PS – Drop by our hautemealz.com blog for some great healthy (and free) recipes that are a little “haute-er” than you might find elsewhere,  lol.  – P

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Tips for Hot Weather Grilling

It’s hot right now, at least for my little corner of the world, but that doesn’t mean I want to stop grilling and barbecuing. I just want to keep it as pleasant as possible…and not die.

Here are some tips that help me accomplish both:

1. If you’re in the middle of a prolonged hot spell, remember that grasses, shrubs, and other combustables are going to be dryier that usual and present a greater fire hazard. Keep an even greater safety zone than normal, and be aware of any fire restrictions in your area.

2. Cook less meat. Even hardcore bbq junkies are going to max out pretty quickly on hot brisket on a hundred-degree day. Plan on smaller entree portions and provide more cold sides, salads, and fresh fruit.

3. Keep cool fluids on hand while cooking, and drink a lot of them. Beer may sound great…but pure water or a sports drink is better.

4. The hotter it is outside, the faster food will cook on your grill. If you’re doing are low and slow barbecue, you may want to cook your food at a slighlty lower temperature, as the exterior heat will bring it up. Because foods cook faster, it’s important to use a high-quality meat thermometer to monitor internal temperatures, and help prevent over cooking your meat and drying it out.

5. Fill a deep tray or casserole dish with ice and keep salads-particularly potato or mayonnaise based salads on ice. Even ices, don’t leave them out in the heat for more than an hour.

6. Loose, baggy clothing sure is nice in hot weather, unfortunately it also makes great kindling. Tuck in those aloha shirts and baggy tank tops before getting near open flame. Also, wear shoes…if you’ve ever stepped on a red-hot coal, or dropped a sizzling hot burger onto a bare foot…well, you already know.

7. If you can, position your cooking area in the shade (see #4), or use an umbrella or sunshade, and remember that sun reflecting off a concrete driveway can be murder. If you have to cook in direct sunlight, wear sunscreen, a hat, and consider picking up a Neck Cooler (I have one, they’re very nice)…retreat to a lawnchair in a shady spot as often as possible.

Remember, it’s all fun and games until you pass out from heatstoke and flop into a hot Weber Grill.

Happy (and safe) Q’in!

-Perry

PS – Here’s my favorite hot weather snack:

Fresh Pepper Pico

Some folks aren’t fans of the heat, like I am…so I developed this recipe to allow me to minimize the fire by cutting out the jalapeno and some of the white onion (yes, some folks find white onion to be “too hot”) but still retain the contrasting crunch of those crisp, raw veggies with the fresh tomatoes. (And it’s purty, too!)

This attempt got major kudos from the “Mild not Wild” portion of the family.

5 fresh Roma tomatoes, chilled and diced
1/2 large white onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 large orange bell pepper, diced
2 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
2 Tbs fresh minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving with warmed chips.

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