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All About Bar-B-Que: All Americans love a parade as the saying goes, but more than 84% of American families fire up their grills at least twice a month during summer, be it a Natural Gas Grill or a Charcoal Grill. If you look at the more than 62% of us that Bar-B-Que at least once a week (and even more in the year round warm states) you will see the romance that we have with Barbecue Grills and the unique barbecue flavor. One could imagine that the love of barbecue is as old as the caveman. It's almost like tapping into a primal memory every time you light a Natural Gas grill or a Charcoal grill depending on which you prefer. Most Americans enjoy a BBQ because it is a family affair. Everyone can get together and join cooking steaks on the grill or even hot dogs, ribs or burgers. It is time to forget the fancy tablecloth and dishes and succumb to paper plates and hand held food. When was the last time you gathered around the cook in the kitchen to watch a batch of cookies come out of the oven? Yet, everyone loves to gather round the barbecue grills and watch their foods being flamed with that wonderful barbecue flavor. Barbecue has become so popular in America that statistics suggest that more than a third of the nations $200 billion dollars spent on home remodeling in the last couple of years went into outdoor upgrades. This will give you an idea how much we love the outdoors and our outdoor barbecue grills. Naturally the most popular food on a Natural Gas Grill or Charcoal Grill is hamburgers, but close behind is chicken. Our next favorite is of course, the steak on a grill followed by the hot dog. Fish is a very distant favorite. Almost 90% of Bar-B-Que chefs marinate their meals sometimes for as little as an hour and sometimes as much as 24 hours. Many Bar-B-Que chefs do not use the grill for cooking sweets, which is too bad. Grilling fruits brings out their natural sweetness for a hip and different dessert. There is a difference in Bar-B-Que and Grilling. Grilling is done on very hot grills, while barbecue is done very slowly, usually on an indirect heat. All of your less tender cuts of meat should be done by the barbecue method, that includes pork shoulders, ribs and brisket. Forever, there will be the debate of which are better, a Natural Gas Grill or a Charcoal Grill. It looks like it might be almost a draw as 56% of barbecue owners own Gas Grills. If you opt to purchase a Natural Gas Grill it is recommended that you buy one with at least two burners so that you can use the indirect method of grilling when needed. When cooking large items such as Chickens or Turkeys, they would char on the outside and be raw on the inside if the indirect method of grilling was not used. Ribs, of course, need long slow cooking to get to that fall off the bone tenderness. There are two things to consider here, the problem with a gas grills is that you can run out of gas. A trick to know is to throw a cup of very hot water over the tank; condensation will form at the level of the gas. The problem with a charcoal grill is that it takes 30 to 40 minutes to heat up. Another tip with charcoal grills, when the coals are ready spread them out, but not over the entire surface of the grates. You want to save some cool spots to move your cooked food to so it will not burn. If you are cooking something that needs indirect heat, mound the coals on either side of the grill leaving the center empty. (Be careful when cooking with indirect heat on a charcoal grill, you may need to add more briquettes if the cooking time is prolonged).

Here are some tips for successful grilling on either Natural Gas Grills or Charcoal Grills: First and foremost is to keep your grill clean. For gas grilling it is an easy task, just light the grill, heat it up and scrap of any residuals with a wire brush. For a Charcoal Grill you will have to use a little bit of elbow grease after the grates have cooled.

To determine the heat of the grill hold your hand over the surface and count one Mississippi, two Mississippi. If after two you have the ~ouch factor~ the grill is hot. At around five it is medium hot and at ten it is cool. It is best to trim off any fat to avoid flare ups. If you are having steaks on a grill, you may want to keep the fat to get the char factor. Never, ever use a fork in your meat. Every time you stab a piece of meat you are draining it of juices and you will end up with a dry and tough meal. If you are making Bar-B-Que Chicken it is best to save the basting till the end. The sugar in the barbeque sauce will burn if applied too early. This applies to anything else that uses BBQ sauce. Many chefs suggest using a meat thermometer. However, many do not because of the loss of juice while being stabbed. There is a ~rule of thumb~ literally. Put your palm up with the hand slightly curled. By pressing the fatty end of your thumb (closest to the wrist) and feeling the meat, if the meat is as springy as the thumb area it is rare. For medium, go closer to the joint of the thumb, where the thumb meets the palm. If the touch is identical the meat is medium. For well done, feel towards the joint before the tip of the thumb, the firmness there and the firmness in the meat will indicate it is well done. Most important of all is to let the meat settle after grilling. This rule is the important whether the meat comes from a Natural Gas Grill or a Charcoal Grill; you must let the juice run back into the meat. If you cut it right away, you will have only one juicy bite since the rest of the juice will pour out onto the cutting board. No matter what you barbeque, or how you cook it, or if you use a Natural Gas Grill or a Charcoal Grill always be aware of safety. Keep the children away from hot grills, don't imbibe in alcoholic beverages until after the cooking. Make sure your grill is on a level surface and keep it away from structures that can ignite. If you are using a Charcoal Grill be careful of lighter fluid, better yet buy briquettes that are already permeated with the starter fluid. If using a Natural Gas Grill don't wait too long before turning on the gas and pressing the ignition button. You don't want the gas fumes to build up. We all love to have a great family life especially when the summer finally comes so anything that can help us to enjoy the summer is always a good thing. One of the best things about the summer is being able to enjoy the long light evenings with the good old bar-b-que. On a good summer there are plenty of weekends to enjoy so making sure you have the right set up us vital. The best way to do that is to build a patio and stone build bar-b-que. One of the best ways to set up a patio is on the back of a conservatory but if you are not lucky enough to be able to build or afford a conservatory then placing it on the back of the house is fine. It is a great way to start landscaping the garden with the patio being the centre of attention. It is a great idea to raise the patio up having steps down onto the garden. This is particularly great for connecting the garden and the house together. The design needs to be spot on. Get it right and it can turn a rather ordinary garden into a fantastic place for the whole family. Once you have decided on the patio you will need to decide where the bar-b-que should go. This is good over to one side although you need to ensure that it is still safe. By building a brick bar-b-que it is set up ready for when you need it. It is also build to last allowing for a lifetime of family bar-b-que's as your kids grow up. There is nothing better than having a family bar-b-que allowing you to bring the family together and have fun.

When it comes to the building it needs to be done for the long term meaning it needs to be done with proper foundations so it is best to get a proper building firm in to do the work. It is only good value for money if it lasts so building it to the right standard is vital. Once built it will be an asset you the family life as well as a great investment in the property itself. So you can see there are a number of benefits to building a patio and bar-b-que. It can completely change the way your family lives their lives from the family gatherings right through to the last minute do on a sunny Sunday evening. Look into it today and in no time at all you can have a new asset to your family that will enrich your lives for decades to come. Every year I read or hear of some dope who set up a portable generator or bar-b-que and then put it in the basement, garage, enlcosed porch, etc. How they could not know that charcoal, gasoline. diesel fuel, propane and LNG among other fuels, all emit fumes that can kill them is beyond me. Recently a family of four almost died when the husband put a generator in the garage not thinking that the garage was under the house. By sheer luck a neighbor called and when they did not answer, she went over and found them all passed out on the floor near death. EMT's were able to revive them but this scenario happens way too often. Barbeques being used indoors creates the same problem. People just don't think that they emit dangerous products of combustion just like a motor. Never, ever use one inside a structure. If it's raining, use an umbrella. Lastly I need to mention the use of Deep Fryers. They are dangerous even OUTDOORS no less inside. The slightest drops of moisture on the meat or bird can cause the oil to overflow the pot and catch fire. This often results in serious burns to the cook and in many, too many cases, causes a serious structure fire. Please use common sense when using any of these devices and tell your friends and neighbors to do the same. If you see them doing it, tell them to stop before they injure someone or worse. You will feel better for it. Another item to carefully check is the hose and regulator that connects your propane tank to the grille or other appliance. Each time the tank is changed or the grille is moved, the movement flexes the hoses. Over time the hoses can dry out and crack. Loose connections between the regulator and the tank are another safety concern. Make sure that there are no leaks and that hoses are in good condition. Make sure all fittings are properly tightened. Check your service manual for suggested yearly upkeep. Most hardware and box stores carry spare parts for outdoor grilles so its easy to keep yours in a safe tip top shape. Last year I got up on Thanksgiving morning and prepared to bar-b-que a turkey as I have done for about the last 9 years. However, this year was different. We had recently "upgraded" from a Weber Kettle bar-b-que grill to a bright, shiny, new gas grill. I was still not completely comfortable with this contraption but figured it couldn't be too different from my Weber and charcoal. RIIIIGHT! After preparing the bird inside, I brought it out and placed it on the grill. I was going to use indirect heat so I only lit the outside burners. I turned them on a medium setting and went back inside to get a cup of coffee. A few minutes later, my son came in screaming that the grill was on fire. I went running outside threw open the lid of the grill and was greeted by a bird in flames. It looked like a giant meteor rock with legs and was blazing away. Well I started laughing my butt off and ran for my camera. My kids pulled out their phones and started snapping away and we all laughed so hard we nearly fell over. My husband came outside and put out the fire spoiling all our fun. (It was his grill) What I forgot to do was place a drip pan under the bird. The grease and juices almost immediately caught fire and torched my thanksgiving dinner. Luckily I our local stores were open, so my husband ran and got another turkey and I began again from square one.

1. Prepare the bird The first thing you need to do is remove the bag of giblets from the cavity of the turkey. These can be used to flavor stuffing (since we won't be cooking it in the bird) or can be boiled with vegetables to make a great broth to be used later with all your leftovers. Or you can boil them up and feed them to your dogs as their own special thanksgiving treat. This is my dog's favorite choice. Place the turkey in the sink and rinse it inside and out with cool water. Next you will season the outside of the turkey. I use a combination of pepper, seasoned salt and garlic powder. Cover the whole bird well. Inside the turkey you want to place two small oranges that you have pierced several times with a knife, and a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary. The juice from the oranges will help to keep the turkey moist as it cooks on the grill and along with the rosemary will add a really wonderful taste and aroma. You need to truss the turkey or tie its legs together and tuck the wings in. Since you are using the grill to cook your bird you cannot use twine for this process but must use metal. My husband always gets this for me at the hardware store. You only need a small piece of stainless steel cord. Wash it well and wrap it around the end of the legs and twist tightly. There is no need to wrap it around the body of the bird, only the ends of the legs. You also want to tuck the wings into the body so that it resembles a person with their hands behind their head. There are a lot of sites on the internet that have videos of this process. 2. Prepare the grill Open your gas grill, remove the cooking racks and place a drip pan in the center of the grid or panels that are directly above the flame. I would suggest using one of the disposable foil pans that you can purchase at any grocery store. The pan must be large enough to fit under most of the bird and deep enough (at least 2 inches) to catch most of the drippings and hold some water that you will add. Replace the cooking racks and turn on the outside burners. If you have a temperature gauge on your grill you will want to keep the heat between 375 and 400 degrees. A medium flame on both outer burners usually will do just fine but you may have to turn it up depending on how cold it is outside. I have done this when it was snowing out so don't let a little cold scare you. Now you want to add some water, about half an inch, to the drip pan. The steam from the water will keep the turkey nice and moist. Periodically while cooking, you will want to check the level of liquid in the pan. Do not let the pan dry out or overflow. 3. Cook The Bird Place the trussed turkey in the center of the grill, over the top of the drip pan. Close the lid and monitor the temperature. You can turn the flames up or down as needed. Remember also that the more often you open the lid the longer it will take to cook your turkey. At least twice while the bird is cooking, you will want to baste the outside of your bird with some melted butter and added spices. I usually add garlic and rosemary to the butter. How long the turkey takes to cook, depends on a couple of things. How cold it is outside, how often you open the lid and how big your turkey is. An average cooking time by weight is usually printed on the label of your turkey. If it has a pop up thermometer this will help you know when the turkey is done. A cooking thermometer is also helpful. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees. You will want to measure this at the inner part of the thigh and thickest part of the breast.

When it is done remove from the grill and untie the legs. Remove the oranges from the cavity and dispose of them. If you put them in your garbage disposal they will make it smell good too. Arrange the turkey on a platter and you are finished. 4. Enjoy Each year I take one of these turkeys to my Mother-in-law's house. We always have 3 different turkeys cooked 3 different ways (we have a very large family). Mine is the only one that is completely gone at the end of the day. I never have any leftovers. Do you believe you can cook ribs better than in any restaurant? You can! And, I know the secret. Stop grilling ribs and learn how to slow-cook bar-be-que instead. Who knew? I sure did not. I recently purchased my first grill and set out to become a serious backyard grill master. A friend sent me an ebook to help get me started and it totally changed my approach to cooking bar-be-que. Once I finished Bill Anderson's book on cooking competition quality barbecue entitled "Competition BBQ Secrets" I knew I was on to something wonderful. Its one of the few books around that give you ALL the details on how to select a grill, use wood chips and most importantly, how to slow-smoke ribs, chicken, butts, and brisket. For a rookie like me, I was glad he did not leave important detail information like times and temperatures to chance. Anderson says, "comparing grilling to slow-cooking is like comparing painting a house to painting a masterpiece of art. Any idiot can paint a house, but it takes skill, experience and a love of art to create a true masterpiece." 1. 2. 3. 4.

Here are four reasons why slow-cooking is better than grilling. You get tender, juicy meat that is fall off the bone and melt-in-your mouth good. A rookie can create delicious chicken and ribs on a backyard grill first time out. Its hard to overcook slow-smoked meat. Your friends and family will become your raving fans.

Anderson's championship Chatham Artillery Bar-Be-Que team took 1st place for ribs last year at both the 2009 Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival and the 2009 Pigs & Peaches Festival in Georgia. And they have been grand champion several times. The team has also won awards for chicken, pork and brisket. Have you ever tried to cook brisket? Believe me, that is not the easiest meat to prepare. Have you ever burned your meat on the grill? You could continue the trial and error method and hope for the best. But why? Switch to slow-cooking and it well never happen again. Want to experience the joy of competition? If you want to compete in any local Bar-be-Que cooking competitions this style of cooking will help you smoke the competition. There are contests in many states. You can find out where and when at the website of the National Bar-Be-Que Association at: Break out the grill, trim the meat, blend your favorite seasoning rub, mixup your secret sauce and slowcook a family feast of killer ribs and smoking que. The aroma will have friends and family primed for some good eating. And when you serve them up they will be lip-smacking and finger-licking good. There has often been a huge debate on regardless of whether gas grills or charcoal bar b que grills are better. Some of you are probably asking yourself which is the ideal for me? Which type is good for occupied bodies? Which is the very best for taste? Below are some professionals and disadvantages of each that can hopefully reply your inquiries and aid you in your decision.

Charcoal Grills Best for generating mouth-watering flavor. They cook the meal gradually which retains the meal moist. They are solid iron commonly and that signifies they are much better for longer durations of cooking. Considering that they are cast iron the cabinet endures almost permanently with proper use. They are readily available in a lot of configurations such as mobile trailers, carts, and stationary. Extremely Spartan so there are less parts to break. Charcoal Grills They are solid iron which indicates HEAVY! They are cumbersome also which signifies you far better put it where you enjoy it and keep it there. These are for folks who really like bar b queing because it is timeconsuming to prepare dinner with these. Cleanup is a dirty job but another person must do it. Not attractive to the eye. Smokes enjoy a freight train. So you have to be in an open location aside from company. Gas Grills They are made from sheet metal and are readily available in quite a few low upkeep finishes. Powder coated or stainless steel. They are fairly light-weight weight. Easily relocated around the house or to a different location. Gas Grills are readily available in many versions and sizes. Carts, constructed in models for bar b que islands, and stationary units. Straightforward cleanup that requires only minutes. Gas melts clear so there is not any smoke. So you can grill in an open location close up to guests. Natural gas grills in no way run out of fuel! Super food has a nice flame kissed taste. Cooks your meal relatively quickly. Gas Grills You could do consider precautions for the wind for portable models. Hail storms can injury the cabinet. Propane grills have a cylinder that could run out of fuel and will do be exchanged. Many elements that can go bad but are easily readily available. Not as much flavor as in contrast to a charcoal grill. As you can see from above, there are quite a few pros and cons for owning gas grills or a charcoal bar b que grills . Gas grills are stellar for people with lees time to cook dinner and cleanup. Charcoal grills are for the chef who adores to prepare dinner for their friends, who emphasize on taste, and don't mind investing the extra time involved. It mainly can come straight down to how considerably time do you want to devote for grilling? Some folks have combination grills with gas and charcoal stations. The possibilities are endless.

Bar-B-Q gift baskets are a great way to show the dad in your life how much you love him! These type of unique gift baskets would even be great for the new dad who is settling down into the "family life" after the birth of his first child! Maybe this gift is for your son or son-in-law and you know he's getting a new beautiful gas grill for a Father's Day gift. One of these Bar-B-Q gift baskets would be a great complimentary gift for that occasion! You can do it yourself! Take a look at these directions on how to make unique gift baskets, and modify them to your taste. Items to purchase before beginning:

A medium sized basket with at least 12 inches in the bottom of the basket. BBQ Sauce BBQ Marinade BBQ Utensils Oven Mitts (make 'em look manly!) Grilling Apron (again, make it manly!) Platter - if you can't find something unique and manly, at least make it you guy's favorite color! If your BBQ guy is a beer drinker, a six pack (bottles) of his favorite beer Red & White checked tablecloth (material, not plastic) 18 inches of thick rope Shredded white paper or tissue paper To Assemble Lay out the red and white checked table cloth on a clean surface, place the basket in the center of the table cloth. Place shredded paper or crumpled tissue paper in the bottom of the basket. If you've purchased a platter, place it in the back of the basket. Arrange the rest of your purchases in the basket in an artful manor - largest items toward the back, smaller items toward the front. If you've purchased beer or any other breakable bottles, make sure to place the bottles in the basket away from the platter and don't let them touch each other. It would be a shame for the bottles to break during transport and ruin your great gift. Take your thick rope and tie single knots in each end. (For this part, you'll need a second pair of hands.) Gather the table cloth up around the basket. Tie the rope around the top of the table cloth, similar to how you would tie ribbon at the top of cellophane. Since this is a "guy" basket, make a simple double knot, or, if you know how to make special knots, do that now. Personalize Gift Basket Tips To personalize this gift in a very special way, go to your local ceramic shop with your baby or children. Select a large platter and let the kids decorate it. If you have a newborn, baby or toddler, tiny feet and hand prints will be cherished for a life time! Your ceramic shop will fire the platter after you've painted it. This is a very special addition to your Bar-B-Que gift. You've done it! You've made one of the most unique gift baskets for the dad in your life! The Hunt for BBQ in Texas: Being new to East Texas, it's a challenge trying to decide what Bar-B-Que restaurants to try and which ones to stay away from. I've gotten individual opinions and started hunting online. One frustrating aspect in this area is the lack of websites by restaurant owners and apparently no newspaper in the area covers entertainment or food.

Therefore, I cannot look at a menu, see pictures of the interior, learn if they offer live entertainment or even get excited about their business. What's up East Texas?! It's the digital age! Doing a search in Longview, Texas for Bar-B-Que restaurants turns out a plethora of options. The next step is to look at the reviews, right?

This got me thinking about online reviews from the Google location, yelp, city search and the like and how much stock I should put in them. My thought process goes a little something like this: First, I consider how many reviews an establishment has. Then, how many of those reviews are flat-out negative. Maybe, you're like me, and take into consideration that most people are more likely to go out of their way to complain than they are to compliment and praise.

One business in particular, Shack Daddy's Barbeque, in Longview, Texas, has many mixed reviews with more being super negative then others. I am curious to try this place that has garnered itself the most reviews out of all the barbeque restaurants in Longview. My game plan: order meat, people rave about the ribs. Avoid the sides except for the vinegar coleslaw. An apparent must stop in Longview, Texas is the flavorful, both in terms of personality and food, is Carter's Bar-B-Que. It's described as being located in an old gas station and is a prefect representation of a southern dive diner. My kind of place! I can't wait to go! According to the reviews, everything is delicious with huge portions for the price. My next step is to get out there, strap on my bib and enjoy some tasty Texas Barbeque in Longview, Texas. Shack Daddy's sounds risky, but I want to form my own opinion on this place and if it's as unpleasant as some people say, I'll head over to Carter's for what sounds like a sure thing.

Competition B-B-Q Secrets  

This is the ultimate guide to making the best BBQ you – or anyone you know – has ever eaten. Create competition-crushing delicacies in your...

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