Article: August, 2011

All About Sausage: From Humble Beginnings to Culinary Star

You know you’re digging into a great sausage when you get the first whiff of its enticing aroma, when you hear and feel the snap of its casing as you bite, when you taste the gush of flavor that fills your mouth and causes your eyes to go wide with amazement and total surrender.

Born of necessity and frugality in ancient times, sausages are among the oldest known prepared foods. Sausages can be found in a spectrum of shapes, sizes, and flavors in virtually every culture on earth. Germany, for example, lays claim to no less than 1,200 varieties.

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Uniquely American: Southern Barbecue

Southern-style barbecue—the low-and-slow cooking process that transforms tough cuts of meat into meltingly tender morsels of rapture—is uniquely American. And, as the early Americans moved westward, barbecue accompanied them and changed dramatically in the process.

Barbecuing, or cooking in a smoker, is very different from grilling in terms of heat intensity and technique. Smoking woods are chosen for their regional availability and ability to complement the flavors of the meat.

Today, there are four predominant regional styles of Southern barbecue, and numerous sub-styles, spreading East to West. As you follow the barbecue path, the sauce changes from thin and vinegary to sweet and tomatoey the farther West you go. (more…)

Smoking Meats 101

Low and slow. The very words make mouths water. Nothing caps off a lazy summer day more perfectly than a meal of sumptuous proportions from your smoker.

And nothing stokes a smoke master’s ego more than some positive comments about his or her smoke ring. That’s the true test—the visible evidence of the smoke’s penetration. The deeper the smoke ring, the more masterful the man or woman at the helm.

If you think nothing tastes better than food cooked with wood, flame, and smoke, you will discover a whole new world of enjoyment and possibilities when you add smoking to your arsenal of cooking techniques. (more…)

Getting Ready for the Big One

If you’ve ever cooked with a wok, you know that making a stir fry is 90% preparation and 10% execution.

Staging a cookout for a large gathering of friends and family doesn’t stray too far from that basic formula.

Sure, a catering company would be one way to go. But for the intrepid grill enthusiast or pit master, cooking for 50 or more people for the first time is an all-out adventure.

Of course, there’s nothing you can do about the weather, except have a strong Plan B.

But what you can control—and the bottom-line question to the whole shindig—is: Can you get enough food out on time to feed everyone adequately?

With preparation, the answer is: Yes! (more…)

New Video! How To: Grill Roast

While everyone with a grill is comfortable grilling steaks, chops, burgers, and hot dogs, cooking a roast on the grill might seem like a daunting task best left to the intrepid.

But grill-roasting a beef roast is easier than you think. In principal, the biggest difference between grilling a steak or a roast is the amount of time required to bring it to golden-brown, aromatic perfection—the juiciest and most tender roast you can imagine with unique flavors only cooking with smoke and flame can impart.

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Summer is for Picnics!

Summertime is a time for eating and playing outdoors. That means it’s picnic weather! In order for a picnic to be enjoyable for everyone, the ambience must be casual and the food must be tasty and convenient. Set up, preparation, and clean up should be quick and easy. Because picnics aren’t just for eating—recreation is on the menu too. Frisbees, swimsuits, horseshoes, and kites are just as important as sandwiches, salads, and sodas! (more…)

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