July 13, 2010 1 Comment
Since I now have my own website hosted,
I have moved all of my posts to…
Please click on the above link and visit me there,
aka Oshawa Ogre
by Wilfred Reinke
July 13, 2010 2 Comments
After watching an episode of The Shark Tank I was intrigued by a product called Grill Charms made by Charmed Life Products LLC, according to the show Leslie Haywood, it’s inventor had come up with a great way to know which steak, burger etc. was Rare, Medium Rare, Medium or Medium Well Done.
She had invented these little charms that you stick into the meat before cooking and your then able to quickly see which piece of meat was to be done to which doneness.
As with any pictures on my blog, if you want to see a picture in it’s original size just click on it.
I found a Canadian distributor, Ontario Gas BBQ just North of Toronto http://bbqs.com/ which by the way is a HUGE BBQ Supply store that I could spend hours in, but about them another day.
The charms were right by the cash register on the main counter. The cost I paid was $19.95 Cdn.
The first thing I noticedwas that the packaging is well made and re-usable in the sence that you can take off the lid from the package, take out the charms and use them for your cooking and after cleaning return them to the package for storage in your cupboard or drawer.
To test out the effectiveness of these Grill Charms I pulled out three steaks to grill on my BBQ, I wanted to cook one Raer, another Medium Rare and the last was to be Medium.
The Grill Charms Steak Collection set comes with 2 each of R for Rare and MR for Medium Rare and then one each of M for Medium and MW for Medium Well.
They are made from well made Stainless Steel and are sturdy along with being very easy to read.
Now to be perfectly clear, these charms do not tell you when the food is cooked to perfection, they are only meant to distinguish one steak from another during cooking and plating.
As the steaks are flipped the charms are now on the grill side of the steak, since there was 2 of each of the R & MR Charms I could of inserted on both sides of those ones, though this time I had not.
After Dinner it took only a moment to wash the Grill Charms by hand and put them back into their original box. They made my job as the Griller a lot easier and less stressful.
July 9, 2010 3 Comments
A couple of days ago I received in the mail two packages of Herman T’s BBQ Sauce Mixes, one in the Original “Mild” Blend and one package of their Spicy “Hot” Blend. These were sent to me as a trial package.
I could not wait to try this sauce, I was intrigued by the fact that is a sauce mix rather than out of a bottle. In my house I have four or five different bottles of BBQ sauce open in the fridge at any one time and space becomes a premium. having a sauce that I can keep in the spice cupboard and use only what I need for the meal I am preparing made perfect sense.
My first choice was to try the Original “Mild” blend
I was impressed on the quality of the packaging which is a thick foil based packaging that you cut the top off with scissors but you are left with a ziplock style closure so that it can be resealed to keep the product fresh.
The company claims that the mix has a shelf life of 1 year, I am not sure if that is one year after opening or from manufacture. If it is from manufacture it would be nice to have a manufacture date on the package.
The size of the package is 4″x7″ x 1 3/4″ thick at the base.
The ingredients are listed on the label the “Mild” has…
vinegar, honey, sugars, pepper, garlic, chili powder, chipotle powder & citrus powder.
Very easy directions are also on the label, which read…
In sauce pan combine:
1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of Ketchup along with 1 tbs of the sauce mix, whisk to a boil reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes, best served warm.
I cooked up some Chicken strips on the BBQ that all I did was add a little bit of oil and salt & pepper to the chicken .
I made up the sauce as directed while grilling the chicken.
I found that the sauce mix was well mixed within the package.
Some chicken I left plain and brushed some of the chicken a few minutes before removing from the grill.
I thought that it had a sweet taste, and very pleasant that did not leave any after taste.
Since the sauce was served warm it was a very satisfying taste that would go well with just about any dish.
Next up was the Spicy “Hot” BBQ Sauce Mix
Oddly enough the Ingredient list for the Spicy “Hot” mix is the same as the Original “Mild” now maybe the proportions of the spices are different which accounts for the different taste.
I really like to put BBQ sauce on a pepperoni Pizza, I find that BBQ sauce will bring out more flavour from the Pepperoni. So I wanted to try this sauce on some take out pizza.
The directions are exactly same as the “Mild” from above.
I have in the past stuck mostly with mild sauces , I do like some kick but not that my mouth is on fire, I lathered the sauce on top of the pizza slices and I found that it definitely could taste the heat, by the time I was finished the 3 slices of pizza I found that I was sweating and I was inside my air-conditioned house!
In conclusion I would have to say that I really like the fact that it is easy and quick to prepare. These sauces would be great as a dip for chicken wings on football night.
Cost for the sauce online is $7.95 for each 6oz package or you can buy a 2 pack for $15.00 considering that each package can produce 10 cups of sauce I would say the price is a bargain.
Shipping in the US for a two pack is only $4.00 and to ship to me in Canada is $6.00
I will be using more of this sauce mix for future meals, There are many many different BBQ sauces on the market and everyone has their own tastes but I am confident that this will appeal to the majority of BBQ cooks and their family’s.
July 7, 2010 5 Comments
A while back I saw a video by the BBQ Pitboys that encouraged me to try a recipe on my Gas Grill that sounded crazy but was so good that friends have asked me to make for them too.
It has been called many things I have called it a “Monster MeatLoaf Supreme” but I consider it to be the best Meat Lovers Pizza ever made!
This recipe can be changed to your own tastes but this is what I came up with.
I mixed together 4 lb.s of Ground Beef along with 2 lbs. of ground Turkey and added 2 packages of Onion soup mix as a binder.
Sometimes I will add in some Soya and or Worcestershire sauce.
Then I grabbed a cookie sheet and placed the beef on it and spread it around so it was about 1 1/2″ thick, leaving about one inch of space between the beef and the edge of the pan.
To that add your favorite BBQ or Tomato sauce and then a good helping of shredded cheese (I like to use a mix of Mild Cheddar and Mozzarella)
Next I cut up and piled on some onions, green and red peppers & mushrooms.
Not enough meat? take some sausages and squeeze them out of their casings and into a skillet, cook it about half way, then spread over top of this monster of a pizza, and then add some sliced tomatoes.
Wait we need more meat! fry up some Bacon Mmmmm Bacon!
I did not add Pepperoni to this one, but if I had it it would of made it to the top!
Time to take a can of Pineapple slices and add them to the top and covered with some more cheese!
To cook this baby, set your grill to cook indirect
If you’re using charcoal then put the coals to the side and place the pan on the other side.
If like myself you cook with gas then turn on one burner on one side and place the pan over the unlit side.
Look for a temperature range of 225 -250 F
This should take anywhere from 1 hour to maybe 2 hours, you want to be able to stick an instant read thermometer in and get a reading of 160 F.
You can also add a few chunks of hard wood to the coals or in a foil pack on the gas grill for some smokey flavour.
The reason for leaving space around the pizza is that as it cooks you will get fat draining from the meat and pooling around the pizza, just use a turkey baster to suck up the grease when needed.
When it is done it will look something like this!
Now you can either just slice it up and serve or put it on a bun as a burger, but I like it by it self, and no need for any other toppings except maybe some more BBQ sauce drizzled on top.
A lot of you maybe think that this will be not healthy, but the fat does drain off, and one or two slices will be very filling.
Next time your wanting to grill something try this Meat Lovers Pizza, it will not disappoint!
You can also see my YouTube videos making one of these last winter, yup I grill in the winter too!
July 5, 2010 10 Comments
This past week-end was the 11th annual edition of Canada’s Largest Canada day celebration.
Hosted by the Rotary Club of Etobicoke Over 100,000 people go through the gates to enjoy fantastic ribs and entertainment from 13 Professional International Ribbers from both Canada and The US. Joining them are 20 food and 70 specialty Vendors along with a midway for children of all ages.
I attended on Saturday July 3rd along with my friend Joe Simeunovich, both of us having a longing for some good BBQ and this day did not disappoint.
First off it was a fantastic day weather wise, we arrived around noon. ( the location is a huge area called Centennial Park which is just south of Pearson International Airport in Toronto)
Parking was free and generous spots were available, though we parked about a 3 minute walk away we could of found spots a lot closer as well.
Admission to the park was also free, with the option of donating a toonnie ( $2.00 Canadian coin) which is given to that big Pink Pig pictured below, and a couple of the 600 volunteers handed out programs at the door and had change available for those that only had bills in their pockets.
As soon as we entered the grounds there was a young lady having an animal balloon hat made for her by a fun gentleman that was entertaining us right away.
An unsuspecting Joe posed for this picture next to this sign which had me chuckling to myself.
We were drawn to the booth by some wonderful Latin music that had us in the mood in an instant.
What the sign was actually for was for this pig that was being roasted during the day to be given away at the end of the night in a draw. Another first for me seeing a Whole Hog being cooked at a Rib-fest.
Generally a rule of thumb that a lot of people use is that get in line for ribs that have the most people waiting in line, but Joe liked the fact that Bad Wolf BBQ had the nice Music going and at that moment no one was in line there so he bought a 1/2 rack of their ribs for $13.00, we both shared the ribs and they were wonderful the sauce was a perfect blend of sweet and smoke flavour and the meat was nicely cooked., while eating those we got in line at Crabbys BBQ shack out of London Ontario (there are a fair number of teams that come out of that area and do the Ontario circuit)
This time I bought and we had about a 15 minute wait in line with maybe 10 people in front of us but the time went by quickly as we chatted with a father and his two daughters behind us. This is a nice thing about Rib-fests, that people are friendly and everyone just wants to enjoy the day and pig out on summertime food (yes pun intended)
After getting our ribs we stopped by Pappy’s Original Soda Pop Stand where we both ordered a mug of Cherry Soda which comes in a tin Mug that you get to keep for $7.00 and you also get some refreshing ice and then you pull the tap on your favorite flavour, as you can see it is large mug and you get your monies worth as the soda is refreshing and the perfect taste, though we did find that later in the day when we went for a refill (only $3.00) Joe tried the Orange Soda which was to sweet for his liking. For my refill I tried the Mountain Mist (similar to Mountain Due) which was also refreshing but I think I would stick with the Cherry.
Our Next stop was the “Bob’s Bloomin Onions” booth, I have had a Bloomin Onion once before 2 years ago in Bomanville, and today a lot of the visitors were getting this wonderful snack, though snack may not be the right word since the serving is large enough to feed a whole family!
A Bloomin Onion is cut in away and dipped in a batter then deep-fried which opens it up like a flower and served with a wonderful dipping sauce for $8.00, extra sauce for only .50 extra, While in line the lady behind me had this hair style that I told her was perfect since it reminded me of what we were about to get. Just have a look for your self. I spoke with Kat while we waited for our orders and she had a fun personality, here with some family members having a great time.
I also had the pleasure of sitting down for a moment with Bob Steckly the owner operator of this Bloomin Onion that is based out of Fort Erie, he has been running it for the past 6 years or so, Bob told me that the Bloomin Onion started about 15 -20 years ago at an Outback Steakhouse location in Florida and has become a staple food product at Rib-fests ever since. Mr. Steckly was happy to see the superb weather of this season since 2009 was a very rainy summer and was not the best of seasons for his bank account.
Camp 31 is one Ribber that I have seen at every Rib-fest so far this season, and as I read on their sign the were voted to have the best ribs at Woodbine Beach Rib-fest that I reviewed just a couple of weeks ago. which can be read here
Woodbine only had 5 Ribbers compared to 13 here at Centennial Park but the overall rib-fest at the Beach was a complete success.
Camp 31 had out their Sauces for sale and one thing I liked about most of the Ribbers here was that they allowed for samples to be tasted of the various sauces for those that wanted to bring a taste of the Rib-fest home with them to use on their back yard cookouts.
All of a sudden Joe calls me over to try some BBQ Mushrooms that he had bought from Jack on the Bone, and I was blown away
After trying the Mushrooms Joe and I chatted with the son of the owner of Jack on the Bone Jamey Groetz out of Massilon, Ohio.
Jamie was on the front line bringing people towards their boot with free samples of their Pulled Pork and sauce to try, and it was working well for them as their line was getting longer and longer. I was very impressed with Jamey, he was very friendly and knows his business and took the time to answer all questions with interesting answers.
The coolest thing about Jack on the bone is exactly what the name says, just before serving whether it is Ribs or Mushrooms they have a bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey with a spray attachment and the food gets a healthy spritz of Jack, the alcohol evaporates away at 100 degrees but it leaves behind a splendid taste sensation!
Having been at the park for close to 4 hours now, and the heat of the day was staring to take its toll, but there were a number of ways to cool down with plenty of water and Ice cream type products to refresh you.
Even though when I snapped this picture the Horn Dawgs Smokin BBQ team was also enjoying a few minutes of well deserved break time, they were getting ready for the next rush of customers, I did not even know til now that the Horn Dawgs are based out of Oshawa, I hope to have a chat with them when they are in the Uxbridge Rib-fest coming up July 16th weekend.
The day was a complete success, lots of happy visitors, fantastic food and booths and vendors that had fun with customers that were gladly opening their wallets, and it is worth every penny.
Next up, there are Rib-fests to be held in Mississauga with 14 Ribbers and Uxbridge with 6 Ribbers both Rib-fests to be held July 16th – 18th 2010 so if your anywhere close to either city make plans to attend.
London Ontario and Scarborough will hold their Rib-fests July 29th – Aug 2nd
And I am looking forward to when Rib-fest comes to my home city September 11th -13th 2010
If you’re not local to any of these areas and you want to find a rib-fest to attend try this handy link I created just for you….
July 1, 2010 2 Comments
Yesterday I had to drive to Bloomfield Ontario (near Trenton) to pick up an order of paper and on the way back I passed a piece of land where Dibbits Excavating out of Brighton had a few piles of Earth along with the machinery to produce Top Soil , I happened to glance over while driving past and I just had to pull over and grab my camera out of the glove box.
It seems that in this Small Town area of Ontario the Dibbits workers must have a lot of time on their hands since instead of using the machinery it appears they decided to excavate this hill of dirt by hand. And look what they found?
a bit of a close up
This will show you the size of this compared to one of their trucks next to it
As you can see this is formed out of a pile of Top Soil not sand as most skulptures would be.
Here is a shot of the rest of the machinery they have there.
For instance I also passed a farm along the way and in front he had this full size statue that was interesting.
Betsy is made of Cast Iron I think, and she watched me drive in and leave without blinking an eye, Most people would have Gargoyle’s to protect their property but not this place.
I also passed a fresh Raspberry stand , box for $3.00 so I thought that would be a nice snack for the trip home, I stopped and got out of the car and on the table was 3 boxes of raspberries a cash box and a sign reading Self-Serve, I opened the cash box added my $3.00 took my berries and left, now the cash box had $20 or $30 in there, I know that if that stand was in the big city the box would have been empty., It is a different life in small town Ontario, a lot more trust and honesty.
Last winter I made a couple of new friends at the side of the road, to bad I did not have a sugar cube or an apple for them.
Here are a couple of old classics that were in the front yard of a house, when I stopped to take the picture one of the residents came out and we talked for a few minutes and I was told that some day they wanted to rebuild their “babies”
this was one of my favorites though that I took in October 2009 on another drive to the same area 1946 Chevy truck that i thought was just gorgeous and it is a pic that turned out really well considering that I used my cell phone on that one.
I wonder what I will find out there next month?, in the city I tend to be more in a hurry to get where I am headed do my business and get back asap but when I go out to the country I am more tempted to take my time and enjoy the scenery all the while enjoying the tunes on my cars stereo, for my trip today I listened to the Guess who and Gordon Lightfoot, very relaxing.
Make sure that when your out on your travels to take the time and enjoy our world, it can be a lot more interesting than the concrete jungles of the big city.
June 28, 2010 12 Comments
It is time again that I make Beer Can Chicken aka Beer Butt Chicken, I have made Beer Butt at least 5 or 6 times in the last couple of years and we have never had a bad bird done that way.
Of late a lot of the meals that I have cooked on the BBQ have been the types that are well for the lack of a better term, Un-Heart healthy, Ribs, Bacon Bombs, MOINKS etc., all very tasty to be sure but not something to eat every day.
I had two plump chickens in my freezer ready to bend over for some beer but alas I forgot to take them out the night before to Thaw, so off to the grocery store (No Frills) to buy a couple that were on sale this week for under $7.00 each.
I also noticed that I was all out of canned Beer, (nothing like being well prepared eh folks?)
So over to my local Beer Store to pick up a 15 pack of Bud.
Both birds would get their skins poked with a few tiny holes which will allow the skin to be a little more crispy and both received the intrusive treatment of sliding my fingers under the skin in order to get some dressing and spices under the skin.
For the dressing I use oil based salad dressing and today I decided on Kraft’s Roasted Red Pepper with Parmesan but first I take some salt, pepper and garlic powder that I pre-mixed and poured it into my hand and get in under the skin and spread it around, try to get in under the skin everywhere you can even the thighs.
Next I coat the birds inside and out with the salad dressing.
This is where the birds got a bit of personality though, Bird #1 (which because of its personalty we will call her “Frank” ) got a healthy dose of the rub that I bought from the Thirsty Cactus BBQ team at the Toronto Beach Rib-Fest last week-end.
Bird #2, lets call her “Emma” she got some Old Bay Seasoning all over her body.
Following their rubdowns Frank and Emma were slid into locking plastic bags and placed in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the dressing and spices mingle.
It was at this point I also remembered that I had run out of propane the night before do another trip out in the car last-minute, If I had stayed in Boy Scouts longer as a child maybe I would of been better prepared!
While marinating I went on Twitter to chat it up with a few of the #BBQclique and I mentioned that I was making Bee Can Chicken (yes it was a typo but I think everyone understood what i meant) all of a sudden @SpiritBBQ mentioned to me that Beer Can Chicken is a waste of good Beer and even directed me to a website that talks about the Myth of Beer Can Chicken
Now many people are believers in the Beer Can method, including myself as I also tried it with Cola, Ginger-ale and water, and my family all concur that the Beer based has the best taste and the Chicken is very juicy as well.
After reading the article from @TheNakedWhiz
website, I was sent yet another page from @SpiritBBQ from his same friend suggesting that Spatchcock method is better than Beer can.
At first I thought well that is all fine and dandy but I have already started and had my mind set on two beer can chickens so I said, thanks but I will have to try that another day.
Then I thought hold on now, maybe I can make one of the birds in the Spatchcock method and be able to compare the methods side by side in a fair battle of the methods.
So on Emma I used the Spatchcock method which is to simply cut on both sides of the birds backbone, remove it and then flatten or kind of butterfly the chicken.
Frank was going to stay whole and sit on the Beer.
As you see in the picture above I have a stainless steel stand to pour the beer into and have the chicken impale itself onto, you can also sit the bird right over the Beer can directly, but if you do it that way it is best to make a few extra holes in the top of the can so that the moister / steam can rise out of it at a better rate, I have used an instant read thermometer point to make the holes in the past.
Before putting the beer in the tube I also added more of the rub that I used on Frank earlier into the tube first for some extra flavour.
after the birds have been cooking for 30 minutes I apply a garlic butter and soya sauce basting sauce every half hour as the skin starts to crisp-en.
At 8 pm I use my instant read thermometer to check the birds progress and they had only reached 135F you want to get at least 160F in the breasts and close to 180F in the thighs. it had been raining for a while and the rain hitting the lid of the BBQ had reduced the temps so I boosted up the flames (ordinarily I would have the left burner on low and the right side off, with the birds cooking indirect).
I put the corn on the grill (open the husks and clean removing the hair, brush melted butter on and cover again with the husks) hoping that the corn would be done at the same time as the chicken, but they finished much earlier, As you can see here the weather conditions were not perfect for doing BBQ
Looking at the temps of both Emma and Frank I was finding that Frank (the Beer butt Bird) was cooking faster than Emma so I decided to switch them around on the grill to try to achieve some even cooking, it was only after taking the next picture and seeing it on my computer (was wanting to post a couple of shots on twitter) That I had a ROFLMAO moment. I did not place the birds in this position on purpose but they Frank sure did appear to be enjoying herself while Emma assumed the position!
Instead of having two Dancing Chickens for dinner I had two Chickens Dirty Dancing
The Beer Butt Chicken Frank was ready to come off the grill almost an hour before Emma, which seemed strange to me since Emma was split and had more surface area to cook you would think faster, but maybe because Frank was standing up and had more air around her the meat could cook faster in the indirect method.
So Frank came off the grill to be wrapped in foil and rest. As for Emma I slid her over to the direct side of the grill for 5 minutes and then back to the indirect side for another 45 minutes or so.
Both Birds were delicious both were juicy, Emma her legs were wanting to fall away from her body, and took very little effort to pull them off, Franks pork style rub added some nice flavour as well.
Considering that the rain extended the cooking time to over 3 hours I think that cooking both bird styles together at once was a fair test.
Do I have a preference now?…. no, both styles work just fine, but I will continue to do the Beer Butt but I will use the spatchcock method again as well.
A big shout out to @SpiritBBQ and @TheNakedWhiz
for their tips and making this blog post a little more interesting than just doing the Beer Can chickens recipe!