Friday, May 23, 2014

Family and barbecue

Today marks what would have been my father's 72nd birthday. Unfortunately he passed away back in 2002. Not a day goes by that I do not miss him.

Although I can't say my dad was a huge barbecuer, he would once in a blue moon grill up some burgers or steaks. I think he was most known for his camping meals. He usually did the cooking when we went camping.

The purpose of this blog today is to stress our mortality and the importance of appreciating family and friends during our stay. Nothing makes a person realize how much you appreciate family and loved ones than losing them. 

I once saw a saying on the internet that said "you never invite friends over to microwave". I loved it. It's true. Who says "come on over and I will cook you a microwaved dinner". Some do; however, say "come on over and let's barbeque today". 

Grilling/barbecuing has been a family oriented institution since the 1950s when that first Weber grill was created. Families started migrating to the suburbs and grilled/barbecued in their backyards. 

As we approach this Memorial Day weekend, I would encourage everyone to in the very least reach out to family and tell them you love them. Some day, you or they will not be around any longer. Better yet, get that grill you may not have used lately fired up and cook some food on it and share it with loved ones. 

Nothing like grilling some burgers, hot dogs, etc with all the fixins and enjoying the weather as summer approaches! 

Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend everyone! 

Colorado BBQ Outfitters

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Starting charcoal

Just saw a post on Facebook that was so profound that I had to write a blog about it....

"Why is it that 1 careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a grill?" - Meathead from 

It's so true. Seems like we can burn down an entire national forest with the flick of a cigarette, yet we can't get charcoal which is designed to burn to save our lives. There are many ways to light charcoal. All the different ways involve the following two situations: 

1. How patient are you?
2. how much do you want to spend?

We all know that true barbecuing involves patience. You can't pop bbq in the microwave and eat it in five minutes. Cooking over lit charcoal can require some patience; however, there are products out on the market now that can vastly reduce your time involved and still get that great charcoal taste this summer. 

First of all, what is charcoal? Simply put, charcoal is wood that has been subjected to low amounts of oxygen and heat. This combination causes the wood to turn into basically pure carbon or char. The process rids the wood of moisture and other compounds. 
Let's talk about lighting it. When charcoal is subjected to heat it basically ignites and starts to burn. At first it will burn just like regular wood but eventually it turns to a white hot ash and that is what provides the heat you want. 

As I said, one of the factors to consider is how patient are you. The less patient you are, the more you will pay to get your charcoal lit. Same with how much you would like to pay. The cheaper the process, the longer it takes. 

NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER USE STARTER FLUID OR OTHER PETROLEUM PRODUCTS ON YOUR CHARCOAL.  I know your Dad did this for years. It's unhealthy and causes a horrible taste to your food as well as can ruin your grill. This stuff should be outlawed if you ask me. Also, do not use the cheap charcoal you find at the big box stores. This isn't a hit on the big box stores. That charcoal is generally made from lumber and can have chunks of concrete and nails in it. Always only use all natural hardwood lump charcoal. 

The cheapest and longest process to start charcoal is to simply throw something that is on fire into the charcoal and let it start burning. This process can take as long as 30 to 45 minutes to get it lit. 

Next, which also happens to be the most common way to light charcoal, is what is called the chimney starter. This is an upright "tube" that you put the charcoal in. There is space in the bottom to apply heat. Some use newspaper, some place it over the side burner on your gas grill; I prefer to use Primo Quicklights that I place right on my grate under the starter. 

As you can see from the picture, the heat rises as the air is drown from the bottom of the starter and up. This causes the charcoal to light quicker than if you tried to light it on your own in a pile in your grill. 
This process takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Once the charcoal is ready to cook with, just pour them into your grill and start cooking. 

The next item on the list is an electric starter. This are basically heating elements that you stick into your pile of charcoal on your grill, plus them in, and the element heats up and starts the charcoal. They take about 10 minutes to get it going. 

Lastly, there is the Looftlighter. 

This bad boy will light your charcoal in 30 TO 60 SECONDS! Here is a video showing how it works: Looftlighter

No matter how you decide to light your charcoal just remember these simple basic rules:

1. Never use lighter fluid to light your charcoal.
2. Use a good quality all natural hardwood lump charcoal.
3. No matter how you decide, remember that lit charcoal is very hot. Anything it comes in contact with will be hot. So please be careful. 

Charcoal as a heat source can be used for grilling and barbequing. 

Colorado BBQ Outfitters carries all of the products I discussed above. Come on down and see us and we can answer any questions you have about using charcoal! 

Colorado BBQ Outfitters

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May is National BBQ Month

Did you know that May is National BBQ Month?

WikiHow says we should celebrate this way: How to celebrate

The HPBA (Hearth, Patio,  and BBQ Association) says this about it: HPBA National BBQ Month

I wanted to have some sort of witty origin about this unofficial holiday month but unfortunately I couldn't find a darn thing on it. :)

So, just know that it is National BBQ Month in May!

No matter how you celebrate it, get outside and grill or bbq something this month. May is when the plants start greening up. (In the Northern Hemisphere that is) The month happens to be one of my favorite months since I am not a winter person. The weather gets warmer and the days start getting longer. 

It marks the beginning of the "season" for barbecuing and grilling. Although Colorado BBQ Outfitters feels that all year long is the season, many people do grill or bbq just in the summer. Things sure "heat up" at the store during this month. 

To celebrate this most glorious of months, we are giving away a Coleman Denver Bronco tailgater grill. Anytime you come into the store this month, you can place an entry form into our special jar (my mom gave it to us) for a chance to win the grill. It's a cute little thing. 

The more you stop by the store this month, the more entries you can put in to win. 

Tell all your friends and family to come on down and check us out and possibly win this cute little grill. 

Colorado BBQ Outfitters