Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Patience everyone

If I had a dollar for every time a customer came into the store and said they don't barbecue because it takes too long or they don't use charcoal because it takes as long to light it as to cook the food; I would be a millionaire.

One thing about barbeque that I cannot stress enough is that it takes patience. Does that mean you have to take a huge chunk out of your life to do it? Of course not. It is all about planning and using the right accessories.

In today's world, there are so many accessories that will make your barbecuing experience so much faster and easier. For example, the Looftlighter will light charcoal in literally 30 seconds.

Lighting your charcoal in 30 seconds to 1 minute is less time than it takes to get your kitchen oven up to temp. Think about that. 

I teach my students in class that preparation is everything when it comes to barbecue. It isn't just pulling something out of the freezer and throwing it into the microwave. The preparation and effort in barbecue brings about except results. A few weeks ago I went to a local bbq place and ordered a brisket sandwich and a side of coleslaw. My order came to nearly 8 bucks and more after tip. It costs me a fraction of that to make that exact same dish at home and have leftovers to boot. 

Before you start your bbq venture, sit down and figure out what you want to cook. If the meat is frozen, pull it out of the freezer ahead of time to properly thaw it out. (Don't leave it out to thaw, leave it in water to thaw or use a microwave) Look for some pointers online for that specific type of meat unless you have done it a hundred times. You will be amazed at what you will find on the internet. Some people's creativity is amazing! 

When it comes to the actual cook, turn your smoker/grill on first. While that is warming up or getting to temp, now is your chance to take your meat out of the fridge and prepare it. Never let meat sit out and get to room temperature regardless of what you see on the internet. It is dangerous and, well, just plain stupid. Your meat will get to room temperature a lot faster in the grill/smoker. Here is a link to help with some meat myths: Meat myths

While your smoker/grill is getting up to temp, this is a good time to add more rub to y our meat, or cut up some veggies, etc, etc. 

The amount of heat source (charcoal, electricity, wood pellets, gas, etc) you use is the same whether y you have one food item cooking or several. Make the best use of your heat source. This is where a freezer and even a vacuum sealer really come into play. 

For as little as$150 bucks, these babies let you cook as much food as you like at any given time;  vacuum seal it, and store it in the freezer for years. I don't bbq every single day. I do it about once a month and then have enough to last for days. You can poke holes in it and warm it up in the microwave (yes, microwave) or drop the sealed food in boiling water to reheat it back up.Tastes just like it came off the smoker! 

With some minor planning, you can get the most "bang for your buck" when it comes to barbecuing. 

Dan MacDonald
Colorado BBQ Outfitters

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring is here!

Spring is finally here! Well, sort of here in Colorado. :) 

Even though we here at Colorado BBQ Outfitters grill and barbecue year round, we understand that many of you only do so during the warmer summer months. 

That means it is time for you to dust off that grill or smoker and get it ready to use. 

If your grill looks like this poor guy, then it's time to just get a new one. 

That is an extreme case of course. Our landfills have so many old grills that people have thrown out that could be refurbished. Most are cheaper big box store grills. 

If yours is the latter, here are a few tips you can use to get your grill back to newer condition. 

1. If your grill has been in storage or has had a cover on it all winter, use a broom handle or something of the sort to poke your cover gently. This will scare any critters that may have taken up residence in your grill over the winter. (One year I had a nest of spiders in mine. Yikes!

2. For gas grills, it is very important to thoroughly inspect all hoses and connections for gas leaks. You can put some dish washing liquid in a small bowl of water and brush it around all the connections and hoses. If you see bubbles when you turn on your gas, you have a leak. you may or may not be able to smell leaks. 

3. Check your cooking grids for rust. Cooking grids are expensive to replace so it is recommended to try and clean your grids as best you can. If they are damaged beyond repair, DON'T THROW THEM OUT! If they still fit on your grill, you can purchase products such as Grill Grates that simply sit over your ruined grids and you can cook on those. Made of anodized aluminum, they keep the heat in their "fins" so the meat sits up out of the grease. The fins give you great grill marks on your steaks! Grill Grates are almost always cheaper than replacing your manufacturer's grids. 

4. Clean up your grill using a non toxic cleaner. We carry both interior and exterior cleaners by Citrusafe.  This product works great even on baked on tough stains. It is non toxic and pet friendly. Never use a corrosive cleaner on the inside or the outside of your grill!

5. If you have porcelain coated cooking grids, make sure you use a brush designed for porcelain. porcelain can chip and crack if you use the wrong type brush. Do not use cheaper bbq brushes on these types of grids. After cleaning your grids, I suggest you "season" them with a high temp burn rate oil. 

6. Always inspect the burners on gas grills and smokers. If they are horribly rusted or broken, replace them. If they are intact, simply use a the end of a coat hangar or something similar and clean out the holes in the burners. Make sure you clean out the bottom of your grill.

7. Use a common putty knife to get the hard baked on gunk from the inside of your grill.  I know it is gross and full of gunk but use your scraper and get that gunk out of there. 

8. Fill up your propane tank so you are all good to go and don't run out of gas on your first big cook out. 

9. Put everything back together, recheck your connections and go ahead and fire your grill up. Run it on high temperature for about 15 minutes to burn off any left over residue, cleaner, etc. 

10. Lastly and most importantly, come on down to Colorado BBQ Outfitters at 6850 N. Academy Blvd and pick up all your grilling and barbecuing needs! 

Dan MacDonald
Colorado BBQ Outfitters

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Human Condition

I've said in the past and I will always say it; customers are the best reason to own your own business.

Chatting with customers, learning new techniques and listening to interesting stories never ceases to amaze me.

I had my buddy Galen come in today. Galen is an older gentleman who served in the military back in the 60s.

Galen told me a story about a young man in basic training who had lost his parents when he was 5 years old in a car accident. He was raised by his grandparents. While in basic training, his grandmother passed away. The military would not allow him to attend the funeral for whatever reason. Galen happened to be in charge of the men who check on the platoon day and night.

A hat was passed around the platoon and a collection was taken up to get him to his grandmother's funeral. That is not the best part of the story.

The officers did not even know he was gone! Galen and some others covered up his absence by stuffing his bed with pillows and calling his name out during roll call. I thought this was amazing.

Probably couldn't get away with something like that this day and age.

Colorado BBQ Outfitters