I’m not sure why 2016 is in such a rush but it may be causing me to lose track of time. It only seems as though yesterday, I was driving down the highway admiring Spring’s cascade of honeysuckle that laced both sides of the road. It feels like every year, I’m constantly reminding myself to pick honeysuckle to make simple syrup and I never get around to it, but I digress – we’re here to talk grilling.
Why, yes – Summer crept in like a thief in the night and without any apology but I’m not complaining. The Tennessee heat is harassing every brow and back with puddles of perspiration, children are frolicking across freshly mowed lawns and backyards are sending up billowing smoke signal invitations to everyone in the neighborhood. Summer is an open invitation to keep your house cool and your oven in hibernation while the grill carries the load for a while. I’m honored to be partnering with America’s Test Kitchen to share some grilling tips and flawless recipes for your summer entertaining. ATK’s latest addition to their extensive cookbook collection is all about grilling, and it spares no details when it comes to all the tools and knowledge you’ll need to be a Grilling Guru this season.
I have a pretty extensive cookbook collection and they all serve one purpose or another, they all have their tips to offer, some, I’m a die-hard believer in and others I take with a grain of salt. But this cookbook, or better yet – ‘guide,’ shall we say, in particular, is pretty much spot on with the techniques and approaches to what I feel is intimidating to the masses.
When I grill I use one-hundred percent all-natural hardwood lump charcoal, I like the flavor it imparts and I’ve used it for so long I couldn’t tell you why I left behind all the other options as it pertains to flavor, but I won’t be changing back anytime soon. I will say that I learned a little something during this process that was never apart of my barbecuing/cookout experiences growing up in East Tennessee. We never used a charcoal chimney – it was simply crumbled up newspaper nestled in the bottom of the grill and the charcoal arranged evenly over the top, a generous squeeze of lighter fluid and dinner was in motion. I must say though, I will never touch lighter fluid again due to my palate still having nightmares about the harsh aftertaste it leaves behind from excessive usage. I prefer the lump charcoal, it burns clean, quick and easy, and the flavor is awesome. But I always encourage everyone to do their research, and find what works for you.
When flipping through the book to find recipes to share with you guys, I wanted to do something different but since whatever I chose to prepare would also be dinner – I went with beef…because beef. I didn’t purchase anything too expensive, I purchased two bone-in ribeye from a local grocer for about twenty-six bucks and a bundle of asparagus for about three bucks. And compared to what we would’ve spent on a steak dinner out, this was a great deal in my book. I cooked the steak to medium but there are instructions in the book to guide you along on how to cook the meat to your preferred temperature. Remember, thermometers are always your best friend when cooking meat, or really most things in the kitchen!
I’ve been reading this book on and off for the last three weeks and I’m amazed at all the info that is crammed into roughly 430 pages, everything you ever wanted to know about seasoning, proper tools, recipe tricks, and more that will definitely equip to you to be a master of the grill. I hope you guys enjoy these two recipes as much as I did. The steak was so full of flavor and juicy, and the asparagus was a garlic-y, buttery dream with a little char for intrigue. Trust me when i say this won’t be just another book that collects dust on the shelf, you can purchase the book here. Cheers to grilling perfection!
The Ultimate Steak
2 (1 1/4-to 1 1/2 pound) double-cut bone-in ribeye steaks, 1 3/4 to 2 inches thick, trimmed
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pepper
1. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and sprinkle all over with salt. Place steaks on prepared rack and let stand at room temperature until meat registers 55 degrees, about 1 hour. Rub steaks with oil and sprinkle with pepper.
2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL Open bottom vent half-way. Arrange 4-quarts unlit charcoal briquettes even layer over half of grill. Light large chimney starter one-third filled with charcoal briquettes(2 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over unlit coals. Set cooking gratin place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
2B. FOR A GAS GRILL Turn all burners high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium-low and turn off other burner(s). (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature around 300 degrees.)
3. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place steaks on cooler side of the grill with bones facing fire. Cover and cook until steaks register 75 degrees, 10 to 20 minutes. Flip steaks, keeping the bones facing fire. Cover and continue to cook until steaks register 95 degrees, 10 to 20 minutes.
4. If using charcoal, slide steaks to hotter side of grill. If using gas, remove steaks from the grill, turn primary burner to high, and heat until hot, about 5 minutes; place steaks over primary burner. Cover and cook until well browned and steaks register 120 to 125 degrees (for medium-rare) about 4-minutes per side. Transfer steaks to a clean wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15-minutes. Transfer steaks to carving board, meat from bone, and slice into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve.
Serves 4 to 6
Use asparagus that is at least 1/2 inch thick near the base. Do not use pencil-thin asparagus; it can not withstand the heat and will overcook. Age affects the of asparagus enormously. For the sweetest taste, look for spears that bright green and firm, with tightly closed tips.
1 1/2 pounds thick asparagus spears, trimmed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 minced garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
1A FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (4 1/2 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
1B FOR A GAS GRILL Turn all burners high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.
2 Brush asparagus with melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
3 Clean and oil cooking grate. Place asparagus in even layer on grill and until just tender and browned, 4-10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Transfer asparagus to platter and serve.
This post was written in partnership with America’ Test Kitchen. All thoughts and opinions are mine.