Monthly Archives: January 2014

BBQ 101: Electric Grills – It’s Electrifying

To round out our overview of different types of BBQ’s, today we are going to take a look at the electric grill.  While not as popular as the gas and charcoal grills, electric grills have made huge strides over the last few years, making them a viable choice for your BBQ.

Modern day electric grills rival the gas grill in terms of speed and precision. Electric grills have one of the fast heat up times, making them ideal for weeknight cooking. Most grills heat up within 7-8 minutes, and a quality grill can reach up to 600 degrees F. Electric grills also reduce the hassle of having fuel, as all you need is an electrical outlet.

Another big advantage to electric grills is that they give an even heat across the entire cooking surface. This consistency erases the worry of keeping an even temperature or from developing hot or cold spots. Electric grills do not have an open flame, making them perfect for condos or apartments. They are also easy to clean.

One final advantage to electric grills is the fact that they come in a variety of sizes.  Some are small enough to keep inside you kitchen, while others are perfect for your balcony or backyard.  Electric grills are often the top choice for apartment dwellers, for those who do not have a backyard conducive to a more traditional BBQ, or for those who want to BBQ a hamburger when it’s chilly outside.

The biggest disadvantage to an electric grill is that it can lack the “pure” BBQ flavor that is associated with a charcoal grill. While an electric grill can cook high quality food, its does not provide the same smoky flavor that many BBQ lovers crave.  Therefore good seasoning for your food is key.

BBQ 101: The Smoker – When you like it Slow and Low

For many BBQ lovers, the epitome of BBQ meat is that which is cooked low and slow. The low and slow process (i.e. cooking a piece of meat over a low temperature for a long amount of time), brings out the full flavor of many meats, while creating a juicy, moist, fall apart in your mouth culinary delight.

For those who want to have the best possible experience and technique at creating a low and slow piece of meat, one of the best BBQ accessories to have is a smoker. In a nutshell, a smoker is an appliance that keeps a BBQ controlled at the desired low temperature while producing and trapping smoke that is absorbed into the meat.

While smoking can be accomplished on charcoal and, sometimes, gas grills, the addition of a smoker, their size and structure make them less than ideal.

There is a wide variety of smoker types, including wood, pellet, charcoal, gas, and electric. Smokers are designed to hold a consistent temperature without too much observation or maintenance by the cook. This allows the cook to place the meat in the smoker and walk away for longer periods of time.  In fact, many will put the meat in the smoker before going to bed, and allow it to cook overnight.

Smokers also create a stronger smoke ring on the meat. A smoke ring is created by the buildup of nitric acid (formed when the nitrogen dioxide in the wood smoke mixes with the water in the meat) on the meat.  This buildup creates a pink discoloration that happens just under the skin of the meat.  The smoke ring can be anywhere from ¼ inch to ½ inch thick, with the thickest ring signaling the highest intensity of smoky BBQ flavor.

If you are looking to create a juicy, smoky, and tender BBQ meat experience, considering looking at adding a smoker to your BBQ accessories.  Your taste buds won’t ever regret it.

 

Tips to Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Many homeowners are discovering the huge benefits that come from having an outdoor kitchen.  Outdoor kitchens extend the heart of your home outside, creating a great place for entertaining and socializing. There are several different types of outdoor kitchens, so take a look over our list of ideas and tips and create in order to create the type of outdoor kitchen that is right for you.

Many parts of your outdoor kitchen are similar to your indoor kitchen.  Design your kitchen to have enough storage and organizational necessities. Drawers, cupboards, bins, and baskets will give you adequate space for all of your tools, plates, and cleaning supplies.

When creating an outdoor kitchen, you want to make sure that you use materials that will withstand whatever Mother Nature sends your way.  Materials such as stainless steel, slate, stone, stucco, and tile are all great, durable choices.

Pick the right grill. The grill will be the center point of your outdoor kitchen, so make sure you pick the right type and size and that you have all the accessories that you will need in order to create your perfect meals.

You may want to consider building some sort of overhead shelter.  A shelter will increase the number of days that you are able to use your outdoor kitchen and will protect both you and your space from the sun or rain.  If your space is semi enclosed, consider adding some ceiling fans to help keep the space comfortable.

Don’t forget the lights.  While you will want to take advantage of all the natural light that is provided by the great outdoors, you also want to plan for when the sky is overcast or the sun goes down.  Ensure that your lights are waterproof so that they will stand up against the weather.

Don’t forget the outlets either.  This is especially important if your outdoor kitchen is freestanding.  You need to make sure that you have a place to power all of your appliances.

Another important aspect of your outdoor kitchen is that you have a water source. Water is important to help keep everything clean and sanitary, and having a water source (such as a sink) will help prevent numerous trips inside your house.

Consider planting a garden near your outdoor kitchen. Fresh vegetables and herbs will add great flavor to your meals and add a beautiful aesthetic to your outdoor space.

By knowing what you want out of your outdoor kitchen, and keeping in mind some of the more important aspects, you can make sure that you design the perfect outdoor kitchen for your home.

Grill Safety – A Must Read

Grill Safety – Gas Grills

At The BBQ Depot, Grilling Safety is our number ONE priority.

Every year thousands of people enjoy the flavor of food that comes off the BBQ. At the same time, about 30 people per year are injured in a gas grill explosion. (Source:  http://www.clevelandcounty.com/emfm/grillsaf.htm)

In order to enjoy the food without the danger, there are several precautions that you need to take.

The first step in gas grill safety happens before you ever turn it on.  Whether you’re using a new grill for the first time or firing up a grill you’ve had forever, preparing your grill properly will greatly reduce any potential gas explosions.  Make sure that you are well versed in your manufacturer instructions for your particular grill, and refer to that manual whenever you have any questions.

Before you turn on the grill, you want to check for any gas leaks. Turn on the gas and if you can smell gas or detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas and do not try to light the grill until the leak is found and repaired. Do not attempt to repair the leak yourself, but call a professional repairperson to inspect your grill.

Once you know that the gas line is secure, check your tubes for any blockage and your hoses for any cracks, leaks or bends.  Blockages can be cleared with pipe cleaner or wire and damaged tubing should be replaced.

Once your grill has been inspected, the second thing is to prepare the area around the grill, as well as yourself.  Always use your gas grill outside, and keep it at least 10 feet away from any building. Remove your hoses from hot surfaces and dripping grease.  Keep all children and pet away from the grill and make sure that you always have a fire extinguisher nearby.

As an extra level of protection, never wear loose clothing while you are grilling and use utensils that are designed for grill use, as they keep you farther away from the fire.

If your grill does catch fire, there are several quick measures that you can take.  If you are simply at the point that the fire in the grill in out of your control, first turn the burners off to extinguish the flame. If the fire is in one of the hoses, check to  see if you have safe access to the propane tank valve and if you are safe, shut the tank valve off. If the fire is in the tank, or if you feel like you cannot extinguish it without causing harm to yourself, evacuate the area around the grill and call the fire department.

Want some “Sear”iously good cookin?

1. Shopping for the Right BBQ Grill? These Tips can Help

Selecting the right BBQ grill can be a real challenge. After all, your goal is to create fabulous food your family and friends will love, right? Your grill choice has a lot to do with the final product as well as the ease of the overall cooking process. Before you shop, keep these tips in mind so you’ll come out with the ideal BBQ grill to meet your needs.

Think About Fuel: Grills run on a number of different fuels these days. You can get one that runs on your home’s natural gas hookups. You can go with the more traditional charcoal style BBQ grill. You could also go with a popular propane grill. There are even specialized grills that run on wood and pellet fuel. You need to decide what fuels are available in your area to get started. You also need to factor in taste, here. There are many BBQ aficionados that swear by one fuel type or another, so do some reading before you begin narrowing your choices.

Consider Sizes: BBQ grill size is measured by the square inches on the cooking surface, so you need to think about two things in this area. First, think about how much space you actually have to house a grill. If you have an entire patio or deck, bigger may be your thought process. If you’re living in a fairly small condo or apartment, you’ll have to go with something smaller. In addition to how much physical space you have to store a grill, though, you may also want to think about how many people you’ll be cooking for on a regular basis. If you’re alone most of the time, you don’t need much space on the grill. If you have an entire family and you entertain on a regular basis, you’ll certainly want look at BBQ grills that are much bigger.

Features and More: Need a sink beside your BBQ grill? How about a burner on the side to prepare some delicious side dishes? Just need one that will cook hamburgers and hot dogs? From your basic black grill that will cook your Sunday chicken to beautiful stainless steel choices that will allow you to prepare a four course meal in your outdoor kitchen, BBQ grills aren’t what they used to be, so do a bit of research on the features that might suit your needs best before you ever hit the store so you don’t get overwhelmed with your choices.

BBQ grills have much to offer, but a bit of extra research before you start the process will help you get the features you want at a price you’ll love.

The BBQ Depot offers a wide range of barbecue grills, parts and accessories, The BBQ Depot also sells top quality replacement parts, making it easy for you to replace that one broken part and keep your grill. If you’re grill is broken all together or you’re looking for a new one, we have a large number of top brand name gas grills.

2. Barbeque Gas Grills — The Safety Tips You Need Now

In the world of barbeque, gas grills are quickly taking their place as the top of the line, and for good reason. They’re easy to use, and they’re fairly economical too. Unlike with charcoal choices, it takes very little time to heat up the grill, so you’re ready to go as soon as you get home from work. As convenient as they are, though, they’re not necessarily the safest cooking instruments in the world. Fortunately, following these safety tips can help you avoid accidents with your next grilled meal.

Don’t Overfill — As you probably know, when it comes to the world of barbeque, gas grills require additional propane at some point. In some cases, you may be headed to a refill station to get the gas you need to grill. If that’s the case, make certain you don’t overfill the tank.

With a 20 pound cylinder, you should only fill it to 80 percent capacity. That gives it a bit of room to expand if necessary, so don’t ask anyone to overfill it for you.

Ventilation is a Must — With any barbeque, gas grills included, you have to grill in a well-ventilated area. Carbon monoxide can easily build up in an enclosed space, which can make it dangerous for you and anyone else around you. Even if you’re trying to hold an outdoor barbeque, gas grills can create carbon monoxide fumes in a space that isn’t large enough, so make certain you bring your grill out into the open.

Inspect your Grill — In the world of barbeque, gas grills often cause fires for one main reason — an obstruction in the pathway of the fuel. To prevent this problem, you have to check things out on a regular basis. If you ever notice a problem, make the repairs immediately. If you notice a problem while you’re grilling, turn off the grill, make certain you shut the fuel tank off too, then disconnect all of it to prevent a more serious problem from occurring. As you do so, assume everything is very hot, as you could easily get burned during the process.

If you’re planning a barbeque, gas grills are certainly the way to go in many cases. They provide many benefits other types of grills simply can’t, but these safety tips can help you prevent any serious problems and help make certain you get great food every time you light the grill.