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BBQ Tri Tip

Use the indirect cooking method, and sear the tri-tip until browned on all sides, then move over the drip pan. Take an aluminum can, cut off the top with a scissors, fill with water, and place over the coal side of the grate. Put lid on BBQ and cook approx 45 minutes for a medium size roast. Mesquite wood chips soaked in water are optional, but do add a delicious flavor.

You can season it with back pepper while cooking, but don't put salt on it until it is almost done. Salting beef too early causes the delicious juices to move to the outside and run off, resulting in a dry steak.

You can also try marinating it in Wish Bone Robusto Italian dressing overnight in a zip lock. Just pierce it all over with a fork and toss it in the bag with the dressing, then pop it in the fridge. Never use a marinade with sugar or corn syrup in it. It will blacken really bad. Another tasty seasoning is called "Santa Maria Seasoning", and it is available in major grocery chains. After all, Santa Maria, California is where Tri Tips were first used!

To cook Tri Tips in oven, bake at 375° in baking dish uncovered for 10 minutes on each side, then cover and bake an additional 40 minutes.

ALWAYS let stand for 5 minutes before slicing to avoid juices running out of meat, regardless of cooking method.



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Food Network Casting Call for Season 2 of Grill It!

Food Network is looking for big personality men and women to grill alongside Bobby Flay in Season 2 of Grill It!

If you love to experiment with burgers, seafood, ribs, fish, pork or poultry, and have the skills to prove it, we want to hear from you! The show is non-competitive and features grillers from across the country creating unique recipes on the grill!

Interested applicants (ages 21-45) should be outgoing, fun and be able to reproduce your unique recipe on camera - maybe it's a new take on pork or seafood or perhaps a recipe passed down from your grandmother? Whatever the dish, it needs to be original and not found in a cookbook!

VIDEO REQUIREMENTS: Make us a 3-minute video that showcases your personality (anything over 3-minutes will not be considered). On the casting tape, cook us your favorite dish, tell us about your ingredients, how you created the recipe, and why it's special. Don't forget to tell us a little about you and what makes you interesting. And finally tell us why you think it would be great to GRILL IT! with Bobby Flay.

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* You must be available for one day of filming in Los Angeles, CA between March 16th and 22nd. Please only submit if you're able to meet this requirement

BBQ Pork Soft Tacos

Today I made BBQ Pork Soft Tacos.

Here is my recipe:

I get 2 lbs Pork Country Style Ribs (the boneless style, they are cheap anywhere).

Mix in a large sauce pan - 8 cups water, 1 cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 3 cloves garlic, 3 small boiling onions. Bring to a boil. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture for basting on the BBQ.

Lower temp to med-low and simmer them in the mixture in a covered pan 15 minutes.

Finely chop white onions and cilantro, mix together and set aside in fridge.

Dice some tomatoes, set aside in fridge.

I get the BBQ ready (I use an 18" Weber Kettle with charcoal) using the indirect heat method (charcoal on only one side of the grille). I remove the meat from the saucepan and place in an aluminum foil "bowl" and set them over the grille on the side without the charcoal. Cook for 15 minutes. Take meat out of aluminum and cook directly over the coals for another 10 minutes, basting often.

Take meat off and dice into small cubes or shred it.

Heat small soft taco style tortillas in a dry frying pan.

Stack two tortillas on top of each other on serving plate. Put some meat on top, smother in your favorite taco sauce, toss on some of the onions and cilantro, toss on some of the diced tomato, a dash of salt and pepper.

Serve with ice cold beer, or a margarita.


BBQ vs Grilling

There seems to be a lot of versions of how barbecue got started and even the source of the word itself. Big deal, take your pick and have fun with whichever version you like. Just don’t get upset if someone disagrees, because you’re likely to both be some right and some wrong… but it just doesn’t matter to me whether the word ‘barbecue’ came from the Taino word barabicu, which means "sacred fire", or the French barbe-a-que, which means "from snout to tail". Just as jazz music is a truly American form of music, barbecue is the one truly American form of cuisine.

People that aren’t "in the know" often call any outdoor cooking ‘barbecue’. Barbecue is a lot like any esoteric endeavor, whether it’s wine, coffee, photography, etc… When someone first gets involved, they learn all kinds of stuff that is different than what they thought before they got involved in the subject that now interests them. The first thing likely to hear a new barbecuer do is to automatically correct anyone that grilling barbecuing. This is kind of silly usually, as the intent is often to show that the person doing the correcting has more knowledge than the obviously unknowledgable person that called it ‘barbecuing’.

Ok, so what is the difference between grilling and barbecuing? It’s actually fairly simple:

* Grilling is basically considered to be cooking over a direct fire, whether from wood, charcoal or gas, on a grate. Grilling uses radiant heat to cook lower fat foods quickly.

* Barbecuing is cooking using indirect or convection heat at lower temperatures (usually 200-250 degree F). Both higher and lower fat foods can often be barbecued.

One of the big differences, to me, between barbecued and grilled foods is the wood smoke. Wood smoke used for grilling is great, but there’s usually not enough exposure to really tell a difference in which wood was used. Barbecuing applies wood smoke as a seasoning, and the longer exposure results in different flavor from different woods.

Traditional barbecue is done with high fat foods that require time to convert collagen to gelatin so that the meat goes from being tough to pull-apart tender. The traditional meats include whole pig, pork shoulder, ribs (both pork and beef) and beef brisket. These meats often are almost impossible to eat if not given the time and appropriate heat to melt the connective tissue. Lower fat meats can also be barbecued, but care must be taken to ensure the meats don’t dry out.

Barbecuing is often refered to as ’smoking’; this isn’t wrong, and most people understand what is meant. There are two types of smoking, however: hot and cold smoking. Hot smoking is barbecuing, while cold smoking is done with smoke that is under 80 degrees F. The difference is that the food is not cooked with cold smoking; it’s cured. Typically, smoked salmon is cold smoked, as are smoked cheeses.

In summary, there are differences in grilling and barbecuing, but most people don’t care… Outdoor cooking is an obsession that is only getting bigger, and is accessible to both rich and poor. If you’re just getting into outdoor cooking, there’s a wealth of info out there in books and on the internet… just jump in and enjoy!

General BBQ Tips

When roasting or grilling with a BBQ pit closed, open a can of beer and place the beer over the hottest part of the fire. The beer will boil and super saturate the air inside the pit with water vapor, beer flavors and alcohol. This will help in keeping the roasting meats moist, while adding flavor to the meat.

“Blasting” is the preferable method to remove fats from ducks, geese and beef rib roast. The oven or BBQ pit should be preheated to it’s highest setting (usually +500F). Place the meat on a roasting pan and rack assembly, sear the meat for 20 - 30 minutes in this heat. After a cooling period of 20 minutes or so, the meat can be roasted or grilled as required. Reserve the drippings for Yorkshire Pudding and other recipes.

Whenever barbecuing, use tongs to turn the meat. A Chef’s fork should never be used. For it will punch holes in the flesh and allow the natural juices to escape and loose flavor and become chewy.

When grilling meats, it is usually best to turn the meat only once. If the meat is turned over several times it will not “mark” the meat properly. A Chef tries to use the grill to sear “grill marks” into the flesh and therefore will try not to turn over or move the meat during cooking. Prior grill planning is of the utmost importance.

When grilling meat to a medium or greater doneness, use the lid to assist in cooking. This will decrease the cooking time by applying heat to all sides of the meat at once. The lid will also inhibit the flare-up of an open flame by starving the coals for oxygen.

When grilling New York Strips (1 -1/2” or thicker) it is sometimes possible to grill all four sides of the steak. Try it! It adds extra char flavor and produces much more even cooking.

Basting renews flavors to grilling or roasting meat. Basting will also rejuvenate dried meat during the cooking process. A roast or turkey will become dry if it is not basted several times during the cooking process.

A “bouquet garni” can be used to baste barbecued meat. Select several 5 to 7 inch long fresh herb stems, such as basil, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon. Use a small piece of cotton twine and tie the bouquet together, then use this to flavor the meat with extra marinade during the cooking process.

Be careful when basting meat over very hot coals. The oils in a marinade will drip on to the coals and create a flash fire.

Cooked meat should never be returned to a cold marinade. If you desire to use the marinade for a sauce after the meat cooking process, then heat the marinade in the microwave or in a sauce pan on top of the grill. A used marinade has uncooked blood in it from the saturated meat. These juices harbor bacteria and microbes, do not reuse a marinade you can die!

Most grilling is done over the hottest of fires. This will seal in the juices, reduce cooking time, use less coals, and produce the most desirable of flavors.

Tomato and/or sugar based BBQ sauces should be added only at the end of the grilling process. These products will burn easily and are seldom considered an internal meat flavoring. Once added, the meat should be turned often to minimize the possibility of burning.