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Useful Techniques for Cooking over the Grill or Smoker

Welcome to this edition of proven techniques for outdoor cooking. We present these techniques which will improve taste, ease the work load or even make better presentations to guests and judges - wherever you happen to be enjoying cooking outdoors! Enjoy!



Barbecue'n Techniques
While each technique for accomplishing the best results possible can mostly stand alone, it is best to read them all and incorporate them into an overall assault on the grill. Be sure to have your assault well fortified with your favorite beverage! Today's technique is:

Improvising on the Gas Grill
Ready for a real life adventure? . . . . . Mine! . . . .

In this section, you will locate several tips for your possible use. The weekend AFTER the hard drive went down, was my wife's and my 23 anniversary. She had located this VERY INTERESTING cabin in Gonzales, Texas just east of San Antonio Texas - - - in the southern central portion of Texas. It was situated next to the Guadeloupe river. Really romantic. Anyway, the cabin (one of 4) was located on the Crooked Back Ranch owned by a local osteopathic doctor here in Houston.

One of his hobbies is locating REAL OLD square log cabins in Kentucky and Tennessee and having them shipped down to his place. There, he cuts them up a little to make more room and adds all of the conveniences of home. It is a really nice touch. Well, back to the anniversary. . . . . .

For our entree, I wanted to fix us Garlic Sliced Salmon filets and Grilled Shrimp. I had everything I needed, or so I thought. She had mentioned that they had a grill and everything! So, upon our arrival, I began to check things out. It was a Weber Spirit Series gas grill. Gas grills are fine, but being used to the wood/charcoal flavor, I was somewhat puzzled as to how I was going to get the deeper, richer flavor of wood.

After watching the river float on by, and putting the gas grill challenge in the back of my mind, I was struck by a thought. To my left was a stack of wood used for the fire place during the winter. Since it was 90 degrees, there was not going to be need for it anytime soon. I located several small narrow pieces and took them over to the grill.

After lifting the lid and removing the grates, I laid a couple of pieces along the groves of the deflector plates. Since they were small enough to allow me to replace the grates AND large not enough fall down between the deflectors, I was all set!

About an hour before I was ready to grill, I started the fire and allowed the wood to burn down about 3/4ths the way. I had nice deflected heat AND my wood flavor. Clean up the next morning was quite simple . . . . I brushed the ashes into the collection pan and through them into the trash.

The salmon recipe . . . . which I make on a regular basis was simple and I had all of the ingredients. . . . . . . You've gotta' like garlic. What you'll need:

Fresh salmon filets
Classic olive oil
Fresh garlic
Dried basil
Dried parsley

After washing salmon filets thoroughly and removing the scales and bones, pat dry. Lay the cleaned salmon, skin side down, on a plate or serving dish and brush on a liberal amount of Classic olive oil on both sides.

Take a knife or garlic slicer and slice enough garlic thinly (it should be semi-pliable) to cover approximately 1/2 of the surface of the salmon. Then gently sprinkle dried basil and dried parsley over the surface. Allow the garlic, basil and parsley time to absorb some the oil. Then, place the salmon on the grill and cook until it flakes easily. Do not over cook! It won't take long.

When turning, exercise care not to scrape off the garlic. For folks who are not fond of garlic (it really is not that strong after cooking) then remove the garlic. That being taken care of, I turned my attention to the shrimp . . . . . hum . . . . I remembered to take the shrimp, but forgot the seasonings.

So like any ingenious and probably more determined cook, I turned to the refrigerator to see what there was to use . . . . . . I found the following items that might go with my one pound of shrimp . . . . . Olive oil, onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, butter, hot sauce, Dijon mustard, fresh pepper and some white wine. I was set!

In a skillet, I heated the oil and sauteed the onions until opaque and then added the grated garlic. After a minute more, I allowed this to cool. Batch #1.

In another skillet, I melted the butter (medium heat), added the balance of the garlic. After one minute, I added to this second skillet, being my Batch #2, some Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and hot sauce.

When this was warm, I poured my Batch #1 into the Batch #2 skillet and allowed everything to warm together. When warm, I removed it from the heat and stirred in the white wine. When the mixture cooled, I placed the de-veined shrimp in a stainless steel pan (plastic would also work) and mixed in the marinade. I stirred it well, covered and placed in the refrigerator for several hours.

When the time was ready, I grilled the shrimp and salmon on a flat porcelain grill top which had very small holes. This prevented the shrimp from falling through and the garlic from the salmon from coming off while allowing the smoky flavor to reach the food. My wife and I agreed that the shrimp was even better that the salmon and the salmon, as usual, was great!

WOW . . . . See what can be done with just a little ingenuity? Enjoy!

"On the Spot Anniversary Shrimp Marinade"

1# Shrimp
1 1/2tsp Olive Oil
1Tbsp Butter (lightly salted)
1/4 C Onions (finely cut up)
2 cloves Garlic
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper (heaping)
1/4C White Wine
Good Luck!
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Bad Weather?  Too hot or cold? Know what your bbq pit is doing with these Wireless Thermometers

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Get all of Smoky Hale's wisdom and become the best cook around. Learn to do it right!

Get all of Smoky Hale's wisdom and become the best cook around. Learn to do it right!

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