BBQ Bonanza Guest Post Mastering the Grill by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim

When I first saw this photo from the award-winning team of Chez Us with the Kingsford Charcoal and Weber Grill I knew we had to do something together again. Denise and Lenny are like me, always willing to try something new. They're ahead of me in so many respects, I suppose I should say I'm like them. Lucky for me they agreed to join our BBQ party.

As you know by now, I had an overabundance of BBQ books and thought it would be fun to create a virtual block party cookout, the BBQ Bonanza. So far, Cyndi brought the coconut shrimp, Sharon brought some Kansas City Barbecue Society pork butt, and I played around with some jazzy marinades courtesy of Adam Perry Lang's BBQ25. Now if this one doesn't make you drool, there's just something wrong with you, that's all.

Guest post by Denise & Lenny of Chez Us - Mastering the Grill

Despite the gloomy summers we have in San Francisco we still break out the grill along with the thousands of Americans who do the same thing come June.  It is funny, though, as we never take advantage of the two grills in our backyard until this time of the year, when we could in fact be enjoying the pleasures year round.  There are so many things to enjoy about grilling, the ceremony of starting the grill, hanging out around it, talking and drinking, easy clean up and finally the taste.  There really is nothing quite like a slow roasted pork shoulder or grass-fed beef burgers sizzling away over a charcoal fire.

I cannot say that I have a favorite bbq or grilling cookbook.  Normally, I wing it when it comes to seasoning succulent beefy ribs or grilled pizzas.  So, I was thrilled when I opened the package containing a deck of cards about Mastering the Grill.  Being an urban griller this was the perfect addition to our cookbook collection, compact but still full of useful information.  The deck of recipe cards is based on the best selling book Mastering the Grill by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim.

The compact box of cards contains 50 different recipes covering categories:  burgers/skewers, steaks, chops and quick cooking cuts, roasts, ribs and slow food, vegetables and sides and desserts.   Not only are there recipes but also the deck contains grilling guidelines.  I found this very useful.  The authors cover tools that are useful for the grill, tools to use for the preparation of the food, tools for flavor, and my favorite part, mastering temperature.  I never know what temperature I should be using for each ingredient and they cover this topic.  Each recipe has a guideline for the temperature you should be using for the grill based on whether you are using gas, charcoal or hardwood.  No more second-guessing.

We love grilled rib eyes that are finished with a dollop of Roquefort mixed with good quality unsalted butter.  The smokiness of the rib eye drowning in a pungent warm buttery sauce is heaven.  I picked a recipe that was a knockoff of this classic, rib eye steak with fragrant chile rub and salsa butter.  The rib eyes were seasoned with a rub made of paprika, brown sugar, ancho and chipotle chilies and then grilled to a perfect medium rare (thanks to the perfect grilling temperatures and times listed).  After letting the steaks rest for a few minutes, they were topped with a buttery salsa mixture, which is so easy to make as you get to use pre-made salsa.  The slightly spicy butter really cut through the smoky flavor of the fatty rib eye, it was a perfect combination.

When I first opened this deck of cards I thought it would be perfect for the urban griller.  I have changed my mind. This compact set of recipe cards is perfect for anyone wanting to master the grill as the recipes are easy, straightforward and bring a somewhat scientific approach to grilling.  AS well I love that each recipe adds a twist to a classic favorite.  Wait until you see what they have done with a smore!


Other BBQ Bonanza posts in this guest blogger series: