Winter grilling tips
Known as Toronto's king of barbecue, Ted Reader has put his pyrotechnic charm in print with more than a dozen cookbooks, his latest being Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Grilling
, Napoleon referring to the line of grills Reader considers hands-down the finest. With more than 100 grills, barbecues and smokers in his yard — that he uses — there isn't a lot of question that this man knows how to grill. And that includes all foods in all seasons. Come summer sun or inclement winter weather, there's nothing that should get in the way of good grilled food. You just need to be prepared.
Winter grilling tip #1: Dress warmly
You don't walk out to shovel snow without being well-dressed for the winter conditions and you shouldn't grill outdoors without being warmly clad either. Reader suggests, "Long johns, a turtle neck, layers of clothing, but not so many that you cannot move." In addition, he recommends warm gloves that allow you to move your fingers, such as gloves that have the ability to remove the finger tips.
Winter grilling tip #2: Keep your tanks full
"If using propane make sure your tank or tanks are kept full. Propane does not perform as well in the cold as does natural gas," says Reader. That means check your tank today and get it filled before you decide to fire up your grill. You may also need to give your grill a few more minutes than usual to heat to the proper temperature. If the outdoor temps are frigid, your grill is starting off cold, too.
Winter grilling tip #3: Keep it simple
Because you are braving the elements, consider recipes that are simple and quick so you don't get soured on the experience. In addition, Reader warns that, in the winter, food will take a little longer to cook compared to summer time. He says, "A good positive attitude and patience is very important."
Winter grilling tip #4: Grill with the lid closed
According to Reader, successful winter grilling does require a change in technique. He says, "In the summer I suggest high heat, grill lid open and lower heat, lid closed, but for the winter I say lid closed all the time. You must keep the heat in."
Winter grilling tip #5: Have fun
Think of winter grilling as a culinary adventure. You get to enjoy the fresh, brisk air — hopefully with a few friends or family members — and show winter that its cold isn't going to deter you from delicious grill-fired food. Reader sums it up: "Have fun and you can cook anything."
Ready to get grilling? Try this succulent recipe
For more of Reader's rave-worthy recipes, visit TedReader.com
or pick up one of his lip-smacking cookbooks.
Chicken Grillsycles with Rum Butter Sauce
Serves 4 Delicious any time of the year, these chicken skewers are literally finger-licking good with a tantalizing array of tastes and textures. Tender chicken and a succulent sticky rum sauce coated with a crunchy nut crust. Yum! Ingredients:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or legs
4 large sugar cane skewers or bamboo skewers or chopsticks, soaked in rum
3 to 4 tablespoons your favorite BBQ seasoning
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup peach preserves
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 ounces your favorite rum
2 green onions, finely chopped (green and white parts)
Chopped fresh herbs, to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups crushed assorted nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds or all) Directions:
1. Cut chicken into large chunks, about 2-inch pieces. Season chicken liberally with BBQ seasoning. Next skewer chicken, packing meat firmly together onto each skewer. Make â€˜em big, about 8 ounces of chicken per person. Repeat with remaining chicken and set aside. 2. To make rum butter sauce, combine butter, ginger, garlic, peach preserves, honey, soy sauce, rum, green onions and fresh herbs in a small pot over medium heat. Heat gently, whisking to combine. Remove from heat and set aside. 3. Preheat grill to medium-high (about 400 degrees F.). Brush chicken lightly with vegetable oil. Place chicken skewers onto grill and sear chicken on all sides, about 4 to
5 minutes. 4. Reduce heat to medium-low, close grill lid and indirectly grill-roast for 18 to 22 minutes or until fully cooked (minimum internal temperature of 170 degrees F.). Baste with rum butter sauce during last quarter of grilling time, until the whole thing is really sticky. 5. Line a flat work surface with a sheet of aluminum foil. Cover foil with an even layer of crushed nuts. Give chicken a final baste, remove from grill and roll chicken grillsycles in the nuts to crust. Repeat with remaining chicken grillsycles and serve.
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