Grilling Paleo

How many ingredients do you think make up a popular TV Dinner that you pop into the microwave for a few minutes to “cook” and eat? Here’s a hint: it’s well over 100. In fact, most spellcheckers (unless you run an industrial chemistry lab) won’t even recognize 16 of those ingredients as real words. Have we gone a little too far? Maybe. Can we live without instant meals? Possibly. Can food taste good without Disodium Inosinate and Guanyalte (C10H11N4Na2O8P ) ? Definitely.

A few years ago, my wife introduced me to something called the Paleo diet. No grains, no junk food, no sodas, no dairy, no problem. The only question I had was if I can keep grilling. This was and always will be my only prerequisite to any diet. If by now you haven’t heard of the Paleo diet, you’re probably living in a cave (in which case you actually created the Paleo diet, so thank you!) 

There is nothing more Paleo than grilling over an open flame. In fact it’s a surefire way to stay on track. If you can grill it, it’s most likely Paleo friendly.  There are however some things to keep in mind prior to firing up your grill.  

  • Know what was eaten by the animal you’re about to grill. The diet of your food source is just as important as your diet. When choosing meat, try to go for grass fed. If your cow’s diet consisted of grains, steroids and antibiotics, then as the saying goes … “you are what you eat”. 
  • Pay attention to your marinades and sauces. The best approach is to make them from scratch with ingredients that you can pronounce.  There are many resources online that will point you in the right direction. Next time you’re in a supermarket, take a look at what is inside the leading brand barbecue sauce. It’s no TV Dinner, but your head will be spinning when you’re done reading.  If you can’t make something from scratch, when you buy a sauce, look at the back of the bottle and trust your gut. After all, that is where it will end up. 
  • Cavemen didn't have propane, so don’t disrespect the Paleo diet by using a gas grill. Instead, try grilling with all natural lump charcoal or briquettes without the usual chemical binders and fillers.  The fastest way to have cavemen point and laugh at you is to use lighter fluid to light your charcoal. Save yourself the humiliation and either use a charcoal chimney or even easier a GrillEasy FireQube.

Fire up your grill and bring out your inner caveman or woman.  And remember, the only ingredient that truly makes everything taste great is love. It's gluten free and I add it to everything that goes on my grill.

Step Up Your Grilling Game

Cameo’s 1986 hit “Word Up!” said it best: Spring is in the air, so light up your grill like you just don’t care.” Ok, so maybe those weren't the exact lyrics, but I like this version better.

We just survived another grueling winter and the grills are finally being dusted off, or in my case de-iced. We can now all come out of our igloos and declare victory. The official international grilling season has begun! 

Here are a few ways to step up your grilling game this season. 

Learn a New Technique

Grilling has come a long way from flipping burgers and hot dogs. Challenge yourself to master a technique that you never tried before, something that scares you. Last year, I mastered a traditional Colombian technique called “Lomo al Trapo” (Tenderloin in a cloth) . It sounds and looks crazy, but tastes amazing! Steven Raichlen's classic book Planet Barbecue! is a great place to start exploring new techniques you've never heard of. 

Experiment with Spice Rubs

Grilling and BBQ is all about depth of flavors. This is where your creativity kicks in and you can start channeling your inner child that loved making Pixie sticks from Kool-Aid powder. It’s ok, just embrace the innocence. The most common base for any good rub is salt and sugar. After that, the only limit is your imagination (just please don’t use Kool-Aid). Go for BOLD, but not overpowering. Give whatever you are rubbing a chance to reveal its own natural flavors. Once you nail down a winner, store it in a container, share it with friends and keep coming up with new flavors. 

When Life Gives You Lemons, Grill Them!

Grills are not just meant for meat and veggies. Grilling fruits opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Step outside of your comfort zone and into the awesomeness zone. The natural sugar in the fruit will caramelize and flavors will become bolder as water evaporates. One of my all-time favorites is grilling lemons and making lemonade. They become very soft and much easier to squeeze. Just add some sugar and rosemary. Your taste buds will forever be grateful.   

Get fired up and make this the best grilling season ever! Make the commitment to step up your grill game and stick with it. Come on baby tell me what's the word……Word Up! 

Top 7 Things You Shouldn’t Boil

St. Patrick's day is synonymous with boiled beef and cabbage. Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with boiling beef….ok yes I am. For god’s sake, don’t boil your beef. Drink green beer, yes please. Dress up like a leprechaun, be my guest. Just remember, there is never a pot of gold at the end of the beef boiling rainbow.  As a quick reference guide, here are some other things we don’t advise boiling.

Top 7 Things you Shouldn't Boil:
  • Hamburgers
  • Pineapple
  • Pizza
  • Buffalo Wings
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Rack of Lamb
  • Bacon

Happy St. Patricks Day! And if you absolutely have to, please boil responsibly. 

Why Grilling is Better Than the New Apple Watch

Long before Bluetooth, Angry Birds, and Uber there was another disruptive technology that somehow bypassed Silicon Valley.  In fact it most likely started on a different continent all together over one million years ago: Controlled Fire! We don’t think about it much anymore, but imagine for a moment the cultural shift that must have occurred due to Fire.

We often say, “I can’t imagine not being connected to the internet” and freak out when we have a 10 second disruption in our connection to the world wide virtual teat that we all suckle on for our livelihood. Our worst case scenarios have shifted from being attacked by wildebeests in the wild to Facebook telling us the five words of doom “Can’t Connect, Tap to Retry”.

The new Apple Watch is very promising and I’m sure Chester Gould (creator of Dick Tracy) was smiling down on Tim Cook during Apple’s keynote speech a few days ago. As magical as it is, there is nothing more magical than a good old fashion open flame, the type that hypnotizes you into a state of primal glory. No buttons, no push notifications, no reminders, no logins, and no ads following you around, just Fire. This is why I grill, this is why I hold on so dearly to the one technology that truly connects us to our past, to our family, to our friends, to our desire to be human.

What fires you up about grilling?