Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Summer awakens a primal urge in most of us to eat foods that are slowly grilled over an open flame; the urge seems to quicken when we begin to catch the smoky, mouthwatering scent of choice cuts of meat charring close by as neighbors take part in the summer ritual. Yes, summer is barbeque season.

Personally, I barbeque all year around; I don't think good food should be weather dependent. Actually, unless it's snowing or raining hard...why not barbeque all year around?

The barbeque below is the one I have been using for the past few years. I love this barbeque! Actually, when I was contracting in British Columbia I did a small job for a customer who owns a barbeque store. We ended up swapping my services for this barbeque. At the time, this Enviro sold for just under $1800.00. It has three burners plus a rear burner for rotisserie. I also had him install one side burner.

As great as this barbeque is, I really like the flavor of meat and vegetables cooked over coals. The flavor that coals deliver via the smoke created during the burning process is superior to that delivered on a gas barbeque. The little barbeque below cost just $20.00 and food tastes better cooked on it than on the $1800.00 barbeque. The only drawback is the waiting time involved in allowing the coals to burn down to a nice bed of even heat that is perfect for cooking over. But, patience is a virtue as they say, and it give me time to sit down and have a glass of wine before manning the grill!

As you can see in the photo above, the smoke produced is immediate upon lighting the coals. Here, I have just lit the coals and have allowed the fire to burn down (burning off the lighter fluid) and there is a small burn going. There isn't enough heat to cook over at this point. By shutting the lid and fully opening the damper, I allow the coals to breath and this increases the heat.

Here the fire has picked up steam and the heat is pretty much ready for cooking over. The smoke produced is what will flavor the meat and vegetables. The charring from the direct heat will obviously flavor the food as well.

Another cool, smokey action shot!

Now you see that I have closed the top vent which keeps most of the smoke IN the barbeque. I have left the bottom damper open wide to feed the fire however. If I closed both...the fire would cool down too much for what I want to grill, but it would be great for slow cooking.

Beef tenderloin slow roasting over the coals. This is a large section of tenderloin which requires a lower heat than, say, steaks. So I close the damper half way and close the top vent half way and allow for a slow smoke.

The tenderloin gets a nice charred exterior - naturally smoked flavor - and remains juicy inside.

I like to baste meats on the grill as they cook with infused olive oil (wine, olive oil, garlic, herbs) which adds flavor and helps th char the surface of the meat.


Above, dry spiced ribs sizzle along side some Portugese sausage and corn. These are cooked over a high heat.

Scallions getting a tan!

A squeeze of fresh lime over dry ribs sends the flavor to skyrocketing to etheral heights.

Close up on the corn.

The corn gets lime too.

Look at those ribs!!

There you have it. The finished product ready to devour!