Grilling has always been a big part of my life. I can remember having grilled foods throughout the summer. In Wisconsin the winters can be brutal but that never stopped dad from grilling ribeyes for New Years Eve! I have continued that tradition and also grill all winter long. The snow and ice have finally loosened their grip on us and we are enjoying the warmth of summer.
Grilling in the summer is much more that just cooking food. It is the whole family being outside in the back yard together and spending quality time. Our daughter plays with her toys while Buddy relaxes in a shady spot and Trio is constantly hunting the back yard for birds while he carries his frisbee.
My favorite grilling technique is definitely indirect grilling. I use a charcoal grill and pile the coals on one side of the grill and set the meat on the opposite side away from the heat. This way I can slow cook ribs, tenderloin, or whole chickens which leaves them tender and juicy. One of my secrets for charcoal grilling is to use wood chips or chunks of wood not only to get a great smoked taste but also for searing the meat.
I get the coals ready, put the meat on the grill, then add the wood for smoking. The wood chips or chunks cause a flare up which quickly raises the temperature of the grill up around 400 degrees which helps sear the outside of the meat to lock in all the juice and flavor. Then the grill immediately begins to cool down as the wood chips burn up and then the meat finishes cooking at a lower temperature. This rack of ribs was on the grill for an hour and a half and they were perfect!
My favorite thing about cooking in general is experimenting with different flavor combinations. This is especially true when I make rubs for grilling. One of our favorites is a brown sugar based rub because we love a sweet and spicy combination.
This time I tried something different, a friend gave me some hickory smoked sea salt which had an awesome smoky flavor. I lightly coated the ribs with garlic powder, onion powder, and the hickory smoked sea salt then let them marinade in the fridge for about an hour or so before putting them on the grill. Once on the grill I used apple wood chips to give the ribs that little hint of sweetness that we like. Then finished them off with some barbecue sauce.
I know a lot of people are intimidated by making ribs but it is really simple. All I did was coat my ribs with seasoning and let them sit in the fridge for about an hour, then place them on the grill bone side down and cook them indirectly for an hour and a half. Another reason I love the indirect method is because all you have to do is put the meat on the grill, close the lid, and sit back with your favorite drink or play games with the family until the meat is done, no turning involved!