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Archive for June, 2011

Gadgets can make grilling easy (and fun!)

The 4th of July is just around the corner.  What are your grilling plans for the weekend?   We hope it will include some Isernio’s sausage!  (don’t forget to check our website for tons of sausage grilling recipes).   

Really it’s all about the fire and the meat, but grilling can be a lot more fun (and easier) with some useful tools.  Here are some of our favorites:

 


Digital Thermometer

The best way to ensure your meat is grilled to juicy perfection and not overdone is to use a good quality digital thermometer.  We love the Super Fast Thermapen from Thermaworks.  It has large digits and gives you an accurate reading within 3 seconds.  Well worth the investment. 

(It’s always important to cook meat to the proper temperature.  The USDA website Is it Done Yet? is a great resource for the proper and safe cooking temperatures for different types of meat.)  


Chimney Charcoal Starter

If you’re grilling over coals, you need a good chimney charcoal starter to get things going.  It’s faster and easier than using lighter fluid (and safer for the environment).  Just crumple some newspaper in the bottom of the chimney, add coals on top and light the newspaper.  Fifteen minutes later you have hot coals ready to be released into the grill.


A Good Basting Brush

Whether you’re spreading your favorite barbeque sauce on a burger or a simple glaze of olive oil over some chicken sausage, a good basting brush is essential.  We like silicone brushes, as they are heat proof and clean up easily. 


Sausage Grilling Basket

This is a handy tool if you’re grilling up sausage for a crowd.  Place the sausages in the Sausage Grilling Basket over the grill, and you’ll be able to turn all six sausages at once! 

(By the way, we highly recommend pre-cooking sausage prior to grilling, and then simply browning the sausage over the grill to preserve juiciness and ensure the sausage is done all the way through.  Frank has a video on How to Properly Cook Sausage .  Follow along his instructions to pre-cook in water, then just finish them on the grill!)


Cedar Grilling Planks

If you’ve never had cedar plank salmon, you are in for a treat!  Soak these planks in water and then grill your fish – or chicken or steak – on top of one to infuse smoky deliciousness into the meat (sure, throw some sausage on there too while you’re at it!).  The planks can be found in many grocery store meat departments, or online like these at Williams Sonoma.  There are many great recipes out on the internet for cedar planked salmon, but we love this simple Cedar Plank Salmon recipe from Bobby Flay.


Grill Brush

And then, of course there’s the cleanup.  Luckily outdoor cooking leaves very few dishes to be done, but it is always a good idea to give your grill grate a scrubbing before you use it again.  There are several good grill brushes out there (and some people even swear by just using a balled up piece of aluminum foil!).  We like this Grill Wizard Grill Brush, which also received great reviews from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.

What are your favorite grilling tools?  We’d love to hear about your must-have grilling gadgets!

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We recently found this article from the hospitality industry that discusses how polled consumers say they eat chicken more frequently than any other type of meat, and they feel there are still opportunities on menus for even more poultry items.  Twenty five percent said they would likely order chicken breakfast sandwiches at restaurants if they were available.

Since we specialize in fresh chicken sausage, this is of course great news to us!  What do you think?   If there were more chicken items on restaurant menus, including breakfast sandwiches like the article mentions, would you choose chicken over other meats (like pork sausage)?

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