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Chicken on the Grill

Everyone loves grilled chicken. It’s a simple meat that is cheap and forgiving to the beginner chef. Of all meats, chicken is perhaps the best suited for marinades and flavorings. It has little flavor of its own, and easily takes on any flavor the chef chooses to apply.

Basics of Chicken on the Grill 

Grilling chicken is a relatively simple affair. In fact, many outdoor chefs are able to grill a decent piece of chicken their very first time. A common problem, however, is that most do not know how to take their decent chicken to the next level and make it taste truly amazing. In many ways, the properly butchered chicken breast is an ideal cut of meat. It is a whole muscle, very lean, with a muscle fiber structure that retains moisture when cooked properly. The breast accepts marinades and rubs, absorbing their flavoring and color. Nearly any flavor pairs well with chicken, from paprika to pineapple.

Grilled Chicken Recipes

Chicken on the Grill The best recipe for grilled chicken is no recipe at all. This is not to say that you shouldn’t measure your ingredients, or even use recipes as a guide, but strict adherence to a recipe will tend to impede your success as a chef. The best way to procure delicious chicken on the grill is to begin by deciding what flavor and texture you want. Remember that the best meals have a variety of complementary flavors and textures and plan accordingly.

The Secret of Perfect Chicken on the Grill

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when grilling chicken is that you should not overcook it. Overcooking chicken is easy to do. We have all heard about the dangers of undercooked meat and we want to be sure that no bacteria lingers to wreak havoc on our bodies. Chicken does not have to be leathery in order to be safe. The best way to ensure your chicken is not overcooked is to use a good, leave-in meat thermometer. Insert it into the chicken before you begin grilling, and monitor the temperature until it comes within 2 or 3 degrees of the FDA recommended temperature. The chicken will finish coming to the desired temperature as it rests. Resting is the second most important part of grilling chicken. Any whole-muscle meat needs to rest for about 5 minutes per pound after being taken off the grill. This allows the muscle fibers to relax after the strain of the heat, enabling them to reabsorb moisture and distribute heat evenly. If you cut into freshly grilled meat too early, you will have a puddle of juice around a dry chicken breast.

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Brinkmann Grill Reviews

Brinkmann offers a wide range of consumer level grills that are readily available at many big-box brick and mortar retailers. With such wide use, there are a number of reviews to take into consideration.

Brinkmann Grill Reviews: Overview

Overall, for a company that offers a wide range of budget level grills, Brinkmann achieves a predictable level of quality and consumer satisfaction. There are a few patterns that emerge when examining many of their most popular models. One of the most common strengths of the grills is their full range of features. Brinkmann does an excellent job of offering the latest features at entry level prices. Unfortunately, in most cases, the entry level price is indicative of an entry level grill. Lack of durability and low build quality are common complaints.Brinkmann Grill Reviews

Types of Brinkmann Grills

The major grill types are listed here with their most common pros and cons. They have been separated and broken down here because of the differences in complexity and fuel type.
Charcoal grill reviews: The most common praise for the charcoal grills is their cost effectiveness. The grills are at an ideal price point for the casual outdoor cook. In addition to the low price, Brinkmann makes sure that their charcoal grills have plenty of cooking area. Common remarks by reviewers point out the simplicity of the grill’s design, as well as its easy portability and unassuming profile. The overwhelming negative feedback, however, is related to the durability of the grill. Thin metal, flimsy construction, and a finish that easily chips off are the most common complaints.
Gas grill reviews: Brinkmann gas grills have always had a great look in the store. Their modern design and bright colors catch the eye and look very appealing on the patio. One thing that can be said for the grills is that they offer plenty of cooking space. Brinkmann has become very good at maximizing effective grill space. Enhanced features, such as a side burner, secondary grill rack, and optional rotisserie attachments give the grill versatility and allow the outdoor cook to enjoy the latest grill features. However, as with the charcoal grills, Brinkmann gas grills suffer from the same cheap build quality. A common complaint is that the frame will get off center and the doors will not close properly. The grills are also notorious for uneven heating because their burners are made of cheap materials and do not distribute heat very well.

Brinkmann Grill Reviews: Conclusion

At the end of the day, it is undeniable that Brinkmann has gained a place for itself as one of the largest grill manufacturers in the country. While their grills may not be of the highest quality, they are useable and cost effective. For the occasional outdoor cook, a Brinkmann grill will likely suffice for use a few times per season. Over time, it will likely begin to degrade in appearance, but it will still work. For the outdoor chef who envisions using the grill regularly and entertaining at cookouts, most Brinkmann grill reviews agree that the grill is not ideal for such use.

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Brinkmann Grills

The Brinkmann corporation is a company that has established a strong presence in the outdoor grilling world. With over 30 years of company history, they have a strong track record of providing quality products and services to the American household.

Brinkmann Grills Focus on the Grilling Experience

Brinkmann’s grill designs have many accessories and convenience features to make the grilling experience as positive as possible. Many outdoor chefs know the great benefits of having plenty of work space on either side of the grill. Brinkmann grills have plenty of preparation space right next to the grill. In addition to the space, Brinkmanns feature racks and hooks for all of the grilling tools that may be needed during the grilling process. Brinkmann anticipates what the outdoor chef needs to pull off the perfect cookout, and has included all of the right features in their grills.

Types of Brinkmann Grills

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Brinkmann offers a variety of grill types to accommodate every outdoor chef. Whatever fuel or cooking style you prefer, Brinkmann has a grill that will fit.

Brinkmann Grills

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Charcoal grills: Brinkmann’s charcoal grills are primarily designed to use charcoal briquettes. Their heavy grade metal construction is the industry standard for durability and heat distribution.

Charcoal Smokers: Brinkmann offers several drum style smokers at an affordable price point for the average outdoor chef. Drum smokers impart their signature smoky flavor by keeping the fire in a separate compartment. Because the flame is removed from the meat compartment, a lower temperature is easier to maintain. These low, stable temperatures are best for ribs and pork shoulder, along with many other meat cuts.

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Perhaps Brinkmann is most well known for their free standing gas grills. Indeed, these grills are the ones most readily available to the consumer at many large retailers. It could be said that Brinkmann gas grills are the industry standard, balancing quality and cost effectiveness.

Final Analysis

Brinkmann is a large outdoor product company that has built a name for itself as a mass producer of standard quality grills. They

Brinkmann Grillsare the primary brand offered at many big box retailers and as a result, their presence is known on many American patios. Perhaps a significant part of their ubiquity is due to their accessibility and cost effectiveness as “Gifts for Dad.” For the average home cook, a Brinkmann grill may be all that is necessary for the occasional burger or hot dog.

In the area of quality and longevity, however, Brinkmann grills have a somewhat lackluster appeal. The serious outdoor chef may soon realize that a higher quality grill has the heat distribution and weight that he needs.

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Stoneware

Grilling stones are important pieces of equipment for any outdoor chef who progresses beyond the novice stage in his grilling. Stoneware allows the chef to use the grill for a host of new applications previously impossible with only the grate.

There is more to successfully using grilling stones than just buying one and tossing it on the grill. A number of features and techniques ought to be considered. Stoneware

Stoneware Types

The pizza stone is perhaps the most popular stone item used for cooking. Pizza stones are ideally suited for the round charcoal grill because of their compatible shape. Many companies now offer square and rectangle cooking stones to accommodate the shapes of a variety of grills. In addition to this, specialized stoneware can now be purchased. Bread pans, pie pans, even muffin pans can be found that are made of stone. Many of these specialized shapes are not useful with the grill. In fact, because of their shape, these specialized stoneware pans do not take advantage of the unique properties of stone as a cooking method.

Stoneware Use

Why use cooking stoneware rather than just placing food on the grill grate? In many situations, cooking your food directly on the grate is the best method. The stone is no place for a steak, chicken breast, or pile of vegetables; these foods benefit from exposure to the flame. However, if some foods were placed on the grate, they would immediately fall through the cracks and meet a fiery end. Anything involving dough, especially, is best cooked on a stone. With the exception of the flatbread style grilled pizza, where the dough is stiff enough to hold its shape without the stone, breads are almost always cooked on the stone.

When selecting your cooking stone, be sure to get one that is thick and heavy. Some stoneware will indicate on the packaging how hot the stone can get without cracking. This is an important factor to consider because some stones cannot withstand exposure to the harsh flame of the grill. If a stone is too weak, it will crack when the cool dough hits the hot surface of the stone. The temperature differential causes stress within the stone, causing a crack that can be explosive.

Stoneware Alternatives

A number of stone alternatives exist. At their core, they do the same thing: store heat and transfer it to your food. Some stoneware alternatives are made of cast iron, they are thick and will not crack under stress. However, cast iron is heavy and tends to be expensive compared to typical cooking stones.

Another stoneware alternative is made of lava rock. The advantage of the lava stone is that it is lightweight and can be seasoned to impart unique flavor to your food. Because of its natural lightweight internal structure, it is less susceptible to cracking. Lava stone also is quite expensive when compared to typical stoneware.

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BBQ Rubs & Sauces

BBQ rubs & sauces, when used properly, can greatly enhance the taste and texture of any food from the grill. Rubs are dry seasoning blends that have been formulated for a specific flavor combination, while sauces are liquid in form.

A Brief Introduction

Most meat rub blends have salt or sugar as their base, with one of those ingredients making up at least 50% of the blend. The rest of the ingredients can be any combination of a variety of seasonings. Typically the seasonings are of a bolder stripe because subtle seasonings are quickly lost in the rest of the overall flavor of the meat and rub.
Sauces are seasonings in liquid form. Because of their viscous properties, they posses a number of application advantages over rubs. Sauces can be applied before, during, or after cooking. Rubs are best applied before or sometimes during cooking. Many sauces can double as marinades. No matter when they are applied to your food, sauces infuse a high level of moisture. Most grilling sauces have mustard or vinegar as their base. Some are oil-based and a few are water- or mayonnaise-based.BBQ Rubs & Sauces

BBQ Rubs & Sauces: Rubs

As mentioned above, BBQ rubs are seasoning blends. Nearly any seasoning blend will work on a large chunk of meat, but a common “country style” blend consists of 50% kosher salt, 25% brown sugar, 10% chili powder, and 5% each of garlic, onion, and cumin powder. Many variations of these ratios exist, but most revolve around these basic flavors. Cajun style rubs are very popular as well, typically employing a higher ratio of spicy ingredients.

An important consideration when applying rubs is how long your meat will be exposed to the rub before it is cooked. Because most rubs consist primarily of salt and sugar (two hydrophilic chemicals), when they are applied to meat they immediately go to work drawing out the moisture. This is a problem because we want the moisture to stay in the meat. After about 45 minutes the salt breaks down the meat tissue and the meat begins reabsorbing moisture, along with the flavor of the rub. For this reason, the key to applying rubs before cooking is to rub it at least 45 minutes in advance, and ideally even earlier than that. Larger cuts of meat benefit greatly from an overnight rub. This is sometimes called a “dry marinade.”

BBQ Rubs & Sauces: Sauces

Sauces come in a wide variety of styles and flavors. Their ingredient profiles are much more diverse than the profiles of rubs. Depending on their dominant ingredients, grilling sauces can be sweet, tangy, spicy, or acidic. The sweet and tangy sauces are typically characterized as “BBQ” sauces, and widely used on pork or beef barbecue. Mustard or a vinegar/tomato combination are generally the dominant flavors in such sauces. Spicy or acidic (citrus) sauces are more commonly used on chicken or seafood. The spicy flavor of hot sauces and the acidic bite of citrus sauces both complement the flavor of chicken very well. Citrus sauces also greatly enhance the flavor of fish or shrimp.