Spring is Right Around the Corner: How to Prepare Your Grill

John Kuntz

As the average household budget continues to shrink, statistics show less people are eating out. More people are staying home and practicing the age-old culinary art of barbecue and grilling. As the warm weather arrives, grilling can be one of the most enjoyable and affordable ways to feed your family.

It is the perfect time to pull out the grill and give it a once-over freshening up for the new season. There are several considerations you will want to take into account before you fire it up and enjoy those steaks.

Gas Grills:
Make sure that you have inspected the fuel connections. Insects sometimes like to make homes in the vent tubes, which can cause gas to leak back and create a possible explosion. If you ever smell a rotten egg odor you’ve got a fuel leak! Inspect for cracks between the burner holes themselves. This leads to uneven cooking due to uneven heat distribution.

Charcoal Grills:
Inspect the lower wheel leg sockets and wheels to make sure they are securely fastened. Take a wire brush to the grate to remove any old caked on food from last season. Empty kettle base from any of last season’s ash accumulation and give it a nice soap and water bath to remove insects and webs. It is much more appealing to look at as well!

Pellet Grills:
Replace old pellets out of the hopper and scrape the diffuser plate from any old drippings. Remove any excess ash residue and inspect the air chute and firepot holes for obstruction or blockage.

Barbecuing is a great excuse to get a group or family and friends together and enjoy great food without the stress of paying for an expensive dinner.

Grilling is considered a healthy way to prepare food. However, there are some safety issues to be aware of.

  • While the term “Grilling” is usually associated with higher temperatures, it is important to note that high temperatures to the point where it chars causes carcinogens (cancer causing substances). In addition this process will dehydrate your meat. The best possible method is to “Barbecue” or slower cook for longer periods, usually at 225°. This will allow the juices to stay in and help tenderize your meat.
  • Trim the fat! It avoids flare-ups and you don’t need all that cholesterol. Marinades can add a nice flavor as well.
  • To turn your meat, use tongs rather than a fork so that you avoid puncturing the meat and losing juices.
  • When adding sauces it’s generally best to apply them during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.

Stoven™ Favorite Recipes

Smoked Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

1 – lb. Lean Ground Round or Sirloin
2 – tbls. Barbecue sauce
1 – tbls. Worchestershire sauce
2 – tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 - tsp. salt
1 - tsp. Garlic Powder
1 – tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 - Cup smoked cheddar 1/2” cubes

In a large bowl mix the meat, sauce, and seasoning together.  Take a smoked cheddar cube and pack meat all around it to form a 1 1/2” ball. Place several on a metal or bamboo skewer. Preheat pellet grill to 250°. Add hickory, mesquite, cherry, apple or alder hardwood pellets to the heat diffuser plate for added smoke flavoring. Cook for 20 minutes then turn once. Cook for another 10 minutes or until dark in color. Makes 10 to 12 meatballs.

Maple Smoked Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp

12 - 11 to 16 count de-veined and peeled Shrimp
12 - Slices of Maple Smoked Bacon
1/2 Cup Spreadable Cream Cheese
4 oz. Jar Sliced or Chopped Tamed Jalapenos

Spread cream cheese into the shrimp's vein section and add chopped or sliced tamed jalapenos onto the cream cheese. Wrap with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Grill on Hardwood Pellet-Fired Grill on medium high heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until done, using Maple or Alder Hardwood smoking pellets.

All recipes cooked on American Sundancer's Hardwood Pellet-Fired "Stoven"™ Burner Conversion for 22.5 in Weber Kettles. For more information and additional recipes visit www.thepelletbbqgriller.com or info@americansundancer.com.

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