It's here. The gateway to summer: Memorial Day.
While most of us consider grilling a year-round adventure of smoke filled love, for many this is the time of year to drag the grill out of storage.
No matter your routine, here are some thoughts and ideas from my grates to yours.
I've talked about sausage making before and most recently, posted about it on the Weber blog. While it does require the purchase of a few extra pieces of equipment, the process is easy. Once you get the knack of it, you will never look at store bought sausage the same.
There is a special place in my heart for smoking on a kettle. It's where I first learned to smoke many years ago and where, from time to time, I still smoke today. My Performer is so seasoned, I can lock in 250 F without a hint of effort. It's an incredible tool.
While I've long used the modified minion method for low and slow heat, I may become a "Snake" convert. Across social media and BBQ forums, I've seen a lot of people use the snake method, but never gave it much thought. A few weeks ago, I was asked to photograph the process for an article Jamie Purviance had written for Popular Mechanics.
The process entails tightly stacking two levels of briquettes around half the circumference of the grill. The briquettes are lit on one end allowing the heat to "snake" through the stack. I was able to effortlessly lock in 250, which was maintained for hours. Sadly, I had nothing to smoke, so the kettle just ran, but by the next morning I still had some residual heat and all of the briquettes had burned through.
Better yet, the snake frees up grill space thanks to the charcoal following the curvature of the kettle. For all of the details, check out Jamie's article.
This weekend tends to go the burger and brats route, which is why I say try something different and regal, like a rack of lamb.
Oh, and there's always steak. You can't go wrong with steak.
Every great grilled meal needs something to wash it down. Bonus points if that something contains hops. Samuel Adams is re-releasing their Rebel Raw Double IPA. Containing 7 pounds of hops per barrel, this 10% ABV beer is most definitely a hop beast. Rebel Raw, like most big IPAs, is best when it's fresh. This can was shipped overnight from Samuel Adams. It was canned only a day before.
All cans of Rebel Raw have a shelf life of 35 days to maximize their hop freshness. Ever have an old IPA? It's a changed beer, like basically a barleywine.
Check with Samuel Adams to see if Rebel Raw is offered in a city near you. By the looks of it, I'll be driving to Cincinnati.
No matter what hits the grill or your glass, today is the one day where we thank those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for keeping us safe. I always post this picture on Memorial Day because it sums up the sentiment of the holiday perfectly.
Note: My work for Weber is compensated and my friends at Samuel Adams provided me with the samples of Rebel Raw. The opinions expressed are all mine.