Browsing Category: bbq

Make A Better Burger

This weekend is Labor Day, and there is no better way to end the summer than burgers and dogs on the grill!  The last couple of years I have been doing a lot of research on how to make a better burger.  There are a couple of tips that I employ that really seem to be a constant in my research for a better burger.  Next time you fire up the grill for burger time, try these tips, and you will not be disappointed!

  1. Choose the right ground beef!  You want ground beef that is around 20 – 25% fat.  Most of that will burn of during cooking, but your burgers will be moist and flavorful because of it.
  2. Season the meat.  A lot of people neglect to ad any seasoning at all.  Always use salt and pepper.  Ad it right to the raw meat and mix in.  If you want to use other spices, garlic or onions etc that you to ad to the raw meat, cook them lightly in a frying pan to bring out the flavor before adding to the meat.
  3. Don’t overwork the meat.  Try not to smash the ground beef up to much, or pat the burgers down too tight.  This will give you dense drier burgers.
  4. Indent the tops.  After you form your patties push your thumb onto the top of the patty to leave a good thumb sized indentation.  This keeps the patties from turning into balls while you cook them, which allows for a nice even cooking.
  5. Let them sit out.  Let your raw burgers get to room temperature before you put them on the grill.  After you make your patties, cover them with plastic wrap, and allow them to sit out until they are room temp.  This will allow the middle of the burger to cook evenly with the outside.
  6. Don’t squish.  When you are cooking your burgers, don’t squish them with your spatula.  All that does is dry them out, and makes more potential for a fire in your grill.
  7. Divide your grill.  If you are using charcoal, pile your hot coals on one side of the grill.  Put the raw burgers on the hot side of the grill, for 1 – 2 minutes on each side to char the outside.  Then, rotate the burger a half turn and place them on the cool side.  This will give you the crisscross pattern of grill marks.  Then cover the grill and cook for another 4-6 minutes per side to “bake” the inside of the burger without overcooking the outside.
  8. Let them sit. Let the patties rest covered with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes before serving.  This will lock the juices into the burger.

Mexican Grilled Corn

I’ll be honest, I consider myself to be pretty good on a grill, but I have had very mixed results when it comes to grilling corn.  Grilled corn is a flavor I truly love, so I attempt it all of the time.  However, that being said, I have only tried to develop my own technique.  I think this summer I am going to start with a tried and true technique, and then adapt from there.  This is a recipe that is adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless, which is an amazing Mexican cookbook everyone should own.

I found this adaptation on ScarpettaDolcetto, and here is how they do it:

  • 6 ears of sweet corn, in husks
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 C sour cream with enough milk or cream to loosen
  • 1/3 C crumbled Mexican cheese (queso fresco, anejo or cotijia)
  • 1 Tbsp hot chile powder
  • minced cilantro
  • 1/2 lime

Soak the corn for an hour in a deep bowl of water or a clean sink, weighted down with a plate. Grill in the husks over medium-high heat, about 15-20 minutes, until blackened. When cool enough to handle, remove the silk and husks. (Or remove the silks and use the husks as a handle.)

10 minutes before serving, brush the corn with butter and grill until browned. Remove from heat. Serve with the fixings or prep for your guests: brush the corn with sour cream; sprinkle with chile powder, salt, cheese and cilantro. Squirt a bit of lime juice over all. Serve warm with the remaining fixings.



This will be my husband’s second Father’s Day. It’s such a fun holiday to celebrate. He’s an amazing father and I love doing something special to celebrate him.  Last year we got him a hand crafted leather football which he absolutely adores….so much so that he has it on display and won’t even throw it, lol! This year I thought it would be fun to make something. He’s a fantastic cook and an even better grill master. This DIY BBQ rub seems like a perfect gift!


Big Batch Barbecue Rub (found on Real Simple)

Makes 1 1/3 cups


  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons ground coffee
  • 4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons black pepper


  1. Combine the ingredients and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.
  2. Instructions to include with your gift: Up to 2 hours before cooking, coat 2 pounds of chicken, beef, pork, or seafood with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with 2 to 4 tablespoons of the rub. Cook as desired.

DIY Foldable BBQ Table

What a dream this would be!  When the weather is warm, you can find me outside just about any night, standing in the smoke of my grill, or my smoker.  There is just something so special about cooking outside on actual fire (I have an electric stove and oven).  Be on the look out for lot’s of outdoor cooking posts now that it’s warming up!  So, one of the things about cooking outside is that I keep my grill on the stone patio where things are a little more fire proof (I cook with charcoal, not gas), and all of the tables are on the wooden deck.  So, I would love to have something that I could keep all of my food and grilling tools on while I’m working the grill.  Plus, this looks like it would be really fun to make.  I would love to get my kids working on this with me.  I think I could even get a lot of the lumber for it from old pallets, so it would be really cheap to make as well!  The DIY instructions come from  They have a great tutorial with great pictures as well, so if you want to make this, go check the tutorial here.


Mother’s Day Citrus & Herb Sea Salt DIY

Homemade gifts are always so special.  Seasoned salts are such a fun addition to any cooks kitchen which is why I loved this idea!  It’s so simple even young children can help out with this project.

Recipe and idea found on Five & One

Citrus + Herb Sea Salt Recipe

1 cup coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon each of sage, thyme, and, rosemary

1 teaspoon each of lemon and orange zest

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Finely chop herbs and zest and mix with the salt.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, just enough to dry the herbs and zest.  When the salt is cooled you or your child may crush together with your fingers or pulse in a food processor to incorporate the flavors of the salt, herbs, and fruit zest.


Chicken Jalapeno Burgers

Now that it’s spring our family will be grilling up a storm.  In fact my husband, in anticipation of spring, has already been preparing several meals that way.  We’re always looking for new creative recipes to try out in an attempt to avoid the dinner rut we so often find ourselves in.  This recipe for Chicken Jalapeno Burgers found on What’s Gaby Cooking looks amazing!  We’ll likely lighten it up a bit with the following modifications:

  • Omitting the cheddar (sounds amazing but not so healthy)
  • Omitting the sour cream….heck when you have guacamole what more do you need?!

For full recipe and instructions please visit What’s Gaby Cooking.


Great Gifts For Any Man For Around $10

Men can be hard to shop for, and trying to find a gift for a man for around $10 is really hard!  Trust me, I just spent almost the whole day going through page after page on Amazon to find some good quality gifts that any man would enjoy for around $10.  Here you will find mostly useful items.  I tried to choose items for this guide that almost any man could appreciate and could count on.  I personally own many of these items, and have found them to be of good quality, and very useful.  I hope you find what you are looking for!  Feel free to ask questions, or post your own ideas!


Cider and Beer Brined Turkey

A few years ago my wife bought me a Weber Charcoal Smoker for our anniversary.  Ever since I’ve been smoking everything, ribs, fish, scallops, chicken, bacon, you name it.  Last year for Thanksgiving I decided to smoke a turkey for the whole family, about 30 people.  It came out great, but I felt that it could have been better.  Ever since I’ve been scouring the web looking for that perfect recipe for a moist flavorful succulent smoked turkey recipe.  I believe I’ve found it!  This is a recipe for a cider and beer brined turkey from mantestedrecipes.  One of the things I like about it is that most of the work can be done the day before.  I can’t wait to get the turkey in the smoker this year, and make the turkey the star of the show this Thanksgiving!  If you don’t have a smoker, you can make this recipe in an oven as well. Or, if you have a regular charcoal kettle grill, you can follow THESE steps to use it as a smoker.

cider and beer brined smoked turkey


Serves: 15
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup J. Paul’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 (12 ounce) beers
  • 1 whole turkey

Preparation method

Prep: 1 hour | Cook: 6 hours | Extra time: 1 day, marinating

Combine the apple cider, brown sugar, salt, bay leaves, Creole seasoning, beer and garlic cloves in a large pot or bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
Use two large brining bags, one inside the other, and place them in a large foil heavy-duty roasting pan. Place the turkey inside the bags. Inject turkey with the brine, and pour remaining brine into the bag. Squeeze the excess air from the bags, tie and refrigerate for 24 hours, inverting turkey inside the bags every so often.
When you get ready to cook the turkey, remove from the fridge and place the turkey in the bags in the sink. Remove turkey from the bags and place it back in the foil roasting pan. There will still be some brine in the bags; use this to inject the turkey again.
Cover turkey with foil and place in a smoker and keep the temperature at 250° until the internal temp is 165°. Smoke 30 minutes/pound.
Remove the foil the last 30 minutes to let turkey brown a little more, and to get that smoky taste.
Let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Good luck with that-it usually falls off the bone!
Alternate methodIf you don’t have a smoker, it’ll work in the oven.