Monday, June 29, 2015

Who Cut the Cheese? Be Super Cheesy This BBQ Season

By Dru Chai

Most BBQ enthusiasts don't immediately think of cheese when smoking meats. But when it comes to grilling, there's nothing better than slapping on a slice of cheese on a burger patty and watching it melt and ooze away. Recently, I had the chance to try out some swiss and gruyere cheese from Emmi USA.

Both cheeses are similar in that both have a very distinct "nutty" (hold the chuckle) flavor, especially with the swiss cheese. Gruyere also has that nutty flavor, but more on the sweet and salty side. Both cheeses are the perfect compliment for beef burgers because the cheese cuts the fatty beef flavor -- hopefully you're using 80/20 ground beef (80% beef, 20% fat).

Over the weekend, I threw some homemade beef patties on the grill and assembled a monster cheeseburger with all of the classic ingredients like lettuce, tomato, and pickles. I added a fried egg in there too, just for good measure. For my burger, I went with gruyere and could taste the cheese with every bite of the burger.

Swiss and gruyere are cheeses with bold flavors that can stand up to burgers that pack a punch with strong ingredients like bacon, caramelized onions, or chopped jalapeƱos. So if you're ready to ditch the boring American cheese for some cheese that'll elevate your burger or sandwich game, check out some of these Emmi USA sandwich and burger recipes.

Buy Emmi USA cheese products from Amazon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Curl Up to Next to the Smoker with a Good BBQ Cookbook

By Dru Chai

I love curling up next the grill/smoker to read a good BBQ cookbook. Okay, maybe not literally curl up to the smoker. A lawn chair will do just fine. Here are a few books that I recently checked out for this year's BBQ season.

Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ
Excellent, all-around BBQ book that includes 200+ recipes with plenty of photos. The first half of the book provides step-by-step directions on prepping meat like baby back ribs, beef short ribs, pork butt, brisket, and smoked chicken. The second half is all about recipes with a southern twist.
[Dirty Smoke BBQ rating: 4/5 stars]

Secrets to Smoking on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
Good BBQ cookbook with a variety of recipes and vibrant photos, but lacking in detailed techniques and how-to directions for the main meats like brisket, ribs, and pork. Although the book specifically mentions techniques for the WSM, the tips are good for any backyard smoker. Love the unique recipes like pizza-wrapped burger and "chicken bombs."
[Dirty Smoke BBQ rating: 3/5 stars]

Grilled Pizza the Right Way
I'm a big fan of grilled pizza. When done the right way, there's no need for any fancy, expensive pizza ovens. Not only does this book have some great recipes with gorgeous photos, but also dedicated chapters for grilling techniques. Looking forward to trying more grilled pizza recipes from this book.
[Dirty Smoke BBQ rating: 4/5 stars]

Grilling With House of Q
This BBQ cookbook doesn't really distinguish itself from the competition. The recipes are very standard, and there are no detailed step-by-step directions with accompanying photos. I wasn't a fan of the sections in which the author was explaining the backstory behind their BBQ rub and sauces -- it just felt like a blatant attempt to sell more product.
[Dirty Smoke BBQ rating: 2/5 stars]