Sunday, June 19, 2016

Review: Premiala Stainless Steel Marinade Injector & Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves

By Dru Chai

The beauty of BBQ is that you can spend as little or as much as you want. You don't need any fancy equipment to produce really good BBQ -- it is more about the technique, recipe, and the attention to detail. The BBQ industry is a multi-billion dollar industry for a reason, and there are new products being promoted at every corner.

For those who have a limited budget, there are three accessories that can really improve your BBQ grilling or smoking: 1) instant-read thermometer, 2) heat-resistant gloves, 3) marinade injector. Thermapen is a worthy investment, but what about gloves and an injector?

Most heat resistant BBQ gloves that I've tried are short in length and don't cover up the wrists. This is obviously important if you're trying to reach further in and around any hot surface. Silicon gloves can get can quickly lose its grip when handling BBQ where there is a greater chance of touching oily surfaces and meats.

The Premiala Heat Resistant The ArmorGlove BBQ Gloves are made from the same material from firefighter's suits and can withstand 932 degree F (500 C) for up to 15 seconds. I used the gloves on various tasks around grilling and smoking, and passed every test with flying colors. These gloves are also larger in size than most others -- so anyone with gigantic hands shouldn't have a problem quickly slipping these on and off.

A meat injector is a BBQ or cooking accessory that is very underrated in my mind. Meats like chicken, turkey, beef roasts and brisket are all just begging to be injected with some marinade that can really enhance or elevate the overall flavor and tenderness. I've tried my fair share of marinade injectors, which were all plastic and not the greatest quality.

The Premiala Stainless Steel Meat & Flavor Injector is a top notch injector that just looks serious, like it belongs in a hospital or torture chamber. It comes with three needles -- one shorter needle that is used for injecting marinade into thin cuts like steaks and kabobs. The other two larger needles are for larger roasts -- one with an open end for thicker marinades with garlic and herbs, the other with 12 holes for even distribution of liquids.

I used the smaller needle to inject some broth into 10-lb brisket and it was extremely smooth and easy to use. Other meat injectors made out of plastic are very flimsy and I've had a difficult time throughout the process from piercing the meat to injecting the liquid into the meat. The 304 food grade stainless steel is high quality too, making it very easy to take apart and clean.

The Dirty Smoke Rating:

Premiala Stainless Steel Meat & Flavor Injector - 5/5 stars
Premiala Heat Resistant The ArmorGlove BBQ Gloves - 5/5 stars

Sunday, June 5, 2016

How to Grill Lobster And Not Screw It Up

By Dru Chai

One of my favorite proteins to grill is lobster, hands down. I would take grilled lobster over steamed or boiled lobster any day of the week. The firm texture and sweet flavor from the lobster is the perfect complement to chargrilled flavor. Unless you completely ignore your lobster so that it overcooks into a rubbery mess, you just can't screw up grilled lobster.

Over the past weekend, I grilled some lobster tails from, a wholesaler and mail order seafood company in New England. They were shipped raw and frozen in a reusable styrofoam box with dry ice. After letting the lobster tails defrost in the fridge for a couple of days, it was time to get grilling!

I fired up the Weber grill and made sure to lightly oil the cooking grate so that the lobster meat doesn't stick. I also brushed the lobster tails with the perfect sauce for lobster (ingredients below). If you don't want to go through any of this trouble, then you can't go wrong with just some good 'ol fashioned melted butter.

- Juice from half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Finely chopped garlic
- Seasoned salt
- Cracked black pepper
- Optional, but highly recommended: Pinch of dried oregano or chopped parsley, pinch of Old Bay seasoning or paprika, cayenne pepper if you want a kick

For the 24 oz. lobster tail, I grilled approximately 3-5 minutes per side directly over medium-high heat. You want the meat to turn completely opaque and for the shell to transform into a bright orange-red color. This is the part where you do NOT leave the grill. No matter what.

Wait patiently and shift the lobster if you need to depending on any flareups after you brush the sauce. If you see some of the legs getting burnt, that's okay. Just shift the lobster over to indirect heat away from the hot charcoal. You can even cover the grill for a few minutes to cook the meat all the way through.

For the smaller lobster tails, about a minute per side was all it took. You don't want to overcook them. These lobster tails were about 5 oz. each, and already cut, cracked, and butterflied from

PRO TIP: If you still aren't sure if the lobster tail meat is fully cooked, check to see if the temperature is 120 -130 degrees F. Also keep in mind that the lobster will still cook a bit longer after removing from the grill. It's always better to slightly undercook the lobster than overcook. You can always put it back on the grill to cook a bit longer.

I enjoyed the grilled lobsters with some vegetables and an ice cold beer. The smaller lobster tails were sweet, while the monster lobster tail meat had that salty ocean flavor. Though frozen, everything tasted very fresh -- I was "lobster wasted" by the time I was done. I even used the leftover lobster shells to make a stock for lobster bisque. 'Til next time, happy grilling!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Review: Weber's New American Barbecue BBQ Cookbook

By Dru Chai

Since starting this BBQ blog over five years ago, I've come across my fair share of BBQ cookbooks. For a BBQ enthusiast like myself, they all tend to look the same and have the same content. I was even approached by a publisher to write my own BBQ cookbook, but I turned it down at the time because I couldn't complete the project on their tight deadline.

Weber just released a new cookbook entitled "New American Barbecue - A Modern Spin on the Classics" and it's one of my favorite BBQ cookbooks of the year. The book has some incredible, mouth-watering closeups of the food, and it is easy to read for any grilling or smoking novice who wants to learn more about some of the newer trends of BBQ today. 

The book includes more than 120 recipes and is organized by types of meat -- pork, ribs, brisket, chicken, etc. James Beard Award nominee and author Jamie Purviance profiles some of more popular pitmasters to get the best tips on their particular expertise in his "Lessons from the Legends." Chris Lily and his pulled pork, Mike Mills and his spareribs, Aaron Franklin for his brisket, just to name a few. Another cool feature are the "Top 5 Barbecue Trends Today" sections sprinkled throughout the book. 

Some of my favorite and interesting recipes:

- PB and J Ribs
- Aloha Spareribs with Coconut Ginger Glaze
- San Antonio Brisket Enchiladas
- Boston Bacon Fatties
- All of the smoked turkey recipes (I love smoked turkey!)

Weber's "New American Barbecue - A Modern Spin on the Classics" is perfect for someone who wants to learn a bit more on the history and background of BBQ, while embracing the new trends and techniques of today's BBQ. With gorgeous food photography and plenty of recipes to try out through the summer, this book is a worthy addition for any BBQ enthusiast.