does anyone else out there really love grilling? I love slow-cooking anything for anybody in my smoker. There is nothing more festive than smelling that smoke for hours before digging into a grand feast. I can turn my back on my smoker with no worries--- unless i've done something rash or dumb, nothing will burn and the food will only improve.
what are your favorite dishes and techniques, whether you're cooking or just eating? I favor smoking marinaded chicken thighs--- they're nice and fatty and pretty much can't be dried out.
I usually begin smoking anything by quickly searing it directly over the fire first (on a grill). This locks in the juices and speeds the cooking time for larger cuts. It also keeps the meat firm--- slow cooking can sometimes result in TOO gentle preparation. After that, i put in the water dish and let it go. Unless i'm cooking something delicate like pork chops, fish, or skinless poultry, the smoker is on auto-pilot. I just check the state of the fire after that. Temperature is everything.
As for fave dishes, the smoked meatloaf i mentioned in the meatloaf thread is definitely one for great flavor and ease of preparation. Glazed pork chops are always a winner. Smoked turkey breast is among the best. Pork loin always impresses. A london broil stuffed with chiles and chorizo is exciting and easy.
In the end, grilling can make a chef seem better than they really are. Smoked onions in French onion soup makes one seem a genius. Smoked bratwurst can make one beg. Smoked hamburgers or even hot dogs will make you think you were a sucker to eat themn any other way. Smoked shrimp marinaded in lime and chiles... need i say more?
anyone else have faves they wanna share? any memorable events/dinners where grilling made all the difference.
one more thing: it seems altogether more acceptable for a cook to have a few more drinks when grilling. always a bonus.