Serious tailgaters are just as passionate about their parking lot buffets as they are all about the sport. And for the majority of tailgaters, just a charcoal grill will do if it comes to cooking the feast. In fact, according to the current Weber Tailgating Study, a 61 percentage of tailgaters who bring grills with them opt for a charcoal grill when prepping for the “big game. “
“Cooking a pregame spread over charcoal is a significant thing of pride for a whole lot of us,” states Chef Jamie Purviance, a renowned grilling specialist and author of the newest “Weber’s Charcoal Grilling” cookbook. “The fickleness of a live fire requires more skills than a gas grill does, but once you’ve learned to control it, the rewards are huge, both concerning taste and a feeling of achievement. “
Rookie grillers sometimes let their enthusiasm get ahead of these, jumping in like a young quarterback off the bench for the initial time-and fumbling. One surefire way to prevent similar problems is to read the playbook on the top five bronchial errors that always draw a penalty flag:
Flag: False Start
Thrown when: Lighter fluid is used to start the fire.
The Right Call: Chemical starters are dangerous and leave behind a horrible taste, so don’t look their way for your start-up. Instead, place crumpled newspaper or paraffin cubes onto the grate, cover using a pyramid of charcoal briquettes, and ignite. Whenever your charcoal is coated with light gray ash (usually about 20 minutes after it’s lit), you’re ready to cook. A chimney newcomer makes this process simple.
Thrown when: A spatula is used to press on the burger against the cooking grate.
The Right Call: Squeezing only pushes out taste. Let your meat cook till it divides from the grate (a light coating of petroleum can help it brown evenly and protect against sticking). Then flip-once. That’s most foods need.
Flag: Illegal Procedure
Thrown when: The grill lid is open while you cook.
The Right Telephone: Keep the lid down to cook your food faster and more evenly. This also lessens the odds of a flare-up.
Flag: Delay Of Game
Thrown when: You don’t have the right equipment.
The Right Phone: Missing gear can force you to overlook kickoff, so be ready with this list: aluminum pans, paper plates and cups, tongs, spatulas, mitts, cutting boards, ice, condiments, seasonings, trash bags-and, needless to say, charcoal, a chimney starter along with a grill.
Thrown when: Hot coals and ashes aren’t safely disposed of after grilling.
The Right Call: Always wait until coals have completely cooled before disposing in a fireproof garbage bin or ash can. Should you empty ashes each time you grill, you’ll get better air flow when starting your fire. Additionally, ashes absorb moisture, which may cause your grill to corrode.
Pepper Steak Tacos with
Pico de Gallo
Prep time: 15 minutes
2 cups seeded, finely diced ripe tomato
1 cup 1/4-inch-diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced serrano chile
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
11/2 tsp nutmeg seeds
11/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp pure chile powder
3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
11/2 pounds skirt steak, about 1/2 inch thick, trimmed of excess surface fat
12 corn or flour tortillas (6 to 8 inches)
1. In a medium bowl combine the salsa ingredients. Mix well. If wanted, to completely incorporate the tastes, allow the salsa sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. With a mortar and pestle or spice mill, crush the peppercorns and the cumin seed. Put in a small bowl and combine together with the rest rub ingredients.
3. Fill out a Weber RapidFire Chimney Starter to the rim with mesquite charcoal and burn off the charcoal until it’s lightly covered with ash. Distribute the charcoal at a tightly packed, single layer across half of the charcoal grate. Set the cooking grate in place, close the lid, and preheat the grill for 10 minutes. Leave all the vents open.
4. Cut the skirt steak into 2 or 3 sections so that they fit on the grill. Lightly coat all the steaks with oil. Season them equally using the rub. Allow the hens sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes prior to grilling. Stack 6 tortillas on top of one another and wrap them in aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
5. Brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as you can, until lightly charred on the surface and then cooked to your desired doneness, 5 to 7 minutes for medium rare, turning once or twice and swapping their positions as needed for cooking. At the same time, warm the 2 packets of tortillas over indirect high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, turning once. Remove the steaks and tortillas from the grill and let the steaks rest for 2 to 3 minutes (keep the tortillas warm in the foil). Cut the meat across the grain into thin slices. Pile the meat within warm tortillas and top with the salsa, draining the juices back into the bowl so the tortillas don’t get too moist. Drink immediately.