Hello from the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru!
This is the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru Guide newsletter, from the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru website. Each issue brings you updates on what's new in the world of fire pits, grilling, barbecuing, and cooking with fire.
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Contents of this issue of the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru Guide
- What's New at the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru - New Articles
- Featured Product: Portable Fire Pit or Campfire Rotisserie
- How to Cook Perfect Chateaubriand (Filet Mignon) on Your Grill!
What's New at the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru?
Summer is well underway. If you are like me, your grill and fire pit have already seen a bunch of action. But there are still at least a couple months ahead of prime outdoor weather before we have to move it indoors for some indoor grilling or fireplace cooking.
If you are in an outdoor cooking slump, the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru has all sorts of tips and tricks to help you get your grill on while you still have time. From finding a grill or fire pit, to great grill recipes, and tips on how to get the most out of your fire pit or grill, its all here.
Here are some articles which can help
get your summer cooking going:
Terra Cotta Ceramic Grill
During the summertime, being able to take your grill cooking along with you wherever you go can be really helpful. A big, full sized grill or fire pit is quite cumbersome to schlep around to the park, cabin, beach or friend's house. On the other hand, some grills are perfectly suited for your portable lifestyle! You can find many ceramic grills which are inexpensive and easy to use, but also small and very portable. Additionally, there are many other types of portable grills, in both gas and charcoal versions. You can learn about these options on my Portable Grill page. Remember to check with local laws and regulations before bringing a grill or fire pit to a public park, campground or beach!
What is your grill without great grill cooking recipes? Don't forget that I post some of my favorite recipes so that you have some fun and unique meals to choose from. From classics to interesting ethnic grilled foods and fun sides, you'll find many recipes here to spark your imagination and taste buds.
For those lovers of the great outdoors that are looking for fun ways to cook while camping, here are some tips on various forms of campfire cooking. This is a new section for the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru so check back as I add content periodically.
Whole Pig Roast
If you are adventurous and looking to tackle a whole pig, suckling pig or even a whole lamb, you'll need some special equipment and some tips on how to make this huge roast go smoothly. I have a whole section devoted to these topics to get you off on the right foot!
Got Fuel? How to choose and use charcoal.
There is so much more to charcoal than the pressed briquettes we all buy at the supermarket, from hardwood lump charcoals to charcoal chimneys, learn all about charcoal options for your grill cooking and some tips on how to get it started quickly and without messy lighter fluid. If you are into cooking with real wood, our Firewood section has all you need to know about firewoods, how to pick firewoods for cooking and how to get your fire started quickly and easily.
Don't forget, if you don't even have a grill or fire pit yet and need help finding the perfect one which fits your needs and budget, check our my Fire Pit and Grill sections which cover all the types and many of the top brands.
Check Our Newest Articles Page for More New Articles!
Our newest articles page lists new articles as soon as they are uploaded! Never miss an article by simply checking back frequently.
Featured Product: Portable Fire Pit or Campfire Rotisserie
Rotisserie cooking is an outstanding way to cook larger roasts over a fire pit or campfire. The slow rotation well over the fire allows your food to roast slowly, developing a beautiful glazed surface while keeping the interior tender, juicy and evenly cooked. It is excellent for whole poultry, leg of lamb, and other large meat roasts. While many grills come equipped with a rotisserie attachment, I've recently come across a great product that makes rotisserie cooking over a fire pit or campfire really easy and inexpensive. The Grizzly Spit is a portable set which easily sets up to roast your food over an open fire. You simply hammer the two stakes into the ground up to 34" apart. After putting your meat on the spit, securing it in place with the spit forks, you simply put the spit on the stakes and connect it to the motor. The battery operated motor slowly turns your roast over your fire! Its that easy.
The Grizzly Spit is very portable, easily fitting in a long, narrow bag that it comes with. It can be used over in-ground fire pits, low-lying portable fire pits, and campfires. It is available from SpitJack.com. Additionally, for portable fire pits with an outer ring, such as the Sojoe Fire Pit, optional brackets can be used to secure the spit to the fire pit (also available at SpitJack as the "Sojoe Firepit Rotisserie Kit").
How to Cook Perfect Chateaubriand (Filet Mignon)
Chateaubriand is a classic beef dish which is basically made from a thick center cut of the tenderloin, or the filet mignon. Rather than being first cut into individual steaks, the large cut is traditionally cooked whole and then only sliced into individual pieces to serve, usually served with a sauce. Being one of the most tender cuts of beef, tenderloin prepared in this way can be extremely fine, tender and delicious if done right. Traditionally, this dish is cooked in a large skillet on the stove, first searing the meat on the stovetop and then throwing it in a hot oven to finish cooking before deglazing the pan to create a sauce. Because of this dual cooking technique, many people assume you can't cook a tenderloin roast or Chateaubriand on the grill. Wrongo!
on Your Grill!
Basically, you need two cooking styles, hot, direct heat cooking to sear the meat, followed by lower, roasting temperatures to slowly cook the interior of the meat without burning the outside or drying out the meat in the process. This part can be accomplished by indirect heat grilling techniques.
So how do you do it? First, you'll need a nice intense, hot fire. For this dish I like to fill up only one side of my grill with charcoal, leaving the other side empty. This creates two cooking zones in my grill, a direct heat searing zone directly over the coals and an indirect heat, roasting zone on the other size away from the coals. If you are using a gas grill, you can turn one burner on to high heat, leaving the others off so that you have two cooking zones. You will also need a nice cut of beef tenderloin. Don't skimp here. The flavor and tenderness of prime meat is unparalleled so be sure to get good raw ingredients.
For starters, after letting the meat come to room temperature, I rub it with olive oil and then rub in generous amounts of freshly cracked black pepper and coarse salt. When your grill is nice and hot, throw that big cut of tenderloin directly over the hot coals. But don't leave! Stay there and watch it! If your coals are hot it will only take a minute or two to sear the meat. You just want to get a nice initial sear that seals in the juice. You don't want it to burn, just starting to develop some caramelized golden brown color. As soon as that side is seared, turn the tenderloin to sear the next side. Depending on the shape of your cut, you may need to turn it two or three times to get all the sides nice and seared. Alternatively, if you prefer to make a pan sauce from the drippings of the beef, you can do this first step in an oiled skillet you place on the grill. A cast iron skillet works well for this, just make sure you have a thick oven mitt around so you don't burn yourself.
As soon as you are happy with the sear all around the meat, move it to the far edge of the grill so that it is no longer over direct heat, as far away from the hot coals as possible. Now, and this is very important, close the lid of your grill! If you have a charcoal grill, close the vents on the lid slightly to maintain a moderate-high heat. Now let your roast cook undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes for rare, longer for medium-rare. I strongly recommend only cooking it to a rare to medium-rare doneness to maintain the juicy, tenderness of the meat. Cooking times will vary depending on your grill and the size of your tenderloin cut. If in doubt, after 10 to 15 minutes, test the interior temperature with a meat thermometer. It should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit for rare. Once the meat is done to your liking, remove it from the grill and place on a platter and cover with a layer or two of aluminum foil. Let the meat rest at least 15 minutes while you complete your other dishes or sauce.
Chateaubriand of this sort is usually served with a rich sauce. Filet mignon, while being the most tender of all cuts, is not as strongly flavored as more fatty cuts (like porterhouse or rib eye) and therefore really shines when accented by a sauce. A bernaise sauce or a red wine reduction sauce both work beautifully. After resting, simply slice the beef into individual medallions of steak and serve!
Don't forget to stock up for the summer on all your grill and fire pit related supplies!
Here are a few places you should check out that have a great selection of "cooking with fire" related items:
SpitJack is a great online retailer that sells all sorts of tools for food & fire. They have all the basics like fireplace tools, wood storage and fire pits. But what makes them really special is that they have hard to find fireplace cooking items like fireplace grills and fireplace rotisseries! They also have big outdoor rotisseries for next spring or summer's pig roast.
The Fire Pit Shop has dozens of choices of fire pits and outdoor chimneys. Get warm this winter with a nice outdoor fire pit to cozy up next to!
Grills Direct stocks virtually every major brand of grills, barbecues, fryers and smokers. While it's probably too cold in most areas to grill right now, this can be a great source for gifts for your grill loving friends and relatives.
Do You Want to Get Published on the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru Website?
What are your favorite barbecue, grill, fire pit and fireplace cooking recipes?
I want to hear your favorite recipes and I'm sure my visitors would love to see them as well! Upload your recipe and even include photos and you will be featured on my site!
Want to share your homemade firepit photos or your fire pit design ideas with other visitors?
Here I am looking for either instructions for how to build a fire pit to supplement the tips I already have on the site OR you can just show off your homemade fire pit! Send me pictures if you've got em and tell us all about your homemade fire pit. I am sure my visitors would love to learn from your experience!
Have a Reader Tip or a Question? Contact Me!
I love to hear from my readers and visitors. If you have a handy tip to share or questions or comments on anything related to fire pits and grill cooking, please contact me! If you want to submit a recipe idea for inclusion on the site, go to the Share Your Recipe page. If you want to submit a fire pit design idea or pictures of your homemade fire pit then go to the How to Build a Fire Pit Submission page.
Looking for Specific Fire Pit or Grilling Related Info? Search my site!
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