The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

Grill Camp ‘07 - Weekend

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This entry combines the final Saturday & Sunday of Grill Camp ’07 and describe the last couple meals. All in all it was great fun and a great success. Saturday was another London Broil and originally that was going to be that. I was going to take Sunday off, but I was having so much fun I just couldn’t stop.

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Sweet & spicy marinade for the chicken from Pepper, EVOO, Soy Sauce, Salt, Chili Powder. Orange Juice, Mint & Garlic

The London Broil was great once again and the best part is how simple it is to make. Marinade it in a BBQ sauce, cook it for 9 minutes a side and trim it thin and on an angle. The slice thin is key a I found out this Saturday. I was in a hurry to eat and a couple times I sliced a few pieces a little thicker and it was a tad chewy. Keep it thin and it was mouthwateringly tender. If you refer to the link below you can read more about the London Broil I made a week before to start off Grill Camp ‘07.

The marinade ingredients are ready to blend

Sunday was originally going to be a day away from grilling but I was on a roll. I still had the ground beef, so I decided to make a third and last round of the stuffed chili cheeseburgers for lunch. For Sunday’s supper I started looking through cookbooks Saturday afternoon while the London Broil was marinading. I decided to make a rotisserie chicken from the Weber Grill Deck called Garlic & Mint Roasted Chicken. The Weber Grill Deck was given to me as a gift. It is a box of flash cards with recipes on one side and a picture of the finished product on the other. It has everything from appetizers to desserts and everything in between.

The Weber Grill Deck: flash cards for adults

The chicken required an 8 hour marinade before going on the rotisserie, so it was an early rise Sunday morning. I got up at 5:00 AM and made the marinade and had the chicken in the fridge by 6:00 AM. So much for Sunday being a day of rest. The marinade was an Asian influenced blend of sweet and spicy. The sweet coming from the fresh mint and fresh squeezed orange juice. The spicy from salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder. There was also some EVOO and soy sauce. Since I was up, I headed outside and gave my grill and smoker their annual spring cleanings. In the Spring I was making visits to hospitals or rehab centers and hadn’t gotten around to it. I dismantled both the grill and the smoker and cleaned them up. As it turned out the benefits were quickly apparent. When lunch time rolled around, I noticed a difference in the flare-up levels on my gas grill right away.

The Kitchen smelled like mint hours after I blended the ingredients

Lunch was a third round of the burgers stuffed with chili and cheese. Like the second time I made these, I went lighter on the fillings and made sure to get a good seal on the edges. When I made these this way on Friday I still got the occasional flare-up, but not like the first time where the burgers sprung leaks. I was still getting some dripping fat, just like Friday, but this time there were very few flare-ups. My grill has plates covering the burners called Flame Tamers. They are metal plates with continuous v-shaped peaks and valleys. There are slots in the valleys to direct dripping fat off the Flame Tamers. I think a second purpose of the Flame Tamers is there mass tends to even out the heat, It seems the cleaning had cleared better paths for the fat to run off the surface of the Flame Tamers. So instead of building up and flaring up, the fat was running off. I was rather surprised at the difference and will make sure to keep on top of this in the future.

The chicken has been marinaded for 8 hours, is on the spit and ready to head out to the grill

Around 2:45 I lit the infra-red rotisserie burner to let the rotisserie heat up. The back wall of my grill has a plate that is heated y a gas burner along the bottom edge. This plate gets heated to red hot by the burner and the heat radiated from the red hot plate cooks the food. Because the burner is on the back wall, you don’t get flare-ups from fat dripping down off the meat. I pulled the chicken out of the marinade and again enjoyed the strong odors of mint and garlic wafting through the air. I put the chicken on the spit and it was on the grill by 3:00 PM. I also added some cherry chips to the smoker drawer. They had been soaked for an hour beforehand.. The smell of the marinated chicken cooking in the cherry smoke was wonderful. I hung out in the back yard for a while just taking in the smell.

My grill’s infra-red rotisserie seems slower than most, but it eventually gets the job done

The recipe called for a 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minute cook time Knowing my rotisserie always takes longer I figured I was looking at a 1:45 time for my grill. So in theory I really could just leave things alone and let the bird spin for an hour or more without looking in on it. That in reality is very bad practice. There are all kinds of things that may happen. You could blow a fuse or have the extension cord pull out of it’s socket and the bird would stop turning. The gas could run out. I also had a 3-piece spit on another grill start to unscrew itself and start bowing downward. Or as happened in my case: One or both of the forks could start to unloosen and the bird stops rotating. I planned on checking every 20 minutes and it was a good thing I did. On the first check I found the forks were working their way loose and the bird was minutes away from coming loose and no longer rotating. I would have had blackened chicken on one side and raw on the other. Not a pretty sight. I grabbed a set of BBQ gloves and tightened the set screws down extra securely.

3 hours later it was finally done, a 10 minute rest and then time to carve the bird

When 90 minutes rolled around I took the temperature with an instant read meat thermometer and it was at 140 (60 C). I figured it wouldn’t be too much longer before I was eating. A half hour perhaps. Well I figured wrong. To cut to the chase the bird took 3 hours total before it was ready. This was far longer than I expected and I have no idea why. But the instant read thermometer doesn’t lie. It had been dark for a while when it was finally time to eat. I brought out a grill light to help me see what I was doing. While I was waiting, I found an AOL video on how to carve a chicken. I will admit to liking the way I have always done it better, so I stuck to that.

If the eating is good, as this was, you don’t mind the wait so much

Needless to say I was quite hungry when the bird came in 90 minutes later than planned. I was a bit cranky about the time, but I must admit it was worth the wait. I think this is the first time I’ve had mint flavored chicken and it was quite good. The chicken was quite moist, probably a combination of the 8 hour marinade time and the natural basting action of the rotisserie. Thank goodness it was worth the wait. I don’t mind waiting if the results are good. It would be disappointing to have something run twice as long and not be any good. So this recipe is a keeper. The only thing I need to do is try to get a handle on why the infra-red rotisserie seems to take much longer than the times in the recipes say. But in the meantime my patience with my rotisserie is being rewarded-this week with good lamb kabobs and chicken.


  CHILI CHEESEBURGERS Burger Picture Entry

Blog Entry   GARLIC & MINT ROASTED CHICKEN Poultry Picture Entry

  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 1 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 2 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 3 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 4 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 5 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 6 Blog Entry


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