· The Hot Line - Newsletter
Sept. 2011: BBQ Baking

September 2011
Welcome 
For some reason, a lot of our customers have trouble imagining using their backyard grills for more than just grilling steaks and hamburgers. The truth of the matter is that these hot and loyal machines behind our homes are good for so much more. In addition to being great at grilling they're also terrific as ovens. Cookies, pies, lasagna, pizza - you name it - it can all be baked in your barbecue. You might have to modify your recipes and cook times a little but you'll get it figured out quickly. Now, between us friends, when you do your baking outside you definitely miss out on the delicious smell inside your home. For that reason alone, I can understand why some people don't use their barbecues for baking. However, what if I told you that there was a baked bread that was genuinely elevated by the dry, convection heat a barbecue can provide? You guessed it: the humble bagel. Delicious from the oven - even better from the barbecue. Perfect with just a 'hint', a 'whisper' a 'suggestion' of woodsmoke. Delicious. See our experiment below. In case you missed it in the national media, we picked a winner of our eighth annual 'Canada's Worst Barbecue' contest last month. Jim from Hamilton won a huge prize package from Napoleon and both he and his lovely wife seem very happy.  
Before
After
 
And now for something completely different...  
Dust off the chicken suits - we're now taking submissions for our second annual 'Canada's Worst Firepit Contest'. Again, generously sponsored by the charming personalities at Urban Fire. In fact, this year the sponsorship is amped up - it's like an F1 meet-and-greet or a NASCAR pit-crew jacket. Last year we gave away one Urban Fire firepit - this year, we're giving away four. Yes, four! Wow. Four of the lovely Urban Fire 2 firepits. The first and second-place entrants in the contest both win firepits with the new, tempered glass shroud for the top. Third and fourth-place entrants both win bronze versions of the Urban Fire 2. Entry details will be on our website in about a week.

Barbecue Tipster  
Any type of baking you can do inside can also be done on your barbecue outside. Now, to be fair, you sacrifice a fair amount of control and consistency when you move your baking outdoors but, hey, you probably need a little chaos in your life anyway. So get outside and do some baking. Keep the following in mind:
  • Before you bake in your barbecue, make sure to give your grills a thorough scrubbing. If you make someone a birthday cake that ends up smelling like pork tenderloin, you're going to hear about it.
  • Because there's a lot more air flow in a barbecue than an indoor oven, there is increased convection current which results in faster baking times than you're used to indoors.
  • You will always be using indirect grilling when baking on your barbecue. In this case, it's tough to accomplish without at least three burners. If you don't have three or more burners - keep the baking indoors (or buy a new barbecue from us - just sayin').
  • A ceramic pizza stone is a great addition to your grill when baking. It spreads out the heat and gives an even surface for your baked products.
 

Gotta Have It 
We have recently printed a limited edition of these (very) unofficial t-shirts. Why? Just for fun really. Fifteen dollars should get one to your door if you live within the comforting range of Canada Post and her unionized minions. Send us an email with the size you want and we'll get one to you.  
And, from the 'you get what you pay for' file, we present to you the pizza stone from Big Green Egg. The Hot Line test kitchen went through at least three cheaper pizza stones before we wised up and took one of these home. They hold the heat much longer than thinner stones and do not crack like other stones when they experience large fluctuations in temperature. Well worth the money.

Meet the Experts 
Jody had an old RV and a dream. Now Jody is the kingpin ("queenpin"?) of a thriving barbecue enterprise on wheels that churns out some tasty, lip-smackin' barbecued food. "Jojo's" barbecue is parked in our Calgary North parking lot on a regular basis (see her website for schedule) and, at times, the lineup snakes down the block. We thought we'd ask Jody a few questions about barbecue... The Hot Line: How did you get into the barbecued food business?  
Jody: I was the opening chef for Calgary's Palomino restaurant in 2005. Before we opened we toured Tennessee eating nothing but barbecue. Shortly after I took an intensive smoking workshop and ever since then I've been hooked.
The Hot Line: What is it about slow-smoked barbecue that you love?  
Jody: I've always been a big fan of smoked foods like bacon. I soon realized how low-and-slow cooking renders the tasty fat into the meat and produces the amazing, smoky, tender flavour.
The Hot Line: What is your go-to barbecue recipe?  
Jody: I'm a rib girl. I use a mash-up of different barbecue styles including Texas, Tennessee and the Carolinas. My rub is a combination of flavours that I love including cinnamon and ginger. My finishing sauce is also a mix of styles and uses both mayo and vinegar.
The Hot Line: When you're not in your bbq-wagon and you're cooking at home, what kind of barbecue do you use?  
Jody: You know, I don't even know the brand of barbecue I have...(editor's note: the interview process came off the rails here a bit as I explained to Jody the importance of 'brand' and hardware in the entire cooking process. After about ten minutes or so of being harangued, I think she realized how important it is - at least to us barbecue retailers.)
The Hot Line: What's the biggest challenge in running your barbecue food truck?  
Jody: I'm usually all by myself in the trailer so; if it needs to get done, I'm going to have to do it. It's incredibly physical work and very time consuming. Lugging around hundreds of pounds of meat all by myself is a real workout. I've never worked so hard in my life - and yet, I tell my friends, I've never been so rewarded.

Recipe of the MonthBeekeeper's Bagels  As we mentioned, you can bake anything in your barbecue. This month we're doing bagels. We call this particular bagel recipe 'Beekeeper's Bagels' because it uses a hell of a lot of honey and makes beekeepers wealthy (not that they need the help - those folks are already rolling in it). Anyway, cozy up to your local apiarist, load up on honey and make some bagels... Ingredients:
1.5 cups room temperature water
4.5 tsp quick-rising yeast
1 tsp white sugar
2.5 tsp salt
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk (that's the yellow bit in the middle)
1/4 cup oil (we used olive)
½ cup honey for the dough
5 cups white flour
1/3 cup honey for the boiling bagel bath
Some sort of topping for your bagel (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flax seeds, whatever)
 
Organize your ingredients. Because it is the best honey in the known universe we used Scandia honey - lots of it.
Mix together the water, yeast, salt and sugar. Then, blend in the egg and egg yolk, oil and ½ cup of honey. Add the five cups of flour until the dough is stiff and smooth (er...uhm,...). You can do this by hand. We did it the easy way.
Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap for about twenty minutes.
While you're waiting, light your charcoal with your looft lighter...
...and set up your grill for indirect cooking with a high quality pizza stone (see above).
Pretend that the dough is the idiot you saw dump his car's ashtray in the parking lot today and punch it. I have NO idea what this is supposed to accomplish but it's fun.
Portion the dough into twelve or so equal balls. Make sure your work surface has lots of extra flour on hand as this is sticky stuff.
Put a pinch of flour in the middle of every dough ball and then, with your hands, turn the ball and make a hole in the middle. Voila: one ring to rule them all. Place your dough rings on a towel on a cookie sheet and let them 'proof' for about fifteen minutes.
Your barbecue should be at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Get about three quarts of water and the remaining 1/3 cup of honey boiling in a pot that's deep enough to bathe your bagels.
Beer's all gone - time for a mojito! (Spare me the email about how I should be using white rum - any port in a storm and all that...).
Slide your bagels into the James Brown Celebrity Honey Hot Tub for about 1.5 minutes per side. Remove them using a slotted spoon and cover them with whatever topping you've chosen.
Place the bagels onto your pizza stone. We found that additional, ground-level supervision was required at this stage.
With your mother-in-law's help, remove bagels when they're nicely browned (after about 25 minutes) and let cool.
While the bagels are cooling you could...grill some chicken...
...whip up some guacamole...
...and make yourself a tasty sandwich. Easy.
And, since the barbecue is still warm, you could also bake some fruit crumble for dessert - if you wanted to because, as we all know, you can bake anything in your barbecue...
This recipe makes a sweet (in the literal sense, not the 'street' sense), tasty bagel. Ours turned out a bit less 'bagelly' and more 'bready' than I would prefer but still delicious and I think we could tweak a few things to make them denser. For some reason, they were even tastier the day after we baked them. You should try this at home.

Ask Dr. McGrillemup 
Question: Dear Doctor M, My stand up patio heater was working fine in the spring but now, since the summer started I just can't get the thing to light properly. Any ideas? Signed, M. Ushraum Answer: Dear M, Any propane appliance attracts spiders - they like the 'rotten egg' odorant that we add to propane so that we can smell it when it's in the air around us. The problem is, these spiders can gum up the valves and orifices with their webs and other assorted spider debris. For some reason, this occurs a lot with patio heaters. So, get a can of compressed air ('not just for huffing any longer') and give your valve assembly in the heater a couple of really good blasts. Often that's enough to clear things out and get the heater working again. Sincerely, Doctor McGrillemup

The World of Barbecue
Just when you think Albertans are the only ones with the proper neck pigment to attach a barbecue to their vehicle someone like James from Burlington comes along and proves us wrong. He loves his Broil King Keg so much he takes it with him using the optional trailer hitch.
 
Barb sent us this picture of her husband grillin' weenies. He loves his Napoleon grill.
Send us a picture of you using your barbecue and we'll send you a gift certificate for $25 that you can use in any of the stores in our massive, world dominating retail chain. That's like...free money.

This Month's Winners 
Every single month, we randomly draw four winning names (one per store) from our newsletter mailing list. We only post the winning names below so you've got to keep your eyes peeled each month. If you win, you can claim your prize by stopping by the Barbecues Galore in your area with your photo identification. Congratulations to this month's winners of a barbecue baking package: Jeremy Webster (Calgary South) Carole Derlin (Calgary North) Linda Smith (Burlington) Carlos Baptista (Oakville)

Next Month's Issue 
Next month we're talking about the meat that put the 'cute' into 'charcuterie'. That's right: bacon. See you in four weeks.

Contact UsWe're in the service business and we genuinely want to hear your experiences so we can continue to improve. If you've got a problem or concern please contact us at query@barbecuesgalore.ca. If you've had a positive experience and want to tell others about it please tell others using this Google page (this stuff is important to us Canadian retailers in the digital age as we battle the big, bad, box stores). Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca

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