Happy Father’s Day! To celebrate Father’s Day, I’d like to honor all Fathers and especially my own, who died suddenly many years ago at the very young age of 51. My dad was a “master griller” meaning he loved to grill on his big Weber Kettle barbeque (charcoal only, of course). Growing up, we always had grilled turkey for Thanksgiving dinner regardless of the weather in our hometown of rainy Portland, Oregon. When my husband and I got married, my Dad even grilled a turkey that we served at our wedding reception. It was lovely, delicious, and very stylishly frugal.
Happy Father’s Day
Cooking on the barbeque is a tradition in my family and fortunately for me, my Dad taught my husband the intricacies of grilling turkeys and other foods. All 3 of my brothers are “grill masters” and my sister’s soon-to-be-husband is as well. They’ve each got a few barbeque and grilling tips to share in honor of Father’s Day.
My older brother, Ed, who lives in Zurich, Switzerland with his wife and 3 children had these tips:
“My most important tip is that the bird rules. Of course it does, however, what this means is that everyone else must be flexible. Guests should arrive in a bandwidth of time, and should just be prepared to be in a good mood and wait while enjoying one another´s company. And although the bird is ruling the most important ingredients are relaxed and happy guests, so everyone should just show up with a good mood, and then see how things develop. No timelines, please. Guten Appetit.”
My younger brother, Peter, who lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife and daughter had these tips:
“Actually grilling the bird needs more than one tip. Here are my top five.”
- Brine the bird for at least 48 hours. Put the frozen bird in a double-plastic bag of brine. It will thaw and keep the mix cold and take in the brine. I use Dan Gill’s Brine Recipe.
- Smoke the bird with hickory or apple chips (but not both) for 2-3 hours at low temp using mesquite. Then bring the temp up for the remaining 3-4 hours (time based on a 23 pound turkey, my forte’). I start at about 8am for the turkey to be done around 2:30pm. Then I tent it for about 20-30 minutes. I stuff it with onions, garlic, and oranges. The smoke will render the skin un-edible and after first coating it with olive oil before placement, should have a dark mahogany color.
- Always ask a guest to carve, as it keeps the party lively and that way, I can socialize. I never have a problem finding a guest, different every year, who is willing to carve.
- The smoke adds a level of flavor that mesquite alone cannot provide. While mesquite is good on its own, the smoke puts your meat above everyone else’s.
- We celebrate Thanksgiving in May as spring time is better weather than November and we can sit outside. We invite loads of people and do it pot-luck.
My youngest brother, Ted, and his wife also live in Bend, Oregon. They have two young kids. He had this to add to the grilling tips:
“One big rule for male hosts is to never neglect your guests socially. Handling too many duties opens the door for this to happen.”
My sister’s fiancee, Weston, who is marrying my sister, Mary, this August had these to add. Mary and Weston live in Anchorage, Alaska.
“Charcoal, charcoal, charcoal. It gives the meat or anything else you may be grilling a more robust flavor while leaving out that awful propane taste. Some may say it takes too long or is to messy but buy yourself a chimney for around $10 and your problems are solved.”
And, lastly, my favorite (and dare I say the best!) “Grill Master” of all, my husband, Brad, had these tips to include.
“Don’t stuff the turkey. Make the stuffing on the stove top and then bake that in the oven while the turkey is on the grill. Pile the coals to the sides of the grill and put the turkey in the middle (with a drip pan underneath). After that, don’t fuss with it and just add coals to the side piles every 45 minutes. Using a Weber, leave the top vents fully open and bottom vents about 1/2 way open. A 15lb turkey will easily be done in 3 hours or less.”
Thank you to all of the “Grill Masters” in my life for sharing their tips. Happy Father’s Day one and all!
Happy Father’s Day! How are you spending today?
Go Gingham related links:
Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey
Understanding your credit score by my brother, Peter
My husband’s super secret recipe homemade bbq sauce – it’s the best!
My Dad’s signature salad is here – tomato, cucumber and onion – yum!
A meal plan with my grilled burger tips is here
How to grill vegetables that are out of this world
Everyday love – about our recent wedding anniversary celebration