Category Archives: Grilling

Grilling and cooking ideas, advice, and ramblings.

How to Grill Asparagus The Broke Dad Way

grilling asparagus over charcoal or gas.
How to grill asparagus using The Broke Dad’s technique over a charcoal or gas grill.

I recently shared my technique for grilling the perfect steak and with perfect steak I have always felt a perfect vegetable to go along with it is asparagus and of course a big juicy baked potato.  My baked potato technique is covered here if you would like to try it.   The focus of today’s post is How to Grill Asparagus The Broke Dad Way.

grilling asparagus
Asparagus ready for the grill.

The first thing that is needed is the asparagus. I will always purchase my asparagus from a local farmer with the roadside stand if I am able to or if you are really blessed harvest it from your own garden. If not or it is to early or late in the season then the local grocery store will suffice. Purchase enough for your dinner and some extra, everyone will want seconds or thirds.  I have found that for a family of four two bundles of asparagus are needed.

Things you will need before you start:

  • Asparagus
  • Tin foil
  • Charcoal or Propane depending on your grilling style.
  • A good grilling tong or spatula.
  • A set of Ove Gloves or clean work gloves.
    • Ove Gloves can be found by typing in ove gloves on Google or Amazon and look for this:

      oveglovesfromamazon.jpg
      Ove Gloves from As Seen On TV fame must have tools for the backyard grill. Click on the Ove Gloves to get your own pair from Amazon.com
    • Large platter or cookie sheet.
    • Butter or Olive Oil
    • Salt and Pepper

Step 1 – Wash the asparagus well.

Step 2 – Snap the ends off of the asparagus.

  • The technique I use is to just grab the asparagus about half way up the stalk, softly bend the asparagus from the bottom (white colored end) until it snaps. The asparagus will snap in the right area on its own and you discard the white colored end, the rest is what you will be grilling.

Step 3 – Prepare the tinfoil.

  • Pull a length of tinfoil long enough to give you enough room to lay out all of the asparagus flat (it does not have to be perfect).
  • Don’t make it to long to fit on your grilling surface however. Sometimes I need to have a couple of pieces of tinfoil to get it all to fit.

    tinfoil ready to be seasoned before being grilled
    Asparagus lined up on tinfoil waiting to be seasoned.

Step 4 – Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil or cut up butter.

Step 5 – Sprinkle asparagus with salt and pepper to your preference.

Season asparagus to your preference
Salt and pepper asparagus to your liking.

Step 6 – Prepare your grill.  If you are using charcoal load up your charcoal chimney.

charcoalchimney.jpg
Another must have tool for the back yard grill master is the charcoal chimney. Click on the chimney to purchase your own from Amazon.com.

If you are unsure what a charcoal chimney is it looks like this and is probably the best tool for charcoal grilling that was ever invented.  I wrote a whole post covering the magnificent charcoal chimney. You can find that post by clicking this link.

I find that it takes about 30 minutes to get my coals nice and hot, you should wait until the coals at the top of your chimney look mostly white before you dump the coals onto your grill surface.

Be careful when dumping the coals, this is usually the step where I start dancing around on the deck because hot little ash and coals has found its way to my legs, feet, or arms. I grilling mit is highly recommended.

The amount of coals you use and how you spread them out on your grill is up to you and based on how many cobs of corn you are grilling.  As a guideline if I am grilling two to six cobs I use half a chimney worth of coals and I always grill directly over the coals with the grilling surface about 8 inches above the highest coal in the pile.  Once the coals are dumped out and positioned where you want them close the lid and let it heat up.

If grilling with a gas grill you can skip most of the above and just fire your burners up and close your lid and wait for it to get to a good starting temperature, I recommend at least 350 degrees.

kingsfordhickorysmokingchips.jpg
Hickory chips from the Kingsford charcoal company help add that extra smokey flavor to your backyard grill. Click on the bag of wood chips to purchase your own from Amazon.com.

Step 6.5 (Optional based on personal taste) – I like to toss a handful of damp wood chips on the coals at this point as well if you enjoy a nice smokey flavor to your corn. I will throw another handful on right before I put the corn on.

If grilling with a gas grill wrap a handful of damp wood chips in some tinfoil, poke some holes in it and place it on the grill as soon as you fire it up, give it plenty of time to heat up the wood chips and start them smoking before you put the asparagus on.

Asparagus being grilled
Asparagus on the grill.

Step 7 – Once the grill is heated up to at least 350 degrees and had time for the grill surface to heat up retrieve your tinfoil with the asparagus on it.

Be careful when moving the asparagus on the tin foil if you used olive oil, I have spilled olive oil a few times during the moving process, now I put it all on a cookie sheet for easy transport.

Place the tinfoil and asparagus on the grill and shut the lid.

Let cook for around 3 minutes.

Lift lid and use your tongs or spatula to gently turn the asparagus and shut the lid again.

Let cook for approximately 5 minutes.

Life the lid again and prepare to remove to tinfoil and the asparagus.

grilled asparagus done perfectly
Asparagus ready to be moved to the table for dinner.

Step 8 – Get your platter or cookie sheet ready nearby. Pull the asparagus off the grill using your Ove Gloves or work gloves and move them to the table.

Step 9 – Enjoy the most flavorful asparagus you can imagine.

Step 1 to 9 paraphrased:

  • Buy asparagus
  • Prepare asparagus using snapping method.
  • Prepare tinfoil and place asparagus upon it
  • Drizzle with oil or place butter on asparagus
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Start Grill
  • Grill asparagus 3 minutes
  • Turn asparagus
  • Grill other side for approximately 5 minutes
  • Pull off grill
  • Eat.

Hopefully you will find asparagus done this way as amazing as I do. If you are looking for another main dish to go along with your asparagus try my technique for grilling juicy, crispy chicken by clicking here.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas you want to share please feel free to contact me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you,

The Broke Dad

grilling asparagus
How to grill asparagus The Broke Dad Way

How To Grill Baked Potatoes In 5 Easy Steps – The Broke Dad Way

grilling potatoes guide
How to grill potatoes the easy way. Grilling The Broke Dad Way.

I have shared posts for grilling the perfect steak and grilling the perfect chicken in the past.  With perfect steak or chicken I have always felt a perfect vegetable to go along with it is corn on the cob and of course a BIG PERFECTLY GRILLED BAKED POTATO.  The corn on the cob is covered in another post which you can check out here.  will be covered in a future post. The focus of today’s post is how to grill amazing baked potatoes.

The first thing that is needed are the potatoes. I have never been overly picky about where I get my potatoes unless I am growing my own.  I generally choose mine based on what the price is and if you are hand picking them the most important thing is to try to find some that are about the same relative size so they all cook the same.

Purchase enough for your dinner and a few extra as they are good reheated or even sliced and fried up for breakfast the next morning. Just remember if you only have one grill to work with and you are grilling for a larger number of people potatoes take up a good amount of room on the grill surface.  If you are lucky enough to have more than one grill dedicate one of them just for the potatoes.

Things you will need before you start:

Olive oil makes a great coating for your potatoes before you grill them.
A coating of olive oil helps the seasoning stick and keeps your potato from drying out.
  • Tin foil
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Potatoes
  • Fork
  • Charcoal or Propane depending on your grilling style.
  • A good grilling tong or grabby thing like my kid calls it.
  • A set of Ove Gloves or clean work gloves (these will be used for shucking the corn afterwards).
    • Ove Gloves can be found by typing in ove gloves on Google or Amazon and look for this:

      oveglovesfromamazon.jpg
      Ove Gloves from As Seen On TV fame must have tools for the backyard grill. Click the Ove Gloves to purchase your own pair from Amazon.com
    • Large platter or cookie sheet.

 

Step 1 – Prepare your grill.  If you are using charcoal load up your charcoal chimney.

charcoalchimney.jpg
Another must have tool for the back yard grill master is the charcoal chimney.

If you are unsure what a charcoal chimney is it looks like this and is probably the best tool for charcoal grilling that was ever invented.  I wrote a whole post covering the magnificent charcoal chimney. You can find that post by clicking this link or purchase the charcoal chimney I use from Amazon.com by clicking here (if you purchase this chimney from my link I will receive a small payment from Amazon.com as an affiliate, this however does not affect the price you pay).

I find that it takes about 30 minutes to get my coals nice and hot, you should wait until the coals at the top of your chimney look mostly white before you dump the coals onto your grill surface.

Be careful when dumping the coals, this is usually the step where I start dancing around on the deck because hot little ash and coals has found its way to my legs, feet, or arms. I grilling mit is highly recommended.

The amount of coals you use and how you spread them out on your grill is up to you and based on what you are grilling and for how long.

As a guideline if I am grilling two to six potatoes I use half a chimney  or more worth of coals and I always grill directly over the coals with the grilling surface about 6 inches above the highest coal in the pile.  Once the coals are dumped out and positioned where you want them close the lid and let it heat up.

The Potato before prepared for grilling.
Baked potatoes The Broke Dad Way.

If grilling with a gas grill you can skip most of the above and just fire your burners up and close your lid and wait for it to get to a good starting temperature, I recommend at least 300 degrees.

kingsfordhickorysmokingchips.jpg
Hickory chips from the Kingsford charcoal company help add that extra smokey flavor to your backyard grill. Need some wood chips, click the Kingsford bag to purchase from Amazon.com.

Step 1.5 (Optional based on personal taste) – I like to toss a handful of damp wood chips on the coals at this point as well if you enjoy a nice smokey flavor to your potatoes.  I will throw another handful on right before I put the potatoes on.  Even though we will be wrapping the potatoes in tinfoil the smokey flavor is still able to penetrate the potatoes.

If grilling with a gas grill wrap a handful of damp wood chips in some tinfoil, poke some holes in it and place it on the grill as soon as you fire it up, give it plenty of time to heat up the wood chips and start them smoking before you put the potatoes on.

Step 2 – Prepare the Potatoes

Baked potato being prepared for the grill
Place potato on tin foil and get ready to prepare for grilling.
  • Tin foil – Rip off enough sheets of tin foil to wrap each potato individually. Generally an 8″ x 8″ piece will do.
  • Fork – Punch holes in potatoes with a fork. Generally 3 or 4 punctures on each side is plenty. This step is optional, the potatoes will still cook fine without the holes but I feel the holes just allow the smokey flavor to get into the potato more.
  • Olive Oil – Rub potatoes down with oil, making sure the entire potato is completely covered with oil. This not only helps the potato not dry out while it cooks but it also helps the seasoning stick.
  • Kosher salt and pepper – Cover one side of the potato with salt and pepper, turn over and do the same on the opposite side.
  • More Olive Oil – Add another splash of oil on the foil next to the potato.
  • Wrap – Wrap in tin foil making sure to cover the entire potato and not allow the oil to escape.

Step 3 – Once the grill is heated up to at least 300 degrees and there has been time for the grill surface to heat up go retrieve your potatoes.

Be prepared to move quickly, the quicker you are the less heat you will lose, just don’t forget that second handful of wood chips if you opted for that and get those potatoes on the hot grill and shut the lid.

Grilling potatoes to get a wonderful smokey flavor
Grilling and smoking potatoes.

Let them cook for 30 minutes.  Open the lid and turn them over using the tongs or the Ove Gloves if you have those.  Let them cook for another 30 minutes.

Step 4 – Get your platter or cookie sheet ready nearby.  Pull the potatoes off the grill using your Ove Gloves or work gloves and unwrap them right away if the rest of your food is ready.

Potatoes wrapped in tin foil and cooking on the grill.

If you have a little time before the rest of your food is done leave them wrapped and your potato will stay nice and hot until you are ready to eat.

Once they are off the grill, unwrapped, and on a platter bring them to the table and prepare to add the butter than salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5 – Enjoy the tastiest potato you can imagine. If you want to try it the way I like it top it with cottage cheese.

Step 1 to 5 paraphrased:

  • Buy potatoes
  • Prepare the Grill
  • Prepare the Potatoes
    • Foil
    • Fork
    • Oil
    • Season
    • Oil again
    • Wrap
  • Grill potatoes for 30 minutes
  • Turn potatoes
  • Grill other side for 30 minutes
  • Pull off grill and unwrap
  • Butter and season to taste
  • Eat


Hopefully you will find baked potatoes done this way as amazing as I do.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas you want to share please feel free to contact me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you,

The Broke Dad

Grilling potatoes in 5 easy steps
How To Grill Baked Potatoes in 5 Easy Steps

Grilling Chicken That’s Juicy, Smokey, and Crispy – A Simple 10 Step Guide – The Broke Dad Way

Crispy, juicy, and smokey flavored chicken grilled perfectly in 10 simple steps.
Grilling Chicken The Broke Dad Way

I recently shared my technique for grilling corn on the cob and with grilled corn on the cob I have always felt a perfect pairing is juicy crisp smokey grilled chicken and a baked potato. I will be covering how to grill baked potatoes in  a future post.  The focus of today’s post is how to grill chicken that is juicy, falls off the bone, and has a nice crispy skin.

The first thing that is needed is the chicken. I raise my own chickens so finding a nice big chicken is not an issue for me but if you are not so lucky I would suggest purchasing a chicken from a local specialty meat shop or farmer just for the fact that you will get a much tastier and much more juicy end product this way.  This recipe will work with any chicken however.

I piece up my chicken most of the time but this technique will work with a whole chicken as well with a little adjustment to the cooking times.

Purchase enough chicken for your dinner and a few extra, everyone will want seconds or thirds. Just remember if you only have one grill to work with a whole chicken takes up a lot of space on the grill surface.  If you are lucky enough to have more than one grill dedicate one of them just for the chicken.

Things you will need before you start:

  • Chicken
  • Charcoal or Propane depending on your grilling style. If using a gas grill you will have to have one with at least 2 separate burners.
  • A good grilling tong or grabby thing like my kid calls it.
  • A set of Ove Gloves or clean work gloves.
    • Ove Gloves can be found by typing in ove gloves on Google or Amazon and look for this:

      oveglovesfromamazon.jpg
      Ove Gloves from As Seen On TV fame must have tools for the backyard grill. Click on the Ove Gloves to purchase a pair directly from Amazon.com
    • Large platter or cookie sheet.
    • Spices (as listed below)
      spices needed for dry rub on chicken.
      Dry rub spices for grilled chicken.
      • Kosher salt – 1 teaspoon
      • Smoked paprika (or regular if you don’t have smoked) – 1 teaspoon
      • Garlic powder – 2 teaspoons
      • Black pepper – 1 teaspoon
      • Crushed red pepper flakes – 1/2 teaspoon
      • Cajun seasoning – 1 teaspoon
      • Italian seasoning – 1 Tablespoon
      • Brown sugar – 2 Tablespoons

 

 

Step 1 – Thaw the  chicken if frozen. Rinse with fresh water do not dry too much but if saturated pat dry. Want to leave damp enough to hold dry rub to skin.

Step 2 – Prepare dry rub by mixing the above listed spices together in a bowl.

dry rub ready to be applied to both sides of the chicken
Spices mixed together and ready to apply to the chicken.

If doing more than one chicken it may be necessary to add more spices, the amount I have listed is just enough to completely cover one chicken.

Step 3 – Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with kosher salt. This is separate from the kosher salt you mix in with the dry rub. Sprinkle just enough to lightly cover each piece of chicken. I like to pat it down with a spoon to help it stick.

Kosher salt is a perfect dry-rub base
Sprinkle both sides of chicken with Kosher salt.

Step 4 – Apply the dry rub to both sides of each piece of chicken (or to the entire chicken including the inside cavity if doing a whole chicken).

Dry-rub for the perfect grilled chicken
Cover the chicken with the dry-rub on both sides.

Step 5 – Place the chicken in the refrigerator for at least an hour but  the longer the better, I have let mine sit overnight if I have the time or foresight to prepare that far ahead of time.

Step 6 – (Optional Step) I have surplus of wood on my property and always have at least one pile of brush somewhere on my land that needs to be burned. Rather then let it go to waste I use it for my grill.

Save money by making your own coals burning scrap wood in a fire pit.
Burn down your own wood to make hot coals for your grill in a backyard fire pit. Mine is pictured here but you can purchase your own from Amazon.com by clicking on the photo.

I start a fire in the fire pit and keep adding brush and wood until it has burned down to coals. I transfer these coals and a few pieces of partially burned sticks to my grill and lay them over the top of my charcoal. I have no proof this makes my food taste better but I always feel like I get a much nicer flavor from my food when I do this. It is a little time-consuming but it has the benefit of using up the extra brush I have collected while doing yard work and it also helps me save money on buying coal.  If you don’t have the luxury of your own unending supply of wood and brush skip this step and go right to step 7.

 

Step 7 – Prepare your grill.  If you are using charcoal load up your charcoal chimney.

charcoalchimney.jpg
Another must have tool for the back yard grill master is the charcoal chimney.

If you are unsure what a charcoal chimney is it looks like this and is probably the best tool for charcoal grilling that was ever invented.  I wrote a whole post covering the magnificent charcoal chimney. You can find that post by clicking this link or purchase the charcoal chimney I use from Amazon.com by clicking here (if you purchase this chimney from my link I will receive a small payment from Amazon.com as an affiliate, this however does not affect the price you pay).

I find that it takes about 30 minutes to get my coals nice and hot, you should wait until the coals at the top of your chimney look mostly white before you dump the coals onto your grill surface.

Be careful when dumping the coals, this is usually the step where I start dancing around on the deck because hot little ash and coals has found its way to my legs, feet, or arms. I grilling mit is highly recommended.

The amount of coals you use will be based on the size of your grill and how many pieces of chicken you are grilling.  As a guideline if I am grilling chicken I will fill my charcoal chimney all the way to the top and then heap it just a bit.

While the coals are heating up I will lay down a layer of cold coals right on the grill itself and when my coals in the chimney are hot I will dump them right on top of the cold coals I have spread out in the grill.  You can also add coals to the top of the hot coals once they are dumped out, just be sure you are wearing your Ove gloves so as not to burn yourself.

Grilling chicken with indirect heat, perfect coal placement.
Lay coals down on either side of your grill with a cool spot in the middle to place a roasting pan with water.

Spread your coals out on each side of the grill leaving a space in the center with no coals on it. This space is where you will place your cast iron pan or roasting pan with water in it. It is important to have this pan with the water as it keeps the inside of your grill moist which in turns helps keep your chicken from drying out.

If grilling with a gas grill you can skip most of the above and just fire your burners up and close your lid and wait for it to get to a good starting temperature, I recommend at least 300 degrees.  If using a two burner gas grill only start-up one burner, the chicken will go on the cooler side of the grill. If using 3 or more burners start-up the burners on either side of the grill leaving a cooler spot right in center of your grill to place the chicken on. Place a roasting pan or even just  tin can of water in the grill to help keep things moist.

Step 7.5 (Optional based on personal taste but highly recommended) – I like to toss a handful of damp wood chips on the coals at this point as well if you enjoy a nice smokey flavor to your chicken. I will throw another handful on right before I put the chicken on.

I am lucky enough to have a neighbor with apple trees so I have a pile of apple wood branches that I will use, I lay the branches right on the coals before I put the cooking grill and chicken on. Just  make sure to soak the branches with water first.

Apple wood or hickory branches create a very flavorful smoke for the grill.
Use apple wood, hickory, or any other flavorful wood to get a nice smokey flavor.

If grilling with a gas grill wrap a handful of damp wood chips in some tinfoil, poke some holes in it and place it on the grill as soon as you fire it up, give it plenty of time to heat up the wood chips and start them smoking before you put the chicken on.

Step 8 – Once the grill is heated up to at least 300 degrees and had time for the grill surface to heat up retrieve your chicken.  Be prepared to move quickly, the quicker you are the less heat you will lose, just don’t forget that second handful of wood chips if you opted for that and get the chicken on the hot grill and shut the lid. Smaller pieces in the center and biggest pieces closer to the coals.

Proper placement of chicken on the grill is important.
Small pieces of chicken in the center and bigger pieces towards the out edges.

Let them cook for 30 minutes.  Open the lid and turn them over using the tongs or the Ove Gloves if you have those.

Let them cook for another 30 minutes.

I have never had a chicken not be done after an hour but for safety reasons it should be checked with a thermometer to make sure it has reached at least 165 degrees.

If doing a whole chicken no need to turn it if using the charcoal method, just let it cook for at least an hour and after that check it with a meat thermometer until the biggest part of the breast is to at least 165 degrees. I would check it every 10 or 15 minutes after the initial hour.

If using a two burner gas grill a whole chicken will need to be turned after 30 minutes to help keep the temperature even and cook properly.

Step 9 – Get your platter or cookie sheet ready nearby. Pull the chicken off the grill using your Ove Gloves, work gloves, or tongs and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving to give the meat time to breath which aids in it retaining its juices.

The perfect grilled chicken
A crispy yet juicy finished product. Make sure to let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Step 10 – Enjoy the most flavorful chicken you can imagine.

SEE PAGE 2 FOR A SUMMARY

Charcoal Chimneys – A Quick and Simple Guide

Charcoal Chimneys guide
The Plain and Simple Guide to Charcoal Chimneys

Charcoal chimneys are probably one of the best tools for grillers, cast iron cookers, and outdoor cooking enthusiasts that has ever been invented.  I discovered charcoal chimneys many years ago when I was first getting into cooking with cast iron ovens, I always needed hot coals that were even in size and shape in order to get a nice even temperature out of my cast iron and one of the tricks I was taught was to use a charcoal chimney.

I am not an engineer nor have I ever claimed to be overly intelligent but what I have gathered from reading other posts and just applying things I have learned about making campfires is that the reason a charcoal chimney works so well is that it creates a natural wind tunnel like effect which adds increased oxygen to the coals making them burn better.  Oxygen, heat, and fuel are the components of fire, you can’t have a fire unless you have those three things working in unison

.fire-triangle.jpg.jpg

You increase the oxygen and you increase the heat as long as you have enough fuel. Charcoal is the fuel in this case.

The Broke Dad's charcoal chimney. Note the holes at the bottom, the handle, and the vestibule to hold the coals.
The Broke Dad’s charcoal chimney. Note the holes at the bottom, the handle, and the vestibule to hold the coals.

A charcoal chimney is designed to have an open space underneath where you start your fire, a vestibule to hold your coals, and some air holes placed strategically which helps the air flow. When you start the fire at the bottom with twigs and paper the heat from those burning starts the coals above it on fire. The heat from this fire draws air into the chimney from the holes at the bottom and the air goes up through the rest of the coals, eventually carrying the fire with it. In a relatively short period of time you have a charcoal chimney full of hot coals.

The benefit of a charcoal chimney:

  • Saves on coals, takes much less coal to make a good hot fire then if you did it without a chimney.
  • Reduces the time you have to wait for hot coals. The chimney heats the coals much faster then if you did not use one.
  • Eliminates the need for lighter fluid. I have not used lighter fluid once since I discovered charcoal chimneys. This in turn eliminates the fuel taste some people complain about when using lighter fluid. It also saves money by not having to purchase extra things like lighter fluids.
  • Eliminates the need to purchase special “easy light” charcoal. With a chimney I can get a great fire going using any charcoal though I still prefer Kingsford.
  • Reduces stress and makes the Grill Master of the family much more pleasant to be around.
  • Is fun to use.

I received my current charcoal chimney as a gift and have had it for something like 8 years now. It really is a one time purchase item and will last a very long time. Mine is starting to get a bit rusty now after so many years and the handle gets loose now and then but other than that it still works perfectly. I have seen charcoal chimneys selling new for any where between $10 and $35, it all depends on personal preference on which one to purchase but here is a link to the one I use and love you can go to directly by clicking this red link (this is an affiliate link but cost you no extra to buy from my link and it is a product I have purchased and used for many years and can stand by its quality and effectiveness).

If you are dealing with a tight budget or just like the idea of repurposing I built my very first charcoal chimney out of an old coffee can and chicken wire.  I cut the bottom off of an old coffee can, wrapped the can in chicken wire, cut a hole at the top and bent the extra wire down inside so it made it open at the top and closed with wire at the bottom. This would allow air to flow through but not let the coals drop out the bottom. I then drilled a few holes all along the bottom rim of the coffee can to encourage more air flow. I propped the can on rocks or whatever I had on hand to allow me to start a fire under the can. It worked well for the first year, not ideal but better than not having a charcoal chimney. The biggest issue I had with it was I always had to have some heavy-duty oven mitts nearby in order to pick it up and dump out the coals as it had no handle. So if you are thinking about building your own, I recommend adding some type of handle to it.  If I get time I will build another one and do an update to this post with a video of how I did it.

I did make a video on a trick I use to make using my current charcoal chimney even easier to use when setting it up for use. It involves kindling, some type of paper, and a larger (then kindling) stick. These are the three things I use to start a fire under my charcoal chimney to get the coals going. Watch my video below to see how I do it:

(One thing I did wrong on my video is I put the paper in first, it works better if you put the kindling in first and then the paper, but it will work either way).

charcoalchimneycomponents.jpg
Charcoal chimney and the components needed to get it going. Paper, kindling, and a bigger stick (optional).

Once you get the kindling and paper in place turn your charcoal chimney over and fill it with the desired amount of coals. I usually just fill it up regardless of what I am grilling, then I compensate by moving the coals around my grill to get my temperatures right. If you feel you need more coals than what the chimney holds you can put cold coals down and dump the hot ones right on top, or if you have a good pair of gloves or don’t mind the head you can put cold coals right on top of the hot ones, but that is not as safe so be careful.

Another thing that I like to do when using my charcoal chimney if I want to conserve the amount of charcoal I use, I will fill the bottom of my chimney with the old coals from my last grilling session. Depending on what I was grilling the last time I used my grill I will have enough unburned coals left in the grill to fill about a quarter of my chimney. Sometimes I will fill the bottom of my chimney with chunks of wood even.  Both of these methods have worked very well for me and helps a bag of charcoal last a long time.

Charcoal chimney getting the coals nice and hot.
Charcoal chimney getting the coals nice and hot.

Hope this post helps those who read it understand charcoal chimneys better and hopefully my tips and tricks will help you have a more enjoyable grilling experience and maybe even save some money in the end.

If you don’t already own a charcoal chimney and would like the one that I use you can purchase it from Amazon.com by clicking below. There are more expensive models available and cheaper models available but this is the one I use and I know it works well and stands the test of time (this is an affiliate link but it does not affect the price you pay for the product, just helps me earn a little to help keep my blog running):

 

As always I welcome comments, questions, or even critiques on my posts. If you enjoyed what I have shared please take the time and join my blog, I would love to have you as a follower.

Thanks,

The Broke Dad

Looking for some ideas on what to grill for dinner?  Check out one of my other posts below:

Grilling Corn on the Cob

Grilling Steak

Charcoal chimney how to guide
Charcoal chimney guide The Broke Dad Way.

Grilling Corn on the Cob – The Broke Dad Way

how to grill corn on the cob. grilling corn on the cob The Broke Dad Way
Grilling corn on the cob The Broke Dad Way

I recently shared my technique for grilling the perfect steak and with perfect steak I have always felt a perfect vegetable to go along with it is corn on the cob and of course a big juicy baked potato. The baked potato will be covered in a future post. The focus of today’s post is how to grill amazing corn on the cob.

The corn field full of corn on the cob waiting to be grilled.

The first thing that is needed is the corn. I will always purchase my corn on the cob from a local farmer with the roadside stand if I am able to. If not then the local grocery store will suffice. Purchase enough for your dinner and a few extra, everyone will want seconds or thirds. Just remember if you only have one grill to work with corn on the cob takes up a lot of real estate on the grill surface. If you are lucky enough to have more than one grill dedicate one of them just for corn.

Things you will need before you start:

  • A 5 gallon bucket or a big cooler
  • Fresh Water
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Charcoal or Propane depending on your grilling style.
  • A good grilling tong or grabby thing like my kid calls it.
  • A set of Ove Gloves or clean work gloves (these will be used for shucking the corn afterwards).
    • Ove Gloves can be found by typing in ove gloves on Google or Amazon and look for this:

      oveglovesfromamazon.jpg
      Ove Gloves from As Seen On TV fame must have tools for the backyard grill. Click on the Ove Gloves to get your own pair from Amazon.com
    • Large platter or cookie sheet.
    • Butter
    • Salt and Pepper

Step 1 – Take the bucket or large cooler and fill it with the Corn on the Cob, do not remove the husks.

My uncle who taught me this likes to peel back the husks and remove the silk and then put the husks back over the corn. I prefer to leave it all intact as I feel it holds more of the moisture inside which is important to the grilling process.

Fill the bucket or cooler with cold water after all the corn is in it. Put it in a shady place to sit for at least an hour, a few hours is better. Once or twice go out and dunk the corn to make sure all if it is soaking evenly.

Step 2 – Prepare your grill.  If you are using charcoal load up your charcoal chimney.

charcoalchimney.jpg
Another must have tool for the back yard grill master is the charcoal chimney. Click on the chimney to purchase your own from Amazon.com.

If you are unsure what a charcoal chimney is it looks like this and is probably the best tool for charcoal grilling that was ever invented.  I wrote a whole post covering the magnificent charcoal chimney. You can find that post by clicking this link.

I find that it takes about 30 minutes to get my coals nice and hot, you should wait until the coals at the top of your chimney look mostly white before you dump the coals onto your grill surface.

Be careful when dumping the coals, this is usually the step where I start dancing around on the deck because hot little ash and coals has found its way to my legs, feet, or arms. I grilling mit is highly recommended.

The amount of coals you use and how you spread them out on your grill is up to you and based on how many cobs of corn you are grilling.  As a guideline if I am grilling two to six cobs I use half a chimney worth of coals and I always grill directly over the coals with the grilling surface about 8 inches above the highest coal in the pile.  Once the coals are dumped out and positioned where you want them close the lid and let it heat up.

If grilling with a gas grill you can skip most of the above and just fire your burners up and close your lid and wait for it to get to a good starting temperature, I recommend at least 350 degrees.

kingsfordhickorysmokingchips.jpg
Hickory chips from the Kingsford charcoal company help add that extra smokey flavor to your backyard grill. Click on the bag of wood chips to purchase your own from Amazon.com.

Step 2.5 (Optional based on personal taste) – I like to toss a handful of damp wood chips on the coals at this point as well if you enjoy a nice smokey flavor to your corn. I will throw another handful on right before I put the corn on.

If grilling with a gas grill wrap a handful of damp wood chips in some tinfoil, poke some holes in it and place it on the grill as soon as you fire it up, give it plenty of time to heat up the wood chips and start them smoking before you put the corn on.

Step 3 – Once the grill is heated up to at least 350 degrees and had time for the grill surface to heat up retrieve your bucket or cooler of corn. Be prepared to move quickly, the quicker you are the less heat you will lose, just don’t forget that second handful of woodchips if you opted for that and get those cobs on the hot grill and shut the lid. You don’t need to dry them off or let the water drip out at all, the more moisture the better. Let them cook for 20 minutes.  Open the lid and turn them over using the tongs or the Ove Gloves if you have those.  Let them cook for another 20 minutes.

Step 4 – Get your platter or cookie sheet ready nearby. Pull the corn off the grill using your Ove Gloves or work gloves and shuck them right away if the rest of your food is ready. If you have a little time before the rest of your food is done leave them in the husks and the corn will stay nice and hot until you are ready to eat. Once they are off the grill, shucked, and on a platter bring them to the table and prepare to add the butter than salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5 – Enjoy the most juicy and flavorful corn you can imagine.

 

Step 1 to 5 paraphrased:

  • Buy Corn
  • Soak corn in water for 1 hour or more
  • Start Grill
  • Grill Corn 20 minutes
  • Turn Corn
  • Grill other side for 20 minutes
  • Pull off grill and shuck
  • Eat.

Hopefully you will find corn on the cob done this way as amazing as I do. If you are looking for the perfect main dish to go along with your corn try my technique for grilling juicy, crispy chicken by clicking here.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas you want to share please feel free to contact me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you,

The Broke Dad

grilling corn, corn on the cob The Broke Dad Way
How to grill perfect corn on the cob The Broke Dad Way.

How To Grill The Perfect Steak – The Broke Dad Way

grilling steak The Broke Dad Way. How to grill the perfect steak.
How to grill the perfect steak over a charcoal or gas grill.

I love to grill. I grill any chance I get. This is how I grill the perfect steak each and every time I fire up my grill.

I prefer to grill with charcoal over gas and I always start my coals using a grill chimney or grill stack rather than starter fluid.

I love steak. I grill steak any chance I get. I prefer steak over any other food option if given the choice. I rarely get steak due to living on a tight budget so when I do get steak to grill I want it to be better than perfect.

How does one grill the perfect steak? You grill it The Broke Dad Way of course.  My secrets are found below.  Now I can not take credit for inventing my recipe for the perfect steak as I acquired it by reading others blogs and books and then over many years taking a little bit of what each had to share and then mixing in my own knowledge in order to come up with what I think is the perfect recipe for grilled steak.

First thing first. This recipe will work with any steak, but to really get 100% out of the steak and this recipe I recommend you get a steak that is at least an inch and a half thick. Thickness matters in steak and it makes a difference in the grilling times I am going to share. So keep that in mind, all my times I am sharing are based on an inch and a half thickness. I you get thicker steaks then that increase the times, if you get thinner steaks decrease the time.

Step 1 – Pre-season or dry rub your steak. This is not a scary step, it is actually very simple and easy.  Take some kosher salt and sprinkle it over one side of your steak, I then like to tap it down or rub it in using a spoon.  You can use your hands, a fork, whatever is handy, I just feel it sticks better if you rub it in with something. Flip your steak over and do the exact same thing on the other side.

Step 2 – Let them sit. Take your coated steaks and place them on a plate or platter and place them in the refrigerator or cooler if your camping and let them sit for at least an hour. I have let them sit for up to 12 hours like this. I am not sure it does anything more or not to let them sit longer, but it has never hurt them.

Step 3 – Pull steaks out of the fridge and put on the counter to warm to room temperature.  I have read more than once over the years that letting your steaks warm before you grill them produces a much more flavorful and juicy steak, a much tastier crust, and a more even cooking temperature. I am not a chef or a scientist but I have been doing this for years and my steaks are always amazing so I am a believer in this train of thought. This is a good time to add the seasonings of your choice, I prefer just salt and pepper, not much more salt however, remember they were already salted prior.  Move right into Step 4.

Step 4 – Prepare your grill.  If you are using charcoal load up your charcoal chimney.

charcoalchimney.jpg
Charcoal chimney used to get coals to cooking temperature easily, quickly, and evenly with little effort.

If you are unsure what a charcoal chimney is it looks like this and is probably the best tool for charcoal grilling that was ever invented.  I wrote a whole post covering the magnificent charcoal chimney. You can find that post by clicking this link or purchase the charcoal chimney I use from Amazon.com by clicking here (if you purchase this chimney from my link I will receive a small payment from Amazon.com as an affiliate, this however does not affect the price you pay).

I find that it takes about 30 minutes to get my coals nice and hot, you should wait until the coals at the top of your chimney look mostly white before you dump the coals onto your grill surface.

Be careful when dumping the coals, this is usually the step where I start dancing around on the deck because hot little ash and coals has found its way to my legs, feet, or arms. I grilling mit is highly recommended.

The amount of coals you use and how you spread them out on your grill is up to you and based on how many steaks you are grilling at once.  As a guideline if I am grilling two steaks I use half a chimney  worth of coals and I always grill directly over the grills with the grilling surface about 8 inches above the highest coal in the pile.  Once the coals are dumped out and positioned where you want them close the lid and let it heat up.

If grilling with a gas grill you can skip most of the above and just fire your burners up and close your lid and wait for it to get to a good starting temperature, I recommend at least 325 degrees. I generally grill between 325 and 350 degrees.

Step 4.5 (Optional based on personal taste) – I like to toss a handful of damp wood chips on the coals at this point as well if you enjoy a nice smokey flavor to your steaks. I will throw another handful on right before I put the steaks on.

If grilling with a gas grill wrap a handful of damp wood chips in some tinfoil, poke some holes in it and place it on the grill as soon as you fire it up, give it plenty of time to heat up the wood chips and start them smoking before you put the steaks on.

Step 5 – Once the grill is heated up to at least 350 degrees and had time for the grill surface to heat up retrieve your steaks. Be prepared to move quickly, the quicker you are the less heat you will lose, just don’t forget that second handful of wood chips if you opted for that and get those steaks on the hot grill and shut the lid. Let them sizzle for about a minute. Open the lid and flip them over. This initial minute helps seal in the flavor and juices I was told at some point in my life. It has worked well for me so I stick to it.  Once two minutes goes by open the lid, rotate the steaks a half a turn and close the lid again.  DO NOT poke, puncture, push on, squeeze, or any other unnecessary touching of your steak, just a quick rotate and shut the lid. Speed is a good to keep the temperature up and the smoke in, but don’t go so fast you are not being safe. Safety first. Once another two minutes has passed, open the lid again and flip your steaks and shut the lid still following the above no necessary touching rule. two minutes more, open lid and rotate and shut lid. Two minutes more and your ready to pull you steaks off the grill. Once they are off the grill and on a platter put them in a safe spot to breath for at least 5 minutes and up to 15 minutes. This gives you time to get other things ready and secure the grill (turn of your gas if you are using a gas grill).

So to paraphrase the above Step 5:

  • Grill heated to between 325 and 350 degrees.
  • Handfull of damp wood chips. Wait for them to start smoking.
  • Steak on grill for 1 minute then flip. Shut lid.
  • Grill 2 minutes, rotate 1/2 turn. Shut lid.
  • Grill 2 minutes, flip. Shut lid.
  • Grill 2 minutes, rotate 1/2 turn. Shut lid.
  • Grill 2 minutes, pull from grill.
perfectlygrilledsteakonthecharcoalgrill.jpg
Perfectly done bacon wrapped sirloin steak on the charcoal grill in our backyard.

You should end up with something similar to what is pictured in the photo above.

Step 6: Go enjoy an amazing steak and much praise from family and friends.  Don’t forget to tell them where you learned how to grill the perfect steak The Broke Dad Way.

Grilling steak the broke dad way with charcoal.
How to grill the perfect steak The Broke Dad Way