Saturday, July 19, 2014

How Do Grill Vents Work? Should They Be Opened Or Closed?

For years now I've been asked over an over about the vents on grills and how best to use them.  So much so that I've decided to place a post on what the vents are for and whether they should be opened or closed during grilling.  See our website for even for details as well as access to our great line up of products Jake's BBQ Sauces and Condiments

When cooking your most famous bbq meal managing air circulation is extremely important in keeping the charcoals burning. Even the largest pieces of food can be cooked just the way you like, because you control the fire temperature by opening and closing the top and bottom vents. If the food is cooking too fast, lower the heat by closing the vents a bit. To raise the heat, open the vents to let in more air. While preheating the grill, keep the bottom vents open to help start the fire. Many charcoal grills are equipped with a lever that can be pushed to sweep the bottom vents clear of ashes, which should be done occasionally throughout the cooking period. When you're finished cooking, close the vents completely to snuff out the fire (do not pour water into the grill).

With a gas grill, leave the lid closed at all times in order to maintain temperature. Gas grills work best with the lid closed during cooking, so that the heat circulates around the food. 

Keep in mind that a windy day will make a charcoal grill a bit hotter (because it will oxygenate the coals), while a gas grill will run slightly cooler. Choosing a location that's sheltered from strong winds can help maintain grill temperature.

When cooking when is the best time to open the grill vents?  Typically, the grill vents should be opened soon after the lid has been removed and the charcoals have reached their desired cooking temperature.  Opening the vents allows air circulation which draws air through the bottom vents of the grill across the coals onto the meat and with heat rising upward through the top of the barbecue.  With meats that are thicker and that require more time you want to sustain the heat levels necessary to cook the meat.  A good idea is to leave the vents open between 1/4 and 1/2 of their total opening area. This will provide a reasonable amount of air necessary to retain the charcoals while they cook the meat without burning through the coals too quickly.  For meats that can be grilled quickly and thus require a higher amount of heat open the vents wide open keeping in mind that charcoal will be burned at a higher rate and may require additional charcoal if more items are to be cooked later.  

Always check to see that the vents are open on the bottom and top of the grill when using charcoal.  If using gas keep the vents open just after lighting the grill then adjust the vents downward once the grill reaches desired temperature.  

Mastering the vents can be done in 1-2 grill sessions but once you figure it out you'll find out how much fun it can be to perfectly adjust the vents for just the right grilling temperature.   

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Making a Great 4th Of July With Excellent BBQ Recipes

The 4th of July is a special time for these United States.  And while we’re gathering with our friends and family we want to make sure that we thank all those who placed themselves in harm’s way for our freedoms.  So take a second to thank our fallen and also be sure to thank the military on this day. 
In addition to thanking our military we’ve put together a couple of honest to goodness recipes that almost any weekend barbecuer can use to make their day special.  We’ve laid down our easiest rib recipe along with a great chicken recipe and of course an easy to make drink recipe.  For over 100 additional recipes see our website at and go directly to the recipes section.

Lee’s Lazy Man BBQ Rib Recipe:
This is a simple recipe for cooking barbecue ribs.  The best part is that it works every time and doesn't take much effort at all. All you need is a stove that can cook at 425 degrees, country style bbq baby back ribs, and about 4-1/2 hours of cooking time.  Once everything is cooking I prepare potato salad and cut corn as sides.

Start with Country Style BBQ Pork Ribs and follow these steps.
Clean and trim off any excess fat if necessary.
Peel off the thin membrane on the back of the ribs.
Generously sprinkle on some of Jake's Tri-Tip Rub Barbecue Seasoning 
Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
Place rib in deep well cooking pan big enough to fit all the ribs.
Place pan in oven and let the ribs cook for 1 hour.
Then turn oven down to 325 degrees and let cook for 2-1/2 hours.
Remove from the oven and brush with Jake's BBQ Southern Style Original , Texas Medium or Really Hot BBQ Sauce whichever you desire.
Turn the oven up to 350 degrees.
Place the BBQ ribs back in the oven for 30 more minutes. 
Remove from the oven, let sit for 2 minutes


Barbecued Chicken Thighs

A simple barbecue chicken recipe that is can be used again and again......

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt

Remove chicken skin, if desired. In a small mixing bowl combine paprika, turmeric, and salt; rub over the chicken.

Grill barbecue chicken on an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 20 minutes. Turn chicken; grill for 15 to 20 minutes more or until barbecue chicken is tender and no longer pink. (Or, place barbecue chicken on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from the heat for 28 to 32 minutes, turning once.) Brush with Jake's Mild Barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of grilling or broiling. 


Add Ons:   Thread chunks of red sweet pepper, barbecue corn on the cob, and zucchini on skewers for a quick partner to grill with the barbecue chicken thighs.
This barbecue chicken thigh recipe will be a barbecue recipe that will delight your family and fellow barbecue chicken recipe grill thighs lovers everywhere.

Recipe: Cranberry Iced Tea
4 Cups of Cranberry Juice
1 Cup of Pomegranate Juice
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
8 Cups of Sweetened Tea
2 Lemons Juiced
2 Limes Juiced
10 Fresh mint leaves

Take the lemon and lime juices with the brown sugar and mix together thoroughly. Add a few slices of mint leaves to the juices. Afterward add the sweet tea, pomegranate juice and cranberry juice and mix well.

Pour into container and chill or serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint.


How to Clean Pork BBQ Ribs

Clean ribs is a primary requirement prior to barbecue.  But before you add dry rubs, marinades and seasoning, we'll need to spend some t...