To continue our discussion of using the grill outdoors (and indoors if you have one) I would offer a few tips. To get professional results you will need a hot fire. I have mentioned before that I prefer natural lump charcoal because it is hot. There are several things you will need to be aware of when using a hot fire to cook directly over, like; use leaner cuts of meat, don’t use marinade that have lots of oil in them or do your best to dry the meat before putting them on the grill, and cut your meat into small pieces like kabobs. The smaller pieces allows the meat to cook quickly so the outside does not burn before the inside is done to your liking. This does present a problem that anyone who has tried to turn lots of little pieces of meat over a very hot fire, it tends to remove all of the hair from your hands and forearms and make you sweat heavily. This is not a good look if you are entertaining.
The solution is simple and very old…skewer your meat. It makes the meat very easy to handle on the grill and also makes for a nice portioned presentation. In the restaurant we used bamboo…the problem with that was we had to soak them in water first and more often than not they burned which left us using tongs to turn individual pieces again…not good. A few years ago I convinced my wife to let me get stainless steel skewers which worked reasonably well for many applications but I always had trouble on my little Weber kettle grill until last week.
I discovered the most amazing advance in skewering and I am rather upset that I did not think of it. It is called FireWire. It is a flexible stainless steel wire for skewering meat. At this point I have to acknowledge that I was provided a complimentary pair of this product to test. When I got it I was instantly excited to try it out. The manufacturer suggests skewering the meat and marinating right on the skewer, I thought that the pointed end would surely puncture the bag. On further examination the point wasn’t that sharp so then I thought it would be hard to get the meat on the wire…wrong again! So I put chicken and boneless country style spare ribs on the skewer and put the skewered meat and the marinade (in this case I used the brine that we posted last week) in a bag for several hours. When I got home I couldn’t wait to see the results, I was sure there would be a hole in the bag…Wrong! I immediately got the grill ready and started grilling. I have to say first that the wires hold a lot more food than my other skewers and that because they are flexible I could easily put 2 FireWires on the grill at once. I was concerned that with all of that food on each wire they would be unwieldy but I found several ways to handle them easily and the food came out great. Oh and by the way I was completely correct about the flavor of the marinade playing with the aroma of the wood smoke. It was nirvana.
The next day I put them to the ultimate test…scallops. They are very delicate and, again, I was concerned that the wire would make them hard to handle. This time I was not surprised that the FireWires performed flawlessly and the scallops were fantastic. I put about 1 ½ pounds of scallops on each skewer and left one plain for those of us who like the sweet, clean taste of sea scallops unadulterated and seasoned the other skewer with Not Your Average Cajun Seasoning. Click here to learn about this seasoning. [You can also request a sample of the seasoning on that page.] I have to admit that I favored the seasoned scallops. The seasoning was perfect on scallops and the wires allowed me to grill 3 pounds of scallops with ease. I should mention that cleaning them is a breeze since they are dishwasher safe. I can’t remember the last time I used a product that performed exactly as promised and this one will make grilling a great deal easier by reducing the amount of time your hands and lungs will be exposed to the heat and smoke of the grill.