I’m going to go ahead and admit that I’m not a huge fan of hotdogs. Actually the last time I had a hot dog was years ago when I was pregnant. My husband and I were volunteering at a charity hot dog sale and the smell of the frying onions was just so good that I couldn’t resist. I haven’t had one since. But I do love a good smokie, especially done over the campfire or the bbq.
We barbecue all year long. Yes that often means digging our way through several feet of snow to find the grill. But it’s worth it.But I have to admit I much prefer grilling in the summer when the weather is warm and you can actually enjoy being outside and cooking your food. I don’t have a lot of rules when it comes to cooking but I do have a couple of tips to make the most out of grilling.
Always start with a clean grill.
There is nothing worse than ruining a perfectly good steak by scorching it with a big bbq flare up. Make sure you clean your grill on a regular basis to ensure even cooking and avoid those nasty flare ups.
Here’s another little tidbit that you have probably never thought about, I know I didn’t until very recently – If you clean the top of your grill with a wire brush be careful and watch for loose metal bristles.
I know this is a freak thing but someone we know recently had a bad experience – someone cleaned the grill with one of these brushes and one of the little tiny bristles stuck to the grill and, subsequently, to a piece of food. That food was eaten and the bristle caused some serious internal damage. So if you use one of these brushes (I do) make sure you check it regularly to make sure it’s in good shape and the bristles are not coming out!
Use a thermometer
When it comes to cooking meat, especially on the grill, a good thermometer is your best friend. Stop poking, cutting and guessing if your meat is done and just stick a thermometer in it! If you want a perfectly cooked steak every single time this is the way to do it. I personally love a digital thermometer. I have a couple, you can set it so it beeps when the desired temperature is reached and one of my thermometers is actually wireless so I can bring the received into the house if necessary.
Turn meat more than once
There are a lot of schools of though on how to cook meat. The old school train of through is that you only turn meat (especially steak) once. Ditch that train of thought. Meat cooks more evenly and more thoroughly without burning if you turn it regularly on the grill.
Preheat your grill
You wouldn’t put a cake in a cold oven right? The same applies to cooking on the grill. To help ensure food safety make sure you are starting with a hot grill. It also helps to prevent food from sticking.
Make the most of surface area
This is really the heart of my post. Making the most of of the surface area of the food you are grilling. Not only does this make for more even, quicker cooking but it also makes for the most optimum grilling flavour impact. Have you ever had a spiral ham? It’s probably my favorite way to cook, serve and eat ham. Each cut in that ham holds that amazing sweet and spicy glaze you pour on it and the texture is amazing.
Teriyaki Spiral Smokies
If you’ve never had a spiral cut smokie or hot dog you are truly missing out on something awesome. They are a like a little spiral shaped rocket of flavour. You can easily do spiral cuts in both hot dogs or smokies. For this post I used smokies because they paired really well with the Blue Dragon Honey Teriyaki Sauce. And the spiral cuts let that sauce get right into the middle of the smokie. The spiral cuts are really easy to do and once you do it once you will be a master at it!
What You Need:
- A skewer (metal or wood is fine)
- A sharp knife
- A package of Blue Dragon Honey Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce
- Hot dog buns
- Your favourite condiments
Grap yourself a skewer. I used a metal one because that’s what we use on the grill but a wooden one works just as well.
Insert the skewer right through the middle of the smokie.
While you are pushing the skewer through don’t worry if you go, well, askew along the way. Just re-adjust until you go right through the centre.
Grab yourself a sharp knife. A good pairing knife works best. You don’t want anything too long or it gets awkward.
Make your first cut about 1/4 inch from the end of the meat. Cut all the way through the meat until you touch the skewer in the middle. Now slowly start to turn the smokie, continuing to cut in a spiral pattern (cutting at a slight angle). Keep your spiral at about 1/4 inch and, again, make sure you are cutting right through to the skewer.
This is one long continuous cut. Keep cutting until you reach about 1/4 inch from the other end of the smokie. You should now have something that looks like this:
Gently pull the skewer out.
Preheat your grill to medium heat. Use a basting brush to cover the smokie (including inside the cuts) with the Teriyaki sauce.
Grill, turning often until fully cooked. Cooking time really varies on the smokie. In normally buy ones that are already fully cooked so I just make sure to heat thoroughly. Read the package your smokies came in to be sure!
Serve in a bun (if desired) along with your favorite condiments. If you are not a bun person you can also cook the smokies right on the skewers as well and serve that way.
I am part of the Blue Dragon Canada ambassador program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.