Umami Barbecue – The Adventure Begins

Today I posted my first Umami Barbecue Video. The first one is all about pulled pork but this is not your ordinary pulled pork. This one has onions, shiitake mushrooms and a boatload of high in glutamates sauces.

Watch it but if you want to see the next video please hit the Subscribe button. If Facebook or Instagram is your thing then go like or follow us at @learntobbq .

So you know the next video is going to be Umami Baby Back Ribs do make sure you subscribe or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

On a side note, the grill I am using is designed to allow multiple items to cook at the same time. When cooking Umami Barbecue you need to integrate different ingredients at different temperatures and at different times. The Camp Chef Windwood is the only grill I know that can smoke ribs and let me make a special Umami sauce at the same time on the same grill.

To learn more about this grill or where you can purchase one click here.

Umami Barbecue – What is it?

We all know what barbecue is but what is Umami?

Umami is a Japanese word that means “yummy” or “delicious” and it’s the name that’s been given to what is called the fifth taste. The other four tastes are sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.

In 1908 a Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda determined the source that stimulates this 5th taste.

Mr. Kikunae Ikeda

Ikeda began trying to replicate the flavor of a traditional soup he made from boiled kombu (seaweed) and dried tuna. He mixed together salty, sweet, bitter and sour, but it was something altogether different. In his lab, he finally managed to isolate the substance that gave the broth its distinctive taste: glutamate, the most plentiful of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins.

Ikeda named the taste of glutamate Umami

Other scientists soon got involved and found that other amino acids compound this deliciousness, These are nucleotides, the molecular building blocks of DNA, found in a wide range of foods, including shellfish, pork and, mushrooms. They impart some umami on their own, but more importantly, they magnify the umami of foods rich in glutamates. Foods like chicken, tomatoes, aged cheeses, fresh corn, and almonds.

When nucleotide-rich foods are added to foods rich in glutamates, the result is even more intense flavor.

So how does this affect barbecue? Big Time. First meats are full of Umami and then when you cook them you get the benefit of the Maillard Reaction and Caramelization that improves the taste even more. Then you use tomato-based sauces. Tomatoes are full of Umami.

So if barbecue is already full of umami then what is the big deal?

The big deal is you can always make it better and a better barbecue is what your barbecue enthusiast is always pursuing.

Let look at a standard barbecue meal like pulled pork. First, you season it with salt, pepper and garlic. Garlic is full of Umami.

garlic

Next, you cook the pork shoulder until the internal temperature of 200F plus. This allows the outside of the pork shoulder to reach temperatures of 280F plus allowing the Maillard Reaction to kick in. Now you know why the end pieces of a roast always have a more intense flavor.

Now you shred the pork and mix a tomato-based BBQ sauce into the meat and then serve. Tomatoes, as we mentioned before, are full of Umami.

So how do we improve this barbecue classic? How about getting rid of the bbq sauce and add this instead. diced tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and even some fish sauce. Yes, fish sauce.

I did this recipe and it was the best pulled-pork I have ever had. No one ingredient stood out but the flavor was so intense without being too sweet or spicy. It just tastes great.

Keep coming back to this site for we will be doing a full series of Umami Barbecue recipes and videos.

What is Santa Maria Style Barbecue

santa maria style barbecue

So we start with the question? What is Santa Maria Style Barbecue?

Well I will tell you what it is not and it is always confused with and that is Argentinian Barbecue or Asado.

The physical grills are similar but the barbecue that comes off those grills is very different.

To learn more about Argentinian barbecue you will have to wait for my next post when we answer the question, what is Argentinian Asado.

Let’s start with where is Santa Maria valley.

It is positioned in a valley by the pacific coastline that is 150 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and about 65 miles northwest of Santa Barbara.

map of santa maria

The city is notable for its wine industry and Santa Maria-style barbecue.
Sunset magazine called Santa Maria “The West’s Best BBQ Town

wests best bbq town

So what is so special about santa maria?

First the weather is perfect for year round growing of grass. The average highs in July are 74 F and the lows 54 F. In January the average highs are 66 F and the lows 39 F. The last time they had snow was 1945.

santa maria weather

With ideal weather and location In the 1800s, the land was divided into large cattle ranches, the outlines of which still define roads and town boundaries today.

Santa Maria-style barbecue is thought to have evolved naturally for, In the mid-1800s, in the valley of Santa Maria, local ranchers would host Spanish-style feasts each spring for their vaqueros or cowboys, following big cattle roundups.

Spanish style feasts

They barbecued meat over pits filled with hot coals of local red oak.

In 1931, the Santa Maria Club started a “Stag Barbecue,” which was held on the second Wednesday of every month, with up to 700 patrons attending each event.

stag barbecue santa maria

Over the years, the legend of Santa Maria Style Barbecue grew, turning a local treasure into a major attraction.

In those early days, the favored cut was top-block sirloin. Then, as today, the meat was rolled in a mixture of salt, pepper and garlic salt before being barbecued over the red oak coals, which contribute a smoky, hearty flavor.

top block sirloin santa maria

In the 1950s, a local butcher named Bob Schutz perfected the tri-tip, a triangular bottom sirloin cut that quickly joined top-block sirloin as a staple of Santa Maria Style Barbecue.

tri tip santa maria

President Ronald Reagan was an avid fan of Santa Maria Style Barbecue. Local barbecue chef Bob Herdman and his “Los Compadres Barbecue Crew” staged several barbecues for President Reagan, including five feasts on the South Lawn of the White House.

So what is a Santa Maria Style BBQ grill?

It is a grill that had a large pit area that’s primary fuel is wood or lump charcoal with wood.

rec tec wyldside grill

It also has a grate that can be raised or lower depending on how much heat you want to apply to the food.

The other way the pitmaster can control temperature is just by using a shovel or rack to move the coals around.

rack the coals

The grill I have also has a rotisserie accessory that is connected to the grate allowing you to move the food on the rotisserie up and down giving you great control over the cook.

turkey on rotisserie

As you can see Santa Maria Style BBQ is a simple but effective way to prepare barbecue. It has a 200 year history and if you are a BBQ enthusiast like me it is one of the more enjoyable ways to prepare a great meal while showing off your true barbecue skills.

The grill I use is the Rec-Tec Wyldside. If you want to learn more about this grill please follow this link https://www.rectecgrills.com/RT-A850-WyldSide-Argentina-Style-Grill .

Garlic A Quick Guide

Garlic, there’s nothing like the smell of garlic. It’s great in soups and sauces, roasted with meats or on it’s own, and it’s wonderful mixed with butter and slathered on bread and then baked.

The scientific name for garlic is Allium Sativum. It is related to the lily and the onion. Although related to the onion, and having a flavor that very slightly resembles that of an onion, garlic does not bring tears to the eyes when chopped.

When buying fresh garlic, be sure that the head feels very firm when you squeeze it. Over time, garlic will soften and begin to sprout, which turns the garlic bitter. To store fresh garlic, keep it in a dark, cool place, such as the basement. Do not refrigerate or freeze the garlic, as it will begin to loose it’s taste.

To peel a clove of garlic, place it on a cutting board, and put the flat of the blade of the knife against it. Press down on the other side of the blade with the heel of your hand, flattening the garlic slightly. The skin will come right off.

The strong flavor and odor of garlic come from sulfur compounds within the cells. The more cells that are broken, the stronger the flavor of the garlic will be. For the mildest flavor, just use a whole or slightly crushed clove of garlic. For a bit stronger flavor, slice or chop the garlic, and for the strongest flavor, mash the garlic into a paste.

Cooking garlic tames the strong flavor, and changes it in different ways, depending on how it’s cooked. If using in a sauce, it can be sweated or sauteed. In sweating the garlic, it is first chopped finely, and then added to a cold pan with some oil, it is then gently heated, causing the oil to become infused with the garlic flavor. To sautee garlic, heat the oil in the pan first, and then add the chopped garlic, stirring frequently, and being careful not to let the garlic burn and become bitter.

Roasting the garlic softens the flavor, and makes it soft and perfect for mixing with cream cheese to spread onto toast, or just spread on the toast itself.

To roast the garlic, take a whole head of garlic, and remove the papery outer skin. Place the garlic on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with some olive oil. Loosely wrap the garlic in the foil, and place it into a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove the garlic and let it cool. When cool enough to handle, separate the cloves of garlic, and squeeze each one. The flesh should pop right out. The roasted garlic is great mixed with cheese or potatoes, or on it’s own.

Don’t be afraid to use garlic in your cooking. Garlic is flavorful, and healthful, and of course, it will keep those pesky vampires away.

Grilling Secrets For The Perfectly Grilled Steak

There is nothing quite like a good, juicy steak cooked on a grill. But, many people don’t know grilling secrets such as the best cuts to use, what size they should be, how long to cook the steaks, and marinades to use.

Choosing the correct cut of meat is very important when grilling. Some of the best steaks for grilling are the premium cuts such as:

  • Filet Mignon
    The filet mignon is a stylish cut taken from the heart of the beef tenderloin that has outstanding taste as well as texture.
  • Top Sirloin
    The top sirloin is a juicy cut taken from the center of the sirloin – the tenderest part – and a great cut for grilling.
  • T-Bone
    The t-bone is a succulent cut that is a favorite of steak fans. It is both a strip sirloin (with the bone) and a tender filet mignon.
  • New York Strip (sometimes known as Kansas City Strip)
    The New York strip is such an excellent cut for grilling, many grilling experts refer to it as the “ultimate” steak for cooking out.
  • Porterhouse
    The Porterhouse is a very large steak that is actually a combination of two steaks: the New York strip on one side and a tender filet on the other.
  • Rib Eye
    Another classic cut, the rib eye has marbling throughout the meat – making it one of the juiciest cuts as well as very tender.

Thickness of the steak is very important. Each cut should be between 1 inch and 1 ½ inches thick. The strip steaks and top sirloin should be a little less expensive than the filet mignon, t-bone, porterhouse, and rib eye.

Many people like to marinate their steaks before cooking. You can purchase marinades in the grocery store (A1 brand offers several different types) or make your own. If you are not opposed to using alcohol, beer makes an excellent marinade. You can combine 1 12-ounce can of beer, ½ cup of chili sauce, ¼ up of salad oil, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 2 gloves of crushed garlic, and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Let that simmer for 30 minutes over a medium heat. Marinate your meat in the mixture overnight in the refrigerator to tenderize and allow the meat to absorb the flavor. You can also brush your meat with the marinade as you cook. Another great homemade marinade includes 1 ½ cup of steak sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/3 cup of Italian salad dressing, 1/3 cup of honey, and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.

Many people prefer to use a rub on their steaks rather than marinate them. A rub is a combination of spice and herbs that is rubbed on the meat about an hour before grilling. It adds a great flavor to the meat, but is quicker than marinade as it does not require the overnight soaking. An excellent recipe for a rub that will give your steaks a smoky flavor is 1 tablespoon of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cracked black pepper, white pepper, and kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons of oregano, 1 teaspoon of coriander, and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. If you use a rub, be sure to rub the mixture into the cut of meat, not just daub it across the top.

There are other options for cooking steaks other than marinades and rubs. Many times, filet mignons are served wrapped in bacon (held on by a skewer) or you can cut your steak and combine it on a skewer with vegetables like peppers, squash, and onion to make a shish kabob.

Coat your grill with non-stick kitchen spray before you begin to keep your steaks from sticking to the grill. Preheat your grill before placing your steaks on. Resist the temptation to put your steaks on before the grill is properly preheated. The proper temperature for grilling steaks should be around 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim any excess fat from the side of the cut to prevent flare-ups and curling when grilling.

You should only turn your steaks once on the grill to prevent drying them out. How long you will cook your steak depends on how well you want it cooked. You can use a digital thermometer to see how well done your steak is. If you want your steak rare, the temperature should be no more than 120 degrees when done. If you want medium, the temperature should be no more than 130 degrees when done. Finally, if you want well done, you should have a temperature of at least 140 degrees.

After grilling your steak, allow it to set for five minutes before serving to let the juices settle. Serve with a baked potato, salad or other side dish and enjoy!

Red or Green? Chile that is!

Go to any New Mexican restaurant and order a New Mexican meal and this will be the question.

You are now going to learn what the difference is, what the history is and what you may want to or not want to try.

Chile peppers are not members of the pepper family. Chile terminology is confusing: pepper, chili, chile, chilli, Aji, paprika and Capsicum are used interchangeable for “chile pepper” plants. Chile peppers are actually part of the Capsicum genus. The word Capsicum comes from the Greek language meaning “to bite.” In Mexico, Central America and the Southwestern United States, it is referred to as a chile pepper.

What causes the burning sensation is the alkaloid capsaicin. It is very stable and can retain a certain heat level regardless if it is cooked, dried or frozen. Many varieties of the Capsicum species are not hot, or pungent.

It is thought that chile peppers made their first appearance around 7000 BC in Central Mexico. The first European to discover chiles was Christopher Columbus in 1493. He was looking for another type of black pepper. What he found were small hot pods that had been used as seasoning by the Native Americans. He called them Pimientos meaning black peppers in the Spanish language. The chiles were then introduced into the European community. To this day, the popularity of chile peppers has increased dramatically

For the most part, green chiles are fresh, while red ones are dried. As with everything concerning chiles, there are a few exceptions to this rule of thumb. All chiles start off as green. As they ripen, they turn red or yellow. Most red chiles are then dried and must be reconstituted in hot liquid before use. But sometimes a chile, such as the jalapeno, habanero or serrano, will become red and still be used in its fresh form.

On a scale of hot rating (Scoville Rating) from 0 to 300,000 the New Mexico chile is rated between 500 – 1000..

New Mexico peppers are mild to moderate in heat, hotter and richer in flavor and are preferred for many uses in dried form; New Mexico Red chiles are mild with a simple earthy flavor with a hint of cherry.

New Mexico has twelve chile producing counties, with Dona Ana County leading. Chiles are the state’s top cash crop and New Mexico ranks first in the amount produced and acreage planted; double that of its competitor, California.

Hatch in southern New Mexico is where much of the New Mexico chili crop is grown. Hatch is called the Chile Capital of the world and has its annual Hatch Chile festival on Labor Day weekend.

In New Mexico when ordering chile with your meal the chile is typically the Hatch Chile. The green ones are usually roasted and the red ones are dried before they are used in cooking.

Remember this when asked red or green? Or Christmas? The green is hotter and the red is a more pungent but not so hot a taste. Christmas is both red and green for those of you who want to try both so you can make the decision as to what you like.

At the Santa Fe School of Cooking they use the New Mexican Chile in many of their New Mexican recipes. You might want to check out their schedule when you visit to see what types of classes you can take and learn to cook with chiles.

So here are some of the restaurants in Santa Fe that have a incredible dishes where the chiles are a major component: The Pink Adobe which features the Steak Dunigan with green chiles, Café Pasquals which features their Blue Lady Enchiladas for lunch and Spinach, Jack Cheese and Red Onion Enchiladas for dinner. The Authentic Northern New Mexico restaurant where the locals go is El Comedor; there you will find their entire menu of lunch and dinner with choices of red and green chiles everywhere.

When you go to New Mexico you will see many a set of hanging red chiles in front of houses. This has become a decoration, but started out as a drying method. Many beautiful wreaths, Christmas decorations, and gifts are made in New Mexico with these dried red chiles. The Chile Shop in Santa Fe is a great shop to see these items as well as many street side vendors.

Whether you are eating the chiles of New Mexico, or buying them for decoration, they will always bring enjoyment when you come to visit the Land of Enchantment.

Matanza – A New Mexico Celebration

In this country there is no better place to find the preservation of the old Spanish ways than New Mexico, as this state is well known for having been isolated hundreds of years by vast rugged distances and warring Indians.

So well preserved are the origins of the American West that even the 15th century “foundation” livestock scarcely available in other parts of the world thrive in New Mexico. You can still find descendants of the rugged, enduring, power house-in-a-small-package Spanish Barb horses, Churra sheep, and Corriente cattle. You can hear cowboy history in the old, spoken Spanish. Although these old vaqueros are increasingly hard to find, there remain a few smaller than average, more rugged than average Onate colony decendents who will speak to you in the 15th century Spanish of the conquistadores preserved through fifteen generations of oral tradition.

Happily, to this day, the romance of wide open western spaces lives on in New Mexico. The Spanish caballero, already sporting a legacy of proud horsemanship even before Columbus’ arrival in North America, saw the first rodeos whenever young vaqueros had some free time, an opportunity to turn work into play, and to show off their skills.

The first American Rodeos which took place in the early 1600’s were conducted by the first American cowboys, the Spanish vaqueros. Two hundred twenty three years before the first easterners arrived in Texas to learn the art of cowboying the vaquero was already a folk hero in New Mexico. He had come to be known as a horseman of great skill and bravery. He was a solid comrade with his fellow vaqueros and a die-hard loyalist to his ranch and it’s brand. He was looked up to by wranglers as a man who could rope anything that moved and ride anything that bucked. He could successfully do just about anything from a saddle. During the time of these first rodeos standardized rules and point systems were developed to determine who would win the vaquero competitions. “Jueces de campo,” or rodeo judges presided over the rodeos to settle ownership disputes and assure that stock were branded correctly. Generally the vaqueros tended the stock on the open range until it was time to sell, brand, or butcher the animals. Anyone of these events required a rounding up of the animals – “al rodear.” This was called a rodeo.

The killing (butchering) of an animal which frequently accompanied a rodeo was called a “matanza.” The first recorded references to a Rodeo in the official republic of the United States are made in old New Mexico family journals.

As matanza researcher Cynthia Martin explains “A traditional Matanza is a family and community-gathering event, with friends and neighbors helping in the labor-intensive job of processing a large pig, goat or sheep”.

“Taking at least an entire day, the process goes from the slaughtering the animal and butchering the meat to cooking the various meat products and preparing what is left for distribution and storage. Of course all those helpers also need to be fed, so the women in the family plan and prepare large amounts of food for the event.”

Today some Matanza celebrations are coming back. They are more in the tradition of Home cooking, Family and friends in the 21st century.

Historically the celebration was done in the winter to prevent spoilage and so the tradition is carried on in the winter today too.

The Hispano Chamber of Commerce in Valencia County New Mexico have begun the tradition again and made it into a fund raising event. Teams compete each year for prizes in the butchering slaughtering and preparation of traditional matanza foods.

Why does food taste better on a Santa Maria Style Grill?

Why does food taste better on a Santa Maria Grill vs other ways to cook? Well, there are two reasons. The Maillard Reaction and Caramelization.

The Maillard Reaction is is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. Seared steaks, pan-fried dumplings, cookies and other kinds of biscuits, breads, toasted marshmallows, and many other foods undergo this reaction. It is named after French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard, who first described it in 1912 while attempting to reproduce biological protein synthesis.

The reaction is a form of non-enzymatic browning which typically proceeds rapidly from around 140 to 165 °C (280 to 330 °F). Many recipes call for an oven temperature high enough to ensure that a Maillard reaction occurs At higher temperatures, caramelization (the browning of sugars, a distinct process) and subsequently pyrolysis (final breakdown leading to burning) become more pronounced.

With a Santa Maria Style Grill you can put your food in that sweet spot of 280F to 330F by controlling the distance from the flame and heat. Also, the flames give the food a burst of heat off and on meaning the Maillard Reaction and Caramelization are more intense meaning more of the food is affected and just taste better.

Signals Thermometer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction

ThermoWorks Billows on a Weber Kettle 22 – Installation and Review

We are going to cover both installation and also a full product review of the ThermoWorks Billows BBQ Temperature Control Fan. The Billows is an add-on product for the Signals BBQ thermometer. Here are all the things you will need to compete the installation.

The installation part is going to be installing the billows onto a weber kettle premium 22 as you can see above a hole has to be drilled but before you panic it’s a lot easier than you think.

The first thing we need to do is find out where we need to drill the hole. Start by getting behind the grill so the front is facing away from you.

From this view point you will be making the hole on the right side of the grill now there are a few steps we need to do so we can make sure the hole is in the correct place.

Also you’re going to need a few tools and some materials. First material is masking tape.

Don’t use the blue or green tape for it is not strong enough. Also, get the wide version. Now you need to start taping approximately where the hole should be put down long strips of tape and move the ash vents around so you can get underneath them.

Now rotate the ash vent fully clockwise until they stop. Now trace around the vent using a dark pen or pencil make sure the lines are very visible on the tape.

Now rotate the ash vent counterclockwise until it stops now trace around the new vent over the tape.

Now go get the charcoal grate and put it in place then trace where the tape is.

Now remove the grate draw a parallel line about a half-inch below your traced line.

To find the spot to drill you need to find these three points. Look at these three points and then find the middle of the triangle the spot that you have found is clear of the ash vents and also the charcoal grate.

Now drill a pilot hole the porcelain enamel on the bowl is really hard to drill so use a new bit and take your time.

The Drill Bit below is a pretty mean-looking bit but it also gets the job done.

When using this bit you will fill that it pops as it makes the hole larger. In my case when I felt seven pops I knew I was done. Oh I forgot to tell you it makes a sound similar to fingernails on a chalkboard except it’s about ten times louder. Besides the noise, it does make a perfect hole for when it cuts it also deburrs the metal. Also it is quite a workout for after a while the drill motor feels like it weighs about 50 pounds. Then you are done and the hole is exactly one inch wide and perfectly round.

Next you peel off the tape and knock up all the metal debris the tape should come off real easy but again take your time for a lot of the metal fragments will stick to the tape and not you. Knock off any metal fragments and I recommend you vacuum out the bottom of the bowl now put the charcoal grate back in and rotate the ash vents all the way to the left and then to the right just to make sure everything is clear.

Just one more thing to do to finish this modification and that is the paint the inside of the hole. I did do one final pass with a hole bit just to make sure all the metal birds were gone so I went from the outside in. Wipe the area clean and then put a piece of masking tape over the hole from the outside. Now using a high temperature paint like Rust-oleum will protect the metal from rusting.

Let the paint completely dry this usually takes at least a few hours peel off the tape and the modification is now complete this is how it looks to the outside.

Looks pretty good to me now we can add the billows to the grill there are two springs you need to insert. It is best to secure one in the hole and then follow up by inserting the second spring in the hole. The billows will be held in place by the springs and a soft air silk gasket will keep the grill air tight.

Now we need to add the other parts. Here is the Signals BBQ thermometer. This is the controller for the bellows fan.

Next we need the splitter cable. This supplies power to the signals unit and also controls the Billows fan

Now plug in the power line that plugs into an AC power outlet.

Now plug in the billows control cord.

Here’s channel 4 on the Signals unit without the billows plugged in.

Here is what channel 4 looks like when the billows is plugged in.

Notice there’s now a fan icon and the default temperature is 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are the performance tests that we’ll be running.

The testbed will be a weber kettle 22-inch setup for indirect cooking. The test is to see how quickly the billows can reach temperature and then maintain temperature. The temperatures that we are going to achieve are 225 degrees Fahrenheit 250 degrees Fahrenheit 300 degrees Fahrenheit and then 350 degrees Fahrenheit, Here’s the grill being set up for test first the air probe is attached to the charcoal grate in the middle of the grill.

A Weber charcoal basket is put on one side.

And another Weber basket is put on the other side.

A full chimney of Kingsford original charcoal briquettes that had now burned for 15 minutes. The briquettes are then evenly distributed between the two charcoal baskets. Just the last look to make sure the baskets have equal amounts of coals.

Now put on the cover. The plan is the cover stays on for the whole test unless there’s an issue. Here is the complete temperature chart for our tests.

On this first test of 225 degrees the grill overshot and did not stabilize till it hit 247 degrees.

I believe the overshoot was caused by me for not letting the grill stabilize for 10 to 15 minutes before turning on the bellows. I then turned up the Signals thermometer to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Within eight minutes the billows have brought the grill temperature up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and there was no overshoot.

After thirty minutes I then set the signals to 300 degrees within 15 minutes billows had brought the grill temperature up to 300 degrees and there was no overshoot. It also had less than 2 degrees fluctuation. We then had another operator error and that we burned up all our charcoal. I then added a handful of briquettes to each basket and the grill fully recovered to 300 degrees within 10 minutes.

In the final 30 minutes of testing we cranked the signals up to 350 degrees and it took 15 minutes to reach temperature never overshot and at that point never less than three degrees fluctuation.

ThermoWorks is not the first to market with a temperature control fan but they are definitely the best in market with one based on the superior Signals BBQ thermometer. We give this product a top five star rating and have now added it to our own outdoor kitchen as a product we will use on all future reviews.

ThermoWorks Billows on a Weber Kettle 22 – Installation and Review Video

ThermoWork Billow Insiders Facebook Group

Want to really improve your barbecue. Pair the perfect wine

First my true love is barbecue but in the last 10 years barbecue has grown up. It use to be burgers on the Weber Kettle. Now it is ribeye steaks on a outside kitchen with a built in grill. As far as drinks it use to be beers and soda. Now it is kraft beers, flavored sparkling waters and wine. We also now do wine pairing

Now I am not a wine expert but through the magic of the internet you really do not have to be. In just a few minutes I found the outstanding article titled, Best wines for a barbecue on a website called Decanter. These are their recommendations or pairings when serving barbecue. I quote right from the article

“What are classic barbecue (BBQ) wine pairings?
Here are some of the top matches for classic barbecue dishes. For ease of use, we’ve overlooked the uses of marinades and sauces.

  • Steak – Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel
  • Burgers – Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Côtes du Rhone.
  • Sausages – Beer, Malbec, Southern French, Tempranillo
  • Chicken – Warmer climate Chardonnay
  • Pork Chops – Cider, Valpolicella, Barbera, New World Pinot Noir, dry rosé, Riesling
  • Salmon – Rosé Champagne or Cava, New World Pinot Noir, Gamay, dry rosé, New World Riesling, Pinot Gris
  • Halloumi – Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Chenin Blanc, Chablis, Friulano, Verdejo, Assyrtiko, New World Riesling, dry rosé, Prosecco”

Another great resource is the Beringer Wine website. Here is some information about Beringer Wine.

Established in 1876 by brothers Frederick and Jacob Beringer, who believed that Napa could be a premier wine growing region like the Rhine Valley in Germany from which they hailed.

Beringer has built a legacy crafting renowned wines from a prized collection of Napa Valley, Knights Valley and Paso Robles vineyards, celebrating the uniqueness of each site and a remarkable winemaking tradition.

Beringer’s tradition of winemaking has earned it critical acclaim, including:

  • Only winery to have won ‘Wine of the Year’ for both red and white wines from Wine Spectator.
  • 12-time Top 100 Winery of the Year by Wine and Spirits.
  • More Wine Spectator Top 100 list placements than any other winery in the world.

Beringer is not cheap wine (who wants to serve cheap wine) but they also have great deals. Right now you can get 20% off all their wines using the link and Coupon Code below.

The more you look into barbecue and wine you will find how both barbecue and wine are influenced by what region they come from. To understand the difference check out this article on The Four Styles of BBQ in the United States.

In closing you might think a great wine is too expensive but if you just spent over $180 for four Grass Fed Beef Tomahawk Steaks, a $35, 2013 Beringer Merlot Napa Valley bottle of wine might turn a good meal into a great one.

Bon Appetit