The backyard BBQ tradition is a culinary experience that will make any mouth water. Whether it’s grilling your favorite fish, steak, chicken, pork, lamb, goat, veggies, or even something exotic as alligator, the backyard BBQ has become a guaranteed staple of fun and festivities for home owners not just in the USA, but all over the world.
The backyard BBQ can take on many shapes and sizes and can comprise of many different components. Designing an outdoor kitchen largely depends on what your
needs are for both cooking and entertaining.
Here to show you a little about a new outdoor kitchen island that was designed and built by Solid Structures, is Greg Golden. Not only will Greg describe the features he chose for his backyard outdoor stainless steel gas kitchen, but he will also give us some grilling tips using some fresh thick cut cowboy steaks.
“Cooking with Greg”
People have different dreams and ideas of what a perfect outdoor kitchen would consist of. The best way to figure out what components and accessories you will want to consider, is simply ask yourself what are your favorite things to cook and how many people you may be entertaining.
For example, if your family mainly likes to cook steaks, BBQ chicken, kabobs, etc, then a built in grill by Fire Magic would do nicely. Throw in a few added features like a refrigerator, probably a side mount built in double burner or searing station, a sink, outdoor bar, built in trash container, and plenty of built-in storage space. This outdoor kitchen would provide the flexibility to suit most of your needs. The size of the grill will mostly be determined by how large a crowd you will be cooking for.
There are plenty of other options such as a charcoal / gas combo, or maybe you would like to incorporate a smoker into your outdoor kitchen design. For the pizza lovers and bakers, a brick wood burning oven would be at the top of the list.
There are other things to consider such as landscape design, possible pavers for a new patio or maybe a new deck or extension. The island that will house all the kitchen components is also something to consider while kitchen planning with the contractor. Popular additions include outdoor fireplace, torches, and seating areas around your new outdoor kitchen.
Once you decide on your outdoor kitchen wish list, then it is time to meet with a designer / contractor. Virginia Beach deck builders and pool contractors are good places to start. Once you decide on a company, the designer will come to your house, take measurements and draw out a schematic of your new kitchen. One thing to remember when meeting with the designer, make sure you allow enough room in the design for an amble food prep work space.
Budgeting for your new outdoor kitchen and cooking space will be pretty easy once you meet with the designer. The price range can vary widely based on how many kitchen appliances are built into the design, as well as the overall size and whether or not pavers, patios, and decks will need to be built into the project. Oh don’t forget to budget in some new patio furniture! Once the contractor is on site they can also determine what the electrical and gas requirements will be. Depending on the design an outdoor kitchen from the front end to completion could range anywhere from the low end 10,000 to 15,000 the higher end from 25, to 55,000. Very elaborate outdoor kitchens could cost even much more.
In our video above “Cooking with Greg” he uses a reverse sear method for grilling his steak on his gas grill starting with indirect heat. This of course works very well especially if you like char marks on your grilled steak towards the end of the cook. You can also sear first in a cast iron pan with a little butter and olive oil and baste the steak with fresh herbs. Only about a minute or two on each side then finish off in the oven at 350. Heating the cast iron and searing it on the outdoor grill is best this way you don’t smoke up your inside kitchen.
Here is where most everyone goes wrong. The first temperature you need to worry about is the temperature of the steak before it is even cooked. Let’s say I am going to cook a bone-in 1 ½ cowboy ribeye steak. Once back from the butcher I will season the steak, fresh cracked pepper, sea salt, and I use Montreal steak seasoning. Just prior to seasoning, coat the steak with either olive oil or sesame oil, then rub the entire ribeye with the rub. Now the biggie, let the thick steak stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. A good idea is to put the steak on a plate and place it in the microwave. Don’t turn it on! It’s just a safe place to house the steak while it thoroughly gets to room temperature. Your well on your way to being a grill master!
Whichever way you cook your steak, for medium rare you want to take it out at an internal temp of 120 degrees. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
For mediums take it out at 130 / 135 then let rest.
For well done go to McDonalds. Never waste a prime cut of meat cooking it well done.
Being able to tell the exact temperature of your steak while cooking is a big deal. Before I got a wireless probe, I would overcook maybe 1 out of every 3 steaks. The thing is after the sear when that steak goes in the oven, the temp can climb very fast, way past 120 degrees, and it can happen quickly.
The beautiful thing about the new wireless meat thermometer is you monitor the internal temperature on your smartphone. You will know exactly what the internal temp is with your steak. You can even set an alarm to go off when it reaches your desired temp. Also many probes will give an estimated time of when the desired temperature will be reached.
There are quite a few on the market. Search reviews for more info. The one I use is the Meater+. Works great, easy and accurate.
You can build a $50,000 outdoor kitchen and have the best cooking equipment in the world, but if you purchased a rotten piece of meat, the best grill in the world won’t save your dinner. For those hunter gathers that like to fetch their game with a hunting gun or a bow and arrow, or if you’re a fisherman and bringing home fresh fish, well both are awesome! However for most of us we are stuck having to purchase meat from a grocery store.
Now some stores are better than others and you can occasionally find a grocer that will cut some fresh meat for you. The best and what I try to do as often as I can is to find and use the closest butcher. I use one here in Virginia Beach called the Village Butcher. Everytime I shop there they hand cut my steak for me. Always fresh and the exact size I like.
Frozen? Really? Let’s just not go there. Moving on.
Here is one of the most important tips for buying good steak, NEVER buy meat that is packed with carbon monoxide. Modified Atmosphere Packaging is something to totally avoid. Manufactures do this to give the meat a bright red appearance as well as for other preservative reasons. It’s awful! Ruins the texture of the meat. Where do you find these steaks? Well, most of your large chains that are known for discount foods are a good source for selling these meats.
If you cant tell by looking at the steak, simply ask someone behind the counter if it is packed in CO. Quality stores and butchers often will put a sticker in the meat department stating they do not sell meat products packed in CO.