For those who know me, know I have always avoided using a gas grill. I’ve had one, but never really liked the flavor I got off of it. As a “low & slow” BBQ guy when I did grill I had to use my kettle grill with Kingsford charcoal, it was the only grilling that gave me the flavors I wanted. I go through about 500 pounds of charcoal a year. But gas grills have changed over the years and I figured I probably should give change a try. Since I’m heading back to Memphis In May to do some demonstrations for Char-Broil I figured I should give one of their infrared grills a try and learn about infrared grilling.
Since putting grill together last week I’ve already done a couple of chicken cooks with the RED unit with good success. The method of heating on this grill is different than any other gas grill on the market. (There is a link at the end of this post if you’re interesting in the technical aspects of infrared heat) This grill gets hot. And there is a slight curve to learning how to keep the heat within the heat boundaries for proper cooking.
I recently received some “Brat Burgers” from Grilliant Ideas and figured this would be a good time to test the RED on something other than chicken. The idea of burger patty made out of seasoned sausage meat was something I could immediatly get my mind around. The first thought I had about cooking these was that the burger must be created pretty much like you would a traditional brat. With grilled onions and peppers. At least that’s how I’d do it.
So I sliced up an onion and bell pepper, coated the slices with a little olive oil and salt and put them in my grill basket. I use my grill basket, a lot for veggies on both my smokers and my Weber kettle grills and it was important to me that the onions and pepper still carmelized on the RED grill.
The RED grill I’m using is a three burner version, divided into two cooking zones. I placed the grill basket over the cooking zone heated by one of the burners. This allowed me to crank the heat up higher under the onions and peppers than I would want under the corn and brat burgers.
One of the tricks of the RED grills is learning how high you can get the grill under your meat without starting a grease fire. Using the grill in different zones makes this that much easier by allowing you to cook at different temperatures on the same grill at the same time. With grilling burgers, corn and carmelizing onions and peppers and wanting them all done at the same time this is a great feature.
Although the onions and peppers carmelized eventually it took them a little longer than I thought they should have. The RED Grill got plenty hot but what I should have done was pre-heat the grill basket so when the sugars in the onions would have started to carmelize as soon as they hit the hot basket.
By heating up the cast iron grates on the RED I was able to get some really nice grill marks on the brat burgers. I need a little more practice on timing but you can see with little effort the grill marks were OK.
The “brat burgers” are 1/2 pound patties and cooked faster than I had anticipated. They are a mixture of beef and pork and although they have the flavor of a brat I’m not sure they have as much “fat” as a normal brat might have.
I don’t know about you but when I grill normal brats I don’t season them so I purposefully didn’t season the “brat burgers.” Next time I’m going to at least toss a little kosher salt on them. Even thought they taste great the flavor just didn’t pop. Again, I don’t think it was the fault of meat, I think it was just my oversight.
As mentioned before one of the really nice features of the RED grill is the control you have over the heat. I was able to grill the “brat burgers” while directly grilling the corn and cooking the onions/peppers. Each of the three sections used a different heat level, and it worked great.
One of the interesting features of the RED grill is the “BBQ” setting. It will allow the user to do some low and slow smoked BBQ on the grill. I’ve a done a little test and it appears to work pretty good. In the next week or so I’m going to have give the feature a try on a pork butt or brisket flat. I’m interested to see if this really works on a long smoke.
The “brat burgers” were quite tasty. I really enjoyed the flavor and being able to have a brat and eat it on a hamburger bun was a nice treat. The “brat burgers aren’t available yet, but keeping checking www.grilliantideas.com for when the site goes 100% live and all the products are available. You can also reach them on Facebook or @Grilliantideas on Twitter.
The meal was great. A “brat burger” with mustard, a little ketchup and grilled onions and peppers. A nice early season ear of corn and half a California avocado made for a great meal.
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