Category Archives: Food

Use BBQ Grill Covers to Protect

BBQ parties are always fun events during summer. It gives you the perfect reason to get friends together for a day of fun in your backyard. BBQ parties are annual traditions for some families and it’s important to take good care of your grill to keep it functioning properly and look good year after year. Aside from cleaning the grill, it’s also better to cover them when not in use. BBQ grill covers aren’t just supposed to make the grill look pretty; it also plays a major role in maintenance.

Don’t be afraid to invest a significant amount of money on your grill cover. Your grill cover will safeguard your investment on an expensive piece of equipment. BBQ grill covers protects your BBQ grill from rain, snow, dirt, heat, stains and other external factors that can cause damage. If well taken-cared of, your grill can last several years and function properly whenever you need it.

Just be careful to keep the cover away from the grill while you’re using it and put it back on after the grill cools down. Maintenance is also practical because you only have to wipe it down when it gets dirty or wet. There are different types of BBQ grill covers in the market made of different materials in various levels of quality.

Some are made of thin and flimsy materials while others are made of heavy-duty vinyl. The covers are manufactured based on the different styles and sizes of grills available in the market. Be sure to get your grill’s brand and model number or measure the grill before you shop for covers.

After spending a huge amount on your BBQ grill, it only makes sense to purchase a good quality cover too. Even if you diligently clean and try to protect your grill from dirt and climate conditions, a cover is still necessary to keep it clean for a longer time because after you’ve cleaned and polished your grill, it only takes a few days before it starts to gather dust again.

Covers can keep dust and dirt away but not all covers can control the humidity and moisture from invading your grill. An excellent cover prevents moisture from coming in and lets moisture evaporate from the BBQ grill. SunBrella and Denier provide top quality BBQ grill covers and so do other brands. The best grill covers come with felt lining on the inside. This felt lining prevents moisture damage and scratches on the grill’s surface.

Must Have BBQ Tools

Barbecuing has been around since the Stone Age. Try to imagine our hairy mammoth-killing ancestors belching, grunting and scratching without shame in front of an open fire, cooking whatever they have hunted that day. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that is how a barbecue originated.

The art of barbecuing is obviously now more refined and with the top of the line gills and barbecue gizmos available today you can even refer to it as “high tech.” But the barbeque grill remains to be for a man’s man. Most men agree that they do not wear the pants when it comes to the kitchen, but the BBQ grill is definitely their department.

With the incredible modernization of BBQ grills comes a wide array of barbecue grill accessories to choose from. These tools can surely make a barbecue fanatic’s life a breeze! In fact, some of them can even make grilled meals taste better.

A thermometer, for one, is a must have BBQ grill accessory. With a thermometer there’s no need for any guessing games and it gives you the confidence to serve the perfect grilled meats to your friends and family. In the event one of them complains that their steak is over done or not cooked enough, you can always blame the thermometer. You can find a BBQ grill thermometer that allows you to keep an eye on your meats even if you are entertaining guests away from the grill. This is made possible by a belt clip monitor that alerts you when the meat is almost ready or overcooked.

A cordless LED barbecue light is another grill accessory that you can’t do without. This tool makes it possible for you to enjoy barbecuing even at the darkest hours of the night. With a portable LED light, you no longer have to worry about burning yourself. It is equipped with a sturdy clip which you can attach right onto the side of any grill. It usually has a bendable neck which allows you to focus the light exactly where you need it. With this grill light accessory, you can enjoy grilling outdoors any time of the day!

Another no-brainer barbecue grill accessory is a grill tool set. If you invest in a good one, you are assured to have years of quality gilled food and a complete set of tools to get the job done right at all times. A grill set ideally includes a BBQ sauce brush, tongs, knives, corkscrews, skewers and even a portable barbecue grill light. You can even purchase a grill set that comes complete with a chef’s fork that features a built-in light and thermometer. These kinds of grill tool sets are sold together with a carrying case which is quite convenient for storage and transport.

An important BBQ grill accessory that is usually taken for granted is a fire extinguisher. You might not need it, but having it there will make your wife, family and friends feel better. And keeping safety in mind at all at all times is always a good thing.

Cleaning the BBQ Grill

As summertime lingers on and the BBQ Grill is being enjoyed it becomes necessary to maintain the cleanliness of the BBQ Grilling surface area. After just one or two cookouts the BBQ Grate can get very nasty, causing food to stick to the surface area and to burn more easily. To have a successful cooking experience on the BBQ Grill, there are several steps that need to be taken to keep the Grill clean. Previously cooked meals need to get charred on the Grill, then removed and finally “resurface” the cooking grate.

First, the best way to remove old unwanted left behind cooking sauces and bits of past meals is to char them on the grate surface. To do so, light up the Grill and bring the cooking grate up to cooking temperature. Keep the BBQ Grill closed as this is being done. This will heat up the grate surface and cook any leftover sauce or food particles and burn them on the grate surface making them easy to remove.

Second, once the past meals have been successfully charred on the grate surface, open up the BBQ Grill. It is always recommended to wear fire retardant gloves while cleaning the grate. Then, using a steel brush or BBQ Scraper rub it up and down the grate surface. This will remove the majority of the burnt on food particles, as they will fall into the bottom of the Grill.

Next, take a pair of tongs with a clean cloth soaked in fresh cooking oil and brush it up and down the grate surface. Be extra careful during this step as it may create flare ups from the hot coals. This will do two things. It will clean up any remaining debris on the Grill and create a non stick surface for the meal that is about to be prepared. When finished wiping down the grate discard the dirty cloth and the BBQ Grill is ready to be enjoyed once again.

There are times that the grate may need to be cleaned in a sink with hot water, a piece of steel wool, a little soap and some elbow grease. This is something that is done usually at the beginning or ending of the BBQ Season. For regular Grill maintenance the three steps above are all that is needed to keeping a clean grill for the summertime cookouts. Keeping the BBQ Grill clean will also prevent rust from forming and extend the life of the BBQ Grill.

A Good Restaurant Review

Are you one of those restaurant diners who are looking for a reliable restaurant review and are often confused by the myriad of different restaurant critics and diners comments that are out there on the web? Or, have you found that your expectations created from a restaurant review have not lived up to the diners comments or critics reviews?

With over 23,000 restaurants in New Jersey alone to choose from, and approximately 80 percent of the new restaurants failing in the first 3 years, it’s no wonder restaurant diners are having a difficult time choosing where to dine. This process becomes especially difficult when attempting to choose a fine dining restaurant where the preparation and quality of food is to be taken into account along with the decor, and/or atmosphere, and service.

Here is what to look for when searching the web or reading a publication that rates and reviews a restaurant.

The Five Most Important Points to Look for in a Good Restaurant Review.

  1. Recognize that all restaurants have off-nights and that all restaurant critics and diners have had experiences that may or may not be representative of the restaurants performance.
  2. Seek out and research the opinions of the different components of the dining public. The dining public includes the serious restaurant diner, the casual restaurant diner, as well as the professional restaurant critic. These are the very people that get out to eat at restaurants and who ultimately determine the performance and success of a restaurant.
  3. Be aware of outdated reviews of restaurants that have since changed owners, executive chefs, and wait staffs that render their reviews valueless.
  4. If you are researching the web and/or publications, try to find a consensus amongst the reviews and give little value to the review that is way out of line with the consensus, good or bad. Weigh the quality of the comments as well as the quantity of the comments.
  5. Many restaurant owners say that they don’t take much stock in restaurant reviews. However, they are quick to put up plaques at the entrance of their restaurant that provide favorable commentary from restaurant critics, or post these reviews on their restaurant web site. Be careful to note the date on these reviews and to check for restaurant owners and executive chefs who are no longer there.

Make Or Break With Restaurant Reviews

If a dining establishment serves up tasty and fresh food to match the budget of the everyday man, its name is bound to withstand the tides of time. Due to the overwhelming influx of such excellent places popping up throughout the neighborhood and city, competition becomes a painful reality. Like it or not, restaurant reviews become essential tool, if not weapons, to stamp a mark of distinction from the rest whilst blow away potential rivalry on the path towards being the best steak house or pizza joint.

Although the method of formal advertising and marketing practices is the norm, experienced business owners recognize the importance of the word of mouth. To wheedle one’s place into the list of recommended restaurants, the restaurateur obviously needs to draw in the clientele and impress their taste buds. Without making too deep a dent to their wallets, their diners should be coming back fast and furious, dragging family and friends along for the best home cooked meal or haute cuisine.

Other than reliance on the public, it never hurts to invite restaurant reviewers to drop by for a sample tasting of the fare. To ensure they receive similar treatment as the everyday man who steps off the street into the restaurant, these characters often take extra effort to appear incognito. Although it may seem like the best job in the world, it certainly entails some job hazards as dishes are like books. One cannot judge its flavor by the beautiful presentation. Since chefs are known to be kitchen scientists, some experiments are bound to taste better than others. An unfortunate diner subject to a warring palate may not be frequenting such a recommended restaurant in the future, no matter how many stars the chef holds. However, if the place lives up to its name as a dining heaven, full reservations and waiting lists hold its future for success.

Restaurant Review It is Not Okay

What to do if you had to write a bad restaurant review?

Say “It is not okay!”

Usually food writers promote healthful products and restaurants that serve heavenly, delicious, and extraordinary food.

Most writers are fond of food.

“You have to say the truth. You always have to tell the truth so the restaurant could improve,” food experts assent. “Taste buds have different preferences, plus your visit is also due good service and a clean kitchen.”

Here are some tips for a restaurant review:

Restaurant reviews have no exact form.

It states restaurant features, name, location (map/how to get there), food price, meal discounts, estimated costs per person, and the various menu.

Appetizers, desserts, beverages, and dishes are enumerated. These will please customers and inform the public.

Restaurant ambiance is also discussed. Is it fine dining? Is it buffet style? Is it a fast food setting? Pictures and posters are distributed for the presentation of food.

An overview of the restaurant’s food specialty is given a highlight with commendations from various people for specific consumers and food lovers.

Restaurant reviews also include a commentary (positive or negative), an essay of appreciation, or a culinary climax in any form.

Sometimes a simple recipe of the menu and its ingredients are given away. Health benefits derived from the food are analyzed and shown by nutritionists.

Here is an experience:

During my first restaurant review of a Japanese Restaurant (Thanks to Cook Magazine); I was really ashamed because I didn’t know how to use the chopsticks. All the press people were using the chopsticks, and I was the only one who asked for a spoon and a fork. But it was cool because I have learned to manage and asked for a fork. From then on, I always used the chopsticks.

I thank Cook Magazine for this. “The restaurant was exquisitely marvelous and sushi was fresh. Everyone loved the menu and it came one at a time served by waiters.”

The personal reactions to both the food and restaurant are important to consumers. Consumers update with food in popular culture.

Overtones of sad and happy experiences give authenticity to restaurant reviews. Detailed analyses of specific outstanding dishes – good and dismal are helpful for everyone since food is part of life and culture.

Tips to Write a Good Restaurant Review

Do you want to share your gourmet experiences with others? Are you eager to tell your friends and family about a special cuisine that you tasted in a particular restaurant? Well, the easiest way to share your dining experience with others is to write restaurant reviews. Restaurant review writing has become quite popular recently. After reading a restaurant review people not only becomes aware about the mouthwatering cuisines the restaurant has to offer but also about the ambience of the place and the services offered by that restaurant. Before you writing restaurant review, you must make list of the important points that you wish to include. Once you know what to write, you can actually come up with a well-structured and interesting restaurant review.

Here are some tips which can help to write enticing reviews. Just read on!

• A well-planned restaurant review attracts a people. Especially, restaurant review writing for the web needs to be well-structured to entice the online readers. Firstly, while writing your review, you require being descriptive and you must attach importance to every single detail. In restaurant review writing, you are actually giving your personal opinion. While writing a review, always incorporate a lot of descriptive phrases and words and be specific to start your review in a chronological order (the minute you enter the restaurant till the time you pay your bill and leave the premises). When describing the restaurant always use present tense.

• You must select a particular restaurant before you start writing your review. Once you choose a restaurant, pick certain cuisines that you like and describe those in details. Moreover, you should also note other details such as the décor of that restaurant (colors, furnishing, lighting and arrangement). Make sure to check the cleanliness and the condition of the bathrooms in that restaurant. After all, you need to include every single detail in your review. It is also imperative to take an account the behavior of the staff. Unfriendly staff can actually tarnish the name of a restaurant.

• Last but not the least, you must become a real foodie to appreciate or criticize the cuisines. Once the menu card arrives, you must take an account of the special dishes, meal choices and of course, cost of each dish. For a full, satisfying dining experience, you should have different appetizers, entrée and the desserts offered by the restaurants. Before writing your review, make sure specify every single detail like the presentation, smell and taste of their food. Be creative and descriptive while describing all these details.

It is imperative to note that you should also include a line or two about anything that you did not like about a particular restaurant. This gives the reader an impression that you are not exaggerating but has actually visited that restaurant. Before ending your review, you must also let the readers know whether you would like to visit that restaurant once more.

Whether you are into article writing, E book writing, website content writing or blog writing and posting, your main target is to attract the online readers to read your content and divert their attention to particular facts. While writing a restaurant review, you are actually providing valuable information to the target readers about a particular restaurant, so take a note of every minute detail and describe it vividly.

Quick Guide to Good Charcoal BBQ Grilling

Use Grilling to Produce Delicious BBQ Meals

In one of our other articles we have described the difference between grilling and barbecuing on a BBQ grill. We suggest you read this article for details on the differences, but in summary, grilling involves cooking your food on an open BBQ grill at a very high temperature (i.e. around 600 degrees F), generally for quite short periods of time.

When grilling is carried out correctly it can provide delicious barbecue meals very quickly. When cooking beef, lamb, pork or fowl the grilling process produces a seared crust over the meat’s exterior. This crust seals in the juices of your food and makes a big contribution to its overall taste.

There are hundreds of pages of information about BBQ grilling on the web. This article has been written to provide you with an overview of the essentials of the grilling technique.

We have broken this technique down into five main steps, focusing mainly on cooking various types of meat.

Five Steps to Successful Charcoal Grilling

Before you start grilling clean the cooking grate of your BBQ grill thoroughly with a wire brush. Many regular barbecue users neglect this step, but if you do the residues left on the grate after your last grilling session may result in unpleasant food tastes.

After you have cleaned your barbecue grate it’s a good idea to lubricate its surface with cooking oil. This will prevent your food sticking on the grate during cooking.

Step One – Ignite Your Barbecue Grill Coals

Whilst some people always use wood on their BBQ grills most of us use either lump charcoal or briquettes. Whatever fuel you choose you’ll need sufficient to provide a solid layer of hot coals on the surface of the charcoal grid that spreads at least three inches outside the area on which you will be placing your pieces of meat. If your food is too near the edges of your burning coals it’ll cook unevenly.

There are a number of different ways of lighting your charcoal once you’ve measured out the amount required. We recommend using a chimney starter. This is the ideal method to use if you grill regularly. It’s quick and reliable.

Step 2 – Spread Your Burning Coals in the Grill

Once your coals are burning vigorously spread them evenly across the BBQ fuel grid (bearing in mind the guidelines provided above). If you are going to grill very thick pieces of meat or meat with bones, taper the layer of burning coals so that you get a lower temperature area and a higher temperature area (where the layer of coals is thickest).

Use the cooler area for the thick and boney pieces of meat. The lower temperature will ensure the meat doesn’t char during grilling (we’ve all been to barbecues where we’ve been presented with pieces of meat covered in burnt unpleasant tasting patches).

Step 3 – Make Sure You Get the Right Temperature

Before you put your food on the cooking grate make sure that your grill is at the right temperature. You’ll need a temperature of around 500 to 600 degrees F to get good results on your grill.

Measure the temperature of your BBQ grill with a grill thermometer (most good grills have one of these built-in) or use the tried and tested “hot hand” test. This involves holding your hand three inches above the burning coals and counting 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 etc. Your grill will be hot enough to use if you can longer hold your hand in place after counting 3.

Use this test once your coals have a layer of white ash over them.

Step 4 – Put Your Food on the Grill

Place your food on the barbecue grill. Don’t use a fork, use a spatula. If you pierce your meat with a fork you’ll lose the juices which give it its flavor. Avoid continually turning your meat over during cooking (a common mistake). Divide the estimated cooking time in two and cook each side of your food pieces for the same amount of time.

Some people like basting their food with a marinade during cooking. We have written another article on the best techniques to use if you want to do this.

Step 5 – Test for Whether the Meat is Cooked

In other articles we have recommended using a meat thermometer to test whether your meat is done. Whilst this works very well for the long cooking times involved in barbecuing it’s not as easy to use when grilling because of the shorter cooking times involved.

We suggest using the established “artistic” method of testing for whether your meat is cooked:

  1. a) Your meat is rare if its soft and squishy when pressed with your spatula
  2. b) Your meat is medium-rare if its semi-soft and yielding
  3. c) Your meat is medium if it yields just a little when pressed
  4. d) Your meat is well-done if its firm when pressed.

(Some people suggest using the flesh texture at the base of your thumb as a comparison when the thumb is placed successively on your first, second, third and fourth fingers).

Enjoy the Food from Your BBQ Grill

When you have finished grilling your meat it will have a crust over its surface but it won’t be charred. This crust seals in the flavor of your meat and is the main reason why BBQ grilling over charcoal can be so rewarding. There really is no better barbecue grill food than food prepared using the techniques outlined above.

BBQ Grill Accessories

An outdoor fun activity that engages friends and family and is loved by everyone alike is – grilling. Irrespective of the type of the grill, having the perfect BBQ grill accessories is sure to make the task of grilling an enjoyable one. You can either use a gas BBQ grill or the more traditional charcoal BBQ grill. To have a great outdoor BBQ party, having the right BBQ grill accessories is the secret.

If you own a charcoal grill, charcoal basket is the perfect accessory to have. Having a charcoal basket filled with charcoal, handy, is sure to help you maintain the perfect temperature in a grill. You can even add small wood chips for added flavor. For instance, you can add small chips of maple, cider or hickory to add a smoky touch to the food you are grilling. You can place the wooden chips along with the charcoal in the charcoal basket and use it when needed. Most of the latest gas grills have a drawer or a basket to hold the chips. If you like grilling burgers, then you definitely need a good quality spatula, which helps you in easily flipping the burger on the grill.

The next important accessory amongst the BBQ grill accessories is a pair of tongs. You need a pair of tongs to place the meat on the grill, flip the meat over and remove the meat from grill, when done. You can either choose a complete stainless steel tong or stainless tip tong with non stick grip. For the best grilled steaks, you need the grill fork. A long, good quality grill fork, is used both to flip the steaks as wells as to handle the meet, while cooking. The fork grill can also be used to check if the meat is done.

Are you the one who loves meat grilled with a coating of barbecue sauce? Then you definitely need a brush, to apply or baste the marinade or the BBQ sauce on the meat, while cooking on the grill. If you like kebabs, then you definitely should have good quality skewers, do not go for the wooden skewers, since they might catch fire. Instead, purchase good quality skewers to dish out the best kebabs. If you like your veggies grilled and are worried that the veggies might fall of the grill plate on the charcoals, then you definitely need the grilling basket. A grilling basket is a basket, which can hold all the veggies and be placed on the grill, to get the perfectly grilled veggies, without any mess.

After a good cookout, the most important BBQ grill accessories that you require are the tools needed for cleaning the grill plate. Purchase a good quality grill brush and use it to clean the grill plate and this removes any traces of food particles stuck on the grill plate. BBQ grill accessories are an absolutely necessity to turn a BBQ cookout into an enjoyable and fun experience.

Bad Restaurant Reviews

Bad restaurant reviews can really hurt a nice established restaurant when trying to entice potential customers. Bad restaurant reviews can often be placed online to try and slander the owner of a business: maybe an ex employee or one upset customer out to revenge an isolated bad incident. Many times the complaint may have not surfaced online if it was properly managed prior to it making the web.

The good news is, bad reviews online of restaurants can be properly addressed. The best way to fix these is to actually have a plan in place to first, handle them when they come and secondly, try to prevent them from surfacing where other people can see these reviews like online reviews sites and social media sites.

You may want to offer your customers a way to express their opinions and give input in the way of review type cards. It is going to take some careful planning and a system set in place, though, to insure that the bad ones get handled in a timely manner so that the unhappy customer does not have a chance to get out of the place of business and the bad experience brews and brews within them. This is how bad opinions make it to the public or to friends and relatives of that customer.

Many times the customer who left the bad review just wants their input valued and just wants to know that the situation is at least attempted to be resolved. The worst thing an unhappy customer can feel is that nobody is listening or cares about their complaint. There are many customers and consumers out there who just want to be heard. By offering a way to try and make it right you have already fixed part of the problem and have offered a solution.

The first part kind of aids the second part of the equation: preventing these bad reviews from surfacing where the public knows about them or the recipient of the complaint tells others – creating bad word of mouth for your establishment.

If you are really proactive in the first step: handling the bad reviews when they come in, you could very well automatically improve this 2nd step. However, it is not always possible to catch people with a solution before they leave your establishment.

The best way you can prevent these types of bad restaurant reviews from showing up to the public is to have a system where you are handling them when they happen and to some how direct the good reviews to where people will actually see the reviews: most likely on online review sites like Yelp, Google plus, Trip Advisor etc.