We could not have asked for a better weekend for the annual RainyDayMagazine FirstGrill. The weather was perfect and the company amazing. A big “thank you” to all those who joined us for the event!!!
On the grill:
- Morgan Ranch – Waygu rib eye, strip, and tips.
- Tony’s Market – Fresh sausages, prime beef sliders
- Moroccan kabobs – Ground beef and bison, various spices
- Grilled vegetables – mix with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Grilled corn – microwave the corn with husk on, move husk, grill lightly
- Japanese eggplant “Italian sausages” and carrot “hot dogs”
On the side:
- Italian pasta salad
- Enchanted Broccoli Forest Baked beans
- Israeli cous cous
- Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo potato salad
- Cabbage salad
The 2015 FirstGrill was the first time we put the Fuego Element grill through its paces, and it passed with flying colors! One thing to note about the Fuego grill is that, unlike the TEC infrared grill, it is designed to work with the cover ON (even though most of our shots were with the cover off). The dome cover, with the internal heat reflecting insert, is the key to the grill’s fast temperature ramp up, enabling it to cook quickly without drying things out. We usually par-boil sausages before grilling to cut down on grease fires, but with the Element, we were able to just put them on the grill, cover it up and let it do its thing. There was no flare ups and no drama, just perfectly grilled food.
FirstGrillers were impressed with the Fuego’s large grilling surface and many commented on its slim space-saving design. We let our guests work the Element grill to get a feel for the ergonomics. More than one said they will likely be upgrading to one for their July 4th cook out!
Along with many other gear, folks also had a chance to check out the following:
- ThermaCELL’s mosquito repellent Torch
- Boos Block’s new Tenmoku cutting board
- Shun’s super sharp 8″ chef’s knife
One of the most anticipated tastings at FirstGrill is always when we bring out the Waygu beef from Morgan Ranch. Even after a few hours of feasting, folks manage to find room for a bite of this incredibly delicious beef.
We prepared the ribeye and the strip according to Morgan Ranch’s directions: remove from fridge and let rest, salt and pepper to marinate. We cooked them quickly on both sides on the infrared grill (800ºF) to seal in the juices. Just a few minutes on each side was enough for medium-rare.
The high sugar content in pineapple and watermelon are what make them suitable for grilling. No need to prep. Just slice up the fruit into easy-to-handle pieces and toss them onto the grill. Of the two, we liked the grilled pineapple better. For some reason, the grilled watermelon smelled a lot like pancakes 🙂
New for FirstGrill 2015 was the wine-tasting brought to us by noted wine commentator, Todd Trzaskos. We had a section set up for our guests to meet Todd, sample offerings from Pasternak and Furmint USA, and give their thoughts and comments. Todd has an awesome write-up of the feedback here.
Wines and spirit:
- Pasternak Wine Imports provided two sauvignon blancs: one from France and the other New Zealand, and some reds from Chile and Argentina. All were great pairing for grilled foods.
- FurmintUSA provided four Hungarian wines made with the Furmint grape. This was our guests’ first taste of an old world tradition.
- Barrell Bourbon : Batch #4 Bourbon, Batch #1 Whiskey
Of course, after everyone has had their fill and had a chance to digest a bit, we wrapped things up with a tasting of Barrell Bourbon (Batch #4) and Whiskey (Batch #1). Many were more than a little surprised at the smooth full feel of Barrell’s spirits. However, what really impressed the FirstGrillers was Barrell’s complexity. Flavor comments ranged from “peppery,” “spicy,” “sweet/lightly fruity,” to “the pleasant burn like my first giant cinnamon gum ball.” We couldn’t think of a more excellent way to “finish” the 2015 FirstGrill !!!
If you have not already done so, is time to get that grill scrubbed, top off the propane tank, or grab a few bags of charcoal, because Summer is here (even for us in New England) and it is grilling time!!!
Photo credit: Candids of the food and guests by George Caia, taken with the Fujifilm X100S.