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Cleaning a Grill Pan

Tips For Cleaning A Grill Pan – There Are A Variety Of Methods

Tips for Cleaning a Grill Pan

If you’re into the idea of grilling indoors, you’re going to need a good, solid grill pan. These little works of cast iron help make your meals delicious, complete with searing marks, when you’re not able to use an outdoor grill.

What is a Grill Pan?

There are two basic pans referred to as a grill pan.

  • 1
    The frying pan, usually made of cast iron, that has raised parallel ridges and is used on the stovetop.
  • 2
    The broiler pan with a raised grill insert that is used for cooking food under the main compartment of a grill.

Today, we’re focusing on the frying pan variety, and a variety of techniques for cleaning and maintaining the pan.

What is a Grill Pan Used For?

Grill Pan Used For

A cast iron grill pan is used as a sort of substitute for grilling on a traditional charcoal, propane, or electric grill. An alternative may be something like a counter top grill, or a stovetop griddle pan.

A stovetop griddle pan is actually somewhat similar to a grill pan, but usually does not have raised edges, nor is it as deep as a grill pan, though it may be reversible and have a smooth surface on one side and a raised ridge surface on the other. These are often double burner pans, while a standard grill pan is a single burner pan.

 For specific recipe ideas, you can search for “best grill pan recipes.”

How to Clean a Grill Pan

There are a variety of methods for cleaning a cast iron grill pan. Here are the best ones we’ve found.

Cleaning a Non-Rusty Grill Pan

If your pan was freshly used, this is your method. For grill pans that have seen too much water and had the seasoning cleaned off, check below for other methods.

1. Start with Hot Water

Don’t use hot water and soap – just use hot water.

Once your pan has cooled after cooking, you’re going to get some hot water going, and grab a cloth. Rinse the pan completely with the hot water. Then soak a clean cloth in hot water, and use it to wipe down the pan.

Make sure you get the space between the ridges cleaned thoroughly. Try pressing your finger directly into the cloth and running it in between the ridges to remove all debris.

Be sure to rinse the cloth at least a few times along the way.

2. Dry Your Pan Completely

Air drying a cast iron skillet can cause your pan to rust, so be sure to completely dry the pan with a clean, dry towel.

3. Season Your Pan

Seasoning the pan will not only help keep it clean and in top shape for your next use, but can help to prolong the life of the pan.

Use a clean paper towel to apply a very light layer of vegetable oil into the pan.

Put the pan on the middle rack of the oven, and let it bake for about one hour at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to completely cool before putting it away.

4. Store in a Dry Place

Make sure that all cast iron pans are stored in a dry place. If any moisture hits the cast iron, you’ll have to treat it for rust.

How to Clean a Rusty Grill Pan

A few simple steps can help you redeem rusted cast iron.

1. Do a Vinegar Soak

This step is for seriously rusted out pans.

If you’ve got a pan that’s got some serious issues, get a bucket out.

Mix together equal parts white vinegar and water in the bucket, and submerge the pan. Make sure the whole pan is under water.

Be sure to soak the pan for a while. You can go as long as eight hours, if you feel like it’s a rough job.

But be sure to check the pan pretty often. Eventually, the vinegar will compromise the cast iron, so don’t just let it soak and disappear for the day. Remove the pan as soon as you see the rust has flaked off.

2. Scrub It

Scrubbing the Grill Pan

Now, you’re getting the one and only green light for using soap on cast iron. You removed the seasoning with the vinegar already, and now you’ve got to actually get the pan clean.

Use mild detergent with warm water. Scrub away any remaining rust with a slightly abrasive sponge or scrubber. Steel wool and scrub pads are good options, but avoid harsher scrubbers like copper.

3. Dry the Pan and Season as Usual

Make sure you dry the pan completely, and use the seasoning process above.

Using Your Grill Pan

Using Grill Pan cooking a grilled steak

Now that you have some recipe ideas, and the knowledge of how to clean and maintain your cast iron grill pan, you’re ready to make some absolutely delicious and uniquely flavored indoor grilled foods. Enjoy.

masterbuilt 30 electric smoker

Smoking And Grilling Know How: A Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker Review

Grilling and smoking season is upon us. And that means it’s time to assess some machines so that you can find the perfect grill, smoker, or combo for your family.

To help in the process, we thought we’d take a look at a specific grill: The Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker.

Before we get into those reviews, though, let’s take a look at what smoking meat is, and how to do it with an electric smoker. Knowledge is one of the most important aspects of deciding on the right type of smoker or grill.

What is Smoking Meat?

Smoking meat is a process of flavoring and preserving meat by exposing is to smoke for a prolonged period of time. Exposing meat, or cheese or vegetables, to smoke adds layers of flavors that other cooking methods do not.

smoking meat

Smoking meat is a process that has been used throughout history to preserve meat and use it much later than unpreserved meat could survive without spoiling. Smoking meat dates back to prehistoric times when people first realized slow cooking with meat could preserve their food.

A major advancement in meat preservation was a device called the Torry Kiln. The Torry Kiln was invented in Scotland in 1939.

The Torry Kiln was used to allow for a uniform mass smoking process and is considered to the prototype for which all modern large scale commercial smokers follow. With the rise of modern transportation, however, it became easier for food to be transported long distances.

This advancement in transport reduced the need for smoked meats.

In recent years smoking meat has become more of a way to add flavor to the food rather than just preserve the food. As time has gone, on there have been further refinements in the techniques and technologies used in smoking.

Even though the process for smoking meat has become much easier, the basic steps have remained the same as they have been for hundreds of years.

There are four kinds of smoking methods used: cold smoking, warm smoking, hot smoking and by the use of applying of liquid smoke.

How to use an Electric Smoker

There is a process for using an electric smoker that sets it apart from other types of smokers.

1. Choose the Type of Electric Smoker You Want to Use

There are two primary types of electric smokers to choose from: vertical water electric smokers and electric cabinet smokers.

Vertical Water Electric Smokers

Vertical Water Electric Smokers

A vertical water electric smoker tends to be mostly inexpensive smokers. These types of smokers operate best in warmer weathers and may have trouble in cold weather.

When cold weather hits the vertical water smokers, the machines have trouble maintaining the core temperature.

Due to this limitation, you should determine when you will be using it for smoking. If you decide that you will mostly be smoking meat during this summer than this may be the smoker for you, whatever your climate.

Electric Cabinet Smokers

Electric Cabinet Smokers

The other main type of electric cabinet smoker is designed and insulated like refrigerators. Most of the smokers with this kind of design feature a temperature gauge for keeping more precise control of the temperature.

Temperature control is a great feature because of how important it is to keep exact control of the smoking process. If the temperature is not closely controlled, there’s a chance the meat will either not get smoked well enough or could be over-smoked.

2. Read the Instructions Carefully

Once you have purchased your electric smoker, you’ll need to carefully read all of the instructions included with your smoker. Each make and model has its own unique operating directions which need to be closely followed for optimum use of your smoker.

If you don’t take the time to learn the ins and outs of the smoker, you may find yourself with meat that’s not up to the standard or quality that you want.

3. Choose Your Wood Chips

Wood Chip

The next important step is determining which kinds of wood chips you’ll use for your smoker.

There are a wide variety of woods available for use. Some of these woods include:

  • Cherry
  • Cedar
  • Alder
  • Plum
  • Hickory
  • Maple
  • Oak
  • Mesquite
  • Walnut
  • Almond
  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Peach
  • Orange
  • Lemon

Each one of these woods offer a different flavor that will affect the taste of your meat. Certain woods will pair better with certain meats.

Wood chips can be purchased at a variety of places, such as at a grocery store, hardware store, or online.

When purchasing the wood chips for you smoker it’s important to remember that you will need approximately 4 cups of wood chips for approximately every three to five hours of use of your electric smoker.

4. Prepare and Ready Your Smoker

Preparing the smoker

Next, you’re going to need to prepare your smoker by seasoning the grates, if required, or cleaning. Never use grates straight out of the box. Manufacturing oils and residues may still be on the grates.

If you need to season the racks or grates, you’ll need to gently wash them in warm or hot water and soap. Use a rag to dry them completely.

Then, with vegetable oil, or vegetable shortening on a paper towel, you’ll need to coat the grates or racks.

Now, turn on the smoker, and run it for about two hours.

After the smoker has run for two hours, turn it off, and let it cool completely before cooking anything.

5. Plan Your First Smoking Project

Planning a Meat for smoking project

Now comes the fun part. You’ll need to choose the marinade and meal recipes you’ll be using for your meat.

Choose a recipe designed specifically for meat to be smoked. These will take into consideration dry rubs, marinades, and other key factors for getting the most out of your smoked meat. Just follow the instructions in your recipes.

6. Ready to Smoke

Ready to Smoke

Once your meat or cheese is ready to smoke, often the next day after the rub and marinade have been applied, you’re ready to crank up your smoker.

Make sure to fill the water receptacle if you’ve got a vertical water electric smoker.

Before you put your meat in, make sure that the temperature of the smoker reaches the pre-heat temperature recommended on your recipe.

Throughout the process of smoking the meat, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the internal temperature of the smoker. Smokers will include an internal gauge you can use to do this.

A Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker Review

What is the Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker?

The Masterbuilt 30 electric smoker is a digital electronic smokehouse that’s full of useful bells and whistles.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top...
  • 730 sq. inches of cooking space with 4 chrome-coated racks and 800 watt heating element
  • Digital temperature and timer controls
  • Thermostat temperature control for even cooking from 100 to 275 degrees F

The Masterbuilt 30 is a thermostatically controlled smoker that can reach smoking temperatures from 100 to 275 degrees. This means that it is geared more toward slow smoking, rather barbecuing at higher temperatures. You’ll need to gear your recipe choices towards this method of smoking.

The Masterbuilt 30 includes an internal monitor for keeping track of the meat with a probe. The smoker also features internal lights for monitoring the meat.

These electronic features can be tracked and controlled with a radio frequency, or RF, remote.

The Masterbuilt 30 also includes a side door for feeding wood easily and safely into the fire compartment. This means you won’t disrupt the smoking process when you add in more wood.

One of the key features of this electric smoker, as well as all other electric smokers, is that you don’t have to monitor the machine nearly as frequently as charcoal or propane smokers.

If you tend to be busy, even when at home, you should definitely strongly consider an electric smoker over the others.

Specific Features of the Masterbuilt 30

A more complete list of features include:

The cooking area of the grill is 730 square inches.

The full dimensions of the grill are 20.3 inches long by 19.7 inches wide, by 32.1 inches height.

The weight of the grill is 54.37 pounds.

A major feature is the digital control panel which has a vivid blue LED display.

The Panel features a control on/off switch, time, light, and temperature.

The smoker features a monitor for keeping track of the internal meat temperature.

The radio frequency remote controller comes with the smoker for easy adjustments and monitoring.

There are 4 chrome coated racks for smoking meat.

The smoker features easily convert to become a 6-shelf smoker with a sold separate rack accessory kit.

The smoker has a side loading system in which chips can be added to the grill without having to open the smoking door.

For consistent temperature during the smoking process, there is an 800-watt heating element.

The smoker includes an integrated thermostat temperature control.

There’s an easy-to-remove wood chip tray for disposal of the ash.

There’s an easy-to-remove drip pan for easy clean up.

The smoker features a full view window for viewing the smoking process in progress.

There’s an air damp control that’ adjustable for smoke levels.

The body of the smoker itself is fully insulated to help maintain consistent temperatures during the smoking process.

The interior LED lights are high-output to clearly see the meat being smoked.

For ease of use, the smoker has a rear mounted handle.

Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker Reviews from Others

Positive Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker Reviews

Positive Masterbuilt 820 electric smoker reviews praise many aspects of the machine.

One veteran of a using a variety of types of grills and methods said that they would recommend this particular model to any grill enthusiast, regardless of their experience, whether they’re brand new to smoking food, or pretty much an expert.

Other Masterbuilt 30 electric smoker reviews praise the smoker for how well-made and put-together the machine is.

A professional chef said that the grill was comparable to the tools that he used in the kitchen on a daily basis. Because the smoker has such consistent temperatures and can heat quickly enough, the chef was able to make restaurant quality food with ease using his own at home.

Another buyer, a first-time meat smoker, praised the Masterbuilt 30 for how easy it is to both set up and use. The instructions included with the smoker are easy to follow. Newbies can have their smokers set up, seasoned, and running in no time.

Negative Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker Reviews

Criticism of the grill seems to only include a few limited things.

One of the mentioned flaws for the Masterbuilt 30 is that the wheels on the legs are not of greatest quality. This can sometimes mean the user has to use additional effort to move the grill about on more difficult surfaces, such as gravel or grass.

One user mentioned replacing the wheels with better ones and recommends other users may wish to consider doing the same.

Another minor complaint was that the racks included in the grill cannot hold a full rack of ribs at once. One user said that he they had to cut the racks in half to be able to fit them onto the smoker grates. If you make ribs a lot, that could definitely be a drawback for the Masterbuilt 30.

One user complained about the size of the tray that holds the smoke pellets. For the use of the meat that was being smoked, the user felt that the tray was far too small for the task at hand. The user eventually ended up modifying the grill to accommodate the need for more chips to help with smoking.

What’s Our Masterbuilt 30 Electric Smoker Review?

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top...

We think that this is a great grill that is worth investing in. While size is definitely a factor, if you’re not planning to smoke ribs often, then you’re looking at a really great option in the Masterbuilt 30.

Cooking with smoke – How will you do – Infographic


Tickle Your Taste Buds With The Finest Baby Back Ribs

We all love baby back ribs, it’s a comfort food that really does bring out the smiles and happiness of any person who is tucking into a perfectly cooked bit of beef rib, or pork rib for that matter. When cooked to perfection baby back or spare ribs can be a delicious meal on their own or they can serve as a wonderful main component alongside salads, rice dishes and vegetables. At the end of the day whatever your choice of accompaniment, the baby back ribs need care and attention if you want to get them right, as these are going to be the centre part to any dish.

In today’s guide we are going to take you through everything you need to know to cooking the perfect rack of baby back ribs, from getting your ingredients together, to the equipment you are going to need, right through to some handy tips and tricks in how you can get the best results. And of course, the best results start with tender, moist and delicious tasting meat that you can be proud of.

Pans at the ready, as we are going to dive in…

Equipment and Ingredients for Cooking Baby Back Ribs

First things first we need to prepare our work area with the equipment and ingredients we need to so we are organised and have everything together in one area. In terms of equipment you are going to need a baking sheet, some kitchen foil, a wire cooling rack, a pastry brush and a sharp kitchen knife.

Set these all down to one side and then on the other side you want a 4-5lbs baby back rib, a quarter of a cup of Dijon mustard, some liquid smoke (optional), 1 cup of space rub, and 1 cup of barbecue sauce.

Now you should all be set to get on with preparing the ribs and then cooking them.

Preparing The Ribs With a Marinade

Preheat your oven to 300F to begin with so we get a nice disperse of heat that evenly works its way across the oven ready for us to add the ribs to. Then take a baking sheet and line it with some of the foil that you set aside earlier on, finally placing a wire cooling rack on top of that.

At this stage you can add the ribs to the rack as they are as we can dress the meat from here.

Take your Dijon mustard and the liquid smoke and use the pastry brush to brush the mixtures onto both sides of the baby back ribs, making sure that you evenly spread the mixture. You can then add the dry rub to the ribs by firstly sprinkling it over and the patting it into the meat.

Now you are ready to place the baby back ribs under the broiler and you only need to do this for around 5 minutes, making sure the meat side of the ribs are facing up towards the elements. When 5 minutes has passed you will notice that there is a brown colouration on the upper side of the ribs and this is where you can move the baby back ribs to the preheated oven to roast them.

Usually roasting a 4-5lbs baby back rib can take around 2 hours so you need to set aside that time. You can choose to cover the ribs with foil to start with or you can introduce the foil halfway through that 2 hour cooking time to allow the moisture to retain within the meat, keeping it tender and not allowing it to easily dry out.

During the last 30 minutes remove the baby back ribs and pick up your pastry brush again, and this time we are going to apply the barbecue sauce, and at this stage you can either coat it with plenty of sauce or you can be more reserved and just brush a light covering on top of the ribs. The choice is yours. Once you have done that just cover the baby back ribs up again with the foil and let them cook for that final 30 minutes until the 2 hour period is upon you.

Serving up The Baby Back Ribs

As with any meat just give it time to rest when you fetch it out of the oven so that the juices all disperse evenly around the meat which will just add to the moisture and tenderness of the baby back ribs. Once they have rested you can either serve them as they are or you can perform cuts between the bones in order to separate each section of the rib.

If you are adding any other ingredients make sure that these are cooked prior to taking the ribs out of the oven as you will want to eat them straight away, whilst they are hot.

Sauteed Beet Greens are The Best Cooking Method to Use

When it comes to cooking there are so many different cooking methods that it’s hard to get your head around. You have boiling, baking, grilling, griddling, sautéing, boiling, frying, barbecuing and so many other ways to cook foods. For some food however, certain cooking methods really do bring out the best when it comes to textures, flavours and general overall experiences and we have to say that when it comes to cooking beet greens there is only way method of cooking that really excels from all others, and that is sautéed beet greens.

If you haven’t tried beet greens or you haven’t tried them using this cooking method then stop what you are doing right now and listen up, as we are going to show you how to sauté beet greens and why they are so good when you use this method.

Getting Together What You Need

Beet greens are nothing without a few flavourings and seasonings thrown into the mix though, and it’s important that when sautéing them you know exactly what ingredients work and wont don’t. Sometimes experimenting is the only way to find out but we are going to list the ingredients you need here to save you time.

Get yourself a maximum of 3 bunches of beet greens and then set aside some extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, a lemon, a shallot, some red pepper flakes and an orange.

Preparing the Beet Greens

To start with you should always wash vegetables like this under cold water which just takes away any grit, dirt or other foreign impurities that you don’t want on them. Also with beet greens its advisable to trim off the purple stems as these are very bitter in taste and even if you like them the chances are that a lot of your dinner guests may not, so it’s just thinking about them at the same time.

You will now be left with the green part of the vegetable and the best way to cut them into strips is to simply roll them up and then take your knife to them as you cut across the leaves. Generally you want to cut them into 1 inch segments, try not to cut them to large or too small and always remember that when they start cooking they will reduce in size so bare that in mind with the amount of bunches of beet greens you use.

Begin Cooking Your Ingredients

Now the beet green are prepared we want to begin cooking the other ingredients that we mentioned earlier on. So get a pan on the heat, and drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil until it becomes hot enough to begin adding your garlic into.

Once you have allowed the garlic to cook for a minute throw in your shallot (diced), your red pepper flakes and finally your beet greens. Allow them to wilt and cook for roughly 3 minutes, and just check to see if there is enough water to allow them to steam. If you see there isn’t enough water or find the garlic is turning brown then this is a tell-tale sign that you will need to introduce a few spoonful’s of water to the pan in order to finishing the cooking process off.

Serving up the Beet Greens

The finally step in our guide is serving up the beet greens, by now you have some incredible flavours that have enveloped the beet greens, with the garlic and shallot aromas adding to the taste. However, it doesn’t stop there as we want to combat the bitter taste of the beet greens by bringing together some acidic flavours and this is where lemon juice and orange juice comes in and plays its part.

Simply add lemon and orange juice to a pan and allow the juices to just simmer away with each other, you can also real intensify the flavour at this point by adding some vinegar as well. Once you have let the beet greens simmer in the orange and lemon for a couple more minutes you can then take them out the pan (the water should have evaporated nicely), and then serve them up on a plate.

Generally these beet greens are strong providers of sodium but you can add standard seasonings in the form of a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper if you feel that you need to combat some of the flavours.

Remember, this dish may not be for everyone but you should definitely give it a try as the garlic, shallot, acidic flavours and bitterness of the beet greens all come together and complement each other to provide you with a real taste sensation.

Living The Healthy Lifestyle with Nutritious Black Beans


Beans of any variety are packed full of healthy benefits and can complement everything from stews, to casseroles, to rice dishes and pasta dishes. They can even make up a substantial part of a fresh salad, but many people get put off cooking them because they don’t really know how to, or when they are cooked properly. The truth to cooking beans is that they are incredibly easy to cook and just like many foods it takes a couple of tips for you to master the art of cooking them and providing a new dish to add to your growing cookery arsenal.

Black beans in particular can be eaten on their own, and it’s not rocket science in cooking a creamy tender bowl of these fantastic beans. The biggest issue for many is that beans aren’t fast foods, they take hours to cook so if you are looking for quick meals then the 3 hour cooking time of black beans may put you off, but believe us when we say you have tasted nothing like the tender black beans we are going to show you how to cook today.

Preparing The Black Beans Ready to Cook

To get the perfect tenderness all the way through its key that you soak the beans prior to cooking them, this will give you a much better chance of having a more evenly cooked and tender bean dish. Plus, it can take some time off that 3 hour cooking time.

Right, so now we are ready to begin the cooking process so the first thing we need to do is get our equipment and ingredients together. Luckily there isn’t a lot to think about here, you just need a pound of dried black beans, some salt, a bay leaf, a couple of cloves of garlic, a chopped carrot, half a white onion, and some water to fill your saucepan.

Most of those ingredients above are simply to add to the aromatics of the liquid that surrounds the beans when it starts to evolve into a creamy dish.

Cooking to Perfection: Bringing The Black Beans to Boil

After you have soaked your beans (usually overnight) you will want to drain them, and its at this point where if you have the time you can pick out any odd looking beans, dried beans or other impurities that you don’t want to make it across to the saucepan for cooking.

Add your water to the saucepan and then shuck in all your aromatic ingredients that we mentioned above as these will help infuse the beans with delicate and captivating tastes when you come to eating them later on. All you need is a little bit of water as well so don’t go filling the entire pan, you want to cover the beans by about an inch and then set the temperature to a medium-high heat and then let them get to a boiling state.

Once you have hit boiling point reduce the heat down to a low temperature so that the beans are just simmering away. If you are looking to add the beans to soups or creamy dishes then adding a lid at this point will improve the tenderness of the black beans. If you leave the lid off the beans will be more crunchy and less tender, so you should only leave the lid off if you are looking to add the beans to salads or pasta dishes.

Leave the beans on a simmer for about an hour and then come back to just check them at that point. You want to make sure that the beans are still submerged in water so you may be required to add some more water at this point. Cover up the beans and then leave them for another hour or so.

Just before the end of the cooking process add a pinch or two of salt to add to the taste, as the black beans should now be tender.

Storing The Black Beans

Once cooked you should have a nice creamy black bean soup dish now with all those aromatics, but the best thing with black beans is that you can keep them refrigerated for 7 days, or frozen for up to 3 months so its always an idea to cook a good batch of them up if you are going to be spending hours cooking them, that way you add them to individual containers and add them to different dishes throughout the months before the need to cook any more.

Even if you aren’t fussed about the liquid, you should still keep it as it makes a great staple for sauces and soups, and because you have all that flavour and goodness packed into it, it really can add to other dishes you may cook so just pop it into a container and keep it stored in the fridge.

The Way to Anyone’s Heart: Homemade Beef Ribs

Beef really is the ultimate comfort food, whether it’s a perfectly slow cooked beef brisket or a set of beef ribs coated in your ideal marinade. In today’s guide we are bringing you one of the best comfort foods and showing you exactly how to cook them to perfection.

Firstly, let’s not get ahead of ourselves because cooking beef ribs isn’t easy if you don’t know what you are doing, it does take time, patience and knowing what seasonings and cooking methods work the best to bring out those beautiful and textures that we have all come to love about this meat.

The very first port-of-call for you is to head to a local butcher because this is where you are not only going to save money on your ribs but you are going to get the finest cuts of beef ribs. They will be fresh, meaty and give you the perfect head start to creating an amazing dish for yourself, your loved one or dinner guests that you may have over for the evening.

Preparing The Beef Ribs Ready to Cook

We always stress at home important preparing the meat is and we aren’t going to avoid it in this guide because this step of the process is a fundamental part of getting that end result spot on. With beef ribs you will notice that there is quite a thick membrane that runs along the back, this needs to be removed as it can spil the taste and experience of beef ribs because the membrane once cooked becomes very chewy and tough. Not pleasant at all.

Luckily o remove it, it’s simple. Just use your fingers to work the membrane loose, or take a knife and just slowly prize it away from the rest of the meat. If you are heading to a butcher to buy your meat then you can also ask the butcher to remove it for you before you come away.

Choices, Choices, Choices!

When it comes to your seasoning or marinade we all have our own preferences and specific tastes. With beef ribs you can use almost anything on top of it, and whilst most of us always head straight to barbecue sauce marinades some other seasonings and rubs are proving to become more popular in cooking this meat.

Chilli powder, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder and dried thyme is just one rub mix that gives your ribs a nice kick, and probably the biggest advantage is that you can eat them without getting yourself into a complete mess…which can’t be said for barbecue sauce marinades.

Cooking the Ribs

For the best results you should always oven cook your beef ribs as this will help the meat become tender, to the extent it just falls off the bone into your mouth with little effort. Also the moisture, tastes and juices will be noticeable with an oven cooked rack of ribs, so for the purpose of this we are going to be using the oven.

If you have chosen to barbecue marinade your ribs, that process is fairly simple and once you have coated your beef ribs with the sauce you will need to wrap the ribs up in some kitchen foil. We recommend using a good couple of sheets of foil so you lock in all the juices and steam which will add to the textures and tastes once cooked.

Place the ribs into a preheated oven, in a baking tin, with the meat facing down. You want the temperature to be around the 225C mark and it will take around 3 hours for a standard size rack of ribs to cook through thoroughly. Avoid checking the meat or opening the oven door as you want the heat to remain consistent and you don’t want to expel any juices or steam by unnecessarily opening the foil up.

Once the cooking time has come to an end take the ribs out, uncover them and leave them for a period of between abut 10-20 minutes so that the juices redistribute throughout the ribs, helping it become tender and moist to the bite.

Serving up Your Beef Ribs

Beef ribs can go with many other foods to make a great dish, so think about potatoes and vegetables as one choice, or perhaps you would like to make a gorgeous potato salad or fresh green salad to accompany the beef ribs for summer time treat. For the Winter periods adding some basmati rice with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top can really make for a hearty dinner time meal, or you could just cut the ribs up and then eat them on their own.

The choice is yours, but do experiment with what foods go with the beef ribs to make the most out of them.

Ahi Tuna is The Taste Temptation Whether Rare or Fully-Cooked

If you have no idea what Ahi Tuna is then you may have also heard this type of Tuna steak known as Yellowfin Tuna. There is without no doubt that this type of fish boasts one of the most delicious tastes, and if you are a fan of chunky, steak-like, hearty and wholesome fish then this protein booster is going to be your go-to choice of food.

Like most fish, it’s a brain food and poses many health benefits to your heart, circulation and general complexion. It really is a meaty fish that when cooked properly can be on the most amazing taste sensations you will have ever experienced.

The best thing though; you don’t need to be a Michelin starred chef in order to pull this one off as its one of the easiest foods you are ever likely to cook. Even this dish makes beans on toast look complicated!

Getting the ingredients and Preparing Your Ahi Tuna

All you need in terms of ingredients for your Yellowfin or Ahi Tuna is some seasonings or a marinade (which we will come to soon), some peanut oil or vegetable oil, and the actual tuna steaks themselves.

Preparing the steaks should be the part where you take the longest amount of time on, this should be the section of the preparation process that really brings together the tastes at the end result so time and effort is key and essential at this point.

Firstly, have you got fresh or frozen tuna steaks at hand?

If frozen then you are best thawing it out thoroughly before you begin cooking to get the maximum results. To do this you want to leave it in the fridge until it thaws. If it’s fresh then we can crack on with the seasoning and marinade.

One of the most complimenting mixtures that you can add to an Ahi tuna steak is a spice mixture, because it’s often these spicy flavours that really complement the meaty flavours of the steak.

Creating a mix is quite easy as well; all you need it half a teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano. Mix those all together with a fork or whisk and then coat your steak all over. Now, just leave the tuna for a few minutes to absorb those flavours before we introduce them to the heat.

You can also swap the spices with a more citrus rich marinade such as a Tuna Tartare which consists of cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, wasabi and lemon juice. Usually this kind of mix is best suited to oven baking methods because of the consistency of the marinade.

Getting to Grips With Cooking the Tuna

The next steps in the process of creating a perfect Ahi tuna is to make sure that the pan you are using is heated up to it’s fullest before you place the tuna in. You want the fish to cook evenly across the pan so this is an essential requirement.

Generally Ahi Tuna is served rare because the texture and taste is much better than a cooked piece of Ahi Tuna which struggles to keep in moisture. However, some people do enjoy the tuna seared, so if this is you then you can add the tuna steaks to the pan for a couple of minutes on each side to just give it that golden look on the outside.

If rare isn’t your thing there is nothing wrong with fully cooking the tuna steaks, and all you need to do is keep the tuna on the heat longer until you are satisfied with the texture and consistency.

Serving the Ahi Tuna Steaks

The wonderful thing about tuna is how you can serve it, and whether it’s rare or fully cooked you can bring together many colours and appealing sights onto a plate quite easily. If you have chosen to rub spices onto your tuna then you can cut the steak up into portions and present them in a domino effect on a plate, or you can cut them into cubes if you added no marinade, and then simply season them at the very end.

Or, if you have used a tartare sauce like we mentioned earlier on in this guide you can simply leave the steaks as a whole piece and then serve them up with a slice of lemon and some fluffy basmati rice.

Either way, tuna steaks can really develop your creative skills in the kitchen and have you thinking outside the box on experimental presentations. One thing we can safely put our money on is that your guests will love this Ahi tuna whether its rare, seared, fully cooked, part of a starter or as a full blown main meal.

So what are you waiting for? Get some fresh Ahi Tuna and wow your guests!

Are Brussel Sprouts Just For Christmas Time?


It seems that the only time of the year that we eat brussel sprouts is during the festive holidays, and these small cabbage like vegetables are certainly an acquired taste much like marmite is. You either love sprouts or you don’t. Perhaps the biggest off-putting part of a sprout is the fact that when they are just boiled they become quite bitter, and if you overcook them, well, then you really do have an unpleasant tasting vegetable on your hands.

The truth is, brussel sprouts are a Christmas tradition in many parts of the world and supermarkets noticeably see a steep incline in the sales of fresh and frozen sprouts in the lead up to Christmas. However, these vegetables are very good food you, and they contain plenty of nutrients that can help you keep a healthy mind and body. Whether it’s the antioxidants, the plethora of vitamin C and K or the detox qualities it has, they really are an all-year round vegetable.

Bringing Out Different Flavours

Sprouts can be cooked using many different methods of cooking but perhaps the main way is to boil them, usually because you are boiling other vegetables at the same time. The important part is not to overcook them as the taste qualities and textures tend to start becoming unpleasant. Strong bitter tastes and mushy textures aren’t something you really want to serve to your guests whether it’s Christmas time or Easter time.

Method 1: Taking Your Brussels to The Boil

To boil your sprouts you need only a few ingredients and they are your sprouts, some salt, some pepper and some butter for serving.  Firstly you need to bring a pot of water to boil and then add a pinch of salt. You want to get the water boiling before you add the sprouts for the best texture and taste as the end result.

Before introducing the sprouts you want to make sure you prepare them by washing them under some cold water, all this does is removes any impurities, and you may also want to remove any off-colour leaves (usually yellow ones). Once you have completed this step you can now add the sprouts to that boiling pan and then cook them for around 10-15 minutes, checking them in that last 5 minute period to make sure you don’t overcook or undercook them.

Drain them, pepper them up and then add a knob of butter on to the top of them ready for serving to your dinner guests.

Method 2: Sautee Your Sprouts!

Not many people have tried this method but if you aren’t too keen on the flavour of a boiled sprout then you may want to look at the sauté option which tends to offer more in terms of tastes and textures.

With each sprout you want to cook it’s always best when sautéing is to cut them into halves. It can be time consuming if you have a lot of sprouts to get through but trust us; you are going to get much better results in the long-term.

The preparation steps are the same as the boiling method, so rinse them under cool running water and remove any dead leaves from the sprouts, but this time instead of preparing a saucepan with hot water and salt you will instead want to get a frying pan ready with a few tablespoons of olive oil.

Put the heat up to a medium-high temperature and once the oil has heated up you can begin to individually introduce each sprout to the pan (making sure you lay each sprout down, flat-side on the base of the pan). As they begin to cook sprinkle some pepper and salt over the top of them to season them and leave the cook for around 5 minutes until you flip them over onto their backs.

You should see visible signs that they are cooking, and a golden brown colour should become apparent.

The final step, and trick to the sauté process is to pour in about a third of a cup of water, this cup will cover the bottom of the pan and boil them slightly until the water has evaporated. This is an important step that you shouldn’t forget and usually it takes about 5 minutes for the water to evaporate and for the sprouts to be fully cooked.

So that’s a total of 5 minutes on each side, and then 5 minutes after the addition of the water.

To serve up the sprouts you can use a knob of butter on top of them to melt down into the vegetables, or you could even try squeezing some lemon juice across them for an alternative but complimenting flavour that will tickle your taste buds.

Either way, this proves sprouts aren’t just for Christmas.

Cooking a Beef Brisket in a Slow Cooker is The Answer to Food Heaven

As we approach the festive holidays our minds are firmly fixed upon cooking arrangements, and if you are the one in the household that has been left in charge of such a task then the pressure is almost certainly on you. Not down to the fact that you have guests coming from all locations across the country, or even the world in some instances, but the whole of Christmas Day dinner lies firmly in your hands.

A well cooked beef brisket can literally be one of the most amazing things you will ever taste in your life, if cooked correctly. One of the main things that separates a n excellent brisket from a poor one if how you go about cooking it, what you add to it in terms of seasoning and how much time you take preparing it.

Food like this should never be rushes, and that is exactly why cooking it in a slow cooker far outweighs the method of oven cooking.  So if you haven’t got a slow cooker then we suggest that you go out and buy one as they are very cheap but they offer more cooking opportunities to you, from casseroles, stews and beautifully slow cooked curry mixes.

The Ingredients You Are Going to Need

Firstly, before we even begin getting to work on the piece of beef we need to look closer at the ingredients we are going to be using. As these are all going to be introduced into the slow cooker you will get an idea of the wonderful tastes, flavours and smells that this dish is going to produce and the one thing we can tell you is that anyone in a sniff away is going to be eager to taste this comfort food.

Grab yourself some olive oil, a couple of red and yellow onions, some salt and pepper, 2 cups of beef broth, a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and finally 6 cloves of garlic which we will crush into the mix.

In terms of the beef brisket you ideally want something that weighs about 3 to 3.5lbs, and as beef is one of the more inexpensive meats this shouldn’t break the bank.

Beginning Your Preparation Work

The key to most successful dishes is in the preparation work you put in, and to begin the cooking process off you will want to begin cooking some of your ingredients outside of the slow cooker. First we want to fry up the onions with some olive oil until they have caramelised, and while these cook away slowly on a medium-low heat you will want to begin patting the beef brisket dry to get rid of any excess moisture that is visible on the outside.

Once you are happy we can now season the brisket with some salt and pepper, rubbing it into the meat all over the outside.

By now you can remove the onions from the heat and take the brisket to a large skillet to sear it. All we are doing here is making the crust or fatty parts of the meat golden brown in appearance and slightly crunchy. You only need to keep the brisket in the pan for a few minutes and then we can put it into the slow cooker with that fatty side facing upwards.

Adding to The Slow Cooker

The fun part to this dish is adding all these wonderful additional ingredients to the slow cooker, so at the moment you should just have that seared brisket in the cooker. Now add some crushed garlic to the top of the brisket and then throw in the onions that we cooked while preparing the beef brisket.

Next, mix those 2 cup fulls of beef broth with the 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Pour this mixture onto and around the beef brisket.

You are now ready to begin the cooking process…

Slow Cooking Your Brisket is The Key to Success

Put the dial down to a LOW temperature setting on the slow cooker and let that beef brisket slowly cook for around 7 hours until the meat becomes very tender, succulent and mouth-watering. Remember once you have cooked it, it’s always advisable to leave it to rest for a good 15 minutes so that the juices can redistribute themselves around the meat which just makes the brisket more tender than it already is and moist to the bite.

When you come to serving up the brisket it should literally shred at the cut because of how tender the meat is, but you can also slice it as well this is your choice. Pour over the liquid mixture and onions and then let your dinner guests tuck in.

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