Grilling Made Easy

Calling all Grill Masters! This month we gathered around Hadley's virtual barbeque pit to share our favorite gadgets, tips and tricks for grilling.

July 31, 2019

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Audio Transcript


What’s Cooking – Grilling Made Easy

Presented by Elyse Heinrich and Pam Winters

July 31, 2019

Elyse H.: Hello, and welcome everyone. We'd like to welcome you back, or for our first time participants, we welcome you to the What's Cooking discussion group. For those of you that are joining us for the first time, my name is Elyse Heinrich, and I'm here today with Pam Winters, a fellow Hadley learning expert, and we'll be your hosts for today's call.

Pam W.: Hi everybody, this is Pam.

Elyse H.: This month's conversation, just imagine with me we're going to gather around have these virtual barbecue pit to share your tips and tricks for grilling the perfect brats, burgers and more. So some of you might be a barbecue beginner, or maybe a practiced pit master, we can all learn, and I really hope we can share within our community.

Pam W.: We love to hear from each other, so please encourage other... We encourage other people on the call to answer questions. So it's not just Elyse and me here to answer people's questions, we mostly want you guys to jump in and share your experiences with us, because that's how we're going to all learn the most.

Elyse H.: Thanks, Pam. That sounds good. We had some great discussions about our picnic recipes last month and we posted some of those mouthwatering recipes. But today we're going to shift to some grilling ideas, so please again, feel free to share your favorites with our group. We'll be sure to post them.

Before fall starts, we don't have to wait for a tailgate party or a backyard barbecue to enjoy one of my favorites, a juicy brat. And you can enjoy brats year-round really because you can cook it either on the grill or a stove top griddle. Just to get our minds go into the grill direction, I'm going to talk about brats, the German specialty sausage made sometimes from veal, pork, or beef, and sold two ways, either raw or precooked.

This took me a while to realize between the two, is the differences in the preparation. So precooked brats, they're more common and convenient, because they can go straight on the griddle. Whereas the raw brats, if you put them directly on the griddle, they often get burnt on the outside and the middle is still undercooked and it just tastes awful. It's not safe to eat.

So if it's a raw brat, you can poach or do a braising in a flavorful liquid. Sometimes people do a dark beer before cooking them on the griddle. You can also add spices, some garlic or onions to the broth to flavor it a little bit more.

Pam W.: I'm curious, Elyse, I don't know about you, but I am not a griller. How many of you out there are people who have tackled the grill? That is one thing I was very excited about doing this one with Elyse, because I actually learned a little bit more about grilling myself. I leave that to my husband.

That's one of the things, I love to cook, but I don't touch the grill. So I'm just curious about how many people out there if they have any grilling experiences that they want to share, and in particular too even about brats. I see a hand there, Elyse.

Elyse H.: Yes, oh.

Pam W.: 852, what's your name?

Dave: Hi, my name is Dave, and I'm calling from the East Coast of Canada. I just wanted to let you know that this is my first time on one of these calls.

Pam W.: Awesome.

And I have quite a bit of experience working a barbecue, mainly a gas barbecue, and I was just going to say that poaching the sausages before putting them on the grill helps to ensure that you have the middle cooked and then you just basically have to get a good sear on the outside.

Elyse H.: Yes, do you have a specific or a favorite liquid or kind of a base that you put it into, Dave?

Dave: I've used a few things. Anything from like, just plain water, to vegetable or chicken broth. I haven't tried, like using dark beer like you just mentioned, but maybe I will in the future.

Elyse H.: Okay, I find it a good picnic staple, just to marinate them in a dark beer. Thanks for sharing.

Dave: No problem.

Elyse H.: Great. I see another hand up. Your number starts with 502. What's your name, please?

Marilyn: I'm 502, Marilyn.

Elyse H.: Marilyn. Yes, go ahead.

Marilyn: Okay, we don't grill right now, but we did for several years with propane. I did the prep, and my husband did the actual manipulation of the baskets. He's also blind. And we, for the most part, used the baskets, where you could just turn those over without having to turn over the individual pieces of whether it was burger or a chop, or whatever, you know.

But we also used those rotisserie things that you could put wieners on for hot dogs. They're kind of barrel-shaped and they have all these prongs sticking out and you put the wieners on them. I don't know why you couldn't do that with brats and just use two of the prongs to hold a brat if it was larger than, of course they're usually larger than your traditional wiener. I don't know why you couldn't use two and do them that way too on the grill. I don't know why that wouldn't work for you.

Elyse H.: No, that's a good idea. I haven't thought about that.

Pam W.: Yeah, that's a good idea.

Elyse H.: Right.

Marilyn: We pre-soaked the chips and used those for the mesquite or hickory or whatever, under the flame.

Elyse H.: Okay, do you remember where you got that rotisserie from or where we might be able to find one?

Marilyn: It was a local grill store here, and I don't remember. I mean, I don't even think they are still in business. The grill we were using at that time was a Ducane, but I don't think they specifically came with that. I think they were available for any grill.

Elyse H.: Okay, okay, great. Thanks for sharing. I see another hand from Rachel. Go ahead, Rachel.

Rachel: This is the first time that I've called in with my question. The recipe that you are mentioning, Elyse, can you use on what they call an OptiGrill?

Elyse H.: That's a new one for me.

Pam W.: I'm not familiar what that is. Me too, yeah.

Elyse H.: Please tell.

Pam W.: Does anybody know? Yeah, right?

Rachel: It's like a tabletop grill. It's what they call a tabletop grill. You can use it on a countertop. It's sort of like, I just lost the name of the grill now.

Elyse H.: Oh, like a George Foreman?

Rachel: Yeah, like a George Foreman grill.

Pam W.: Okay.

Elyse H.: Yeah, that's a great one, in that standalone appliance, like you said?

Pam W.: Yes.

Elyse H.: You can totally use this recipe on your OptiGrill. Mm-hmm (affirmative), and it's great because you can cook both sides of the brat. You don't have to turn it or anything at the same time.

Rachel: Right.

Elyse H.: Does yours heat on the top as well as the bottom surface?

Rachel: I don't have one. A friend of mine has one.

Elyse H.: Okay. Okay.

Rachel: I wind up using his.

Elyse H.: Okay. Okay.

Rachel: Yeah.

Elyse H.: Sure. Yeah, so most of the models heat from the top and the bottom. So if you do burgers or chicken or even you can grill veggies on some of those stove top, or I should say countertop appliances. It's nice because you don't have to be worried about the flipping or rotating of your food because they'll heat at the top and the bottom at the same time. And they're a little bit on an angle, so the fluids can drain through the grooves in the removable drip tray.

Rachel: Fantastic. Oh, thank you very much.

Elyse H.: Awesome. Well, thanks for sharing that. I haven't heard the OptiGrill before. So that's new. Yeah. Great. So I think we have Christina next, that's on my list here.

Christina: I was saying that I use the OptiGrill, and the one thing that I like about it, that I love about it, is that it beeps on the different doneness of the meat. For example, if you're doing a steak, for rare it beeps once, for medium, you'll hear two beeps, and for well done, it will be three beeps.

Elyse H.: Oh, how clever. I've not heard of that.

Christina: Yeah, it's part of the OptiGrill. So it does sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, and there's a steak, chicken, fish, sandwiches. And there's different settings for each of them, they are buttons, and they're raised so you can feel them, but you can probably label them. Or, for instance, the chicken button is four buttons and from the left. But it's great.

And I also use a gas grill. And I just kind of judge, let's say for eight minutes, maybe on each side or whatever. But I don't have a problem using the gas grill. I used to use the iGrill, which I did have a problem with, with the prongs that you put in the meat thermometers, they would get too hot and the wires would burn.

Elyse H.: Oh, gosh.

Pam W.: I was hoping that somebody would bring the iGrill up because that, again, was a new thing for me to read about in my grilling explorations. The other one that I read about was called the Flame Boss. Does anybody use that one?

Christina: No.

Pam W.: Okay, I think it's a similar concept.

Christina: I've heard of the And it's supposed to be a Bluetooth thermometer, where there's no wires and you could actually just put it in the meat. I haven't tried it, I was actually thinking about getting it.

Pam W.: And the Flame Boss from what I read works if you have an Alexa, you know, Echo that you can control it through there as well too. So, if we have some time, we can look into that a little bit more at the end, unless some of these people who have their hands raised might have some input too. That'd be great.

Christina: Did you say the Flame Boss, is that what it's called?

Pam W.: It's the Flame Boss. Yes.

Christina: Okay.

Pam W.: I found, let me scroll to that resource right now that I... There's a guy who runs Blind Grilling. He's on Facebook and YouTube, has a series of videos about grilling, is Chris Peltz I believe is his name. But he is the one who talked about using the Flame Boss and said that he just uses it with his phone. There's an app, too. But it also works with Alexa. I was curious to see if there's anybody out there who has tried one of those devices since I'm not familiar with it.

Tabitha: I was actually going to mention Blind Grilling YouTube channel. This is Tabitha, by the way.

Pam W.: Hi, Tabitha.

Tabitha: Yeah, because I actually watch his YouTube channel. And he also talks about using the Green Egg.

Pam W.: Oh, yeah, yeah. That's a smoker. Is that right? Is that what that is?

Tabitha: Yeah, I think so. But there's, it's called Cool Blind Tech.

Pam W.: Right.

Tabitha: They did a blog about him, and it's called Grilling Classes and Videos for the Blind.

Pam W.: Right. I actually saw those, then I think that whole series of videos is also available on YouTube under, now I'm looking. I know I put them in my notes, so I was looking, but you mentioned that I think, Blind Grillin', I think it is with an apostrophe at the end.

Tabitha: Yeah. I think so.

Pam W.: Yeah.

Tabitha: His name is Chris Peltz.

Pam W.: Right, I think is one of the websites. And then yes, I did see that they referenced him on the Cool Blind Tech too, yeah.

Tabitha: Yeah.

Pam W.: Awesome. It's P-E-L-T-Z, if anybody wants to do their own research on that. So Blind Grillin’, Chris Peltz, P-E-L-T-Z.

Elyse H.: These are some great resources here. I have another hand from Tina. Go ahead.

Tina: Hi.

Elyse H.: Hi.

Tina: Hi, this is our first time calling into this meeting. But we love the George Foreman. We use it all the time. That's what we use.

Tabitha: Yeah, we do for everything.

Tina: For fish, for veggies, I made a grilled cheese sandwich kind of earlier. I've done French toast on it. Just everything on there. And we're going to look into that meat thermometer. You mentioned the Flame Boss, we'll see if there's an Android app and we have Amazon devices and Google devices to connect it to.

Pam W.: Awesome.

Elyse H.: Oh, that sounds great. How do you like your George Foreman with the cleanup part of when you're doing your meals?

Tina: Oh, I love it. We got the one that's about a year old now, we finally found one that you can take the plates off because we'd had several of the little tiny ones that you just wipe them off, and I got tired of wiping them off. Now that we have the one that you just take the plates off and throw them in the dishwasher, they're great. Makes clean up very easy.

Elyse H.: That's the name of my game, making it easy. That's good. I'm glad there's another fellow George Foreman grill user. Thanks for sharing. Yes. Great. Next person in line here is Terry. Go ahead, Terry.

Terry: I have a quick question about charcoal. Let's say you're going to cook chicken, for example, but you're doing it with indirect heat. How many coals would you use to, like let's say you're cooking at 350, your temperature falls, you need to get it back up there, how many coals would you throw back in there to increase the temperature say, like 25 or so degrees? And also, I wanted to add that I just bought a Pit Boss smoker, pellet smoker, and that's pretty awesome. Pretty easy to use.

Elyse H.: Great, thanks for your comments. I'll open it up to the floor about charcoal.

Pam W.: I did notice that when Terry was speaking, David raised his hand and I think took his audio off. So I'm wondering if he maybe has a comment about what Terry was saying.

David: No, I'm sorry. I wanted to ask about grilling fruit, but I'll hold that until you finish the charcoal because that is a good question. Charcoal, trying to get that started.

Pam W.: Yeah.

David: I have heard of people using welders’ gloves when they're working with charcoal, but I don't know any more about it than that.

Elyse H.: All right. Debbie, you're next in line. How are you doing?

Debbie: Hi, I hope you can hear me, I'm using some AfterShokz. I hope you can you hear me all right.

Elyse H.: Loud and clear. Yes.

Debbie: Oh excellent. Okay, well this is my first-time calling in. I love grilling and I love grilled food. So years ago, I had a gas grill and I cooked food in the baskets a lot including kebabs with vegetables and all kinds of oh, I just loved cooking on that grill. I don't have that grill now. But right now I have salmon going on the OptiGrill, and I too agree that it looks a lot like a George Foreman, the plates do come off, it's a nonstick surface.

So, it's an easy cleanup. The other thing I like about it is that the drip tray slides underneath the unit and it stays in place. And that's a little different from the George Foreman. I had several George Foreman's and they're definitely good. The thing I like about the OptiGrill, in addition to that drip tray is the fact that you get those beeps, and it knows by the thickness of the food, depending on the kind of food that's on there.

I have a strip of Dymo tape that's behind my button so that I can feel that and match it up with the corresponding button to determine which kind of food I want to cook. I actually love charcoal food, but I'm not brave when it comes to working with charcoal. So I am totally blind, but that's my grilling experience. Love it.

Pam W.: Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie: Well, I would encourage anybody that wants to get the OptiGrill, if it ever seems like there's anything wrong with it, it could be that it needs to be re-calibrated. There are directions in the manual and there's an 800 number and they can help over the phone. And once it's re-calibrated, it works great, if it ever needs it. I've had to do it a couple of times, but it still works wonderfully.

Pam W.: I think all you OptiGrill users are going to turn me into a convert there. I might become a griller out of this whole thing.

Debbie: Oh, it's really wonderful. I used to do a show Cooking with the Hazelnuts, and Randy Rusnak had first demoed the OptiGrill and he should have gotten a commission because I know that demo he sold a lot, and so it's those beep tones are wonderful. They really, really help a whole lot. So, I would definitely encourage anybody that wants one, and Amazon has them, of course.

Pam W.: Yeah.

Elyse H.: Debbie, I had a question, you said you labeled your buttons with that Dymo tape and you're talking about the Braille, are they Brailleable, are they large print, and how well does that tape stick on?

Debbie: It could I suppose flop off. I could add a little bit of tape to it if I want, but it's behind. It's on the handle. The buttons are kind of on the handle of the OptiGrill, and so it's behind them on the handle and so it's not ... I don't think it's coming into close contact with the heat.

I haven't had it fall off, but you could do large print on them. Mine is in Braille, but I think you could do. I think some of those Dymo writers do either large print or raised prints. So it's just the one that I wrote on it in Braille and peeled it off and just one strip and works great.

Elyse H.: Oh, that's good to hear. I know labeling and marking can sometimes be a headache. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie: Well, listen, thank you for having this. And I'm super proud watching the signs of all that Hadley is doing. So kudos to all of your fine work. This is the first time I've actually tuned in and called in. So I'm just super proud of seeing all the progress that you all are making.

Elyse H.: Well, thank you.

Debbie: Yeah.

Elyse H.: That's a wonderful compliment. I'll definitely take it. And come back again. We got plenty more groups coming on too.

Debbie: I will indeed. All right. Well, thank you.

Elyse H.: You're welcome. Okay, we'll go ahead down the list, but feel free to stay with us on the call. Let's try Ken. You have a comment or a question, Ken?

Ken: Yes, ma'am. This is the first time that I have tuned in as well.

Pam W.: Great.

Ken: I was actually tuning in because I haven't always been blind. And I always loved to grill and grilled all the time and wanted tips on now how to do it totally being blind. But I wanted to comment from the very beginning about the bratwursts and some other meats. I actually do some raw garlic and some hickory smoke with a dark beer with those and broil them before putting them on the grill.

But I also do my ribs as well. I'll broil them in some beer and garlic and some salt, and just slowly and then crystallize them on the grill and it makes the meat so tender and it seals in the flavor. Not the beer flavor, but the tenderizer and flavor of whatever else you'd like to put on it. I make some homemade barbecue sauce to put on it. And just wanted to add that in case it would help anybody for recipes.

Elyse H.: Yes, that sounds delicious. That sounds delicious. That's great.

Ken: Thank you. Like I said, I'm just trying to get back into grilling. It's a little bit of trial and error because that was the only thing that, the good thing I had going for me was that I never did anything by temperature or anything else. I was very blessed to do it by sight at the time. My wife would ask me, "How do you know that's done," and I would show her, and she'd cut it open, and it would be done. So I'm learning a new way here, but I still want to get back on the grill. I love it.

Elyse H.: Well, that sounds good. Thanks for joining. So I know Terry had asked about the charcoal and I'm going to circle back around to that. Curious if you started with a charcoal chimney. It's kind of the smaller cylindrical device that hold it up right. And you can ball up some newspaper, put it in the bottom and then add your charcoal on top.

Let the newspaper burn, but as it's burning, it will start to light the coals on fire in the chimney, in a smaller confined space. Getting it really nice and hot before you add it to your grill. I know you talked about like how much should you add in more when you're grilling, but I would suggest do your whole charcoal lighting all at once. So it all gets nice and hot right at the same time.

Now if you have a long party or you need to add some, I would say start the next batch in a charcoal chimney, separate from what's been going. Get that started again for about that 15 minutes and then add it back into your main grill to get your temperature up, make sure you keep the lid on and stop checking it. Trust that it will heat up. Kind of like a pot, if you watch it, it won't ever boil. We have a hand up here. Let's see. Ken, go ahead.

Ken: Yes, I'm sorry, I was going to note that about the charcoal. I always did use the chimney. Home Depot actually has some that will slowly dissolve over, because I will put a big pile in the middle of my grill, and would have two chimneys on each side. If you go ahead, since you're using the tip of the [inaudible], go ahead and depending on the size of your grill, of having basically charcoal in, built up like a chimney so to speak, and let it, and the chimneys melt on it before spreading it out.

Usually I have found that even doing a large amount, I didn't have to add maybe more charcoal. But if I didn't need to use it all, I could go ahead and separate where they would go ahead and pull off faster and not burn all the way. But this depends on the size of your grill of how much more you would have to add in whether you had a lighter fluids already on it or not. Because if you don't have any accelerants with it, which I always found gave me a different taste, it takes longer for those charcoal to actually heat up to cook.

Elyse H.: It sure does.

Ken: My advice is always do it in the very beginning. I was always blessed to have, if I had too much it was easier to separate and not use it, than not having enough to add more.

Elyse H.: Yes, exactly. You can separate it out if it's too much or getting too hot too quickly.

Ken: Yes, and I'm sorry, I was going to comment on that, I forgot.

Elyse H.: How about the vents on like the lid of your grill or the bottom? Did you ever have a model like that?

Ken: Yes, I actually had the vents on the side, and I had the little smoke boxes that I actually had ... I bought several things and kind of made my grill into something different than what it was, but the smoke boxes with stuff so I could actually do some of the chips and everything too.

But yeah, I had the vents on the side that I would leave them open. I didn't have any vents on the top, but I was just kind of pop the corner of my grill open. Just have a little bit more airflow to get them going to begin with it. Then of course I'd always shut the lid tight and depending on the wind if I left the vents open or not.

Elyse H.: Yes, yeah, I like how the vents, some of them are on top. You can control how hot it really does get in there. If you want to do slow and low on the grill just let it stay there and cook just a little bit at a time. So it doesn't get burnt on the outside, you can place the lid and the vents. Yes.

Pam W.: Elyse, I've been listening to people talk about using their OptiGrills and this is Pam, by the way. When I was doing some research for this discussion group, I found on the Braille Works website, actually, some tips that were listed for people with vision loss for barbecuing on the grill.

I'm curious to know if there are people out there who have tried any of these things or if they have other suggestions. I'll go ahead and read through some of those. I think that might be a good time now. What do you think, Elyse?

Elyse H.: I think that's a great idea. Maybe getting people interested in trying it out?

Pam W.: Yeah. So, the first thing that they talked about was that when your grill is off, to make sure that you've had a chance to really explore it so that you know how big your cooking surface area is, to see how much room you have, know where all your controls are. Make sure that you have, most grills, well most gas grills at least have the extensions out to either side where you can have your platters placed, one for your cooked food, one for your uncooked food.

So make sure you know where those are. And then there's the tongs that I saw and I haven't had a chance to look up places to find these, but I'm sure Amazon, you know all those places Bed Bath and Beyond, those kinds of places, that long tongs that have spatula ends on them and just makes it a little bit easier to you know... They're long so you don't have to worry about burning yourself, and that they can actually grab the food.

Another tip that was on there to make sure that your grill was hot enough is to touch the top of the closed lid for like literally a half a second just to see if it's hot enough. Another suggestion on there was to arrange your food on the grill in rows from left to right, from the back to the front. And those of you who are experienced grillers may know this, but I didn't have somebody who doesn't grill, but I have always thought that the middle of the grill is the hottest part of it. And one of the things I read when I was reading about grilling vegetables was saying that it's actually the back of the grill that's the hottest part. So, in terms of cooking vegetables and things like that to put your hardiest vegetables, like onions and things like that on the back part where it's the hottest.

Keep track of how many of each thing you put on the grill. And then this was one that I thought was super interesting too, that you can keep a small bowl of water next to you and you dip your fingers in the water, and then just sprinkle the water onto the grill surface to get that sizzle so you have an idea of how close you are actually to the heating elements of the grill.

So, anybody jump in here if you've used any of these things before, if you have any other ideas to share with us, because I think this is why a lot of people are here. They want to be able to still grill, and I see Dave's hand went up. So, let's see what he has to say. Hi, Dave.

Dave: Hi there. I actually wanted to know if I could ask a question about the previous question first.

Pam W.: Sure.

Dave: Yeah, I didn't get it in time. But I think it was Ken maybe, him being an experienced charcoal griller, and I was just curious how he was able to tell like how hot his grill was burning with or without being able to see the temperature gauge on the barbecue.

Pam W.: All right. Ken, do you have any input there for us?

Elyse H.: And while we're thinking about that, I know Pam, you were talking about trying to keep organized and counting what items or how many items you do put on the grill, make sure you get them all off at the end. And starting from left to right. I'm curious if other people have some strategies or ways that they keep food contained when they're grilling or cooking that they would like to share with their group. Here's Ken, I'll go ahead and unmute you. Go ahead.

Ken: Yes ma'am. Like I said, I didn't ever use the temperature gauge. Like I said, I knew my grill in the sense of I would go by the heat, feeling the outside. When I had the charcoal in, like the chimney so to speak, like the triangle, pack the middle of my grill, and I could tell when it was getting hotter around my grill despite the temperature changes, but I started slowly spreading out my charcoal.

I could sense then as the rest of my grill started heating up. Like I said, being blind, I'm doing trial and error at the moment. That's what I was, because I haven't been blind my whole life. I went from being sighted to totally blind. So trying to figure out how to figure that out now. I don't know if that helps you though. I'm sorry.

Elyse H.: So Ken, have you tried doing some things though, at this point?

Ken: Yes, yes. I have. I haven't with the charcoal yet. I did it with gas. We actually just got a small charcoal grill, my wife did for me to experiment on, that way it would literally probably hold about four pork chops, that way I can't make too big of a mess or maybe hurt myself that bad.

But with the grill, with the gas it's been easier for me to start and I did the test of the sense of the water for sizzling to make sure about hot, and I still have found myself that even being blind I still arrange my product that I'm putting on the grill the same way. I do go left to right, but I'm kind of odd. I go left, front, back, front, back and then I go back the opposite way and fill in the gaps and somehow, I still did that. Just how that happened.

Pam W.: Yeah. How does the sizzle thing work? How successful was that for you?

Ken: Well, I felt on the outside it did sizzle. But honestly I still use my same approach with my hand, in the sense because that's one thing I can still do is like putting my hand closer and closer you can feel the heat. When I felt the top of my grill from the left side to the right side or front back, getting hotter, that's when I open it up, even being gas and had my hand and I did the little sizzle.

But also, when I put meat on was when I heard the sizzle most, because I usually do marinate meat with something, so it has liquid and I wanted to sizzle really hot to begin with because I sear both sides before I actually let it cook.

Pam W.: And so what are you using for your utensils then on the grill? What's been helpful for you?

Ken: I'm still using a long pair of tongs I have, the regular tongs. I have a pair ... My wife got me a pair, the double headed spatulas, but I call it tongs. And so far, those have not been very helpful for me. They've been more cumbersome than anything, because if I don't pick it up correctly in those types, for me personally, [inaudible] fall out, or somehow the way they seem to be tried to be attached with like a hook, instead of actually being together like the regular tongs is all one piece.

These are two pieces that somehow no matter what I do, I always do it where all of a sudden, they come apart. So just the regular double headed tong, I mean, the regular tongs that I had before, they're long to begin with, are very well for me. They have little grooves on one end so it actually kind of grabs the meat. So as long as I pick it up somewhere so it doesn't even matter if it's the middle, it's able to ... I keep a hold of it. I'm able to turn it over.

Pam W.: Okay, and I see that we do have another hand up. But another thing that I was reading about was actually taking your other hand that's not holding the tongs and putting it gently on top of the piece of the meat that you're going to be flipping before you, so that you know where it is to put the spatula underneath it to flip it. Is that something that you've used?

Ken: I have not done that on the grill. What I do is like I said, the tongs that they're cut in like an angle at the end, and they have little prongs that are folded in for visual, where I hold my tongs together without picking up anything. And I just touch my grill top with those and I can feel if I'm hitting the actual grill or if I'm hitting something that I have on there. I've used that technique for cooking in the kitchen on the stove top. I don't do that often, but I haven't tried it on the grill.

Pam W.: Okay, thanks so much, Ken.

Ken: You're welcome.

Elyse H.: These are great ideas. Let's see our next person in line, their phone number starts 973. What's your name please?

Rick: Hi, my name is Rick.

Elyse H.: Hi, Rick.

Rick: I am interested in hearing how people handle thinner meat when they're turning them, such as burgers. I do use either a single or a double spatula with a very long handle. I do use the technique of putting my hand on the top of the meat to stabilize it.

I often turn the grill down to a lower level when I'm turning, but I do have some trouble sometimes when I'm putting my feeling hand, the hand that I don't have the spatula in over the grill. Sometimes it's so hot that I sear my arm or wrist sometimes and I would certainly like to minimize that, if possible. So, I'm interested in how people handle turning. I had eight burgers on the grill a couple of nights ago, and by the time I hit the eighth burger, it was pretty hot. So I wanted to know if other people had ideas.

Pam W.: Okay.

Elyse H.: That's a great question. Let's open up the floor. I see another hand up. The number starts in 775. What's your name, please?

Harry: Hi. My name is Harry. I'm in Reno, Nevada.

Elyse H.: Hi, Harry. Go ahead.

Harry: Yes, I would highly recommend, I've got some silicone oven mitts. One of them is long enough that it actually comes all the way up to my elbow. The nice thing is you can use one hand with the tool, and one hand with your mitt and you can actually touch the food.

You can touch the grill if you want to, and just more or less stabilize everything and because the silicone you just wash a buffer, throw the mitt in the dishwasher and you're back to food safety again.

Elyse H.: That's a great idea. Thanks for sharing. Do you remember where you found that or what brand name it is?

Harry: I so wish I did remember. I've got a bit of a selection of them. One is kind of where you could just hold them like a little pincher. And then like I said, I've got one that actually goes all the way up to my elbow, and they are a mitt. They're not a glove.

Pam W.: Oh, that's what I was just going to ask. Okay, because you broke up a little bit there for me at least, and so I hadn't caught that. Okay. Yeah, I was wondering about the glove versus the mitt. Okay, thank you, Harry.

Harry: Very helpful. Thank you.

Elyse H.: I'll chime in here as other people are thinking about it. Have you used aluminum foil, just a thin one which you can put it on top of the grates. While you're flipping the burgers, sometimes mine get a little small, or they'll fall apart. They're still edible. But sometimes if they're too small, they'll slip through the grates on to the burners. So not edible at that point.

But I have used a thin layer of foil that I cook on top of when I'm on the grill. And I haven't thought about using a silicone mitt. But I think that's a great idea to keep your fingers from your non flipping hand so they're not going to be burning up.

Pam W.: Totally. I do want to jump in real quick, Elyse.

Elyse H.: Yeah.

Pam W.: And let everybody know that we have about 10 minutes left in our discussion group today. So we're going to keep it going.

Elyse H.: Wonderful. Other ideas people would like to share? I think Ken's hand is up again.

Ken: Sorry, I was going to ask, because it broke up as well if that was a mitt or a glove. And you just repeated it again, sorry.

Elyse H.: Oh, no problem. No problem at all. Great. I see another hand is from Dave. Go ahead, Dave.

Dave: Yes, I just wanted to comment on the tin foil tip that you just mentioned. I wanted to let everybody know that you can get reusable grill mats on Amazon. Amazon has a large selection of grilling utensils and grill boxes and all kinds of stuff. But they're basically like using the tin foil, they go over your grate. They're just reusable. You can wash them in the sink and use them again. And they're made out of like multiple surfaces. Everything from I've seen copper to silicone.

Elyse H.: Well, how about that? I have not seen those. Thanks so much for sharing.

Pam W.: Well, I've seen those but I use those on like my cookie sheets. So I wouldn't have even thought to use them on the grill. So great.

Elyse H.: Great tip. Thanks for sharing. We have another hand up.

Dave: Yeah, no problem.

Elyse H.: Let's see. Rachel, go ahead.

Rachel: Yes. My question is, I'm wondering if you Pam, or Elyse, or anybody else that's on the air, if anybody has any grilling recipes, whether it's from books or online or where I can get them. Thank you.

Elyse H.: Okay, so we're looking for grilling recipes. People would like to share some of their favorites or ones they've tried before?

Rachel: Yes.

Elyse H.: Okay. Not so much a recipe but I did find one when I was doing some searching, sounds great, sauce for chicken when you do chicken on the grill or the George Foreman. So you have chicken cut up a little salt and pepper and then it's called daddy's tangy grilling sauce.

Which is a cup of Worcestershire sauce, a stick of butter melted and two lemons juiced, and melt the butter and mix it all up and then when your chicken is about halfway done, you can spread that marinade on top and let the chicken finish with the grilling sauce. Or you can put the sauce on right when you're taking it off the grill and serve it warm. The name of the ...

Pam W.: Go ahead, Elyse. I'm sorry.

Elyse H.: Oh, just the name caught me when it was daddy's tangy grilling sauce. Just reminded me of my dad standing at the grill in the summer barbecue cookout and doing the same thing.

Pam W.: Another thing I read too about the suggestion for glazes and sauces was to go ahead and take the meat off of the grill, apply the sauce and then put it back on the grill so that you're not having to do that over the heat. Then just better chances of not burning yourself.

Elyse H.: Yeah.

Pam W.: I know that there was someone earlier who was asking about fruit, grilling fruit and I saw this recipe on there and it was banana s'mores, grilled s'more banana packets and it was super easy because you just took a banana, in its peel still, in the boat type part of a banana, in the curve part of the banana, just cut a little part of the peel off across the whole length.

Kind of scooped out a little bit of the banana and put marshmallows and chocolate chips and whatever else you wanted to put in there, graham cracker crumbs, and then put that little flap back on, wrap it up in foil and throw it on the grill for a few minutes. And you've got a banana boat s'more, which I thought was super easy. It's not really grilling vegetables. It's something you could do over a campfire too.

Elyse H.: Oh yes, the power of foil. My tip for if you're going to do grilling veggies and put it in a little foil pack, almost make it look a little like a sandwich baggy out of foil, back to that slow and low. So you don't want it to burn or get too hot too fast, the outsides will crisp. Other people have ideas about grilling fruit? I see a hand up from Marilyn. Go ahead.

Marilyn: Mine's not fruit. It's about the finding recipes and marinades and that sort of thing. Several years ago, National Braille Press had a multi-volume set on that. I'm pretty sure it was National Braille Press, and they were running a sale, it might have been a close out, I'm not sure. But it might be worth checking with them.

They talked about different sauces that were related to different parts of the country, whether you wanted a South Carolina barbecue or a Texas barbecue or Kansas City barbecue, you know, that kind of thing. And also, if you don't find it there, you might find it at BARD or Bookshare, the one just put in barbecue cooking or something like that to bring it up. And I bet you'd find a whole bunch of recipes.

Elyse H.: Well, those are some great ideas, the Bookshare and BARD with the talking book library.

Marilyn: Right, and check with the National Braille Press because that was a really good collection.

Pam W.: All right, Elyse, we have about four minutes left. So I think we should probably be winding down.

Elyse H.: Sure, take our last comment here from, their hand up is from Ken. Go ahead.

Ken: I was just going to comment as well for the recipes. Steven Raichlen, he has a TV show, books and CDs. If you look him up online, there's also recipes online. I have used a lot of his and he actually does grill fruits as well. He has a great recipe. I won't take up too much time, but for grilled pineapple, if you like pineapple.

Pam W.: That's great. And you said it was Steven Raichlen.

Ken: Yes.

Pam W.: Great. I wrote that down. We'll include that in our resources part of the discussion group today.

Elyse H.: That's wonderful. Thanks so much, everyone, for sharing. We are coming up to our hour mark. So we'll have to table our cooking discussion until next month. But I hope you enjoyed our time here together.

If you think of something when we hang up or in a couple of days or so, we'd love to hear from you between here and now. So my email address is And my phone number extension 800 is 323-4238. And my extension is 2829, if you'd like to get a hold of me by phone. Pam, how can they reach you?

Pam W.: Mine is easy as 6666 is my extension number. It's pretty easy, same phone number, just four sixes. And my email is Although I do believe that also works.

You can subscribe for any of our groups at And I just want to thank everybody again for all the great ideas, and I've learned a lot today. I know for sure I'm going to be looking into the OptiGrill, definitely.

Elyse H.: Yes.

Pam W.: Yeah. So thanks everybody for coming.

Elyse H.: Thanks so much everyone. We'll sign off for today and hope to see you again next time for What's Cooking.