Different people have different tastes when it comes to BBQ.
Raising a family of seven kids, there always seemed to be a divide of charcoal vs. gas. I have always been a charcoal man myself and whether it’s grilling or smoking meat, there’s nothing like the relaxation and sensation of BBQing.
As the years have gone on and the kids are all out of the house, it just became easier to use the gas grill and since it the first choice of my wife, it’s been time for the “happy wife, happy life,” mantra to take over.
But when I recently got a chance to do review of the new IG Charcoal BBQ (www.igbbq.com, $499), a Santa Maria Style grill, I jumped at the chance.
The stainless-steel grill has a rotating charcoal handle for temperature control, folding side trays, bottom storage rack, easy sliding ash tray collector, two wheels for mobility, and a grill top. The grill offers a large cooking area that makes it great for catering at events.
The rotating charcoal handle allows for the raising or lowering of the coals depending on what heat you want when you cook.
The cooking area is 18 X 34 inches meaning there is plenty of space for food when you have the family, friends or the neighbors over for a feast.
From the time I took the BBQ out of the box I was sold. There are no tools required to put together the grill and it was a quick, 15-minute project. We had gotten tools out and were ready for an hour assembly job, but that wasn’t required, and we were ready to roll in a quarter of the time.
For our menu one of my sons and I worked with BBQ corn on the cob – my favorite way to have corn on the cob – Hatch chilis and of course, in the spirit of a Santa Maria type grill, tri-tip.
We used standard charcoal and some pecan wood blocks to add some smoke to the meal.
When I do the corn, the presentation has always wowed my guests. Pull the husks back and tie it with twine. It serves two purposes – one, it makes for a convenient handle to eat the corn, and two, the aesthetics of the finished product adds to the beauty of the dish.
While I cook the corn, I brush it with a butter and garlic blend, rotating it frequently to ensure even flavoring and cooking. If it gets to the point where the kernels start popping, the corn has been on the grill too long.
The Hatch chilis are always a welcome addition to any BBQ meal. I love throwing them right on the grill and cooking until I get a nice, but too overdone, blister on the skin. If spicy food is too much for you, be careful of the heavily seeded parts of the chili.
The tri-tip is the piece de resistance of the meal.
We went with a marinade of soy sauce, oil, lime juice, mandarin juice, garlic, cilantro, and red chili flake. After soaking the meat into the bowl, we put it in the fridge for a couple hours before taking it out to get to room temperature before cooking.
There are various ways to cook the tri-tip. We opted for a sear over the heat, then went indirect for a while and finished it off over the coals after they heat had been reduced. We topped it off with a Chimichurri sauce!
It was a pleasure to cook on a quality grill such as the IG Charcoal Grill and I have already recommended the grill to several of my friends. It offers a lot more space than your traditional kettle grill, thus allowing for more guests and a bigger party.
I think at one time or another all of us have had to use multiple grills to BBQ depending on how many guests you have. This grill eliminates that need, allowing for up to 20 burgers to be cooked at one time.
From time to time I will be posting a new meal on the grill on the ACES web site, using the IG Charcoal grill. I highly recommend having one to compliment your other grills, especially if you do a lot of entertaining!
By Dennis Miller