New spices for men (and a chance to win)

By Penny Caldwell »Penny Caldwell

May 22nd, 2009

33 comments

Guest post by Martin Zibauer, deputy editor, Cottage Life

Weber Spice Blend

OK, we all know it’s a myth that only men barbecue, but it is true, according to a Weber survey, that the majority (60%) of grillers are guys. I’m not sure why XY = outdoor cooking aficionado, but Weber is addressing its major market by expanding from barbecues and accessories into a line of 11 grilling spice mixes. You know the target isn’t women because, according to the press release, the large containers (grinders for some flavours, shakers for others) are “man-sized.” Not quite true: I passed them to my colleague Michelle Kelly and she had no trouble grabbing or lifting them. But let’s forgive a little PR puffery.

I tried four Weber Grill Creations mixes: Burger, Cajun, Steak, and Six Pepper. The first ingredient listed, on all but the Cajun blend, is salt. That’s usually a red flag: I prefer mixes with salt left out or at least way down the list, so I can spice heavily and salt lightly. (President’s Choice makes good blends for salt-phobics.) But even applied with a generous hand, the salt in Weber’s mixes doesn’t overpower. In fact, all the other spices in the blends I tried are equally well behaved. Nothing aggressive, no one flavour stands out too much. The Six Pepper has a bit of a jalapeno kick, but nothing that will knock any teeth out.

The downside of being too well balanced is a personality that doesn’t always get noticed. These are dependable, tasty blends, but no guest is going to sit up and insist on knowing what you put on the steaks. Not if you apply them straight. Next time, I’ll use them as a convenient base, tweaked for some needed oomph—maybe dusting a little smoked paprika over the Cajun, or ground cumin over the Steak blend.  But if all I have to do to get something really good is add one or two spices, these mixes are a true convenience.

Your chance to do your own taste test: I have two extra sets of six blends up for grabs. If you’d like to try them, how about we trade? Submit a barbecue tip or funny grilling story in the comments below and the best two, judged subjectively by me on Friday May 29, will receive a set. (You’ll need to enter your email with your comment so I can contact you, but your email address won’t be published.)


33 comments

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Karen

May. 31, 2009

10:33 am

wrap tin foil around the ends of metal skewers to keep your fingers from getting too hot when turning them


Penny Caldwell

Summer Cottager

May. 28, 2009

5:05 pm

I have a tip Martin, courtesy of one of the guys from DH’s annual Boys’ Opening-Up Weekend and Grillfest. Grill salmon fillets skin-side down to start. When you’re ready to turn them over, gently slide your BBQ flipper between the skin and the fillet to separate them. Flip the fillet over onto the skin. This keeps the salmon from falling through the grill into the fire. I guess I can’t win your contest either, but I love hearing everyone’s stories!


erin2470@hotmail.com

May. 28, 2009

12:03 pm

Well I'm just learning to barbecue, and the other day I turned on the barbie, set it too high, through on a t-bone, closed the lid, and went into the house to figure out via the internet how long it needs to be on for medium. Not sure why I didn't bother to figure that out first. Next thing I know my best friend is coming into the house with the now charred mess suggesting we share her steak which hadn't been put on yet. Morale of the story never have your barbecue at high and just walk away, haha.


dobsonk@cambridge.ca

OhCanada!

May. 28, 2009

9:04 am

A funny bbq story a couple of summers ago. We were having a few couples over for dinner. One of the women was a vet technician at the time (now studying in Australia for vet nary medicine) she was telling the rest of the group about her work day over cocktails while I was in the kitchen prepping dinner. She had a tragic day spent trying to save a couple mallards involved in an accident and after several attempts they succumbed to their injuries. After a few minutes I returned to check the bbq and as I lifted the lid all I could see was my friend’s mortified face, the other women’s mouths agape and the guys trying very had to suppress their laughter. On the grill were two large roasting chickens with Guinness cans up their behinds looking like they were saluting! The salad was a big hit with the ladies that evening.


Scott

May. 27, 2009

7:02 pm

My best bbq tool is a well seasoned cast iron frying pan. Among other things, I use it to cook roast, whole chicken and bacon and eggs on the bbq. With this tool you hardly ever need to use the stove inside, which means more time on the deck enjoying the view.


leo7@sasktel.net

May. 27, 2009

11:38 am

Always pre-heat the bbq for 15 minures. Best results for cooking foods on the grill are cooking foods at room temperatures.If meat is chilled or frozen,it will take longer to reach desired doneness.


pureevil25@yahoo.com

May. 26, 2009

10:29 pm

My hubby...whose name happens to be Freddy...has created a wonderful treat he likes to call Freddy-Cheese-Steak. He BBQs up some great steaks & just before they are done he tops each steak with fried (in butter) onions, then he throws a handful of grated cheese on top & lets it melt a bit beofre serving. Yum!


joemathison@hotmail.com

May. 26, 2009

2:13 pm

Glad to see u keep important emails forum members send u Sharon...LOL


Janet St.Louis

May. 26, 2009

12:43 pm

I put chicken in foil and seal tightly, put seal side down, grill 10 minutes, flip over so sealed side is facing up, grill 10 minutes. Open foil, put chicken on the grill and apply your favorite bbq sauce and grill both sides again, but not too long. Enjoy.


sharond@cottagelife.com

May. 26, 2009

9:23 am

OK, this is an old one, but related to all these barbecue posts here: BBQ RULES  We are about to enter the BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity . When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:  Routine...  (1) The woman buys the food.  (2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.  (3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.  (4) The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.  Here comes the important part:  (5) THE MAN PLACES THE MEAT ON THE GRILL.  More routine...  (6) The woman goes inside to organise the plates and cutlery.  (7) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he flips the meat  Important again:  (8) THE MAN TAKES THE MEAT OFF THE GRILL AND HANDS IT TO THE WOMAN.  More routine...  (9) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.  (10) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.  And most important of all:  (11) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.  (12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed ' her night off ', and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women.


lindareed13@hotmail.com

BruceGirl

May. 25, 2009

10:20 pm

I have been just mad for the fresh asparagus that the season brings. My favorite, super simple way to prepare it is to brush it lightly with semsame oil and grill it for 10 minutes. Finish with a sprinkle of garlic sea salt. YUM!


terry22@hotmail.com

May. 25, 2009

2:07 pm

Cook one side well. Then, cook the other side.


Melanie S.

May. 25, 2009

11:39 am

I toss thick potato wedges with a good sprinkle of oil, then my favourite blend of seasoning for them: seasoning salt, coarse black pepper, cumin, paprika - and nutritional yeast flakes. Sounds a bit odd if you've never tried it, but do try it! They're finger licking tasty and very addictive.


DORIS

May. 25, 2009

10:18 am

Always preheat bbq on high for at least 10 minutes...that way you're sure the grills have no bacteria on them


Meghan L

May. 25, 2009

2:40 am

Adding spices are a great way to add lots of flavor to your food without adding the calories that heavy sauces add. Also, for a great tasting and moist BBQ chicken, open a can of beer and pop your whole seasoned chicken onto it. You don't need to set up the rotisserie and the beer can sits right on the grill. The heat from the grill forces the beer out of the can and into the cooking chicken. So moist, yummy and is always a big hit!!


jumpingranny

May. 24, 2009

6:36 pm

My funny story is what I learned using the rotisserie. Always tie up the chicken wings. I did not tie the wings tight enough. After a few turns the wing dropped down, got caught so the spit stopped turning. A chicken on fire will have flames over four feet high. Lesson learned :-)


jumpingranny

May. 24, 2009

6:34 pm

I use them on fish. I use fresh fish that I caught myself and cook with these spices, wonderful!


townbar

May. 24, 2009

4:48 pm

Experiment. try it and if it is not to your taste you have learned something. Try try again. smile


townbar

May. 24, 2009

4:48 pm

Experiment. try it and if it is not to your taste you have learned something. Try try again. smile


sdfulton@sympatico.ca

May. 24, 2009

10:45 am

Most people think of using their BBQ only for the dinner hour for burgers, steak, chicken or fish. When the power went out at the cottage a couple of years ago I loved using the BBQ for breakfast - bacon, eggs, toast, and "cottage fries". Cottage fries - cut up potatoes in cubes and season with whatever you choose. I usally use seasoned salt, garlic powder and coarse pepper. Lightly drizzle oil over and cook in BBQ. Delicious!!


susanann312@yahoo.com

May. 24, 2009

6:58 am

My husband was bbq'ing one day and had to leave for a bit so he left his nice big trout in tinfoil on the outside fireplace grill and I went inside to eat my hamburger. When he came back 10 minutes later the tinfoil was on the ground and all that was left was the bones as the dog had eaten the fish. Moral is don't underestimate a hungry dog even if there is fire under the supper.


wildcardacehigh@yahoo.ca

May. 23, 2009

10:46 pm

get the right BBQ tools for the job


helenbwatkinson@gmail.com

May. 23, 2009

8:53 am

My tip is that there is a huge difference between Bbq and grilling. Grilling over quick cooking over direct heat, while bbq is that wonderful, smoky slow cook


Chantal

May. 22, 2009

8:09 pm

Always spray your grill with a spray especially made for BBQ (PAM makes a really good BBQ cooking spray). It will cut down on your cleaning time and keep your grills in much better condition. It's also better to cook on a lower setting if you are cooking fish or chicken. I like to marinade my fish in lemon juice prior to cooking which gives it a dangy taste. For boneless chicken breast, if you mix dijon mustard and mayonnaise together and add to your chicken a few hours prior to grilling, your chicken will be succulent and tasty.


Leslie Sil

May. 22, 2009

7:19 pm

My BBQ tip is to spray the grill with Pam makes for an easy clean up


spynaert

May. 22, 2009

7:09 pm

It's more of a funny bbq story. I had to load my bbq in my van to take it to school for the year end bbq, but it wouldn't fit in the van, so I had to turn it sideways. This was years ago, and all the briquettes fell out in the van. Quite a mess, and the wife didn't like it, but the bbq went on! Next time, I'll get a truck.


fambric@optonline.net

Fambric

May. 22, 2009

6:41 pm

When you need to clean a grill and you are at the cottage without the trusty grill brush... crumple up a piece of tin foil and rub it across the grates... does a pretty good job in a pinch.


hellcat1st@gmail.com

May. 22, 2009

4:27 pm

Always clean your grill after each use.


Martin Zibauer

Martin Zibauer

May. 22, 2009

3:08 pm

I have a good tip, too, even though I probably can't win my own contest. It's not my tip, really, comes from Ruth Gangbar. Prevent a fish fillet from sticking to the grate by grilling it on top of a piece of leaf lettuce. By the time fish is done, the lettuce leaf will char and disappear.


marsha_1947@yahoo.ca

May. 22, 2009

2:28 pm

I always marinate my steaks in oil, garlic and oregano for at least an hour before barbequing.


catamo

May. 22, 2009

2:00 pm

I love to prepare Salmon on the grill. A cajun rub made of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, onion and freshly ground pepper is a hit at our house. Just make sure the grill is hot, and flip the salmon only once. Total time to grill, about 5 minutes on each side.


Shawna Sanderson

May. 22, 2009

1:00 pm

BBQ Tip For nicely cooked hamburgers always add an egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to your ground beef before you form your patties. Cook burgers on medium heat for 5 mins on each side.


dancreamer@eastlink.ca

May. 22, 2009

12:05 pm

I add lots of herbs and spices to my potatos when barbecuing them!


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