Grills and thrills await

TikTok made me do it; spending my days and nights cooking outside.

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If I wasn’t a pretty good newspaper editor, I think I’d make an outstanding short-order cook. One of my first jobs was working at a McDonald’s in the morning, when the fast food giant first started offering breakfast.

Yes, I’m just a little older than the Egg McMuffin.

About a year ago, I joined TikTok, and began seeing video clips of people cooking on Blackstone griddles. I was immediately obsessed, and knew that I needed to have one.

This spring, after I finished a couple of projects in my backyard oasis, including putting down pavers for a grill site (one nice enough that I didn’t want to put my old Charbroil there), my wife gave the greenlight to trade in our old gas grill for a Blackstone. I wasted no time heading to Walmart to pick up the two-burner version.

After following some simple instructions to set it up, I seasoned the top with canola oil, and thought about what to make first. I had purchased a griddle top on my old gas grill to make smash burgers, so I knew that’s something I wanted to try right away. Smash burgers are simple and simply delicious. You roll ground beef into balls, season it with salt and pepper, and toss it onto a heated griddle top. Taking a press with some parchment paper, you press (smash) the ground beef, and cook for about two minutes. After two minutes, you flip it over and let it cook for another two minutes. Put on your favorite cheese and let it melt for about 30 seconds before removing it and placing it on your grilled hamburger bun. (This is key. While your burger is cooking, use the other side of the griddle to toast your buttered bun.) We found a condiment at Walmart that mimics Big Mac’s special sauce. A squirt of that, some pickles, and you’ve got a great-tasting burger ready in minutes.

What I really like about the Blackstone is that I can cook breakfast outside. I love making breakfast (see above), and that includes bacon. My wife has always hated that cooking bacon indoors creates a smell that permeates everything for days. By cooking bacon outside on the Blackstone, there’s no smell indoors, and you get to enjoy some of the most crisp, delicious bacon you’ve ever had. It beats making it in the microwave (yech!) and in the oven (which works, but still fills the house with bacon smell). The key is removing it from the griddle ahead of when you think it’s done.

On a recent Sunday morning, I cooked breakfast and also grilled some chicken for a week’s worth of lunches. The chicken strips were seasoned with “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning, with a little olive oil on the cooking surface. These delicious and moist chicken strips are then placed over coleslaw mix with some Thai peanut sauce instead of coleslaw dressing. It makes a tasty and low-calorie lunch that’s delicious.

I cooked the chicken on one side of the grill, and made the bacon on the other. Once the bacon was done, I scrambled eggs for a bagel sandwich, using some of the bacon grease. In short order, I had a great breakfast and the chicken for our lunches done, and was ready to enjoy the rest of my Sunday.

Another favorite on the Blackstone, so far, is grilled quesadillas. Cooking up peppers and onions on the grill is simple, and there’s plenty of surface area to grill the quesadillas once the other ingredients are ready.

I’m looking forward to a summer filled with new recipes and grilling perfection.

11 COMMENTS

    • Jim– maybe someday when you grow up, you can be the editor of a paper and you can write about whatever you want.
      But the grill sounds great- I think I’ll get one.

      • Wow Don, you sure told me. I’m humbled by your witty and insightful comeback. I hope George realizes how lucky he is to have your on staff. That being said, please take a break from your position as moderator of all things MV Times comment section and try and see the humor and sarcasm in my comment. George obviously saw it and came back with what I thought was an adequate comeback.
        I get it, George got a new toy and is excited about it. I get the same way when I get a new fishing pole (I’m partial to Thomas & Thomas fly gear and Penn surf gear) or when I got my new Dewalt double stack batteries (the 2.3 amp hour battery has the same run time and power as a 5 amp hour battery at half the weight). Just as I’m sure you get excited about whatever you get excited about when you’re not busy commenting in the reader feedback section of the local newspaper.
        In short Don, lighten up. You lose credibility with your need to police the comment section.
        But, by all means, let us know how you like your new Blackstone

  1. I love my Blackstone as well. In addition to what you’ve done so far, try making some fried rice. We’ve done it many times and have many fans! Enjoy!

      • I don’t have a recipe per se, we usually use what we have on hand. Some cooked white rice, veggies of any kind – usually some or all of the following bell peppers, onions, green onions, garlic, etc. Finely chopped and started on the grill. Add some scrambled egg, soy sauce, maybe a little sesame oil. Jus picture a teppanyaki master performing in front of you, like a Benihana type of establishment.

    • Ryan– I’m not big on bacon or burgers, unless of course they are plant based–
      But the idea of fried rice is enough for me to seal the deal.
      Thanks…

    • If these things have a deep fat fryer option so I can cook my egg rolls while making my friend rice, I may have to invest in one…

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