“Life is all about timing… the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable… attainable. Have the patience, wait it out. It’s all about timing.” Stacey Charter

Green Egg and SmokeA million years ago man discovered fire. To say man invented fire is a bit of a misnomer. It’s like saying man invented water or air. Maybe you can argue that he discovered a way to produce fire, but invented, no.  I’m still at a loss to figure out why he would put his hunted provisions on it. Maybe it was accidental in its discovery.   Caveman Dave left his hunter gatherer score on a hot rock by the fire and was astounded by the smell and aroma that hit his olfactory and taste buds!  Basic grilled meats are invented!

We should be happy Caveman Dave stumbled on the combination of meat and fire. I think this was bigger than the wheel! When was the last time you ate a wheel?  There are so many variations of fire cooking in the world thanks to a discovery a million years ago that we should take a good look at all of them.

I’ve been pushing this view because we get locked into the routines of daily life. When I became a single provider I strived to keep it interesting for my kids. We could have lived on take-out, prepackaged frozen concoctions, or bacon and eggs. I’m thankful that my sense kicked in and I decided to take the initiative regarding cooking. I’ve tried to teach them (and anyone that will listen) to take an extra twenty minutes and make the spaghetti sauce, buy the beans and make the chili instead opening a can, make the soup, bake the bread, cut out the ordering in.

My twist is the fire. Smoke billows to the sky, smells hit the neighbourhood and I’m outside. The grills take preparation beyond turning a dial to a set heat. They take nurturing and caressing to make sure they keep their temperature and don’t flare.  You have to take your time and pay attention. You walk away, things burn, Ovens and microwaves have ruined the art of preparing a meal. Meat needs a rub, wood has to be chosen, timing has to be focused, and love needs to be instilled.

The quote I started this with is something I live by. Life is about timing, patience, and looking forward to what’s coming. Food has been a building block on which I  base my daily life. Have an idea of what you want to create, make sure you have the ingredients, and take action. It will either work or not but at least you put your effort into it. Fast food has no soul; it fills a hole but ends up creating a black hole in your nutrition and your life. Cooking, grilling, smoking, all of it takes patience and in the end gives you a sense of accomplishment and a warm hug to those around you.

What are you cooking tonight? Does it have heart? Did you put your soul in it? Why not?

Be well and eat well!

Scott Tait

The Artisanal Grill

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“My idea of feng shui is to have them arrange the pepperoni in a circle on my pizza” Unknown

Pizza on the Grilling Stone

Pizza on the Grilling Stone

The Olympics are over. Congratulations to all that participated. Not just the medalists, everybody. Performing on the grand stage is phenomenal in itself. Finding the inner fortitude to compete for your country in a foreign land with all the world watching takes a more than physical strength and commitment, it takes a special kind of person. Well done!

So taking the initiative, (on a much reduced scale), I have been stretching my cooking and BBQ skills in a different direction. I’ve been utilizing my granite grills as much as I can to take the mundane to another level. My mandate, as always, is to take conventional produced meals and add some flare, smoke, and fire to them. By this day, most everyone knows what a pizza stone is and either has one or is considering one. Maybe you got one as a wedding gift and it lays dust covered in a cupboard somewhere.  Mine has been used for the aforementioned purpose, but is usually used as a diffuser for my Big Green Egg.  The new beige colour is now a deep black. That being said, my new granite grills have taken their place.

So what better meal to create on my gas BBQ other than BBQ’d Chicken Pizza?  My usual shopping included pre-made pizza dough but after some searching on the interweb thingy I found a basic, easy, dough that take no more time than prepping bread dough. In all actuality, that’s what it is.  Since I’m making fresh bread at least once a week it was an easy addition to my standard set of tools! When you’re searching recipes add the word “easy” or “best” in front and see what happens!

So two chicken breasts seasoned with my basic BBQ rub and grilled over flame, sautéed onions, bacon, shredded Romano and Cheddar on top and store bought BBQ sauce as the base.  The grills were put on my gas grill and heated until they were too hot to the touch. The closed lid temperature was 500f. Now the tricky part, get them on without messing tem up too badly. The answer, parchment paper! Build your pizza on the paper and slide it on to the hot grill. 10 minutes should do it but check after 5. If you have one side that heats up more than the other, use the paper to spin them around for even cooking. As always remember, if you’re looking, you’re not cooking.

Hot stone grilling is old school in some parts of the world but new to us. North American’s like the tried and true but now with the infusion of foods and flavours from the world the tools are coming along with them.

Take some inspiration from the Olympics! Look inside and stand on the podium of your BBQ and as always, have fun with it!

Be well and eat well!

Scott Tait

The Artisanal Grill

“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” Chinese Proverbs

Stone grilled shrimpStones have been used for centuries as a cooking surface and can be traced to Mongolian, Korean, and Japanese roots. Its solid form distributes the heat evenly for a uniform cooking experience and is easily cleaned and maintained for repeated use.

The Artisanal Grilling Stone can be used on your BBQ or heated in the oven and used to cook in front of your friends and family.

Made of solid granite and sized at 40 x 20 x 2cm (15.75 x 7.87 x 7/8 inches) it can more than handle whatever your meal requires.

Meats, fish, vegetables, and even pizza become a new adventure as you expand your cooking and grilling repertoire. The Artisanal Grilling Stone will become a mainstay in your grilling arsenal as people wonder over your creativity and style.

Can be used:

  • On grills – gas, charcoal and open flame.
  • In conventional and convection ovens,
  • Under the broiler.
  • To turn a grill into an outdoor oven.

It can:

  • Can withstand high temperatures.
  • Cut directly on the glazed stone without concern about damaging or scratching the surface.
  • Easy to clean with soap and water and is dishwasher safe.
  • (not recommended for stove-top use)

Click here to start your journey!

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Granite Grilling Stone 3

Granite Grilling Stone 1

The Grills are Here!

Now in stock! The Artisanal Grilling Stone!

Now Available! Granite Grooved Grilling Stones!

Now Available! Granite Grooved Grilling Stones!

Take your grilling to a new height!

This Granite and Grooved stone heats up fast, allow the fat to drip off, and keeps your flare-ups at a minimum. The 15.75 X 8.9 inch cooking area gives you room to spread out meat, chicken, or fish and leave it with a perfect sear!

Priced at $49.95 (plus tax and shipping) it makes the perfect gift for the griller in your family, or buy 2 and keep one for yourself.

Take your outdoor cooking experience to new and higher levels!

Click here to start your journey!

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“BBQ is the new Black” Scott Tait

While my Green Egg gently weeps!

While my Green Egg gently weeps!

Every year we hear that something is the new Black, “Blue” is the new Black; “Red” is the new Black. Something is always the new Black. But Black is always hanging on; it’s still the base, the thing that others are judged by. So why can’t BBQ be the new Black? It’s the base that everything started from, cooking food over flame.  Meat, I’d like to introduce you to fire, fire meet meat.

Black is a neutral. It allows your focus to be on other things and not centered on colour and frivolous components.  BBQ for me is the same.  Knowing that this is my base, it allows me to concentrate on what is important. The flavor and the taste!  It grants me the opportunity to be creative knowing I don’t have to worry about the how just the what.

Food preparation should first take place in the mind. In sports, the winners, the champions play the game first in their minds to see all the possibilities and visualize the success. That’s what you need to do with cooking, visualize the achievement, prepare for the work, and work the plan. Getting rid of the superficial and distracting lets you achieve your goal.

Think about your creative process like Google maps. Pick your start point, pick your destination, and choose the most direct route. My start point is my BBQ, my destination is the finished meal, my route is the most direct I can find. People stress and fuss over all the little stuff, I don’t.  The meal is a journey from start to finish and we are supposed to enjoy the journey in life.

So allow BBQ to be your new Black. Let it be the base or starting point of your journey and don’t allow the frivolous colour to distract you.

Be well and eat well!

Scott