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shivam
05-08-2010, 01:37 PM
OK, so i was cleaning my garage, and discovered an ancient hibachi grill they bought back in 1983 or something, still in box, still in shrink wrap, and i figured that it was high time i used it. I love grilled corn on the cob, and have become sufficiently adventurous food wise to want to grill other things too, but i havent the slightest idea how to put it together and what i'm supposed to do when it is set up!

It's a cast iron trough, about 2 ft long, with a grate on top.

what do i do?

Parish
05-08-2010, 02:07 PM
At first I read that line as "Teach me how to kill" and for a minute there I was so proud of you.

Falselogic
05-08-2010, 03:04 PM
I don't really know what the point to grilling would be as a vegetarian...

sell it on craigslist and pick up a grill pan for your stove it'll serve your just fine for your corn and other assorted veggies.

shivam
05-08-2010, 03:11 PM
paneer! there are whole realms of indian cooking that deal with grills.

Violentvixen
05-08-2010, 05:07 PM
Veggies are pretty varied in prep and grill methods, you'll probably have to look something up for each one. I've run into more ways to grill corn than I thought possible (personally I cover the cobs in a combination of olive oil and butter and wrap that in tin foil, then grill on medium/high for about 10 minutes, rotating them halfway through).

You might look into a grilling basket or skillet.

Also, buy and grill Halloumi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloumi). It is amazing on kebabs although you have to watch it as it tends to burn quickly.

Dadgum Roi
05-08-2010, 06:10 PM
I grill and barbecue constantly, but I am completely clueless when it comes to vegetables. I'm a large-cuts-of-meat guy.

Destil
05-08-2010, 06:16 PM
Destil's grilled portobello mushroom burgers. Somehow I ended up dating the only vegetarian in the world who doesn't like mushrooms... but I still prefer these to meat given the choice.

Get any number of large portobello mushroom caps. Place mushrooms in ziplock bags. Add enugh olive oil to cover them completely, then add 2-4 cloves fresh crushed garlic per mushroom. Mix gently (you don't want to break up the mushrooms). Let sit for at least 1-2 hours (usually I give them an afternoon).

Remove the mushrooms from the bags. Wrap each in tin-foil, including a small amount of the olive oil/garlic. The foil should be folded on the bottom of the mushroom.

Grill for 7-10 min in the foil, upsidedown (the top of the cap facing the heat). Unwrap each and grill right-side up for another 60-120 seconds.

Absolutely delicious.

shivam
05-08-2010, 06:35 PM
I grill and barbecue constantly, but I am completely clueless when it comes to vegetables. I'm a large-cuts-of-meat guy.

well, to be honest, i was hoping for more of the 'how to set up and turn on the fire' type of advice. what sorts of shit do i need to grill? where can i put this thing such that it doesnt light the house on fire? what is good coal?

Falselogic
05-08-2010, 07:02 PM
well, to be honest, i was hoping for more of the 'how to set up and turn on the fire' type of advice. what sorts of shit do i need to grill? where can i put this thing such that it doesnt light the house on fire? what is good coal?

Its a tiny hibachi? You should be fine out on your deck. I always get self lighting coals because I'm lazy. Try not to use lighter fluid once the coals are lit. Definitely don't use it after food is on the grill. I'm not super, super in to grilling and so I couldn't tell you what brand is the best or anything like that.

As to assembly without pictures I don't see how anyone could help you, but you're smart and you have the internet!

Kylie
05-08-2010, 07:48 PM
a) where to put it:

As far away from anything flammable as possible. Double especially if you're using a charcoal chimney to get the coals started. Definitely not on a deck, and I would say not even on gravel -- if you have concrete or blacktop available for patios or driveways, this is the way to go.

b)Fire:

My preferred method is chunk charcoal, and a chimney. As per Alton Brown technique, set the charcoal chimney up near the grill, but again, not on anything flammable, as this shit will turn rock molten. Spritz a newspaper with canola or vegetable oil, stuff it under the chimney, fill the chimney with charcoal, and light the paper. It should not be long before the coals are REALLY hot. Using heavy duty fireproof gloves, pour the coals from the chimney into the trough, then top with the grate.

c) Technique:

Veggies will probably only take seconds to get grillin' over this -- you may wish to leave half the hibachi empty of charcoal, for slower-cooking food like potatoes, and use the half over the coals for peppers, corn, eggplant, or anything else that benefits from high, fast heat.

d) Coal:

I'm a fan of chunk charcoal, which is pretty easily available - self lighting stuff, and briquettes, tend to make food taste of petroleum, which I don't enjoy. Some people can't taste it, so try stuff out. Self lighting doesn't require the chimney, really, so it's slightly more convenient, but if I pull the grill out I'm not in it for convenience. I can't really taste the difference between brands -- I have been using Whole Foods' 365.

e) Stuff:

Tongs: Longer is generally better, get something that is comfortable in your hand. Scalloped, for holding the food well, and no plastic on, because near the heat of a grill plastic will melt.

Gloves: Seriously if you chimney, this shit is hot and dangerous. The tougher the gloves are, the better off you are, and the more control you'll have over charcoal and food -- it's much easier to turn grill items when you aren't wincing from heat pain.

Grill brush: Anything that'll scour the grill is good, to prevent dirtying and rusting the top -- again, Alton Brown has a good method for cleaning the grill, which is a tightly rolled teatowel, dampened, and held between tongs, for scrubbing while the grill is cooling, but still warm.

Skewers -- For kebabing anything. Medium heaviness, triangular or square so that food won't spin on it, pointy for stabbing with, and long enough that falling into the grill won't be an issue.

Griddle top: Maybe not necessary, but you might want to look into it if you really enjoy the grill. An inexpensive cast-iron griddle top will heat over coals, and let you cook loose patties of food, okonomiyaki, noodles, veggie burgers, pancakes, flat breads like tortillas, cut veggie medleys, etc. If you try the grill out, and like it, this will improve your versatility.

Practice: Seriously, recipes for grills are all lies, since it can be tough to control temperature. It's one of those things very few people are good at to start with. A good clip thermometer, for the side, can be very useful if you want control, but practice, again, makes perfect.

Cover: Does it have a cover? Can it? Useful for slow cooking.

Fire Extinguisher: If it's cheaply made, charcoal can go through straight through the bottom of a grill. Charcoal spills are bad, and a small fire extinguisher makes for good insurance. Or if a rampaging neighborhood Great Dane knocks it over, or if etc.

Chimney: A good chimney will have a sturdy, insulated handle, and feel a little heavier than it looks. I like Weber's Rapidfire line -- they retail for about $15. Bonus: If you have anything that benefits from superhigh heat, to make a sear on the outside but with a raw inside, you can put the grate over a charcoal-filled starter, and achieve desired results in seconds. It may turn most veggies to ash, though.

Bergasa
05-08-2010, 08:48 PM
I don't really know what the point to grilling would be as a vegetarian...

Grilled veg is great! I'm not an expert in grilling them myself (whenever I try it, I'm simultaneously doing meat, and I end up over-doing the vegetables), but they can be super-tasty if done right. Grilled bell peppers are delicious.

Balrog
05-08-2010, 08:58 PM
d) Coal:

I'm a fan of chunk charcoal, which is pretty easily available - self lighting stuff, and briquettes, tend to make food taste of petroleum, which I don't enjoy. Some people can't taste it, so try stuff out. Self lighting doesn't require the chimney, really, so it's slightly more convenient, but if I pull the grill out I'm not in it for convenience. I can't really taste the difference between brands -- I have been using Whole Foods' 365.



The only time I ever had a problem with the taste of that self lighting stuff was when I didn't let the coals get white hot. It says like 14 or 15 on the bag but in my experience 20 minutes is just about right.

Grignr
05-09-2010, 09:42 AM
Chimney starter is definitely the best tip. You can get them all over the place now that it's summer grill season. I got mine at Home Depot. They probably have bags of lump charcoal too.

You can clean the grill with a crumpled-up handful of aluminum foil, which you might have leftover from steaming your vegs anyway.

Dadgum Roi
05-09-2010, 09:47 AM
Chimney starter is definitely the best tip. You can get them all over the place now that it's summer grill season. I got mine at Home Depot. They probably have bags of lump charcoal too.

Yup. They cost 5-10 bucks, get your coals ready more quickly, and eliminate the need for quick-lighting charcoal or lighter fluid. I never use any kind of accelerant on my charcoal.

I don't notice much difference between lump charcoal and briquettes in terms of flavor. Briquettes burn for longer and provide more heat- good for pork shoulders, hog quarters, briskets, and other things that need to be cooked forever, like 10-12 hrs plus. I always make sure to add extra charcoal if I'm using lump. Sometimes lump is cheaper.

Wood tastes a lot better than any charcoal, although it's probably not worth the trouble for veggies. You can get wood chips or, preferably, wood chunks, at many grocery stores/Lowe's/Home Depot to get a bit of wood flavor on the food. I like chunks best because you don't have to soak them in water and they eventually turn into more coal and help keep your grill hot.

Dadgum Roi
05-09-2010, 09:57 AM
well, to be honest, i was hoping for more of the 'how to set up and turn on the fire' type of advice. what sorts of shit do i need to grill? where can i put this thing such that it doesnt light the house on fire? what is good coal?

Make sure you don't put it in the house, or you will die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Otherwise, anywhere should be fine. A hibachi is a teeny little thing.

Otherwise...

1. Chimney starter for charcoal. Don't worry about having fireproof gloves- good Lord. The handle should be made of wood so it doesn't get hot, other than that, just remember not to pour the coals all over your goddamn arm and you'll be fine.

2. Any charcoal that is not self-starting(Matchlight and that ilk, etc.). I like plain old Kingsford for briquettes. Generics are fine.

3. A good grill brush- needs tough bristles and a scraper. You can probably skimp on this since you won't be cooking meat, though.

Using some soaked wood chips is probably going to be a really good idea for you, if you want a smoke flavor. Charcoal doesn't produce a lot of smoke on its own- most of it comes from fat incinerating on the coals. Veggies won't do this, so you'll need to create the smoke on your own.

Grignr
05-09-2010, 01:11 PM
Make sure you don't put it in the house, or you will die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

This is the new best tip.

Kirin
05-09-2010, 05:41 PM
Yeah, perhaps I'm insufficiently paranoid, but I grill on my wood deck all the time. I mean, I keep an eye on it obviously, but it's not like I don't have sources of water nearby.

I haven't messed with chimney starters but it sounds like it might be a good idea.

As for grilling with veggies, a lot of veggies can be wrapped in aluminum foil with some butter (and maybe herbs) and dumped on a grill for a while to good effect. Or, make everything into chunks, baste with a little oil, and cook on skewers, that works too.

Dadgum Roi
05-09-2010, 07:06 PM
What's the point of grilling something if you wrap it in foil? You may as well just put it in the oven if you're doing that.

Grignr
05-09-2010, 07:13 PM
What's the point of grilling something if you wrap it in foil? You may as well just put it in the oven if you're doing that.

Yeah, normally you do this because the grill was already going for your pork butt and you might as well throw on a few ears of corn or something since the fire was there anyway. To benefit from the grill, you want to use skewers or a metal veggie (http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Handy-Grillin-Basket/dp/B000MMO7RS/ref=sr_1_45?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1273457418&sr=8-45) grill (http://www.amazon.com/Danesco-Barbecue-Grill-Topper-Basket/dp/B0000VLLVG/ref=sr_1_33?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1273457418&sr=8-33) basket (http://www.amazon.com/Grilling-Baskets-and-Tray/dp/B001EO9N7W/ref=sr_1_24?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1273457410&sr=8-24) and puts some waterlogged chips of apple or hickory wood onto the coals to give them some smokey flavory.

Zef
05-09-2010, 07:15 PM
I don't really know what the point to grilling would be as a vegetarian...

Clearly, I need to introduce more people to vegetable brochettes and the heavenly glory of grilled nopales (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal).

Kylie
05-09-2010, 10:55 PM
Otherwise...

1. Chimney starter for charcoal. Don't worry about having fireproof gloves- good Lord. The handle should be made of wood so it doesn't get hot, other than that, just remember not to pour the coals all over your goddamn arm and you'll be fine.


All it takes is one overenthusiastic nephew to make you really sorry at a family grill-out. It seems like a pretty simple way to maybe not burn your goddamn arm off if shit goes south. Maybe it never does, but hey, it only takes once.

Dadgum Roi
05-10-2010, 03:57 AM
All it takes is one overenthusiastic nephew to make you really sorry at a family grill-out.

Get away from the grill!

Get away...

GET AWAY FROM THE GRILL, DAMN IT!!!!

Dadgum Roi
05-10-2010, 04:18 AM
Clearly, I need to introduce more people to vegetable brochettes and the heavenly glory of grilled nopales (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal).

They have whole nopales at the local Mexican grocery that I shop at, but I have no clue what to do with them.

TheSL
05-10-2010, 05:56 AM
When it comes to non-meat items on the grill I'm a big fan of taking a whole pineapple, cutting it into rings and grilling each side until its just a bit seared. Tastes great alone or on a burger.

Dadgum Roi
05-10-2010, 06:13 AM
When it comes to non-meat items on the grill I'm a big fan of taking a whole pineapple, cutting it into rings and grilling each side until its just a bit seared. Tastes great alone or on a burger.

Oh yeah, I do that, that's good. I put cinnamon on it like they do at the Brazilian steak places.

Kylie
05-10-2010, 07:53 AM
Pinapple is good! Peach is delicious, as well!

Maybe I'm just overcautious, but after the second time a dude in a kitchen bumps into you with a panful of hot fat you do everything you can to prevent that shit happening. Either way, personal taste.

I want to try the SHIT out of some Nopales. Recipes plz.

Sven
05-10-2010, 08:09 AM
Has anyone mentioned "don't forget to oil / season / temper the grill?"

Because never forget to prep the grill.

Dadgum Roi
05-10-2010, 08:19 AM
Has anyone mentioned "don't forget to oil / season / temper the grill?"

Because never forget to prep the grill.

Not a bad idea, but not vital, either. I mainly do it when I'm doing a long cook of something like a pork shoulder that tends to stick. Chicken takes 45 minutes or so, but doesn't stick, so I don't bother.

oh yeah shivam doesn't eat meat, fuck. srsly dude, let me make you some barbecue. then u will see teh light.

Sven
05-10-2010, 08:27 AM
Not a bad idea, but not vital, either. I mainly do it when I'm doing a long cook of something like a pork shoulder that tends to stick. Chicken takes 45 minutes or so, but doesn't stick, so I don't bother.

oh yeah shivam doesn't eat meat, fuck. srsly dude, let me make you some barbecue. then u will see teh light.

I continue to work on a BBQ scheme for Tofu. These experiments will yield results one day, even if I'm going to have to turn into Ferran Adria to pull it off (Richard Blais did something involving beef fat and Tofu on Top Chef that might be a vector).

(in all seriousness, marinated and grilled tofu is really good. It's my favourite use of it outside of artery-clogging double-battered tofu.)

NevznachaY
05-10-2010, 12:29 PM
Oh man, I love to grill vegetables. Also, cheese (halloumi!). Another favourite is rosemary and cream potatoes wrapped in foil.

Kirin
05-10-2010, 02:26 PM
I think I mentioned this in another thread, but I've successfully grilled tofu. It was at a family outing where people were grilling steaks and my vegetarian wife needed some protien. We took slabs of extra firm tofu (maybe 1/3" thick?) and marinated them for an hour or two in a mix of... uh, I don't remember exactly but it involved a lot of balsamic vinegar and a shitload of fresh chopped garlic. Then we just tossed em' on the grill for a few minutes each side. Was pretty tasty.

shivam
05-10-2010, 02:27 PM
this thread is great. thank you.

Kylie
05-11-2010, 06:10 PM
Bring us pictures of what you do! :)

Dadgum Roi
05-18-2010, 08:36 AM
One thing I forgot to mention that some recent grilling with lump charcoal reminded me of- lump produces a lot less ash than briquettes.