The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Recipes

Tue May 26, 2015

Smoky Pulled Barbecue Chicken

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Pulled Chicken

Pulled pork is a wondrous thing. Made from pork shoulder, it's slowly smoked until the intramuscular fat and connective tissue renders and softens, leaving nothing but tender, juicy meat that can be shredded easily by hand. The process takes a good twelve to fourteen hours at a low temperature of 225°F, during which time the meat picks up a smoky flavor while developing an intensely flavored exterior bark. It's one of the classics of the barbecue cannon, which raises the question: Why does pulled barbecue chicken fail to reach a similar level of renown?

If my own experience is any indication, the answer is that pulled chicken, as tender and juicy as it can be, almost always lacks the right balance between meat, seasoning, and smoke. It tends to be so inundated with sauce that any trace of chicken flavor is completely drowned out. It's also often devoid of smokiness, unless the barbecue sauce contains liquid smoke (an ingredient I detest for its overpoweringly acrid flavor).

But just because most pulled chicken fails to reach the heights of pulled pork doesn't mean it shouldn't still taste great. I decided that it was time to figure out how to make really good pulled chicken. And with a little barbecue know-how, I was able to come up with a recipe that's outdone any pulled chicken I've ever encountered before.

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Tue May 5, 2015

Grilled Jalapeño-Marinated Steak Sandwiches With Charred Onions and Cotija Mayo

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Jalapeño Hanger Steak Sandwich

Everyone rejoice, Cinco de Mayo is here! In terms of eating holidays, this is my all time favorite due to the fact that I use it as an excuse to combine my love of all things Tex-Mex with my passion for grilling. It was that dynamic duo that led me to create this grilled jalapeño-marinated steak sandwich with charred onions and cotija mayo, which also just so happened to be one of the best sandwiches I have made to date.

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Tue Apr 28, 2015

Cilantro-and-Lime Marinated Chicken Fajita Kebabs

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Chicken Fajita Kebabs

I was never a chicken fajita type a guy—why settle for comparatively flavorless and dry chicken when you can have juicy, tender, and beefy skirt steak, a king among cuts. I held onto that unwavering opinion for a long time, until one day a few years I devised a marinade for chicken fajitas so delicious that I not only found myself enjoying them, I actually endorsed it as a recipe you really need to make. Even though I've remained steadfast in my use of beef for fajitas since then, there's been a lingering desire to make those chicken fajitas again. As I was working on a whole slew of skewers last summer, I thought why not give myself my fix, and threw a chicken fajita skewer into the menu line up with my other lamb, beef, and chicken creations.

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Tue Apr 21, 2015

Grilled Queso Panela with Roasted Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa

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Queso Panela

Yes, you can grill cheese. I'm not talking about cheese between two slices of bread—also grillable—but bare slices of cheese thrown directly over the flames. Longtime readers of this blog probably already know this thanks to my obsession by one of the greatest cheeses of all time—halloumi. Halloumi is a very firm, salty goat and sheep's milk cheese from Cyprus that's a bit too hard when it's cold, but turns wonderfully creamy and squeaky when grilled or pan-fried. While I'll probably always advocate for halloumi as the best grilling cheese, it doesn't have a monopoly on the genre, and I tried out a whole host of others last summer including this queso panela that I served with a roasted tomato and poblano salsa.

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Tue Apr 14, 2015

Carne Enchilada Torta

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Carne Enchilada Torta

A while back, my buddy James invited me to help him eat through almost every torta at Tortas Neza in Corona, Queens for a video he was making. I had read odes to the overstuffed tortas made by Galdino Molinero out of his truck that resides under the elevated 7 train at the corner of Roosevelt and 111th, but never tried them, so was only too happy to oblige. There wasn't a low point in the 10 or so sandwiches we ate that day, but a few really haunted my dreams like Tortas Monarcas (carnitas) and Tortas Regias (carne enchilada). The later stuck with me due its profoundly spicy meat that was at the same time crisp and tender, having a saucy, caramelized, and charred exterior that coated slices of pork that were nice and juicy. It was something I wished I could have in my life more often, so attempted a version of it at my grill.

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