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

Recipes

Tue Jun 9, 2015

Chili-rubbed Mahi-Mahi Tacos with Grilled Mango Salsa

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Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

I run a pretty predicable cyclical pattern with my diet each year. Once Thanksgiving hits, I give up resistance to any attempt to improve my health and indulge in all the meat and fat that makes the holidays and winter a comforting, survivable time. When spring hits, I start to introduce some semblance of balance, however misguided it may be, into my meal selection and take up biking and walking more. This year I've broken that trend and have yet to crawl out from the gluttony I wallowed in during the colder months. I have a fear that letting myself do this is so easy that I may never bring myself out of it and I'll inevitably suffer the consequences of that decision in the long run. I need a swift kick in the ass to get myself into full spring/summer mode and I thought revisiting some of the lighter sides of grilling I've done would serve as good inspiration. So with that, I bring you what I consider healthier grilling by way of these chili-rubbed mahi mahi tacos with a grilled mango salsa.

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Tue Jun 2, 2015

Memphis-Style Dry Ribs

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Memphis Dry-rubbed Ribs

Back in the day, I'd call pretty much any rib I didn't slather with sauce, "dry ribs." Not only were they indeed dry, but they looked and tasted like the dry ribs I've always been served at restaurants. It wasn't until I had some excellent dry ribs at Peg Leg Porker, down in Nashville, that I understood just what I'd been missing. So I got to talking to pitmaster Carey Bringle about what sets his ribs apart from the crowd.

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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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