How NOT to Barbecue

Summer’s officially here, and that means lots of dads out there showing off their grill skills.

Of course, not everyone is Bobby Flay or Guy Fieri. Some folks just don’t get basic ideas…like, gasoline is flammable.

We found this video of outstanding BBQ fails. Enjoy the hilarity, but remember: practice safe flames this summer! Your eyebrows will thank you for it!


Properly Cleaning Your Grill

ID-100186054When purchasing your barbeque grill, think of it as an investment rather than just another item for your outdoor entertainment. You should expect this item to become a large part of your outdoor activities for many years to come. But like any other investments, proper maintenance and care are needed to ensure that your barbeque grill will work for you for many years to come.

Leaving your grill messy after each use will not only make it harder on you when you finally do clean the grill, but it will also drastically decrease the lifespan of your grill. If your grill sits dirty, you increase the risk of rust.

While some maintenance and cleaning is specific to the type of barbeque grill your own (gas, electric, charcoal or smoke barbecue grill), the majority of maintenance that should be carried on does not change from grill to grill.

Step 1- Gathering The Necessary Items

You will need some common household items on hand when it comes time to clean your barbeque grill.

  • Brass wire grill brush (take care that the bristles are not loose, as this is a commonly overlooked health hazard)
  • Steel wool pads, preferably that contain soap already
  • Mild dish soap
  • Sponge or dishcloth
  • Spray cooking oil
  • Dry baking soda
  • Aluminum foil

Step 2- Brushing Your Grill Off

The first thing that should always be done to your grill is a routine brushing. Using your brass wire grill brush (or other brush suitable to your type of grill) you should brush off all the surfaces. By routinely brushing your barbeque grill, you will prevent any type of buildup. If buildup from food is left to long, it can become increasingly difficult to remove, and can end up causing problems such as rust.

Step 3- Spray Cooking Oil

Once you are sure that your grill is free of all buildup and debris, and that your grill is completely cooled off, you will want to spray it down with a light layer of cooking oil. Spraying it down with cooking oil will prevent your barbeque grill from rusting. It is especially important to make sure your barbeque grill is completely cold, as spraying cooking oil on a hot surface may cause the oil to heat up and ignite, which could be potentially dangerous to you and your barbeque grill.

Step 4- Use Baking Soda and Aluminum Foil on Your Grill

Baking soda is a very nice cleaning and polishing agent. Once you have removed any extra debris and buildup, lightly scrubbing your barbeque grill with baking soda will give it that extra shine, similar to the day that you brought it home from the store. This can also be used on handles and knobs to remove any extra buildup that cannot be taken off with a wire brush.

Aluminum foil can also be used to keep your grill looking nice. Gently rub the aluminum foil on your grill, and you will notice that it removes grime and buildup. This is a cheap and inexpensive way to clean your grill.

Step 5- Clean Your Racks

The racks in your grill are especially important as this is where the food touches when it is cooking. You will have to use the wire brush to remove as much buildup as possible. Once you remove as much as possible, start washing the racks with dish soap. If the racks are really dirty, you may also want to use the steel wool pads. Be sure to completely rinse off all soap and residue, and dry thoroughly with a towel, before cooking on these racks again.

TGI Barbecue Season

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s now (for many of us) our favourite part of the warm months: barbecue season.

Nothing caps off a perfect afternoon, or kicks off a perfect evening with friends, than the raising of a glass and the ceremonial open fire charring of great tasting meats. Steak, chicken, pork chops, peameal bacon, sausages, hotdogs, hamburgers — it doesn’t really matter what’s on the grill, the result is the same: our carnivorous tastebuds are satiated with celebratory servings of meat. We have taken the feasting traditions of our Viking and medieval ancestors and made them even better with gourmet recipes.

The beauty is we don’t even necessarily need to actually cook ourselves to enjoy the traditional sacrament of enjoying some cold libations with platters of succulent meats. You can pretty much find an amazing hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint in any town these days, but the real gems are the summer ribfests.

If you’ve never been to a Ribfest, do yourself a HUUUUGE favour and check out some of the local ones in the coming weeks. The typical fare at these well-attended events is ribs (duh!) and pulled pork on a toasted kaiser with sides of baked beans and coleslaw.

Watch for our red tent at some of these events in the Durham and Markham areas and come say hello and see if any of our event promos fit your home renovation needs. We’re actually at the Whitby Ribfest from today until Sunday, and yes we have already tasted the BBQ and it’s incredible. The bands are on stage, the beer is cold and the grills are loaded, so plan to hold your afternoon meetings here today.

Anyway, if you prefer to recreate these sumptuous southern specialties at home, we have two crazy good recipes below for you to scratch the mesquite-infused itch you may have.

Try these out and let us know if they do the trick. We’ve made each of these and we’ll warn you that there likely won’t be any leftovers the next day.

Smokey BBQ ribs


2 racks baby back pork ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup Cajun seasoning
3 tablespoons smoked or sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
Chipotle Sauce (see Cook’s Notes)

Chipotle Sauce
Stir together 1 cup chili sauce, 1/4 cup chopped chipotle chiles in adobo, and 2 tablespoons honey.


Prep the ribs: Depending on how the butcher has trimmed the ribs, there may be a tough, rubbery membrane on the underside. If so, score meat between bones (being careful not to cut the meat) and pull membrane away.

To cook on the grill, set up grill for indirect cooking: arrange heat source (charcoal or gas) on one side of grill and heat to medium-high.

Combine brown sugar, 1/3 cup salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, Cajun seasoning, paprika, cayenne, and ground mustard. Reserve half the rub for later use (store in an airtight container, up to a month). Working with 1 rack at a time, lay a large piece of parchment-lined foil on a work surface, place rack on parchment, and liberally coat both sides with rub.

Place rib packets on cooler side of grill, standing them upright on long sides. Cover grill and cook until a knife can pierce meat with no resistance, about 2 1/2 hours (if using a charcoal grill, add a couple handfuls of coals every half hour to maintain 300 degrees).

Fold foil and parchment around ribs, crimping the edges together to form a packet.

Remove ribs from grill, unwrap, and brush with Chipotle Sauce. If using a charcoal grill, lift grate to carefully spread out hot coals. On a gas grill, place ribs directly over heat source. Grill until sauce is bubbling and ribs are lightly charred, 2 minutes per side, brushing with more sauce if desired.

To cook in the oven, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place rib packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until a knife can pierce meat with no resistance, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Remove ribs from oven. Heat broiler. Unwrap ribs, place on sheet, and brush with Chipotle Sauce.

Broil until sauce is bubbling and ribs are lightly charred, about 5 minutes, brushing with more sauce if desired.

Chop into individual meaty ribs, and serve with coleslaw and baked beans (recipe below).


BBQ Baked Beans


4 28-ounce cans baked beans
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium clove of garlic
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 pound of bacon
1 package of turkey or ham kolbassa
1 dash of salt and pepper
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup of red hot (leave out if you don’t like some heat)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard


Turn BBQ side burner to high and sautée onions, bacon, kolbassa and garlic with a dash of Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Cook until bacon is slightly crispy and kolbassa is brown on all sides.

Step 2
Combine ingredients in a large, shallow baking dish or a bean pot. Stir to combine.

Step 3
Simmer uncovered on BBQ side burner or stove for 45 minutes.

Step 4
Stir, and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve warm.