My Favorite Memorial Day BBQ Recipes

Freedom is not Free - Golden Gate National Cemetery - 2009

Hard to believe we’re into Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer! It’s a perfect weekend for firing up the BBQ and doing some grilling! Here are a couple of recipe ideas to tempt your appetite:

For a great side dish to go with the tri-tip, try my recipe for Scott’s Easy Baked Onions – or the Melted Onions actually cooked in the charcoal coals of the BBQ.

Fire up that grill – and have a great holiday weekend!

A Perfect July 4th Tri-Tip BBQ

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Are you planning a July 4th BBQ get together with family and friends this year? If so, the perfect BBQ treat is a tasty, well seasoned tri-tip roast – and you’ll find the preparation and cooking to be super easy:

Either way, you’ll end up with a perfect BBQ treat that your friends and family will really enjoy. Be sure to season the tri-tip well an hour or so in advance. I prefer just kosher salt, coarse ground pepper and a bit of Montreal steak seasoning.

Mix in a few burgers, sausages and hot dogs on the grill for the kids and you’ve got everybody covered!

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

Summertime Tri-Tip on the Weber BBQ

My son and family stopped by this afternoon following today’s Sunset Celebration Weekend and we did just what we did last year – grilled a couple of tri-tips on our Weber charcoal BBQ. Turns out, we did just about the same thing last year! With the unusually wet and cool spring we’ve had in northern California this year, today (in early June) was literally the first time we pulled the cover off the Weber to grill something!

I picked up two plain tri-tips earlier today from Bianchini’s Market in Portola Valley. The first we seasoned with Tom Douglas’ All Purpose Smoky Barbeque Rub – picked up this morning from Tom’s booth at the Sunset event. The second we seasoned with rock salt – with a healthy dose of fresh ground Penzey’s Special Extra Bold™ Black Peppercorns on both. We seasoned the tri-tips about 5 hours before we started grilling and put them back in the ‘frig.

Like last year, I used Lazzari Mesquite Charcoal in my Weber BBQ – it burns hotter than briquets, cooks the meat faster and adds a very nice mesquite cooked flavor to the meat. Once lit in the chimney lighter, spread the coals all to one side of the Weber – that’s going to be the direct heat side.

I seared the roasts over direct heat 5-7 mins per side (to a bit of nice char) and then cooked them on the indirect heat side for another 20-25 minutes until they reached an internal temperature of 130 degrees. Once they’re at that temp, wrap them in foil and let them sit for at least 15 minutes to let the juices re-enter the meat. Then slice thinly across the grain and serve – preferably with an nice accompanying BBQ sauce. I had also picked up a jar of Tom Douglas’ Ancho & Molasses Barbecue Sauce this morning at Sunset – and it was a perfect accompaniment to the tri-tip!

We also grilled some veggies to accompany the roasts – including corn on the cob, onions, baby bok choy, zucchini and bell pepper. We cooked the veggies mostly over direct heat – taking care not to let them burn – while the tri-tips were cooking on the other indirect heat side of the grill.

A great meal and first time BBQ of the season!

Scott’s Perfect Charcoal BBQ Thick Cut Pork Chops

We love our Weber – an early model of the Performa. A while back we had this fancy indirect heating gas grill – but it just didn’t provide much flavor for BBQing so we gave it away and bought the Weber over 10 years ago. It’s been our regular fire ever since – IMHO nothing beats a hot charcoal fire for the best flavor.

On one of our morning walks last week, friend Chris Gulker550 degrees) on the Performa’s built-in thermometer. Then, it’s time to sear the chops.

I seared them about 2 minutes on each side directly over the hottest part of the fire. After that, I moved them over to the indirect heat side of the Weber and cooked them for another 6 minutes without turning. By that time, the internal temperature was about 135 degrees. I removed them from the fire, covered them with foil and let them sit another 6-8 minutes during which the internal temperature continued to rise to over 145 degrees. At that point, they were ready to serve.

We cooked some sauerkraut with bacon and BBQ sauce in a skillet on the stove and served that with the chops along with some more of that tasty BBQ sauce. What a treat! – a very nice and relatively low cost Sunday BBQ. Served with a little summer rose wine, it was just delicious!

Scott’s Lazy Sunday Tri-Tip Caesar Salad

This Sunday dinner is perfect when BBQ season has arrived. This afternoon in Menlo Park was ideal – light up the Weber BBQ (charcoal version) and go! The ingredients are super simple: a Santa Maria-seasoned Tri-Tip from Trader Joe’s (or your favorite alternative) and a package of one of those Caesar Lite pre-packaged salads.

For a 5:30 PM dinner, start this at about 4 PM. You’ll have plenty of time to read the Sunday papers in between while things are happening. Add a bottle of your favorite red or chilled white wine and you’re truly good to go! Serves 2.

(Added: March 26, 2006 – Menlo Park, California)
 




Ingredients

  • 1 Trader Joe’s Santa Maria Seasoned Tri-Tip Top Sirloin
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package of Fresh Choice Caesar Lite pre-packaged salad greens and dressing
  • Red or chilled white wine to accompany salad

Directions

  1. Coat both sides of the tri-tip in coarse sea salt. Add a bit of coarse ground pepper to both sides as well.
  2. Fire up the Weber charcoal grill. When the coals are ready (20-30 minutes after lighting), push them all to one side of the grill for indirect heating.
  3. Place the tri-tip over that portion of the grill without hot coals underneath. Cook for 50 minutes. Periodically monitor the temperature and adjust the top and bottom vents so that it stays within the range of 350-450 degrees.
  4. Remove the tri-tip from the BBQ and place on a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 20 minutues to allow the juices to blend into the meat.
  5. While waiting for the tri-tip, make the salad. Add some pickle and tomato chunks as available to the salad. Season with coarse ground pepper. Add the salad dressing and mix well with two tablespoons.
  6. Slice the tri-tip into strips across the grain. Slice the strips into “bite size” chunks suitable for the salad. Plan to use about 1/2 of the tri-tip for this meal and to save the remaining half for another meal in a day or two.
  7. Serve the salad with the wine. Yum!