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J.D. Dotzler, owner of Sevenfold Spice LLC in Casper WY, shares tips for safe and tasty grilling food below. Freshness counts as well as technique. You will end up cooking and grilling a better tasting meal. Clean the meat before you season the meat. Gently rinse the meat and pat it dry. This will remove any odor and material that may have been deposited from handling and packaging. It also sets the meat up to accept seasoning to taste. Grills better too.
Slapping meat on the grill along with salt and pepper works, but there are plenty of ways to add excitement to your backyard grilling experience. Putting a slice of butter on each side of a hot steak is a simple way to grill a tasty steak, but there are more natural flavors to be had. Use one of our featured Spice Blends or just blend some salt, pepper, granulated onion and garlic together and sprinkle herbs & seasonings on the steak 30 minutes to 2 hours prior grilling it. Cook steak over a hot fire is best. It does two things: It sears the outside of the meat,sealing in the juices, and speeds up the cooking process. Take them off once they are done to your liking.
We recommend using fresh ground (same day) beef which is somewhere between 80% to 85% lean for best taste. Some fat is needed. As much as healthy folks hate to admit it, the fat in the ground beef  is what makes your burgers juicy and adds flavor.  If you go with a lean ground round or other lean beef, add a Sevenfold Spice Blend to enhance the natural flavor. If you cannot find fresh ground beef and frozen is all that is available, be sure to allow sufficient time to thaw ground beef completely in the refrigerator. If you try to grill frozen ground beef, more than likely, the meat may end up raw instead of rare/done.Ground beef, unlike a steak, can be a harbinger of germs which can really do a number on you.  Before removing the meat from the grill, check to insure the meat is done.  "Done" would mean the center of the meat should read 155°-160°F.  To check the temperature of the burger, insert a meat thermometer (we prefer an instant read thermometer like the chefs use) into the side of the burger so that the tip of the thermometer is in the middle of the meat. For the record, germs are killed at about 142°F, so cook up to 155°-160°F to be safe. You never know if the burger has been cooked evenly. Keep a spray bottle of water nearby while grilling burgers.  Remember the fat content of the meat?  When the fat renders and drops into the fire, flare-ups are common and can be dangerous, not to mention burn the meat.  A gentle spray on the flames will keep this under control for you. Remove the burgers when they reach about 155°F because, like most things that come off of a hot grill, the heat keeps on cooking the burgers after having been removed from the grill.  To fully understand this technique, wait about 3 to 4 minutes and then test with a thermometer and you should find that they are at 160° F.  AGAIN: Please use a meat thermometer to determine when the food is done.• To obtain the juiciest burgers, we suggest shaping your patties evenly - about 3/4-inch thick. That way they should not dry out quickly over the fire.  One suggestion we found that had merit was to make a small hole in the middle of the burger which will allow some juices to escape from the middle thus preventing the meat from "bulging" and having horizontal separation while grilling.• Don't forget to season your burgers.  Most folks use salt and pepper, but don't limit yourself.   Sevenfold Spice makes a great “BURGER” seasoning; we start with salt and pepper, and then add some granulated garlic and onion with a little lemon powder and paprika blended to enhance the natural burger taste, not dominate it! Get your fire up and going well before you are ready to slap the burgers on the grill.  We would recommend that the grill grates be very hot when the meat is placed on them.  This will not only give you great grill marks, but will allow the meat to release from the cooking grate when it is ready. Now that your burgers are on the grill.....Leave them alone! Never press the burgers to watch the flames roar and smoke soar.  This just forces the wonderful juices out of the meat.  You don't want a dry burger we hope.Garnish your burgers as desired with cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or even the kitchen sink.  Make them yours and enjoy!
Marinades come in many different flavors and varieties and Sevenfold Spice Blends and Rubs can truly enhance your marinade recipes, but you need to season them to your taste. The basic premises of preparing a marinade for any piece of meat centers around three basic food parts. The first thing you need is cooking oil. The next thing you need is an acid such as vinegar. The third ingredient is spices and/or herbs. That's it!Rule No. 1 - Make the oil/vinegar proportions equal. Say one cup each or 1/2 cup each. You get the picture. Add the vinegar to the bowl first and then with a small/medium whisk, begin blending in the oil in small quantities until it is all blended together. If you try to do it all at once, they will not blend thoroughly and there will be a price to pay. Once the oil/vinegar mix has been thoroughly blended, then begin adding your spices and herbs.Rule No. 2 - Don't over power the marinade with spices. Salt, sugar and garlic are universal flavorings.  So are, peppers, basil, oregano, dried mustard, onion and the list goes on. Once the oil/vinegar mix has been thoroughly blended, then begin adding your spices and herbs. Be creative and make the favor of your choice. Try some of the following in your marinades and keep a record of what you added to that it can be duplicated and handed down from generation to generation as "Uncle Tom's" or "Aunt Jane's" secret recipe!Oils: Olive (Light, Classic), Vegetable Oil, Butter, Canola, Sesame, etc.Acids: White Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Dill Pickle Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Cider Vinegar, Pineapple Juice, etc.Spices & Herbs: Basil, Pepper, Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Dry Mustard, Onion, Honey, Soy, Molasses, Brown Sugar, Parsley, Rosemary, Ginger, Celery Seeds, Mint Leaves, Zest, Chicken Stock, Cumin, etc.You're in the kitchen, you've made this fantastic marinade and the meat is soaking up the wonderful flavors for hours and hours. Now it comes time for cooking . . . . . and you think . . . . I sure hate to waste this great taste of a marinade, just use left over juice on the meat as a baste or sauce for additional flavoring!Before using the marinade for basting, BOIL IT FOR 2 TO 3 MINUTES! Why, you might ask? Well, there are bacteria on all meat. When the meat is cooked, you kill any germs which may be lingering around when the temperature rises above 150 to 165 degrees. The same bacteria are in the leftover marinade as well. Be safe and boil the marinade and kill the bacteria in it. Be safe! Another type of marinade can be used to tame strong flavors and odor in certain meats.  This is for use on old venison and other gamely meats and fish with a slightly strong odor. These marinades are built to absorb. They will contain salt, vinegar, milk, buttermilk or combinations thereof depending on your taste. Milk is especially effective. Powdered milk works just as well as whole milk. These marinades are usually discarded.  

When using dry rubs for grilling, always allow the meat to cook for about one-third to half of the total time before applying any basting sauce. This allows the meat to warm up and absorb the dry rub seasonings or a Sevenfold Spice Rub. It also lets the dry rub adhere to the meat securely. Baste too early and it defeats the process by washing off the dry rub seasonings. After the first basting, you can baste it frequently, but every 20 minutes is more than enough. GLAZING MEAT : Glazing is a lot about show and little about flavor. A glaze is a sweet barbecue sauce that gives meat a beautiful shine, adds flavor to the outside of the meat and creates a thickness on the outside of the meat called bark. It can be used on anything that is barbecued (cooked slowly over moderate temperature), such as pork ribs, chicken, ham, brisket, port butt or tenderloins. Honey, maple sugar, brown sugar, fruits and juices make great glazes. Apply the glaze when the temperature of the pit or grill has lowered, or when there is about 30 minutes of cook-time remaining. If the glaze is applied too early, it may burn, caramelize or blacken.Using a pastry or barbecue brush, apply a thin coat of barbecue sauce to all surfaces of the meat. One, thin coat is enough, as more will become a gooey mess.When the glaze adds a dull shine and/or tackiness to the meat, it is ready to serve. When not to Glaze You would not want to glaze steaks, chops or pulled pork, veggies.or anything that you are grilling directly over high heat.
 Zucchini, squash, tomatoes, asparagus, potatoes and many other great vegetables can be safely and flavorfully prepared on a backyard grill. If you haven't grilled vegetables before, now is the time to try it. It makes a great side for grilled meats. Before you begin, coat the cut up vegetables with light olive oil to protect the skins from drying and burning. Then sprinkle the vegetables with your favorite seasonings. Try a Sevenfold Spice Blend or rosemary, parsley, garlic, oil and vinegar salad dressing, black pepper, salt, basil or thyme.A grilling wok or shaker basket makes grilling vegetables to perfection quick and easy. Plus, they keep the pieces from falling through the grate into the fire.Try slicing into discs one zucchini, one yellow squash and one small red onion. Coat the vegetables with spicy oil-based or vinegar salad dressing. Sprinkle lightly with thyme, basil and fresh black pepper. Cook in a basket over a medium-hot grill until tender.