SOUTH-TEXAS STYLE TURKEY BY PAULA DISBROWE
The swoon-worthy results and surprising ease of cooking a whole turkey over a wood-infused fire just might make you rethink your traditional Thanksgiving menu. Two things bring this method together: Butterflying the turkey creates a broad, flat surface that cooks more quickly and evenly. READ MORERecipes
Posted by Matt Rowe on 15th Jul 2016
Taking a PK Grill to the Gulf Coast is a perfect excuse to charter an offshore fishing trip. This photo essay shows going from sea to grill on a perfect July day. Thanks to Cliff Adams with Red Eye Charters (Facebook page here) for taking us out on our expedition.
When I was first asked to work with PK Grills, they gave me the rundown on the aluminum charcoal grill and smoker. One of the main points was that it doesn't rust, even in a harsh salt water beach environment. I knew at that point that I would have to take it with me when I made my way to Alabama's Gulf Coast later that year. I was traveling with a large crew, and knew that a chartered fishing trip would be a great way to get out, see the area, and come back with enough food for a group with over 20 people.
To get out on the water, we met up with Cliff Adams of Red Eye Charters on his boat the Rig Runner. A boat captain for nine years, Cliff has been working on boats in the Gulf Coast since he was 13 years old. The Rig Runner is built for speed, and can top out around 45 miles per hour on the water. Opting for a smoother ride for us land lovers, Cliff makes his way out at about 30 mph, which means our trip offshore will be about an hour. Today we're out looking for red snapper.
We lucked in to being out at a good time - it's early morning and red snapper season will be ending soon. We're searching for snapper over 20 lbs, and most of the fish that we bring in on our 80 lb. test line are around 15-20 lbs. Fishing for these is a fight. While the king mackerel, which is also in the area, when hooked, will fight and dart around, sometimes severing the line with its teeth. The red snapper, on the other hand, is almost a dead weight feeling, and getting them up to the boat is a test of endurance, not strength. It's an amazing feeling, even on just a 15 lb. fish, hooking a fish and bringing it up.
Fishing with an experienced guide like Cliff is a great way to get up to speed on the area. On our 4+ hour trip, we talked about the diversity of fish in this area, how commercial fishing boats work, what restaurants are looking for, how the gulf has changed since the oil spill, on hooking monster eels and on searching for tuna over the continental shelf. Our limit was 12 red snapper, two for each of us. The time passed by very quickly.
Of course, we weren't alone in our hunt out there. The picture above looks a surreal piece of collage art, but the artist is a very hungry bull shark. Cliff says the sharks have been more and more of a nuisance lately, and tells us that it's somewhat urgent in bringing the fish up to the surface once hooked -- it's a competition between us and the sharks.
At the end of our tour, Cliff unloads the snapper, racks them up for documentation, and then begins cleaning them. We're preparing to grill these reds, so Cliff makes two clean cuts on each fish, making large filets with the skin on, which will create a buffer on the grill between the fire and the fish, and allow the heat to penetrate the center of these 1 1/2 - 2 inch pieces.
Luckily, our large group includes a professional chef in the ranks, and she makes up a blackening rub out of what's available in our rental's kitchen. While we get our charcoal ready, she combines the following to rub the top side of the fish in:
1/2 cup Salt
1 tbsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Dry Thyme
Once you oil the grates of your grill, you're ready to put it directly over the coals. You may notice that we're using lump charcoal in the grill. I prefer to use briquettes, but the scant few stores in the area only had two bags of lump charcoal left. Make sure to prepare accordingly.
Lemon and lime slices are placed on the fish, and we first place the fish skin up on our PK. We close the lid for about 5-8 minutes to get a good grill on the top of the fish, before flipping it over to finish skin side down. These are thick filets, so you have to take special care to make sure that the fish doesn't get too hot, as it will become flakey and not so good for eating. This is another area the PK shines in, as the control given by the PK Grill means I can get my temperatures just right, making a difficult process of balancing high heat and the low and slow heat needed to cook it through the center. Near the end, a little bit of butter on the fish will finish it out, along with a squeeze from the lemons grilled along with it.
And the finished result. It's a real pleasure to wake up before the sun and finish a meal for a large group as the sun is going down, all from your own work on the boat. The red snapper was cooked perfect and tender, making for a wonderful time. To learn more about the last grill you'll ever own, even if you're in a corrosive salt water environment, visit pkgrills.com.
One of the joys of cooking for yourself and others is getting out and meeting the folks who make it all happen. With that in mind, I headed down to Little Rock's Bernice Garden Farmer's Market to visit with local farmers, check it out what they had and see what we could find to cook on [...]
If you pay close attention to the food and culinary world, then you've no doubt read about or seen many chefs and professional grillers who use a PK Grill for grilling at home. So we wanted to know, do working restaurants use the PK Grill? We've been seeing a PK out front at Little Rock's Boulevard [...]
Even though grilling season is just heating up (almost scorching in some areas), we're about halfway through 2016. It's as good a time as any to review some of the great media attention the PK Grill has received this year, unanimous in praise for the value and quality of the PK. Usually we send these [...]
Grilling season has begun. When you own a PK Grill, you're part of a huge community of grilling enthusiasts, from professionals to newbies, and it's always interesting to see what others are doing with the PK. Here are some recent shots from our community. From instagram.com/omarrikabi/ From instagram.com/grate_keepers/ From instagram.com/omarrikabi/ From instagram.com/born2cookinspired/ Shelia Reese with born2cookinspired in Northwest Arkansas has [...]
No surprise here, but Popular Mechanics just named the PK Grill one of the best grills in America. Current PK Grill owners are already in on the combination of performance and value, and it's always nice to be reminded by a magazine that's been on top of things for over 100 years.
We've had Memorial Day circled on the calendar. For many people, it's the start of summer, the start of grilling season, shoot, the start of being outside all the time. So there's no better way to kick it all off with a cold beverage and a hot PK Grill. We're going to use this blog post [...]
Here’s a unique and fun way to make some queso, make that PK-ueso, from scratch, from our friends the Smoke House Rats. This was a huge hit earlier this month at the Dallas Cowboys Sponsorship Golf Tournament. Ingredients: 2 tbsp. Butter 2 tbsp. Flour 1.5 cups Milk .5 cups Heavy cream .5 cup Pepper jack cheese (shredded) .5 cup Fiesta blend cheese [...]
We're so excited to share our Inaugural PK Grills Steak Cook-Off short documentary today. The event took place on May 2, 2016, with the Steak Cookoff Association, and was sponsored by Yeti, Lost Forty Brewing, Edwards Food Giant, Kingsford and Acosta. If you enjoyed it, please subscribe to us on YouTube. Thank you to everyone who came [...]
We've heard from grilling pros who use the PK Grill to win competitions -- it's one of the tools in their arsenal they can count on again and again. As if they needed another reason to use the PK in competition this year, PK Grills is offering extra bonuses to competitive grillers who use the [...]