Earlier in the season, I taped a grilling demo for a new Cleveland company called Sideways, specializing in digital publishing, including the eponymous magazine for the iPad (next issue is out Monday, youtube promo here). It accompanied my story on grilling. The idea that the iPad can include multiple pix (even a flip-pad presentation of cooking technique), video, text and recipes is exciting and Sideways was the first company I know of to create such a work.  I think this video is too long, more than 15 minutes, or it needs to be broken into shorter chapters, but it’s not bad for a first try.  They recently posted it to youtube, so here it is.

Grilling 101, human’s original cooking method: Spatchcocked chicken, grilling asparagus, and grilling sausage.  I believe Hank Shaw made fun of me for using a thermometer to judge the doneness of a sausage, but I don’t care. And I don’t always use one. Sometimes i just cut one open, but either way, I never, ever serve an over cooked sausage. To ruin one our great food creations, the noble sausage, through inattention is an unpardonable culinary sin. Don’t do it. They’re too valuable.

Want to know how the sausages cooked here were made? There’s a video of that, along with a recipe here.

(On a sidenote, or Sideways note, if you follow digital media, Sideways is also publishing things like graphic novels and coffee table books.  It’s founder, Charles Stack, explains the intriguing notion that the iPad is also a coffee table book.  And frankly, I am very tempted to buy their Diana Curran photography book, just to see how it works on my sporty little iPad.)

September is a great month for grilling.  Today I’ll be grilling cod to serve with a chorizo vinaigrette, and later, burgers.  I love the flavor of fire.


29 Wonderful responses to “Grilling Demo (and Digital Publishing):
Spatchcocked Chix, Asparagus, Sausage”

  • Wilma de Soto

    Congratulations on the new venture! Very enjoyable cooking demo. Noticed you didn’t peel the asparagus. You don’t recommend doing this before grilling? Just curious.

  • HankShaw

    I agree that an overcooked sausage is a sad, wan thing. But to pierce a sausage to take its temperature releases its juicy goodness! And I believe the Sausage Gods view that as an almost equal sin to that of overcooking…

    Use the Force, Luke… 😉

    • ruhlman

      I’ve thought about this and it doesn’t release THAT much juice and youre not doing it to all of them.

      again, until people get a sense of how much or how little to cook them, most people are going to over cook them. an exact temperature teaches this.

  • John K.

    Enjoyed the video Michale. I think I’ve grilled a thousand chickens too — so simple, so tasty. And asparagus is one of my favorite grilled vegetables. Is that a Char-griller you were cooking on? I have a charcoal only version of that grill. Since I’ve had it the old gas grill pretty much just takes up space on the patio. While the ease of gas is nice, it does not compare to grilling on burning coals. Loved your last line — “Cook more. Cook Often. Life is better when we cook for ourselves!” So true. Thanks for helping me appreciate that notion through your writing (and now video!).

    John K.
    Akron, OH

  • Paul C

    That looks like a Char-Grill Duo ? You should to get the sidebox to attach to it to turn it into an offset smoker ( Trio ) as well. I use mine all the time for smoking briskett, sausages ( from Charcuterie of course ), etc.

    Also you can use the gas burner on the left to light the charcoal chimney … just chuck the chimney on top and light the gas.

    I’ve never actually used the charcoal side for direct cooking … I should probably correct that oversight right away!

    • John K.

      Paul — I have the Char-Griller Super Pro. It’s the Charcoal only version — I too added the side firebox for smoking. It’s okay for smoking — better as a grill. It’s nice having the flexibility to do both.

    • ruhlman

      it’s actually a brinkman grill, gas and charcoal, but i don’t recommend it. don’t even think they make a side smoker available.

  • bob del Grosso

    Your technique is fabulous, first water stuff. I don’t care about grill marks on spatchcocked chicken/turkey/other birds larger than quail so I always cook them cut side down and never flip them. But I cannot criticize your choice to mark the bird first.

  • Sandy Netherton

    Yes! I ‘would’ like a sausage! They look beautiful. I’m sure they taste great.

  • Pearl Lee

    The sausages look so delicious! I found you randomly because you were a “suggested friend” on facebook and then I clicked on your blog! I’m looking forward to following your posts!

  • Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

    I just know you meant guys AND girls in reference to the grill, right? It’s not just a male domain; my grill evokes an almost Tim the Toolman Taylor grunt when I think of it…my daughters steer me away from them at any retail outlet for fear I will find an excuse for something new even though I have a great grill!

    Except for baking, I make almost everything on the grill but you’ve made something that not even a blizzard will keep me from (I say this with REAL experience!)…grilled asparagus. Once tasting grilled asparagus, nothing else compares!

    Beyond that, I love the word spatchcock, but not sure I’ve ever known the origin…thanks for that.

    Nice video, glad I happened on it early and had enough time to watch the whole thing.

  • Mark Boxshus

    Great video Michael. Don’t fret about Hank’s comment, because I too use my thermopen frequently, especially when cooking chicken. Love your videos.

  • Natalie Sztern

    I charcoal grill and don’t have a gas grill but I am noticing that you are using a gas grill as the base for charcoal. Ingenious way to use an old gas grill.

    I am assuming that you oiled the grate prior to putting the chicken right?

  • Susan

    Excellent video. I could maybe get over my fear of grilling when I think of how calm and collected you were executing this meal. I just panic around flare-ups fearing it’ll ruin the exterior of the meat. I’ll look forward to giving this meal a try. Calm and prepared to close the lid. Thank you for that tip and this whole demo.

  • Pete from MD

    This was wonderful. I always enjoy your videos and this was no exception. I don’t think it was too long at all – the extra details (and your jokes) are what keep it interesting. Thanks!

  • Mike

    Thanks for posting the video. I have to say, though, I felt almost dizzy by the time I finished watching because the camera kept rocking and moving so much.

  • twoshoes

    I was glad to see you finally pick up that bottle of sierra nevada.
    I think I would have had two in the time it took or seemed to take.

  • John

    Thanks for a great video. The question of ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’ has been put to rest.

    I would like to make a suggestion for a future blog post- Perhaps I’m the only food geek who likes to take pictures of my food, but I would love to hear some tips from Donna about how to make food photography look good.

    • twoshoes

      I second that request.
      I have to take a dozen shots easy to find one decent one.

  • Zalbar

    Either you’ve got allergies, or you’re doing a lot of pavlovian drooling while carving up that chicken. 😛

  • Cali

    Ruhlman, that was gorgeous! I would watch videos like that every day of my life. That was so much more pleasant and enjoyable than listening to Ray-Ray screech her hoarse screech for half an hour. If she would just stay off that thing (her voice) for a few days in a row so that it might heal and she might not have to scream at the cameras. Maybe you should submit this to the Food Network as a pilot? It’s better than almost anything, and way better than any instructive programming, that is currently airing. I’d sure be watching “Ruhlman’s Ruhles,” or whatever. Don’t listen to Bourdain. Just think of him as the devil on your shoulder. Just don’t let TFN turn you into the next Food Network Whore and you’ll be alright. Nobody needs to have more than three shows on TFN at one time– remember that!

  • Jackie Ewing

    Hey I’m not sure if you have a lot more healthy recipes of your own that you make, but if you do, you should send them into this contest I know of. It’s coming to Cleveland on September 25-26th! I noticed your blog and thought you would be interested. You could get great exposure for your recipes and meet celebrity cooks (Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson, Sara Moulton, or Cat Cora). All you have to do is go to healthyfoodfight.com to submit one of your healthy recipes. Deadline to sign up for Cleveland is September 8th so hurry! Good luck if you decide to enter, and if not, keep posting! 🙂

    • Commandrea

      I think it’s tasteless for AETNA to be spamming hard working food bloggers with their promotions. I have a personal issue with Aetna, as they denied my friend’s claim and she lost two fingers because of this ‘insurance’ company, and she is only one of a million of people who have been screwed by Aetna. I can assure you that I will be spreading the word of your FOOD FIGHT scam- slash- attempt at damage control. GET A REAL JOB AND QUIT SPAMMING BLOGS, AETNA!

  • matt

    Great video, keep ’em coming! Hey Michael, have you ever tried using a brulee torch to start your chimney of coals? You should – you’ll never use that lighter wand thing again… Cheers!


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