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Barbecue in Winter: A Love Story

How good is barbecue in the middle of the winter?  Pretty darn good.  I know because we just had some last weekend.  Somehow, when you cook steak on a barbecue in cold temperatures, the meat seems to be extra  juicy and tender.  Or maybe it’s just a figment of my imagination.  What I do know is that the barbecue aromas that fill the neighborhood are enough to get even the most ornery neighbor to poke their head out the door to see which way the wind is blowing.  It’s too bad that most people will not brave sub zero temperatures in order to get it.  I can understand why though.  You would really have to love barbecue (i.e. be nuts) to do that.  Or would you?

If someone were to tell you that you could get decent barbecue throughout the winter and not have to step one foot outside the door, how would that strike you?  Think about it, you could have steak in December, barbecued chicken in January, and grilled salmon in February.  Yes there would be some slight trade offs in flavor (you are not going to have open flame and copious smoke inside your home… hopefully), but for all intents and purposes, it’s barbecue.

There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.  The first is with the Lodge Logic Pro 20-by-10-7/16-Inch Cast-Iron Grill/Griddle.  This cast iron grill pan comes pre-seasoned, so it is ready out of the box.  It is big enough to span two stovetop burners so you can easily grill eight burgers at once!  The grill is great for chicken, steak, fish, vegetables, shish kabob, seafood, and more.

Since it’s reversible, if you are not in the mood for barbecue, you can turn it over and cook pancakes, or bacon and eggs, or grilled cheese sandwiches, or do Japanese Teppanyaki dishes, or Mexican quesadillas.  The possibilities are endless!

Another big plus for this pan is the fact that it is sturdy enough to be used over an actual campfire.  At your next camping trip you could be cooking up steaks and shrimp for dinner, and then use it for bacon and eggs at breakfast.

It is cast iron, which can withstand very high cooking temperatures, but it does need to be treated well.  Some people will use just a scrubbing brush and hot water to clean, and then re-season the pan every so often.  Seasoning will add a layer of protection, but over time will also render it virtually non-stick, all on its own!  Also the iron in the pan will get transferred over to the food during cooking.  Great if you are iron deficient, but not so good if you can’t have excess iron in your diet.

The Lodge Logic Pro seems to have everything going for it.  It’s versatile, it’s durable, and with a little attention to the care of cast iron, the reward is a lifetime of use and enjoyment from this grill pan.

A good alternative to the cast iron grill pan is to use the Sanyo HPS-SG3 200-Square-Inch Electric Indoor Barbeque Grill, Black.  This self-contained, lightweight unit has a large cooking surface and is dead easy to operate.  You just fill the drip tray with water and then brush the preheated grill with vegetable oil and you’re ready to go!  This grill gives you 200 sq. inches of cooking space, a variable temperature control, and even heating for all your barbecuing needs.

The non-stick surface is particularly suitable for grilling delicate foods like fish filets, shrimp and veggies.  Some people like to use it under their vent hood to make sure any smoke that gets produced (especially for marinated or higher fat foods) gets cleared out fast.

Clean up is a really simple procedure.  Just allow the grill to cool, wipe down the non-stick surface, and empty the water in the drip pan.  That’s it!

The highlights of the Sanyo are its ease of use, its large non-stick, even-heating cooking surface, and its ease of clean up.  A great choice to get you inside and grilling!

No matter which model you prefer, the simple fact that you can be eating barbecue in the winter should have you warming up to the idea of an indoor grill.  It should also be mentioned that apartment and condo dwellers should not be left out in the cold when it comes to barbecue either.  We are talking about equal opportunity barbecue here!  Check out the reviews on Amazon for the models listed to see if there isn’t an indoor grill with your name on it.

Lodge Logic Pro 20-by-10-7/16-Inch Cast-Iron Grill/Griddle

Sanyo HPS-SG3 200-Square-Inch Electric Indoor Barbeque Grill, Black

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