Category Archives: Grilling


OMG.  You may never want to cook a burger another way again…

In making the smashburger (no relation to the restaurant) you’ll be utilizing a different technique.  Making the burger on the griddle instead of the grill.  This will ensure that you keep all of the juices in the meat.  Makes for a ridiculous taste sensation.

The burger:

I don’t care what you put in it…  Make the burger any way that you would like.  Most of the time I don’t even measure anymore when I make burgers.  I just kind of know how much of what that I like to go with the meat.

In the bowl I start with a lightly beaten egg, add in the ground chuck (this is about 1.75 pounds), and then I put in “shakes” of Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, granulated onion and garlic, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.  Mix thoroughly but gently.

Roll into 1/4 pound balls.  Slice onion into 1/8 – 1/4 inch slices (rounds).

I have a great cast iron stove top griddle that I like to use.  Otherwise use a large cast iron or other pan.  Place the griddle on the stove and put gas on high.  Grease pan (oil or Pam).  Place each ball of meat on the griddle with enough room to be smashed into a patty.

Cook that way for at least three minutes, then SMASH each ball into a patty.

Cook for a couple of minutes on each side for medium-rare (3-4 minutes for medium-well).  Meanwhile place a small amount of butter on the pan and an onion round on the butter.  Flip after 1-2 minutes.

When the hamburger is done place the patty on the onion round for another minute…  This step is critical!  It allows all of the good, heavenly juices to drain down into the onion.

Place onto a warm bun.  Top how you’d like.  I’m a purist, so just mustard for me please…

If it’s not the richest juiciest burger you’ve had…then you did something wrong and shame on you!


The Grilled Atheist

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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Cooking, Grilling, Recipes


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Dave’s 3S Rub and Flank Steak


I love rubs.  I will post my favorite rib recipe at some point which is purely a dry rub prep.  This rub can be used for steaks, chicken, even sprinkled on grilled vegetables.  Here we go.

2 T Paprika

2 T packed Brown Sugar

1 T crushed Red Pepper (again I use Turkish red pepper here)

1 T lightly crushed Cumin seeds (use a mortar and pestle)

1 T lightly crushed Mustard seeds (use a mortar and pestle)

2 t Kosher salt

1 t Thyme

1/2 – 1 t granulated sugar

1/2 – 1 t Garlic Powder (or two cloves minced fresh garlic)

It should look something like this…

I used a 2 pound flank for this and had rub leftover.  Press the rub into the steak all over…

And let sit at room temperature for at least and hour (you can also refrigerate for 2-8 hours).  It should be glistening by now…

I used my little indoor grill for this prep and it worked fine.  Cook for 8 minutes on medium-high heat for medium doneness (or cook to internal temp of 160).

The outside should get nice and crispy and caramelized a bit due to the amount of sugar in the rub.  Let sit for ten minutes (look at the juices).

Slice and enjoy!


The Grilled Atheist

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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Cooking, Grilling, Recipes


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This is a great paste to slather on your favorite cut of meat.  I personally like it for flank or skirt steak.


1/3 cup oregano


1 1/2 T Red pepper flakes


Mix these together in a bowl along with one cup of warm water.  Massage and let stand until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.


Add in 1/2 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley, 4 minced garlic cloves, and 1/2 t salt.  Stir in 2/3 cup (or more) of olive oil, mix well, and let stand for at least an hour to let the flavors meld.  Season with red wine vinegar, or more garlic, salt, or oil to taste.


Then put the paste on your flank steak, grill, and serve with some remaining Chimichurri on the side.




The Grilled Atheist









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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Cooking, Grilling, Recipes


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Bacon Meatballs!

Everything is better with bacon.  A mantra to live by.

Short entry, and will keep you guessing a little bit on the recipe.  Mostly because meatballs are a very personal thing.  As with many recipes, people take their meatball creations to the grave.  But here is the one that I modified and love. (Sorry about the photo quality).

Dice and fry your bacon.

Drain grease, let cool, pat dry several times, and crunch into bits.

The basic ingredients for mine are ground beef (85%), ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, eggs, flat leaf parsley, fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt.

Mix thoroughly but not enough to take the fat out of the meat.  Roll into little golf ball sizes packages of love.


I think you’ll be very pleased with the addition of the bacon.  I promise…


The Grilled Atheist

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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Cooking, Grilling, Recipes


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Buffalo Steaks.

Buffalo meat is fantastic, and you can now get it at most major markets.  In addition, you can get it online at places like here and here.  I would definitely suggest that you try it out.  Buffalo has some health benefits, being leaner than regular beef.  It is much less marbled and has significantly less fat.  Compared to 8-10 grams of fat in 100 grams of cooked steak, buffalo has only 2.5 grams.  It therefore carries less calories than beef; It has about 50% less cholesterol; And it also has a little bit more iron and Vitamin B12.

Notice how the buffalo steak (right) has a much deeper red color than a regular strip steak (left).

Seasoned simply with salt and pepper.

Because it has less marbling you have to cook buffalo a little differently than the way you would cook a regular steak (fat acts as an insulator causing other meats to take a longer time to cook).  It’s very easy to overcook, so you have to use some caution with your heat source.  Best served Medium in my opinion.  If you want to grill it, make sure it’s over indirect heat rather than direct.  If you want to use your broiler, use the lower rack.  If you want to do it in the oven try to keep the temp around 275 degrees.  Use your meat thermometer, and cook to an internal temperature similar to beef (130-135 for medium rare, 140-145 for medium).

I think you’ll very much enjoy the taste as well.  It is much richer and more tender than beef, but it doesn’t taste “gamey” like some other types of meat like deer, rabbit, or quail.


The Grilled Atheist

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Posted by on July 22, 2012 in Cooking, Grilling, Recipes


Udon Noodle Bowl

I may have posted about this already, but man it’s really good…  Udon noodles are traditional Japanese wheat noodles.  It’s a larger gauge noodle with a lot of texture and flavor.  And when cooked you can serve hot or cold, and you can add just about anything to the bowl.  Many times they are used as a soup, but in many ways I like a noodle bowl with fixings.

This is the one I made last night.  Boil the noodles according to the package directions.  I like them a little salty so I add a fair amount of kosher salt to the water.  When done, drain (serve hot now if you like).  Run under cold water and let cool through.  I do this because I like to add a sauce and it reduces the starchiness and stickiness of the noodles.  For the sauce:

1 T neutral oil (Sunflower, etc)

1 T soy sauce

2 t sesame oil

1 t minced lemongrass (I actually like to use a product called Garden Gourmet which makes squeezable products…and it might be easier for you to find than fresh lemongrass if it’s not at your local market)

1/2 t garlic powder or fresh minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk all of the ingredients and toss with the noodles.

Then add whatever you would like to the bowl.  My favorite is with jarred pickled cucumbers and chili bamboo shoots, both of which I buy at my local Asian market.  I also like to serve with steak or chicken.  The steak I make is seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, and Turkish red pepper (I’ve discussed this in a prior steak post).  Grill to medium and serve.

I LOVE this steak.  With just salt, pepper, and the Turkish red pepper you get a nice spicy crust and a beautiful Medium cooked middle.


The Grilled Atheist

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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Cooking, Grilling, Ingredients, Recipes


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The Cuban…

Oh, the Cuban Sandwich.  If I had to rank my favorite sandwiches, the Cuban (more specifically MY Cuban) would probably make the top 5.  It is just a perfect combination of meaty, cheesy, gooey, mustardy loveliness.  And the ingredients are relatively simple…  Ham, roast pork, cheese, pickles, mustard, and bread.

It’s not entirely known when the Cuban was invented, but there is some evidence that it goes back to the turn of the century.  It apparently was very popular in sugar mills, where vendors would set up shop and serve these “mixto” sandwiches to the mill workers for a quick bite.

When I’m not making my own version, my favorite one is at Kaya in the Strip District in Pittsburgh PA.

It’s one of those things where I SAY that I’m going to order something else every time that I go…and then I always get the Cuban.

Ok.  Ready for the simplicity that is the Cuban sandwich?

Bread – The best to use is obviously Cuban bread.  There’s a special variety called “pan de agua.”  Here’s a description: “This bread is longer and thinner than a typical bakery loaf and slightly under baked so that when it arrives from the bakery the crust is only lightly browned. This allows the sandwich to spend more time on the plancha (griddle) without getting overly brown. The result is a sandwich that is golden brown and crunchy.”  If you can’t get it you can use French or Italian bread.  But in my opinion the best at your disposal is ciabatta.

Ham – Roast ham or sliced ham from the deli.  Without any of the flavorings (eg, honey baked).

Roast pork – Same thing.  If you have the time make your own…I will eventually include my recipe.

Cheese – Swiss or provolone

Mustard – It must be whole grain.  Well, it doesn’t have to be…but it should!  I am partial to Maille.  You can use yellow mustard in a bind.

Pickles – Sliced kosher dill pickles.

Slice the ciabatta rolls and spread with the mustard.  Add your ham, pork and cheese slices.  Easy, right?  Now it’s actually the WAY that you cook it that makes the Cuban so fun.  There are several things that you can do:

The traditional way is to use a plancha, which literally means “grilled on a metal plate.”  Think panini press without the ridges.  But if you don’t have one, have no fear…

A panini press.  Fine.  Quick and easy.  Grilled in a skillet.  On the grill (my preferred way).  Over a coal fire.

But the real secret is the pressing.  You want to thin the sandwich out by about one-third.  If you’re using a panini press this is easy.  If not, you have to be more creative.  Butter both the top and bottom of the sandwich (use melted butter to brush, or better yet there are parts of Cuba where they use garlic butter).  Then when cooking place a brick or heavy cast iron skillet on top of the sandwiches.  When using the grill I also like to wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil.

When finished (maybe 15 minutes…you’ll know, the cheese will be nice and melty) cut diagonally.  You can serve the pickles on the side or place them on (you can put them on before or after cooking; I prefer them to be cool and crispy so I put them on after).  You can serve them like Kaya does…with a chipotle, garlic, mayo dip that I describe in the Flank Steak Taco entry.


The Grilled Atheist

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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Cooking, Grilling, Recipes


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