8 Must Have Grilling Accessories

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Which one is better a gas grill or a charcoal grill? The answer to this question has no end (The more you try to get deeper the more you’ll get confused) when it comes to buying because both the grills are best in their own way. Keeping this topic aside, let’s get some information about their essentials.

Well, to do any work perfectly you always need some basics. Grilling also needs some MUST HAVE accessories that make your cooking as easy as ABC. No matter which barbecue grill you are using, you’ll always need these accessories.

Let’s have a look at some add-ons you should keep when barbecuing.

1. Grill Toppers

A grill topper or a grill basket works like a frying pan for the grill. They are especially used to cook onions, pepper, fruits, fish and other small food.

A stainless steel or enameled cast iron topper helps you to do even cooking. There are different types of grill baskets for some specific food items, but we recommend you to get a large sized all-purpose topper.

2. Meat Thermometer

It is very important that the food is cooked properly from inside also. To make sure that your food is not being overcooked, insert a wireless thermometer or a meat thermometer into the thickest part (away from the bone) of the food.

Not every type of food is cooked at the same temperature, try to cook beef at 145 degrees and chicken at 165 degrees. Check the temperature 15 minutes before the commended cooking time to avoid overcooking.

Meat Thermometer

3. Chimney Starter

Controlling temperature in a charcoal grill is quite difficult, fire becomes hotter when you put more charcoal. This is the best method to measure how much charcoal is being used.

Keep a crushed newspaper in the bottom of compartment and light it. When a white-grey ash forms a layer on the charcoal burn, it indicates the perfect cooking temperature.

4. Utensil Set

Already having a long-handled tong and spatula is good but buying a utensil set is better. You don’t have to rush anywhere if something is missing. The more is your budget, the more items you get in a set.

A long-handled spatula is helpful in flipping the food with ease and also keep your hands away from heat. Tongs are an ideal tool used for grilling that can be used with hamburgers or steaks.

Utensil Set

5. Grill Brush

For a healthy grilling, there is always a need for a silicone grill brush, why silicone because they are easy to clean the residues.

For doing so, always pre-heat the grill rack for 10-15 minutes and start cleaning to get a smooth and food free grill. They are dishwasher safe and in case you don’t have a brush, wrap an aluminum foil on the two sides of tongs and do the same.

6. Charcoal Dispenser

A plastic, weatherproof charcoal dispenser is all you need to keep them safe and dry. It even allows you to keep the charcoal outside without any loss. Now you don’t have to run to your shed every time for charcoals. Keep it near your gill and use whenever you want.

Charcoal Dispenser

7. Wood Plank

Getting a smoky aroma to the food is one major factor, people generally choose to grill. Using a wooden plank for cooking not only gives better smoke to your food but also keep it moist. Wood planks can be found easily and are well suited for standard grills.

8. Steam Cleaner

Cleaning the grills becomes important (before and after) to cook hygienic food. Using a steam cleaner provides an ease to the clean-up job.

Simply start the valve to release water and as soon as water hits the grates it will convert into steam, then wipe-out the residues.
With some of these grilling accessories, you can make your barbecuing sessions more comfortable.

Steam Cleaner

Charcoal grill v/s Gas grill

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Discussion over which one is the best, charcoal grill or gas grill, doesn’t have an end. Both the grills are better in their own way but still, the question is, which one to buy. The answer depends on the taste and comfort level it provides. So let’s sort it out and get a clear picture of it. There are many types of grills in the market in which one is an electric grill. You can check it here.

The very first thing a buyer looks for while buying an appliance is, what comfort level he will be getting from it and how many accessories it has. Differentiating between these two is quite easy. A gas grill works like a regular burner so it is obvious that cooking becomes fast and easy and on just one go you can start cooking your food.

While on the other hand charcoal grill takes a long time to pre-heat and sometimes you need a lot of patience to get it started. Thus it is very time consuming and cooking becomes very slow.

Convenience

So on the basis of convenience, a gas grill is better than a charcoal grill and it will save your time and makes grilling fast.

Smoke and taste are two other factors which people generally prefer. Yes, cooking and grilling with gas grill give you speed but there would definitely be a lack of smoky taste in it. You can add smokeboxes to it but the real authentic flavors would still be missing.

And cooking with charcoal grills can give the real smoky flavors to your food and trust me it is so good. If your first priority is to get the best smoke, you can trust the charcoal grill blindly.

So if giving time to cooking is no big deal for you, must go for the charcoal one because better taste is present there only.

Authenticity

Safety becomes the most important concern while someone is cooking because any mishap can take place while doing so. No doubt that gas grills are easy to use but gas can be explosive if you don’t handle it with care. Controlling temperature in gas grills is little easy, with a dial setting you can adjust the temperature you need for your food.

Grilling

Charcoal grills are hard to handle and the risk of fire sometimes makes it difficult to use in-house. You cannot control the speed immediately with a charcoal grill and there can be flare-ups that may cause higher health risks.

In both the grills, the temperature can be a problem if not handle with care. You can make a 2-zone setting on both the grills. Keep one side ignited and another side cool, it would be helpful in maintaining the temperature and cooks your food in a better way.

Gas Grill

Cost

Spending money becomes an issue while purchasing something. You need to look into many factors before doing so. Gas grills are expensive because of the mechanism, also it will cost you more while assembling the parts.

While if you go for a charcoal grill, it is much cheaper than the gas grill and can easily be repaired or replaced (in case, required).

Well differentiating on the basis of fuel is quite difficult because of prices of fuel changes time to time. But mechanism wise charcoal grill would cost you less.

Cleaning

Clean-up job can be easier if done on a regular basis. Gas grills don’t take much effort, you can clean the grease and carbon with the help of soapy water and dry brush and its done.

While with the charcoal grill, along with the grease you need to clean the ashes also. It is easy if you have an ashtray with the grill.

On the basis of different techniques used, a gas grill is easy to clean as it doesn’t require any extra effort of cleaning ashes.

Charcoal Grill

5 Reasons We Recommend You Get an Electric grill

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A gas grill or a charcoal grill may come first when you think of outdoor cooking. These type of grills can be found commonly for getting the rich authentic taste of the food. But there is one more way available, though it is not much popular but can give a no of features juxtaposed to gas and charcoal grills.

Electric grills are the best alternative to your regular BBQs. To cook something on a gas or charcoal grill takes more time but using an electric grill is way easier. As the word itself says, it runs on electricity, so you just have to plug in and that’s it. For a novice, this is the best option to go for as you don’t have to indulge in any trick or technique.

So here are some benefits of using an electric grill:

Cost-effective

The key feature of an electric grill is that they are very economical (advantageous to your wallet). In a gas or charcoal grill, you need to change the gas tank or get a new sack of charcoal timely. But here, you don’t have to spend much, all you need is an electric connection. And you can use it’s accessories at low cost too.

No fumes = No health risk

The weather outside is bad but you have a mood of having pizza today? No worries, an electric grill will help. NO FUMES feature allows you to cook and enjoy inside your home. Cooking on a gas or charcoal barbecue grill produces a lot of smoke and one can’t cook food inside.

This can be very dangerous to the health. Cooking with electric grill makes it easy as it only heats up the grilling surface without making harmful fumes.

More Convenient

Electric grills are more convenient as compare to gas or charcoal barbecue grills. Unlike other grills, they are more compact and use very small and limited area. Outings and camping become easier with an electric grill.

You can keep the grill on your kitchen counter easily. Another good point of using an electric grill is that they are very easy to clean. You don’t have to give a lot of time, simply take the grill grate and put it in the dishwasher.

Charcoal Grill

Uniformity in Cooking Surface

Who doesn’t want that the food they’re eating is well cooked? Evenness in the food always adds up to the quality of its taste. It is very important that your grill should get an even heat to cook the food properly.

You cannot get same consistency on a charcoal grill. But with an electric grill, you won’t face such problems. Well, with an advantage of any product you have some downsides also, cooking food on an electric grill cannot provide you that real smoky flavor you wish to have from a barbecue.

Maintenance Cost is also less

What else is better when you don’t have to spend much for the maintenance as well? Firstly, buying an electric grill is inexpensive and with low maintenance, it becomes easy to afford one.

You don’t have to pay much attention to the clean-up job, you can easily clean the residues with water and sponge and also there is no need of time to time replacement of the essentials.

How to Have the Perfect Smoked Barbecue Party

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At one-time smoking, meat was done to preserve it so that it would have a longer shelf life. That was before we had freezers or refrigerators. Now days smoking meat is more related to barbecue and it is done to add flavor and to tenderize meat. There is nothing quite like smoked barbecue.

For the best smoking results, you need to use the right wood such as hickory, oak or apple. Down south smoked barbecue is almost always done with hickory. Some people will tell you that you can smoke meat with anything but I would not try to smoke barbecue meat with pine, for example, or just any old wood.

Actually, I would only use apple or hickory and it would depend on what I was smoking. For example, ham, bacon, fish, turkey could be smoked with apple wood, but pork, beef, and venison I would only use hickory.

Tips to get your Basics Right

For smoked barbecue meat, temperature control is very important, you want the smoking process to go slowly so the smoke penetrates the meat and tenderizes it. The temperature should be between 200 and 220, this makes the process go slow enough but heats the meat enough so that it can be safely eaten.

You want to position the meat in the smoker so that it is surrounded by the smoke and you want the smoke to be moving at all times to prevent creosote from building up on the meat, creosote will make the meat bitter and unfit to eat.

A well-designed smoker will have a way for the smoke to escape so that there is a steady stream of smoke around the meat as the smoke rises and escapes from the smoker. In this was the smoke will be constantly moving with new smoke coming from the wood as it burns.

Like anything else making smoked barbecue will take some practice to become an expert, but once you get the hang of it you will love the meat you smoke.

What We Prefer: Stick Vacuums vs Upright Vacuums

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Stick Vacuum and Upright vacuum are the two most popular types of vacuums which are used by the majority of people but what are the features that make these two types of vacuum cleaners different from each other?

While choosing between these two types of vacuums, it is important that one knows about the type of flooring that these vacuum cleaners can handle and the various factors which differentiate them.

With the help of this article, you would be able to differentiate between the two types of vacuums and will be able to choose the perfect Vacuum cleaner for yourself.

Comparing the differences

When you are choosing between stick and upright vacuum, it is important that you consider its features and select the one which suits your needs. This will allow you to make an informed choice and you are less likely to make a wrong decision.

In terms of efficiency, both the vacuums have their own pros and cons and it all depends on the type of cleaning activity that you need to be done at your home.

Appearance

Let’s start with the appearance. Stick Vacuum cleaners are better looking as they have their dust container inside the stick whereas an upright vacuum cleaner looks bulky and unattractive. However, a stick vacuum cleaner is not as powerful as an upright vacuum cleaner and can only perform light cleaning in your house.

If you are looking for a powerful and efficient cleaner, then upright vacuum cleaner would be the obvious choice.

Storage

The next thing to consider would be the storage space that both of these vacuum cleaners require. If you don’t have enough storage space at your home, then it would be advisable to select a stick vacuum cleaner as it is small and sleek and can be fit anywhere in the corner or the closet.

On the other hand, an upright vacuum will require more space as its dust container is located outside and it doesn’t have a small design. This can make storage an issue if you don’t have a large closet space.

Price

Another important factor to consider is the price of the vacuum cleaner. On a general note, a stick vacuum is always a little cheaper than an upright vacuum cleaner but ultimately,

it depends on your brand and the features that your vacuum cleaner is offering you. Upright vacuum cleaners are usually expensive since they are more powerful and heavier than a stick vacuum cleaner.

Weight

Stick vacuum cleaners are obviously lighter than an upright vacuum cleaner as you don’t carry a dust container around with it. This makes it easier to move it around and quite easy to store it in small and compact places.

Conclusion

There is no better vacuum cleaner, it all depends on your needs and requirements. If you need a powerful vacuum for cleaning your house then Upright vacuum cleaner is the smart choice but if you are looking for a portable and quick cleaner, then Stick vacuum cleaner is the ideal choice for you.

Need a charcoal grill? Here’s what you should know

When it comes to flavor no other grill gets it right than a charcoal grill but even charcoal grills come in different shapes and sizes and opting for the right type will determine its cost, durability and features it offers, etc.

Types of Charcoal Grills

So let’s take a look at the different charcoal grills and what they have to offer.

1. Kettle Grills

What makes these grills so popular amongst buyers is their simple design and low cost. They are also quite lightweight and convenient to use thus making them the obvious choice for those seeking portability in a grill.

You can easily find top-notch kettle grills for less than $500 and a budget option for less $100 but keep in mind these grills are only ideal for occasional use and can cater to small crowds. For first-time users, it makes the ideal deal.

For first-time users, it makes the ideal deal.

2. Barrel Grills

If you’ve got a slightly bigger budget and need a more versatile and large unit then the barrel grill offers a better choice. They get their name from their barrel-like design and aren’t just traditional grills. They also allow you to smoke your meats and veggies or slow cook them to get the flavors right.

Apart from that they also have a larger cooking area and cook at a faster rate and thus are ideal for bigger crowds.  Keep in mind, these grills can cost you around $500-$1000 as higher-end models come with additional frills and fancy some of you will love having.

3. Ceramic/Kamado Grills

These grills are extremely popular in the drilling industry and the features that set them apart are their ceramic build and their egg-like design thus also getting them the name, egg-shaped grills. These grills are particularly known for their greater heat control which is mainly because of the design and ceramic nature.

Not only can these grills produce smoky, charry and juicy meats but are also ideal for cooking pizzas, bread and if you’ve got a hang of the grill and are skilled griller, even desserts and it has many accessories which you can use to grill the food faster.

The higher models cost in excess of $1000 while the budget models will cost around $200 but are worth every penny as they offer durability like no other and are unaffected by weather conditions.

They also heat up quickly and maintain a balanced heat during every cook thus ensuring better flavors. Also, maintenance or repair cost is almost zero and they are also easier to clean.

Summary

There is a lot that goes into deciding a grill such as budget, the space you have, how often you plan to use a grill etc. but if you’re looking for the absolute best, in our opinion, the Kamado Charcoal grills are the obvious choice.

 

Beginners Guide: How to correctly clean and maintain Coffee Makers

Coffee makers are excellent devices for people who like drinking fresh coffee every day but do not have the time to prepare a cup themselves.

With continuous use, coffee makers tend to accumulate stuff inside, which decrease flavor and freshness of coffee, therefore a coffee maker should be clean and serviced regularly to main taste and flavor of produced coffee.

coffee-machine

Sometimes oils may drip inside the coffee maker and give a rotten and rancid taste to your coffee. To prevent that happening, here are few steps you can take.

Method 1: Cleaning the coffee maker with a cleaning solution contains equal parts of white vinegar and water

To get a perfect cup of coffee from your coffee maker, clean it at least once a month with a cleaning solution that contains vinegar, and water. The acetic acid in vinegar reduces leftover coffee oils, stains and mineral deposits.

Here is the complete cleaning procedure:-

  1. Prepare a mixture of half white vinegar and half water. The amount of vinegar you require depends on the capacity of your coffee maker. For example, if your coffee maker can make 8 cups i.e. 2 qt., then you need 1 qt. of vinegar for each wash cycle. Since we will be doing two wash cycles, get 2 qt. of vinegar and mix it will equal amounts of water to prepare the cleaning solution.
  2. Place a clean, empty filter inside the filter basket
  3. Pour 2 qt. (out of 4 qt.) mixture into the coffee maker reservoir
  4. Put the coffee maker on stove, if it is a stovetop model, or plug it into electric socket, if it an electric and model and power it on
  5. Once the brewing process is complete, let the mixture remain inside the coffee pot for at least 10 minutes. This will ensure that the cleaning mixture decomposes the oils, lime scale and mineral deposits inside the coffee maker.
  6. Get rid of the dirty cleaning solution by pouring it down the sink
  7. Repeat the brew cycle again with a fresh batch of cleaning solution
  8. Once the brewing is done, again let the mixture stand inside the coffee maker for another ten minutes before finally pouring the dirty used cleaning solution down the drain
  9. Now repeat the steps above again, but this time only with water. This is to ensure that vinegar is completely flushed out of the coffee maker.
  10. Let the water stand inside the coffee maker for another ten minutes after the brewing process.
  11. Smell the water before pouring it out. If you find vinegar smell, re-do the above process with another batch of water.
  12. Again smell the water before pouring it down the sink.
  13. Keep repeating the brewing with fresh batches of water till vinegar smell is completely gone

Method 2: Cleaning the coffee maker with a cleaning solution contains equal parts of dishwashing liquid and water

Dishwashing liquid is another effective cleaning agent that you can use to prepare the cleaning solution.

The method of preparing the cleaning solution is same as used in method 1 above. The only difference is that instead of putting 1 quart of vinegar; put two drops of dishwashing liquid.

For cleaning the coffee maker reservoir complete, follow the same brewing cycles as above – Brew in the coffee maker twice with the cleaning solution and then with water alone.

The endpoint of water brew cycle is when bubbles disappear from the water brew.

Method 3: Use special coffee maker cleaning solutions instead of homemade cleaning agent used in above two methods

If you want to clean your coffee maker like a professional, you can buy coffee maker cleaning solutions from the market.

The process of forming cleaning solutions and the cleaning process remains the same and works great with Keurig k55 and Keurig 145 coffee machines.

To ensure you are putting the required amount of cleaning agent in the cleaning solution, refer to the pack.

Now that you know three methods of cleaning coffee makers, here are some other tips that will help you in maintaining coffee makers, so that you can enjoy a great cup of coffee from your machine for a long time.

Tip 1: At least once a week, remove all detachable parts from the coffee maker and soak them in dishwasher cleaning solution for 30 minutes

To prevent coffee oil and mineral from depositing in large quantities in your coffee maker, take apart your coffee and put its components such as coffee pot, pot lid, filter, filter basket at least once a week and soak them either in dishwasher cleaning solution or white vinegar cleaning solution.

Note: White vinegar cleaning solution is prepared by mixing equal parts of white vinegar with equal parts of water.

For crevices of coffee maker that are difficult to reach, take a toothbrush, put some baking soda on it and rub the crevices.

Tip 2: Opt for caned air to clean out dust

Canned air uses pressure to remove dust that may be present on the inside or outside of the coffee maker. It is the most convenient method to clean hard to reach places.

Tip 3: Make surely cracked pots or burned power cords are replaced

Inspect your coffee maker carefully and see whether there are any cracks on the surface of the coffee pot if the power cord is burned from someplace. If there are:-

  • Replace the cracked pot immediately as they can spill coffee inside the coffee maker and the heating pad
  • Replace the power cord with new ones because burned power cords is a big fire hazard

For more information on how to maintain your specific coffee maker, refer to the user manual provided by the manufacturer.

A Quick Note on Aeropress

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AeroPress is undoubtedly the most reliable way to enhance the quality of the bad coffee. The use of lower temperature reduces the acidic content and bitter taste of the coffee, making it sweeter.

However, the complex operation and technicalities of the machine might be a bit too much for the amateurs.

aeropress

However, the complex operation and technicalities of the machine might be a bit too much for the amateurs. If you need something more hands-off then there are a lot of good single serve espresso brewers available.

The material used

Ceramic or plastic coffee machines are better than metal ones because they’re easier to handle (metal products can heat up pretty quick). Also, white paper filters don’t affect the taste to coffee unlike brown ones that though cheaper and eco-friendly leave a course almost bitter aftertaste

How to maintain it?

Most pour over devices are washable, i.e. dishwasher friendly. Rinsing the machine after use is a good way to ensure that the coffee bean oil doesn’t accumulate in the nooks and crannies of the products.

Also, there are biodegradable powders that can clean the mess out. Grinders can pose a bit of a problem and require regular dusting and cleaning.

The bottom line

The art of coffee making is not as easy as it seems, it is surprising how there are such a lot of aspects that one must keep in mind just to enjoy a cup of coffee!

Cool Dog Cafe Events!

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Cool Dog Cafe hosted a Pet Adoption day on Saturday, September 17th, with great success.
Click below to get see a copy of the flyer for the event.

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Cool Dog Cafe is having a “Student Happy Hour” Monday – Friday from 3 pm -5 pm. Just show your school ID and get 15% off your food and drink!
Click below to get a copy of the flyer for the event.

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Desserts And Fries

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Desserts And Fries

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Fresh-Cut Fries

Twice-Fried and Amazing! Winner “Best Fries”…South Jersey Magazine

Small – $2.99Large – $4.59

Sweet Potato Fries

Small – $3.99Large – $5.59

Dipping Sauces for Your Fries

Dipping Sauces: Dijon Mayo – $0.89 | Chipotle Ranch – $0.89 | Mexi-Ketchup (Jalapeno-Infused Ketchup) – $0.89 | Curry Mayo – $0.89 | Kaboom Sauce (Hot Sauce & Mayo) – $0.89 | Garlic Aioli – $0.89 | Atomic BBQ (hot!) – $0.89 | TNT Mustard (hot!) – $0.89 | Honey Mustard – $0.89 | Cheddar Cheese Sauce – $0.99
(Dipping Sauces available…ask for selection!)

Sides

Onion Rings$4.25
Baked Beans$2.99
Mac N Cheese$2.99
Cole Slaw$0.99

Dessert

Gadzooks Dog$4.50

Hot Dog topped with peanut butter, warm brownie pieces, chocolate & caramel sauces and whipped cream. Inspired by Preston & Steve of WMMR

Chocolate Chip Brownie$1.95