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Topic Title: Need some help
Created on July 6, 2013 at 06:05 AM

Karin

I bought a Maverick Holland Grill a couple of weeks ago and have been doing a lot of grilling on it since, but I'm not getting the hang of it. I've tried chicken (whole, and split breasts) and burgers. So far things have been pretty flavorless and I'm having trouble getting the timing down. Given what I've read about the Holland, I'm figuring I'm the problem. Hoping I can get some help here.

For instance, I cooked some inch or so thick hamburgers last nite, 11 minutes on side one and 15 minutes on the other side. They were still pretty rare. I lined them up along the back edge of the grill. The grill temp was, for the most part, around 420 - 440, except after I turned them, when it went down into the 300s. Should I use a thermometer on them (I tried that once, but it seemed to lose a lot of juiciness that way)?

As far as flavor goes, I ordered some wood chips from Amazon I'm going to try. Will they work or do you have to use the pellets? Can't find any around here and the shipping is more than the cost of the pellets from Holland.

Thanks.


Foodie

I'm sorry to hear that Karin. I'm also new to Holland grilling but have been having fantastic success with everything I've cooked. As someone else mentioned, are you letting it pre-heat? Are you opening the lid often? Remember the Holland adage: "If you're looking, you aren't cooking."

I did a couple of whole chickens a couple of weeks ago. I closed the drip tube valve and added about a gallon of water - had to add more during the process - to bring down the temperature. They roasted for about two hours twenty minutes and were out of this world. Thoroughly cooked but still nice and juicy.

Last night I grilled some split breasts and whole chicken legs - skin on, no water in the drip pan, just let them roast at full Holland temp. I tossed them liberally with Lawry's Poultry Seasoning (I get it at Sam's Club) and let them sit for about 10 minutes before grilling for about 75 minutes - turning once. Again, amazing eats. When I put the chicken on, I also added some Hickory pellets for a nice smoke.

I'm not sure why you aren't getting the taste you desire. Are you letting whatever you put on the grill sit at room temp for a bit to knock the chill off? I find that to be important - something I've always done even when I had a flamethrower grill. Or before placing food in the oven for that matter. I'm just wondering if your food is too cold and the fat and juices aren't coming out of the meat and hitting the hot drip pan - which I've learned (by reading here and experience) is the key to the unique Holland flavor.

As for purchasing the pellets, I don't know where you live but you might try the Holland distributor I use: http://www.hgdist.net/contact-us-2/locate-a-dealer-near-you/ in Spencerville, Ohio. Their shipping cost has been quite reasonable. And, they're great folks!

I think you can use wood chips but make sure you soak them in water for at least a half hour before adding to the smoke drawer - and don't add too much! That said, I believe the pellets are the preferred smoke ingredient to use. Maybe someone who knows for sure about using something beside the pellets can chime in here with a definitive answer.

Here's hoping for some better results for you! Please let us know how things progress.


Karin

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, I do preheat the grill for 30 minutes prior to grilling. It's usually around 480 when I put the meat on.

Before lighting the grill I take out the food I plan on grilling, so it gets about 30 minutes at room temp.

I don't open the grill except when adding food or flipping. However, when I do these, I do lose a lot of temp, which takes a while to come back up to temp.

I'm often trying to cook several things at once - the meat, some veggies (my husband loves the direct on the grill veggies), some rolls or bread (manage to burn that every time by not looking ;) ). With a lot of stuff on the grill, it seems to not get back up to temp easily.

I'll try the pellet source, thanks for posting.

When I did the split breasts, I started off with skin side down and then flipped. Tore most of the skin off when I did that. So next time I tried putting it in skin side up and not flipping. This resulted in a burned bottom and not as flavorful top.


JC

Karin,

Temp wise your grill is right in the wheelhouse.

I do split breasts alot here at home on either my Classic or Legacy and also when in S Fl with the motorhome on my Comapanion. Cook times all are around 70 minutes (35 per side) so Foodie and I have a temp that are almost identical. I do cook them skin side down initially.

When you go to turn the chicken if it does not release from the cooking grate its pretty much telling you "cook me a bit longer until I release".

For spicing I add spices that I like and for chicken they include Webers Kickin Chicken (bit spicey), Badia Poultry Seasoning, Montreal Chicken Seasoning and any Creole Seasoning you can find. I surely don't know what those spices do to the chicken but the finished product tastes good to the folks in my household.

If you have a Trader Joes close by for something different try their South African Smoke seasoning its in a grinder and runs $2.29 it just might be enough smoke flavor and you could forego the chips or pellets.

Foodies point on room temp prior to putting on the grill is quite valid. On the flip side of that if you are into smoking food the colder the guest of honor when putting it on your cooker you have the potential to add more smoke flavor to the meat. Reason is that most meats don't take on much smoke flavor after it reaches and internal temp of around 135 degs. Seeing how the meat is colder initially it will take longer for the meat to reach an internal temp of around 135. I cater a little bit in my free time and I have one group (Former Navy guys) who really like smoke flavored food so I throw the BB's in the freezer for about 1 hour before I cook them on one of my BGE's or Southern Yankee. Always end up with a good smokey flavor that they yearn for. However don't keep tossing wood on the fire after you have reached the 135 deg mark or you run the risk of having a creosote tasting guest of honor which is a turn off.


Karin

Learning a lot!

Didn't know that about flipping the chicken breasts. And I think I should have cooked them longer, I only did 30 minutes a side. Good to know.

I'm planning on trying the ham in cola this weekend with the vidalia onions and the roasted sweet potatoes.


JC

Karin,
I forgot this in my last post.

Tearing the skin could also be do to the type of tongs you are using besides the chicken not being ready to turn.

I prefer more rounded edge type tongs vice ones with serrated teeth. When I say rounded more flipper/spatula type.

Good luck with your hame let us know how it comes out.


Foodie

Karin,

A quick word on roasting a sweet potato - they cook significantly faster than a "regular" potato due to the sugar content. Learned this the hard way....


Simeon

Karin, I can testify that the only seasoning you ned is Holland's Carolina seasoning. I've tried a bunch and this is the best allpurpose seasing I've found. Also a tip I found--if you're cooking things skin side down (like split chicken) you can spray a little pam on the grill before you light it. Chicken is a staple in our house and frankly, it's awesome on our Holland. You can get Carolina at a local dealer or do what I do and buy it off their website.

Tom Kirkman

When you add or flip food, get in and get out. Don't throw open the lid and take your time putting stuff on or flipping it. Get in and get out. That's the best way to preserve your heat.

If there is anything about the Holland videos that I don't like, it's the amount of time they leave the lid open for. I know they're trying to show folks all they can with the lid up, but if you do this in actual use your food will never get done. Get in, get out.


Gergia

Hi. I checked your hamburger cooking times with the times listed in the front of my cookbook and you were right on target with the times, but the grill is a little hotter towards the edges and a little cooler toawrd the middle. U might want to put the veggies in the center and burgers or chicken on the edge. Don't u love the expanded metal grill? U don't need a special pan to cook or have to worry about them falling thru.