Grill Whisperer: “A Great Cookout begins at a great supermarket”

Editor’s Note – The Grill Whisperer is a fly-by-night grilling expert that travels the world in a constant search for grilling techniques, recipes and spices to perfect his craft. Occasionally, he lands in town where he writes an exclusive article for Mainstreet Daily News. He will not allow any changes or edits to his column, so if his article is too long, grammatically incorrect, or in some way offensive, Mainstreet Daily News takes no responsibility. GW will be in town this Labor Day weekend, but beyond that, there is no telling. This is the second of three columns he has agreed to write.

For the first part of the series, go here.

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Did you clean your grill? If you didn’t… do it now!

Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Are you ready to impress your friends and family? Good. We are going on a quest for the finest meats, vegetables, condiments and libations in all the land.

And all of them can be found at one place.

Get in your car and head to your favorite grocery store. A great backyard cookout begins at a great supermarket, and there are many in this area.

The first thing you do when you arrive is to tell them The Grill Whisperer sent you. They will look at you funny and ask ‘what are you talking about?’ but if enough of you do this it will help GW with his name recognition.

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Start in the vegetable section and get the smallest potatoes you can find. Baby reds, gold, and if you can find those multi colored potatoes, that would be a bonus. Fresh corn on the cob should be available this time of year, as well as asparagus, baby bella mushrooms, red onions and peppers (red, green and a wildcard color like yellow or orange), and large, fresh cloves of garlic. If the market is out of something, make a substitution. GW trusts you; he is not a control freak!

Advance to the butter aisle. Get the garlic and herb butter. This will be your secret ingredient in a couple of dishes and a lot of others in the future.

Head next to the meat section. This is the most important decision you will make in the supermarket.

You are looking for ribeyes.

Do not be tricked into a t-bone or New York strip that happens to be on sale. Strips are typically thin and end up as a challenge to not overcook when you have so many other items to keep account of. T-bones have a large bone in the shape of a “T” in them and are difficult to navigate on a full grill.

Ribeyes only!

Your goal here is to find steaks that are at least an inch thick (all about the same thickness) and with consistent marbling throughout. Marbling is the squiggly white (fat) lines that go through the meat. The more of these lines you see, the better the steak will cook.

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Take a trip through the vertical aisles and collect very coarse salt (kosher or sea salt is best) and pepper, along with a large bottle of olive oil and a small bottle of Worcestershire Sauce.

I will leave the choice of drinks up to you. Like I said, GW is not a control freak. Just make sure you have ribeyes, and your grill is clean!

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You have everything you need now. Head home. It’s time to put on a great cookout. We will meet again when my final article posts on Mainstreet Daily News and gives you the game plan.

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