If you’re reading this, chances are you’re Canadian. If you’re Canadian, chances are you’ve braved some of the soul-sucking winters that sweep through our fair country. Humans are nothing if not adaptable, and given the almost instinctual love that many of us have for BBQ-ing and cooking outside in general, it’s no surprise that winter grilling has become a mainstay and point of pride for many Vancouverites.
Blueprint Executive Chef Brett Turner grew up in a bit of a perfect storm for this sort of thing: the son of convention planners in cold-ass Prince George, B.C. Brett has honed his outdoors skills in the best (on the beach in Thailand) and worst (did we mention Prince George?) conditions.
We asked Chef for a few minutes of his time, hit him with some questions and pulled a secret recipe out of him to share with y’all. Read on, and good luck if you decide to fulfill part of your heritage by joining the ranks of outdoor winter grillmasters.
What’s your first memory of outdoor grilling?
My first memory of grilling outdoors was at my Nana and Papa’s cabin near 100 mile. We would fish for hours and then have them on the grill within 15 minutes of being back on land. You cruelly can’t beat summer at a BC lake, can you?
What are the worst grilling conditions you ever had to face?
Well in this case, my grilling nightmare became a reality. A few years back we were catering a party at the Rowing Club and we had rented a few large barbecues to grill skewers on. No matter what we did we couldn’t get them to stay lit because of the winds out on their decks and we were literally dead in the water with hundreds of hungry guests looking for food……….
What’s the best thing you’ve ever grilled?
Pork Belly. Obviously. Grilling prok belly is harder than you would think. Because of it’s high fat content, you can’t grill it for too long or it will burn. Grill it not long enough and it will be chewy and not good. You also need to find that sweet spot on the grill for it to be perfect.
What are some essential grilling tools?
– A grill brush
– A good pair on tongs long enough to not burn your hands over the flame
– Oil and a cloth
– A good marinade
– Some quality meat with good fat content
Finally, do you have some tips for the novice griller?
Get you grill/BBQ hot before using it. Scrape and clean it first. Some people have this idea that the “seasoning” from the last time you cooked should remain on the grill. Wrong. Make sure your grill is clean every time. Pour some oil on an old cloth and rub the grill to re-season it before each time you cook and your product will be better.
Thanks for your time! I’ll be sure to tag you when I Instagram my next BBQ attempt.
Haha, I’d be delighted!