Bought a Master Chef E500

We finally bought a new BBQ a couple of weeks ago!

Last Spring, I priced out how much it would have cost to fix up the old BBQ.  When including the igniter (which I could care less if I had), the cost was going to be higher than what I paid for the BBQ five years earlier.  Because of the state of the burner in the BBQ, we did not use it much last year.  We were holding off on buying a new one because we were hoping to have moved last year and did not want to have to move it.

This past January, my partner and I were eager to get a new one due to the types of food we do (and don’t) eat when BBQ’ing.  During BBQ “season” (in quotes because I BBQ year round), we tend to eat a lot more vegetables and a lot less carbs.  Apparently January is not a good time of year to go BBQ shopping!

I have always bought the brand of BBQ that I grew up with.  Dad always got the Master Chef with a side burner (which I rarely use but is nice to have just in case).  A lot of the fancier BBQ’s that you see now are the same price (~$300) Dad used to pay for his which are now closer to $125.

We spent more money on a BBQ than we normally would and I stepped outside my comfort zone in choosing the one we got.  I have been wanting more cooking area because the amount of food I cook had me layering to get it all “on” the grill!  I also have always wanted a rotisserie.

I had really been resisting cast iron grates.  I cooked on one before and really did not like the way it unevenly heated up (I only had 2 of 3 burners turned on) and then the meat stuck to the grate.  

The first time I used our new BBQ, I ended up phoning Dad about the meat sticking to the grill and then again the next day on how to clean the grates after reading conflicting information online.  The manual said to use a normal BBQ brush but someone in the review of the BBQ had said they had to replace their grates at $80 a piece because the ceramic coating was peeling off from using the BBQ brush.  I bought a BBQ brush which is working well.  My Dad says to heat use the brush when the grill is hot and not to bang the grates with it because it will cause the ceramic coating to break.

IMG_20140413_172049

Cooking for the first time with marinated chicken might not have been the best choice (I hate and almost never char my food!) but the chicken tasted great!  Even the charred parts.  I had remembered from some of the cooking shows that they say if the meat is sticking to the grill, it is not ready to be turned.  When it is ready, it will lift off easily.  This is something I will have to trust because as I said, I hate charring my food and start to panic when I cannot get my meat off the grill to check that it’s not burnt.

The BBQ we bought was the Master Chef E500:

Specifications
Main BTU 48,000
Side Burner BTU 10,000 (Infrared)
Rotisserie Burner BTU 8,500
Burners Four stainless steel tube burners
Side Burner Ceramic Infrared
Total Cooking Surface 650 sq in
Primary Cooking Surface 480 sq in
Secondary Cooking Surface 170 sq in
Cooking Grates Porcelain cast iron
Heat Plates Porcelain coated
Ignition Type Electronic
Temperature Gauge Yes
Assembled Dimensions
(L x W x H)
53.5″ x 25″ x 47″
Warranty Limited 1-Year
Rotisserie Kit
(sold separately)
85-1850
Barbecue Cover
(sold separately)
85-3669

We also bought the Rotisserie Kit because it was 40% off which I am eager to try out with the Rotisserie Burner that is built into the BBQ.

So far, I am loving the new BBQ even though I feel as though I am having to start over again in learning how to use one and know it will take time for me to adjust.  The one noticeable difference is that the food is cooking faster than it did with our old BBQ which cooked at a cooler temperature.  

Even better, it is now asparagus season!  I will have to pop over to Quality Greens to buy some for the grill on my way home.  I might even have to pick up a chicken to rotisserie.

Roasted Garlic Recipe

We absolutely love Roasted Garlic in our house.  There are a lot of recipes that we add roasted garlic to such as pizza, garlic toast, smashed yams/potatoes/sweet potatoes, spaghetti sauce, etc.

Roasted Garlic Ingredients:

  • bulb(s) of garlic
  • salt and pepper (optional)
  • oil (whatever your choice of oil is)

How to Roast Garlic:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the top off the garlic and place onto either a piece of foil or baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle the top with the oil and salt and pepper if you are using it.
  4. If you are using the foil, I tend to put the tops back on top and close up the foil to ensure it is sealed.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool a bit before removing from skin.

I prefer to have the garlic start to caramelize (brown) which really brings out the flavour of the garlic so I tend to cook mine longer.  Depending on how much garlic we have in the house at the time, I will cook anywhere from 1 to 3 bulbs at a time.  The ones that are not eaten right away, we store in the fridge.

I have even roasted the garlic on the bbq but you have to be cautious of the heat – they tend to burn on mine if I am not careful.

Tips:

You can peel away some of the white papery skin around the bulbs.  I have never been one to do so but I would assume it would make it easier to get the garlic out.  I also tend to cut a good portion of the top off.  This helps ensure that all the tops are cut off and I find it makes it easier to get the roasted garlic out of the tops.  When removing the garlic from the bulb, I tend to hold the garlic still in foil in an oven mitt and use a butter knife to pluck them out.

Hawaiian Chicken Burger Recipe

One of my favourite meals to BBQ (although I do not make these often enough), is Hawaiian Chicken Burgers:

Hawaiian Chicken Burgers

Hawaiian Chicken Burger on multi-grain bun served with half an avocado filled with Thousand Island dressing.

Hawaiian Chicken Burger Ingredients:

  • Grilled Chicken (boneless/skinless thighs or breasts)
  • Grilled Pineapple (peaches works too)
  • Burger Toppings (such as cheese, mayonnaise and lettuce)
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Buns

I prefer making my Hawaiian Chicken Burgers with thinner cuts of chicken to cut down on cooking time and ensure they are cooked evenly.  I also prefer the meat being an even thickness through the burger.

One thing I hate when eating BBQ’ed food, is tasting burnt.  I tend to have my BBQ on the lowest setting.  My rule has always been, if its too hot for my hand a couple of inches above the grill, its too hot for my food.

SOF had packs of thin sliced chicken breast for $11 this year (which is what was used in the photo) and I threw two pieces of chicken onto my burger.  These pieces of chicken cooked in about 12-15 minutes because of how thin they are.  A full chicken breast will take 30-35 minutes and the chicken thighs about 25-30 minutes.

The pineapple takes between 5 and 10 minutes to grill depending on thickness which I throw onto the grill when the chicken is 5-10 minutes from being fully cooked.  At the same time, I start to sauce my chicken.

Once the chicken and pineapple are cooked, assemble your burger with your favourite toppings and enjoy!