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Grilling on a Gas BBQ for Dummies


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#1 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 01:50 PM

First, I'm not implying that eGulleteers are dummy's. But many otherwise accomplished cooks pale at the thought of a grill. This thread, I hope, will provide inspiration and easy to follow technique to overcome any fears.

My fervent hope is that members who are far more expert than I will add tutorials to the thread making it a resource for all.

I'll apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I just couldn't think of a shorter less pictorial way to start with a whole meal.

Ok, here we go! Before tips:

1) get a gas BBQ. Yeah, I know purists, but building the fire is a pain for most people & adds very little to the flavor if we're really honest. I was a purist for many years before I woke up.

2)Do your mise en place just as for any other meal.

3) Timing is essential just as when cooking any meal.

So, this simple meal is going to consist of a starter followed by a main consisting of meat plus two vegetables all done on the BBQ.

The starter is Anaheim chilies with Brie cheese

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First cut the peppers in half lengthwise & remove the seeds.

Next cut some Brie into long slices.

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Now cut some zucchini into quarters lengthwise, coat them lightly with oil, sprinkle with mixed herbs & garlic granules.

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Cut some Spring onions down the middle for an inch or two. (I'm actually using baby leeks, but onions works just as well.)

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Salt & pepper your meat if needed. (I'm using lamb chops, but pork chops, sausage, chicken leg/thighs or whatever work as well.)

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We're now ready to cook. Hopefully, earlier you have turned the grill on to heat up. ?? If not do so now & have a glass of wine while it heats.

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Ready? Put the chillies on the Grill CUT SIDE DOWN!

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Let them cook until just starting to blacken. This will be 3-5 minutes on a hot grill. Then turn them over onto the skin side.

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Now place the Brie slices in the cavity's and cook until the Brie melts. Serve immediately.
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These could have cooked a bit more.

Having had the starter its time to cook the main course.

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Here are the zucchini & the meat ready to go. Note the addition of fresh rosemary for the lamb & red wine for the cook.

First put the zucchini on the grill skin side down for a few minutes.

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Then turn them onto one side.

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Then the other side.
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As you turn the zucchini for the first time put the meat onto the grill. (This is for chops. For chicken or sausage put it on at the same time as the zucchini.)

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Note that the herbs have gone on. Now put the spring onions on.

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Everything is on now. The zucchini should come off first, followed by the meat followed by the onions. Timing will vary a bit depending upon the type of meat & the heat of your grill. Mostly this stuff is not all that sensitive to timing.

Here's the finished meal.

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Looks good, tastes good and is easy to prepare.

I'm sure there are lots of BBQ experts out there who can make & post something even better than this.

My rules for Dummy's are: simple ingredients available anywhere, simple preparation, simple technique. Easy does it!

Let's have some summer fun with this.

#2 heidih

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 03:48 PM

Lovely photos David. I would add 2 simple points: 1: Do not walk away from the grill and 2: let things get a "crust"- do not flip constantly or you just rip off the carmelization

#3 rooftop1000

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 04:31 PM

Dave you forgot the potatoes...
I nuke little red potatoes for about 3 min then cut them in half and lube with oil and salt and pepper. The usually go on the grill the same time as the zucchini since they only need to brown

Also tasty is big slabs of bread brushed with olive oil and grilled, then rubbed with a garlic clove. Perfect for a steak and tomato salad dinner

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The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers
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#4 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 11:19 PM

Dave you forgot the potatoes...
I nuke little red potatoes for about 3 min then cut them in half and lube with oil and salt and pepper. The usually go on the grill the same time as the zucchini since they only need to brown

Also tasty is big slabs of bread brushed with olive oil and grilled, then rubbed with a garlic clove. Perfect for a steak and tomato salad dinner

tracey

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Didn't forget, just on a low simple carb diet.

You're right though both potatoes & the bread are great simple additions.

To carry on to dessert another favorite is grilled pineapple with ice cream & rum sauce.

More suggestions? Pictorials?

#5 Doodad

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 04:39 AM

I cook full meals on the grill all the time especially in the summer heat. Our kitchen faces the late day sun and it gets warm even without a heat source going.

The one thing I would do different is put the meat on first and pull it first. It allows a rest while the other items are finishing up.

#6 JohnnyH

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 06:21 AM

The thread's title is a misnomer. This ain't "bbq." It's grilling.

Edited by JohnnyH, 26 June 2008 - 08:21 AM.

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#7 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:26 AM

The thread's title is a misnomer. This ain't "bbq." It's grilling.

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Ok, I think.

Your definition please.

#8 JohnnyH

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:36 AM

Barbecue: Slow cooking over indirect heat at low temperature, generally over hardwoods or coals. Typically, fatty and relatively tough cuts of meat are used (pork butt, ribs, brisket, etc.) so that the connective tissue within is given time to break down.

Grilling: High-heat cooking over direct heat.
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#9 Joe Blowe

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:43 AM

In U.S. English, your post describes grilling. But seeing as you're posting from Rural France, I think we'll let you off with a warning :laugh:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grilling

P.S. I thought by now someone would've lit into you on the "gas BBQ" recommendation! I would've, but I've done it too many times now -- someone else should take a shot!
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#10 JohnnyH

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:55 AM

In U.S. English, your post describes grilling.  But seeing as you're posting from Rural France, I think we'll let you off with a warning  :laugh:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grilling

P.S.  I thought by now someone would've lit into you on the "gas BBQ" recommendation!  I would've, but I've done it too many times now -- someone else should take a shot!

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I didn't realize the origin of the OP -- sorry if I seemed overly snarky.
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#11 mtigges

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 09:44 AM

Well, I won't rip on the recommendation for gas grilling. It truly is a lower skill barrier to enjoying grilled foods. More expensive (usually) but less hassle.

But "adds very little to the flavour"? That's just crazy talk.

#12 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 11:35 AM

In U.S. English, your post describes grilling.  But seeing as you're posting from Rural France, I think we'll let you off with a warning  :laugh:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grilling

P.S.  I thought by now someone would've lit into you on the "gas BBQ" recommendation!  I would've, but I've done it too many times now -- someone else should take a shot!

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As defined by the first paragraph of the Wikipedia write up my use of BBQ AS A NOUN is still correct.

Also, read the Grilling write up about North American useage.

My only surprise in this is the amount of time it has taken to get a reaction. I'm glad its now coming.

Its not a point I would really argue very hard over. I will only say that the title is BBQ for Dummy's, not BBQing for Dummy's.

As to gas vs. wood, charcoal, etc the thread is for dummy's and I don't think that anyone would argue that any of these are easier to use than gas which was my point.

I'm still waiting (hoping) for posts showing the "Dummy's" how to grill, BBQ or otherwise cook on what is commonly referred to as a barbecue.

#13 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 11:42 AM

Well, I won't rip on the recommendation for gas grilling.  It truly is a lower skill barrier to enjoying grilled foods.  More expensive (usually) but less hassle.
Agreed!

But "adds very little to the flavour"? That's just crazy talk.

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Are we talking grilling? BBQing? Or smoking? I would content that I'm right about very little flavor add except in the case of smoking.

A good hot BBQ fire has little or no smoke to impart flavor. The flavor is imparted when the juices hit the hot surface and turn into smoke. Doesn't matter much what the hot surface is.

Or that's my opinion in any case. I was 'purist' for 30 years before switching to gas 15 years ago.

By the way in rural France they are very much purists. In fact most 'experts' here use seasoned woods, oak, chestnut, cherry and apple are popular. Gas & charcoal are used, but frowned upon by the 'purists' just as in the states.

#14 heidih

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:56 PM

Russ Parsons has a good basic grilling primer in yesterday's Los Angeles Times Food Section (June 25) Attempting link: www.latimes.com/features/food/

#15 jdtofbna

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:25 PM

Well, I won't rip on the recommendation for gas grilling.  It truly is a lower skill barrier to enjoying grilled foods.  More expensive (usually) but less hassle.

But "adds very little to the flavour"? That's just crazy talk.

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I agree, and I use a gas grill. I took a marinated beef tenderloin to a friend's for dinner Tuesday night and he cooked it on his charcoal grill with me supervising so he wouldn't overcook it :shock: and it was definitely better than anytime I've cooked it on my gas grill. I also agree that a gas grill is way more convenient and still imparts a nice grill flavor. If my only choice was charcoal, I'd hardly ever grill out.

But, I know that's not the subject here. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to share of the gorgeous tenderloin we did, but I will tell you that I marinated it in Marsala, olive oil, shallots, tarragon, parsley and lemon thyme and seasoned it well with salt and black pepper when we put it on the grill. Only had time to marinate it a couple of hours, but 4-6 is better and people swoon over this. :wub: I like to get the grill really hot and sear the meat on all sides, then lower the temp to medium low and cook the meat to an internal temperature of 120 or 125 at its thickest part. This way, some of it is fabulously rare while some is medium rare for the faint of heart. :raz: Let it rest at least 20 mintues before slicing. The great thing about this is it doesn't matter if it's served hot, it's just as delicious at room temp.
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#16 weinoo

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:54 PM

We can argue ad infinitum about what IS bbq, or barbecue or even bar b que, but that's been done before, right here in this topic.

Now, as to the merits of charcoal vs. gas, vis a vis grilling, perhaps that's a subject for a new topic :smile: .
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#17 mtigges

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 02:05 PM

Well, I won't rip on the recommendation for gas grilling.  It truly is a lower skill barrier to enjoying grilled foods.  More expensive (usually) but less hassle.
Agreed!

But "adds very little to the flavour"? That's just crazy talk.

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A good hot BBQ fire has little or no smoke to impart flavor. The flavor is imparted when the juices hit the hot surface and turn into smoke. Doesn't matter much what the hot surface is.

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So, by that logic we may as well use a griddle pan.

I'm not an expert but I would suggest that when fat drips down on to coals the by-products are much different than what happens when it drips on a propane flame or a lava rock. No doubt that is a contributor to the difference in flavour. There are probably others.

There's also the salient point that a charcoal grill can get much hotter than a similarly priced propane fired grill. To get the same kind of power out of propane is expensive both in gas and in equipment. Charcoal is pretty pricey too, but the increase in cost per btu is 0 for equipment, and linear for fuel. Not the case for propane.

Nevertheless I agree 100% that if you are totally new to grilling and too timid to use charcoal or you are externally constrained to propane then a gas grill is a perfectly fine choice.

I just find it pretty incredible that you don't notice much of a difference in flavour. It's kind of like going to Tojo's versus an all you can eat joint. The only time I bother to grill over gas is when I blacken a pepper over my stove.

#18 gfweb

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 09:17 PM

As defined by the first paragraph of the Wikipedia write up my use of BBQ AS A NOUN is still correct.

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I can't restrain myself. I gotta object. Wikipedia is not authoritative. Numerous errors and biases are in it. Facts aren't checked. It is sloppy. It relies on a sort of intellectual economy that assumes that the truth will come out if enough people are involved and make "corrections".

In truth, most of the real experts in a field don't ever look at Wikipedia and certainly do not modify the entries. I hate Wikipedia. It is knowledge-lite.

Having said that, I think that it has gotten the BBQ vs grill issue right. :rolleyes:

#19 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 01:39 AM

I've got a number of points to bring up.

1) Not sure I agree with the name change for the thread. Just because I encourage novices to start with a gas 'machine' doesn't preclude the use of wood fired 'machines'. I meant to be inclusive. The comments about gas were designed to raise a response & they seem to have succeeded.

2) It wasn't I who cited Wikipedia. I only responded. I agree that Wikipedia's quality varies hugely and it is certainly not "the" authority.

3) I think you best way to resolve the taste issue vis-a-vis gas & Charcoal would be a blind taste test. Something that, perhaps, the culinary institute could take on.
I'm not a chemist so can't say whether the vapor created by hot fat dripping onto a very hot metal surface in a gas 'machine' is significantly different than that created when the same fat drips onto charcoal. ??

Finally, here's a question for all.....

Sunday I'm going to do a leg of lamb on my gas machine. I will have boned it & marinated it (Soy sauce, Dijon mustard, fresh rosemary, chopped garlic & pepper) for a few hours before placing it on my hot machine. I'll sear it quickly on all sides then turn off my center burner and turn down the two side burners. It will take quite a while to cook.

So, am I grilling? Or barbecuing?

I'll try to do a pictorial. For the story of this particular lamb leg see my blog, link below.

#20 weinoo

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 03:44 AM

I've got a number of points to bring up.

1) Not sure I agree with the name change for the thread. Just because I encourage novices to start with a gas 'machine' doesn't preclude the use of wood fired 'machines'. I meant to be inclusive. The comments about gas were designed to raise a response & they seem to have succeeded.

2) It wasn't I who cited Wikipedia. I only responded. I agree that Wikipedia's quality varies hugely and it is certainly not "the" authority.

3) I think you best way to resolve the taste issue vis-a-vis gas & Charcoal would be a blind taste test. Something that, perhaps, the culinary institute could take on.
I'm not a chemist so can't say whether the vapor created by hot fat dripping onto a very hot metal surface in a gas 'machine' is significantly different than that created when the same fat drips onto charcoal. ??

Finally, here's a question for all.....

Sunday I'm going to do a leg of lamb on my gas machine. I will have boned it & marinated it (Soy sauce, Dijon mustard, fresh rosemary, chopped garlic & pepper) for a few hours before placing it on my hot machine. I'll sear it quickly on all sides then turn off my center burner and turn down the two side burners. It will take quite a while to cook.

So, am I grilling? Or barbecuing?

I'll try to do a pictorial. For the story of this particular lamb leg see my blog, link below.

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I think you're starting off by searing, on a gas grill, over high heat. Then you're roasting, outside, on a gas grill, over indirect heat.

Your first key point, in your first post, is

get a gas BBQ.

Hence, the title change.

And I don't think you really have to be a chemist to note a difference in taste from the smoke flavor produced by hardwood charcoal to the smoke flavor produced by vaporized fat.
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#21 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:35 AM

I think you're starting off by searing, on a gas grill, over high heat.  Then you're roasting, outside, on a gas grill, over indirect heat.

Your first key point, in your first post, is

get a gas BBQ.

Hence, the title change.

And I don't think you really have to be a chemist to note a difference in taste from the smoke flavor produced by hardwood charcoal to the smoke flavor produced by vaporized fat.

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A little hair splitting methinks.

If I did exactly the same sequence of cooking, but was using charcoal, wood or anything other than gas would I still be searing & roasting? (don't forget the marinating)
Or would I be BBQing? If not then I need somebody to tell me the difference. Smoke?

I'm OK on the title change, but still want the thread to be as wide open as possible as a source of knowledge for those who are new at whatever we choose to call it.

My point is that a properly laid fully up to temperature wood fired machine doesn't smoke. The smoke is created by the vaporized fat. Ergo, what's the difference?

Although I'm enjoying this discussion I'm still looking for experts to post tips, tutorials & techniques on how to do......Gril-b-Que or perhaps Bar-b-gril.

Edited by Dave Hatfield, 27 June 2008 - 08:18 AM.


#22 CaliPoutine

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 06:04 AM

For as long as I can remember, we've always had a gas grill( while I was growing up). When I was old enough to buy my own grill, it was only natural that I would buy gas. My sister and BIL have a charcoal grill and honestly, I didnt notice much of a difference( except for the mess and time factor).

I usually grill foods that dont hang out too long. On Mother's Day I made 2 beer can chickens( indirect heat) and they were soo moist and flavorful. ( I'll go dig up a pic of that)

Here is some pork tenderloins I did last year along with baked potatoes and asparagus.

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Edited by CaliPoutine, 27 June 2008 - 08:32 AM.


#23 CaliPoutine

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:35 AM

Here is the beer can chicken.

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#24 gfweb

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 09:11 AM

how long did you cook the potatoes?

#25 CaliPoutine

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 09:47 AM

how long did you cook the potatoes?

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I actually nuked them for a few minutes beforehand. They were probably on the grill about 10 more minutes.

#26 zeffer81

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 02:18 PM

Here is the beer can chicken.

Posted Image

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Haha, they look like they're BOXING with one another! Love it!

#27 RedRum

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 08:00 AM

I think you're starting off by searing, on a gas grill, over high heat.  Then you're roasting, outside, on a gas grill, over indirect heat.

Your first key point, in your first post, is

get a gas BBQ.

Hence, the title change.

And I don't think you really have to be a chemist to note a difference in taste from the smoke flavor produced by hardwood charcoal to the smoke flavor produced by vaporized fat.

View Post


A little hair splitting methinks.

If I did exactly the same sequence of cooking, but was using charcoal, wood or anything other than gas would I still be searing & roasting? (don't forget the marinating)
Or would I be BBQing? If not then I need somebody to tell me the difference. Smoke?

I'm OK on the title change, but still want the thread to be as wide open as possible as a source of knowledge for those who are new at whatever we choose to call it.

My point is that a properly laid fully up to temperature wood fired machine doesn't smoke. The smoke is created by the vaporized fat. Ergo, what's the difference?

Although I'm enjoying this discussion I'm still looking for experts to post tips, tutorials & techniques on how to do......Gril-b-Que or perhaps Bar-b-gril.

View Post


check my little experiment in this thread:

http://forums.egulle...howtopic=116735