It’s always fun to get free products to try out. Even though my husband is the “rib man” at our house, this was my opportunity to try my hands at it.
Sure I’ve BBQ’d many times…things like steak, pork chops and chicken but never attempted ribs. With the Grill Mates package I received from Crowdtap and a trip to Minnesota to visit family, it was the perfect opportunity to not only try the products for ourselves but to share them with the people we love most.
My in-laws, (I call them Mom & Dad) purchased the chicken and ribs before we arrived and made the homemade baked beans and potato salad. Mom has a great instinct in the kitchen and knows what we all like. Who passes up home made food from mom? After all, that’s one of the best things about going home, isn’t it? Mom makes everything perfect! Even though they didn’t raise me and both of my parents have passed on, they’re as close to my heart as my own parents. I’m a blessed girl!
All that was left to do was to get in there and start prepping the chicken and ribs with the rubs and spices I received from Grill Mates. I’d probably used this brand before but I really couldn’t tell you when. To be honest, up until now, I didn’t even have a favorite product in this department. My usual idea of grilling anything is to shake on some garlic salt and a little pepper and if anyone wanted BBQ sauce they could put it on themselves at the table..lol. So with that and all of these products to try, I decided to tap into my “inner grill master” and go for it!
Prepping was pretty easy as we applied Grill Mates spices, rub and marinade to the chicken and ribs while they were thawing out. We figured the flavors could really take hold this way. Mom was super excited (as I was) to taste the final product but we both knew patience was key. We started hours before hand. Then came the checking, rechecking, re-glazing, turning..all that good stuff. It wasn’t hard work, probably because of our determination to have a tasty outcome. It was pretty fun….just us two in the kitchen. We talked, laughed and truly enjoyed being together. Fortunately for us, we’ve never had to worry about any of that.
As the day progressed, mom and I decided not to eat outside as it was a little too windy. We weren’t fascinated with chasing down blown away napkins or being a snack for the Minnesota’s state bird (the mosquito). So while everyone was visiting indoors, mom got the table ready and I headed out back to bond with the grill. I was a little nervous because I didn’t want to burn anything. So there I stood with my earphones, listening to music while I was focused and concentrated on getting this right. After all the prep work, it would really stink if I ruined it in the end because I didn’t watch it good enough, turn it fast enough or left it too long to get those pesky burned chunks all over it. Oh my gosh…that’s the thing you dread most! At least I do anyway. I can’t eat it if it’s all burned! Perhaps that’s why I always dreaded using BBQ sauce on anything I’d be grilling.
Sure you get a little of blackening, that’s what makes it tasty however, I didn’t want my chicken to be covered in it. Here’s a shot of all the chicken just before I took it off the grill. I think it looked perfect! Not too black..just enough to have that grilled look. We didn’t grill the ribs because they were getting too tender during their pre-cook and would have fallen off the bones if I tried to turn them on the grill, so we just continued cooking those in the oven. However, you couldn’t tell they weren’t grilled because of the rub we used. It gave the ribs the flavor of having been over an open fire for hours! I was a little concerned that the oven cooking wouldn’t be the same. I was wrong and pleasingly so. I will definitely use this rib rub in the future.
Besides that, we were able to time the chicken and ribs to be ready at the same time doing it this way. If you’ve ever cooked a Thanksgiving dinner, you know how challenging it is to have everything hot and ready at the same time. This was kinda the same just not on that big of a scale. Mind you, that with two of us gals in the kitchen, we KNEW we could pull it off! The ribs were outstanding, the two different types of marinade and spices made the chicken delicious, flavor filled and moist, what else could be better? Actually, Grill Mates made us look REALLY good. Mom and I were the talk of the weekend! Thank you Grill Mates!
*Though I was given free Grill Mates products to use and review, I was not compensated for writing this post.
All pictures and opinions are completely my own.