If you are shopping for a grill and the salesperson tries to sell you on said grill’s ability to completely negate flareups, then my advice is to walk your ass out of that store or off the phone PRONTO.
There is a silly misconception that flareups are the bane (not this Bane) of every backyard griller .
I wholeheartedly disagree. Especially if you are using a gas grill.
What is a flareup?
It’s fat, juice, marinade or some other cooking byproduct that is hitting a very hot surface on your grill. The result is smoke, or flame that rises, WITH FLAVOR, sending it back to the food. Since a gas grill does not impart any flavor to food (gas = colorless, odorless, tasteless), then the flare up or FLAVOR BOMB/FLAME KISS, is actually a positive thing.
The problem is when your grill is too hot, or filthy, and you can’t harness the inherent beauty of the flare up, and it becomes sustained, and ultimately burns the shit out of your food.
It’s like any other cooking fire, it delivers the goods (man,is there anything better than cooking over live fire?) but it needs to be harnessed or that beauty it delivers to our olfactory senses can go sideways real fast.
So what you need is the tool or toolkit to be able to handle this heat/fire and channel it for the good as you cook on your limited (taste-wise) gas grill. That’s why the Alfresco is the way to go – the ceramic briquette system it uses is off the charts good. Watch the video for the details, but if you want a vehicle that will allow you to cook at a high temp yet control the inevitable flareups, the Alfresco ALXE series delivers.
Over the years I have lost too many good pieces of meat to the insidious grip of untamed flareups. While I squarely blame myself for those issues, it didn’t help matters that the grills I was using using capitulated in the face of these meal-ruiners.
That was until I started grilling on an Alfresco ALXE 42 Grill
Because of Alfresco’s brilliantly designed ceramic briquette cooking system, my flareups have been transformed into “flame kisses” that aid in flavorizing my food, instead of turning it into a shade closer to obsidian and leaving it with the taste of a fireplace.
Alfresco Grills Have the Best Flare Up Taming System!
Proof is in the pudding…
My wife gave me a few skirt steaks that had been sitting in an Asian marinade bath for a few hours. When they were brought to the white hot Alfresco 42 grill, they were undoubtedly fodder for a serious flare up outbreak.
As you can see from the images below, flames did start to erupt, BUT WERE SUPPRESSED IMMEDIATELY. Because of the close concentration of the briquettes (if you look at Alfresco’s ceramic grid vs the competition there are very few gaps that would allow flames to shoot through) the flames may get through, but they are smacked down after allowing for a brief flame kiss which is a flavor enhancer. More on that next…
Flare Ups are a Good Thing. No, Make that a GREAT Thing.
Flare ups are caused by drippings.
And drippings are what flavors our food.
The folks at GrillGrates feel that the drippings and their byproduct (flareups) are the most instrumental factor in giving your good it’s kick a$# taste. Yes, more important than the wood pellets, chunks, charcoal or (with a gas grill) the chips in a smoker box. We WANT flare ups, but we don’t want sustained flare ups. Instead we need to recontextualize them as “flame kisses” or “flavor bombs”.
BTW, no matter what cooking system you are using, if you don’t clean your grill gates and briquettes, you will be slowly creating a flare up factory.
I clean my Alfresco 42 Grill regularly and make sure to burn away any buildup on the briquettes.
If you have any Alfresco Grill questions please give us a holler and remember we ship Alfresco nationwide…for free! Call us at 1-800-966-2878 to order today!
The Alfresco 42 Grill’s ceramic briquettes knock down the flareup.
Using two cooking zones on Alfresco’s SFI-POD Steak, Senor Smoke attains near steak perfection
March 1 2017
Two years ago I sold an Alfresco grill to a cat we will call “Steve from Scarsdale”. This was a special sale. Why?
The sales cycle took over one year. Talk about a considered purchase.
Steve took his dear, sweet time to order b/c he had a ton of research to do. He has an engineering background so he was paying close attention to the grill’s design integrity and details such as thickness, soldering, and overall product construct.
His final decision – an Alfresco.
Steve also purchased a few accessories including the solid fuel insert. Am few months after delivery I dropped him a note to see how he was enjoying the grill.
We got to talking about the solid fuel insert and he mentioned that he was doing dual zone cooking on it. I didn’t understand how he was able to pull that off considering the insert is not immense. He told me that the key was to bank your lump charcoal in the back of the insert and then leave the entire front of the insert empty. He said that there would be ample space with a “split” grate so that the dual zone method would not inhibit you with limited real estate.
So I tested Steve’s idea with a very thick strip steak that I knew could use some indirect heat as well as an intense sear.
I banked my Kamado Joe lump charcoal in the back of the solid fuel insert and lit it with the Alfresco burner. After 7 minutes the charcoal was fully ignited and ready to go. The steak, which had been massaged with olive oil, Jacobsens sea salt and cracked pepper was placed at the front of the insert as I wanted to reverse-sear this – cooking at a lower temperature and then searing at the end of the cook.
As you can see by the below photos, I had a significant spread in temperature at the grill grate – I was seeing a 500 degree difference which I could not believe.
I let the thick steak sit on the front of the solid fuel insert for about 7 – 8 minutes total, turning every 3 mins to get the cross hatch marks.
After the 8 minutes were up I move the steak the back portion of the solid fuel insert and immediately noticed that the steak was undergoing a sear – audibly the sizzle started to pick up and the smoke and flame started to kick in as well. Things were hot back there!
After about 2-3 minutes per side I pulled the steak and let it temp under loosely tented foil for about 10 minutes. The result – incredibly delicious medium rare and quite a tasty bark on it from the sear.
Took another accessory home for my Alfresco ALXE42SZ grill and I ended up making the best chicken I’ve ever produced on the Alfresco.
The indirect roasting pod is entirely legit, check it out and let me know about your results.
It’s accessories like this that separate Alfresco from the other premium gas grills.
Buy one for your Alfresco, load her up with a bird or roast of sorts, make sure the beer is cold and plays some Dead circa 1972!
Yes, it did sit in the box for nearly 1 year, but I am happy to announce that I broke open the Alfresco Steamer Fryer insert AG-SF and was astounded by the results!
We did shrimp tempura for the inaugural cook. Not only did the shrimp taste great, but it changes the narrative on what we are willing to cook – reason being is that frying was a rare occurrence because we didn’t want to deal with the smell and cleanup in the kitchen. Now with the Alfresco AG-SF steamer fryer insert, the frying can all be done outside so the kitchen stays sparkly clean! We have tons of ideas on what to do next…fried oreos, fried ice cream, rice balls, eggplant parmigiana, chicken fingers…the only question will be how to do this without causing our collective cholesterol to go through the roof!
Here’s another pic of an Alfresco kitchen that we worked on this past summer.
You’ll see an ALX2-42SZ along with access doors and a refrigerator which I believe was a Summit. I just wrapped up chatting with a grill service tech who handles many of the leading premium gas grills and his take is that Alfresco is the best made of the bunch.
Food for thought!
Alfresco 42″ Grill with access doors and fridge in Westchester County NY.
Alfresco grill in Westchester county. Come see the largest Alfresco display at Curto’s – 914-793-5600
We are enjoying a beautiful Indian summer here in Westchester County which has provided continued opportunities for summer grilling. Even with the higher temps, fall decorating abounds and in this photo provided by one of my Scarsdale customers she decided to frame her Alfresco grill with a mum plant. Anyone for grilled butternut squash?
The grill under the cover is an Alfresco 42″ ALX2-42SZ which is their 42″ offering with a sear burner. This is the most popular ALfresco model and now is the time to act on ALX2 models as they will soon go on clearance to make way for the newer ALXE models.
If you are interested in purchasing an Alfresco grill please visit our showroom or visit our Alfresco online showroom
An Alfresco ALX242SZ grill in Scarsdale NY. The mums certainly provide a beautiful Autumn framework!