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.
What sets the Alfresco ALXE grill series apart from other premium gas grills is its ability to allow you to cook with solid, natural fuel such as lump hardwood charcoal or wood.
Using wood or hardwood charcoal is a game changer as the Alfresco’s gas ignition system allows for easy lighting (usually 5 minutes unlike 15-30 for a kamado) and once the fuel it lit, you can turn the gas off and just cook with fire.
The insert is called a SFI-POD and sells for $575. It is 12″ across and 19″ deep.
My only beef is that I would have liked to have seen more headroom between the grates and the fuel source but b/c of Alfresco’s design the insert simply cannot drop down any further within the firebox.
This is a must-have for Alfresco owners. If you need one, please email or call me and I will facilitate for you!
Be on the lookout for an epic Appliance Dude video (first of 2016!) where I review its ability to
“Smoketiss”…meaning cooking with the smoker while the food is on the rotisserie spit. It is a very cool technique and resulted in a herbaceously delicious rotis chicken.
Step right up folks, it’s a video review of the new Alfresco ALXE grill series – the 42″ sear zone model ALXE42SZ in particular.
What makes this different? I now own the damn thing so this is insight gleaned from cooking on it. No reviews based on product specs or drinking the Kool-Aid from manufacturers here folks. I am here to report the good, the bad and the ugly (epic film btw), and since I paid for it, I will not hold back.
This review was based on one cook. There is much, much more to do. So many accessories to play with…this grill and I will be attached at the hip this winter. Winter is coming…and I’m ready with my Alfresco.
Feast your eyes on some new Alfresco grill outdoor kitchen pics. The pictures probably do a better job explaining all of the possibilities with the Alfresco line of grills (which can be dizzying once you start poring though their catalog). As I’ve stated to many folks walking through the showroom doors, if you are a serious griller (or aspire to be), especially one who envisions using their grill year round, Alfresco is the way to go because of the safety features and protection it provides for the wiring and igniters (which are always the problematic parts on grills).
Enjoy and if you want to see the Alfresco built-in grill with its various accoutrements come visit the Curto’s showroom in Westchester County NY.