Valentine’s Day Grilling Man Style

When it comes time for Valentine’s Day, I stay far away from the restaurants. Why? Many restaurants jack up their prices just a bit for the night, knowing that it’s a full house. On top of that, there are many amateur eaters that go out that night and you hear things like “Do you have any A-1 sauce?” as the dry aged bone in rib eye (cooked well done) hits the table.

This year, I decided to do a Grilling Man Crawfish Boil and Barbie.

I found a box of frozen crawfish for sale at a local food mega-store in a down and out part of town. Oddly, I’ve never seen a box of crawfish for sale at the suburban or higher end shops. I don’t know why, because they are healthy and delicious (and also a bit of a pain in the ass when it come to fishing out the few bits of meat they contain).


Get your hands on some crawfish. For three of us, I used a four pound box and that seemed like a pretty good amount. Figure roughly a pound per person. If you can’t find crawfish in your area, you can mail order (both fresh and frozen) here, here, and believe it or not through Amazon here.

Get the biggest pot you have and fill it about 3/4 with water. Place on the stove and get it to boiling. Go outside and get a medium heat offset fire going on your charcoal grill (about 3/4 of a starter chimney).

Have at the ready (amounts are for four pounds crawfish, adjust as needed):

  • A big supply of Old Bay Seasoning. You’ll need about a cup in the end.
  • Four ears of sweet corn, each cut in half (end up with eight minis)
  • Four sweet onions, chopped in half
  • Four pounds red potatoes
  • Four to six links high quality and super yummy andouille sausage (my source is Kramarczuk’s – some of the best sausages in the country). Slice them into two inch sections and if you want to look cool slice them on the bias.
If you’re using cooked frozen crawfish: Add 3/4 of the Old Bay to the boiling water. Add the potatoes and cook for three minutes. Add the corn, onions, sausage, and crawfish and let them cook for another three minutes. Note this is not enough time to cook everything through and that’s intentional. Drain everything and place in a large aluminum pan. If you are starting with live crawfish, be sure to read about preparing them ahead of time and boil them in a separate pot until done, at which point add them to the corn-onion-sausage mix.In the aluminum pan, dust everything with the remaining Old Bay Seasoning.Here is where the grilling and bbq comes in: Bring the pan outside and place offset on the grill (i.e. not directly over the heat). Add one or two chunks of apple or mesquite to the coals, and put the lid back on your grill as best as possible (your pan may be too big and that’s okay, just balance the grill lid on the pan). The goal here is to get huge amounts of smoke infusion into the food, as well as finish the cooking process.

Keep the pan on the grill for about 15 minutes, building up smoke along with some heat to finish off the cooking process. (Note the pan itself is uncovered, but we use the lid of the grill to contain the heat and smoke.)

Stir every five minutes (but stir gently, trying to avoid breaking off the cute little legs of the crawdads).

Mrs. Grilling Man ready to enjoy a meal

When ready to serve it’s as simple as placing the pan on the table, and having lots of picks, forks, and paper towels nearby.  To do it right, be sure to put some Buckwheat Zydeco on the the playlist and crank the volume.

It’s a grand meal that works great for a crowd. Let me know what you think.

Another win for The Grilling Man!

My brother and I did 18 racks of baby backs on a tiny little hibachi style grill.  How?  Rubbed the ribs, ten minutes a side on hot coals to char, double wrapped tight in heavy duty foil, then piled in an oven at 225 degrees for six hours.  Unwrapped, brushed with sauce, then another ten minutes on the grill.  Perfection, on a perfect Los Angeles evening high up in the mountains.

Manny’s can kiss my ass!

Manny’s has been voted as one of America’s Best Steakhouses many years in a row.  Located in downtown Minneapolis, it’s considered by many in my hometown the best of the best when it comes to steak.

And they can kiss my ass.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit tough. But I can proudly say that my rib eye left their’s in the dust in the grand ribeye challenge of 2008.

This is a prime dry aged boneless ribeye topped with truffle butter. My brother Lincoln gave this to me for my birthday and it’s quite possibly the greatest gift I’ve ever received (after the birth of my son, of course).

Grilled over hardwood charcoal for about four minutes per side.  It was a very very very hot fire.