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Let’s get Xcited …

Let’s get Xcited …

If you grill it, they will come.

That fact rang true for Grilling Addiction gurus Joe Riley and “Charpie” during their highly successful grilltorial held Thursday afternoon as part of TEDxAdventures.

The adventures were a sort of “lead-in” to the big event: TEDx, where great ideas go to grow and flow.

Other pre-TEDx activities included a mixology lesson from Brian Murphy, author of “See Mix Drink” (a few members of his class are pictured above); a hands-on geocaching workshop; lessons on building workplaces to build employee happiness; art with ceramist Michael Strand and cooking classes at Mezzaluna.

And then, of course, there were the urban guer-grillas.


The long-time friends turned grill-crazy after deciding they really wanted to learn how to cook with charcoal. Since then, they’ve launched, plan to put their own spice rub on the market and may know more about outdoor cookery than Hank Hill.

Thursday afternoon, this Dynamic Duo showed participants how to make a mini-grill using nothing more than a cast iron pan filled with hot charcoal and topped with a small grate. They also made tasty nachos on a cedar plank, encouraged onlookers to throw their steaks right atop hot charcoal (no fancy grates or grills need apply) and dispensed a treasure trove of tips.

Among them:

Lump it up. Don’t use briquettes as they are loaded with unnecessary chemicals and fillers. Instead, invest in the good, old Royal Oak charcoal lumps (I think they mentioned you can find these at Menard’s.)

Tastes like chicken – cuz it is. Sick of barbecuing burgers and brats? Round up a brood of chicken thighs and marinate them in Essie’s sauce (a South American-inspired sauce that Charpie claims originated where all good South American flavors did: the former Seven Seas Motel in Mandan, N.D.) and get cookin’.

Don’t get Scandinavian on the barbie. The most common mistake around these parts is that people tend to overgrill their food. Keep in mind that the food will continue cooking for as long as 20 minutes AFTER you remove it from the grill, Charpie says. So remove it before it is completely done. In other news, don’t be afraid to season the stuff you’re grilling. There’s no need for a blandinavian approach to barbecue.

Participants were duly impressed. “I totally quadrupled my grilling knowledge, and that was in the first 10 minutes,” said Scott Holdman.

We were just glad to be there to sample the leftovers. Nom, nom, nom.

pulled pork

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