Last week marked the half-way point of 2023. Today, we start the second six months with quite possibly the biggest summer holiday of the year. While Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter may be a bigger deal, the 4th of July occurs when schools are closed, and people are traveling. Whether it be a week-long vacation or just a daytrip or two, more people are active or out and about during this the 7th month of the year.
Having the actual holiday on a Tuesday doesn’t really lend itself to a three-day weekend. Most Americans will work Monday, take Tuesday off in celebration and go right back at it on Wednesday. With such a narrow window, it’s imperative that we take full advantage of the one day we’re given to do things up right. Fireworks abound in multiple venues around the area so it’s relatively easy to catch at least one display. But, I’m talking instead about slow-roasted, fire-grilled MEAT!
Our July Meat Bonanza falls this week which is extremely fortunate for those of you out there who identify as carnivores! With so many choices in our meat case, it’s almost impossible to NOT find something to grill! As much as I enjoy grilling – and eating the stuff that comes off the grill – I recently acquired a small Traeger pellet grill. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept. . . you load the hopper with wood pellets (available in many flavors and styles), set the temperature you want to cook at and insert the meat probe. With the proper app, it even shows up on your phone to alert you to its progress.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to cook some fresh chicken wings. My wife loves them, and I thought I could use the “goodwill” they would generate. In a large Ziploc bag, I put a dozen or so wings, a half cup of oil and sealed the bag. After coating the wings, I added some delicious Traeger Garlic & Chili Pepper rub. In reality, I could have chosen from a huge selection of rubs available at Costa’s Hardware, but that’s the one that caught my eye. Opening the bag and dowsing the wings liberally, I reclosed it and shook it up until the rub was evenly distributed.
Then onto the pre-heated pellet grill (minus the plastic bag) at 180°F for an hour, then an additional hour at 350°F. “Two hours to cook wings?”, you might be wondering. Well, let me tell you, the end result was worth the added time, plus I didn’t have to babysit them. I just walked away and checked the app on my phone from time to time. They were hot, juicy and absolutely delicious. I highly recommend them and they’re simple to make – the extra time notwithstanding!