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How to Grill Like an Expert
Competition Quality Cuisine at Home

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Apple Cider Ribs
Beer-Basted Pulled Pork Sliders

(Family Features) - This season, take advantage of the extra hours of sunshine provided by daylight saving time to get an early start to one of America's favorite pastimes - charcoal grilling. Using simple techniques and tools, it's possible to grill like an expert in your own backyard.

Chris Lilly, head chef of the award-winning Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Competition Cooking Team, says to achieve competition-level cuisine at home, you must control temperature, adjust grill vents and utilize a two-zone fire.

"While competing, I have specialized equipment that helps me achieve optimal heat levels," said Lilly, who has won two Memphis in May Grand Championships and eight barbecue grand championships across the Southeast. "But when I'm in my backyard, I use Kingsford Competition Briquets, which give me the high heat of lump charcoal with the consistency of a charcoal briquet. This provides flexibility and perfect results whether I'm searing, slow cooking or grilling."

Whether it's a quick meal fired up for the family, or a big backyard cookout for the whole neighborhood, get outside and start grilling like a pro.

Borrow champion pitmaster Chris Lilly's grilling techniques for your next cookout:

Smoke the Competition. When smoking meat, pay special attention to controlling internal grill temperature. For an accurate reading, place a candy thermometer's probe through the top grill vent. Maintain a temperature of about 225 to 250°F. If the temperature rises above this range, slide the vent directly under the charcoal nearly closed while wearing heat-protective gloves. Continue to monitor and open the vent again as the temperature drops.

Sear to Perfection. When searing meat, place it over the hottest part of the grill. Cook for roughly one and a half minutes on each side, only flipping once, and remove from the grill. This method provides doneness on each side while maintaining the rich, red color and flavors in the center.

Achieve Perfect Color. When applying a dry rub to chicken pieces, it's hard to keep the rub affixed while keeping the chicken's original, golden color. Try painting chicken pieces with yellow mustard prior to applying the rub. Not only will the rub stay in place, your final product will be visually appealing - without any trace of mustard flavor.

Split the Difference. To cook split chicken halves evenly, place the darker meat towards the hottest part of your two-zone grill. That way, the leaner white meat will not dry out and the chicken will cook consistently.

For tips, recipes and instructional videos inspired by new Kingsford Competition Briquets, visit Kingsford.com.

Apple Cider Ribs

Recipe created by Champion Pitmaster Chris Lilly
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  • 2 slabs loin back ribs (baby back)
  • 1 cup KC Masterpiece Original Barbecue Sauce
Dry Rub
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Liquid Seasoning

    1. Remove membrane from the back of rib slabs. In a small bowl, combine dry rub ingredients and mix well. Reserve one tablespoon of the rub for the liquid seasoning mixture. Generously apply dry rub onto front and back sides of ribs. Gently pat to ensure that rub will adhere.
    2. Build a charcoal fire for indirect cooking by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. Add a small aluminum pan to the void side of the grill and fill it halfway with water. When the charcoal grill reaches 250°F, place ribs meat-side up on grill grate and cook over indirect heat for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
    3. Remove ribs from grill. Place each slab meat-side down on its own doubled aluminum foil square. The foil should be large enough to completely wrap each slab. Mix liquid seasoning in a small bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of the liquid over each slab. Then, tightly wrap and seal each slab with aluminum foil. Place the wrapped ribs back in cooker for 1 hour at 250°F.
    4. Remove ribs from grill, unwrap, and discard foil. Brush finishing glaze on both sides of ribs. Place ribs back on the grill for 15 minutes, or until sauce caramelizes.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Cook Time
3 hours, 45 minutes

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Beer-Basted Pulled Pork Sliders

Recipe created by Champion Pitmaster Chris Lilly

  • 1 7 to 8-pound pork butt
  • 24 slider buns
  • 1 bottle KC Masterpiece Original Barbecue Sauce
Dry rub
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer
  • 1 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
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    1. Build a charcoal fire for indirect cooking by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. Add a small aluminum pan to the void side of the grill and fill it halfway with water.
    2. In a small bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients. Coat pork evenly with dry rub, patting gently until mixture adheres to the meat.
    3. When the grill reaches 250°F, place pork butt on the void side of the grill over the water pan, close the lid, and cook over indirect heat for 4 hours.
    4. While pork is cooking, combine baste ingredients in a medium saucepan and mix well. Place over medium-low heat and simmer until butter melts. Keep baste on low heat until ready to use.
    5. Cook pork an additional three hours basting pork every hour until internal temperature reaches 190°F. Continually monitor grill temperature and add hot charcoal as needed, to maintain the grill temperature of 250°F.
    6. Remove pork butt from grill and let it rest for 15 minutes. Pull cooked meat from the bone and serve mounded high on slider buns topped with your favorite barbecue sauce and condiments.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Cook Time
7 hours

Makes 12 servings
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SOURCE: Kingsford Charcoal

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