Grill Mastering with Barbecue Pioneer Jim Budros
Spice up your summer cookout with tips from local barbecue pioneer Jim Budros
City Barbeque co-founder Jim Budros uses a campfire and cast-iron pot to prepare Brazilian beef-and-bean stew known as feijoada during a cooking demo at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
Nobody in Columbus knows more about manning the flames than Jim Budros, co-founder of City Barbeque and a chef at the outdoor cooking theater at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. During demos on the first Sunday of the month through October, his tools include a wood-fueled oven and cast-iron pots to prepare dishes such as Brazilian beef and Oaxacan-style corn. But he has plenty of advice for spicing up a backyard cookout with nothing but your trusty Weber. fpconservatory.org
Grab: Budros adores hanger steak, a flavorful 16-ounce cut available at Bluescreek Farm Meats at North Market or Weiland’s Gourmet Market in Clintonville.
Grill: About an hour before grilling, let steak come to room temperature on a metal rack over a plate. Pat with a paper towel, brush lightly with olive oil (drips cause flare-ups) and sprinkle with salt.
Dish: Accentuate the charred flavor of the meat with chimichurri (chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, olive oil, vinegar) or gremolata (parsley, garlic, lemon zest).
Grab: Budros buys from The Fish Guys at North Market or Whole Foods Market. Thick steaks of salmon, tuna or swordfish grill nicely.
Grill: Oil clean, hot grates using a canola-soaked towel over tongs. To avoid sticking, the key is not moving fish once it hits the grill. Heat creates a crust that eventually releases the fish. “You have to be patient,” he says.
Dish: Paint a brown sugar-lemon glaze on salmon, then grill on cedar planks, which can be used for serving.
Grab: Use hardy veggies like asparagus and corn on the cob from neighborhood farmers markets. Budros always checks offerings from Wayward Seed Farm, which sets up on Saturdays in Worthington and at North Market.
Grill: Place raw, un-oiled vegetables directly on a lightly oiled grate.
Dish: A Budros standby are grilled potato fingers—cut Russet potatoes into wedges, bake 20 minutes, then slather in olive oil and finish on the grill. “They souffle, almost like twice-baked potatoes,” he says.