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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recipe: Beets from the Ground to the Grill (In Pictures)

Beets are delicious. A sweet earthly flavor that is magnified with nothing more then olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can grill them or bake them. A food pack full of vitamins and nutrients that is guaranteed to make you healthier. And on the flip side... argh beets they taste like dirt.

I find the best way to enjoy beets is to bake or grill them whole.  Here are the pictures of the beet grilling process. But first the basics.
  • Either bake or grill them for about 60 minutes more or less to your preference. 
  • If you bake them, set the stove at 350 or 400 for 45 to 60 minutes. It doesn't need to be exact. 
  • If you grill them, keep them off direct heat for 45 to 90 minutes. 
The difference here between grilling and baking is the level of carmelization on the bottom of the beets. You get more via grilling versus baking.

Pick the Beets for the Grill: Gary Pilarchik

These are beets from my garden. I just planted more beets last week. It is a good idea to put some in your garden now for a fall crop.

I leave the beet skins on and just wash them well when I prepare them this way.  After they are baked or grilled, you can either eat the skin or easily peel it away.

Cut the Beet Tops and Bottoms off and Wash: Gary Pilarchik
Double Layer of Foil for 3-4 Beets: Gary Pilarchik
Based on the size of beets, place 3 or 4 on the foil. You should use two pieces of foil. They key to outstanding baked or grilled beets is NO HOLES in the foil. If you get a hole or tear, all the oil and beet juices drains out and you get cheated.

Salt generously. Oil well. And wrap them tightly. 

Generously Salt, Pepper and Cover in Olive Oil: Gary Pilarchik
Wrap the Beets up Tightly: Gary Pilarchik
Place the beets to the sides of the coals or away from the flame if you are using a gas grill. Make sure you put the right side down on the grill or the oils and juice will leak out. If you want a bit more caramelization, cook them longer. You can also move them to direct heat, when grilling, for the final 10 minutes of cooking if you want to crisp up the bottoms.

Set the Beets to the Sides of the Coals: Gary Pilarchik
Roast the Beets for 45 to 90 Minutes: Gary Pilarchik
The beets are done. Open them up and let them sit for about 10 minutes to cool. And below is my slow cooked smoked chicken legs. They were soaked in a salt brine and dry rub with cocoa, cinnamon, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I smoked them with fig wood from my tree.

The Smoked Chicken: Gary Pilarchik

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