What did I get for Valentine’s day? A Weber Elevations tiered skewer set. 1 Most winters I grill straight through – all I need is to shovel a path to the grill. We get our share of snow in Northeastern Ohio, but we also get warm snaps fairly often. (Like the saying goes – if you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes, it will change.)
Not this year. 2 The snow just keeps building. I tried to shovel the deck, but there’s a layer of frozen snow that I can’t break through. I scraped as much as I could off of the top, then grilled while standing on six packed inches of snow and ice. (It threw off my whole perspective; I felt like I was constantly leaning over, reaching down to get things off the grill.)
To counter the cold, I went with warm, tropical grilling – Thai pork skewers, with sweet chili sauce on the side for dipping. Now, I have to confess – I was skeptical of the Elevations set; I didn’t think I’d get much browning without the pork touching the grill grate. Boy, was I wrong about that. I hung the skewers on the bottom layer of the elevations set, and they cooked perfectly; a minute or two slower than usual, but with more even browning. (I even overcooked a couple skewers – I didn’t think that would be possible.) I’m an Elevations convert. I can’t wait until the weather warms up a little more to really put the set through its paces. 3
About the pork: I brinerate. 4
What do I mean? I soak the pork in a salty, soy sauce based liquid; it falls somewhere between a brine and a marinade. It’s also my favorite way to prepare pork for the grill. A quick soak in the brinerade, and the pork is ready for kebabs.
Recipe: Grilled Pork Tenderloin Skewers with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Skewers with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Grill (I love my Weber Summit)
- 10-12 Skewers (Or the Weber Elevations System with a set of extra skewers)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced fine
- Stems from 1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced fine
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 2 pork tenderloins, silver skin removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (for dipping)
1. Brinerate and skewer the pork
Drop the garlic cloves into a running food processor or blender, and wait for them to be completely minced. Do the same with the cilantro stems, and the coriander seeds. Then turn off the motor, add the soy sauce and peanut oil, and process for a minute to completely combine. Put the pork tenderloin cubes in a gallon zip-top bag and pour the brinerade over the cubes. Squeeze out the air, seal the bag, and massage the bag to coat all the pork with the brinerade. Refrigerate in a baking dish for one to four hours, turning the bag occasionally to redistribute the brinerade. Skewer the pork, letting the excess brinerade drip off. (Leave about an inch free at the end of the skewers if you are using the elevations system.)
2. Set the grill up for direct high heat cooking
Set the grill up for cooking with direct high heat. I preheat my Weber Summit on high heat for fifteen minutes, then brush the grill grate clean.
3. Cook the Skewers
On the Elevations system:
Set the elevations system in the middle of the grill grate, and hang the skewers on the bottom layer, closest to the grill. Close the lid and grill until well browned on the bottom, about five minutes. Open the grill and flip the skewers, still on the bottom layer. Close the lid and cook until well browned on the other side, about five more minutes.
Directly on the grates:
Put the skewers on the grill over direct high heat. If cooking on a gas grill, cook with the lid closed as much as possible. I treat each kebab like it has 4 sides, and grill each of those sides. Grill until the pork is browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes, then give the skewers a quarter turn. Grill on the second side until browned, 2 more minutes, then another quarter turn. Grill on the third side until browned, 2 more minutes, then flip to the last side, and grill until browned and the pork is tender, about 2 more minutes.
Serve the skewers, giving everyone at the table their own small dish of Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping.
- Why brinerate in a zip top bag? It lets me use less brinerade, keeping the pork and brinerade in tight contact. (It’s also easier to flip and redistribute the brinerade). If you don’t want to brinerate in a zip top bag, double the brinerade recipe and use the smallest bowl you have that will hold all the pork.
- One note about the Elevations skewers – the eight skewers that come in the set are just a start, from my perspective – I’m usually cooking one to two dozen skewers at once. The Elevations skewers have a nice, big handle on the end to grab, making them easier to turn. Luckily, though, I don’t have to get rid of my old skewers – the way the Tiered rack is set up, it will work with most flat skewers, including the Weber Essentials and extra-wide Steven Raichlen skewers I already own.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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