Barbecuing with Natural Gas

It’s easy to see why so many top chefs prefer to cook with natural gas. Natural gas barbecues allow you to cook with more even, direct and precise heat. Plus, it’s energy efficient and readily available – so say goodbye to those frantic moments when you run out of propane and have to run to the store for a tank refill.   

Here are some delicious recipes – which can all be prepared using a natural gas barbecue --- compliments of the renowned Chef Rob Rainford:

New York Strip Steak 

New York Strip Steak 2 


Ingredients for Steak Rub  

2 New York Strip Steaks 
• 4 tbsp. (60 mL) finely ground Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
• 4 tbsp. (60 mL) packed brown sugar 
• ½ tsp. (2 mL) ground allspice 
• Kosher salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 

Method: 

1. Combine the coffee, brown sugar, allspice, salt and pepper to taste. Pat the rub on both sides of each steak. 
2. Prep the grill for cooking over indirect heat. You’ll need a medium-high temperature of around 350°F (180°C) to grill the steaks. For natural gas grills, preheat the grill to medium-high and turn off one burner to achieve indirect heat. 
3. Grease the grate with canola oil. Place the steaks on the grill over direct heat. Cook for four to five minutes per side, or until well-marked. Move the steaks to the cooler part of the grill and close the lid. Cook for two to three minutes for medium-rare, or to the desired tenderness. 
4. Remove the steaks from the grill and let rest for five minutes before serving.  


Grilled Lemon and Orange Zest Chicken 

Lemon-Chicken
Ingredients: 

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil
• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) finely grated lemon zest
• 4 tbsp. (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) finely grated orange zest
• 4 tbsp. (60 mL) fresh orange juice
• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary
• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme
• 4 cloves garlic, finely grated
• 2 chickens, each about 4lbs (1.8kg), cut in half through the breast and backbone
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 2 tbsp. (30mL) finely chopped parsley
• ½ tsp (2mL) dried red chili flakes

Method: 

1. Whisk together the oil, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, rosemary and thyme until well combined. Reserve half of the mixture for the following day.
2. Place remaining citrus mixture, chicken and garlic in a very large re-sealable plastic bag. Give it a good massage through the bag and marinate in the fridge overnight.
3. Preheat your natural gas grill for cooking over indirect heat. You need a medium-high temperature of around 350°F (180°C) to grill the chicken.
4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the used marinade. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Sear the chicken halves by placing them skin-side down on the hot side of the grill. Cook for five to six minutes. Turn each half through a quarter turn (from the 12 o’clock position to 3 o’clock). Cook for five to six minutes or until the skin is golden brown.
6. Flip each half over and move to the cooler side of the grill. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170°F (76°C) and the juices run clear. Baste the chicken during the last five minutes of cooking with the reserved citrus mixture.

Remove the chicken halves from the grill and let rest for five to 10 minutes before carving.

What to look for

Look for a natural gas barbecue that has some of the following features:     

At least 400 square inches of grilling space, especially if you like to cook different foods at the same time, and for a group of people.

An electronic ignition system for easy lighting;  

A fat drainage system to help prevent flare-ups;  

A two-burner system which has better heat control;  

Other added features that can give your food that extra flare, like warming racks, a food prep area, ceramic rear burners, kabob cookers, or rotisseries.