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The latest in the world of grilling

by Jay Kitterman, culinary and special events consultant, Lincoln Land Community College

Welcome to my annual grilling column! Store Manager and Grill Master Alan from Ace on Wabash recently provided me the latest in the world of grilling this year. All of the major manufacturers are adding flat top griddles to their offerings. The grill now becomes the place to cook your eggs, bacon and pancakes in the morning.      



For the die-hard charcoal people, their new, 26-inch Master Touch Charcoal Grill has cooking grates that transform your grill into a griddle, pizza oven and more. Weber also claims this grill is great for smoking ribs, brisket, roasts and more when you adjust the bottom vents to the smoke setting, which controls airflow to the flames for consistent low and slow cooking.

For anyone that has been saving up for a new gas Weber, check out their new Summit. This new, top-of-the-line Weber gas grill produces top-quality steaks with a new, top-down infrared broiler that directs blazing heat onto the top of food. It produces an edge-to-edge caramelized crust that seals in flavor. When I was at the store, Alan was just getting ready to add this new model to their grilling area.

Weber also offers a wood pellet grill — SmokeFire Sear+ ELX6. With a maximum temperature reaching 600°F and an included Weber-crafted dual-sided sear grate, it creates rich, restaurant-worthy sear marks. The Weber Connect technology allows you to adjust your settings and receive step-by-step assistance on your smartphone.

Green Egg

Attention “eggheads” – while at Ace, I met Joe Wall from the Green Egg distributorship. They are celebrating their 50th year by announcing the limited release of the Chiminea. Originally introduced in 1999, this premium cult classic returns with a reimagined design boasting features for improved heat retention. The Chiminea is crafted from the same innovative, NASA-grade ceramics as the Big Green Egg. The Chiminea’s distinctive shape channels smoke upward, allowing guests to experience the warmth without the smoke. Chimineas are outdoor fireplaces that originated in Mexico and the American Southwest in the 16th century. The Green Egg Chiminea comes with lava rocks, which help absorb, retain and disperse heat for prolonged warmth. Only a limited number of Chimineas will be available.

Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill & Smoker

Have you seen their infomercial? This compact unit has seven cooking functions allowing you to smoke, grill, roast, bake, dehydrate and broil. Plus, it even has an air fryer basket. It looks small, but according to them, there is room for a 10-pound brisket. Use their Ninja ProConnect app to pair your grill to your phone so that you can monitor and control cook time and temp, receive real-time notifications and even access cooking charts. The grill is powered by electricity, flavored by real wood burning pellets for all the flavor and none of the flame. 


New for Traeger this year is induction cooking. Now offered on many home stoves, induction cooking heats the cookware directly with a magnetic current. Because the unit uses a magnetic current to heat, the material of the pan must also be compatible. Induction eliminates the need for an open flame or burner, creating a safer cooking experience. The induction technology also provides fast cooking, consistent and precise temperature as well as easy clean-up. Traeger is still the top selling pellet grill, allows you to maintain temperature for hours and is, thus, ideal for smoking. It maintains temperature automatically with smart phone technology.  


There are also grilling accessories to consider.

Smart wireless meat thermometers

Smart wireless meat thermometers allow you to check the temperature remotely. Insert the thin probe into the meat, and wirelessly connect to your smart phone for temperature reading.  

Fish spatula

A fish spatula can be used for more than just flipping fish. It’s a versatile tool that can slide as easily under pancakes as it can hefty burgers. The slats in the blade allow any drippings, liquid or grease to slip through — a must!

Vegetable basket

A grill basket is an easy-to-use and versatile accessory that makes it simple to maneuver and develop charred flavor on small or delicate ingredients that might fall through the grates on a hot grill, like thinly sliced onions or mushrooms. This barbecue tool is also a smart investment if you enjoy foods that tend to stick to grill grates, like a delicate fish fillet.

Grilling tongs

I recommend longer ones to protect your hands from the heat. Other features to consider are non-slip silicone grips, heat-resistant stainless steel and a locking mechanism.       

Grilling seafood

I find that many grillers are hesitant to grill seafood. See Andrea or any of her associates at Robert’s Seafood, and besides their great fresh seafood, they will provide you with helpful tips and recipes. I often use their cedar grilling planks or a vegetable basket. Also check out their extensive selection of oils to give your seafood a wonderful new flavor. She has kindly provided the recipe at the end of this article. My thanks to Andrea, Alan from Ace and Joe Wall from Green Egg. Remember to shop local, and that, “You don’t win friends with salad; you win them with barbecue.”

Grilled balsamic shrimp

Serves 4-5


  • 1 ½ lb. Wild Gulf Raw Shrimp (21/25 ct.), peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tbsp. Robert’s Cilantro & Roasted Onion Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Robert’s Mango White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Marinade the shrimp with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper (to taste) for 45 minutes.
  2. Fire up the grill to medium-high heat.*  
  3. Once the grill gets to 400 degrees, toss the shrimp on the grill. 
  4. Cook the shrimp 2 minutes per side, until cooked through.
  5. Serve with fresh salad, rice or roasted veggies.

*Most chefs tell me that medium-high is 375 to 450 degrees. You should be able to hold your hand 4 to 5 inches above the grates for 4 to 5 seconds. High is above 450 degrees. You should be able to hold your hand 4 to 5 inches above the grates for 2 to 3 seconds.


Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management and Baking/Pastry, and non-credit cooking and food classes through LLCC Community Education.

Cooking or food questions? Email