Monday, April 23, 2012

Small BBQ-Grilling Tip: Lettuce

Sorry, this post is not about this.

Good but too spicy and too much of an acidic kick on the rice.

This is a recipe I have in development, a beef rib with chimichurri rice.  It's close but not ready yet.  So this post is about lettuce.

What?  Yeah, lettuce.

Grilling "season"* is upon us and soon backyards across the country will be firing up with the smell of charcoal, the sounds of laughter, and bare feet in tall green blades of grass.  Burgers will be sizzling on grills and one of the standard toppings is lettuce.  A sad, plain leaf of lettuce.  

Here are two SMALL tips that I think make a big difference in the end.

Shred it:  A leaf of lettuce usually sticks out on all sides of the burger, daring you to reach in for a bite.  You have to go at it like a spider monkey.  Instead, place half a head of lettuce on the cutting board and then slice into long, thin slivers.  

Season it:  A HUGE difference.  Season your shredded lettuce with salt and pepper (or get crazy with a rub) and toss.  I know, seems like a small deal, you already seasoned the burger right?  But humor me and try two identical burgers except one having plain lettuce and the other with seasoned lettuce.  

These are the little kind of things that make a difference.  People aren't going to take a bite and cry out, "Sweet mother of burgers, is THAT seasoned and shredded lettuce on this burger?!?!?"  They won't be able to pinpoint it, they'll just notice it is a great burger. 

This also works for lettuce for tacos or anything else. 

More food pron from this weekend:
Poor shocked piggy, you should have stayed inside, I warned you.

The beef ribs and pork ribs finished in close to the same time, about 4 1/2 hours.

The seasonings for the beef ribs were things you'd find in a chimichurri sauce, oregano, garlic, parsley, red pepper, and acidic liquids.

The pork ribs were very good but nothing new. 
*Grilling "season", ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha......whew, I tried to say that with a straight face. 


  1. You have given lettuce their day in the sun so to speak Chris. Good point. Everything needs a little seasoning, even the lettuce on your burger.

  2. I always think lettuce on burgers is either hit or miss...but that's probably because I haven't tried this seasoning trick!

  3. Season the lettuce? I would have never thought of that. Thanks for the tip, Chris!

    Kim in MD

  4. There's a season for grilling??? WHAT?? :)
    OMG, Chris.. get on that recipe for the ribs with chimichurri rice.. I LOVE chimichurri!!
    Ooooh.. and I also am really digging the idea of seasoning your rice!!

  5. Seasoned lettuce? I spit on that. I put seasoned cabbage on my's crispier and crunchier - try it, you'll like it! the sunny South, there might not be a grilling season...but I promise you, up here in the rainy, cold Northwest there is! It starts July 5th (which is usually when the sun comes out) and goes through September. Sad but true, which is why I'm going to offer you the option of packing your left-overs on dry-ice and Fed-exing them to me during our off season. No need to answer right away, take a few weeks and mull it over, I'm sure you'll see it's the right thing to do.

  6. I am looking forward to seeing your final recipe for the ribs & chimichurri rice. YUM.

    I'll have to try shredded & seasoned lettuce next time I make a burger. Great idea Chris!

  7. Great tips on the lettuce Chris and the ribs look awesome.

  8. I thought this was going to be about grilling lettuce!

  9. Never thought to season lettuce, that's a great idea. Oh and you're cruel with those rib pics. Now not only do I want ribs, but I can't grill at my apartment. Grumble.

  10. I have completely stopped using lettuce because it added nothing. I'll try seasoning it and will have to manually stop the wife from removing it before she tries it.

  11. Poor pig! Ha ha ha! I love chimichurri and it is a staple in my house... I make a jar once a week.

  12. Thanks for recipe. I will start grilling season with this. Looks yoummy:)

  13. Chris, love your site. Great tip for the lettuce. I guess some people might have a grilling season. Here in Seattle we have a rainy season. The other season is August :)

  14. Okay . . . this might sound strange, but my husband is totally into grilling, smoking and barbecue. He has just started a blog and trying to learn the in's and out's of blogging. So, he asked me the other day, that if I ever come across a great blog that I know he will be interested in, to please invite them to visit his blog. Now, I know he will love your blog. He also has a Green Egg and is getting ready to post the Green Egg table that he is within days of finishing. His blog is on woodworking and outdoor cooking. I know that if you follow him, he will do the same. So, if you have a minute, please drop in:
    Thanks so much, your newest follower, Connie :)

  15. When you were talking about lettuce I thought for sure you were going to fire up the grill and grill lettuce , like romaine. have you done that before?

    You are right most people give no thought to the lettuce on their burger or otherwise-spicing up the lettuce could go a long way. I remember that, its good advice.


  16. That idea totally rocks! And makes perfect sense. I can't wait to try it!

  17. The ribs look GORGEOUS, even if they're still a work in progress. And seasoning the lettuce if brilliant! Never thought of it, though I do always shred the lettuce so an entire leaf doesn't come pulling out of my burger when I bite in, but seasoning the lettuce is genius and makes perfect sense ....

  18. I'm drooling just looking at those delicious ribs, but I will definitely try the lettuce trick too. I usually shred lettuce for topping already but never thought to season it!
    PS - is food pron anything like food porn? ;)


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