Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ball Park Flame Grilled Beef Patties Review

I recently got accepted into the BzzAgent Ball Park Flame Grilled Beef Patties bzzcampaign and received a coupon good for a free package, along with $2 off coupons to hand out to my friends. I found them at my local Giant Eagle grocery store, in the frozen food section, near the other frozen beef patties. They are priced at $8.99 for a bag of 6 patties and are available in Onion, Cheese or Original. They sometimes go on sale for $6.99.

I grabbed a package of the Cheese patties and game them a try. I was expecting a burger cooked in the microwave to come out either dry or rubbery, but was pleasantly surprised with the actual results. Cooking the patties are super simple. Grab an individual patty out of the freezer, place it on a plate, cover with a napkin or paper towel, and microwave for 75 seconds. The end result is a juicy, fresh-off-the grill tasting burger - from the microwave! In 75 seconds!

I usually buy ground meat when it goes on sale, and spend an hour making a ton of quarter-pound patties, freezing them individually and storing them in a large ziploc bag. It takes about 20 minutes to cook them in a frying pan on the stove, and they are nothing to write home about. Just plain old burgers. And there are many times I just don't want to wait 20 minutes for a ho-hum burger. But these Ball Park Flame Grilled Patties are perfect when you want a flavorful, quick meal that will actually satisfy your hunger. 

I will be stocking up next time they go on sale. While I normally pay about 50 cents a burger when I make them myself, these are a bit more pricey, and even when on sale for $6.99 they still average a little over a buck a burger. But in my eyes, they are worth that. Much cheaper than a frozen convenience meal, and much better tasting. I like that I am able to customize my burger too with whatever toppings I feel like at the moment. The cheese patties were great with pepperoni, lettuce, onion, ketchup and mayo!

Thank you Ball Park and BzzAgent for giving me the chance to try these new Flame Grilled Patties!

Monday, June 4, 2012

McCormick Grill Mates Party

Thanks to Crowdtap and McCormick Grill Mates, I was lucky enough to be chosen to have a Grill Mates Party this weekend! They provided me with Molasses Bacon seasoning, Montreal Steak seasoning, Memphis Pit BBQ Rub, Spiced Brandy & Herb marinade, and Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ Sauce.

I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to grilling. I mean, I've grilled hot dogs and burgers plenty of times, but never really experimented with seasonings, rubs, or marinades. I have used McCormick Grill Mates before, mostly to just fry up chicken breasts on the stove. But I was excited to put the two together and be a real pit master this weekend!

The preparation was so easy! I took split chicken breasts and burger meat out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. The burgers were extremely easy to make, just mix 1 TBS of seasoning into 1lb of ground meat, and you have perfectly seasoned meat, ready to be made into patties. I made 1/8lb sliders, so everyone could try both kinds of burgers - Molasses Bacon and Montreal Steak.

The Montreal Steak is a peppery seasoning, bursting with flavor. The Molasses Bacon is a sweeter seasoning, with a delicious traditional BBQ flavor, but with an added bacon kick.
Montreal Steak Sliders
Molasses Bacon Sliders

For the chicken, I did 4 breasts with the Spiced Brandy & Herb marinade. Again, preparation was a snap. Mix the packet of seasoning with 2TBS water, and 2TBS vinegar. I placed most of the marinade and the chicken into a large ziploc bag and let it marinade in the fridge for about an hour. And the two remaining breasts I rubbed generously with the Memphis Pit BBQ Rub. The directions on the packet for ribs state to place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but I just let them sit in the fridge for about an hour. After they were grilled, I sliced the breasts into strips, so everyone could try both flavors without filling up. Most people chose to just eat the strips plain, others used the slider buns to make mini chicken sandwiches.

The Spiced Brandy & Herb chicken was the star of the show! It's a sweet and spicy mix, with ginger and cinnamon hints. The flavor was absolutely amazing! I brushed the remaining marinade I had saved onto the chicken several times during grilling.  The Memphis Pit BBQ rub has some heat to it - Chili pepper, onion and garlic combine into a delicious spicy BBQ flavor.

Spiced Brand & Herb chicken, going fast!

Memphis Pit BBQ Dry Rub Chicken

I didn't cook anything with the Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ sauce, but served it as a condiment for the dogs, burgers, and beans. I think it would be fun to try a split chicken on the grill, using the Brown Sugar Bourbon as a baste during the grilling process.

The corn was soaked in water for an hour before being placed on the grill - it steams right in the husks, and the kids get a kick out of holding the corn by the peeled back husks when served. We also had grilled Kielbasa, hot dogs, macaroni salad, baked beans, tons of fresh fruit, snacks, and all the fixings!

It was a gorgeous day, so everyone made their rounds to the food and were off playing, or socializing both inside and outside the house. We also celebrated our daughter's 6th birthday with cake, cupcakes, and ice cream. Now that I've tried my hand at spicing things up on the grill, I think we're going to have more cookouts this summer! And I know my guests were sold on McCormick Grill Mates - everyone raved about the flavors and ease of use. We all agreed that the flavors were perfect, without being overly salty or 'fake' tasting. 

Thanks Crowdtap & McCormick!