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!

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