5 Insights for Healthier Grilling with Chef Mick Brown
DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE
5 Insights for Healthier Grilling with Chef Mick Brown
-Chef Mick Brown, BBQ Rescues
A Chicago-native, chef Mick Brown may be most famously known for walking away with the title of Grill Master Champion on season eight’s ‘Grill or be ‘Grilled episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. However, with over 30 years of barbeque experience, including a flourishing catering business based out of Los Angeles, Mick’s Name is becoming synonymous with his new passion and undertaking. His organization, the non-profit BARBECUE RESCUES! Foundation produces podcasts and Youtube programming dedicated to providing healthy, innovative and delicious recipes that are guaranteed o satisfy even the most traditional BBQ lovers. Recently, Mich was great enough to sit down with NBBQA reporters and discuss his new media endeavor, as well as some of his favorite healthy barbecue dishes.
1.ADAPT THE FLAVORS TO HEALTHIER FOODS AND PROTEIN
- My Grandfather was the best grill-master I’ve ever known. Every holiday, he’d wake me up and we’d head down to the butcher. A case of ribs and chicken later, and he’d be grilling on his little Weber grill by mid-morning. Family and neighbors would start filing in, and this would continue throughout the day. I never got his recipes before he passed away, sadly. So, I started traveling all over the world-trying every barbecue style, every variation, chasing after those flavors I remember from my grandfather’s cooking and discovering new ones. That process is essentially how I learned to love barbecue. As a chef, I’m considered ‘self-taught’, although I hate that term. I’ve learned from everywhere, chefs, friends, family, cookbooks, television, internet, and NBBQA.
2. ADOPT HEALTHIER HABITS BEFORE HEALTH PROBLEMS ADOPT YOU
- I’ve always tried to eat healthy. It’s tough when my foods are fried chicken, pizza, and barbecue. Even today, as a Diabetic, I don’t deny myself these foods, but I use portion control. No one knew my family had a propensity for Diabetes until a few Christmas’ back when my sister crashed and was hospitalized. She landed in a diabetic coma. Soon after, I was tested and ended up being very close-like one AIC percentage point away from needing Diabetic medication. It was a real wake-up call.
- Eating better and exercise has helped me a ton, and I want to pass that healthy mindset on to others. in my first rub, I included the following superfoods: ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa. In my next rub, I got rid of all the salt and sugar completely, substituting things like sweet onion, and ground red pepper, and leaving only a delicious mix of herbs and spices. Free rub recipes are available on the Foundation’s Website.
3. GIVE VEGGIES THE MEAT TREATMENT
- My catering company in Los Angeles, so it was the right place to start grilling healthy. A lot of my upscale clients wanted vegetarian option-something more than coleslaw and potato salad. it really forced me to elevate my barbecue to provide them with something they would enjoy. Want a great tip for making healthy barbecue? Treat your veggies like you do your meat! We Grill-master spend so much time and effort trimming meat, adding the dry rub, marinating for days, slow smoking for endless hours. Then we simply serve these delicious meats with corn or coleslaw, side dishes which either take no time at all or need up being paired with butter, sour cream or bacon. Try taking some barbecue rub-the same rub used on your meat-and putting it on your veggies. Take the time to grill up or smoke some peppers and onions. Vegetables are fantastic because they don’t need to marinate long and absorb smoke flavor much faster than meats. Just spend the time seasoning them correctly and let them smoke on your grill, right next to your meat. It’s so simple and people will be amazed.
4. JUST GIVE IT A TRY
- The great thing I’ve found is that barbecue is always a judgment-free zone. There’s been such support for BBQ RESCUES! As America gets smarter with their food options, they’ll be looking for their favorite barbecue joints to give them healthier, vegetarian and gluten-free options. People are willing to try new things. Grilling Jackfruit is a great example, especially, since soy-based vegan products have been declining a bit in popularity. I did a Youtube video for vegan mac-n-cheese that really took off. At first, it was daunting for a lot of people. I mean, how can mac-n-cheese be vegan? Instead of using wheat or gluten-free pasta, I used white asparagus and chopped it into macaroni-sized pieces. It can be cooked by the stove, microwave, oven or on the grill. I used some great vegan cheese, a sharp cheddar, and added fresh rosemary and pepper. No butter, no dairy, and guess what? It was delicious, and the feedback we got was simply incredible.
5. USE YOUTUBE AS A HEALTHY EATING “TOOL”
- It’s easy to say “Just have fun and be Creative”. But it’s true! Too many Youtube videos are linear and boringly informative but show little more than a step-by-step recipe process. I’ve embraced Youtube as a learning tool, and with each video, I try to portray aspects of healthy barbecuing in a fun and engaging way. We turned a DIY flowerpot smoker into a solar-powered grill using a Tesla. We innovate with unique foods, like barbecuing with pineapples and watermelon. We aim to be creative. Barbecue is traditionally a big ol’ slab of ribs and some fries and maybe a tiny, little cup of coleslaw – and I love it, I admit I love that food so much. But it’s great to incorporate something new into old traditions and on today’s BBQ Menus. On our site, we put up information and recipes for free. So, I hope everyone makes an effort to take better care of themselves. That’s what it’s all about. If your going to overeat at a Cookout, be sure to add some Veggies on your plate!