Take Grilling Wild Game to the Next Level
It’s hard to beat the smells, sounds, and camaraderie found while grilling outdoors – the smell of wood smoke, the sizzling of delicious meats, and the inevitable banter and hunting stories that always seem to come out. If you love grilling wild game, more typical barbeque meats, and all the sides you can think of, you know how important your grill is. When you invest in a quality product and maintain it well, you will have a much more enjoyable time using it. So if you define time well spent by looking at a meat thermometer, here’s an introduction to the Hooray Open Fire Grill, some tips on grill maintenance, and some ideas for grilling wild game.
Hooray Open Fire Grill
The Hooray Open Fire Bone Collector Grill is exactly what you need to elevate your backyard barbeque game to the next level and start grilling wild game more often. The Hooray Grill Company makes high-quality products you can depend on, and this specific grill is branded with the Bone Collector logo. The open fire grill offers a grilling area of 17.5”x30” or 19.5”x40” so you can cook for several family members, close friends, and hunting buddies. Despite that huge cooking surface, the overall grill is portable and mobile enough to transport if needed. Maybe you want to bring it with you to your hunting camp or to the ranch. The grate height can be adjusted easily with one hand so you can adjust the heat for the wild game you’re grilling. The Hooray grill is designed with a bolt-on rotisserie kit, so you can load up to 80 pounds of meat onto the forks and use the electric unit to turn the meat as it cooks. There’s plenty of foldable table space on each side to hold your mitts, tongs, seasonings, or cold beverages. It is built with heavy gauge steel and aluminum non-rusting caster wheels, right here in the U.S.A. Overall, if grilling is your game, you owe it to yourself to check out the Hooray Open Fire Grill.
Basic Grill Maintenance
As with any tool, the better you maintain it, the longer it will last and the better it will function. Quality grills (which are definitely an investment) are no exception. And while this grill is durable and made to withstand some tough outdoor conditions, it won’t hurt anything to show it a little love.
- Before using the grill, make sure you empty the ashes from the previous grilling session. Too much ash just chokes off the airflow and takes up too much room.
- After using the grill for a big meal, it will likely be covered in grease and residue. If you continue to let this build up over time, it doesn’t make for a very clean cooking surface and it can even go rancid. After grilling wild game or other foods, scrub the grate with a good grill brush to remove any stuck-on food particles. Periodically wash the table surfaces with a mild soapy water. You can also use half a raw onion and scrub it across the hot grates, which does a very good job at cleaning it.
- Since it’s an outdoor grill, you will need to protect the grate surfaces and prevent rust from getting a foothold. To accomplish this, you will need to oil (i.e., “season”) the metal occasionally. Ideally, you would season grill grates after each use. Oil repels water, so it makes a great protecting finish. Using a rag, wipe a light layer of cooking oil all over the grates and metal surfaces. Don’t use too much, or you will end up with a sticky residue all over everything. With the light layer of cooking oil on the grates, the heat from the fire will form a hardened non-stick surface to protect the metal, much like seasoning a cast iron pan.
- Obviously, it helps to periodically wash any debris or dust from the outside of the grill and the casters, as needed. You can use a hose to rinse everything off, and then just give it a quick towel dry if it’s not sunny or hot out.
- Keeping your grill covered will also protect it from the elements and other debris. For example, it’s a bummer to start up the grill and see that a bird left some presents on the grates or it’s covered with dust and pollen. A quality grill cover will eliminate those issues. On the flip side, if it’s very humid where you live, a cover that’s lacking adequate ventilation may trap moisture and cause corrosion. Weigh the pros and cons of your situation.
Ideas for Grilling Wild Game
When it comes to grilling wild game, this is why most of us are hunters in the first place. While we all love a good ribeye or rotisserie chicken, there’s something special about what the open fire does to a whole venison backstrap. With some salt, pepper, and garlic (SPG), a good crust on the outside, and rare inside, it’s just tough to beat. But in case you’re looking for some ideas, here are some tips on grilling wild game.
- Venison – people have different interpretations of what animals include “venison”, but for these purposes, we’re talking about anything in the deer family (e.g., whitetails, mule deer, elk, caribou, or moose). Venison tends to be very lean, especially compared to pork or beef cuts, so you need to be careful with grilling venison. If you cook venison too long, it will get tough and gamey. But when served on the rare side, it’s almost fork tender. Steaks, loins (backstraps), and tenderloins all work great on an open fire grill by being cooked hot and fast, leaving it very pink in the middle. If you want to cook a venison roast on your grill, you can use a Dutch oven and slowly braise it in liquid over several hours.
- Wild Hogs – feral pigs are plentiful in many parts of the country today. And while they’re not as tasty as a domestic pig, they offer a unique blend between wild game and domestic animals. You can grill pork loins and chops much the same as you would venison, but with a slight caveat. Build a larger fire at one end of the grill and scrape some coals to the other side. Try to sear the meat over the high heat/direct flame for a couple of minutes, and then move it to the cooler/indirect heat part of the grill to finish cooking.
- Upland Birds – whether you hunt quail, pheasant, grouse, or doves, you can use your outdoor grill to cook it. For larger birds (e.g., pheasant) that are plucked, you could use the rotisserie forks to slow roast them. For the smaller birds, it’s usually easier to make kabobs with the breast meat or make bacon-wrapped poppers. These are great as an appetizer before the main course.
- Turkey and Waterfowl – for these much larger birds, it’s going to take longer to cook them over an open fire grill. So before you get to grilling turkey or ducks, consider brining them in a salt and sugar water solution, which will help them retain more moisture. Rotisserie is the way to go for these large, whole birds.
If you choose to invest in a good open fire grill, like the Hooray Bone Collector grill, you’re going to be pleased. Using these tips to maintain your grill and protect your investment, you’ll be grilling wild game and sharing stories with friends for years to come.