CHEF TEC 101 - Grillin’ on the WyldSide

CHEF TEC 101 - Grillin’ on the WyldSide

Posted by Chef Greg Mueller on 14th Feb 2019

This grill is wild!

I mean... It’s completely different, requires finesse, and at the end of the day creates incredible food that really brings grilling back to the stone age. Fire + Meat = Survival!

Limitless Options

Whether you are seeking maximum temperatures to sear a steak, or slow roast a suckling pig over lump hickory wood, this grill rocks.

You can even char peppers and make the perfect prime rib of beef! The WyldSide is truly a versatile grill that can do it all. I’m most excited about cooking multiple rotisserie meats with a variety of woods that really bring a unique flavor profile to the dinner table. But, it's more than just a rotisserie. By using grill grates, you can sear, grill, and roast all the familiar steaks, chops, and filets over an open flame. Using cast iron cookware even allows you to sear, simmer, and sauté! If you can’t tell, I am the most excited about adding the WyldSide to our lineup.

No PID, No Problem

Our grills are known for precise temperature control, but the WyldSide was developed to really embrace open pit cooking.

Here are a few tips on how best to utilize the WyldSide. 

1. Start small. Small fires with small chunks of wood or small amounts of lump charcoal are easier to maintain. They will also quickly develop the red-hot coals that are needed to do the majority of your cooks. Smaller fires are less likely to get out of hand and potentially burn your foods. Yes, you will have to add wood more frequently, but in the end, you will have greater control as you learn how fun open pit cooking can be.

2. You’ll need patience… There is no magic number for how long it takes to cook a piece of meat. In an open pit, you must truly consider all variables: Ambient air temperature, wind, size of meat, temperature of meat, flare-ups, etc. Your best friends are going to be patience and an instant-read thermometer. Open pit cooking is a slow and enjoyable way to cook because, as the pitmaster, you are taming the wild.

3. Your WyldSide has a variable speed fan that will circulate fresh air into your pit in order to create a very clean and efficient cooking chamber. When starting your fire or adding more wood, I recommend turning the fan up to high to stoke the coals and ignite the new fuel. To create a slower, lazier burn, turn the fan down or off completely. This will slow the fire down and preserve the coal to ensure wonderfully roasted rotisserie meats.

For a tutorial on how to build a small fire, check out this YouTube video:

Rotisseries and Spits

Open pit cooking and rotisseries bring back the rustic, old school cooking methods that were first used by neanderthals.

There are numerous accessories to expand your rotisserie, including nut and coffee roasting baskets, racks for ribs and meats, as well as racks for fish and veggies. As you start to ponder your first cook, I would start with whole chickens. They’re cheap, readily available, and cook quickly. This way you can perfect your fire control and get ready for that 20lb. prime rib of beef! One of the most important aspects of setting your rotisserie up for success is making sure your spit is balanced and inserted in the middle of the roast to ensure that it spins evenly. The WyldSide has three counterweights to aid in balancing your spit. If you find your rotisserie “flopping,” make sure the counterweight is mounted opposite the heavier side of your spit. If your fire gets too hot, simply raise the spit up an inch or so until the flames subside. Also, if mounting multiple items on the spit, be sure to give some space between each item to ensure adequate heat and smoke circulation around the meat. There is something comforting about watching a fire, so sit back and tame your wild side.

Thinking Ahead

You will notice that the WyldSide rotisserie brackets have multiple mounting widths to give you the flexibility to move the spit, depending how big your roasts are.

Also, the majority of the Argentina-style grills out there do not utilize the area below the pit for much use. You will notice that the WyldSide has a warmer box. Yeah, that’s right, you can now keep your food warm underneath the pit in a warming area that can hold 2 pans of food! The temperature is dependent on the size of the fire above, but you can expect a temperature range of approximately 180ºF-250ºF. Located on the rear of the fan control, you will find two additional electrical plugs. These can be used to power two rotisserie motors, a Looftlighter to get your fire started, or even an additional REC TEC grill! One of the coolest features, in my opinion, is the lid. The WyldSide comes standard with a stylish stainless steel lid that keeps your pit covered when not in use.

Is This the Grill for You?

There is something truly special about food cooked on the WyldSide. The flavors have a personality that can only be described in taste. There are rustic flavors developed by this primitive style of cooking over an open fire; the rubs taste different, the crusts taste different, and most importantly, the food truly has character of its own. The versatility of the Wyldside, as well as how I plan to incorporate it into my kitchen, really gets me excited for the future of REC TEC Grills.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Mueller is a WORLDCHEFS-certified master chef, and the Director of Culinary Innovation at REC TEC Grills. He has over 18 years of experience and is knowledgeable in all things food and cooking.

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