Mediaplanet caught up with grill master Scott Thomas to hear about his cooking plans for the summer.
Tell us a bit about your history with cooking and how you got into grilling.
My dad always grilled every Sunday. He worked six days a week, 12-hour days, and on Sundays we’d have a big breakfast and dad would grill. I was never really allowed to touch the grill. That’s the man’s grill, nobody else touches it. But when I went to college, the running joke in my family is that I was sent to college with a suitcase, a grill, and a case of ramen noodles. I guess I ate the ramen noodles until I figured out how to grill. In college, I lived in an apartment, but it was on-campus housing. I’d fire up the grill and everybody would just come out of the woodwork, like, “What are you guys doing?” It was an immediate social gathering just because I was burning something on the grill, because I really didn’t know what I was doing. So that kind of started it.
What’s something that you think every grill enthusiast should have handy?
That’s an easy one. Some sort of instant-read thermometer.
I use a Thermapen, but anything will do. I’ve overcooked and undercooked everything on the planet multiple times, because for so long I just guessed. I’d watch people who had been cooking for way longer than I had, who could just look at a piece of meat and go, “Yeah, that’s done. That’s ready to go,” and I didn’t even know what they were looking at. So I’d also just go, “Yeah, that looks done,” and a lot of times I was wrong. Once I got the instant-read thermometer, I was able to say, “Okay, this is definitely done.” Now, I can look at a piece of meat and tell if it’s done even without having the thermometer.
What are some of your favourite barbecue dishes or your go-tos that you do for you and your family?
We do a lot of pulled pork, because first of all, it’s very easy. I can set it on the grill and leave it, forget it, and then come back when it’s done. It’s very forgiving, but it’s also a meal that I can cook once and eat two or three times. We can make tacos out of it, we can put it in eggs, we can put it in grilled cheese — we can do all these other dishes from it.