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Grilling Good Eats Tip #14: How much charcoal should I use?

A good quality charcoal chimney, like those made by Weber, holds close to 100 briquettes, or about six pounds.  But you don't need to fill that chimney to the top if you're not doing high volume, or long-time low and slow grilling.

Most people use way more charcoal than they really need to.  If you’re grilling for one or two people and using a smaller, portable type grill, try a quarter chimney of charcoal.  This will provide more than enough fire for grilling four cheeseburgers, a dozen hot dogs and then smores if you want for dessert!  I use a half-chimney amount quite a bit, satisfying the hunger needs of my three boys and I usually have enough heat leftover after doing steaks or chicken to do some lower and slower cooking like a dessert pizza.  The times you need a full chimney of charcoal are when you're feeding A LOT of people, such as for a big family get-together or a party. 

Grilling Good Eats Tip #15:  On windy days, lightly coat the newspaper with some cooking spray before stuffing it in the charcoal chimney.  This will extend the burn time of the paper and prevent those little ashes from blowing around.


Summer Cookout

Antipasto Supreme Pasta Salad: Liven up your cookout this summer with this pasta salad -- it's colorful and chock full of flavorful ingredients.


  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup cherry tomato halves
  • 1 cup bite-size mozzarella cheese balls
  • 1 cup sliced salami pieces
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme Seasoning 


KFC Swaps Colonel Again: Comedian Norm Macdonald Takes Darrell Hammond's Spot - Eater

KFC has a new Colonel Sanders: Just a few months after the chain announced Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond would revive the chain's iconic character, KFC has hired another Saturday Night Live veteran to play the Colonel. According to a press release, Norm Macdonald will now be the one to don the famed white suit and black bowtie.

KFC's chief marketing officer Kevin Hochman notes in a press release: "Other than not quite looking like him, his voice being different, and his inability to cook the world's best chicken, we thought Norm was the perfect choice to play the Real Colonel." As part of the deal, Macdonald stars in new commercials which show him hanging out in a stretch while limo, in his office, and with "children's mandolin band."


Customers Flock To See ‘McDonald’s Goddess’ Working at Taiwan Restaurant - Yahoo News

A woman dubbed the ‘McDonald’s Goddess’ for her striking looks has been the cause of a surge of sales at a Taiwan branch of the fast food restaurant.

Wei Han Xu has become an Internet icon after pictures of her, including the one above, were shared online by blogger RainDog.



Best foods at this year’s Iowa State Fair | Fox News

Classic fried food gets a twist at the Iowa State Fair, but the best finds are on a stick. 

There are 16 new foods this year at the fair that run the gauntlet from the half-pound Ultimate Bacon Brisket Bomb (smoked brisket infused with jalapeño, cheese, onion, and seasonings wrapped with bacon), to apple pie on a stick served with a side of caramel and apple wedges, to ultra-cold canned beer served at a temperature of least 27 degrees Fahrenheit.

Six of the new items, including the Brisket Bomb, come on a stick – pushing the fair’s “Food on a Stick” count to over 70 different items, ensuring you’ll always have something easy to snack on.

The unusual items helping lure in over a million visitors last year and generating revenues of more than $14 million on food and beverage sales alone. There are nearly 200 food vendors at the fair, peddling classics like strawberry lemonade, deep fried butter, corn dogs and ethnic cuisine like Mexican and Chinese.


26 favorite foods from Iowa State Fair junkies

Food is a big part of the Iowa State Fair, which kicks off Thursday. And with more than 250 foods to choose from at 195 food booths, making a decision can be tough.

Why not ask the people who spend all 11 days (or almost all of them) at the fairgrounds what they eat? When you spend each day at the fairgrounds, you get the opportunity to try more foods than the average fairgoer. Find out three top foods from a variety of people who live, breathe and eat the Iowa State Fair, including myself.


Enjoy the corridor's growing wine scene

Who needs Napa Valley when you've got so many great places to sip, swirl and savor some great wines right here in the corridor!

Ackerman WineryAckerman Winery, Inc. - 4406 220th Trail, Amana.   Open daily - we invite you in for a complimentary tasting.  We are pleased to offer some of the most exotic varieties around such as Dandelion, Mango, Pomegranate or Red Raspberry.  If more traditional wines are your preference, we also produce traditional wines such as Riesling, Merlot and Pinot Grigio.

MendozaMendoza Wine Bar - 1301 5th Street #105, Coralville.  At Mendoza Wine Bar & Music we’re passionate about making an environment that allows you to have great moments, and it is all thanks to support and feedback from people like you! We are making the best possible effort keeping up to date with new wines and new food items; we want you to have something new every time that you visit us.


Grilling Good Eats

By Mike Thayer

Some people call it grilling, others call it BBQ (we’ll talk about the difference later),  but to borrow a snippet from the United States Postal Service creed, rain or shine, snow or sleet… you can deliver great grilled eats on any given day!  It’s true, sunny days are optional.  Anytime is grilling season, even if there’s a foot of snow on the ground where you live!   Any day is a great day to light the charcoal, fire up the gas grill, load up the smoker, take the lid off the portable Weber, heck, rub two sticks together - it doesn’t matter how - put some meat on the fire!

Don’t forget the tongs…..


Get the Purest Pairing Wednesday Evenings at Sushi Popo



725 Mormon Trek Blvd
Iowa City,  IA   52246



Business Hours

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