Weber Grill Academy inside the Weber Grill Restaurant at the Galleria in St. Louis, Missouri

Last week Hubby and I were invited to attend a class at the new Weber Grill Restaurant and Academy that just opened here in St. Louis. The class we attending was Charcoal and Gas Grilling 101 and it rocked! If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that we grill quite often in the Wright household, but even so Hubby and I both learned quite a bit during the hands on class at the Weber Grill Restaurant class. Plus it is a total hands on type of class and we cooked our dinner that night and everything was delicious!

Weber Grill Restaurant at the Galleria in St. Louis, Missouri

When we pulled up Hubby and I both loved the look of the restaurant with the giant grill on the roof. It is both a regular restaurant and a classroom all inside the large space. You can opt to just sit down and eat a meal they prepare for you or do like we did and take a class where you cook your own food! I took a quick peek at the actual restaurant part but then we headed into the indoor classroom. It was amazing that they had all these different charcoal and gas grills inside and that is where we cooked. While outdoor grilling is awesome, it would be very cool to use one inside all the time!weber grill restaurant dining area

FYI, this is a perfect date night event I think! Oh and everyone who attends the class gets to keep those nice bright red Weber aprons!

date night at weber grill restaurant
There were eight grills inside the Weber Grill Academy, a mixture of gas and charcoal and different sizes and styles. We were able to pick which ones we wanted to cook on even throughout the evening. I did some things on the charcoal grill, some on the gas grills.

grills inside weber grill restaurant and academy

Inside the academy they have a dining area set up for students, a prep area for students, prep station for the chef, all the grills, and of course, lots of product displays of Weber products.

Weber Grill Academy inside the Weber Grill Restaurant at the Galleria in St. Louis, Missouri

Hubby drooled all over this new Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center grill. I’m sure he would love to have one like this, but I think it might be a little pricey, but maybe for Father’s Day I can get him a new less expensive Weber Charcoal Grill.

Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center

While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, Chef Matt prepared us a little appetizer. These are little baby potatoes that he smoked on the grill and then stuffed with sour cream and topped with caviar. Delicious!

smoked potatoes with caviar

The classes are not just handing you a recipe and saying make it, you actually do learn things here. Including, how to properly light a charcoal grill. By the way, no lighter fluid please! It just stinks and people use too much. Instead get one of these charcoal chimneys to get the coals going and then dump into the grill.

lighting a charcoal grill

One of the first dishes we prepared was salmon. Now normally I do not like salmon, but this was actually so moist and flavorful. I have the recipe at the end of the post for you if you would like to try it yourself. I know that cedar planks you cook on had to be soaked first, but I didn’t know you were supposed to char the side you want to cook on directly on the grill first before applying the food to it. It really adds so much more depth of flavor to the food and just the scent of it while your eating adds to the appeal. We also cut lemons and have and put them on the grill while the salmon was cooking. I always put lemon on fish, but this grilled lemon was ten times better than a regular cold lemon!

cedar planked grilled salmon

Another dish we all prepared was a roast chicken and potatoes – recipe is below – that we cooked on the gas grills. Weber has this really cool pan just for this purpose which works far better than traditional standing chicken cookers. The potatoes went in the pan at bottom and the whole chicken sits upright in the center. Very clever design. You can see Hubby (picture below) working on prepping our chicken. *Side note, I think this photo is funny because on the wall behind Hubby it says “gas valve” – insert your own joke here. LOL.

hubby prepping chicken for grill

We also learned that taking the temperature of the chicken at this thick part at the top is more accurate than in other places. Who knew? Like I said, we learned so much while we were having fun at the Weber Grill Academy.

grill roasted chicken and potatoes

Chef Matt also showed us all how to properly cut up the whole chicken when it was done cooking. I struggle with things like this all the time so I was happy for the in person demonstration.

chef matt teaching at weber grill academy

I have shared several recipes for grilling vegetables here on my blog over the years so I was thrilled to see this on the class list too. We did broccolini which I had never tried grilling before. You can see in the insert of the photo that they had part of the prep work done for us, like blanching the broccolini, chopping the garlic, etc. But then they provide it to us and teach us what else we need to do. Another great tip I learned was to preheat the grilling basket when doing vegetables on the grill. This lets them get that nice charred appearance but you don’t have to cook them so long that they are mushy either.

grilled broccolini

The next item was supposed to be a London Broil, but when the chef shopped for our products he could not find that cut that day so we used pieces of tri-tip roast instead. The recipe is below as written for London Broil, but use it for this cut as well.

herb london broil ingredients

For this cut we did not flip it over during grilling at all either. I was really surprised by this and thought it would be odd, but by the time it was done cooking it was perfect, top and bottom. This was also my favorite meat that we had during class.

grilled tri tip
Chef Matt even took the time to show everyone about cutting across the grain on the steak instead of with it. I took a photo because I know there are a lot of folks who aren’t aware of this and wonder why things are so tough and chewy – how you slice it makes a huge difference when you eat it!

how to slice beef
We ate the different items we cooked throughout the class. You listen a little, prep a little, cook a little, eat a little and then start again. It kept the class fun and interesting at all times. They also gave us all a small recipe booklet that had the recipes from class and lots of extra grilling tips in it as well. I asked permission and was told it was okay for me to share the recipes that were in the booklet with you all here on my blog. Give them a try! Oh, and at the end of class if there are leftovers they package them up for you to take home! This made my son, T, and DIL, Caitlan, very happy that evening!

On the way out I had to have Hubby pose with the statue of Mr. Weber. It was just cool that they had this. Notice Hubby wore one of his grilling t-shirts to class even.

hubby and mr weber

A huge thank you again to the folks at Weber Grill Restaurant and Academy for inviting Hubby and I to try out one of their classes. We definitely will be going back on our own dime even. Right now the only academy is the one here in St. Louis, but there are a few other locations of the Weber Grill Restaurant around and I’m sure more to come.

Again, this was a fabulous evening and if you have the chance make sure you check out the Weber Grill Restaurant and Academy!

Robyn

 

Cedar Planked Salmon Filet

Serves 4
Prep time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 25 minutes
Website Weber Grill Restaurant

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets, 8oz each. 1.5" thick, skin and bones removed
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Medium lemon, cut in half thru middle

Directions

Soak the food safe cedar planks for 1 hour in water.

Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper on all sides. Set the grill for direct cooking, medium heat (350°-450°F).

Combine remaining salt, olive oil, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl for glaze. Brush top of salmon with glaze, keep remaining glaze.

Once the grill is ready, toast the cedar plank on one side for about 30 seconds, just to lightly char it. Flip it over and arrange the salmon on the charred side making sure there is 1" of space between each fillet.

Place the plank on the grill and cook, direct medium heat with the lid closed, for about 6 minutes. After 6 minutes has passed, place the cut side of the lemons directly onto the cooking grate. Brush the salmon with any of the remaining glaze. Close the lid again and cook for another 6 minutes.

Check the salmon for doneness with a thermometer, you are looking for 135° F in the thickest part. If salmon is not ready, close the lid and cook another 2 minutes and check again. Once the salmon is cooked through, remove it and the lemon halves from the grill. Serve hot with the grilled lemons on the side.

Herb Roasted Chicken with Yukon Potatoes

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 35 minutes
Website Weber Grill Restaurant

Ingredients

  • 4.5lb whole chicken
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, light
  • 1/2 Medium lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, stemmed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, stemmed and minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1.5lb Yukon potatoes, washed and drained well
  • 4oz dark beer

Directions

Set the grill for indirect cooking over medium high heat, about 400°F. While the grill preheats, mix together the oil, garlic, lemon juice and zest, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Divide in half.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels then rub the chicken all over with half of the herb marinade. Set this aside on a large plate.

Cut the Yukon potatoes in quarters (or halves if smaller) and toss together in mixing bowl with the other half of the herb marinade.

Set the potatoes in the bottom of the upright poultry roaster, leaving space in the center for the chicken. *NOTE this is a piece of equipment Weber sells and it really is very handy and worth buying it. If you don't have one you can use a grill basket for the potatoes and a chicken holder to grill the chicken.

Fill the center of the roaster with the dark beer (optional).

Place the chicken on top of the roaster over the center spike. Tuck the wings behind the back to prevent from burning. Set the entire roaster on the grill with indirect heat, about 400°F. Close the lid and cook for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, check the chicken for color and take the temperature in the thickest part of the breast, you are looking for 160°F. If the chicken needs more time, cook another 5 minutes and check again.

Once the chicken has cooked through and the potatoes are roasted, remove from the grill and set aside in a warm place, loosely covered with foil. Let rest for about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the roaster carefully and set on serving platter. Spoon the potatoes onto the platter around the chicken. Discard any excess fat and the leftover beer from the center.

London Broil Crusted with Garlic and Herbs

Serves 6
Prep time 45 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 25 minutes
Website Weber Grill Restuarant

Ingredients

  • 1 top round steak, about 3 pounds average (Note that we actually used tri-tip at cooking class because the store was out of top round (London Broil) and it worked very nicely as well)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stemmed and minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Directions

Trim the top round steak of any tough pieces or excess fat. Season all over with salt and pepper.

Mix together the Dijon mustard, shallots, olive oil, thyme and garlic in small mixing bowl to form a paste. Rub this all over the top round and let set at room temperature, covered loosely, for 30 minutes.

Set the grill for medium heat, about 400°F

Once the grill has heated up, sear the roast on both sides over the direct heat side of the grill. Then move the roast to the indirect side and roast for another 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, rotate the roast and cook another 10 minutes. Check the temperature in the thickest part of the roast, you are looking for 130°F. If the roast needs more time, close the lid, cook another 5 minutes and check again.

After the roast has been cooked, remove from the grill to a large plate, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing.

Grilled Broccolini with Parmesan

Serves 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 7 minutes
Total time 22 minutes
Website Weber Grill Restaurant

Ingredients

  • 1.5lb broccolini, washed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper, ground
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, stemmed and chopped

Directions

Trim the broccolini bottoms about 2", discard the ends. If the broccolini stem is very thick, cut the stems in half thru the middle.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, cook the broccolini for 1 minutes, then drain and plunge the broccolini into a bowl of ice water to chill it down. Drain the broccolini well in a colander.

While the broccolini drains, mix together the olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Add the drained broccolini to the olive oil and garlic mix and toss together very well to coat all over. Season with the salt and pepper.

Set the grill for direct, medium heat (350°-450°F) and set the grill pan on to pre-heat. Once the grill pan is hot, add the marinated broccolini to it in a single layer. Grill for 4-6 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes.

When the broccolini has browned and is cooked through, transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the mixture of Parmesan cheese and parley over the top. Serve hot.