If you read any of the item descriptions for the umpire gift baskets during the UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction, you probably noticed: umps love to grill! And what’s not to love? Fire, seared meat, the outdoors, and all the flavors, spices, and tastes you can handle. With Memorial Day—the unofficial start of the summer—coming next week, we asked a couple umpires to share their grilling escapades as you embark on yours.
First off, let’s start with the basics: The secret to a good burger. Tripp Gibson replied, “Not to out too much, but use an egg in the ground beef, a touch of Italian bread crumbs, and onion powder before making the patties.” Ted Barrett, on the other head, says that a good Worcestershire sauce is the key to making a great burger that everyone will enjoy.
But burgers are far from the only thing to grill, and Gibson shared some seasoning tips for other types of meat. “For chicken it has to be Ken's Honey Mustard sauce,” he said. “They are great for kebabs with yellow green and red sweet peppers. For steak I love the traditional Montreal steak seasoning.” Steak was the preferred grilling meat of Barrett, who seconded the recommendation for Montreal seasonings.
Barrett swears by his Big Green Egg for grilling. “My Egg is great for slow cooking meat,” he said—and with “slow and low” a common refrain among grillers, the Egg sounds perfect. Gibson went the other direction—at least to start. “With steak it's important to get the grill really hot,” he explained. “Above 500 degrees if possible. Sear both sides for a few minutes. Then drop the temp down to let them cook slowly. Searing locks all the flavor in so you can cook to your desired temperature.”
Probably the easiest grilling tip, however, came from Mike Everitt: “My wife Michelle does the grilling! She's awesome!”