Cooking with Fire: Price Chopper’s House of BBQ Grillin’ Class

by Gina Martin on June 16, 2012

in Food Adventures

Just in time for the beginning of grilling season, and Father’s Day, I attended the Price Chopper House of BBQ Grillin’ Class (yes, spellcheck, they spelled it this way on purpose), and it was not only very informative, it was delicious. For purposes of disclosure, my class admission fee was comped by Price Chopper, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

The spoils from Price Chopper's House of BBQ Grillin' class - grilled pizzas, top sirloin london broil.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, as it was a market tie-in to the Certified Angus Beef line of products, and chef Michael Ollier is their corporate rep. I figured to see a lot of product placement, but found myself pleasantly surprised with the usefulness of the presentation, with tons of information that I could sink my teeth into (Ha! I went there).

Chef MIchael Ollier slicing the spoils of the Price Chopper House of BBQ Grillin' class.

Chef Michael Ollier clearly knows his stuff. While we didn’t have an outdoor grill setup for the class, the cast iron grill pan and gas burner did a great job prepping everything that was on the menu. Which is a good thing, because if you can get the flavors from that setup, imagine how delicious grilling over wood coals will be.

Red pepper and onion are grilled and then blended for a simple and very tasty sauce.

For starters, the chef put together a grilled onion and red pepper sauce. It makes a nice sauce for your steak afterwards. I think it would also have been terrific on the grilled flatbread pizzas that were the next recipe. To make it at home you just need to grill a bunch of onion slices, and a bunch of red pepper slices til caramelized, and blend. Ta-da!

With a basic yeast dough, and some prep techniques to adjust to grill cooking, and a nice easy grilled pizza appetizer was created. The trick with the pizzas is to shape the dough into an oblong shape, and not a giant round one, to make it easier to put on (and get off) the hot surface. After you’ve grilled both sides of the flatbread, take it off the heat to add your toppings, and put the pizza back to the warm side of the grill to melt or heat them up if you wish.

Shape dough into an oval for grilling

Drizzle both sides of dough lightly with olive oil before putting on hot grill.

Flip when first side has nice grill marks.

You can go nuts with different combinations – we tried some with the traditional tomato sauce and mozzarella, and one that used Major Grey’s Chutney, goat cheese and figs, and both were wonderful. You can see them in the first picture at the top of the post.

The main course was, yes, beef. But it was a cut new to me, Price Chopper calls it the Top Sirloin London Broil, but it is generally known as the culotte, or top sirloin cap.

Whole piece of top sirloin.

The top sirloin london broil, aka the culotte or top sirloin cap, is the large portion you see along the top edge, just under the layer of fat.

Top sirloin london broil, or culotte cut.

Culotte, top sirloin cap, churrascaria style.

Chef Ollier explained that it’s the same cut that you’ll find at Brazilian steakhouses, churrascarias, skewered on a big sword and sliced at your table. Cooked to no more than a medium rare and sliced thin against the grain, the samples we tried at class were incredibly tender, and very flavorful – all with just a simple seasoning of salt and pepper. You can also marinate or do a dry rub if wanted, you really can’t go wrong either way.

Tasty tasty grilled beef top cap sirloin.

Top Grilling Tips to Remember:

  • Get good quality meat. The best marbling is abundantly distributed, with small flakes of fat throughout.

Steak cut from the top sirloin cap, aka top sirloin london broil.

  • High heat is the key to grilling success. HOT HOT HOT.
  • Patience. Put the meat down, and let it sit. Don’t over flip – the high heat is needed, undisturbed, to get the best flavor.
  • “Diamonds are a grill’s best friend”, says Chef Ollier. You want the caramelization from nice grill marks for flavor. Turn the meat ¼ turn on one side, peek after a while to check for grill marks, and flip over.

Diamond grill marks, cooked rare, perfect top sirloin london broil steak.

  • Use a thermometer to check for doneness. It’s quick, and accurate. Medium rare to rare offers the best taste experience, but Chef Ollier contends that the Certified Angus brand of beef can be juicy and delicious even medium well to well done. I haven’t tried that myself, so if you have, please let us know what you think in the comments.
  • Let the meat rest for at least five minutes after removing from the heat. The juices will distribute back through the meat, leaving it juicy inside, instead of going all over the cutting board. Juicy = tasty.
  • Chef Ollier and I agree – the best tasting grill and BBQ results come from cooking with real hardwood charcoal chunks. It is trickier to keep the heat even, but it’s worth it. Take that Hank Hill!

Check it out:

Price Chopper’s House of BBQ
For recipes, grilling tips and tricks and more.

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| lives in Coxsackie NY with her husband, their two children, and an assortment of Rottweilers and cats. Gina has been a homeschooling parent since 2003, and is also proud parent of a Tech Valley High School student. Gina is the creator of ModSchooler, her blog about 21st -century learning and fun, and is a contributor to From Scratch Club writing on food and food policy. As lifelong learners, Gina and her tween and teen kids like to go off the beaten path to explore quirky travel destinations, unusual cuisine, and all things geeky. Email:, twitter: @GinaMartinBlogs

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