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SCHEELS Monthly: Grillin’ And Chillin’

The sun is shining, the heat is blistering and fun seems to arise effortlessly. Summer has most certainly arrived here in Fargo-Moorhead. Part of what makes the summer so special and fun for so many is time spent with those that we love. Few things bring people together quite like food and summer is a prime opportunity to flex your culinary muscles.

For many of us, cooking in the summer is defined by the grill. We are reminded of just how great summer is as we breathe in that smoky aroma stemming from a hot grill. Whether it’s burgers, brisket or ribs, the grill appears to be the perfect cooking vessel for warmer weather.

SCHEELS grilling expert Joe Schultz is fully aware of just how meaningful a grill is. It means time spent with family, friends and new friends, too. Schultz also knows that the grill is a perfect segway to some pretty amazing food. Joe and the entire team at SCHEELS Home And Hardware want to help elevate your summer with their grilling expertise.

We spoke with Joe and had him give us the inside scoop on what you need to know for grilling this summer.

SCHEELS Grilling Expert Joe Schultz

Let’s Start With The Basics

Perhaps the top question Joe and his team receive is: “Where do I begin?”

In a large market like grilling, it can be challenging to narrow your focus and decide the right grill for your needs. Luckily, the SCHEELS Home And Hardware team is happy to assist you in finding a grill (or grill accessories) that fit your needs.

For Schultz, he asks customers two questions when they begin thinking about purchasing a grill.

  1. What type of food do you want to cook on your grill?
  2. How many people do you like to cook for with your grill?

Those two questions are enough for Schultz to base some recommendations for the customer. It is simple questions like these that will help save the customer time (and money) in the grill-buying process.

From there, Schultz looks at quality when suggesting potential grills to purchase. The SCHEELS grill expert says customers must look for quality in their grills.

“When purchasing a new grill, finding quality materials are very important. When buying a gas grill, you should look for cast aluminum grill compartments with stainless steel burner covers. These are the first items to show wear and tear on gas grills,” Schultz says. “When purchasing a charcoal grill, you should look for something that is air-tight. Any gap can lead to inconsistent cook temperatures.When buying a pellet grill, it comes down to heavy material for the body of the grill, and the reliability of the controller.A poorly built grill will last a fraction of the time that a durable grill will last.”

Finding the right quality of grill relies heavily on SCHEELS experts staying ahead of trends in the industry. However, Schultz has found that customers often have the best insight into trends which allows the SCHEELS Home And Hardware team to adjust in real-time.

Ribs are a favorite at Joe’s. What is you top item to put on the grill?

“There are always different things that become popular in the grilling industry, and SCHEELS works hard to understand what those trends are. The best way to stay on top of trends is to listen to the customer. The associates at SCHEELS try to ask questions that tell us about what things will work best for the customer, and what customers are looking for,” he said. “Another way we try to stay in the know is by using the products we sell. Between grilling for employee potlucks or cooking at home, many of the employees that work at SCHEELS love trying new things on the BBQ.”

With that being said, Schultz identifies one trend in grilling that has yet to fall by the wayside. Customers are continually interested in Traeger’s line of pellet/smoker grills. Given what we know about the brand and the grills themselves, that name is not going anywhere anytime soon.

The Traeger Difference

Traeger grills have become extremely popular across the nation thanks to their state-of-the-art technology. Did you know that SCHEELS Home & Hardware offers the widest selection of Traeger grills in the area? Schultz says Traeger and their high-quality make-up are the perfect grill for any grillmaster, regardless of skill level.

“Traegers have become very popular for a few different reasons. First, Traegers regulate temperature on their own which allows people to cook long low, and slow smokes very easily. Second, Traegers are indirectly heated (meaning the flame is separate from the cooking compartment), which eliminates flare ups and refuses the chance of drying out food,” says Shultz. “Third, Traegers work as an outdoor wood-fired oven, allowing people to do more than just grill, such as bake pizza, hotdish, and even desserts like cookies and pies.”

Part of what makes Traeger so popular is the fact that they are pellet/smoker grills. Compared to a gas, electric or charcoal grill, pellet/smoker grills can offer forth a new dimension of flavor. It’s versatility also allows you to cook just about anything on them. “There are many benefits to owning a Traeger grill. Having the ability to make food for guests that is consistently good will give people confidence to host more frequently. There have been a few families that have decided to prepare the food for a graduation party instead of reserving a caterer. The food turns out phenomenal and the “BBQ master” can boast about their delicious menu,” Schultz said.

The experts at SCHEELS Home And Hardware also want to help you understand your Traeger and its technology. The store is a Traeger Platinum Dealer, meaning SCHEELS Home And Hardware offers the widest selection of Traeger products as well as service and support.

“Traeger has incorporated a lot of tech into their new D2 grills. Traegers WIFI pellet grills are able to check food temps, grill temps, and even change temperatures from your phone,” Schultz said. “This allows people who are on the go to still BBQ long low and slow smokes. Examples include ribs, brisket, and pulled pork.”

As the SCHEELS grilling expert alludes to, one of the most coveted features for Traeger is what is known as Traeger WiFire. In essence, this feature allows you to operate and check up on your grill as it is cooking. The technology also allows users to preset specific food temperatures and cook times. “For example, if you want to try a Brisket for the first time, and are unsure of how to cook it, the Traeger comes with a Beginner Brisket Cook downloaded onto the D2 Controller,” says Schultz. “The Traeger knows how long to smoke a Brisket at low temps, when to turn up the heat, watch for a finish temp, and alert you when the Brisket is complete.”

Traeger continues to be the name people bring up when they discuss great grilling. At SCHEELS Home And Hardware, experts are committed to helping you understand your Traeger. The hope is to turn you into a grillmaster as soon as you begin using a Traeger.

Accessorize

The grill is obviously the most important aspect, but grilling accessories are just as important to becoming a grillmaster. SCHEELS Home And Hardware also provides many of the accoutrements needed to become a great griller. Schultz had a few suggestions of what customers will need as far as accessories.

“To become a “Grill Master” takes more than just a grill. A quality thermometer is very important while cooking any meat whether you are grilling or cooking in the kitchen.This will make it much easier to replicate foods that turn out well.The next thing that will help with any person at the grill is a good set of tongs, and a sharp knife that holds a good edge,” he said. “The most important thing is to keep the grill clean. A clean grill is a happy grill. A non-bristle brush, degreaser of some sort and a cover for storage will help your grill perform well for years.

The SCHEELS Difference

When customers come through SCHEELS Home And Hardware they learn just how important customer service is to SCHEELS as a whole. Whether you are purchasing a new grill, accessories or anything, the experts at SCHEELS Home And Hardware are experienced in answering your questions and offering insight into products. Joe Schultz wants to find you the right grill because he cares about grilling and the customer. The same can be said for every SCHEELS expert.

“You have to understand SCHEELS is a company that loves the outdoors. What a better way to celebrate the outdoors than to cook outdoors. Whether grilling something from your last successful hunt, preparing fresh fish from the trip to the lake or tailgating at the next game, a good grill just fits,” Schultz said.

A true care for the customer is why SCHEELS Home And Hardware is the area’s leader and go-to source for grills, accessories and trends in the industry.

“A person should come to SCHEELS for their next grill solely for our customer service. Customers are always our first priority at SCHEELS,” Joe Schultz said.

Kebabs are a quick and easy favorite on the grill.

SCHEELS Home And Hardware
3202 13th Ave S, Fargo
scheels.com

Nolan P. Schmidt

Written by Nolan P. Schmidt

Nolan is the Editor of Fargo Monthly. Schmidt is also the Editor of Spotlight Media's Bison Illustrated and Future Farmer publications. He is originally from Bismarck, N.D. and is a proud graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead.

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