Jim Rasberry is known for a lot of things. His cameos on Home Town with Ben and Josh, his entrepreneurship and successful finance business in Downtown Laurel, his extreme fear of snakes, and those who have had the privilege of dining at his home, a master griller.
His skill with grilling redfish, pork, chicken, juicy hotdogs, and hamburgers are unmatched, but his specialty is an excellent seared steak. A blend of experience and science is necessary for grilling a perfect steak, but Jim attributes his success to the moments spent with his father and grandfather.
Jim says, "I've learned through a lot of trial and error over the years, but I got my first taste of grilling, if you will, from Dad and Papaw, which is also Erin's grandfather. My earliest memories stem from watching them fire up a little black Weber charcoal grill and grill 10 Hamburger hockey pucks for July 4th weekend."
Many lessons and laughter came from those moments, and Jim relishes the act of grilling for other people as much as a taste of the result.
"I love grilling what people love to eat, and it's one of the best things to see someone enjoy what you made on the grill. As a dad, it's important to find things that you and your kids enjoy, whether it's playing in the pool with kids, sports, or whatever. It's the joy of being together and enjoying each other. I find that feeling when I'm around a grill with them."
Apart from the sentimentality of cooking, the practical aspect is rarely listed under ingredients and measurements. Every seasoned griller knows the secret behind every good steak is the right tools.
"There's a lot of different ways to grill a steak, but I like to start with a piping hot grill of about 700 to 850 degrees and a great piece of Oak to be the source of the fire. I like to have some Hickory in there for flavor, too."
He says, "Next, it is paramount that you have a quality piece of meat. If you don't have a quality piece of meat to start with, you're not going to have a quality meal. So definitely have a great cut and season it to your liking."
"I don't like to marinate my steaks, but I prefer a dry seasoning to create a crust. When you throw it on the grill, it's more about searing it on both sides to get a good crust."
Jim uses AP Seasoning, salt, pepper, and his crucial ingredient, garlic pepper. (Use a lot!) Let the steak sear for a minute and perform a half-quarter turn. Continue to do this for four minutes. You end up with a well-seared steak with the crust on the outside and medium temperature on the inside.
"It's important to have a good cutting surface because you're slicing the steaks when they come off the hot grill. I always use the large Scotsman grilling boards for slicing steaks when they come off the grill, and I never take them off the board."
For those who love steaks, but need a more cost efficient approach to mealtime, Jim has the solution. He says, "The cost of goods is a little more expensive these days, so offset the cost by putting butter on the steak and slicing it in half. People will typically get full off about half of a steak or half of a ribeye. It's a simple solution."
Lastly, when your steak is finished, take time to enjoy what you've made.
Jim says, "I remember watching my dad and grandfather grilling as a kid. The memories are more than just visuals; the smell and the taste come back too. That's what grilling is all about. Every time I start prepping, I remember the smell of a charcoal fire, and the taste of a home-grilled hamburger will bring back memories of my childhood that I had long forgotten. I'm excited to grill for my girls this Father's Day. Hopefully, we can make some memories like that, too."