My most favorite cooking tool!
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When I get an idea, I seem to not be able to shake it. One day, I had the idea that I wanted a roller grill for my house. I don’t remember what day it was or exactly how long ago it was; but several years ago, while standing in a QuikTrip gas station at the hot dog roller grills with my good friend Jimi Koury, I decided I would have a roller grill.
Jimi and I would meet up at the QuikTrip in the area we worked on a nightly basis. It was our opportunity to get out of our patrol cars and stretch our legs, drink coffee, and get something to eat gas station style. And we ate well! QuikTrip always has a variety of interesting items rolling away through the night, slow roasting to perfection. Hot dogs, buffalo chicken rollers, roller burgers, spicy sausage, and corn dogs are just some of the items that were always going on the roller grill, guaranteeing a (un)healthy variety of food to choose from. It was on one of those nights, biting into a hot dog that had probably been rolling for four hours or more, I decided I would have a roller grill.
Fast forward many years, and I was fortunate to come into some play money. The BBQ team I’m on won Grand Champion at an event, and after all expenses where paid, I had a little money to spend on something fun. That itch that started may years prior was still there, and I decided I needed to scratch it! It was time to get on Amazon and order my roller grill!
I hit Amazon and started researching, and after a couple of days reading product specs and reviews, I honed in on the Olde Midway Pro30. It has the perfect combination of capacity and power. It’s not too small, but it’s also not so large that it was going to lead to my wife divorcing me. It was as easy as clicking “Buy Now” and my dream was in route to my house!
A couple days later, I came home to find a LARGE box on my front porch. I was very excited! I had a plan, and I needed to get this thing in the house, down in the basement, and set up on the bar before my wife, Stacey, got home from work. We were going to have a special, romantic dinner this night!
The Olde Midway Pro30 was pretty easy to unbox and set up, coming mostly assembled. Once I had the main part of the roller grill on the bar top, all I had to do was assemble the glass sneeze-shield on top of it and slide the stainless drip tray in place. Using the Olde Midway Pro30 is also pretty easy. After plugging it in, you hit the big power button on the front of the unit and the rollers start turning. The Pro30 is divided into two separate cooking zone from front to back. All the roller chef needs to do is set the front and/or rear zone dials to the desired temperature and load the rollers with tasty processed meat products and wait for them to cook to the desired done-ness.
Dinner on that particular night consisted of Ball Park Grill Master Hearty Beef Hot Dogs, taquitos, and a carrot for Stacey. I found the Ball Park Grill Master Hearty Beef Hot Dogs came the closest to the size and flavor of dog I was getting from QuikTrip, and I was excited to see how they were going to be coming off my own roller grill. And I learned a lesson about taquitos and roller grills; you need to pay attention to how you load them on the roller! If you load them with the flap of the taquito facing the wrong way, the flap stops the taquito from rolling sometimes and they start to take a walk on the grill! It was time to set the table for a romantic dinner; paper plates and solo cubs seemed to for the bill for this awesome meal!
Needless to say, Stacey was shocked when she got home and she saw my roller grill spinning away on the bar top. After she face-palmed, she asked, “What’s wrong with you!?” She wasn’t too interested in dinner, but luckily, she didn’t divorce me! As for the hotdogs, after they had been on for a couple of hours at a high heat, they tasted just like the slow roasted ones from the QuikTrip. Unfortunately, I ate all of the taquitos before Stacey got home, so she didn’t get any. #SkinnyStacey
The roller grill has been a great addition to our basement bar and has helped make entertaining a little easier and a little more fun. For our yearly Super Bowl party, food prep has become as simple as loading a selection of all beef dogs, bratwurst, roller burgers, and buffalo chicken rollers on the roller grill and setting up a condiment bar. Small crock-pots make great additions to the toppings bar with hot, melty, liquid yellow cheese and chili!
Sourcing food for the roller grill has actually been very easy. Obviously, one can purchase any hot dog they have a preference for, for the roller grill. I’ve also found that the Johnsonville Fully Cooked Links, usually sold in the same section of the grocery store as the hot dogs, are perfect on the roller grill. Because the Johnsonville Fully Cooked Links are made in a uniform manner, they roll very nicely on the roller grill without getting stuck and burning on one side (this would be a concern with a real bratwurst). Taquitos can be sourced from pretty much any grocery store’s frozen food section. There is no need to thaw them out as they can be plopped onto the hot rollers while still frozen and they cook up quickly if the heat setting is high enough. Just be careful how you drop them on, or like I already mentioned, they’ll get stuck and try to hop off the rollers. For some of the more, shall we say, exotic roller items; look to your local roller grill equipped gas station! Fortunately, I’ve been able to walk into local gas stations and ask to purchase cases of the roller cheeseburgers and buffalo chicken rollers. I have gotten some damn strange looks when I make my request, but once I explain I have my own roller grill…
…people actually think it’s pretty neat!
The take aways:
- I swear I’m not weird!
- Roller food is definitely bad for you, but sooooooooo damn good!
- The roller grill is great for big parties or for just throwing on a few items for a small college football game day.
- Slow roasted, gas station style, is the way to go with the hot dogs. They need to have that snap when you bite into them!
- I love my roller grill!