When I (along with other members of the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society) was invited by Ray and Luchi Palermo, creators of the QuadCooker, to check out a demonstration of their new creation the HexxCooker I was intrigued (they fed me well for my attendance and this is my honest opinion of the product). (here’s a link to the QuadCooker site for more details) I love my old grill but it never gets as hot as I would like it. The HexxCooker vows to solve that problem. Your normal backyard grill gets to about 550 degrees (maybe…probably not quite that hot) while the HexxCooker reaches up to 900 degrees or more. That high temperature is a result of the quad rock used to form the crucible of the cooker. The special concrete blend that forms the quadrock holds the heat inside and distributes it evenly while staying cool to the touch on the outside. Here’s a quick Instagram video of a demonstration Ray did to show the insulating power of the quadrock. The grates on the HexxCooker are made from laser cut, case hardened carbon steel (smoother than cast iron) to stand up extremely high heat. The grate isn’t non stick but when cooking oil spray is used food released easily from the grate. I was impressed with the product and I’m happy to share it with you.
check out the HexxCooker Kickstarter campaign here
After a trip to Spain, Ray and Luchi were inspired to develop the high heat cooking HexxCooker after dining on paella. Traditionally paella is cooked over an open wood fire so the rice can absorb the smoke. Once they returned from Spain they began development of a product that would help them recreate the paella they loved. Ray spent some time working on prototypes and came up with the original QuadCooker design. After the success of the original, the QuadCooker creators are now introducing a smaller, more portable version called the HexxCooker. Built from the same materials, the smaller HexxCooker is a powerhouse of heat as well. I must admit, when they said the HexxCooker was portable I gave them a bit of the ole’ side eye. It looks like it should weigh a ton but it really is light enough to bring tailgating or camping.
Our host grilled some steak and sausages for us as appetizers. The high heat of the HexxCooker gave the steak a caramelized crust normally only found in an expensive steakhouse and cooked the sausages quickly while retaining moisture, I was impressed with the results. I wish I’d had an opportunity to cook on the HexxCooker myself to get firsthand knowledge of the product, hopefully soon I can test it out myself. Ray also made fried shrimp in a wok on the HexxCooker, it really is a versatile tool.
Ray was nice enough to share his delicious paella with us and in turn I’m going to share his recipe (with his permission) with you.
Ray Palermo’s PAELLA MENENDEZ SERVINGS: 6
||Place the paella pan on top of the pre-warmedQUAD grill top. Add olive oil to the pan. Once oil is heated, add chicken and pork. Stir the meat with a wooden spoon until browned, approximately 4 minutes. Add Spanish chorizo and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Add onions and green peppers and cook until the onions are translucent.Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add stock, bay leaf, salt,pepper, crushed red pepper, parsley and saffron. Let this mixture simmer for 1-2 minutes. As the mixture comes to a boil, stir in the rice, and then add wine. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, keep checking rice fordoneness. The rice will absorb most of the liquid, stir in additional wine or broth in ½-cup increments if necessary.
Once the rice not quite done but just a little crunchy to the taste (there should still be excess liquid in the pan), arrange the seafood on the surface of the rice. Sprinkle peas and
pimentos over the seafood. Cover the pan with the dome top and allow to steam-cook. Cooking will take approximately 5 minutes. Shellfish should open and shrimp will turn pink when cooked.
Let the paella rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to absorb any liquid.
Full chimney of coal. Hot fire. Quad with the grill and paella pan.
ACCOMPANIMENTS & SIDES
Paella is a meal unto itself; just set the pan in the middle of the table to serve. A mixed green salad would certainly complement the dish.