763 8th Ave
Marion, IA 52302

Phone
(319) 395-7118
Manager
Lisa
Hours
Monday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: CLOSED
Location Image

Steak Grill-Off: Ambassador Vs Grill Master

Image of Alex from Grill Works and The Ambassador of Flavors, Will Carter

I decided to do something a little bit different today.  I’m always going to restaurants to review their food, so I never get to do the cooking. 

When I used to ride a Harley, I mostly associated the experience with being outdoors in general, and I didn’t always end up at a restaurant or bar somewhere. 

I would just as well enjoy going to a campground somewhere and grilling my own steak. With that in mind, I decided to do my first cooking show, and I found the perfect local business to help me make that happen. 

Enter The Grill Works in Marion, Iowa

Photo of The Grill Works in Marion Iowa

I have known about The Grill Works in Marion for a while now, but I never took the time to stop by and see what they had.  I thought it was time for that to change, so I went there a few days ago and talked the owner into letting me use one of their demo grills for a cooking show.

The Legendary Green Egg Grill

Image of a sales display for the Green Egg Grill at Grill Works in Marion, Iowa

I personally prefer the Green Egg style grill, because it’s the only one I have been able to find that gets hot enough to cook a steak the way I like it, which is with some very serious grill marks charred into the outside of it.  They had a demo model of the Green Egg, so we lit it up and let it get hot while we did our prep work in the kitchen.

We decided to get a little competitive with this project, so I got one of their employees to grill a steak the way he likes it using the rubs that they sell in the store.  I also got the owner to call one of their friends with a motorcycle to come over and be the judge.

Steak Seasoning for All Seasons

Wall of various seasonings and rubs at The Grill Works in Marion, Iowa

I have a very specific way that I cook my steaks, and they always turn out the same way for me at home.  My method is to get a steak that is exactly one inch thick and cook it for two minutes on each side at 650 degrees or hotter.  This always gives me a perfect medium rare steak.  I make my own steak rub from a recipe I developed several years ago.

Different models and types of grills always have the potential to change the cooking times, so we knew that we might have to adjust a little to get things just right today.  We also had some unexpectedly thick steaks to work with, and that required us to cook them a little longer than my normal times for a one-inch-thick piece of meat.

Alex took me to their prep kitchen where we both seasoned our steaks with the rubs we had selected.  As soon as the grill got to 650, we put the steaks on and listened to them sizzle as the grill marks were branded onto the outside of the meat.

The super thick steaks ended up taking somewhere between three and four minutes per side, and we used a meat thermometer rather than going off a timer alone.  As soon as they were done, we let them rest for 10 minutes before letting anybody eat.

Close up image of a Steak cooked Medium Rare by The Ambassador of Flavors, Will Carter

As soon as they were done resting, we let our biker food judge have his way with the steaks.  There was another steak-loving customer in the store at the time, so we decided to let him participate in judging as well.  We didn’t tell them who cooked either steak, so it was a true blind taste test.  Be sure to watch the video to see the results.

I was very impressed with the inventory at The Grill Works.  I think I will always stick with the Green Egg, but they had a lot of other models to choose from.  It’s worth going there just to look and see what the newest technology is all about.  I would have never guessed that a grill with light-up color-changing knobs even existed. 

If you are like me, and you have never been to a store like this that is all about grilling, I would definitely recommend checking this place out.


A note from Will Carter, The Ambassador of Flavors:

“These are just a few of many biker bar and motorcycle-friendly restaurant reviews I will do on a weekly basis.  The goal is to promote local bars as destinations for motorcycle enthusiasts.  These reviews are part of an online resource created to help bikers find bars with good food and entertainment.”

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