Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Traeger & cook area

Below you see my cooking equipment, my Traeger 07E, to the left is a gas cooker w/cast iron skillet & to the right is a fish friar on the cabinet.
Since this photo I have added a Weber Q100 gas grill. Below that you see a photo of me & my faithful companion. Click on any photo to view larger size it opens in a slide viewer with all the photos in the post.

My Smokin Deck,I can cook rain or shine.

Set up for winter weather

Summer Kitchen 2015
My new Camp Chef single gas burner, a Weber
 Jumbo Joe that I got last year, a Weber Spirit 
2 burner gas grill and my Traeger pellet smoker 
on the deck

All covered up

Monday, January 2, 2017

Let's Talk BBQ, One Great Forum

Let’s Talk BBQ; no matter what you cook on this is one great forum for discussing BBQ and learning about BBQ. Whether you use a grill, smoker, or other type of cooker, using gas, wood, charcoal, or electric for fuel there is a place for you there.

Their rules are pretty simple; just treat others the way you want to be treated. Leave your ego at home and have fun learning and discussing cooking and food in a family way.

Most members are from the USA but they are slowly getting some international members. I know of two from Australia and one each from Germany and S. Africa. There may be some from England. I like this since we can learn about other recipes and ways to do BBQ than in our own country.

The forum is laid out well; there are different sections for each style cooker, a recipe section, a general section, a place for sausage making and a place for other hobbies. There are a lot of knowledgeable members there now.

If you are interested in Sous Vide cooking there is a section on it with some knowledgeable members using the method.

I do most all my BBQ on my Traeger wood pellet smoker; but can adapt most recipes from other types of cookers. I use it year around and do most all of the cooking for my wife and I.

So; if you want to talk BBQ get over there sign up and join in the fun of cooking and eating some good BBQ.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Smokin' Pete's New Cookbook

May 27 2016

The “Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook” by Peter Jautaikis is a beautiful hardcover cook book and can be bought at Amazon. The front cover shows a mouthwatering photo of a sliced beef brisket.

I first came across Peter, Smoker Pete as he is known at Let’s Talk BBQ forum, about 5 years ago. Commenting on each other’s cooks he became one of many good friends on the forum. He also has a BBQ blog where he is known as Smokin’ Pete, http://www.smokinpetebbq.com/wordpress/

I had his new cookbook on order at Amazon then Pete wrote and asked for my address and the publisher would send me one for free if I would review it on my blog site. I gladly accepted and would have given it a review even if it had not been free. From viewing Pete’s BBQ over the years I knew it would be a good book to have. I wish I had it back when I first bought my Traeger pellet smoker.

It is well laid out with professional photos and the recipes are easy to follow. The front explains how a pellet smoker grill works with all the major parts explained. Some of the newer ones have special plates to insert for searing meats.  He also shows some of the popular accessories.

The recipes cover appetizer and sides, all the meats, beef, pork, poultry, lamb, and seafood. He has a section on extras, just about anything you can do in your indoor oven you can do on a pellet smoker grill. In the back is his Brine and rub recipes. If you try all the recipes it will keep you busy for a long time!

I wanted to do one of his recipes for this review but I am busy for the next week so it will have to wait until I get back from an Ohio LTBBQ gathering next week-end. I wanted to get this posted to let all know there is now a great cookbook available for pellet wood smoker grills.

I highly recommend this for all whether you are a novice or experienced cook. BBQ and cooking is a forever learning craft and no matter how good you get there is always room to learn more.

You can get the book here Amazon

Some views of the cookbook

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Heinz New BBQ Sauce Part 2

Jun 25 2016

I had bought a sampler pack of 4 different of the Heinz BBQ sauce. Earlier I did a rack of pork BBRibs and tried the Memphis and the Carolina styles. I finally did another rack to try the Texas and the Kansas City styles.

Tasting out of the bottle I liked the Texas style the best. I tried to do this rack as close to the first rack as far as the way I seasoned and temps and times I smoked them.

I pulled the membrane and seasoned lightly with some Penzey’s Galena ST. rub. They sat out for 45 minutes before going on the smoker. I did them for 5 hours total and sauced them after 4 hours.

I had some corn on the cob I steamed in my rice cooker and made up a salad of cottage cheese, Tennessee tomatoes and sweet Vidalia onions. I have been making the salad for years; one of our favorites when I get good tomatoes to use. I had some garlic knots I did in the oven.

We had butter, Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle and parmesan on our corn. I had the Penzey’s on my salad too.

The Kansas City sauce was too sweet for me but I liked the Texas pretty well. My wife said without adding sauce she liked the Texas better but liked the Kansas City with sauce added. Over all I would say all the sauces are better than most store bought I have had in the past. I think the Texas style would be good on brisket and the Carolina style would work well on pulled pork.

Our favorite BBQ sauce we get from my butcher Kah Meats. His recipe is from his Dad, Dick Kah.

Click Here to see Part 1

Ribs ready for the smoker.

For my salad

After 4 hrs. ready to sauce


Resting a bit

My corn

My supper

Sundried Tomato Chicken with Orzo

Jun 24 2016

It was a beautiful day today. I could have cooked outside but this dish was easier to do inside in my CI skillet. This is fairly easy and a one skillet meal; it could be done outside or camping. We needed a change from red meat so this was good.

The recipe was adapted from Zrarita Baker’s at Honest Cooking. I had a one pound package of basil garlic, sundried tomato marinated chicken breasts from my butcher otherwise I followed her recipe pretty close. I add my onions and garlic at the same time, less likely to get burnt garlic. I ended up only using about 2 ½ cups of the chicken stock. I just used what olive oil I had from draining the tomatoes since it looked like plenty.

The grandson came down, sanded a bench for me and watered the garden and flowers. He decided to stay and eat supper with us. I heated up some savory garlic bread knots to have with it.

We all liked it and got full! My wife is not crazy about sundried tomatoes but I love using them and you get a more intense tomato flavor from them over just plain tomatoes. I think rice would have worked well with this too.

Click Here for recipe


Ingredients prepped

Browned the chicken then removed

Onions and garlic added

Orzo browned and tomato paste added

Sundried tomatoes added

Chicken added back in

Stock added and cooked down

My supper

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Steak Fingers, Fried Green Tomatoes & Cheesy Cauliflower

Jun 22 2016

With the threat of rain and storms I cooked inside tonight. It worked better for the meal anyway.
I had some sirloin from my butcher, some Tennessee green tomatoes and a head of cauliflower.
One tomato was about too ripe but the other was just right. I like a mix of red and green in the tomato for frying. I think you get a little of the sweet and the sour.

The tomatoes I breaded early to set up in the fridge. I dipped them in flour, egg wash and crushed Townhouse crackers. The cauliflower I cleaned and broke into florets and in a greased casserole dish. I wanted Campbell’s cheddar cheese on them but didn’t have any. I had a can of their Fiesta Nacho Cheese and that would have to do. I poured over the cauliflower and mixed to coat. I added a couple handfuls of shredded cheddar. I covered and baked for an hour at 350 deg. After 35 minutes I added some buttered cracker crumbs and left the lid off.

I heated up two skillets on med. high. I cut the sirloin into strips, seasoned with Pappy’s Choice and dusted with a little flour. I sprayed the skillet with some olive oil and did the steak strips about 3 minutes per side.

For the tomatoes I added olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet and 3 pats of butter. I fried them 3 to 4 minutes per side.

The steak fingers were very tender and seasoned right. Our first fried green tomatoes this summer was great. The cauliflower was good but what the wife and I liked was using some of the sauce added to a bite of tomato! I think my next fried green tomatoes will be served with some Nacho cheese sauce.

My supper

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Flat Iron Limburger Cheeseburger

Jun 21

I had to try out my new Camp Chef iron griddle the wife got me. I had it seasoned and ready to go. There is nothing better to me than some smash burgers on a flat iron griddle. I wanted to grill some onions too and had Tennessee tomatoes and some asparagus for a side. I also wanted to try some limburger cheese on my burger, the wife wanted cheddar on hers.

I nuked two bacon slices to wrap the asparagus in and some seasoning with olive oil.

The griddle heats up pretty fast so started it out on Medium, after 10 minutes it was at 500+deg. so I dropped it down half way to low. I used my Maverick infra-red to read the temp and was down to 400+deg. so it was time to cook. I put the onions on with a little olive oil; let them start to brown a little then pushed them to the side and got the burgers on. I had 5 balls of 80-20 ground chuck I had seasoned with a little Pappy’s Choice. I had sprayed a little olive oil on the griddle, added the burgers, let them sizzle a bit then smashed them down. After 3 to 4 minutes I flipped them.

I added cheese to the wife’s; I would add the limburger spread to mine inside. I had just enough room to toast one bun at a time while the burgers cooked on the second side. I removed all and added the asparagus bundles to brown up the bacon and cook.

There were two patties for each sandwich. The wife had some of the grilled onions, tomato and lettuce on hers. I spread the limburger cheese spread on the bottom patty and added a good pile of the grilled onions to top off. I had a slice of tomato on the side. Those were great!!! After a few bites my wife said “now that’s a good burger”!

Next time for the asparagus I would wrap with bacon and pre-cook both some in the microwave since it was a little underdone. I was happy with the griddle, and glad I could push the onions to the side to cook a little slower and not get too done. The ideal griddle would be double over two burners to have a hot and a warm area but this one will work fine for the wife and me. I think you could get 8 burgers on it to cook for more.