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.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook"

A new Pellet Smoker cookbook, “The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook” , will be out soon by friend Smokin Pete. Pete has been a fellow member of the Lets Talk BBQ forum and friend for a while. There is a link to his blog here under Favorite sites. I would recommend his cookbook; he turns out some fine looking BBQ and is very knowledgeable using a pellet smoker. I have his cookbook pre-ordered from Amazon.

Coming May 10, 2016, the cookbook is now available for Pre-Orders from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Personally autographed copies of the cookbook are also available for Pre-Orders from this autographed cookbook link.

The ultimate barbecuing tool, wood pellet smokers feature a precisely controlled cooking system that allows you to slow roast, smoke, and grill meats to perfection. Packed with bold recipes, 100 color photos, and techniques unique to a wood pellet cooker, this essential guide will turn you into a master of home barbecue. the Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook guides you step by step through the process of slow cooking roasts to juicy perfection, and even baking wood-fired pizza. A must-have manual for anyone who owns a wood pellet cooker, this book serves up spectacularly delicious dishes that are simply impossible to make on traditional barbecue grills. Featuring recipes that utilize hickory, mesquite, maple, apple, cherry, and even pecan flavor pellets, this combination primer and cookbook will take your backyard treats to the next level.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Canadian Walleye Fillet

May 24 2016

I made a run to a Kroger’s store 7 miles away to get some shrimp for the week-end. I got 2 pounds of large frozen gulf shrimp shell on for a shrimp boil. Besides Memorial Day May 30th is our son’s birthday.
I was going to mow so looked for something to do quickly on the grill for supper.

I saw this nice Canadian wild caught walleye fillet marked down; it had started at $15.99 a pound! I don’t usually buy packaged fish near the end of the use by date but thought it might be good. It was just the right size for the wife and me.

When I opened it, it didn’t smell bad. I pulled what pin bones I could find out and got it in to marinade for 3 hours. I used about half balsamic vinegar infused with honey, and soy sauce, some roasted garlic, lime juice and a little olive oil. I ended up with about ¾ cup. I put the fish in a plastic bag, added the marinade and in the fridge. I turned it half way through.

I nuked 4 small yellow potatoes in the microwave, sliced them up, some onion and had some orange pepper strips thawed. They went in my wire basket with butter and seasoning pored over. My wife made up some salads for us. Our grandson had his last day of school today and was here playing with neighbor kids. He wanted to know if he could stay for supper. I and the wife’s portion of fish just got smaller!

I heated my Weber up on medium 350 to 400 deg. I put the potatoes on for about 10 minutes and then did the fish on the back of grill grates skin side down; it was on about 15 minutes and flipped half way.

It looked like blackened fish but that was from the honey in the vinegar. Tasted great, fish was mild and done just right.

The walleye

Skin side

On the grill

My salad

My supper

Monday, May 23, 2016

Smoked & Braised Black Porter Beef

May 22 2016

My wife is in the Little Sister program at school. She goes twice a month to eat lunch with a 6th grader. For the end of the year they had a bus trip to see a minor league ball game so she was gone most of the day.

I had bought a chuck roast, just less than 3 pounds and wanted to do it today. I had done one this winter using black porter beer in the Crockpot that was good. I decided I would smoke it for 2 hours then sear it in a CI skillet and then in a Crockpot to braise all afternoon in the beer.

Last night I placed the roast on a rack and coated both sides with kosher salt. It was in the fridge just over 8 hours for a little dry cure. This morning I added some ground coffee and ground black pepper to both sides. It went on my Traeger at 190 deg. for two hours of smoke.

I had to cut the small piece off to get it in the skillet and seared both pieces in a little grape seed oil 3 minutes per side. I let it rest while I used the skillet to sauté some onions and garlic.

I coarsely chopped 2 ½ med. sized Vidalia onions and 4 cloves of minced garlic. They went in the skillet with a pat of butter, salt and pepper and cooked until the onions were just getting a little brown. I then added just enough of the beer to deglaze the skillet and then poured all into a Crockpot. I placed the roast on top; I just had enough room for one layer after cutting the small piece in half.

I added my Deschutse Black Porter to come near the top of the roast. It was on high about 45 minutes and then went to low for 6 hours. I skimmed off most of the fat then I removed the meat and was so tender had to use a spatula. I removed most of the fat, did a coarse chop and back into the pot and turned it to high while I made a side.

As is this would make a great French dip served on a crusty roll. I had some COWB, cheap ole white buns, on hand so that’s what I used for my sandwich. I had some Fiesta lime corn left for a side. I first coated my bun with some olive oil and toasted in the skillet. Then I diced a slice of bacon some onions and green peppers. When the bacon was getting brown I added the onions and pepper and then the corn and fried for a while.

I had a big scoop of the beef on my sandwich with some mustard and the corn on the side. That was a mighty good sandwich! I think the coffee did add to the flavor.

When my wife got home she was still a little hungry so she had a small bowl of the beef and what corn was left. I asked what she thought of the beef and she said great flavor!

Salted for 8 hr. dry cure

Coffee & pepper added

2 hrs. of smoke

Searing the beef

Sauteeing the onions & garlic

All in the pot

Beef removed to chop

Ready to serve

Frying the corn

My supper

Friday, May 20, 2016

Smoked Kraut Brats & Pierogies

May 20 2016

I took the car through the car wash this morning and stopped at Sandman’s for some beer. He gave me a couple of ribs to try he had done on the PBC. That was my lunch and sure was good. It’s a different smoke flavor than I get on any of my cookers and enjoyed them.

After lunch I went and picked up some flowers to plant. I got my wife set up and she planted them for me. I went and took a nap!

My supper would be an easy cook; kraut brats and pierogies. I had found a recipe for grilled pierogies and wanted to try it. The brats were from my butcher and the pierogies were Mrs. T’s four cheese and mashed potatoes. I would rather have some homemade ones but Mrs. T’s are pretty good and I don’t do dough well.

My plan was to smoke the brats for an hour on my Traeger then do the pierogies on my Weber Gas grill and finish the brats on it too.  Some rain moving in from the south made me change to just using my Traeger. The brats went on the Traeger at 190 deg. for an hour.

For the pierogies; I did them without thawing, a large sliced Vidalia onion, poured some olive oil over. They went in my weber grill basket after the brats were on an hour. I went to 300 deg. and was getting about 350 deg. grill level.

I melted 3 Tbs. of butter, a large teaspoon of dried parsley flakes and added some salt and pepper. After the pierogies had been on 20 minutes I poured the butter mix over and stirred to coat. I checked the brats and they were done so I put them on top of the pierogies and all was on another 20 minutes stirring half way.

We had toasted English muffins and some cold artisan sauerkraut with them. I had mixed equal parts of stone ground mustard and mayo along with some good shakes of Cholula hot sauce mixed to have with my brat.

This was quick and easy and pretty good. I still want to try grilled pierogies but will use the Traeger for something quick. I think the next time I would thaw the pierogies in hot water for the smoker and might get some better browning like I get when doing in a skillet. Total cook time was an hour 40 minutes and there was very little prep.

The simple ingredients

On the smoker & about done

My supper

Pellet Smoker Fried Chicken

May 19 2016

Recently on LTBBQ forum member Scally posted about using baking powder to help crisp up chicken skin. I thought we had tried that and searched; 3 years ago Smoke did some and posted the recipe. I found the post where I had tried it and I said I liked it but I haven’t tried it since!

With renewed interest I decided to try it again. I had also read to marinate chicken in vodka to get crispy skin. I decided to give that a try too. I had a split friar so washed and trimmed it some and into a zip lock bag with a cup of Pinnacle vodka overnight in the fridge and turning it some.

It had been in over 12 hours so I took it out and placed on a rack in a pan and back in the fridge for several hours to air dry. I fried up some diced bacon to make our favorite pea salad for a side. I cheated and used some Bob Even’s mac n cheese for our other side.

I cut up the chicken, dipped in the egg, buttermilk mix and then the seasoned flour with the baking powder. I had a foil pan that I melted a Tbs. of bacon grease and a Tbs. of butter and added. The chicken went in skin side down and then in the fridge about 2 hours before cooking.

I heated my Traeger up to where I was running 375 to 380 at grill level temp. The pan of chicken went in for 30 minutes then turned the chicken and went to about 340 deg. grill level for another 30 minutes. I checked with my thermopen and all was getting to temp with 10 minutes to go. I went inside and got ready to serve and heated the mac n cheese in the microwave.

I let the chicken set a couple minutes then served the wife a breast and the sides. I had a leg, a thigh and a wing that had some of the wishbone meat. It all was good the chicken was moist and tender. The skin was kinda crisp and was eatable. My wife and I both thought we tasted something a little different. I think it was the vodka. Vodka is supposed to be tasteless but the Pinnacle vodka made from wheat does have a distinct taste to me. Next time I will drink the vodka and do a simple salt brine!

To be honest after over 40 years cooking chicken on gas grills and 3 different types of smokers I have never achieved crisp skin like you get when deep fried or skillet fried. When I want good crispy skin I go to Sandman’s carry out and get his broasted chicken!

Click Here for printable chicken recipe
Click Here for pea salad recipe

Bacon for pea salad

All in for the pea salad

Chicken ready for the smoker

Chicken done and resting

My supper