Friday, January 2, 2015

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

Thursday, January 1, 2015

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.

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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BLT's Caprese Style and Sweet Corn

Jul 21 2014

I took a day off helping the son with his fence. I needed to trim and mow the yard. At first I planned on getting carry ins for supper. Then I had an idea for having two of my favorite summer things that would be an easy cook.

So I was off to the grocery to get some bread, mozzarella and Romaine lettuce, then I stopped and got 6 ears of corn from Sutters, then off to my butcher Kah Meats for a pound of bacon. I would have BLT caprese style sandwiches and corn on the cob. The girl at Sutters was still unloading her morning pick. The first time I got corn she said it was extra good this year from the nice spring rains we had.

When I got done with the yard work it was about time to get the bacon in my Traeger. It is the best bacon fryer there is, just put it in at about 300 deg. and let cook. You don’t even have to turn it. I think it is a little healthier too since the rendered fat runs off.

I husked 4 ears of corn and steamed them in my rice cooker. I could just barely get 4 ears in. I like using the rice cooker, when it is done steaming for a set time it goes to warm hold.

I got the tomatoes, mozzarella, and lettuce ready and toasted the bread for our sandwiches. I smeared some good mayonnaise on the bread then a generous amount of bacon, a layer of mozzarella and then under the broiler to melt over the bacon. On top of that went a tomato slice, some fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and a piece of Romaine lettuce.

Did that ever hit the spot! We both thought the mozzarella and basil was good on the BLT and the corn was extra good and sweet. We had butter, Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle and parmesan on the corn.

I thought this second batch of corn I steamed was much better over the first that I boiled in water.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Philly Steak on a Boullio

Jul 19 2014

The son and I took a day off from fence setting today. The grandson stayed overnight and hung out here most of the day. I was a little lazy today and got a couple short naps in.

I sliced up the rest of the eye of round I did yesterday; sliced it thin on my slicer. I was in for beer today and Sandman said my roast looked good. I told him I was having sandwiches tonight, He said a Philly steak sub. I said no but then changed my mind, sounded good.

I bought some Boullio wheat buns for the sandwiches and stopped and bought some good Tennessee tomatoes. I had some provolone cheese for it and some Bob Evans mac and cheese for a side. I like the Boullio buns they have a nice crust that holds up well for a sandwich and the inside is light and airy.

My wife was not going to eat supper, she went to the ordaining of a new minister at her church and they had a dinner after. Our son had to work so the daughter in law and grandson said they would eat, she would not have a sandwich, a veggie, and the grandson just wanted the meat with mac and cheese and tomato. I would just be making a sandwich for myself.

I caramelized some Vidalia onions in a little olive oil and butter, added a little salt and a pinch of sugar. When they were getting browned I added a little beef bouillon. I added enough of the beef for the grandson and me and nuked the mac and cheese. I piled some beef on the bun, topped with some onions and provolone cheese. I sprayed the top half of the bun with some olive oil and did under the broiler.

That was a great sandwich; the beef was nice and tender. Besides the mac and cheese and tomatoes the daughter in law had some veggies from my leftover stir fry. The grandson didn’t eat that great, too many snacks through the day I think!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Beef and Veggie Stir Fry over rice

Jul 18 2014

I had my dry brined eye of round for the beef in this dish. I sliced off three slices and cut in strips and then in half. A half hour before cooking I added some soy sauce, diced onions and dried garlic flakes to the beef to marinate for a while. I had rice with some dried onion and garlic flakes, salt and pepper in my rice cooker to be ready.

My veggies were some carrots sliced, snap peas from a friend’s garden, green beans, baking powder slurry and some diced green onions and celery. My seasonings were pretty simple seasoned stir fry oil, soy sauce and some dried garlic flakes. Most stir fries will have a little ginger but I am not a ginger lover so usually don’t use it.

This was the second time using my new wok and I haven’t used my outdoor burner with a wok lately. I started out with it too hot and was glad I had some beer to add to cool it down some until I got it adjusted.

I started with the marinated beef, and only did about a minute and removed it. I added a little oil and then the carrots, green beans, celery and green onions. I stirred a little and then put a lid on to steam them a few minutes. I then added the snap peas and stirred a couple of minutes; I added the beef back in and stirred a minute then added in the baking powder slurry and stirred to mix. I put the lid back on a couple of minutes and it was ready to serve.

We all loved it served over the rice and the grandson ate a nice amount. He has his rice on the side though. The fresh snap peas from our friend’s garden were delicious and the beef was nice and tender.


Beef in for a minute then removed to add later

Carrots, green beans, celery and green onions added

Steamed a few minutes with lid on

Snap peas added

All in and ready to serve

My supper

Dry Brined Eye of Round

Jul 18 2014

The beef you see getting brined is mostly brisket for corned beef or pastrami.  I was looking for a recipe to brine some cheaper cuts of meat that might work on my rotisserie. I found a couple that was wet brine for eye of round. I found this one quite a few times across the net for dry brine. Since it looked like it had been tried more often I went with it. The cooking process looked like it would do better in my Traeger pellet smoker. I was used to doing eye of round high and fast and this was low and slow so hope it turns out.

I found an Angus eye of round Thursday morning, about 3 lbs. It was in a net sock, not sure why; I never had trouble with an eye of round falling apart. I got it rubbed with about 3 teaspoons of kosher salt; wrapped well in plastic wrap and in the fridge by about 8:30 am.

I then went down to our sons to help him install a picket fence. He had 4X4 treated lumber for posts and the fence was premade 4’ X 8’ panels. We had to keep the posts measured just right so took several measures for each post. We set the posts with quick-krete. We worked until 3:00 pm and did pretty well. We had 5 posts set and 2 sections of fence up. I went back down this morning and we got 2 more sections of fence up and two more posts set before noon. The son was doing all the digging; I was the supervisor!

At noon the roast had been in the fridge about 28 hours. I got the Traeger heated up on 180 deg. P4. I took the roast out and cut the net sock off and dried it well with paper towels. I seasoned it with fresh ground pepper. I heated my Lodge steel skillet on my outdoor burner and browned the roast in a little olive oil well on all sides; 3 minutes on the fat side and about 2 on the rest. I got it in the smoker about 12:15, fat side down. My Traeger was holding pretty close to 225 deg. grill level temp.

One hour in I inserted the temp probe and the roast was at 95 deg. IT. It was just a little after 2:00 when the roast hit 128 deg. IT. I shut the smoker off and turned on my manual fan to let the roast come to 135 deg. IT. It took about 10 minutes. Total time was one hour 45 minutes.  I let the roast cool about 20 minutes then wrapped in foil and in the fridge.

The kids dropped the grandson off to stay overnight while they went to Columbus for a night out. He likes veggies and rice so I planned on doing a beef and veggie stir fry over rice and would use some of the eye of round.

At 5:00 I got the roast out and cut 3 slices off for the stir fry. One slice I got a little thick, ¼ inch and thought it might be a little tough. Surprisingly it was very tender; almost as tender as sirloin. It was moist and the flavor was great for just using salt and pepper. This may be my go to method for eye of round in the future. I plan on slicing the rest up thin tomorrow for sandwiches. I will know more after re-heating for sandwiches.

Click here for recipe I adapted from

The roast

Brined, dried, seasoned and ready to smoke


One hour in

Done at 135 deg. IT


Some slice for my stir fry

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cast Iron Gas Burner Info

Jul 16 2014

A fellow BBQ enthusiast wrote me e-mail; and asks what I had under a skillet on my gas burner in one of my posts. It is a cast iron diffuser plate. It is about ¼ inch thick. Early using cast iron cook ware on the burner I had trouble keeping the heat down and not burning stuff. I found this diffuser plate on the net and it helped; so I use it all the time.

In the first pic you can see the burner which is at least 20 yrs. old. It is about as simple a burner as they make and should last a life time. One accessory I found necessary is the venturi brush you see to clean out spider webs after not using a while. If it gets plugged you will notice it by not being able to get a nice blue flame.

The second pic shows the bottom of the diffuser plate. You can see it is recessed.

The third pic shows the plate in place.