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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pork, Bacon, Corn and Tomato Skillet Meal & Skillet Cornbread

Aug 22 2016

I got a quart of tomatoes in the freezer this AM and after lunch the wife and I did up 2 doz. Ears of corn for the freezer. I got 8 one pound bags for the freezer and it will taste great this winter.

The wife discovered a bag of corn in the freezer from last year so I used it in my supper. I had some pulled pork and jowl bacon from the freezer and had enough tomatoes left from this morning to use.
I had a recipe in my head, pork, bacon, green peppers, onions, garlic, corn, and tomatoes all done in a CI skillet. I would season with some Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, a little Cholula hot sauce. I had a box of Zatarain’s garlic butter rice I would serve it over.

Cornbread would taste good with it so I baked a Miracle Maize Sweet mix in a CI skillet.

I got the rice going in my rice cooker and prepped the onions and peppers. I started with 3 slices of jowl bacon diced and browned in the skillet. I removed the bacon and added in the pork just to heat through well then removed it in with the bacon. I added diced onions with some dried garlic flakes and two pats of butter. When the onions started to take on some brown I added the diced green pepper and then the corn. The liquid in the corn helped deglaze the skillet.

After that all heated up I added the pork, bacon and Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire and hot sauce. I added the tomatoes and stirred all well and let it simmer about 10 minutes, I added about ¼ cup of dry red wine at the end.

I served it over the rice with some buttered cornbread. Not too bad for off the top of my head and throwing it together. I think it would have been a little better with more tomatoes.

My cornbread


Browning the bacon

Pork added in to heat

Chopped onions and dried garlic added

Green pepper and corn added in

Meat seasonings and tomatoes added in

Ready to serve

My supper

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fresh Corn for this Winter

Aug 22 2016

Yesterday I had cooked down what tomatoes I got from the garden and set them in the fridge. I filled a quart jar for the freezer and had enough to use for my supper meal.

As soon as Suter’s Produce Wagon opened at 10:00 AM with fresh picked sweet corn I went up and got a dozen. That would make me 4 one pound bags to freeze for this winter. There is nothing better than opening a vacuum sealed bag of it this winter for some fresh corn taste.

I got the pot of boiling water on my Camp Chef and the wife helped me shuck it. I do a half doz. 2 to 3 minute blanch then take inside and run cold water over to stop the cooking. When the wife had the second batch shucked I said run up and get another dozen. It’s only about 3 minutes away. It was such a nice 74 deg. day I might as well do another doz. And it would give me 8 bags of corn.

I cut the kernels off with a serrated boning knife in a large pie dish, and I scrape the ears to get all the goodies. I do 3 ears then spoon into a sandwich zip lock bag. The 3 ears make just about a pound and lays out flat to freeze. In the morning I will just cut the zip off the bag and vacuum seal all on my Food Saver.

Sure glad the weather turned cooler; not sure I would have done the corn and this is the last week for Suter’s to be here in Wapakoneta. They won’t be out of corn but out of help to pick and man all the wagons they have open. The college kids they hire are starting to return to school. They keep open what they can and I can always drive to Lima, 18 miles away, if I want some bad enough.

Set up to par boil

Cutting off the cob

4 bags for the freezer

Saturday, August 20, 2016

BLT's and Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Aug 19 2016

Looks like my big beefsteak tomatoes are near their end so BLT’s for supper tonight! I should call them BTBLB’s that’s how I stack them bacon, a slice of tomato, bacon, some lettuce, more bacon and I have mustard on the bottom bun and mayo on the top one. Tonight’s were on toasted white bread and sure tasted good.

I made some of my old fashioned potato salad early to have with the sandwiches. I bought Instant Pot’s glass lid that fits my pot. I wanted to be able to use it without the locking lid for some things. I steamed some eggs and that didn’t work out the way I expected. I put in 1 ½ cups of water and the eggs on the steam rack. I set the pot on steam and for 15 minutes. It never went to the timed mode until they were about done and the water was almost all gone. I guess the timed mode in Steam relies on pressure to activate it. My eggs did turn out good though.

I used the regular lid to steam my potatoes for 7 minutes and let cool down before opening.

I did a pound of bacon on my Traeger at 300 deg. grill level and took just over an hour. If I am lucky I should get one more BLT before all my garden tomatoes are gone.

Click Here for printable potato salad recipe

Steaming the eggs

Potatoes steamed

All mixed up

Bacon on the Traeger

Ready to serve

My supper

Monday, August 15, 2016

PC Beef, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Aug 15 2016

I had just used my new Instant Pot 6 in 1 pressure cooker to steam corn twice. I used it today to do a beef chuck roast and steam potatoes and carrots to mash.

If you have an Instant Pot you need a different steamer basket for small things. The insert that came with it is just for large chunks. The collapsible one I already had worked perfectly; you can see it in the first 2 photos.

The roast was from my butcher; 2 ½ pounds part of a 7 bone roast.  I steamed 4 large red potatoes and some carrots for 8 minutes. The potatoes were peeled and cut into large chunks. They were plenty done and mashed up easily. I added 4 large pats of butter and a couple large spoonfuls of sour cream and some salt. They went in the fridge and would heat up at supper time.

For the roast I used a package of Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix and some Pioneer Brown Gravy Mix stirred together and a cup of beef stock. I had 2 slices of sweet onion for the bottom of the pot.

I lightly salted and peppered the roast and cut it in half. I turned the pot to sauté and added some olive oil spray. When it said Hot I seared it on both sides about 3 minutes. I removed it from the pot added the onion slices to the bottom and coated both sides of the meat with the dry soup and gravy mix as I placed it back in. I poured the cup of beef stock over then placed the lid on and locked it. I went to “Meat Stew” setting and set the timer on 60 minutes. Within 10 minutes I was getting a nice beefy smell in the kitchen.

After it went to warm hold I let it set for 6 minutes then vented the steam. Be careful because after an hour it releases a lot of steam compared to a 4 minute steam. After it quite for a while I opened the lid and removed the meat to remove any fat and shred. It was pull apart tender. I let the gravy on warm hold. I nuked some green peas and heated up our mashed potatoes.

We had the beef and potatoes with gravy over, peas on the side and some buttered toasted English muffins. The wife and I thought it was very tender, melt in your mouth beef; some of the best I have had. My dog approved too; he got a few bites of the beef and a little of the gravy. I don’t feed him much table food but he is happy if he gets one bite!

I am going to enjoy having the Instant Pot this winter.

Steamer basket

In the pot

Potatoes and carrots done up early

For the roast

Roast seared and all in the pot

After one hour

The beef shredded

My supper