WOOD BASICS

The better the wood and meat, the better the flavor.

The best smokers in the world have curated the best wood possible, which not only creates a luxurious flavor in your mouth but it helps to create the tenderest and juiciest meats you can find.

As a beginner, you probably don’t know which wood is best, which is why we are going to give you this handy chart.

Again, the exact level of smokiness and flavor depends on your tastebuds, so use this as a guide rather than a hard and fast rule.

 

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BBQ BACON WRAPPED MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS:

2 yellow onions
1lb. ground beef
1/4 cup diced onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp spicy ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 pack of bacon
1 bottle BBQ sauce one of my favorites (CLICK)

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut off the tops and bottoms of the onions and remove the exterior skin.
Cut the onion in half and peel the layers apart; keep the biggest layers to stuff with meat.
Setting the onion layers aside, mix the ground beef, diced onion, parsley, mushroom, brown sugar, condiments, and bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl by hand.
Place a handful of the meatloaf mixture inside two of the onion layer pieces.
Wrap the onion meatballs in bacon, using three slices per ball.
Secure the bacon with toothpicks to keep it from unraveling during cooking.
Preheat the pellet grill to 425℉ and smoke for 40 minutes.
Cover in BBQ sauce and cook for additional 5 minutes.

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

INGREDIENTS:
1 LB ALMONDS
1 EGG WHITE
1/2 CUP GRANULATED SUGAR
1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR
1 TBSP CINNAMON
1 PINCH OF SALT

cinnamon-roasted-almonds
PREPARATION:
Place egg white in a small bowl and whisk until frothy. Stir in both of the sugars, cinnamon and salt. Toss almonds with egg white mixture and coat well.

Spread almonds out on a parchment lined sheet tray making sure they are in one even layer.

When ready to cook, set the temperature to 225 degrees F and preheat,using Hickory

Place the sheet tray directly on the grill grate and roast almonds for 90 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes or so until coating is dry.

I usually do this when I’m smoking something for supper when I notice there’s not that much left in the bag, Its a nice snack to have around and munch on!!

Bacon Jam

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Red Onion, finely chopped
4 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. chili powder

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DIRECTIONS:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, reserving about a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and shallots to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft/caramelized, about 15 minutes.
Stir in garlic, brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, chili powder and cooked bacon. Bring mixture to a simmer then reduce heat to low. Cook until the liquid has reduced and thickened and the onions are jammy, 7 to 10 minutes.
Let cool before transferring to a jar. Serve with cheese and crackers. (It’s also delicious on a burger and or Brats)

Cream Cheese & Jalapeño Stuffed Chicken Breast

Smoked chicken breasts are good all on their own, however, if you want to try something different and really, really good, stuff them with a mixture of cream cheese and diced jalapeño wrapped in bacon to hold it all together. I’ve been making variations of these for ages, but I hear they are now called chicken bombs in some circles. Regardless of what you name them, it’s a recipe designed to please everyone!

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1.5 hours
Smoker temperature: 240°F
Meat Finish temperature: 165°F
Recommended wood: Pecan
What You’ll Need
4-6 chicken breasts
8 oz cream cheese
3 jalapeños
A dry rub you like or one of my favorites i list on my blog (HERE)
Thin sliced bacon

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Leave the cream cheese out on the table for about an hour to soften or in microwave for 10 seconds.

Place a block of cream cheese or about 8 oz into a small to medium sized mixing bowl.

Deseed, clean and dice 2-3 jalapeño peppers, depending on how well you like jalapeño and how spicy the jalapeños are.

I usually taste of a little piece to get a feel for the heat level of the peppers (they tend to vary greatly).

Tip: soak the cleaned, deseeded peppers in a bowl of sprite to remove some of the heat. The longer you soak them, the more mild they will become.

Put the diced peppers into the bowl with the cream cheese and stir to combine.

Flatten out the chicken breast with rolling pin or meat hammer not to thin though and brush a little olive oil onto the chicken breasts, then season the top side with your dry rub.

Add a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese/jalapeno mixture on top of the rub,  Spread the rub over half of the chicken breast.Fold the chicken over on top of itself.

Once the chicken is folded coat the entire outside of the chicken breast with a little olive oil and season generously with your dry rub or one my favorite ones.

Lay 2 thin slices of bacon across the stuffed chicken breast.

Lift the chicken up and hold it with one hand while you wrap the bacon “artistically” around the chicken. and know your ready to smoke it.

Set up your smoker for cooking with indirect heat at around 240°F if possible.

If your smoker has a water pan, it’s a good idea to use it.

I used pecan but you can use any smoking wood that you desire and have available.

Once the smoker is ready, place the stuffed chicken directly on the smoker grate.

It should take around 1.5  hours to get to 165 F

Funeral Potatoes
A great side dish that compliments almost any meal! A cheesy potato casserole full of melted cheese, sour cream, onions, and garlic with a crunchy top. This is full of amazing flavor!

Ingredients:

5 lbs Russet potatoes, shredded
2 10.5 oz can of cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sour cream
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons butter, melted, divided
2 yellow onions, shredded
1 jalapeño, finely diced
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon salt or more to taste
2 cups crushed corn flakes

Instructions:
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Shred potatoes, skin on and put in cold water.

Melt 1 stick of butter in a large cast iron skillet* or Camp Chef’s Square Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shredded onion to butter and cook until soft. When soft, add garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant. Drain potatoes and add to skillet or Dutch oven. Mix with onion and jalapeño.

In a bowl, combine cheese, sour cream, soup and seasonings. Once combined, add to potatoes and fold to combine.

Mix 2 tablespoons of butter with cornflakes until coated. Top pan with cornflakes and bake in pellet grill or oven at 350 degrees F. for one hour or until potatoes are soft.

*If using skillet, you will need to use a greased 9 x 13 square casserole dish while baking the casserole. If your skillet is too small to add the potatoes to the onion and jalapeño mixture, add potatoes to square casserole dish then mix in the onion and jalapeño. Then complete the other steps.

Pellet Smoked Picnic Ham

INGREDIENTS:

1 Large Picnic Ham
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of orange juice

Pellet Smoked Picnic Ham tastes delicious and is a nice treat for a large gathering. Keep in mind that what some sellers call a “picnic ham” does not qualify as ham at all. True ham comes from the hind leg of the pig, while a “picnic ham” comes from the front shoulder. If you plan to buy a fresh ham, make sure that it will not have the pink color you are used to in most pork. It will taste the same as the ham you grew up with impacted with the smoke you love. The cooking method is entirely different with a cured ham, you are merely re-heating an already cooked product. You have to fully cook a fresh ham so you will need to cook it for a lot longer but the time will be well spent. Do not use this method for a fresh ham. Ham technology can get a little confusing at times, with dry-cure, wet-cure, country, or city. You will likely find wet-cured city hams at your grocery and be able to follow along with our recipe. This will feed you for days.

Smoked Ham Preparation:

Wash the ham thoroughly. Make shallow scores about ¾” apart with a sharp knife on all sides of the meat in both directions in a checkerboard pattern.
Melt a cube of butter in the microwave and stir in 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Mix well. Use this mixture to glaze the entire ham.
Smoke this in a shallow pan for 3-5 hours at 165°F (74°C). Splash with orange juice several times during the process.PitHamSmoked1