12 Grills of Christmas

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Welcome to the Grills of Christmas and our favorite 12. For the next dozen days, here you will find all types products to barbecue food. We will feature grills that are fueled by charcoal, wood, propane and electricity. Whatever your preference, you will find our favorites here. As we mentioned in our article, “FANFOOD Gift Ideas 2015“, you can spend a ton of cash on infrared technology, or in building you own outside kitchen with a wood fired pizza oven imported from Italy. You might even think the food tastes better prepared with them, but we gotta tell ya, it’s not WHAT you use to cook it as is it as much as is HOW you choose to cook it.

For the next 12 days we will give you the HOW for each, with recipes, links to the product pages & dedicated fan sites, and our favorite accessories for each, The greatest part is that you will have options that won’t cost you thousands of dollars. Minus the last two, each of the grills and smokers are well below $1000.

So lets get things started with our first grill of Christmas…

 

 1st Grill of Christmas 

 

Weber Performer Deluxe

22″ Charcoal Grill

from: Weber-Stephen

Our first grill is a grander version of our favorite charcoal grill, the Weber kettle. It doesn’t get much better than cooking on one and with all of the accessories that you can find for the kettles, this deluxe version is awesome. Sure, you can just buy a side table for your kettle, and save some money, but the Weber Performer can do much more. It’s a great grill to kick things off for the next 12 days of Christmas.

Weber’s Performer Deluxe 22″ Charcoal Grill is a feature rich version of the basic Original Kettle 22″ on a cart. The new 2015 Performers come standard with Weber’s Gourmet BBQ Cooking System which had been available only as an option. The system consists of Weber’s plated steel 22.5″ grate with hinged sides for replenishing coal and a removable round center grate that let’s grillers insert optional cook surfaces like a Wok, Griddle or Pizza Stone. A removable curved warming rack is also available.

The cart has two large wheels, two locking casters and a large work surface with built-in tool hooks and a removable LCD cook timer. It also has Weber’s Touch-N-Go gas ignition that lets you light charcoal with a small burner under the coal grate, fueled from a one pound propane tank. A charcoal storage bin is located under the work surface. The new Performer Deluxe comes with two char-baskets to hold and easily move charcoal under the grate to create hot direct and cooler indirect zones. Another new feature is the redesigned nylon lid handle that adds a protective heat shield between your fingers and the lid. Check out these new features in the video below.

 

 

A tuck away lid holder cradles the lid off to the side while you tend the feast. Performers have an enclosed receptacle attached to the bottom to capture and hold ash so it cannot blow around. It comes off quickly for easy disposal of ash. Weber Kettles enjoy evergreen popularity from one generation to the next because they are durable and you can cook just about anything you want on them. Pile up coal on one side to sear steaks or set up 2-zone roasting, Build a nice even bed of coal for general cooking.

 

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

 

PRICE: $399
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

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fuel:

Charcoal

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used BEST for:

Bob Baker’s Grilled Chicken with white BBQ Sauce (see recipe below)

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links:

company

dedicated site

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

—————————

 - RECIPE -

 

Bob Baker’s Grilled Chicken with White BBQ Sauce 


It’s best to quarter the chicken since breasts and thighs cook at different rates, with the breasts being thicker, but less forgiving. You can overcook thighs and drums a bit and still have moist meat, but not breasts. The marinade is very close to a mayonnaise, so you can store the sauce in the fridge for a few days, even though there is raw egg, because the vinegar, salt, and cold will prevent salmonella from multiplying. Cooking it to 165°F, of course makes it perfectly safe.

INGREDIENTS

1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cider vinegar
1 tablespoon table salt
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 broiler chickens cut into quarters

PREPARATION

In a large bowl, whisk the egg white and yolk together with a balloon whisk or a hand mixer. Add the oil and whisk until it gets thick, homogeneous, and a bright yellow, for about 2 minutes. A balloon whisk is the best tool for this job since the wire strands really do a good job of emulsifying two ingredients that don’t want to mix, one oil based, the other water, but a fork will do in a pinch. Now whisk in the vinegar, salt, seasoning, and pepper.

Stab the chicken skin several times with a fork or knife so the marinade can get in and so fat can get out when cooking. This will help make the skin crispy. Marinate the chicken for 3 to 24 hours in zipper bags in the fridge. You can do this in a bowl or pan, but you need more marinade than if you use zipper bags. Every hour or so, turn the meat a bit so all surfaces get well coated.

Set up the grill for 2-zone cooking. Try to get the indirect side in the 225°F range. Place the chicken over the indirect zone and close the lid. Every 5 to 10 minutes baste with the marinade, turn the chickens on both sides, and move the ones closer to the heat away and the ones away closer.

Cook about 30 to 45 minutes until the internal temperature of each part is 150°F and stop basting. Then move them over the hot direct heat side of the grill, skin side down, remove the lid, and crisp the skin without burning it for 10 to 15 minutes. Flip and heat for about 5 minutes more. This step is important to finish the cooking of the meat, crisp the skins, and make sure everything is sterile since raw egg can contain salmonella. When the skin is crisp and the temp is 165°F, take the meat off. Even if it is a bit red in there when you cut in, it is safe at 165°F.

You cannot judge a chicken’s safety by the color of the juices! I strongly recommend you use one of the fine new digital thermocouple thermometers available nowadays to make sure your poultry and other foods are cooked properly for taste and safety.

 

White BBQ Sauce

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt, finely ground
¼ teaspoon cayenne

 

PREPARATION

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Place in an airtight container or bottle and refrigerate until you’re ready to use. Keeps up to 4 days.

 

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 2nd Grill of Christmas 

 

Mini Ceramic Cooker

from: Big Green Egg, Inc.

The Big Green Egg is a Kamado cooker.

What you have never heard of one of these?

No, Kamado’s are not used to cook Dragon that is spelled similarly, it a modern version of the Japanese kamado, an earthernware cooking urn whose original design is probably at least 3,000 years old. They look a bit like an ancient burial urn or a giant egg. Some are made of ceramics, terra cotta, cement, lava rock, and other refractory materials, the kind of stuff used to make kilns and crucibles, all extremely good insulators. If you don’t drop them, they last a long time. The old joke is, ask your kids what color they like, because one of them is going to inherit it.

The Mini Egg is Big Green Egg’s smallest model. With a 10″ diameter grate and weighing only 39 lbs, one can easily transport it for picnics, camping and tailgating. Made in Mexico the BGE design is simple, it is built to last, and it has a limited lifetime warranty.

Round Kamados work as good as or better than standard charcoal grills for most recipes. They are, by design, excellent ovens and smokers because once the ceramic settles at the desired temperature, it stays there for hours. Eggs make great pizza ovens. Remove the grate and you can do Brazilian and Tandoori style cooking on long skewers, all standing vertically in a circle around the small, superhot fire. Easy to start in all wind and weather conditions, the insulation means that they need very little charcoal or oxygen, even in far northern winters. The thick sides retain and radiate heat very efficiently. That means less charcoal and oxygen are needed so there is not a lot of airflow out of the chimney.

Click here to read more about Kamado and ceramic grills and smokers - from our friends over at amazingribs

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

 

PRICE: $399
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

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Fuel:

Charcoal

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Used Best for:

A Lobster “Tail” gate party (see recipe below)

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links:

company

dedicate BGE site

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

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 - RECIPE -

 

Lobster “Tail” Gate 

So you are fortunate enough to own one of these awesome ceramic cookers, why not show it off?  It’s perfect to bring to your next tailgate party and if you were to do that, why would you waste the effort on burgers and dogs?  Green eggs are great cookers and because they cook so evenly, they are perfect for grilling lobster tails, (and pizza, but we have a better tool for that). It may even keep you warm on those cold days, just keep in mind that you will have to account for the time it takes to cool off before you can put it in your vehicle and go into the stadium.

These lobster tails are grilled with fresh chili butter for an even heavenlier taste than regular lobster tails!

 

INGREDIENTS

4 (4-ounce) lobster tails, cleaned
1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon® Lobster Base
1 cup softened, unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sambel oelek (Fresh chili paste)
1⁄4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon® Roasted Garlic Base

 

PREPARATION

Set EGG for direct cooking (no convEGGtor) at 450°F/232°C.
Mix the Lobster Base, butter, fresh chili paste, parsley, and Roasted Garlic Base in a small bowl. Divide the butter in half.
Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter over the meat of each lobster tail. Place the lobsters directly onto the EGG, meat side up, and grill for 5-6 minutes.
Melt the remaining reserved butter. Remove lobsters from EGG and serve immediately with the remaining butter.
Serves 4

 

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 3rd Grill of Christmas 

 

Spirit E-310 Gas Grill

from: Weber-Stephen

 

This is another grill that we own and we love it. It heats up quick and has no hot spots. It’s a quality product and fun to cook on. A ton of great food has come off this grill and continue reading for our favorite accessory that takes this product to the next level.

Weber gas grills are simply the gold standard. Designed intelligently with attention to details and built to last, they look good, work beautifully, and almost never break down. All their burners are quality stainless steel, have a long life expectancy, and they come with electronic ignitions. The body is heavy. The casters are sturdy and lock solid. Nothing wobbles on Webers. The grease drip pans are easy to access from the front, not the back as with many other grills. Except for the portable/compact Q line, all models hold the propane tank inside the enclosed cart, and can be adapted for natural gas. They have smaller vents in the hood than most gassers which means they retain more heat than grills with more BTUs.

All have inverted V shaped “flavorizer” bars that cover and protect the burners while vaporizing drips and turning them into flavor that gets back up onto the meat. Weber’s entry level Spirit line was completely redesigned for 2013. Spirit E-310 has three stainless steel burners for a total output of 32,000 BTU. It is the largest Spirit model with 424 square inches primary cooking surface and a 105 square inch warming rack.

A big change for Spirit in 2013 was reconfiguration of the burner layout. Burners used to connect from side to side with control knobs on the right side shelf. The new Spirit burners connect from front to back with control knobs on the front panel. This not only frees up work space on the side shelf, but provides better performance when cooking indirect or 2-zone. The E-310 has black porcelain enameled grates, flavorizer bars, housing and single door enclosed carts with a stainless steel work surface. The lightish hood is made of porcelain-enameled steel. The stainless work surface has cast aluminum end caps with built-in tool hooks. It rests on four casters (two locking) and has battery powered ignition.

 

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

 

PRICE: $ 599
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

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fuel:

LP Gas, Natural Gas Compatible

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used BEST for:

Grilled Flat Iron Steak Sandwiches (see recipe below)

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links:

company

dedicated site

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

—————————

 - RECIPE -

 

Grilled Flat Iron Steak Sandwiches

This recipe is for the serious sandwich lover and perfect for the Weber propane grill. The steaks are marinated, then grilled to perfection, sliced and layered onto bread with onions from the au jus, Swiss cheese, and mustard black pepper mayonnaise. Dip this heaping sandwich into a piping hot au jus to experience perfection.

 

INGREDIENTS

4 pounds flat-iron steaks

For marinade:

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sea salt
1/2 tablespoon herbes d’ provence
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon course ground black pepper

For Au Jus:

1 tablespoon beef base Plus 2 cups water
1 bottle ale
1 onion thinly sliced into rings
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
dash of chili powder

For Mayonnaise:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon course ground black pepper
12 crunchy deli rolls

 

PREPARATION

Place flat-iron steaks in a resealable plastic bag.
Combine marinade ingredients and pour over steaks.
Make sure every bit of the steaks are well coated.
Seal bag and place into refrigerator.
Allow meat to marinate for 2-4 hours before grilling.
While steaks are marinating, prepare mustard-black pepper mayonnaise and place into an airtight container.
Refrigerate right away.
To prepare au jus, combine beef base with 2 cups warm water.
Add to a large saucepan.
Add ale, sliced onion, and remaining ingredients for jus.
Allow mixture to come to almost a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes.
If sauce begins to reduce too much, simply add 1/2 to 1 cup of water until it reaches the right consistency.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Remove steaks from bag and place onto grill.
Cook for 8-10 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
You can reduce or increase cook times if needed.
Once steaks have cooked to desired doneness, remove from grill, tent with foil and allow them to rest for 5-7 minutes before carving.
Slice against the grain.
To assemble, apply mayonnaise mixture first, then two slices of Swiss cheese per sandwich.
Next, place desired amount of simmered onions from au jus, onto bread.
Finally add steak slices.
Using a ladle, scoop au jus, minus onion, into a small bowl.
Dip sandwich into jus and enjoy.

 

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 4th Grill of Christmas 

 

Weber Q 2000/2200

Gas Grills

from: Weber-Stephen

Here we go again with the Weber grills. Don’t worry we will feature products made by other manufacturers, but the Q’s are one of our favorites to bring to a tailgate party. They are compact, clean up well and perfect to put on a folding table and crank out some quality grilled food. Sure the cooking surface isn’t huge, but if you have tailgated as much as we have, you know that everyone doesn’t eat at once and many of your fellow guests would rather drink than sit down and eat. This grill is perfect to throw on some burgers (recipe below), dogs, sausages, onions & peppers and cook to “order”. It stores well and is much cleaner to transport. Don’t let anyone give you grief about tailgating with one of these, the dirty charcoal cooks are just jealous.

Q 2000 and 2200 are Weber’s large portable gas grills with 280 square inches of cook surface and a single 12,000 BTU stainless steel burner. These portables, originally called Baby Q, were a hit coming out of the gate. Like all Q series grills they have coated cast aluminum housing, porcelain-enameled cast iron grates, electric ignition, removable grease pans and glass re-inforced nylon frames. They use disposable 14.1 or 16.4 oz. LP cyliders. Optional 20 lb. LP tank adaptor kits are available.

As with all Weber grills, intelligent design coupled with quality construction produces an attractive cooker that works great. The heavy cast aluminum housing holds and distributes heat while the cast iron grates can do a decent job of searing. In 2014 Weber split the cooking grate to accommodate an optional cast on griddle on one side.

These portables make travel manageable, but obviously limit the amount and size of what can be cooked. They may be used as a table top grill or mounted to a fold out stand with two legs, two wheels and tool hooks.

All gas Qs are “titanium” color: a silvery grey cream. The Q 2000 has peizo electric ignition and fold out side tabels. For $20 more the Q 2200 offers battery powered ignition and a lid heat indicator.

 

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

 

PRICE: $ 279
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

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fuel:

LP Gas

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used BEST for:

Perfect Burgers with Special Sauce (see recipe below)

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links:

company

Weber on amazon

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

—————————

 - RECIPE -

 

Perfect Burgers

As mentioned before, Weber Qs are perfect for a tailgate party. They are compact easy to clean and cool down quickly. They can be put on a folding table or even attached to your truck or camper. The ingredients in this burger will make up for any criticism that you might get for not bringing your 300 pound smoker on a trailer, more on that later.

You will need a meat grinder for this recipe, In fact you need to get one regardless.  These days, it’s hard to trust prepared ground meats from the grocery store.  If you grind your own, you know what is in it right?  Go out a get one today, and make this the first thing you make with it.

 

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces sirloin steak meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
8 ounces chuck steak meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
8 ounces lamb shoulder meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
4 ounces grated Cheddar, smoked if preferred
4 hamburger buns
Mayonnaise

 

PREPARATION:

Pass the meat through the coarsest die of a food grinder.

Place the ground meat into a bowl and mix together to evenly distribute the different types of meat.

Place in the refrigerator uncovered, for 2 hours.

shape the meat into 4 patties that are 6 ounces in weight and 3/4-inch thick.

Sprinkle each patty on both sides with the salt.

Place on the grill and do not move for 2 minutes.

Flip the burgers every 2 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Watch for hot spots and move the burgers if flare-ups occur.

Resist the urge to smash down on the patties.

Remove the burgers from the heat to a plate and prepare the buns by placing them on the grill, cut side down for 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove and place them cut side up on a platter.

Divide the cheese evenly between the top buns, set the meat patty on top of the cheese.

Coat the cut side of each bottom bun with a little mayonnaise or My “Special Sauce” and set atop the meat.

Allow each burger to sit upside down for a minute before flipping and consuming.

 

Burger Special Sauce

This is one of the best “special sauces” out there.

 

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon finely grated onion
1 tablespoon sweet relish or 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
¼ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Makes about 1 cup

 

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 5th Grill of Christmas 

 

Daniel Boone Pellet Smoker

from: Green Mountain Grills

What if you could smoke food from the convenience of your couch? It sounds like cheating but smoking with wood pellets is much easier than smoking with logs or charcoal. There is no constant fiddling with fires or air vents, with this smoker you can connect it to your Bluetooth device, and adjust the temperature with the touch of a button from your couch. What’s better than that? You will get all the flavor of smoking with logs of wood than you will with pellets.  This grill is not for the purist and may not be used in competition BBQ, but we like it.

The Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone is their most popular model. Green Mountain includes some features not common in lower price pellet smokers and that often cost extra even in higher cost cookers. There’s a standard meat probe feature that reports the internal temperature of what’s being cooked to the controller read-out, a low pellet alarm, a work surface on both sides, and tool hooks. The touch pad digital controller allows cooks to enjoy set it and forget ease of use. All grates are stainless steel. The peaked lid has 13.5 inches of headroom.

 

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

 

PRICE: $ 599
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

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fuel:

wood pellets

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used BEST for:

Smoked Chicago Italian Beef Sandwiches (recipe below)

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links:

company

BBQ Brethren’s Forum – GMG

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

—————————

 - RECIPE -

 

Smoked Chicago Italian Beef Sandwiches

 

Sure, you can cook this roast in the oven in your kitchen, but you will not get that smokey goodness than you will with the smoker. If for some reason you have access to a meat slicer, this recipe is perfect for it. The thinner the better when it comes to the meat on this sandwich. Make sure that you do not dip the sliced beef in the juice for too long, You don’t want to ruin it by cooking it a second time.  Read more on that below

 

INGREDIENTS

The beef

1 boneless beef roast (sirloin or round), about 3 pounds with most of the fat trimmed off

The rub

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

The juice

6 cups of hot water

4 cubes of beef bouillon (yes, bouillon, see the explanation below) *

The sandwich

10 soft, fluffy, high gluten rolls, sliced lengthwise but hinged on one side or Italian bread loaves cut widthwise into 10 portions (Gonnella, Turano, and D’Amato are the bakers of choice in Chicago)

3 medium sized green bell peppers

1 tablespoon olive oil, approximately

1 cup hot giardiniera

About the beef. Top sirloin, top round, or bottom round are preferred in that order. For tenderness, especially if you cannot cut paper thin slices, you can use chuck, a fattier cut, so the meat will be more tender and flavorful. Keep in mind you’ll have to chill the pan drippings after cooking in order to skim off the fat.

If you wish, omit the garlic powder and stud the roast with fresh garlic.

Some insist you must use bouillon to be authentic, while others use beef stock, veal stock, or a soup base, and simmer real onions and garlic in it. Soup base is stock concentrated into a paste. It usually has salt added. Feel free to substitute soup base but remember it will be salty.

 

PREPARATION

Stab the surface of the meat every inch or so and stick slivers of fresh garlic into the meat. NOTE = If you do this, leave the garlic out of the rub. Otherwise, mix the rub in a bowl.

Coat the meat lightly with vegetable oil to help the rub stick, sprinkle it generously on the meat, and massage it in. There should be some left over. Do not discard it, you can use it in the juice.

Use a 2-zone setup on the GMG with the indirect side up to about 325°F. Normally you would want to cook roasts at a much lower temperature to make them tender, but this is a tough cut to begin with and slicing it thin effectively makes it easier to chew. Then it is dunked in hot gravy, which takes it up to the well-done range, so it doesn’t matter what temp you cook it at to begin with.

Pour the water into a 9 x 13″ baking pan and heat it to a boil on the direct heat side of the grill, on the side burner, or on the stove top. Dissolve the bouillon in the water. It may look thin, but it will cook down and concentrate during the roasting. Pour the remaining rub into the pan. Place a rack on top of the pan. Place the roast on top of the rack above the juice. If you are using the rotisserie, you can skip the rack, just locate the pan below the meat.

Roast at 325°F until interior temperature is about 130°F for medium rare, about 40 minutes per pound (exact time will depend on the cut of meat, its thickness, and how well calibrated your cooker is). This may seem long, but you are cooking over water and that slows things down. The temp will rise about 5°F more as it rests. Don’t worry if there are people who won’t eat medium-rare meat. The meat will cook further later in the Au Jus , and you can just leave theirs in the juice longer if that is what they want.

This recipe is designed for a 9 x 13″ baking pan. If you use a larger pan, the water may evaporate and the juice will burn. If you have to use a larger pan, add more water. Regardless of pan size, keep an eye on the pan to make sure it doesn’t dry out during cooking. Add more water if necessary.

While the meat is roasting, cut the bell peppers in half and remove the stems and seeds. Rinse, and cut into 1/4″ strips. Cook the peppers in a frying pan over a medium high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom, about 1 tablespoon. When they are getting limp and the skins begin to brown, about 15 minutes, they are done. Set aside at room temp.

Remove the roast and the juice pan. Take the meat off the rack and remove the rack. Pour off the juice, put the meat back in the pan, and place it in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Let it cool for a few hours, long enough for the meat to firm up. This will make slicing easier. Chill the juice, too, in a separate container. Slice the meat against the grain as thin as humanly possible, preferably with a meat slicer. If you don’t have a slicer, use a thin blade and draw it along the meat. If you try to cut down or saw through the crust you will be cutting it too thick.
Now taste the juice. If you want you can thin it with more water, or make it richer by cooking it down on top of the stove. When it is to your liking, get the juice a gentle simmer. Soak the meat in the juice for about 1 minute at a low simmer. That’s all. That warms the meat and makes it very wet. You can’t leave the meat in the juice for more than 10 minutes or else it starts to curl up, squeezes out its natural moisture, and toughens. If you go to a beef stand and the meat is really curly, they have committed a mortal sin.

To assemble the sandwich, start by spooning some juice directly onto the bun. Get it wet. Then lay on the beef generously. Spoon on more juice. Top it with bell pepper and, if you wish, giardiniera. If you want it “wet”, dip the whole thing in juice. Be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand.

 

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 6th Grill of Christmas 

 

Wood Pellet Grill

from: REC TEC

 

Pellet wood cooking is more popular than ever. Yesterday, we featured a wood-fired smoker that was fueled by hardwood pellets, today we feature a device that you can smoke and grill directly over a flame generated from the same fuel. Quality hardwood fuel is pivotal in cooking rich, flavorful food outdoors. A wood pellet grill is the only barbecue that can create thick, smooth smoke that evenly circulates, enveloping every inch of food with aromatic and memorable wood-fired flavor. With these you can fire up consistent results every time, and taste the difference.

REC TEC pellet grills work like a charm. One of the best things we like about this unit is the fact that it never has any pellet jams. This speaks volumes about its efficiency and reliability. The overall quality construction of this unit goes beyond just the body work, it is a sturdy unit. The REC TEC grill temperature control system is reliable. Simply set this thing’s temperature and it maintains it throughout the duration of your cook.

This wood pellet BBQ grill has a 680 square inch cooking area with a 9 ½ inch headroom. Like other REC TEC grills, this wood pellet grill features the patented Smart Grill Technology Controller. This unit’s temperature range goes from 180 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It features stainless steel parts include: towel ring, bull horn handles, grill grates, drip pan, fire pot, heat deflector, and product logo.

All pellet grills need to be plugged into an AC outlet. REC TEC wisely takes advantage of this requirement to include a very useful internal hood light. Seams are welded, powder coated and caulked. Grill grates are one quarter inch, marinade resistant, long lasting stainless steel rods. The firepot, heat deflector and drip pan are also stainless steel. Grab the handle on the right under the chimney and it moves easily on two large, plastic wheels and two locking casters.

No review of REC TEC would be complete without comment on the striking and appealing appearance. With its bright red powder coated hood and shining micro polished stainless steel bull horn handles and nose ring towel holder, it’s a mighty cool looking cooker that’s a pleasure to use.

 

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

 

PRICE: $ 998
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

fuel:

Wood Pellets

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used BEST for:

Brined and Grilled Pork Loin Roast (see recipe below)

—————————

links:

company

dedicated site

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook

—————————

 

 - RECIPE -

 

Grilled Pork Loin Roast 

 

INGREDIENTS

4 – 5 pound pork loin roast (ask the butcher, you want the nice fat layer on the top as well!)
6 cups water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 Bay leaves
1 handful of peppercorns
4 sprigs of Thyme
2 sprigs of Rosemary

PREPARATION

Combine the brown sugar and salt in the water and bring to a boil.

Stir until dissolved and then add the rest of the brine ingredients.

Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely to room temperature.

Once the solution has completely cooled (we don’t want to start cooking the meat!), add the pork loin roast and brine solution to a Ziplock type bag. Seal and squeeze out as much air as possible.

Put the sealed bag with the now brining pork roast into a pot or large bowl, one that can hold all of the liquid in case something happens to the bag (speaking from experience here!).

Place the bowl containing the brining meat into a refrigerator for at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours.

Remove the pork roast from the refrigerator at least 45 minute prior to cooking. We want to give it a little time to warm to room temperature, so remove it from the brining solution and leave it on a platter on the kitchen counter while we prep the grill with apple, pecan or cherry wood pellets.

Rinse and pat the pork roast dry.

Rub the pork loin with fresh ground black pepper.

Crank up your pellet grill to sear the meat.

Sear the pork loin roast on all sides and create some of those nice grill marks

turn off one side and set the other to 300°F and indirect cooking

Next, you want to elevate the pork roast a little and place a drip pan underneath.

Place the seared pork loin on the grate (or rack) fat side up! Roasting meats fat side up also aides in keeping them juicy!

We want to roast this pork loin at around 300 degrees.

Now close the lid and your job is done for at least an hour! Make sure you monitor the thermometer for the first 20 minutes or so to get the temperature right. Adjust the grill to get the thermometer to 300 degrees. Also, keep an eye on pellets

After about an hour, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast and then close the lid.

Continue cooking until the meat thermometer measures around 150 degrees. This is where a good instant read meat thermometer in invaluable.

Remove the pork loin roast from the grill, place on a platter and cover with a tent of aluminum foil and allow to rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

 

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 7th Grill of Christmas 

 

Wood-fired Pizza Oven

from: Uuni

Keeping up with the popularity of wood fired cooking, the guys over at Uuni (and across the pond) created a pizza oven that is fueled by wood pellets.  We bought the original Uuni a couple of years ago and have been making wood fired pizza ever since.  It’s easy to use and the pizza comes out great! They made a couple of modifications and we have a couple of more that we will suggest, but for the money, you can’t beat this product and a have your very own pizza oven on your patio. What we like most about this device, is the portability. It cools down quickly, easy to clean, and transports easier than towing a slow cooker to a party.

Uuni 2 is the revolutionary wood-fired oven that is easy to use, portable and fast. It cooks a pizza in less than 2 minutes at around 850°F! It is made of stainless steel construction; Burns wood pellets; Self-assembly; Heats up in 10 minutes; Cooks in 2 minutes.

Uuni 2 is an affordable, portable wood-fired pizza oven. It’s big enough to cook a pizza (one at a time) and small enough to go from patio to tailgate. A clever new chimney design means it cooks better and smarter than its Kickstarted predecessor.

The oven is fuelled by wood pellets and is ready to cook (850°F) after just 10 minutes. Pizzas take just 2 minutes each to cook… and taste delicious.

Uuni was a Kickstarter success story back in 2012. This self assembly wood-fired pizza oven is designed to be portable: not just from your old home to your new home but to a park, campsite, beach or tailgate party. Uuni 2 improves on the original’s design in a number of ways. Most notably, it uses a tall chimney to draw air through the oven instead of a battery-powered fan. The other most visible improvement is that the oven now has a stainless steel finish, not black. It looks superb.

Traditional masonry wood-fired pizza ovens take hours to heat up, use much more fuel and take up much more patio space.

The design is brilliantly engineered and much more affordable than rival wood-fired pizza ovens. Note, though, that it’s only big enough to cook one pizza at a time, whereas some larger ovens can handle more than one and can even be used to bake bread.

A good pizza never goes out of style, and in fact, good pizza now means much more than it did back in the day; tastes have evolved and pizza consumers expect more out of their pies. Meanwhile, technology will progress, and sooner or later our pizzas will be delivered by drones and self-driving cars. But until they incorporate a pizza oven into these delivery devices, homemade pizza still has them beat.

 

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

 

PRICE: $ 299
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

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fuel

wood pellets

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used BEST for:

goog’s wood fired pizza (see recipe below)

—————————

links:

company

dedicated site

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

—————————

 - RECIPE -

 

Goog’s Pizza Dough

 

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2 cups of warm water, separated
4 cups of Flour
pinch of salt

PREPARATION

Turn on oven to 175.
Put yeast in bowl with pinch of sugar and 1 cup warm water. let activate.
Add pinch of salt, add second cup of water and flour.
Turn off oven.
mix until it has the right consistency. cover with plastic wrap and towel. put in warm oven (make sure it is turned off) for one hour or until doubled in size.

 

Uuni Pizza #1

 

INGREDIENTS

low moisture mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
San Marzano Tomatoes, D.O.P
freshly ground black pepper
dried oregano
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh basil leaves, torn

 

Take some of the dough and lightly dust with flour, and stretch gradually until it is about 8 inches in diameter or rectangle shaped to fit your Uuni. Place on a floured peel. Place thin slices of mozzarella over the crust, then grind a liberal amount of black pepper over it. Sprinkle with dried oregano. Randomly arrange crushed tomatoes, leaving some empty areas. Drizzle olive oil over the top.

With a quick back and forth jerk, make sure the dough will release from the peel easily. Place the tip of the peel at the back of the preheated Uuni, and remove peel so that the pizza is left in the oven.

Bake for 1 minute and if you are skilled enough, spin the pizza 180 degrees, bake anther minute or so until the crust begins to brown. Remove from the oven by sliding the peel beneath the pizza. Sprinkle a few basil leaves randomly over the pizza. Cut into wedges and serve.

 

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 8th Grill of Christmas 

 

Indoor Electric Barbecue Grill

from: Livart

 

 

Let’s change things up a bit today and bring the cook indoors.  No, you can’t bring your propane smoker into the basement or Uuni Pizza Oven into the garage, this would be dangerous and idiotic. So what do you do when you want to get your grill on and you sold your george foreman at a yard sale back in 1992 for $5? You marinate some meat and plug in your  Livart LV-982.  You can even call some friends over all cook around a table, but we bet you will use this more often than at a Yakitori cooking party.

The Livart LV-982 is a fun, convenient open-faced grill that looks like a miniaturized beach grill, complete with a removable rack. This tabletop electric grill is a great choice for people who like to cook yakitori-style skewered foods at their dinner tables or want their meat and veggies to have a fresh grilled flavor. The grilling surface on the LV-982 is open, unlike the clamshell-style electric grills, giving you full access to your food. If you enjoy fresh grilled flavor and want to have control over your cooking, then the LV-982 orange electric barbecue grill is an excellent choice.

You can cook a wide variety of foods with this indoor electric grill, including steaks, chicken, shrimp, burgers and vegetable chunks. You can even cook fish fillets and use it as a hot plate for a pot. Unlike the other electric grills, the heating elements on this appliance are exposed instead of being integrated into the heating surface. This unique design may seem like a safety hazard at first, but the juices and grease that drip from the food above evaporate on contact. Anything that does not come in contact with the elements is collected in the drip pan below. The manufacturer states you should add water to the drip pan to help ease cleaning and reduce splatter.

Another nice feature of this tabletop grill is you can place food in the pan below the heating element and use it to bake or broil. While not as powerful as a toaster oven, you can heat up food or melt cheese with ease using this method.

Cleaning this electric grill can be hard at times, mainly because the juices and fat do not collect around the food while cooking, resulting in baked on food residue. This problem can be alleviated by soaking the grill rack and drip pan in hot water with dish detergent for about 10 minutes to help loosen stubborn food.

The Livart LV-982 is a uniquely designed indoor electric grill that is perfect for cooking yakitori and fish fillets.

Here are some links about Yakitori-style cooking.

japanesecooking101.com

justonecookbook.com/yakitori

 

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

Click here to purchase from Amazon

 

PRICE: $ 74.99
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

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fuel:

Electricity

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used BEST for:

if not yakitori how about Grilled Pork Tenderloin (see recipe below)

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links:

company

Yakitori-style cooking

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

—————————

 

 - RECIPE -

 

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

 

INGREDIENTS

1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound
1 lime, zest finely grated
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

 

PREPARATION

Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin.

Place the lime zest, lime juice, honey, salt, and garlic powder in a small, lidded jar and shake to combine. Pour half of the marinade mixture into a 1-gallon resealable bag, add the chipotle pepper, and move around to combine. Add the pork tenderloin to the bag and seal, removing as much air as possible and place in a container to catch any leaks. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours, rotating the bag halfway through the time. Place the remaining marinade in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove the tenderloin from the bag and allow to sit at room temperature while preparing the grill. Remove the reserved marinade from the refrigerator.

Remove the tenderloin from the bag and place in the center of grate. Discard bag with marinade. Cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

Remove the tenderloin from the grill and place on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil folded at the edges to create a basket, and pour on the reserved marinade. Wrap tightly and rest for 10 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and slice. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

 

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 9th Grill of Christmas 

 

 

 

Dual-Burner LP Gas Smoker

by Smoke Hollow

 

 

With the 5th grill of Christmas, we featured a device for you to conveniently smoke food and here is another.  The Daniel Boone smoker as fueled by pellets, this one is fueled by propane and is our favorite. We have cooked some amazing food in this smoker and using it is as easy as it gets. Simply light one (or both) of the burners add the wood chips of your choice (ours is pecan) and start smoking. From ribs to shoulders, chicken, vegetables to salmon, we have done it all, and we have had this smoker for less than a year. The neighbors know when to come over, they just follow their noses.

The greatest thing about upright propane smokers is that they maintain temperature better than charcoal and electric smokers. With gas you have a constant flow of heat unlike electric where an element turns on and off, and a fire that needs constant care.

What separates this one is the dual independently controlled stainless steel burners. Smoke Hollow is owned by Outdoor Leisure Products, and the 44″ Dual Burner Gas Smoker includes sausage hangers, jerky racks, and a two-sided combination cooking grid/rib rack. At 44″ tall x 24″ wide x 16″ deep, this two burner smoker not only offers big capacity, but Smoke Hollow claims that shutting off one burner will give you low temps of around 125°F on the top rack for smoking cheese.

This Smoke Hollow gas smoker also features a cabinet system that also uses two doors. Cabinets are constructed out of solid steel. Wood chip pans are coated with porcelain.
This is the largest gas smoker model offered by the manufacturer. Its dimensions are 60” x 33” x 24.5”. Its total weight is 100 pounds.

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

order from thesmokecompany.com

 

PRICE: $ 499
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

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fuel:

LP Gas

—————————

used BEST for:

John’s Smoked Pork Shoulder (see recipe below)

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links:

company

smokingmeatforums.com

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

—————————

 

 - RECIPE -

 

John’s Smoked Pork Shoulder

 

One of the classics of barbecue cookery is pulled pork. Essentially, this recipe involves the taking of a tough, fatty cut, the pork shoulder, and slow smoking it until it has rendered much of that fat and connective tissue and is tender and smokey delicious. “Boston Butt”, “Picnic Roast”, “Pork Shoulder” or “Shoulder Blade Roast” are all names for shoulder cuts that make great pulled pork. While there are some basic guidelines and tips on this cook, it is one of the easiest, most forgiving of the BBQ standards to produce.

Here is my step by step method for smoking a pork shoulder using the above propane smoker which we have done many times.

 

INGREDIENTS

9 lb Pork Shoulder Boston butt Roast
2 cups Memphis Dust
2 cups John’s Hog Wash
2 cups “Pig in a Blanket” wrap

Plenty of apple or pecan wood chips

BBQ Tools (see below)

 

PREPARATION:

Take a trip to your local butcher. Ask them to cut a whole shoulder down into its component part, the Boston butt roast. A whole shoulder roast will weigh approximately 16 lbs. Ask them to remove the rind from the majority of the shoulder, that part is what will constitute the butt roast. The portion of the roast covered by the rind is what makes up the picnic shoulder roast. The butt portion will be the larger of the two, going about 9 or 10 lbs, the picnic in the 5 to 6 lb range.

 

Memphis Dust Rub:

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup paprika
¼ cup kosher salt
4 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves, ground to a powder

 

Make up the rub. With a small knife pierce meat in 1″ intervals turning knife inside meat. Rub Memphis dust all over and into holes. You don’t have to use all of it and may want to save some for seasoning at the end of the cook. Wrap in plastic wrap and foil and place on a sheet pan in fridge overnight.

 

John’s Hog Wash:

1 ½ cup Apple Juice 100%
½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
½ cup Olive Oil
1 ½ Tbs Paprika
1 Tbs garlic powder
½ Tbs Sugar
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp Cumin
½ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

 

Pull the meat out at least 1 hour before smoking to bring up to room temp. Go ahead and make up the Hog Wash and soak your chips. Fill up your water pan with water. Light your smoker and put a good handful of chips in one or both of your smoker boxes, once it is to temp, (200°F) put the pork in the smoker, fat side up and thinner side to the front.

 

Keep gas fire in the 225°F - 265°F range throughout cook. You will have to check your smoker every hour and replenish one of the boxes with new chips. Have fun with this, just remember not to let the temperature get out of this range. You will need to flip and rotate the pork once during the cook and baste it with the Hog Wash a few times.

Note: do not open the door too often or for too long as it will bring the temp down considerably. Also, after 3 hours or so, there really isn’t any need to keep adding wood chips to create smoke.

 

“Pig in a Blanket” Wrap :

1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup Apple Juice

 

mix honey and apple juice for the wrap.  Keep BBQ sauce ready for later. After 6-7 hours, wrap pork in heavy duty foil, pouring wrap ingredients over meat. Keep wrapped for over 2 hours, checking temp with a digital thermometer.  When the meat hits the 160 to 170 range, the streaks of fat and connective tissue inside the meat begin to liquefy and run out, which has a cooling effect. At this point the meat enters a sort of limbo. The temperature can stall in this range for several hours while the tissue breaks down. When the meat has shrunk as much as possible and most of the fat has rendered, the internal temperature will begin to rise again. It will break away from the plateau and start creeping past 175, this is your cue to start checking for doneness every 20-30 minutes.

When the temperature starts to rise, open the wrap and pour ½ pint of BBQ sauce all over meat, leave slightly open and add some wood chips to kiss it with smoke.

1/2 pt Bone Suckin’ BBQ Sauce (see my clone recipe)

 

The “WABBA WABBA”

This is the point when the tough connective tissue, fat and meat in the pork shoulder finally surrenders. The pork shoulder slumps under it’s own weight and the meat looks as if is pulling itself apart. The pork is done when you observe ALL of the following signs…

- Easy Piercing – insert a meat fork into the shoulder. does it glide easily into the meat?

- Pulling away – check the blade bone. Is the meat pulling away from the bone. it is loose when you wiggle it with a pair of tongs?

- Right Temperature – poke an instant read thermometer in the meaty (not fatty) section of the shoulder. Is it 197-200?

If yes it all..the pork is done

 

Take it off the grill and let stand for a few minutes. Using 2 large forks (or bear paws below) pull meat apart. Put it on a platter and drizzle your favorite BBQ on it. or just leave it plain. This is your victory, do what every you want to spike the football.  I suggest that you keep it simple and let your guests enjoy it the way they want.  Sauce, swimming in sauce, on a sandwich with coleslaw, on top of baked beans, whatever.

You can expect about a 60% yield from your original raw weight.

 

MR. BROWN and MRS. WHITE.

The crusty, caramelized bark on the pork is Mr. Brown.

The fatty bit that runs through the meat is Mrs. White

 

There you have it.  My recipe for great smoked pork shoulder and pulled pork.  All you need is a lot of time, patience, the right equipment for your next backyard BBQ.

 

Helpful Equipment:

Plastic Food Gloves

Hog Mop

Digital Probe Thermometer

BBQ Heat protection Gloves

BBQ Bear Paws

 

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 10th Grill of Christmas 

 

 

Smokey Mountain Cooker, 22-Inch

from: Weber-Stephen

 

Here we go again with the Weber Products. They have a cult-like following for a reason. They are affordable, and built to last.  If you like smoking food upright and you don’t want to cook using an oil drum, The Weber Smokey Mountain is for you.  Bonus, if you own a Weber kettle of the same size, you can interchange accessories, such as the pizza oven attachment, or the rotisserie. Plus if you have any questions, there are whole websites and books dedicated to these products.

The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 22.5″ is the newest and largest version of their popular charcoal smoker. WSMs are high quality, charcoal fueled, bullet-shaped smokers. They can often be seen competing head to head with large commercial cookers at practically every competition. And winning. They take very little time to master. Like the original 18.5″ WSM, this big unit cooks at a remarkably steady temp for hours and raising or lowering temp is fairly easy by opening and closing the vents. Problem is we  had difficulty getting it down under 275°F. We like to smoke at 225-250°F. At 275°F meat can get tough. There are tricks you can employ to get it down, but it is tricky.

The big advantage to the 22.5″ model is capacity. The grates are 21″ across compared to 15.5″ on the little unit. You can actually get a few slabs of ribs to lay comfortably on the grates without cutting them in half or bending them. You should be able to fit up to eight five-pound pork butts with plenty of room for smoke to circulate.

What’s really great about this smoker is that it is so popular that there are a ton of different tipstricks and modifications that you can do if you are so inclined and they are all tried and tested.

 

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

 

PRICE: $ 399
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

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fuel:

charcoal

—————————

used BEST for:

Smoked Whole Chickens & Babybacks (see video & recipe below)

—————————

links:

company

dedicated site

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

—————————

 - RECIPE -

 

Smoked Whole Chickens on the WSM

 

 

YouTube link

 

 

—————————
Best Ribs In The Universe

Baby Back Ribs By The Legendary Mike Scrutchfield

Click here for the recipe

 

 

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 11th Grill of Christmas 

 

The Tuscan Grill

from: Arizona BBQ Outfitters

 

 

We are really starting to get into Santa Maria and Argentine Style cooking. It’s not quite smoking and it’s not only grilling, what it is…it’s fun. Sure, we can make it easy on ourselves and fill a hopper with pellets and press a button, but where is the story in that? What do you tell your guests when they come over? How do you show off your fire building skills with those devices?  We came across this grill, watched the video (below) and may have just fallen in love. It can do it all over fire and it won’t cost you an arm and/or a leg.

The Tuscan Grill is a versatile cooking machine. It has the capability to cook Argentine Style, Santa Maria Style and using cast iron skillets and wok to cook over an open fire pit. It is the best wood fired pit available. You can expand the Tuscan Grill to a Scottsdale cooker by simply adding a windbreak and lid. The Grill has been designed to expand as you expand your cooking styles.

Argentine Style Grills are equipped with an adjustable height, sloped V Grate cooking surface. The adjustable height of the Argentine Grill cooking surface allows precise temperature control of the grilling meat to achieve uniformly cooked meats with a uniform doneness across the thickness of the meat. The sloped V grate cooking surface of an Argentine Grill drains fat away from the fire, preventing flareups which could diminish the flavor of fine grilled meats.

Santa Maria-style barbecue is a regional culinary tradition rooted in the Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County on the Central Coast of California. This method of barbecuing dates back to the mid-19th century and is today regarded as a “mainstay of California’s culinary heritage. Santa Maria-style  grills are made of iron and usually have a hand crank that lifts or lowers the grill over the burning coals of native coast live oak, often referred to as ‘red oak’ wood. The Santa Maria Valley is often rather windy, so the style of cooking is over an oxidative fire as opposed to a reductive fire that many covered BBQs use.

 

Click Here for More Info About This Grill

 

 

 

 

PRICE: $ 1552
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

—————————

fuel:

Wood and/or charcoal

—————————

used BEST for:

Reversed Seared Porterhouse Steak (see recipe below)

—————————

links:

company

dedicated site

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

—————————

 

 

 - RECIPE -

 

ANATOMY OF T-BONE

20140522-293702-grilled-porterhouse-raw.jpg

The T-bone is a two-fer: you get both the strip loin and tenderloin in one cut. The bone portion of the T-bone is part of the steer’s vertebrae, from the short loin primal (that’s the spot between your rib cuts and your sirloin cuts). If you rotate the “T” of the T-bone to be situated horizontally, with the bigger portion of meat on the top, you can better see where this cut lays on the cow.

The strip loin—also called a New York strip steak—is the larger portion of the T-bone. The chunk of meat sits on top of the vertebrae—the back of the steer. On the other side of the bone is the tenderloin, which sits next to the lower part of spinal cord. A single T-bone is only one half of this spinal section. Yeah. Cows are big.

20140522-293702-grilled-porterhouse-tenderloin-size.jpg

Although it’s not a hard and fast rule, to be considered a T-bone, the tenderloin section generally needs to be at least 1/2-inch wide from the edge of the bone to the edge of the meat. When the tenderloin section jumps up to 1 1/2-inches wide or more, it can then gain the title of ‘porterhouse,’ although technically you can still correctly refer to it as a T-bone. The porterhouse comes from back of the short loin, where the tenderloin section is larger.

T-BONE SELECTION & PREP

When looking for the perfect T-bone for grilling, there are a few important things you’ll want to look for:

THICKNESS

20140522-293702-grilled-porterhouse-height.jpg

First and foremost, you want to go thick with your cut. A minimum height of 1 1/2-inches is best; 2-inches is even better. When grilling a steak, you want to be able to develop that dark, crusty sear while keeping the inside a nice rare-to-medium rare. That’s a near-impossible feat with a thin steak, since the inside will be thoroughly overcooked by the time the outside develops a proper sear. A hefty cut that’s big enough to split between two or more is key to achieving a perfectly cooked T-bone.

MARBLING

20140522-293702-grilled-porterhouse-marbling.jpg

Next, you want to check out the marbling. Marbling is made up of intramuscular fat, and you’re certain to see more of it in the strip loin over the tenderloin, but both should have streaks of beautiful white fat in them. This fat is what brings the big, beefy flavor to the T-bone, and you won’t get that top steakhouse flavor without it. You should always do a visual inspection to best determine the marbling, but in terms of USDA beef grades, Prime is the label to look for. ‘Choice’ is the next step down in marbling, followed by ‘Select.’

SIZE OF TENDERLOIN

20140522-293702-grilled-porterhouse-tenderloin.jpg

Finally, if you want that tenderloin section to be all it can be, it’s best to choose a T-bone with a generous portion of tenderloin. Fat doesn’t just deliver flavor—it also insulates. Because the tenderloin is leaner, it’ll always cook through more quickly than the strip; the smaller it is, the faster it will do so. To ensure the filet section of the T-bone comes out to a respectable medium-rare, porterhouse size tenderloin sections of 1 1/-2-inches or larger are definitely the way to go.

20140522-293702-grilled-porterhouse-step-2.jpg

Once you have your perfect T-bone, prep doesn’t need to go any further than salt and pepper. Salting should be done at least 40 minutes prior to grilling with heavy layer Kosher salt—remember that you’re seasoning for a thick, meaty steak. Kenji has already explained all the science behind salting, but basically the salt needs time to first draw moisture out of the steak, and then break down the muscle fibers so that the now-concentrated, flavorful liquid that was drawn out can be reabsorbed.

20140522-293702-grilled-porterhouse-peppered.jpg

Right before the steak is ready to hit the grill, it can be given a layer of freshly ground pepper, to taste—I personally like a lot of coarse pepper that gives the crust of a the final steak sharp bite and a little extra crunchy texture.

Some folks prefer adding pepper at the end, claiming that it can taste burnt or bitter if added before cooking, but I like the flavor of charred pepper. It does have a bit of bitterness, but it also attains a sweetness that balances it out.

 

Now that you know what you are cooking, now you need to read up on how to cook it.

This grill is perfect for the Reverse Sear Technique of grilling so read up and let the steak roast until the strip hits 115° and the tenderloin to 110°, then lower the grate and quickly seared it off, let it rest, and cut in.

 

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 12th Grill of Christmas 

 

Double Barrel Smoker

from: Heartland Smokers

 

 

Ok, now that we got you excited to cook with fire, let’s talk smoking. We first learned how to smoke using a traditional offset smoker using a side fire box, and while a ton of great food was prepared, it was a hassle constantly fiddling with the fire and food dealing with hot spots, uneven temperatures and fuel replenishment. Especially during long smokes.  Then we “graduated” to an upright smoker that we still use today. Now we want to get back to smoking with fire. Real wood chunks and logs with the addition of charcoal.  The thing is, we don’t want to go back to the side fire box and all it’s problems.

Enter the Double Barrel Smoker from Heartland Smokers and it’s reverse flow smoking with built in rotisserie. It’s double barrel shape allows you to have a nice fire that can create thick, smooth smoke that it’s rounded design evenly circulates, enveloping every inch of food with aromatic and memorable wood-fired flavor. As the air passes from the firebox to the exhaust it heats up the plates and the surrounding metal, while the rotisserie moves the food around the hot air, smoke, and the radiant heat. Then you get the bonus of  dripping fast and juice keeping the food below moist and flavorful.

They build many different types of smokers ranging in sizes and prices, but the one featured above has a cooking chamber that measures  24″ diam. x 30″ wide x 1/8″ steel. You can cook 12 port butts on it’s (4) 8″ x 26″ cooking shelves and it’s swivel heavy duty composite casters will allow you to move it around your patio with ease. We love the design and while it’s not a true reverse flow cooker, it’s design will allow for even cooking without hot spots or flare ups. It truly is the best of all worlds.

 

PRICE: $ 1500
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price, actual price may vary.

 

fuel:

 

used BEST for:

John’s brisket

links:

company

dedicated site

FANFOOD favorite accessory

cookbook/recipes

 

 - RECIPE -

 

 

John’s Smoked Brisket

 

Brisket Rub

INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
4 teaspoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoon mild chili powder
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Brisket Mop

INGREDIENTS:

1 bottle of apple beer
1 cup of cider vinegar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
2 teaspoons crushed oregano
1 teaspoons chili powder

Brisket Wrap

INGREDIENTS:

Beef Stock
Apple Juice
Mop Sauce
Brown Sugar

PREPARATION:

There are a few simple steps to producing tasty brisket on the smoker: procuring the proper hunk-o-cow flesh (a full packer cut brisket point/deckle and flat with intact fat cap), clean burning fire, moderate application of wood smoke and the rub of your preference.

I typically smoke a full packer cut briskets in the 250*F-275*F range, but rarely check temperatures. I start fat side up and flip twice during the cook because I want to finish fat side up—so as to maximize fatty crusty bark.

Get a good meat therm that you can leave in while cooking. At 160, wrap in foil add a little wrap sauce. When it hits 175, start checking it. stick a skewer in it, when it slides in like butter, its ready. It can happen at 170, it can happen at 195, or anywhere between. Hint: you can do this inside in your oven.

If it was “falling apart at the corner” and dry I will guess you went too far. Keep wrapped and place in a clean cooler for over an hour and up to three.

The old texas gurus can pick a brisket up and tell when its ready by how it flops around on the end of a fork. A two-tined meat fork should slide easily into the brisket, and the flesh itself should have a slight wobble when poked. Plan on 1 ½ Hours per Pound.

 

 

You can use these quick links to view all the 12 grills of Christmas:

 

quick links:

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