Bacon Onion Jam

Bacon Onion Jam

Last year I appeared on the TV show American Grilled.  On that show I competed against Big Jim Stancil of Bareknuckles BBQ.  We kept in touch after the show and started to chat about all things bbq and grilling.  During one of those chats, he asked if I would like to go to the Jack Daniels BBQ Championship and help him out.  I could not say no.  Come on, it was the Jack!  While there I helped Big Jim do a little grilling for the teams up on the hill.  The dish that Big Jim made, was an elk burger topped with a bacon onion jam.  Ever since that day, I have been dreaming of that bacon onion jam.  It was slightly sweet, slightly salty and all around bacon-y.  It was delicious!  So this is my take on bacon onion jam.  Thanks for the idea Big Jim.

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Smoked Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Chorizo Meatballs

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Chorizo Meatballs

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Chorizo Meatballs is a really long name, but super accurate and perfect for this amazing appetizer.  This is an awesome appetizer that is perfect for tailgating, cookouts, sports games or any day.  The spicy, smokey and cheesey flavors are a great combination.  If you want a great appetizer and have access to an outdoor grill this recipe is for you!

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Pulled Pork Pizza

Pulled Pork Pizza

After Labor Day, I had a lot of leftover pulled pork. So I decided to use it to make my favorite dish, Pizza!  I make pizza with all of my leftovers.  However, this one was so good that I had to share.  I used my leftover sauce, some thinly sliced red onion, green pepper for crunch and of course some delicious pulled pork. It was one of the best pizzas that I have made. I love it!

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Thermapen Mk4 released today along with Timestick Giveaway!!!

Thermapen Mk4 released today along with Timestick Giveaway!!!

Today Thermoworks is releasing the new Thermapen Mk4.  This is like Christmas over here at Savory Reviews.  We love our Thermapen and Thermoworks products so much.  Just like most people can’t wait for the new Apple products, we can’t wait for new Thermoworks products.  The new Thermapen looks like the old thermapen, but has an auto-rotating screen, back-lit display and uses a common AAA battery.   No more searching for 2032 batteries.  We have AAA batteries everywhere.  The Thermapen Mk4 is going to be the coolest tool in my BBQ arsenal.  The best thing is that it is only $99.  The classic superfast thermapens are still available and have dropped in price to $79. Check out our Full Review Here!

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Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

There is no dessert out there, that screams bbq, better than banana pudding. If you go to any hardcore bbq joint in the south they will have a banana pudding. It is a great dessert that is cool, refreshing and balances out the smoke of the main dish. So I decided that I had to have an awesome banana pudding in my repertoire. This banana pudding is amazing and I hope that you get a chance to make it for yourself.

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Smoked Stuffed Mushrooms

Smoked Stuffed Mushrooms

I just got a new Traeger Smoker and I really love. The model is a Traeger Texas, and it makes some mighty fine Q.  I am always working on ways to smoke more things. So when I picked up some huge mushrooms at the store, I figured that I should smoke them.   This is a pretty traditional Italian stuffed mushroom recipe, with the exception of the smoke.  I will tell you that the smoke flavor really added to the dish.  They were freaking delicious!

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Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Nothing goes with barbecue like a good ole Macaroni and Cheese.  I have been trying forever to come up with a super creamy macaroni and cheese that I could serve with my barbecue.  I think that I have finally found the perfect recipe.  This recipe is simple, delicious and extremely creamy.  It is basically the best macaroni and cheese that I have ever had.

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Texas Brisket Wrapped in Butcher Paper

Texas Brisket Wrapped in Butcher Paper

I have been cooking a lot of brisket lately.  It is my favorite bbq meat.  I guess I am a Texan at heart.  However, I have been cooking a standard competition style brisket in order to perfect my craft.  But sometimes you just want to cook something different.  So I decided I should try a salt and pepper Texas Brisket Wrapped in Butcher Paper.  I developed a basic rub and cooked the Brisket over oak.  The traditional Texas smoking wood.

Texas brisket

Texas Brisket Wrapped in Butcher Paper

Add the rub ingredients into a bowl and mix.  Set aside.  Make sure to weigh the ingredients.  As you want equal parts salt and pepper by weight not volume.

The Rub

Mix 1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce with 3 cups of water in a spray bottle.  Shake well.  Set aside.

Spritz

Trim the brisket removing most of the thick fat around the point.  Then trim the fat cap so that it is about 1/4 inch thick.

Trim the Brisket

Lightly dust the brisket with the rub.  Trust me a little goes a long ways.  Let the brisket sit out and come up in temperature while you get your smoker to 225 degrees.

Lightly Season

Once your smoker gets to 225 degrees add the brisket.

Add to the smoker

Spritz the brisket with the Worcestershire sauce mixture every 30-45 minutes.

Spritz

Once the brisket develops a nice dark bark it is time to wrap.  I found that this occurs somewhere in the 165-180 degree range.  This occurred about 8 hours into the cook.  It varies each and every time that I do it.  Basically you want a nice bark that has a nice dark color.  Something that screams eat me!

Eat Me

Wrap the brisket in about 6-8 feet of butcher paper.  Make sure that the paper is not coated or waxed.  You want to use clean butcher paper that is not treated in any way, shape or form.  I found a nice roll of butcher paper at Sam’s Club. You can pick this stuff up at most big box stores or restaurant supply stores.

Wrap and place on the smoker

Once the brisket is wrapped, place it back on the smoker until the brisket is probe tender.  Basically you can slide a skewer easily through the brisket without any resistance.  This occurred about 3-4 hours after I wrapped the brisket.

When the brisket is ready, remove it from the smoker.  You will see that the paper absorbed some moisture but most of the moisture is in the brisket.

Butcher paper brisket

Basically the paper absorbed the moisture that would have made the bark soggy.  The bark is amazing when you cook this way.

Texas Brisket sliced

Slice the flat against the grain and then turn to a 45 degree angle and slice the fatty portion.  Remember the fatty portion’s grain runs perpendicular to the flat portion’s grain.

Texas Brisket Fat Sliced

This was by far the best brisket that I have ever cooked.  It was tasty, tender and downright delicious.  Dana agreed and basically called all of my other briskets OK.  Thanks Dana.

best brisket

The salt and pepper created a nice bark, the Worcestershire spritz enhanced the beef flavor and kept the meat moist and the butcher paper kept the bark crisp while keeping in all of the moisture.  If you haven’t cooked a brisket like this you have to.

Texas Brisket Wrapped in Butcher Paper
Author: 
Recipe type: Brisket
Cuisine: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
The best way to cook a brisket. A Salt and Pepper based rub that is simple and produces the best brisket around! The brisket is then wrapped in butcher paper to keep the bark crisp while retaining all of the moisture while the brisket finishes cooking!
Ingredients
Texas Brisket
  • 1 packer brisket
  • ½ to 1 cup Salt and Pepper Brisket Rub (see recipe below)
  • 6-8 ft butcher paper
Salt and Pepper Brisket Rub
  • 50 grams Kosher Salt
  • 50 grams Coarse Black Pepper
  • 12 grams onion powder
  • 12 grams granulated garlic
  • 5 grams cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Add the rub ingredients into a bowl and mix. Set aside. Make sure to weigh the ingredients. As you want equal parts salt and pepper by weight not volume.
  2. Mix ½ cup Worcestershire Sauce with 3 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake well. Set aside.
  3. Trim the brisket removing most of the thick fat around the point. Then trim the fat cap so that it is about ¼ inch thick.
  4. Lightly dust the brisket with the rub. Trust me a little goes a long ways. Let the brisket sit out and come up in temperature while you get your smoker to 225 degrees.
  5. Once your smoker gets to 225 degrees add the brisket.
  6. Spritz the brisket with the Worcestershire sauce mixture every 30-45 minutes.
  7. Once the brisket develops a nice dark bark it is time to wrap. I found that this occurs somewhere in the 165-180 degree range. This occurred about 8 hours into the cook. It varies each and every time that I do it. Basically you want a nice bark that has a nice dark color. Something that screams eat me!
  8. Wrap the brisket in about 6-8 feet of butcher paper. Make sure that the paper is not coated or waxed. You want to use clean butcher paper that is not treated in any way, shape or form. I found a nice roll of butcher paper at Sam's Club. You can pick this stuff up at most big box stores or restaurant supply stores.
  9. Once the brisket is wrapped, place it back on the smoker until the brisket is probe tender. Basically you can slide a skewer easily through the brisket without any resistance. This occurred about 3-4 hours after I wrapped the brisket.
  10. When the brisket is ready, remove it from the smoker. You will see that the paper absorbed some moisture but most of the moisture is in the brisket.
  11. Basically the paper absorbed the moisture that would have made the bark soggy. The bark is amazing when you cook this way.
  12. Slice the flat against the grain and then turn to a 45 degree angle and slice the fatty portion. Remember the fatty portion's grain runs perpendicular to the flat portion's grain.

 

 

 

Hamburger Seasoning

Hamburger Seasoning

I love a good old hamburger. Nothing screams “America”, like a burger!  I find that simple is the way to go. Ground beef with a good seasoning.  I have been working on my seasoning for a couple of years.  I have finally come up with the perfect go to seasoning.  It is simple, but hits all of the right notes. This upcoming labor day, you have to try this seasoning on your burgers.

Burger Seasoning

Hamburger Seasoning

I have tried a ton of different combinations but have found that this combination of simple ingredients enhances the flavor of the beef the best.

In a bowl combine the ingredients.  Stir or mix until well blended.

Burger Seasoning

To use, form your favorite ground beef into 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 pound patties.  Sprinkle both sides of the patties liberally with the seasoning.

Season

Grill over direct heat until you see the juices start to pool on the top side of the burger.  I used a set of grill grates to get a perfect sear.  I must say that I have never gotten such perfect grill lines so easily.  I will have a full review of the grill grates next week.

Place on the grill

Flip and continue to grill until your burger reaches your desired doneness.

Flip

Medium Rare 130-135°Fahrenheit
Medium 135-145°Fahrenheit
Medium Well 145-155°Fahrenheit
Well done more than 155°Fahrenheit

Remove and eat with your favorite toppings.

Hamburger Seasoning
Author: 
Recipe type: Burger Seasoning
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
The best way to bring out the All American Beef flavor from your burgers!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix until fully combined.

This seasoning complements the beef perfectly.   It enhances the meat without overpowering it.  It is a must try!

American Grilled

American Grilled

This Wednesday I will be competing on the American Grilled TV Show on the Travel Channel.  The show airs at 9PM est.  If you watch the Travel Channel this week you will see some commercials for the show.  If you are look closely, you may be lucky enough to see this nice looking mug featured in the commercial.

Rex on American Grilled

Here is a quick little preview of my episode.

“Going Whole Hog” – Premieres Wednesday, July 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Host David Guas travels to the home of Thomas Jefferson – Charlottesville, Va. Besides being a celebrated university town, Charlottesville is also known for its budding food scene, local wine and rich culinary history.  Virginia is a leading pork producer and this episode is all about the pig!  Corey, Rex, Jim and Richard go hog wild, battling to take home the $10,000 prize at Jackson Park (part of the Virginia Civil War Trail) using ingredients like marmac cheese, Virginia wine and some rather “curious” cuts of pork. Guest judges include Lisa Bacon, a Virginia-based food writer and editor, and Famous Dave Anderson, owner of the BBQ chain Famous Dave’s.  It’s a high-heat, high–intensity, battle for the cash and hometown pride.

The show was a blast to film.  Hope you guys can tune in to watch.

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Fathers out there.  Especially my Father Don and my Father-in-Law Bill.  You guys are the best! Thanks for everything, especially helping out with Rex Barbecue.

I thought the best post for today would be my favorite grilling recipes.  Nothing says Father’s Day like grilling with a beer in hand.  So I hand picked my favorite Father’s Day Recipes to share on this the day of Dads.

Grilled Lobster

lobster

There is nothing more luxurious than eating lobster.  There is also nothing cooler than having a beer and grilling one over an open flame.  Make this Father’s Day the best with a nice grilled lobster.

Barbecue Ribs on a Gas Grill

Ready to eat

I know that most people in America have a gas grill.  Therefore, this recipe is perfect for just about everyone.  You get the flavor of smoke with the ease of gas.  Set it and forget it while you throw back a couple of cold ones.  Basically the best recipe you can make on Father’s Day!

The Ultimate Burger

The Ultimate Burger

If you are going to cook a burger, it should be the best burger out there.  With a simple meat grinder you can create the best burger out there.  This burger plain a roll will kick the crap out of just about any burger out there.  You should celebrate Dad with the best freaking burger out there!

Grilled Potato Planks

Potato Planks

Every meal needs a nice side.  This side is grilled and super tasty. Plus, it works as a side for just about any dinner entree.

Grilled Peaches

Grilled peaches topped with ice cream

You have spent all day outside, why go inside now for dessert?  Yep, grilled peaches!  Need I say more.  These things are awesome, delicious and cooked outside.

Grilled Vodka Lemonade Spritzer

Grilled Vodka Lemonade Spritzer

I know that beer and grilling go together very well.  However, I made a killer grilled cocktail that could change that.  This grilled vodka lemonade is fantastic.  It is a must try!

These are a few of my favorite grilled recipes.  However, there are many more here.

Also if you may have forgotten a gift for Dad, check out my list of gifts for Dad here.  While there are links to purchase these online, most are available at your favorite big box retailer.

Once again a big thank you to all of the Dad’s out there.

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day Gift Guide

I get a lot of questions regarding the best grilling tools and gift suggestions.  Coming up this weekend is Father’s Day!  Nothing says Dad like the grill.  So I have compiled a list of my favorite bbq tools and accessories.

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2014 Edition

10. Oxo Good Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs – $12.95

  • Never underestimate a good set of tongs.  These puppies are 16 inches long.  The perfect size for grilling.  No more singeing your knuckle hair trying to flip that steak on the back part of the grill.  Oxo makes a sturdy and lockable set of tongs.

9.  Cedar Barbecue Planks – $24.99

  • Go gourmet this season with grilled cedar plank salmon.  Yeah, you see that.  Requires cedar planks.  Hmm, maybe you should get some cedar planks so that you can make cedar plank salmon.  What a great idea.  I will take 2.

8. Wide Skewers – $13.49

  • Nothing sucks more than turning skewers and having the food rotate so that even though you turned the skewer, the food never flipped.  Quick solution, wide skewers.  Great for veggies, chicken, tomatoes, scallops, etc…  Pretty much anything.  This set of 4 is 5/8ths inch wide.  Yep, almost a sword for you to skewer your meal.

7. Chimney Starter – $14.99

  • There are a ton of cheap chimney starters out there.  I have found the best deal on a Weber Chimney starter.  You may say, “Hey Rex they have chimney starters over at my big box retailer for $7.99”  Go get that one, but you will be sorry.  They are cheap and flimsy and when you have 1000 degree hot coals in your hands the last thing you want is cheap and flimsy.  Trust me.  Spend the extra $5 and get a nice sturdy one.  BTW – this exact starter retails for $19-29 at the big box stores.

6. Kettle Pizza – $145.04

  • Finally we all can make wood fired pizzas at home.  This attachment for the weber kettle turns your ordinary charcoal grill into an extraordinary wood pizza oven.  I have been using my for a couple of years now.  It is great and a ton of fun at parties.

5. Stainless Steel Seasoning Injector w/2 Stainless Needles – $16.07

  • This injector solves all of life’s mysteries.  Ok, maybe not, but it includes two needles.  One for liquid injecting and one for herb injecting.  I ran into this problem on Thanksgiving, where we wanted to inject the deep fried turkey with a mixture of herbs and spices, and then the injector holes kept clogging up.  We then had to switch to an all liquid marinade.  You wouldn’t want to be on an all liquid diet, neither would a turkey for its last meal.  Pick up this injector and surprise the turkey with a meal full of herbs and spices,  you will enjoy it too.

4. Grill Daddy Grate Brush – $23.45

  • A clean grill is a happy grill.  Brush off the big particles but leave some of the grease.  Using grill cleaners is a no-no, but so is trying to grill over the crust of barbecued chicken.  Using a heavy duty brush like this grill daddy grate brush you will clean the grates of solid material, but leave the flavor that you have so hardly worked for behind.  Added bonus, this brush has replaceable heads so that when you wear it down, you only have to buy a replacement brush head instead of buying a whole brush.  Yep, its green and it saves money.  Secondly, the two hand grips on the brush handle give you optimal force to clean the grill.

3. A super fast Thermapen– $96

  • When you are cooking a pork butt, beer can chicken or any sort of bbq it is best to know when it is done.  The best way to do that is to use a thermometer.  The Thermapen is a super fast and super accurate meat thermometer.  Getting this will take the guessing game out of barbecuing.  On a side note – it works great for roasting meats too.  Try it next year when you are cooking your turkey.

2. Custom Grill Grates – $29.95 and Up

  • Thanks to Chris over at NibbleMeThis for showing me these awesome custom grill grates.  Make grates that have the family crest or last name.  Have grates made that support your favorite team or even your favorite sport.  This could be the perfect gift of the season.  Customizable and full of character.  You could win best gift this year with this one.  Not that it is a competition, but we all know it is.

1. Weber One-Touch Gold Charcoal Kettle, Black – $149

  • You can not put a price on a great grill.  However, this charcoal grill from Weber is only $149.  It can grill, bake and smoke anything.  The gold edition has a thermometer in the lid, upgraded grates and the all important enclosed ash catcher.  You do not need to spend any more to get the best tasting grilled meats around.

Side Note – Most of the items above are available for Amazon Prime.  There is a free trial right now, basically during the trial period, all items eligible ship 2-day air for free or you can pay $3.99 for overnight shipping.

Hope this helps find the perfect gift for any Dad in your life.

-Rex

How to turn a gas grill into a smoker!

How to turn a gas grill into a smoker!

Gas grills have a lot of fans.  I have one and really love it.  They are quick to heat up, provide a nice searing surface and are easy to maintain.  What they lack in aroma and flavor they more than make up for in convenience.  However, what if you could add flavor and aroma to your gas grill. It would then be a perfect outdoor cooking device.  A lot of people ask me how they can make barbecue on their gas grill.  So I decided to write up a tutorial on how to turn your gas grill into a smoker.  It is pretty simple.  The key is to cook indirectly and add smoke (aroma and flavor).  It is pretty simple.

How to Turn a Gas Grill into a Smoker

How to turn your gas grill into a smoker!

Needed Supplies:

  1. Gas Grill – Obvious, but I figured I should add it.
  2. Smoker Box
    1. Either a manufactured reusable box
    2. Disposable Bread Pan and a sheet of aluminum foil
  3. Wood Chips
  4. Water for soaking wood chips

The Steps to enhancing the flavor of your gas grill:

Place the wood chips in a bowl or bucket.  Cover with water and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

The key to turning your gas grill into a smoker is to cook indirect.  So you will only want to use one or maybe two burners depending on the size of your grill.  For most home grills you will have 4 or less burners and will only need to use one burner to maintain temperature.  If your grill has vertical burners, turn on the burner farthest away from your gas tank.  If your grill has horizontal burners, turn on the burner that closest to the back of the grill. Get the temperature inside the grill to get to about 300-310 Degrees Fahrenheit.    This is using the lid thermometer.  If you have a grill surface thermometer, try to keep the temperature at the grate farthest from the burner to 275 Fahrenheit.

Now it is time to set up your smoker box.  If you purchased a reusable box, add the soaked wood chips and place it on the grates directly above the lit burner.

Homemade Smoker Box

If you don’t have a smoker box, you can MacGyver one for $0.75 or less.  Get a disposable bread pan and fill it with the soaked wood chips.

Homemade Smoker Box

Now cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Then using a knife cut 10-15 holes in the foil.  This will allow the smoke to escape from the box.  Place directly on the grate over the lit burner.

This is a lot cheaper than purchasing a $15-25 smoker box.  However, if you are going to be using your gas grill as a smoker more than 5 times, it will probably be easier to get a reusable smoker box.

Now place your meat on the grates that don’t have any lit burners under them.  If you have room, try to keep the meat as far from the lit burner as possible.  The best part of using a gas grill is the fact that once you get it to a steady temperature it will stay there.  You do not have to babysit it.  It is good to go.  You have to love the convenience factor.

Gas Grill Smoker

The wood chips will last about 2 hours in the box.  If you are cooking a pork butt or a brisket you will want to add more chips 2 hours into the cooking process.  If you are doing chicken or ribs, the original amount of wood chips will be enough.

Baby Back Ribs will take roughly 2.5-3 hours, Spare Ribs will take roughly 3.5-4 hours, Pork butts will take between 6-9 hours depending on size, Packer Brisket will take around 7-10 hours depending on the size.  I never said it wouldn’t use a lot of gas, but it sure is convenient.

ggs1

While this will never equal a real smoker, it does a really good job.  As long as you are not having a bbq pitmaster over, nobody will really be able to tell.

Now that you know how to do it, try one of these recipes.

  1. BBQ Ribs on a gas grill
  2. Smoked Chicken Drumsticks
  3. Pulled Chicken
  4. Competition Beef Brisket
  5. BBQ Rub
  6. Beef Ribs
  7. Bacon Wrapped Smoked Meatloaf
  8. Breakfast Fatty

Happy smoking.  As always, if you have any questions leave a comment below or click the Ask Rex link in the menu bar above.