Maria's top 10 foods to bulk grill!

Maria’s top 10 foods to bulk grill!

Listen to the audio of this blog

It is obvious that a return to a “normal” work environment is not likely soon. You may be one of the blessed who has decided you do not want to return to an office but rather continue the joys and challenges of working, educating, entertainment and sleeping from home.

To manage all these needs, meal planning needs to be addressed to allow for more family time. Rather than discuss animal proteins as we have previously done, the focus will be on other food categories that provide for endless options at mealtime.

Time to bring in our top 10 foods to get on the grill or smoker for fabulous flavor to your meals!

#1 Peppers

Do not purchase fire roasted peppers in the store! They are so easy to make using any type of grill you own and any pepper you prefer. By grilling in bulk, these can be added to meals like grilled sausage topped with peppers and onions, whipped into a fire roasted pepper tapenade for snacks or appetizers, bring an elevation to a salad, or as an addition to Dutch oven meals (think chili, goulash, mac and cheese).

Favorite SmokinLicious® Recipe: Charred Pepper Dip

#2 Potatoes

This group also includes sweet potato as they are just as fantastic on the grill. Whether you grill whole with the skin on, sliced or cubed, potato is a versatile vegetable that can work for any meal. Include them in an egg-based dish or make them into their own main course. Do not forget, they can be mashed as well for the ultimate smokey mashed potato. This is a bargain item as you get so many potatoes in a single bag with the finished product freezing well.

Favorite SmokinLicious® Recipe: Smoked Curry Potatoes

#3 Mushrooms

Fungi are one of my favorite items to infuse wood flavor to on the grill! There are so many varieties with each providing a variation in texture and flavor. Large mushrooms are perfect as a meat substitute. Like other items, they easily can be frozen to allow for quick meal preparation. One of my favorite uses is in sauces for meats, pasta, grains and vegetables. These also make a great pizza and bread topping.

Favorite SmokinLicious® Recipe: Smoked Mushroom with Ricotta

#4 Tomatoes

Although I am listing fruit in #6, know that tomato would also be included in this category. A separate listing is offered for the simple reason there are many varieties of tomatoes that surpass your average fruit.

Cherry tomatoes done whole on the grill, plum tomato diced and grilled in a pan make the perfect base for saucing, and hearty beefsteak tomato for pronounced tomato flavoring.

Favorite SmokinLicious® Recipe: Wood Fire Tomato with Rice

(more…)

Our outdoor kitchen guest blog is authored by Mike Cahill

Our outdoor kitchen guest blog is authored by Mike Cahil

Listen to the audio of this blog

Mike is part of the Content Marketing team and enjoys applying market insights to provide valuable content on all things real estate. Mike’s dream home would be mid-century modern style near the water.

As days get warmer and summer approaches we’re all looking for more ways to spend time outside. Whether it be biking, running, hiking, or walking we can all agree that being outside is one of the best ways to spend time during the summer. So why not cook outside too? Having an inviting outdoor space that can double as a beautiful kitchen is a great way to be outside and create memories to be cherished for years to come. For that, we reached out to the experts from Yolo to Palm City to provide our readers with a few tips for creating the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen.

Make it your own Outdoor Kitchen

The trend of outdoor design is experiencing a dramatic shift today. Landscape designers are moving away from traditional masonry-built structures to waterproof cabinets equipped with storage, trash receptacles and even vegetable and herb potting areas providing a whole new experience. Moya Living and Urban Bonfire offer two creative and functional products that bring color and extreme functionality into the design and provide the structure with every ability to create the perfect outdoor kitchen. Whether the homeowner desires a smoker from Kalamazoo, a pizza oven from Lynx, or Versa Powder Cooker from Alfresco, the options are endless in the design creation. Outdoor kitchen design now takes front and center focus when planning a remodeled home and now is simply an extension from the indoor to the outdoor so that every space of the home is utilized. – Annette Reeves

Find a proper grill

The focus of any outdoor kitchen is the grill. At Chicago Outdoor Living we believe a grill’s value shouldn’t be based solely on price. Features such as design, quality of materials, and functionality, combined with price, play an important role in choosing the grill that is right for you. It is also important to be aware of the manufacturer’s warranty. Chicago Outdoor Living carries a variety of high-quality grills to fit everyone’s grilling needs and budget – Chicago Outdoor Living

Grilling burgers on the grill

Our Authors image of cooking burgers

Choose complimentary finishes

Leather finish granite countertops are my go-to countertop surface for outdoor kitchens. It looks matte enough to feel like it belongs outdoors but is cleanable and ages well. – Attainable Form

Utilize misting systems

During sweltering summer days that are hot enough to have you fantasizing about moving to Antarctica, it can be difficult to enjoy your outdoor kitchen while you are feeling sweaty and scorched. With our misting systems that cool the air by up to 30 degrees without getting anyone drenched, you’ll be able to elevate your lifestyle and enjoy your outdoor kitchen in comfort all you want. – Advanced Misting Systems

Incorporate patio heaters

Enjoying your outdoor kitchen can be extremely difficult during winter days that are so cold it feels like you could chip a tooth from shivering. With our outdoor patio heaters that emit radiant heat to keep an area warm, you’ll have your own patio encased in a bubble of warmth, allowing you to enjoy your patio and outdoor kitchen while the neighbors are stuck indoors. – Gas Outdoor Patio Heaters

Storage is key in your Outdoor Kitchen

You can never have enough storage outside. The key is drawers: paper plates, utensils, corn on the cob holders, grill grates…. Keep them at your fingertips and you will be much happier. Drawer cabinets have to be fully enclosed to avoid creatures from crawling in for a vacation. – Cowgirl Q

If you love wood-fired flavors to foods cooked outdoors then be sure to consider wood storage when designing your outdoor kitchen. Pizza ovens, ceramic or clay ovens/smokers, traditional smokers and gas/hybrid grills all allow for the addition of charcoal, charwood, and/or hardwood to bring flavor essence to favorite cuts of protein, vegetables and fruit. Include in your design wood storage that allows for good air circulation to the wood as well as storage placed close to the equipment. Mesh bins or small wood crates work well for smaller pieces of wood that can fit on shelving under the counter or design open shelving in metal, stucco or concrete material that allow larger pieces of wood to remain dry, nonreactive and at the ready. – Smokinlicious

Don’t forget about the island

The best way to start creating your own Ultimate outdoor Kitchen is by getting ideas of different types of islands and kitchens. Researching will help you brainstorm an idea of your own (shape, size, color, components, etc). The next step is to find out where your Island will be placed. After finding a perfect fit, take a few measurements to see how the unit will be laid out. Over the years, KoKoMo has created various Outdoor Kitchen models with all kinds of different designs. A good example is our custom sports bar. This unit is fully stocked with all of our most popular components and accessories. This kitchen has a beautiful white-looking stone that covers the base, with a nice steel-looking tile to go with it. We used a large 15×15 aluminum shade cover with two giant TVs to entertain both sides of the island. – KoKoMo Grills

Keep it comfortable

Outdoor kitchens draw people in, whether it’s your guests gathering to offer help or little ones looking for a snack before the big meal. Make everyone comfortable with our thick, high-density cushions. Bonus tip: all our cushions are covered in water-resistant fabric, making rain and spills the least of your worries. And at the end of the party, if you need a special type of cover for your furniture or grill, we’ve got you covered with custom-made covers! – Classic Accessories

Get a personalized rub kit

Whether you’re grilling or smoking, when you’re cooking outdoors, having your own personalized “rub kit” at the ready is critical. A rub kit should include staples like lemon pepper, garlic pepper, and all-purpose seasoning salt. Round out your kit with your favorite rubs for the big four – beef, chicken, pork and seafood. – Savory Spice Shop

Picture of all the fixings being cut for the grill

We love this image from the author!

Consult with a pro for the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

For homeowners who want to build a fully functional outdoor kitchen area in their homes, I always recommend consulting with a designer, in addition to the outdoor kitchen company themselves. One thing I have learned with my experience in the business, is one layout for a kitchen does not necessarily work for every future buyer of the home — so the key is: versatility and simplicity. Most buyers these days are not so focused on decking, they want to see more grass. So artificial grass is a great alternative to decking, plus easy to maintain. Keep your dining area separate, and not built-in, should someone in the future want to change it, or if you entertain and need a different layout for a specific event. – Jenny Okhovat Homes

Originally published on Redfin

More Related reading on smoker More Related reading on Outdoor Kitchen essentials and other design ideas.

More Related reading on smoker More Related reading on Outdoor Kitchen essentials and other design ideas.

Related reading:

-Outdoor kitchen location tips

-Does Outdoor Kitchen Stainless Steel Rust

-6 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY OUTDOOR COOKING SEASON

 

 

 

Dr. Smoke- has an Outdoor Kitchen for grilling, smoking and entertainment, follow these great tips from our guest blogger!

Dr. Smoke- has an Outdoor Kitchen for grilling, smoking and entertainment, follow these great tips from our guest blogger!

Discusses How to keep a Bundt cake from Sticking

Discussing How to keep a Bundt cake from Sticking

Listen to the audio of this blog

 

 

Introducing to you Peggy Hatfield, the Bella Cupcake Couture’s resident dessert couturier, and baker. Peggy became passionate about baking when she was 9 years old. She served freshly- baked treats in her small town in Alabama for 28 years before her home bakery and café was closed. But with the Bella Cupcake Couture website, she was able to share her expert reviews on the best baking tools, equipment, accessories, and the latest trends, including the know-how of baking. Bella Cupcake Couture is pleased to present to you the expert baker’s how-to guides, expert tips, and hacks for baking and dessert making.

While there are other techniques in cooking, baking is considered one of the most critical types. Baking requires precision and dedication to the entire process. If you forgot one or add too many ingredients, you can ruin the entire dish. Also, cooking a baked item for longer than the required time will also result in a big problem. That is why, in baking, you need to have lots of patience to succeed with your product.

Making A Cake

At some point, people tend to become excited when removing a just baked cake, forgetting to be more careful after the baking process is complete. The last part of the baking, which is removing your cake from the pan, requires the same level of care as was used in mixing the batter. This article provides the key tips in keeping a bundt cake from sticking to your pan.

Prevent Bundt Cake Sticking

The more careful you are in the cooking part, the more cautious you need to be removing your cake from the pan. It is frustrating when you spend your time, effort, and money , then all of a sudden, your cake decides to remain stuck in your pan, ruining your efforts.

Hey! Don’t worry because here are the effective ways to prevent your bundt cake from sticking.

For more pro baking guides and DIY tips, check out Bella Cupcake Couture at www.bellacupcakecouture.com!

Use a Simple and Nonstick Heavy Bundt Cake Pan

This step is one of the highly recommended ways on how you can prevent a cake from sticking. If you are wondering about its efficiency, you can look for reviews online to have an idea on the brand of bundt cake pan with the best value and rating for your purchase.

To maintain the pan’s efficiency, you should put extra care into cleaning it. Avoid using strong dish washing liquid and abrasive sponges because these can cause damage to the pan’s coating. The most efficient way to take care of your nonstick pan is to wash with mild soap, dry it with a soft towel, and avoid using any metal cooking tools or abrasive brushes.

Use Grease

Take note that using just any grease can also affect the quality of your nonstick pan. Nonstick cooking sprays contain chemicals that can degrade your pan’s nonstick coating. Butter may affect the quality of your cake due to the milk properties which can bind your cake to the pan. One of the highly recommended types of grease that proves best for baking is melted shortening.

Loosen the Edges of the Cake

You cannot and should not forcefully remove your cake from a pan. You need to slowly and carefully loosen the edges and let the cake sit for 5 minutes before turning it upside down on a cooling rack. The use of a plastic spatula is a must to avoid scratching your nonstick pan and cutting into your cake.

Get Your Cake Upside Down

Once the pan is upside down on a cooling rack, let it sit for another five minutes before lifting from the cake completely.

Final Notes

Removing the cake from your baking pan is critical to the final result. Following our simple steps above will ensure a perfect bundt cake. Making the investment in high-quality baking equipment adds insurance for the best product results. If it happens that your cake still sticks in your pan, don’t give up! Try and try again until you flawlessly achieve the perfection of your cake.

More Related reading on baking in a smoker bundt cake and more!

More Related reading on baking in a smoker bundt cake and more!

Related reading:

-WHY TWO-ZONE COOKING METHOD LET’S YOU WALK AWAY FROM THE GRILL

FOIL PAN FOR SMOKING IS INDISPENSABLE

-Coffee Smoked Foods: A New Flavor Craze

Dr. Smoke- our guest blogger discusses Bundt cake tips!

Dr. Smoke- our guest blogger discusses Bundt cake tips!

Tom and Bert discuss their planning for the best Staycation ever!

Tom and Bert discuss their planning for the best Staycation ever!

Plan your staycation! Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

Our guest blog is from Porch.com

Our guest blog is from Porch.com

Every summer, many people put aside their work, daily stresses and responsibilities and escape on a vacation somewhere far away from reality. It may be a secluded retreat in the mountains, a camping trip with the kids, an arranged tour in another country, an Alaskan cruise, or days relaxing at an exotic beach or resort.

However, with the current pandemic including social distancing and travel restrictions, along with financial constraints for many, those plans may have to be temporarily shelved. But the desire to escape reality – for just a bit – is very much alive. So, with many people remaining in their homes, how can that off-work journey happen? We have some tips for making the best of the situation and creating cherished vacation memories without ever leaving home. It’s called a staycation.

What’s a Staycation?

Tom and Bert mmit to your plans!

A staycation is, quite simply, a vacation at home. How realistic, how exciting, or how relaxing you make it is up to you. Theme it up for a more authentic “away-from-home” experience.

What makes a great staycation? Well, that depends on what you consider a vacation. Some people want adventure, while others like relaxing with a drink in their hand. Still others use vacation time to unwind by tackling DIY projects such as renovations. So, what would you enjoy doing if you could craft your own staycation? (Which, by the way, you can.)

Commit To the Best Staycation Ever!

Once you’ve decided to schedule a staycation – whatever it ends up being – commit to it. Mark it on your calendar. Plan for it. Make concrete plans. If you’re working, ask for those days off of work. Don’t just say you’re going to have a vacation and spend the weekend lounging on the sofa, noshing on Cheetos and surfing the internet, unless a week of rest is the staycation you’ve planned.

Whenever you’re going for vacation in your home – especially in these times when so many of us are working from home – try to unplug so your mind’s not on work and responsibilities. Set your work email to the “out of office” setting and write an auto-reply message. Then, don’t check your work emails unless absolutely necessary. Consider NOT telling your boss that you’re vacationing at home. Turn your cell phone off or on silent and set a small window of time each day to check for messages.

Skip the news. The idea is to get away from stress, away from reality. Just concentrate on your vacation experience. The news cycle can wait for a week. Really, it can. This is the time to be good to yourself.

Prepare

Prepare for your staycation much like you’d prep for any other vacation. Create your itinerary. Decide what kind of activities you would like to do each day of your vacation. What kind of staycation would you like? Cultural learning, straight-up fun, pampering, relaxing? Write your vacation goals down, and then make a game plan. Don’t want to cook while on vacation? Gather menus from local restaurants that deliver and have them on hand. You could even incorporate different restaurants into the theme of your vacation.

Before your official vacation start time, do all the necessary prep work. Complete all chores in advance. Wash the dishes, dust, pay the bills, scrub the toilets, empty the trash. Do the laundry BEFORE your staycation begins. You don’t really want to be sorting and folding while on vacation, do you?

Set the Mood for Your Staycation

Many people have saved money in anticipation of an annual vacation to pay for things like hotel rooms, meals, plane tickets and a rental car. Why not channel some of those funds into your at-home vacation paradise?

Create your staycation space – really, truly, set up a space that exudes the theme of your vacation. Move the furniture, change the lighting, order pillows, fairy lights or scented candles – whatever your theme is, run with it. Look at magazines or online trip websites for inspiration. Think about the destination you want. Paradise under the palms? Set up a piña colada or margarita station at home. Roll up the rugs and go barefoot like you’re on the beach. Set up a hammock between backyard trees or on your back porch.

Dreaming of a mountain retreat? Set out pine-scented candles and decorate the room with cottage home decor. Plan for any purchases you’ll need for your staycation. Does your week require some relaxing pillows, aromatherapy candles, a tent or hammock? Dreaming of an overseas vacation? Hit the international foods section of your grocery and stock up on items from that region to set the mood. Planning a spa retreat week? Buy a set of high-thread-count sheets, a couple of luxurious pillows, scented bath salts, essential oils, and a super-soft robe.

To make your staycation ambiance even more realistic, you can make a vacation soundtrack with music that reminds you of that particular place, or perhaps a past favorite vacation that you’d like to recreate. Going to the beach in your mind? Ramp up some Jimmy Buffet music. Missing that trip to Brazil this summer? Make your own compilation of Brazilian favorites including the likes of Roberto Carlos or Anitta. Or queue up some internet music mixes.

Think about your favorite luxury hotel amenities and try to replicate some of those special touches at your own staycation. Love peppermints or chocolates on your pillows? Do it. How about a fruit basket, or a water pitcher of cold spring water infused with the subtle flavor and inviting look of cut fruit? Make it happen. This is all about helping you feel like you’re somewhere else.

Self-Care Weekend

How about a pampering week, helping you release all the stress that’s built up this year? Consider a self-care “getaway” with a spa day, a YouTube yoga session, or a self-manicure. Start a journal of self-discovery. Draw a warm bubble bath, adding some calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile. Slip into the welcoming suds as you relax your mind and body. Soft music and candles invite you to soak away the stress. Then, wrap yourself up in the soft hug of a luxurious robe. This vacation is all about being good to yourself.

Retail Therapy Weekend

If you have money saved up that you won’t spend on a vacation this summer and miss shopping, you may want to arrange a retail therapy staycation. Curl up on the sofa with a glass of wine and start online shopping. You could budget what you had already set aside for your anticipated actual vacation, and spend some of that money, or just “window-shop” and dream from the comfort of your favorite recliner.

Plan Future Vacations

You can’t travel much right now, but the future is wide open. You’ve been staring at your walls for quite a while now, longing to escape. Why not start that escape, at least in your mind? Begin planning your post-pandemic road trip (or plane trip). There’s no time like the present to ponder where you’d like to visit – start with the continent or country, and narrow it down from there. Search online for destinations, hotels and fun activities. Jot them down and start planning for next year.

Look online for interesting destinations and then start searching for places you can stay, like at hotels or bed and breakfast inns. What kind of activities can you participate in while there? Take notes, plan your budget, and work out the details so when it’s time to fly the pandemic coop, you’ll have all your ducks in a row for your next adventure.

Cook a Fancy Dinner

Tom thinks about all the food he can cook on the grill!

The internet is filled with how-to-cook videos. Zero in on one and cook that meal and impress your spouse or family. See if you can find fanciful foods that fit into the theme of your staycation. Or, ask your family to pamper you and cook (including doing the dishes.). You can also sign up for delivered meal preparation kits. These kits arrive at your doorstep with all of the ingredients, already prepped, along with step-by-step directions. You’ll feel like a professional chef in no time.

 

Chill

You may be someone who just needs to chill for a vacation. Vacations don’t always have to be about excitement and activity. Sometimes, you just need peace and quiet to de-stress from life.

Create your zen vacation in a quiet place of your home – make it off limits to the children (perhaps you have someone who can take care of them). Then, unplug your clocks or put them in the closet so you can’t see them. Turn off your phone, put on earphones (if there’s house noise you can’t block out) and just…chill.

Fun for the Whole Family on the Best Staycation ever

 

If you’re quarantining with your family and yearning for a vacation, build a staycation with a family-friendly theme or activities. Although you have been in each other’s space for months, there are ways you can spend quality, vacation-esque time as a family and build beautiful bonds.

Camping Out

Go camping for your staycation – for a night, a week, or somewhere in between – you choose. Set up a tent in the backyard, complete with sleeping bags and camp lights. Don’t forget the mosquito repellent or citronella candles. Pack up snacks in bags for a more authentic experience, and string lights in the trees or at the top of the tent for some extra ambiance.

Snag a couple of bags of ice from the store and fill a cooler with food and drinks to keep with the campout theme. Cook your meals on a grill or have a fire pit if regulations allow. Roast marshmallows or craft s’mores. Tell stories around the fire. Stay up too late and laugh too much.

If your idea of camping is closer to glamping, or you don’t have a backyard, then move things indoors. Set up a tent or have your kids create a tent by hanging sheets and other fabrics in clever ways. Unleash your children’s creativity with tent-making – they know how to make the best tents and forts. Set up your indoor camping ambiance with flashlights and flameless candles for light sources. Eat from paper plates and make s’mores in the microwave. Search for a campfire video to play on your TV.

Have a family costume night or a themed party during your staycation. Challenge your kids to dress up as their favorite movie character, singer, or superhero, using clothes, props and supplies already in your home.

Love watching movies? Build a staycation around that. Have a themed movie marathon. Each family member picks a movie that you all watch, or you could categorize movies, like comedies, animation, action or another genre. Don’t forget the popcorn. Plan ahead and surprise your “movie audience” with their favorite movie theater candy and sodas.

Break out the camping gear on your staycation like Tom and Bert

Music or Karaoke Party

Use some of the money you would have spent on lodging, meals, attraction fees and more – and buy a karaoke machine. You may find your family singing until they’re all hoarse and falling down in laughter. Learn a new song on an instrument you play, and hold a “recital” in your living room. If more than one member of your family plays an instrument, work on a performance together.

Virtual Travel and Games

You could also spend the summer vacation money on virtual reality headsets. This marvelous technology is a fantastic way to virtually leave your house and go on vacations together, using 3D travel apps. Want to walk the streets of Paris? Climb mountains in the Himalayas? You’re only a VR headset away.

Backyard Water Game Day for best Staycation ever

Beat the summer heat on your staycation with a day of water games in your backyard. Ask your kids to plan games and gather the necessary accessories like water hoses, kiddie pools, sprinklers, soaking guns, water slides, water balloons (be sure to pick up the broken balloon pieces) and plenty of sunblock. You can go all out renting an inflatable water play set, or you can keep it budget-friendly. Bring on the popsicles and laughter.

Night in for the Parents

Parents may just need a vacation from their kids. Try to set up a cozy, romantic room or patio area for your loved one. Group candles around your backyard. Flameless candles4 are great and there’s no fire hazard. Set up a hammock or pillows or some other way to relax. Chill a bottle of wine, soda or whatever happens to be your favorite beverage. Make up a cheese tray. It can be fancy, or it can be laid-back. Pour a bag of chips into a bowl if that’s your style. Set some mood music, relax and kick back.

Learning Vacation

Many people love to travel to new locations and learn about culture, architecture, art, languages, food, and more. The opportunity to learn something new during your staycation is limited only by your imagination.

Because of the pandemic, many museums now offer free virtual tours. Spend days in the Louvre, or take an interactive tour of Mark Twain’s house. Visit zoos virtually, or set up Zoom meetings with friends or relatives in different countries so you can practice conversing in a foreign language.

Travel the world for free using your local library card. Libraries have a wealth of e-books available to download from the library’s website onto your own device. Just pick them out and download, prop your feet up and escape into a mystery, thriller, romance, fantasy, or whatever genre you enjoy. Have your favorite beverage and snacks near your reading haven.

Take an online class on cooking, digital art, sewing, or something that intrigues you. This is your staycation. If your goal is to spend more time outdoors, consider starting a new flower or vegetable garden or a compost pile. Set up a rain barrel water collection system, making use of the rainwater rolling off your roof.

You can even make it a learning vacation for your pet. Learn how to teach your pet tricks or a new skill, like sniffing out smells. Or, just chill with your cuddly cat on your lap. For some, that’s a heavenly vacation.

For those who would rather “do” than chill, spend your staycation time learning a new craft. Clear out your schedule and spend that time really digging into whatever it is you want to learn. Use budgeted summer vacation money to order acrylic or oil paints, modeling clay, mosaics or stained glass supplies, whatever strikes your fancy, and learn a new skill you’ll maintain long after your staycation is over.

Renovate a Space in Your Home

For those who need to be active during vacations, think about a renovation vacation. Since you’ve been home so much the last two months, no doubt you’ve zeroed in on a corner or a room of your house that’s begging for an update or a redo. Repaint the kitchen and add a backsplash or replace the flooring. Update your bedroom, adding new curtains or blinds. Turn that depressing basement into a new game room, guest room or home office. Browse among the DIY articles from professionals for inspiration and guidance.

Whatever your stay-at-home vacation fantasy is, try to make it happen. This pandemic won’t last forever, and the vacation you take this summer, at your own home, may just spark some of the best memories ever. Don’t forget to take photos!

Products discussed in this Blog:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

More Related reading on how to make the best grilled or smoked food on your staycation!

More Related reading on how to make the best grilled or smoked food on your staycation!

Related reading:

-HERE’S WHY THE GRILL SHOULD BECOME PART OF YOUR ‘STAYCATION’ PLANS

-HOW TO KEEP FOOD INTERESTING, PRESERVED & SAFE DURING QUARANTINE

-DURING STAY AT HOME, DON’T QUARANTINE YOUR TASTE BUDS

Chef Bert brings Water Pan for Smoker to neighbor Tom!

Chef Bert brings Water Pan for Smoker to neighbor Tom!

Don't Forget the Water Pan For Smoker! Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

Neighbor Tom has his Chicken too dry almost a rock

Poor Tom! He, like many other grill and smoker enthusiasts out there, never learned the value of a water pan. By providing moisture to the grilling area, you can avoid drying out your meats and poultry and never have someone mistake your food for a rock!

(more…)

 

Seguridad de la madera

Seguridad de la madera

 

Usted probablemente está pensando en muchos más huéspedes potenciales para el covid-19 en un esfuerzo para mantener a todos los importantes para usted seguro y saludable. Sin duda, todo lo que toca tiene el potencial de ser huésped para el virus que se está propagando tan rápidamente por todo el mundo. Es sin duda, un momento de miedo. Es posible que usted no sepa que SmokinLicious® siempre se ha comprometido a proteger a nuestros clientes de la transferencia de contaminantes potenciales.

No cualquier proveedor de madera

En nuestro artículo publicó anteriormente titulado “Términos clarificar utilizados para la venta de madera para ahumar y asar,” https://www.smokinlicious.com/blog/smoking-grilling-wood-selling-terms-demystified/ intentamos explicar lo que las diferentes palabras utilizadas para describir la preparación de la madera vendida para asar a la parrilla y ahumar realmente significaba. El punto importante para tomar de este artículo es que esas “etiquetas” diversas no se relacionan con lo que puede asegurar de que la bacteria y los agentes virales no sobrevivan si se agarran a la madera para actuar como huésped para los dos. Al final, somos el único proveedor actual que no sólo vende madera dura con el fin de cocinar, sino que utiliza un proceso de tratamiento térmico que está en un nivel para garantizar que ninguno agente microbiano ni viral pueda aferrarse a la madera e infectar al usuario.

Aunque utilizamos un nivel de calor intenso de 75 oC/167 oF, desarrollamos un método para garantizar que la madera no se seca al punto de leña, algo con lo que nunca queremos ser comparados.

Sabemos que algunas esporas fúngicas sólo mueren a 60 oC/140 oF, esporas de moho a 56 oC/133 oF y listeria a 74 oC/165,2 oF. Aunque no hay datos confirmados sobre el nivel de calor que matar covid-19, si sabemos que la luz del sol hace que el agente viral sólo sobreviva unas horas, dada la intensidad de los rayos ultravioleta. Esto sugiere que el calor tenga un papel importante en la reducción de la supervivencia del virus.

La normativa vigente para la madera simplemente no garantiza la seguridad. Nuestros esfuerzos refuerzan que la bacteria potencialmente mortal no puede entrar en nuestra cadena alimentaria. Puede manejar nuestros envases y cocinar con nuestros productos sabiendo que hemos hecho nuestra parte para garantizar que no haya transferencia de bacterias ni agentes infecciosos.

¿Puede su leña local u otro proveedor de madera hacer la misma afirmación? SmokinLicious® – la marca pura, limpia y segura para cocinar.

¿Planea asar a la parrilla o ahumar más en casa con el susto reciente de covid-19? Déjanos un comentario y suscríbelo para obtener nuestros últimos consejos, técnicas, recetas y la ciencia detrás del fuego y el humo, para todos los métodos de cocción contra incendios en vivo. ¡Eso es SmokinLicious!

seguridad de la madera

Además de nuestro blog sobre seguridad de la madera, aquí hay una lista de lectura relacionada sobre este importante tema.

-PARA LADRAR O NO

-10 cosas tener en cuenta antes de comprar madera para cocinar, asar a la parrilla y fumar

COCINAR CON MADERA NO DEBERÍA TENER QUE PENSAR EN SU SEGURIDAD

-POR QUÉ EL RIESGO DE BACTERIAS MICROBIANAS EN SU CASA DE HUMO ESTÁ GANANDO

 ¡Practicamos la seguridad de la madera con nuestro proceso de calefacción!

Dr. Smoke- ¡Practicamos la seguridad de la madera con nuestro proceso de calefacción!

Smokinlicious collects wood chips by Air

Smokinlicious collects wood chips by Air

Wood chips collected by Air are cleaner for burning Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

Over the past several months, you have learned how your own hands can play host to transmitting the virus known as COVID-19. Once transmitted, the virus can potentially live on surfaces for up to several days.

Of course, there are factors that determine how attracted the virus is to the surface. Porous surfaces like those of cardboard and wood are not very attractive to the virus. It prefers smooth surfaces.

But there is still so much we do not know. SmokinLicious® continues to prioritize limiting human contact with our product manufacture and packaging. Our position is, we do not know enough to stop being diligent in our efforts.

Time to revisit our cartoon friends! Tom and Bert recently discussed the SmokinLicious® air collection process for wood chips.

Why Air Collected Packaging is Better!

Chef Bert and Tom visiting our production facility

Tom asks a great question, as often, we do not think about the wood we cook with. How is it bulk stored, what has it been exposed to, how much dust is in the product? Remember, dust slows combustion and can cause equipment failures. This is the main reason why SmokinLicious® designed a process for screening our wood chips to eliminate as much dust as possible. That is just step #2 in the process after producing the chips from larger pieces of wood.

Dedicated Air Piping

depiction of our vaccum system and air piping system for packaging

Step #3 in the process is explained by Bert as piping that is used to fill customer orders. At SmokinLicious®, each chip size is segregated into storage totes by size and wood species. When a customer order is filled, clean air piping is introduced to the specific storage tote. The product is then collected and dispensed into the finished packaging using this air collection method. A couple key benefits to this hands-free approach is dust-free collection and no crushing of the chips by human hands, ensuring the product you pay for is not reduced to crumbs!

No Contact

Tom celebrating

Bert is quick to emphasis that no human contact is made with the product during packaging. He also stresses that the air packaging greatly improves the air quality for the worker since this is a contained system. No dust is launched into the air!

No dust for the customer who will scoop out product at home and no dust for the workers packaging the products. With respiratory status key to staying healthy, SmokinLicious® makes the effort to keep our workers breathing clean air.

Do you appreciate the extra steps SmokinLicious® is taking with packaging? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious®!

Products discussed in this Blog:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chips- Minuto®, Piccolo

More Related reading on how are wood chips by air collection produces great wood chips without dust!

More Related reading on how are wood chips by air collection produces great wood chips without dust!

 

Related Reading:

-OUR AIR HANDLING PROCESSES PAY OFF IN THE BATTLE WITH COVID-19

-WOOD SAFETY AND OUR EFFORTS TO PROTECT YOU!

-10 Thinks To Consider Before Purchasing Wood For Cooking, Grilling & Smoking

Dr. Smoke- Commercial smokehouse have to avoid dust on their wood chips. Our wood chips by air collection and packaging eliminates the dust

Dr. Smoke- Commercial smokehouse have to avoid dust on their wood chips. Our wood chips by air collection and packaging eliminates the dust

Grilling meals while home working provides hands free cooking and healthy choices!

Grilling meals while home working provides hands free cooking and healthy choices!

Home Working? Break out the Grill with Smokinlicious! Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

It has been months since the new normal occurred. You thought working from home would be brief but it is now clear this situation has no end. Reality has set in that you are working, educating, entertaining, eating and sleeping from home.

One benefit is you no longer are commuting. For those that use mass transit like a subway, bus line or rail line to get to work now find they have more time to devote to family and meals. For those that have had to drive to work now have freedom to cruise online recipes and those old cookbooks. This is your opportunity to make the most of those meals while not making cooking a chore.

(more…)

BBQ Box Smoker should be used as much as your tongs on the gas grill!

BBQ Box Smoker should be used as much as your tongs on the gas grill!

Learn how to use the BBQ box smoker Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

Bert and Tom discuss when the weather is cold use your BBQ box smoker year round!

We have all been in Tom’s position. We love grilling and smoking but prefer the warmer weather. For those of us in 4 season climates with below zero temperatures in winter and lots of snow, it seems too hard to continuing grilling! But just as Bert remarks, you do not have to give up cooking outdoors just because of the weather.

(more…)

Tom did pay attention to our tips on how to store wood chips!

Tom did pay attention to our tips on how to store wood chips!

How to store wood chips Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

It is one of our top questions. Wood storage. Where to store wood, how to store wood, temperature ideal for storing wood, shelf life of stored wood. If you are an avid follower of our readings, you are likely familiar with our two cartoon characters, Tom and Bert. Thru these characters, SmokinLicious® has been able to guide millions of home grilling and smoking enthusiasts on techniques and tips to make every wood-fired cooking event a success.

(more…)

 

Smoking color is correct when white smoke is present

Smoking color is correct when white smoke is present

In Grilling the smoke means everything! Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

You smell it before you see it! The aroma of foods being cooked outdoors. When those foods involve cooking over wood – hardwood to be specific – well, it is a flavor experience that is in a league of its own.

Recently, our cartoon friends, Tom and Bert, had an exchange about what the color of smoke means.

(more…)

Chef Bert and Tom combining hardwoods for smoking flavors

Chef Bert and Tom combining hardwoods for smoking flavors

Learning how to combine Hardwood species to change their smokey flavoring Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

There is misinformation out there that you may have been victim to. When cooking with hardwood, you may have been under the impression that only certain woods can be used with certain foods. For instance, hickory is reserved only for pork shoulder and brisket. Cherry for chicken, etc.

But that is hardly the truth.

Hardwood used for cooking must be viewed as another ingredient. As a key ingredient, it needs to be balanced with the food item and other ingredients used in preparation before grilling and smoking.

The intent today is to provide a guide on combinations of hardwood that work well for specific foods. Essentially, the ingredients of a rub, glaze, sauce or marinade will dictate what hardwoods will maximize all the flavors to become a finished masterpiece.

Hardwood Selection as a Compatible Ingredient

The goal when using hardwood is balance of the flavor outcome. You never want the hardwood to produce an ashy or burnt flavor. The essence of the wood should simply add to the beautiful flavor outcome for a memorable eating experience.

Here is SmokinLicious® rating on boldness of flavor for the hardwoods we offer:

When I design wood recipes for specific foods, I like to think about balancing out a medium or bolder flavor with one that is lighter. For lighter fare items like vegetables and fish, two wood combinations are generally used while longer cooked animal proteins can tolerate three hardwoods well.

In the chart that follows, reference is provided to various foods that benefit from exposure to the specified hardwoods. Use the color blocks indicated under each food group to guide you on combinations. Find the same color blocks in that group, and you have the balanced combination of hardwood. For instance, under Fruit, there are two red squares for an alder and cherry combination. Under the Fish column, there are 3 options: Alder and Maple represented by the pink square, Beech and Cherry represented by the orange square, and Ash and Maple represented by the gray square. These combinations are balanced by the essence they produce in the smoke vapor. Just use equal parts of each wood and remember, always start with a small quantity of hardwood as it does not take much to produce great flavor.

TIP: if you are using a spicy rub, default to combinations that includes mild to moderate flavor intensity. Using sweet ingredients, include a bolder hardwood flavor.

Our Guide

Experiment to find your favorite combinations of hardwood and soon you’ll have your own personal, detailed guide!

Do you have a favorite combination of hardwood? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious!

Products discussed in this Blog:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

 

More Related reading on this subject- More Related reading on this subject of cooking & Grilling with wood

More Related reading on combining wood species and sizes to change their smoke profile and more!

Related Reading:

-COOKING WOOD WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

-WHAT WOOD TO USE FOR SMOKING: A PRIMER

-10 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING WOOD FOR COOKING, GRILLING & SMOKING

Dr. Dr. Smoke- Combining hardwoods by mixing different species and sizes increases your smoking results!

Dr. Smoke- Combining hardwoods by mixing different species and sizes increases your smoking results!

 

Smokey Hungarian Peppers on our kettle Grill!

Smokey Hungarian Peppers on our kettle Grill!

Let's Do Smokey Hungarian Peppers on the Kettle Grill! Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

 

I love growing Hungarian wax peppers in my garden and then harvesting for recipes and freezing for future recipes. Hungarian wax pepper come in different levels of heat depending on the variety chosen. Mine are a hot variety but work perfectly for mixing with other creamy flavors to produce some great condiments and sauces. I will introduce you to two versions of my Smoked Hungarian Pepper Spread in our recipe blog which will post soon.

(more…)

Our top 12 Grilling Mistakes!

Our top 12 Grilling Mistakes!

Did you do one of these top 12 grilling mistakes this Year? Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

 

 

 

As a billion-dollar business, selling grills is likely not going away any time soon. In fact, sales are gaining strength thanks to COVID-19 which forced many to find ways to keep cooking and eating interesting while forced to stay out of restaurants.

When asked, most people say they grill or barbeque for flavor. If that is the case, then why are some of the most common practices the ones causing the most variation in the taste of your grilled foods?

Here are the top 12 grilling mistakes you should avoid.

#1 Skipping Preheat of the Grill

It does not matter if you prefer to use a gas grill or a charcoal unit, you need to preheat the grill before adding food. Why? It is the only way to avoid having your foods stick to the grill grate. When you allow the metal to heat to a very hot level, the protein in meats cannot form a bond with the metal grate. Plan about 5 minutes preheat time for charcoal grills and 15 minutes for gas units.

#2 Cooking on an Unclean Grill

Yeah, I know. The grill is located outside so you think it does not need the same care and cleaning as your kitchen equipment indoors. Wrong! Leftover food particles, grease, smoke tar and creosote can build up on various parts of the grill and cause changes in food flavors as well as make the food stick. Plus, a grease trap that has never been emptied can ignite which will ruin your planned grill day! Get in the habit of scraping the grill grate after preheating and lightly scrub the cooled down grill including the lid area, with steel wool and water. The lid likes to hold on to carbonized grease which becomes flaky and falls off onto your foods if left in place.

#3 Not Oiling the Grill Grate

In addition to preheating the grill oiling the grate is key to keeping food from sticking. This needs to be done whether your cooking on gas or charcoal. Using tongs, dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and wipe the preheated, scrubbed cooking grate before adding food.

#4 Using Lighter Fluid

For charcoal grill lovers, stop ruining your foods with lighter fluid. Coals are easier to lite with lighter fluid for one reason only – the chemicals make for quick lighting. They also impart those chemical flavors to your food. Learn to use a chimney starter with either newspaper for lighting or a Firestarter placed at the bottom. And this leads us to …

#5 Not Having Enough Coals

Depending on the size of the chimney starter you purchase, the average weight of charcoal used in one is 3 pounds. If your planning a full day of grilling, that one chimney starter will not be enough. Do not forget to load the charcoal area of the grill with unlit charcoal before the hot coals are added. The hot coals will gradually ignite the unlit and keep the temperature going so you can keep cooking.

#6 Pouring the Coals Too Soon

Once you have the chimney starter lit, leave it alone! Too often, the chimney is poured before the top layer of coals is covered with ash. That means, the coals are a gray color not black. If you do not allow the coals to fully heat, you will not be able to sustain the temperature of the equipment for cooking or worse, the fire could go completely out.

#7 Turning Meat Too Soon

We covered why it is so important to preheat the grill before placing food on the grate. Part of the “non-stick” relates to turning meat. The meat’s surface needs to be hot enough to release from the grate. If you don’t wait long enough, the meat will tear. Wait until you can easily lift the meat before making the turn.

#8 Running Out of Propane

I think just about everyone at one time or another makes the mistake of starting a grilling day and the propane tank runs out! Here is a trick for those who own a tank that has no fuel gauge. Boil one cup of water and pour it down the side of the tank. Feel the metal with your hand. Where you feel warmth on the tank means that area of the tank is empty. Feel coolness, that is the current level of available propane.

#9 Cooking with the Lid Open

Apart from lighting a gas grill, which should always be done with the lid up, you should do cooking with the lid down. Remember, gas grills deliver less heat than charcoal models. Keep the lid down to trap as much heat as possible.

#10 Lifting the Lid During Cooking

Having a hinged lid seems to imply that you are to readily open and close it at a whim. Nothing is further from the truth! Just like your oven, ever time you open the lid on the grill, you allow heat to escape forcing it to work harder to maintain the heat setting. Leave the lid alone!

#11 Using Vents for Proper Airflow

Comparable to the dials on an oven, vents are what control airflow to either boost the heat of the grill, reduce the heat, and extinguish fire/heat. On a charcoal grill, there are vents on the bottom of the charcoal area as well as the top of the lid. The bottom vents draw in oxygen to feed the fire while the top provide for the draft. Balance the two openings and you succeed in reaching regulated temperature, just like setting the dial on your stove. Gas grills also have vents but they are usually fixed and intended to release some gases and heat from the higher BTU burner ratings.

#12 Using Only One Cooking Set Up on the Grill

Grills allow for so much versatility in cooking essentially any food item, whether that is animal protein, fruit, vegetables or even bread and baked items. Do not limit yourself to just one grill set up! If you are one to lite up all the burners on the grill or place your hot coals all throughout the charcoal area of your grill, then you are missing out. Direct fire works for quick cooking methods like burgers and hot dogs, but it is not the best set up for other foods. Learn to use a two-zone set up: heat on only one half of the grill area while food is placed on the unheated side. You will have the benefit of controlled cooking when needed and the option for direct char and searing for finishing items or for quick cook foods on the direct fire side.

Did we miss a grilling mistake? Leave us a comment to let us know. We welcome all types of questions and encourage you to follow and subscribe to our social channels so you don’t miss anything. We look forward to providing you with tips, techniques, recipes, and the science for all things wood-fired cooked.

SmokinLicious® products used in this blog:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chunks- Single & Double Filet

More Related reading on Grilling mistakes and other good Techniques to follow

More Related reading on Grilling mistakes and other good Techniques

Related reading:

-COOKING WOOD WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

-WHAT WOOD FOR SMOKING: A PRIMER

-10 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING WOOD FOR COOKING, GRILLING & SMOKING

 

 

Dr. Smoke- Our Dozen of top grilling mistakes people make! Avoid these to be king of the Q

Dr. Smoke- Our Dozen of top grilling mistakes people make! Avoid these to be king of the Q

Picture of beef cut with rosemary is a perfect picture for Kylee Harris's guest blog benefits of eating smoked meat

Benefits of eating smoked meat by Kylee Harris is a great read for our subscribers!

Guest blog- Kylee Harris on Benefit of Eating Smoked Meat

Listen to the audio of this blog

 

While smoking meat has been known to be a rather controversial cooking method, there may just be some benefits when eating it in moderation as part of a healthy and balanced diet. From being a great source of nutrition to offering a low-fat alternative to other meat cooking methods, smoking your meat may just become your favorite — if it isn’t already! No matter what kind of meat you prefer to smoke, the health benefits that can come along with it can make your favorite smoked meal a regular occurrence.

A Body-Building Source of Protein

Meat is well-known for being a great source of protein for those focused on body-building fitness goals, though smoking it has been known to be hazardous to your health when done in ways that allow harmful carcinogens into the food. However, one study shows that the amount of carcinogens in smoked meat depends on the smoking method used. For instance, some woods, like hickory can allow for fewer carcinogens as opposed to others like beech. For that reason, smoking meat with healthier options (like hickory) can reduce the number of carcinogens and allow you to reap the protein-packed benefits at the same time.

Through less-carcinogenic smoking options, you’ll be able to consume healthier prepared smoked meat, which can provide a great source of protein and energy. This is especially beneficial for people who are looking to stay in shape and build muscle in conjunction with other body-building supplements like Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, or SARMS, which are known to have limited side-effects. Overall, it’s quite possible that smoking your meat (in addition to a healthy diet and exercise regime) may have a huge payoff when it comes to the gym.

A Low-Fat Option

When many think of cooking their favorite meat dish, there’s no doubt that oils, fats, or other unhealthy additives play a part. For instance, frying chicken can involve excess greases.

However, smoking your meat can prove to be a great way to avoid these extra and unnecessary fats, bringing a more guilt-free alternative to the table over sauteeing or pan-frying it. The process of smoking the meat may even be able to reduce the fat that’s in the meat itself, by allowing it to drip out – thus decreasing the total fat content.

A Great Source of Nutrients

One of the greatest things about smoking meat is how it can provide essential nutrients to the body. For example, smoked fish is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for lowering blood pressure and slowing down the process of plaque developing in the arteries. Many other smoked meats also provide a high content of iron as well, a vital mineral mainly found in red blood cells that plays a role in immune system function and even treating conditions like anemia.

While smoking your meat can be a flavorful way to cook it, it’s important to know that there may just be some health benefits involved. From being a great source of nutrients to being part of a healthy and balanced diet, smoking your meat with less carcinogenic wood can prove to be quite beneficial to your health.

More related reading on benefits of eating smoked meat see our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More related reading on benefits of eating smoked meat see our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

Related readings:

-3 METHODS OF SMOKING BOSTON BUTT FOR AUTHENTIC BARBECUE FLAVOR

-WHY IS MY BARBECUE MEAT DRY??

-CUTS OF MEAT THAT GRILL & SMOKE WELL & PROVIDE MORE THAN ONE MEAL

-THE SCIENCE OF MEAT COLOR INCLUDING THE INFAMOUS SMOKE RING

Dr. Smoke-Kylee Harris's Benefits of eating Smoked meat is full of great information.

Dr. Smoke-Kylee Harris’s Benefits of Eating Smoked meat is full of great information.

Next Page »