When grilling a turkey, one of the most important things to consider is making sure it doesn’t dry out. One way to do this is to brine the turkey before cooking. Brining means submerging the turkey in a salt water solution for several hours to add moisture. Various spices, herbs, and other foods can also offer a variety of flavors.
This recipe for turkey, from the BBQ Pit Boys, uses an apple cider turkey brine solution. They recommend letting the turkey soak for 18 to 24 hours. This guarantees that the meat soaks in the flavors that will be brought out during cooking, and you’ll end up with a juicy smoked turkey breast, as well as wings and thighs and legs.
The first step for this is to heat the apple cider with the salt and brown sugar, hot enough to dissolve the salt and sugar but not too hot, don’t bring it to a boil. Mix all the ingredients in a bucket big enough to hold the turkey plus the gallon of cider and enough water to keep the turkey covered. Add a bag of ice to cool it down before covering for the night.
They recommend placing 2 sprigs each of rosemary, thyme, and sage inside the bird. You will also need extra virgin olive oil, butter, and a bottle of your favorite ale. The olive oil and ale are going to be used for basting and to add even more flavor. The butter will make the skin crisp and give the brined turkey a golden-brown color. The BBQ Pit Boys recommend cooking upside down for about the first hour, then flip it over to finish cooking. You can read the complete recipe here.
The feedback on this recipe is resoundingly positive. People have followed the recipe exactly or come up with their own variations. One of the easiest adaptations is cooking the turkey in the oven rather than on the grill or in a smoker. The BBQ Pit Boys recommend injecting liquid smoke if you’re using the oven. This recipe went over so well for many users, it has become a new part of their holiday tradition. You can watch the grilling a turkey video below, not only will it show you how to smoke a turkey in a smoker, but the narrator is also pretty entertaining.
Smoking seems to be an old-school method of preparing food. This method existed for a long time. But, it has definitely found its place in the age of technology. The Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker is one of the appliances that has brought technology into cooking. Masterbuilt started in 1973 and have been innovators in the grilling and outdoor cooking industry ever since. The Masterbuilt Electric Smokers have extended outdoors comforts with the ease indoor cooking.
With so many different types of smokers out there, some people have certainly developed preferences. Electric smokers are more likely to maintain an even temperature throughout the cook time, making it more fix and forget than charcoal. It saves you the cost and inconvenience of having to always keep charcoal on hand or making sure you have a full propane tank (you really don’t want to run out of fuel half way through smoking a rack of ribs, pork butt, or brisket) every time you want to use your smoker. Weather also doesn’t play as significant a role with electric as it does with charcoal. For fans of the electric smoker, this Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is a good one to consider.
This Masterbuilt Smart Electric Smoker is the 2016 2.5 generation smoker featuring a blue LED digital control panel and Bluetooth capabilities that allow you to use your smart phone like a remote control. Weighing about 53.7 pounds, this model sports a rear mounted handle and 2 wheels. Simply tilt it back and move it wherever you’d like (although it should not be lifted by this handle). The body is stainless steel and remains cool to the touch during use; however, the glass front does get hot so it is important to be careful if children might be around this unit.
The total cooking area for this Masterbuilt 30 inch Electric Smoker is 721 square inches with a cooking space measuring 20 1/8 inches wide by 12 ½ inches deep giving it a 25-inch usable height. You can also move up to the 40” smoker for a 925 square inch cooking area. Four chrome-coated cooking racks that can accommodate 80 pounds of food are included. The 800-watt heating element heats up to a maximum temperature of 275 degrees.
There is a built-in meat probe thermometer to monitor internal temperatures of the food you’re smoking. The side wood chip loading system allows you to add wood chips without opening the door. When adding the wood chips, about half a cup every 30 to 40 minutes, the temperature may briefly spike but will stabilize so no temperature adjustment is necessary. Only wood chips should be used, pellets or chunks are not recommended. A removable water pan and drip pan are located at the bottom of the unit.
The removable shelves help make clean up especially easy. Spraying the interior with a non-stick cooking spray can further increase the ease of clean up. As previously mentioned, the water pan and drip pan are removable as is the wood chip bin and there is front access to the grease tray for even more convenience. It can be stored outside as long as it remains covered, t you can purchase a cover designed for an exact fit for this smoker. This is especially important because the vent is located on the top of the unit.
The warranty for this Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker is good for 90 days after purchase. It covers material and workmanship if assembled properly and used as expected following proper care instructions provided in the user manual. Masterbuilt should repair or replace any defective components at no additional charge (excluding shipping and handling which is paid by the customer). If the company requests a damaged or defective component be returned to them for inspection, they will incur any shipping costs.
Reviews on Amazon cover a broad range from 1 to 5 stars with an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Over half, 55%, of the ratings are 5 star. These top ratings refer to the quick heating and consistent temperatures—thanks in part to the built-in probe, the ease of use—from assembly to clean up, and the “cool” Bluetooth app. A lot of people who purchased this Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker discovered it after doing extensive research to find a quality smoker.
Of the 14 negative reviews, the manufacturer dealt with almost all of the issues quickly and satisfactorily. The majority of the problems were damages incurred during the shipping process, missing parts or pieces, and lack of a manual (which is available for digital download on the Masterbuilt website). Some users feel that Wi-Fi might be a better alternative to Bluetooth for communication between the smoker and the app. The unit may have trouble reaching the desired temperatures in extremely cold weather.
This smoker is the number 5 best selling smoker on Amazon. It seems to do everything it claims to do more often than not. In addition to the smoker, there are optional items specifically designed for this product. This includes a leg extension kit or a stand, a cover specific to the model for a perfect fit, and a cold smoking kit that adds a level of versatility to this item. People who have already bought and used this item talk about how easy it is to put together and to use as well as the great results they’ve gotten smoking anything from meat to cheese. We experienced similar results and were quite pleased with the quality of this model.
The holiday season is fast approaching, which means that gift giving season is also upon us. With this time of year also comes the number one shopping day—Black Friday. Since many major retailers have decided to stay closed on Thanksgiving this year, Black Friday is expected to once again be the best day for deals. And it just so happens that an electric smoker would be a fantastic gift. There are a lot of Black Friday electric smoker deals out there. Here are some of the best places to look for Black Friday smoker deals.Continue reading
Smoking meat is a great way to add flavor and lock in the moisture for juicy, delicious meals. Just about any meat, as well as some vegetables and cheeses, can be smoked. But when you talk about grilling or smoking meat, one of the first foods that comes to mind for many people is ribs.
These instructions and the following video will give you tips and tricks to help you learn to use a Char Broil Smoker to make perfectly seasoned and smoked ribs. You can also visit the Char-Broil website for recipes and recommendations for using the Char Broil Offset Smoker. If you need an offset smoker to do steps in this guide, check out our review of the Char Broil American Gourmet.
Use a dry rub to season the ribs. Let them soak up the flavors overnight, taking in all the spices and flavoring in the rub (or marinade if that’s what you prefer.
For this specific smoker and to cook ribs, the goal temperature is 225 degrees. It is best to check the temperature maximums for the specific offset smoker that you will be using. Cook time will also vary depending on what you are cooking. As with any meat, check the internal temperature before consuming any meat products.
It is important when smoking meat, to keep moisture content in mind and spray the meat frequently. He is using apple juice in this instance, but other liquids (e.g. beer, wine, fruit juice, etc.) can be used to add flavor as well as moisture to keep the ribs both flavorful and juicy.
After about three hours, he wraps the ribs in foil with more apple juice (or whatever liquid you are using for your ribs). Water is added to help even out and stabilize the temperature inside the smoker. It can also slow the cooking to let more fat melt off, while the condensation gives the smoke something jut sticky enough to hang onto.
After about 2 more hours, remove the foil and return the ribs to the cooking surface.
Start adding more wood to the firebox to increase the smokiness and the influence of the type of wood on the flavor. Some grillers and smokers will say that where the wood comes from means more to flavor than the type of wood being used.
After giving them another full hour to soak up the smoke and flavor, he is giving them a coat of barbeque sauce. He is using his own recipe here; you, of course, could use your own sauce or any of the wide variety available to buy in stores and online.
These may be a little dry and over done. As with anyone, it will take some time getting used to using a new smoker, like the Char Broil smoker, and/or working with different types of meat. Remember to always check the internal temperature to make sure it is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat.
You can watch the whole video here:
Any connoisseur of grilling and outdoor cooking is familiar with smoking. There are different types of smoking: cold smoking removes moisture and is used primarily for preserving meats, this process can take days or even weeks; hot smoking smokes the meat then follows the smoking process by cooking the meat, this process typically occurs within hours. Smoking meat can kill some types of bacteria and slow the growth of other types. It can also prevent mold and/or fermentation and extend shelf life.
For the most part, any kind of meat can be smoked, even some kinds of vegetables and cheese can be smoked. Smoking can improve the appearance of some types of meat, but can also enhance flavor. Different flavor opportunities are available thanks to different types of wood used when smoking.
(from the Char Broil user manual)
There are a lot of different types and styles of smokers out there. One of these types is the offset smoker. While there is a wide variety of these smokers out there, the Char Broil American Gourmet offset smoker is one of the more cost effective as well as easy to use smokers. Let’s take a closer look at the features of this product:
The main chamber features an 11” by 23” cooking surface, and the offset or firebox adds another 11” by 10” space for a grand total of 430 square inches. Either section may be used for traditional charcoal grilling. When smoking, the main chamber is intended for the meat while the offset is to be used as the heat and smoke source.
The three cooking surfaces can be removed for easy cleaning. A clean-out door can be found on the end to make ash removal easier. Ashes should be cleaned out after every use to help prevent the chance of rust. The smoker is compact and light enough that it can be placed on its side and cleaned with a backyard hose. The smoker should be covered when not in use to protect the exterior finish. If the need arises, the exterior can be touched up with any high-temperature black paint. One owner recommends black engine manifold paint.
The Char Broil American Gourmet offset smoker is covered under a 1-year limited warranty. All parts are covered under the warranty, and the warranty protects the smoker in the event of perforation and manufacturing and material defects.
Almost half of the Amazon Char Broil American Gourmet offset smoker reviews are 5 stars. Overall, it received a 3.8 out of 5 stars. The positive reviews refer to the ease of use and clean up. Many customers expressed their satisfaction with the smoker as a Char Broil product while other’s satisfaction is in comparison to other brand smokers. The value for the price is another factor making this item quite popular.
Negative reviews, only around 10%, often refer to shipping problems and/or damages during shipping. There are sometimes issues with smoke leaking, videos can be found on YouTube on suggested modifications to improve the performance. Char Broil customer service representatives seem eager to offer repairs or replacements quickly. Some complaints over estimated the size. One reviewer was disappointed that the size was more appropriate for a single family as opposed to a houseful of guests. Other reviewers felt the thin gauge of the metal used for the body and the light weight made it seem flimsy or simply not sturdy enough.
The Char Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is great for grilling or smoking. While not meant to cater to larger crowds, it is more than adequate for the average family’s needs. There is plenty of cooking surface space and temperature monitoring is easy with a thermometer mounted directly on the lid. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and holds up well when properly taken care of. Char Broil stands behind this product, and they offer resources on their website including tips and tricks as well as recipes. This is a great product for smoking smaller amounts of meat or perhaps as a starter smoker for someone just beginning to learn the skill. The price is reasonable, again for a starter as well as someone not looking to make a large monetary investment. This is the standard model. The price obviously increases with the higher end models.
We all love baby back ribs, it’s a comfort food that really does bring out the smiles and happiness of any person who is tucking into a perfectly cooked bit of beef rib, or pork rib for that matter. When cooked to perfection baby back or spare ribs can be a delicious meal on their own or they can serve as a wonderful main component alongside salads, rice dishes and vegetables. At the end of the day whatever your choice of accompaniment, the baby back ribs need care and attention if you want to get them right, as these are going to be the centre part to any dish.
In today’s guide we are going to take you through everything you need to know to cooking the perfect rack of baby back ribs, from getting your ingredients together, to the equipment you are going to need, right through to some handy tips and tricks in how you can get the best results. And of course, the best results start with tender, moist and delicious tasting meat that you can be proud of.
Pans at the ready, as we are going to dive in…
First things first we need to prepare our work area with the equipment and ingredients we need to so we are organised and have everything together in one area. In terms of equipment you are going to need a baking sheet, some kitchen foil, a wire cooling rack, a pastry brush and a sharp kitchen knife.
Set these all down to one side and then on the other side you want a 4-5lbs baby back rib, a quarter of a cup of Dijon mustard, some liquid smoke (optional), 1 cup of space rub, and 1 cup of barbecue sauce.
Now you should all be set to get on with preparing the ribs and then cooking them.
Preheat your oven to 300F to begin with so we get a nice disperse of heat that evenly works its way across the oven ready for us to add the ribs to. Then take a baking sheet and line it with some of the foil that you set aside earlier on, finally placing a wire cooling rack on top of that.
At this stage you can add the ribs to the rack as they are as we can dress the meat from here.
Take your Dijon mustard and the liquid smoke and use the pastry brush to brush the mixtures onto both sides of the baby back ribs, making sure that you evenly spread the mixture. You can then add the dry rub to the ribs by firstly sprinkling it over and the patting it into the meat.
Now you are ready to place the baby back ribs under the broiler and you only need to do this for around 5 minutes, making sure the meat side of the ribs are facing up towards the elements. When 5 minutes has passed you will notice that there is a brown colouration on the upper side of the ribs and this is where you can move the baby back ribs to the preheated oven to roast them.
Usually roasting a 4-5lbs baby back rib can take around 2 hours so you need to set aside that time. You can choose to cover the ribs with foil to start with or you can introduce the foil halfway through that 2 hour cooking time to allow the moisture to retain within the meat, keeping it tender and not allowing it to easily dry out.
During the last 30 minutes remove the baby back ribs and pick up your pastry brush again, and this time we are going to apply the barbecue sauce, and at this stage you can either coat it with plenty of sauce or you can be more reserved and just brush a light covering on top of the ribs. The choice is yours. Once you have done that just cover the baby back ribs up again with the foil and let them cook for that final 30 minutes until the 2 hour period is upon you.
As with any meat just give it time to rest when you fetch it out of the oven so that the juices all disperse evenly around the meat which will just add to the moisture and tenderness of the baby back ribs. Once they have rested you can either serve them as they are or you can perform cuts between the bones in order to separate each section of the rib.
If you are adding any other ingredients make sure that these are cooked prior to taking the ribs out of the oven as you will want to eat them straight away, whilst they are hot.
When it comes to cooking there are so many different cooking methods that it’s hard to get your head around. You have boiling, baking, grilling, griddling, sautéing, boiling, frying, barbecuing and so many other ways to cook foods. For some food however, certain cooking methods really do bring out the best when it comes to textures, flavours and general overall experiences and we have to say that when it comes to cooking beet greens there is only way method of cooking that really excels from all others, and that is sautéed beet greens.
If you haven’t tried beet greens or you haven’t tried them using this cooking method then stop what you are doing right now and listen up, as we are going to show you how to sauté beet greens and why they are so good when you use this method.
Beet greens are nothing without a few flavourings and seasonings thrown into the mix though, and it’s important that when sautéing them you know exactly what ingredients work and wont don’t. Sometimes experimenting is the only way to find out but we are going to list the ingredients you need here to save you time.
Get yourself a maximum of 3 bunches of beet greens and then set aside some extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, a lemon, a shallot, some red pepper flakes and an orange.
To start with you should always wash vegetables like this under cold water which just takes away any grit, dirt or other foreign impurities that you don’t want on them. Also with beet greens its advisable to trim off the purple stems as these are very bitter in taste and even if you like them the chances are that a lot of your dinner guests may not, so it’s just thinking about them at the same time.
You will now be left with the green part of the vegetable and the best way to cut them into strips is to simply roll them up and then take your knife to them as you cut across the leaves. Generally you want to cut them into 1 inch segments, try not to cut them to large or too small and always remember that when they start cooking they will reduce in size so bare that in mind with the amount of bunches of beet greens you use.
Now the beet green are prepared we want to begin cooking the other ingredients that we mentioned earlier on. So get a pan on the heat, and drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil until it becomes hot enough to begin adding your garlic into.
Once you have allowed the garlic to cook for a minute throw in your shallot (diced), your red pepper flakes and finally your beet greens. Allow them to wilt and cook for roughly 3 minutes, and just check to see if there is enough water to allow them to steam. If you see there isn’t enough water or find the garlic is turning brown then this is a tell-tale sign that you will need to introduce a few spoonful’s of water to the pan in order to finishing the cooking process off.
The finally step in our guide is serving up the beet greens, by now you have some incredible flavours that have enveloped the beet greens, with the garlic and shallot aromas adding to the taste. However, it doesn’t stop there as we want to combat the bitter taste of the beet greens by bringing together some acidic flavours and this is where lemon juice and orange juice comes in and plays its part.
Simply add lemon and orange juice to a pan and allow the juices to just simmer away with each other, you can also real intensify the flavour at this point by adding some vinegar as well. Once you have let the beet greens simmer in the orange and lemon for a couple more minutes you can then take them out the pan (the water should have evaporated nicely), and then serve them up on a plate.
Generally these beet greens are strong providers of sodium but you can add standard seasonings in the form of a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper if you feel that you need to combat some of the flavours.
Remember, this dish may not be for everyone but you should definitely give it a try as the garlic, shallot, acidic flavours and bitterness of the beet greens all come together and complement each other to provide you with a real taste sensation.
Beans of any variety are packed full of healthy benefits and can complement everything from stews, to casseroles, to rice dishes and pasta dishes. They can even make up a substantial part of a fresh salad, but many people get put off cooking them because they don’t really know how to, or when they are cooked properly. The truth to cooking beans is that they are incredibly easy to cook and just like many foods it takes a couple of tips for you to master the art of cooking them and providing a new dish to add to your growing cookery arsenal.
Black beans in particular can be eaten on their own, and it’s not rocket science in cooking a creamy tender bowl of these fantastic beans. The biggest issue for many is that beans aren’t fast foods, they take hours to cook so if you are looking for quick meals then the 3 hour cooking time of black beans may put you off, but believe us when we say you have tasted nothing like the tender black beans we are going to show you how to cook today.
To get the perfect tenderness all the way through its key that you soak the beans prior to cooking them, this will give you a much better chance of having a more evenly cooked and tender bean dish. Plus, it can take some time off that 3 hour cooking time.
Right, so now we are ready to begin the cooking process so the first thing we need to do is get our equipment and ingredients together. Luckily there isn’t a lot to think about here, you just need a pound of dried black beans, some salt, a bay leaf, a couple of cloves of garlic, a chopped carrot, half a white onion, and some water to fill your saucepan.
Most of those ingredients above are simply to add to the aromatics of the liquid that surrounds the beans when it starts to evolve into a creamy dish.
After you have soaked your beans (usually overnight) you will want to drain them, and its at this point where if you have the time you can pick out any odd looking beans, dried beans or other impurities that you don’t want to make it across to the saucepan for cooking.
Add your water to the saucepan and then shuck in all your aromatic ingredients that we mentioned above as these will help infuse the beans with delicate and captivating tastes when you come to eating them later on. All you need is a little bit of water as well so don’t go filling the entire pan, you want to cover the beans by about an inch and then set the temperature to a medium-high heat and then let them get to a boiling state.
Once you have hit boiling point reduce the heat down to a low temperature so that the beans are just simmering away. If you are looking to add the beans to soups or creamy dishes then adding a lid at this point will improve the tenderness of the black beans. If you leave the lid off the beans will be more crunchy and less tender, so you should only leave the lid off if you are looking to add the beans to salads or pasta dishes.
Leave the beans on a simmer for about an hour and then come back to just check them at that point. You want to make sure that the beans are still submerged in water so you may be required to add some more water at this point. Cover up the beans and then leave them for another hour or so.
Just before the end of the cooking process add a pinch or two of salt to add to the taste, as the black beans should now be tender.
Once cooked you should have a nice creamy black bean soup dish now with all those aromatics, but the best thing with black beans is that you can keep them refrigerated for 7 days, or frozen for up to 3 months so its always an idea to cook a good batch of them up if you are going to be spending hours cooking them, that way you add them to individual containers and add them to different dishes throughout the months before the need to cook any more.
Even if you aren’t fussed about the liquid, you should still keep it as it makes a great staple for sauces and soups, and because you have all that flavour and goodness packed into it, it really can add to other dishes you may cook so just pop it into a container and keep it stored in the fridge.
Beef really is the ultimate comfort food, whether it’s a perfectly slow cooked beef brisket or a set of beef ribs coated in your ideal marinade. In today’s guide we are bringing you one of the best comfort foods and showing you exactly how to cook them to perfection.
Firstly, let’s not get ahead of ourselves because cooking beef ribs isn’t easy if you don’t know what you are doing, it does take time, patience and knowing what seasonings and cooking methods work the best to bring out those beautiful and textures that we have all come to love about this meat.
The very first port-of-call for you is to head to a local butcher because this is where you are not only going to save money on your ribs but you are going to get the finest cuts of beef ribs. They will be fresh, meaty and give you the perfect head start to creating an amazing dish for yourself, your loved one or dinner guests that you may have over for the evening.
We always stress at home important preparing the meat is and we aren’t going to avoid it in this guide because this step of the process is a fundamental part of getting that end result spot on. With beef ribs you will notice that there is quite a thick membrane that runs along the back, this needs to be removed as it can spil the taste and experience of beef ribs because the membrane once cooked becomes very chewy and tough. Not pleasant at all.
Luckily o remove it, it’s simple. Just use your fingers to work the membrane loose, or take a knife and just slowly prize it away from the rest of the meat. If you are heading to a butcher to buy your meat then you can also ask the butcher to remove it for you before you come away.
When it comes to your seasoning or marinade we all have our own preferences and specific tastes. With beef ribs you can use almost anything on top of it, and whilst most of us always head straight to barbecue sauce marinades some other seasonings and rubs are proving to become more popular in cooking this meat.
Chilli powder, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder and dried thyme is just one rub mix that gives your ribs a nice kick, and probably the biggest advantage is that you can eat them without getting yourself into a complete mess…which can’t be said for barbecue sauce marinades.
For the best results you should always oven cook your beef ribs as this will help the meat become tender, to the extent it just falls off the bone into your mouth with little effort. Also the moisture, tastes and juices will be noticeable with an oven cooked rack of ribs, so for the purpose of this we are going to be using the oven.
If you have chosen to barbecue marinade your ribs, that process is fairly simple and once you have coated your beef ribs with the sauce you will need to wrap the ribs up in some kitchen foil. We recommend using a good couple of sheets of foil so you lock in all the juices and steam which will add to the textures and tastes once cooked.
Place the ribs into a preheated oven, in a baking tin, with the meat facing down. You want the temperature to be around the 225C mark and it will take around 3 hours for a standard size rack of ribs to cook through thoroughly. Avoid checking the meat or opening the oven door as you want the heat to remain consistent and you don’t want to expel any juices or steam by unnecessarily opening the foil up.
Once the cooking time has come to an end take the ribs out, uncover them and leave them for a period of between abut 10-20 minutes so that the juices redistribute throughout the ribs, helping it become tender and moist to the bite.
Beef ribs can go with many other foods to make a great dish, so think about potatoes and vegetables as one choice, or perhaps you would like to make a gorgeous potato salad or fresh green salad to accompany the beef ribs for summer time treat. For the Winter periods adding some basmati rice with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top can really make for a hearty dinner time meal, or you could just cut the ribs up and then eat them on their own.
The choice is yours, but do experiment with what foods go with the beef ribs to make the most out of them.