People have used smoke as a method of preserving and flavoring food for thousands of years. With no knowledge of chemical preservation or freezer technology, our ancestors discovered, probably by chance, that food exposed to smoke tasted better and lasted longer. Today, refined cooking appliances such as the Smoke Hollow 26142E continue to offer an ideal solution for smoking food.
The smoker packs some impressive features and lets you cook different dishes simultaneously or separately. An in-depth review of the Smoke Hollow 26142E may be all it takes for you to realize that you need to add it to your cooking appliances collection.
Choosing the right smoker is key to ensuring that you enjoy cooking convenience and all the benefits of smoking food. There are many products on the market today, and that can end up creating some confusion in selection. However, with some basic information, you will be able to sift through the options and settle on the most ideal.
Type of smoker
There are different types of smokers, including electric, charcoal, and gas smokers. Understanding some of the advantages of the different types of smokers can help ensure you make the right choice.
Electric smokers are easy to ignite and operate, while charcoal smokers often take a longer time to cook food and may require undivided attention with regards to regulating airflow and heat output. Gas smokers are also convenient but are generally an expensive option when compared to electric or charcoal smokers.
Different dishes require specific cooking conditions, which is why you should think about the type of controls a smoker has. Integrated controls should be easy to adjust so that you can get the ideal temperature outputs.
High-end smokers sometimes feature smart temperature probes that let you monitor conditions on your laptop or smartphone.
It is always a good idea to pick a smoker that features heavy-duty construction. This often promotes durability and lets it withstand rugged use. Compact smokers are recommendable for outdoor cooking because they are easy to transport.
The amount of money you pay for the product you need should be another issue to keep in mind. High-end smokers usually have additional features that may include wheels, covers, and extra space for food prep. However, you can still get impressive smokers at a relatively cheap rate.
The Smoke Hollow 26142E is an electric appliance that utilizes 110-volts of power and comes across as one of the most impressive smokers in the market today. It has innovative features that simplify operation and a compact design for portability. A closer look at this smoker should help you appreciate why it is an exceptional appliance to add to your collection
What You Need to Know About the Smoke Hollow 26142E
The Smoke Hollow 26142E comes with two chrome-plated cooking grids to accommodate any food under preparation. The racks can adjust to variable heights for convenience and optimal results.
Integrated side handles make it possible for you to quickly move this smoker from one point to another, while a cool-touch spring wire door handle with a latch system makes for convenient access and safety when opening or closing the cooking chamber.
Another feature of the Smoke Hollow 26142E is a removable, porcelain-coated water pan that collects any fluids that drip during food preparation. The water pan simplifies cleaning after food preparation. Additionally, this smoker comes with a porcelain-coated chip tray for convenience.
The Smoke Hollow 26142E has an overall 1.3 cubic foot capacity, which is enough to prepare food for an entire family. You can divide the cooking chamber with the two available grids to organize food according to type, or remove one rack to accommodate bulk foods.
This particular smoker features heavy-duty construction, which helps enhance longevity even with frequent use. The robust, fully-welded steel cabinet can withstand heat and other elements that may otherwise cause damage.
Side handles help simplify mobility while a full-length door helps trap heat within the cabinet and guards food against getting into contact with germs during preparation. The Smoke Hollow 26142E has four legs and a compact design for convenient placement and storage. It also features a long power cord on the side for quick connectivity to a power outlet.
This smoker is available on Amazon with a customer rating of 3.7 out of 5.0 stars. Users who like it say its quite easy to set up and operate. They also claim that it is durable and can easily cook large meals. Users who give it a low rating say that the Smoke Hollow 26142E has a faulty temperature control system and that it develops rust in specific parts.
A Comparison of the Smoke Hollow 26142E With Other Smokers on the Market
While the Smoke Hollow 26142E boasts of functional parts and sturdy construction, it is not necessarily the only smoker that can produce good cooking results. A look at other electric smokers on the market should help bring things into perspective.
Some of the best alternatives available include Masterbuilt 20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker, Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker, Southern Country Smokers 2 in 1 Electric Water Smoker, and Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Bradley Digital 4 Rack Smoker.
Masterbuilt 20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker
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This is another electric smoker you can use as a beginner or pro. It features robust steel construction which helps it withstand rugged use. It is compact in design, making it easy to position indoors or outdoors and has four legs for convenient placement.
The Masterbuilt 20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker has digital panel controls for smooth operation and monitoring. An integrated thermostat temperature control lets you get the ideal settings depending on the results you want to achieve, while a fully-insulated smoker body ensures food doesn’t lose flavor through evaporation.
This product has a patented, side wood chip loading system that allows you to add chips without opening the smoker door. While the Smoke Hollow 26142E has two grids, this particular smoker comes with four chrome-coated smoking racks to organize food. Additionally, it has an adjustable air damper for smoke control.
Users on Amazon give this smoker a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. Those who love it claim that it is sturdy and withstands frequent use. Consumers with a different opinion say it works well as an oven but falls short of producing excellent results when smoking. There are also some who claim it has multiple manufacturing defects.
The Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker is a smoker that also has a compact design for convenient storage and portability. It features sturdy steel construction to help enhance durability and has four legs for easy positioning. This smoker has a 1200-watt heating element for quick food preparation.
A door-mounted temperature gauge lets you monitor cooking conditions, while dual latches help keep the door sealed. This smoker offers up to 544 square inches of cooking area, which is enough to prepare large meals. It comes with three chrome-plated cooking grates to hold food.
Double-wall insulated construction helps trap heat within the cooking chamber, while dual-exhaust ports help control smoke and airflow. This smoker also comes with a large-capacity wood chip box that allows for prolonged smoking without the need for frequent refilling.
An aluminized steel water pan keeps meat or other dishes moist and juicy, while a removable drip tray ensures easy cleaning after food preparation. This particular smoker has an impressive Amazon rating of 4.2 out of 5.0 stars.
Users who like it say it is easy to set up and withstands the test of time. Individuals with a different opinion claim the heat output is not accurate and that it has poor quality construction.
Southern Country Smokers 2 in 1 Electric Water Smoker
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The Southern Country Smokers 2 in 1 Electric Water Smoker is a versatile alternative to the Smoke Hollow 26142. It features 351 square inches of cooking space, which is enough to accommodate large meals.
The smoker comes with two chrome-plated cooking grids to help organize food, a built-in temperature gauge for monitoring, and a 1500-watt heating element for heat production. It features a chimney-like design that makes it compact enough to fit in small spaces.
Its three legs let you position it on different surfaces, while the heat-resistant wooden side and hood handles ensure safety when moving. Sliding access doors on the sides simplify adding water and chips. The smoker comes with an extra-large 5.5-quart water pan to optimize the slow cooking process.
This product has a 3.3 out of 5.0-star rating on Amazon. Users who love this product say it’s easy to assemble and transport. They also say it is relatively easy to operate. Some users say it does not retain heat, making it less than ideal for cooking.
Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Bradley Digital 4 Rack Smoker
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This smoker features robust power epoxy steel construction to ensure durability. It comes with four cooking racks to organize different dishes and has a digital control panel for smooth operation. Its four short legs make it possible to position it on most surfaces, while the compact design takes up little space in storage.
This particular smoker has a rating of 3.6 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. Users who like it say quality construction makes it an excellent option for those who want something for long term use. Individuals that dislike this smoker claim it develops numerous problems after some time of use.
Enjoy Cooking Convenience With the Smoke Hollow 26142E
The Smoke Hollow 26142E is a versatile smoker that lets you prepare your favorite dishes conveniently. It is quite easy to operate and makes light work of the cleaning process. Its compact design ensures you don’t have to worry about storage space.
It’s worth noting that this appliance features premium material construction, which makes it withstand rugged use. The Smoke Hollow 26142E does not require any special maintenance work. Instead, all you have to do is follow the instructions for use and wipe it clean with a wet piece of cloth after cooking.
Do you have any fun recipes to prepare on the Smoke Hollow 26142E or want to share your experience with smoked food? Go ahead and let us know in the comment section.
If you love smoked salmon, learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker is a great skill to have. By smoking your salmon at home, you get to control what goes into your smoked salmon recipe. You also may find that you can save money by being able to purchase and smoke larger cuts of salmon rather than buying it pre-smoked.
Learning how to smoke salmon is an easy and fun weekend cooking project that is perfect for entertaining a crowd. There are also endless varieties of ways you can use your home-smoked salmon.
Try serving up Sunday breakfast with some smoked salmon, cream cheese, and bagels for a fun buffet. Or perhaps use your smoked salmon in a fun party dip to enjoy with friends.
How to Smoke Salmon in an Electric Smoker
Before we look at how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker, let’s learn a little more about this dish and smoking methods.
Smoked salmon around the Americas
Smoked salmon has its roots all over the world. Native peoples in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska regularly preserved their salmon by drying and smoking it over alder wood.
Smoked salmon is also an essential part of Jewish cuisine. Jews fleeing the pogroms in Eastern Europe settled in Britain and began to preserve Scottish salmon. European Jews also brought smoked salmon with them to the United States.
While you may think where there is smoke, there is fire, when it comes to smoking fish, including salmon, that is not always the case.
There are two types of ways to smoke salmon: cold smoke or hot smoke.
Cold smoking uses a mixture of salt and sugar, also known as a cure, that flavors the meat and draws out much of the moisture. After curing, the salmon gets smoked at relatively low temperatures, around 80-degrees Fahrenheit or less. While this smoke imparts flavor, it does not cook the fish. When cold smoking salmon, the fish stays in the smoker for a relatively short amount of time.
In contrast, hot smoking flavors the fish with a wet brine. The smoking temperature for hot smoking is over 120-degrees Fahrenheit. The hot smoking method both flavors the fish and cooks it, allowing you to consume it safely. Hot smoking typically takes several hours.
Electric smoker advantage
When smoking fish like salmon, precise temperature control is essential. While you can smoke salmon using a charcoal grill or pellet smoker, learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker can give you a bit more control.
Electric smokers allow you to control the temperature inside the smoker precisely. To produce smoke, an electric smoker uses an electric heating element to start the woodchips. When the ambient temperature reaches its threshold, the component turns off.
However, if the ambient temperature gets too cold, the heating element turns back on. This produces a more steady smoke and heat, allowing you to get a great smoky flavor without significant temperature fluctuations.
How to Smoke Salmon in an Electric Smoker: What You Need
Here is what you will need to smoke salmon in an electric smoker.
To make excellent smoked salmon, you will need to start with a great cut of salmon.
Fresh or frozen
While freshly caught fish is a great option when smoking salmon, you can also use frozen salmon in your electric smoker.
In fact, according to champion angler fisherman Buzz Ramsey, the freezing process destroys the cell structure in the fish. That allows the fish to take on more flavor from the cure and the smoking process, leading to a more flavorful product.
Wild vs. farmed
While you can smoke any salmon, it’s essential to be aware that not all salmon is the same.
Wild salmon is salmon that is caught in the wild. Wild-caught salmon is incredibly flavorful with a distinct pink-orange hue to the flesh. Be mindful that it tends to be on the leaner side and quickly dries out.
Farm-raised salmon is salmon that is bred and raised in captivity. This salmon tends to be fattier, with a mild flavor. Farmed salmon gets its color from additives to their feed.
Smoked salmon gets the majority of its flavor from two sources: brine and wood chip smoke.
Wet or dry
Salting is an integral part of the smoking process. When you salt your fish, you help impart flavor, and the salt helps to preserve the fish as well.
When preparing salmon for smoking, you can salt your fish using a wet brine or a dry rub.
Wet brines are typically used for hot smoking. A wet brine is a salt dissolved in water, along with any other flavorings. Wet brines may also be poured over the fish during the hot smoking process.
Dry brines are a dry combination of salt and other seasonings that you coat the fish in. Once coated, you let the fish rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or a few days, depending on the recipe. This process helps to draw out excess moisture from the fish.
The type of wood chip you use will determine the smoke flavor in your smoked salmon. Alderwood is a common choice for smoking salmon and is the wood traditionally used by the indigenous tribes of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. However, other light woods like apple, hickory, and oak can produce delicious smoked salmon.
How to Smoke Salmon in an Electric Smoker: Step by Step
Now onto the good stuff: learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker! This recipe is originally from Fine Cooking.
Be forewarned that this will take some time to brine, dry, and smoke properly. You want to give yourself about two days for this project. The good news is that most of this time is hands-off, so you do not have to worry about babysitting the salmon.
Assemble your ingredients
You will need the following ingredients for this recipe.
1 salmon fillet, between 2 and 3 pounds
4 ounces coarse salt
4 ounces brown sugar
3 quarts water
Woodchips for smoking
Assemble your equipment
Smoked salmon takes a fair amount of time as well as equipment. Be sure to have all of this handy so that you can cut down on the overall work.
While your electric smoker can maintain the smoker’s temperature, you need a meat thermometer to monitor your salmon’s temperature.
Instant read thermometers are suitable but require you to open the smoker to test the doneness. Whenever you open your smoker, you let out heat and smoke, which may prolong the cooking time.
Alternatively, continuous read probe thermometers stay in the fish and allow you to check on fish without opening the smoker continuously.
Have a good pair of oven mitts to take your salmon in and out of the smoker. Good gloves can also protect your hands if you need to add wood chips to your smoker.
Prepare your salmon
Prepare your salmon fillet by deboning and scaling, if necessary.
Fishbone tweezers could help remove any stubborn pin bones if your fishmonger missed them initially.
Prepare the brine by dissolving your sugar and salt in one quart of hot water. Add the rest of the water and cool your brine completely before using.
Submerge your salmon fillet in the brine for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. Be sure to keep your brine and salmon cool in the refrigerator through the brining process. Rotate at least once halfway through the brining process to ensure that the fillet is evenly brined.
After brining, remove the salmon fillet. Pat dry with paper towels and then place on a rack, skin side down. Place the salmon back in the refrigerator, uncovered.
This drying process forms a membrane, known as the pellicle. The pellicle will make the fish look slightly darker, and be somewhat tacky to the touch. The pellicle will help smoke better adhere to the fish, making it taste better. It may take a few hours or up to overnight.
Prepare your smoker with the woodchips of your choice, according to your electric smoker’s manufacturer’s directions, bringing it to an internal temperature of 200-degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are worried about your salmon drying out, you may want to include a tray of water to keep the salmon moist while it cooks.
Once you have your smoker prepared and pre-heated, add your salmon to the smoker. Close the door and smoke until your salmon reaches 145-degrees internally for at least half an hour. Cooking times will vary between electric smoker manufacturers and the size of the fillet.
Cool and serve
Once your salmon is done smoking, remove it from the oven. While you can eat it warm, hot smoked salmon is easier to cut after it has cooled. Store any leftovers by wrapping in plastic wrap or butcher paper, and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Serving It Up
Whether you are a fisherman who wants to preserve your catch or an amateur gourmand looking to add to your repertoire, learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker is a great weekend project. By using an electric smoker, you can cut down on some of the guesswork that comes with using manual smoking methods.
Do you love smoked salmon? What’s your favorite way to serve it? Are you interested in learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker? Let us know in the comments!
Chicken breast is the basis of many healthy recipes. Electric smoker chicken breast recipes can help elevate this healthy, yet humble, meat to greater flavor heights.
Smoked chicken can add a rustic flavor to just about any healthy dish. Using your electric smoker to smoke chicken breast is just another fantastic way to experiment with flavor. Smoking chicken is an excellent way to both cook and flavor your meat for a unique taste experience.
Electric Smoker Chicken Breast:
A Recipe For Deliciousness
Is chicken breast meat you want to smoke? Of course! It’s healthy and delicious.
But is it really worth the time and effort?
In a word: yes.
Where Can I Use Electric Smoker Chicken Breast?
While you could easily eat smoked chicken breast on its own, consider some of the other things you can make with it. The smoked chicken breast would add some great flavor to your lunchtime salad or sandwich.
Try a unique spin on chicken soup by using smoked chicken. Or how about a fusion mashup with smoked chicken tacos?
The trouble with chicken breast is that it is very easy to screw up. Chicken breast has very little to no fat. While this makes it a great source of lean protein, this leanness makes it not as flavorful as more fatty cuts of chicken.
Fat also melts to lubricate the meat while it cooks. Without fat, lean cuts like chicken breast tend to get dry when cooked.
This dry meat problem can get even worse the longer you cook your meat. To safely cook at low temperatures as you would with electric smoker chicken breast, you need hours.
Not adequately preparing your electric smoker, chicken breast can leave you with a tasteless, dry piece of meat.
When it comes to chicken breast, you have several options to choose from. Depending on what type of chicken breast you select will help determine what kind of preparation you need for your electric smoker chicken breast.
Got A Bone To Pick
Chicken breasts typically come in two forms: bone-in or boneless. The bone-in version usually comes with the rib bones attached. The boneless version has the ribs removed.
When cooking chicken breast, the rib bones in a bone-in chicken breast act as insulation. It can help keep the chicken moister over extended periods of cooking.
However, since the boneless chicken breasts do not have this insulation, these chicken breasts are more prone to drying out.
Taste Is Skin Deep
Prepared chicken breasts at the meat counter may or may not have skin. Bone-in chicken breasts are more likely to have the skin intact. Meanwhile, boneless chicken breasts typically have the skin removed.
Just like with chicken bones, chicken skin adds a layer of protection. During cooking the fat in the skin melts, basting the meat underneath and helping to keep it moist.
The skinless chicken breast does not have this type of protection and can get tough during the cooking process, if not prepared correctly.
While we’re talking mostly about electric smoker chicken breast here, remember that most of the techniques we cover will work for just about any kind of smoked chicken recipe.
If you’re not a fan of breast meat, try smoking dark meat. Like chicken breast, you can choose to smoke dark meat either bone-in or boneless, with the skin on or off.
For a real treat, try smoking a whole chicken! You can try smoking it intact or use a technique called spatchcocking. Spatchcocking takes out the backbone to let the bird lay flat. That results in a chicken that cooks evenly with lots of skin exposed.
Brining is an integral part of preparing any meat for smoking. However, it’s even more critical for chicken breast due to how lean the meat is.
Moisture And Flavor
Brining does two important things for smoked chicken breast. The first thing it does is add moisture. With little to no fat on the meat, chicken breast can get dry during cooking.
The brining process helps the meat retain moisture during the cooking process. The salt in the brine denatures some of the protein in the meat, allowing it to hold onto more moisture. If the meat were not salted, the moisture would escape during cooking.
Of course, the salt in the brine also adds flavor. Not only can salt add its own flavor to the chicken, but it can also help deliver other flavorings in the brine.
Dry Or Wet
There are two main types of brine you can use for electric smoker chicken breast. A wet brine is a salt and other flavorings dissolved in water. A dry brine is salt with other dry seasonings, sprinkled heavily onto the chicken.
Whether you choose a wet or a dry brine is up to you. Both methods can deliver excellent results.
Wet brines typically take longer, several hours and up to a day or so, to work its magic. Conversely, dry brines are easy to put together and take only a few hours in the refrigerator to work.
Fattening It Up
Chicken breast is popular as a lean source of protein. But when you’re making electric smoker chicken breast, a little bit of fat can go a long way toward keeping your chicken breast moist and tasty.
There are two easy ways to add some fat to your electric smoker chicken breast: bard and inject.
The first is to bard, or wrap, your chicken breast in a slice of flavorful fatty meat, like bacon, as in this maple smoked bacon-wrapped chicken breast recipe.
As the chicken smokes, the fat from the bacon melts and bastes the chicken, much in the same way chicken skin would, but even tastier.
Shot Of Flavor
Another way to add fat to a chicken breast is to inject it with flavor, literally. Using a meat injector marinates the meat from the inside out.
Using a flavorful fat, like infused olive oil or even butter, can help amp up the fat and flavor in your electric smoker chicken breast recipe.
Mind Your Smoke
With an electric smoker chicken breast, smoke is also a flavoring agent as it’s a cooking method. Choosing what type of wood you use is essential when you’re making an electric smoker chicken breast.
Fruit woods are a popular choice for using with smoked chicken as they impart a sweet, fruity flavor to the meat. Cherry and apple are two very popular kinds of wood.
If you want to go beyond fruity flavors, there are other smoking woods to choose from. Maple is a sweet wood and pairs well with chicken breast. Hickory and mesquite are also popular, and pair well with Southern and Southwestern-inspired brines and marinades.
Step By Step: Electric Smoker Chicken Breast Recipe
Once rested, you can eat your electric smoker chicken breast just as you would other chicken. Try pairing it with some mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables for an awesome, healthy meal.
But that’s not all you can do!
If you love pulled pork, try using your electric smoker chicken breast in this smoked pulled chicken sandwich as a healthier alternative.
Another sandwich worth trying is this great chicken club sandwich — your electric smoker chicken breast is sure to sing as the star in this club.
For something truly one of a kind, substitute your electric smoked chicken breast for regular chicken in this southwest egg roll recipe. It’s an appetizer your guests will be sure to talk about for months to come.
Electric Smoker Chicken Breast: The Breakdown
Having an electric smoker opens the door to a wide array of different smoked foods. Smoking your own chicken breast on your electric smoker helps to add some added depth to this healthy, but sometimes bland, meat.
Whether you eat your electric smoker chicken breast straight from the smoker or add it to some of your recipes for a flavorful protein boost, this is a great meat to have in your smoking repertoire.
How do you smoke your chicken breast? And how do you eat it? Tell us about it in the comments!
When the weather warms up, with longer days and shorter nights, it’s time to get outside and get to grilling! Picking the best grilling accessories for your backyard barbeque can help bring your backyard cooking game to the next level.
Aside from choosing the best grilling accessories to make your food taste awesome, don’t forget to consider other ways to make your guests feel welcome in your backyard.
For example, set the mood with some great lighting and music. Keep unwanted pests at bay by setting out natural pest deterrents like citronella candles and torches. Be sure to provide plenty of shade for guests during hot afternoons and maybe consider a fire pit to gather around in case the evening gets a bit chilly.
You may already have the best grill for you but accessorizing allows you to take advantage of everything your grill can do. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of grilling accessories available.
Just like you need pots and pans in a kitchen, there are a few absolute must-have essentials for your backyard grill. Tongs and spatulas are a must have for any grilling situation.
Look for tongs and spatulas made from stainless steel that have comfortable handles, as these will hold up best to the intense heat that your grill can put out. Also, when it comes to any grilling tools, you want long handles to help keep you a comfortable distance away from the heat.
While backyard grills are great for grilling food over an open flame, different cooking accessories can help you be creative with how you use that heat. Some of the best grilling accessories can help you do just that!
For example, rotisserie attachments can help you evenly roast large cuts of meat without having to turn the meat yourself laboriously. A pizza stone or cast iron pan can turn your charcoal or gas grill into a pizza oven.
Cooking accessories allow you to think outside just the grill! Try using a wok over an open flame. It can help you achieve that elusive, super hot flame that is so essential for creating that wok hei flavor present in authentic stir fry dishes.
Collecting the best grilling accessories is not just about cooking tools. There are many various grilling accessories out there that help make your summer cookouts easier though they may not be directly involved with the food.
Veggies taste incredible when roasted on the grill. Grilled onions and peppers pair perfectly with most meats. You can even forgo meat altogether with a beautiful grilled portabello mushroom. The problem is that it’s really easy to lose veggies through your grill gates, especially when they are cut small.
The Grillux BBQ Grill Basket can help solve these issues. This stainless steel metal basket has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. With four, curved metal sides, this basket sits atop your grill plates. The heat can come through, but the veggies will not fall out.
The Grillux BBQ Grill is available at various home and garden centers as well as on Amazon.
Imagine this: you’re planning the perfect BBQ party. You have all your meat and sides ready, and you’re just about to get grilling. Unfortunately, you step outside only to notice that your propane tank for your gas grill is empty!
While there are methods like the hot water trick to check how much propane is in your tank, using a tank indicator like the Dozy Ant Propane Tank Gauge lets you see how much gas you have at a glance. That is not only good for making sure you have enough propane to start the party but also enough propane to keep it going.
You can find the Dozy Ant Propane Tank Gauge on Amazon, where it as a 4.1 out of 5-star rating, as well as at your local propane store and home and garden centers.
Smart is knowing that beer and grilled chicken are the staples of many American backyard summer cookouts. Genius is putting the two together to make something easy and delicious from what you already have on hand.
The usual method for cooking the affectionately named Beer Butt Chicken involves upending a seasoned chicken onto a half drunk can of beer. Though classic, this method is a bit unwieldy.
The top-rated Beer Can Chicken Roaster Rack gives you a sturdier surface. This stainless steel roaster includes a canister to hold your beer (or any other flavorful liquid) on a deep drip tray to catch all the delicious juices that may run off.
This roaster rack also includes vegetable spikes you can use to roast vegetables right alongside your beer can chicken. Finally, the tray is dishwasher safe.
You can find the Beer Can Chicken Roaster Rack at specialty food stores as well as online at Amazon. Customers give it a 4.6 out of 5-star rating.
Original bear paws
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Southern style pulled pork is traditionally shredded using two forks to break up the meat. While we’re not ones to mess with tradition, no one said there’s anything wrong with improving on the tried and true method.
These all-nylon meat claws give you long, sharp tines to comfortably grip and shred cooked meat. You can also use the claws to provide you with a better grip on large roasts or even watermelon.
The Original Bear Paws meat shredding claws are a hit on Amazon where they receive a 4.7 out of 5-star rating from customers. You can also find them at your local specialty BBQ store and other retailers.
Before you plan your first cookout of the season, one of the most important things you can do is to clean your grill.
After inspecting your grill to make sure that there are no leaks in the gas lines, you need to give it a good scrub down. Metal brushes are great for this but can leave bits of metal that can get transferred to your food.
A study released in 2016 noted that between 2002 and 2014, 1,700 Americans ingested bits of wire grill brush! Of these cases, one in four patients needed to be admitted to the hospital.
Sending your guests to the hospital is definitely NOT the way you want your grilling season to be remembered.
So what’s the alternative? Try using a stone brush like the EarthStone GrillStone Grill Cleaner. Unlike the wire on traditional metal grill brushes, the EarthStone GrillStone Grill Cleaner uses a pumice stone to scrape off the gunk of cookouts past.
You can find this 4.4 out of 5-star rated stone brush online at Amazon as well as other specialty BBQ stores and home and garden outlets.
Gas grills offer unparalleled convenience, with your fire ready at the push of a button. However, for some purists, there is no comparison to grilling meat over good old charcoal.
No matter what type of charcoal grill you use, you always want to start with great charcoal. Though briquettes may be a great place to start, they can be full of additives.
If you’re not ready to have mystery smoke along with your meal, try burning some hardwood lump charcoal like Kamado Jo or Fogo. Both of these charcoals received a 4.2 out of 5-star rating from Amazon customers. These charcoals are also available at your local specialty BBQ store.
Of course, even the best charcoal is not going to light itself. Using lighter fluid is a quick way to get a charcoal fire going, but it is messy, dangerous, and adds unnecessary chemicals to your fire.
Instead, use a chimney starter like the Weber Chimney Starter, the number one top seller on Amazon with an impressive 4.8 out of 5-star rating. You can also find it for sale at most home and garden stores.
Chimney starters let you get a nice, even start on your charcoal, using newspaper and convection to light your coals.
Another option is to use an electric lighter like the Looftlighter. This lighter uses superheated air to start charcoal in just a minute. You can find the 4.2 out of 5-star rated Looftlighter on Amazon and at other specialty BBQ stores.
If you want a more portable option, try using ready-made fire starters like Light-A-Fire all natural starters. These pre-portioned pods contain sawdust and food-grade wax. You can even use them in conjunction with a chimney starter on your grill or use them to start a campfire or a fire in your backyard firepit.
Light-A-Fire is available on Amazon and comes in a handy plastic container. This 4.2 out of 5-star rated product makes an ideal, portable solution for picnics and other mobile cookouts.
Every backyard cook needs a good set of tools to get their food on and off the fire. This 21-piece barbecue set from Mr. Bar-B-Q includes everything an aspiring backyard gourmand needs, in a handy carrying case.
Tools in this kit include tongs, a spatula, reusable skewers, as well as slotted spatula and corn holders. You can find this grill tool set on Amazon where it gets 4.1 out of 5-stars from customers.
Another great essential that no grill party should be without is a good set of BBQ gloves. Backyard grilling can get hot, and having the right gloves can help keep the cook safe while they are dealing with the food.
We like these Extreme Heat Grill Gloves, available on Amazon. These top-rated gloves enjoy a 4.4 out of 5-star rating from Amazon customers. The gloves can take the heat, protecting your hands up to 932-degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you are handling a hot chimney starter or moving pans around, the insulation on these gloves will keep you safe.
Even better, these gloves are 14-inches long, covering a good part of your arm. Rather than a mitt-style, these are glove style allowing you the full range of motion with all your fingers. The fingertips are covered with raised silicone tips for extra grip.
Practicing safe cooking methods helps ensure that your grill party isn’t remembered for all the wrong reasons. Always cook your meat to FDA doneness standards to help ensure that no one gets foodborne illnesses from your meat masterpieces.
Instant read thermometers are great for temping smaller pieces of meat like chicken breasts, steaks, and chops. If you need continuous temperature monitoring on a larger portion of meat like pork butt or a tri-tip roast, try investing in a wireless thermometer
Thermopro makes top-rated monitors and has both an instant-read (4.3 out of 5 stars) and a Bluetooth (4.5 out of 5 stars) thermometer available on Amazon.
While a night light probably isn’t the first thing you would think of when considering the best grilling accessories, it should be!
Everyone knows that the best grill parties are the ones that last well into the summer night. While it may be warm enough to stay outside, the night sky does make it pretty challenging to see the grill.
A grill-safe light like this LED BBQ Grill Light can help you keep the party fed into the wee hours of the night. It is an Amazon bestseller with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating.
Have you ever tried plank grilling? If not, this method should be on your to try list for your next grill party.
This grilling method owes its origins to indigenous Americans, who grilled fish on wood for ease and flavor. To cook on a plank, take your food-safe plank and soak it in water. From there, you can toss it onto a hot grill and let it smoke a little. Place your seasoned fish, or vegetable, or meat, on top and let it cook!
As it cooks, the food gets infused with the smoky wood flavor. Even better, plank cooking makes for an excellent presentation and easy cleanup!
These top-rated Cedar Grill Planks get a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. You may also be able to find these planks at your local BBQ specialty store.
The best grilling accessories help the backyard chef with everything from food preparation to food safety. With the best grilling accessories at your fingertips, anyone can have a great summer grilling season.
What are your favorite grilling accessories? Do you have one that you think should have been on your list? Let us know in the comments below!
Wood pellet grills have been around for more than 30 years and the manufacturers are still coming up with innovative ways to improve these products. 2018 was an impressive year for the pellet grill industry as customers were introduced to grills that could prepare food at more precise temperatures than ever before.
Whether you like to grill, smoke, braise, or barbecue, you are sure to find the perfect cooker in our list of the Best Pellet Grill Products for 2018.
There are several factors that can turn a standard wood pellet grill into one of the best. Pellet grills use small pellets of wood to add a smoky flavor to the meat you are preparing. The larger the capacity for wood pellets, the less work you have to do refueling the hopper. Therefore, one great aspect of a good pellet grill is a large pellet capacity.
Traeger grills are known for holding large amounts of pellets so that you can cook an entire meal without ever having to refuel. Some of their latest grills like the Traeger XL Pellet Competition Grill are capable of holding as much as 40 lbs. of pellets at a time.
Other aspects that make a good pellet grill even better include temperature control, easy to use control panel, portability, and cooking space.
Most pellet grills on the market allow you to precisely control the internal heat so that you end up with amazing results every time you use it. There is no more guess work where you have to blindly set the grill at either Low, Medium, or High and hope for the best. The temperature controls work very similar to those on an indoor conventional oven.
When a grill is easy to use, yet it still provides you with competition-quality results, you know you have a great product. Many grillers are new to the technique of using wood pellets as a heat resource, so finding a good grill that is simple to use is a great option for backyard barbecue experts.
The portability of a grill may not be an important feature for everyone. But if you love to tailgate or take your grill along with you on fishing or camping trips, you will want a lightweight grill that is easy to haul and transport from one location to another.
And finally, a large cooking space allows you to prepare more food at once so that no one at your backyard barbecue or tailgate party has to wait around for their food.
Our Best Pellet Grill Choices for 2018
Listed below are our top 10 best pellet grill choices for 2018 based on customer reviews, features, and the overall longevity of the product.
The Camp Chef WoodWind Pellet Grill take your barbecue game to a whole new level.
This pellet smoker features a large cooking area that is 560 cubic meters. It has a removable rack, so you can add on larger cuts of meat if needed. The temperature range for this grill is up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it the perfect choice for grilling, smoking, braising, or roasting.
The grill is reasonably priced at around $549. It is made of high-quality professional-grade materials and features advanced digital controls as well as an automatic pellet feeder. Cleanup is easy thanks to the convenient trapdoor that you can empty out after each use.
The Camp Chef WoodWind Pellet Grill will make a great addition to your backyard or patio, and it is a worthwhile investment that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.
If you are looking for a high-quality pellet griller that is also a great smoker and grill, Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack is the best choice for you.
This high-end cooker is a combination grill with a very large space to prepare food. It also features a small yet efficient direct grilling area that allows you to sear steaks with ease. Although this grill is on the more expensive side, priced at around $1,899, many users consider it to be a great investment for the serious griller.
It features some of the highest quality construction in the industry and is definitely one to consider if you are on the fence on whether to buy a pellet grill, traditional grill, or a smoker.
The CoolShack PG500 Fast Eddy’s Pellet Grill features 784 square inches of cooking space on Nickel Plated grill grates.
The Traeger TFB42LZBC Grill Lil’ Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker offers plenty of premium features that you would expect from the industry-leading brand.
This grill has a digital LED temperature control system so that you can accurately control the internal heat. While it has a smaller grilling area than some of the other choices on the list, there is a much larger version that offers 700 square inches of space.
The Lil’ Tex Grill is a 6-in-1 unit that allows you to cook your food exactly how you want it. This grill allows you to experience professional level grilling all at an affordable price. It has a very impressive positive review rate and quality-wise it is difficult for any other grill in its class to come close to the design and excellent manufacturing.
The Traeger Lil Tex Elite Grill is just the right size for those who want a backyard grill that is not too big or too small.
Whether you want to prepare a dozen flame-broiled burgers for your friends or enjoy smoked brisket for dinner, the Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill is an excellent choice.
This pellet grill can serve up any type of meal you have in mind. It has a large 700-square inch primary grilling area which is large enough to cook food for a big family reunion. It also includes a flame broiler that uses side plates, allowing you to grill at a direct flame.
You can even use cast iron cookware with this option. There is also an additional upper cooking rack that will provide you with even more space if 700 square inches isn’t quite enough. The racks are made of quality porcelain coated cast iron material to provide you with the very best grilling experience.
The Pit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler offers hassle-free cleanup and is also low-maintenance.
The Memphis Pro Wood Fire Pellet Grill is one of the very best of its kind, and also one of the most expensive retailing at $3,899.
This grill features high-quality construction that is designed to last throughout many years of use. It is engineered with some of the most innovative cooking capabilities that allow you to grill practically anything. This cooker is capable of reaching temperatures as high as 650 degrees Fahrenheit.
It can sear a steak while also holding the internal temperature down at a slow cooker level of 180 degrees. This product can do it all, smoke, low and slow cooking, and any type of barbecuing you can think of. Additional features include convection fans and precise temperature control.
The Memphis Pro may be one of the more expensive grills on the list, but it can take on all types of intense grilling or smoking tasks.
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Traeger makes the list again for the best grill products of 2018 with their top-rated portable grill.
This tailgater grill is one of the smaller products that Traeger has available, but it can still prepare excellent burgers, steaks, and ribs with ease. While most portable grills often have fewer features than their larger counterparts, this wood pellet grill includes some features that you would only find on higher end pellet grills that are designed to stay in one place.
It features digital controls, versatile cooking features, and a large cooking area. This product is also very sturdy for its size.
The Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable is a great grill to take along on camping trips or to the big tailgate party.
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The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill is one of the most affordable grills on the list that is also highly functional.
This grill is available from most retailers at around $339. Yet it still provides you with everything you need to enjoy a great outdoor barbecue. This pellet grill has plenty of standard and modern features that make it a unique buy.
It features WIFI compatibility, so you can control the settings using your smartphone device. This portable, lightweight grill will take convenience to an entire new level as you control the heat for your round of burgers while using your phone. It is a great grill to take along on fishing trips, camping, or to family get-togethers. It is also an excellent choice for tailgating.
Make the most of your next backyard barbecue with the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill.
The Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker is a versatile and sophisticated grill that will look great on your deck or patio.
This grill may have amazing aesthetics, but it provides you with much more than a good -ooking exterior. The Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker features Smart Smoke Technology that adds more convenience to your smoked barbecue.
With just a press of a button, you are on your way to a delicious mouthwatering meal with very little effort. This digitally controlled smoker will ignite the unit and use the technology to heat the internal temperature from 160 up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This smoker has 513 square inches of cooking space and a second cooking rack if more space is needed.
The Z GRILLS pellet grill also has an automatic shut off feature that isn’t found on many other high-end grill models.
The Traeger TEXAS ELITE 34 Grill is one of the best out there for preparing enough to feed an army all at once.
This impressive grill features 836-square feet of grilling space so that you can grill up 10 whole chickens, 8 rib racks, and 8 pork butts, all at the same time. Along with a large food capacity, this Traeger TEXAS ELITE 34 can provide you with hours of consistent wood-fired cooking with the 42.5 lb. hopper.
It also features Dual Meat Probes for easy monitoring without ever needing to open the lid. There is also a Digital Pro Controller to assist with getting the temperature precise. This pellet grill has a wood pellet hopper capacity of 40 lbs. to ensure continuous smoking without refueling.
The Traeger TEXAS ELITE 34 is another high-quality Traeger grill that you can depend on for its reliability for many years to come.
The Louisiana Grills Country Smokers Whole Hog grill is a large cooker that can be divided into two separate grills for your convenience.
If you need an extra-large grill, his Whole Hog cooker from Louisiana Grills Country Smokers is an excellent choice. You can use one of the two independent grills to slow cook an entire hog or use the 1,200-square inch grilling space to grill up enough burgers and hot dogs for the entire neighborhood.
This grill is designed for the serious grill master who needs provide food for all types of events such as little league games or county fairs.
This grill features two pellet controllers that are mounted on opposing ends for easy access.
Which Pellet Grill is the Best Option for You?
We have discussed the benefits of several different types of quality grills for you to choose from. Now it is your turn to decide which is the best pellet grill for you.
Do you need a lightweight and portable grill for tailgating? Or are you looking for a large stationary grill to add to your sophisticated backyard patio? Are you grilling out for your immediate family or the entire community?
Whatever your grilling needs may be, you are sure to find the right cooker in this group of the best pellet grills.
Pellet grills are becoming a bigger deal every passing year – more and more companies are making them and creating new designs for units that don’t use gas or charcoal. The Camp Chef PG24 has its own design, and today we'll look at its layout.
We'll take a look at the price, unique features, customer reviews, comparisons to other grills, and more.
It is also important to keep in mind how many people this product can feed and the amount of food you can cook at once. Therefore, we'll discuss the cooking space as well.
The Camp Chef PG24 is a grill and smoker that provides consistent results every time you use it. The unit has a practical digital temperature readout, and a simple temperature setting system.
Because it uses wood pellets to fuel the heat rather than charcoal or gas, your food comes out with a hardwood, smoky flavor every time.
The product has a cooking area of 429 square inches, a second cooking rack with an extra 141 square inches, and a hopper capacity of 18 pounds. You can cook between 160 and 500 degrees, which is about one hundred degrees higher than a lot of competitor grills like Traeger.
Their system also includes ash cleanout for the pellet hopper, pellet purge system, grease management system, an electronic auto ignition, and a shutdown mode. We will get more into those individual features in the next section of the review.
What Makes the Camp Chef PG24 Unique?
Here are some of the key features that Camp Chef offers for this particular grill.
The first aspect of this model is the Ash Cleanout system. It allows you to pull a lever to empty all of the ash from the fire box instead of having to vacuum out the grill every time you cook on it.
This is a fantastic feature to have –it is a common complaint of grill owners that their grills are incredibly difficult to clean out after using them.
Automatic Pellet Auger and Electronic Auto Start Ignition
Grilling is a much more pleasant experience when you don’t have to continually light up the unit or refill the fuel throughout the process. The company added an automatic pellet auger that fuels the fire pot with pellets automatically when needed. They also included an autostart ignition, which sets fire to the pellets when necessary. The temperature control unit directs the entire process – when more heat is needed, the automatic auger pushes more pellets into the fire pot, and the auto-ignition continuously lights them.
Large Capacity Pellet Hopper
Having a larger pellet hopper is a good idea, simply because it stops you from having to refill it multiple times while grilling or smoking.
The Camp Chef PG24 offers a massive pellet storage space in the big hopper. Once you have it loaded, you won't have to do it again for at least another session of cooking on the grill.
Digital Control System and Dual LED Temperature Readout
The design of this grill gives you effective control over the temperature. You can set the perfect temperature no matter what you are grilling, and walk away for it to cook on its own. There's also the dual LED readout for the temperature that will help you monitor the temperature accurately. This is great if you want to keep the lid closed for a long period of time.
Durable Meat Probe
This unit also comes with a convenient, nicely built-in meat probe for you to check the temperature inside the meat. When you stick the probe into the meat, the other end of it goes into an input socket. This allows you to check the digital LED output monitor to see the temperature inside to make sure it is cooked properly.
Camp Chef also made this design extremely durable, making it easier to transport than some of its competitors. The product has two sturdy castors for added firmness – which makes the smoker more stable and less prone to breaking if it is moved around.
This grill is fairly affordable, and one of the best options for a pellet grill.
Some retailers offer similar products that will cost you a lot more, even by hundreds of dollars. REC TEC has a comparable model, and it costs $1598.00 brand new on their site. A lot of Traeger’s models are also more than the Camp Chef PG24.
Public Perception (Other Camp Chef PG24 Reviews)
Let’s take a look at what other customers thought of this product. We will divide the positive reviews and the negative ones in order to see all the pros and cons of owning this pellet grill and smoker.
The first aspect we noticed in the customer reviews online was how pleased they were with the temperature control. A lot of the comments specifically mentioned how wonderful it was to be able to set the temperature, place the meat in the smoker, and have the ability to walk away for several hours without worrying about how the food will turn out.
Another quality that buyers really enjoyed was Camp Chef’s customer service. If there were any issues with shipping, products, or anything else, the company went out of their way to fix the problems and make them happy.
The price was also a huge upside for reviewers. Having such a high-quality product that provides the buyer with so many different features at such a low price is rare, and an exciting aspect for the customer. Those who mentioned trying bigger, more well-known brands said that they spent a lot more and got a lot less than when they tried the Camp Chef PG24.
Something else that customers raved about was how easy the product was to clean. As we talked about before, this grill offers Camp Chef’s Ash Cleanout System, which makes sure all the ash and other debris is blown out after every grilling or smoking session. Not having to bend over and scrub out the grill or use a vacuum is a huge plus.
Another positive mentioned is how efficiently it uses pellets. Buying wood con for your grill—while not as expensive as gas or charcoal— will add up and cost you a decent amount over time. However, using a grill that burns them carefully will save you money and time in the long run. Customers really liked how they bought pellets less frequently with this product.
Lastly, users really loved the fact that the design came with its own very easy to use meat probe. This allowed them to easily, quickly, and safely take the temperature of the meat to make sure it is being cooked correctly.
While the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, there were a few negative things that customers noticed that we will point out.
The first downside is the warranty. A lot of designs offer a 2 year, 3-year, or longer warranty for their products. However, for this particular grill, it only lasts one year. Many customers complained that this simply wasn’t long enough, especially by the industry standards. It also did not allow for any issues that occurred over a longer period.
Another negative mentioned was the way the grills were shipped if ordered online. Whether customers ordered them from the company website or other online merchants, a decent amount of them complained that the products were handled badly and arrived damaged. Not all of them had serious issues, but often there was enough damage to warrant a call to customer service or a complete return altogether.
While a lot of the buyers did love the fact that Camp Chef provides a meat probe to safely measure the temperature of the meat, there were a few reviews that mentioned a need to return it after just a few months of use. Luckily, as long as it was replaced within a year, it was covered under the warranty. However, it is still an inconvenience and should be kept in mind if you plan on purchasing a grill from them.
There were also a few complaints of the grill shutting off randomly in the middle of a cooking. While there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of complaints that mentioned this, it is an important aspect to remember while buying a grill.
How it Compares
This design definitely has a lot of fantastic qualities going for it.
When it comes to getting the grill clean after a cooking session, we did not see a model that could beat the Camp Chef PG 24. Having a whole system that cleans out the ash and debris for you is a huge advantage.
Pricing is definitely a big upside as well. Getting so many fantastic features within the grill for such a reasonable price cannot be overstated. If you are on a budget and looking for a high-quality smoker, this is definitely one worth considering.
One aspect that doesn’t hold up when compared to other models is definitely the warranty. Like we discussed before, having only a one-year warranty for a grill like this is below the standard for the grill industry and does not allow for any long-term issues that may occur with the smoker.
The only other thing we would advise you look out for if you are considering purchasing one of these grills is having it shipped to your house. Because there were some complaints of parts coming in completely broken or bent, it is important to note if you are shopping online for this grill.
The Best Food To Put On A Pellet Grill
Sometimes you have to give dinner a little more flair. If your meals have become mundane, check out these food ideas:
There are so many ways you can turn pulled pork into a delicious meal. Place it in between two buns with a dollop of coleslaw, or put it over some chips for bbq nachos—both are crowd pleasers!
You can never go wrong with putting salmon in the grill. You can top it with mango salsa or slather it with bbq sauce. No matter which version you choose, it’ll be delicious.
Beer Can Chicken
This is a fun recipe that’s perfect for cookouts and tailgating. It goes great with loaded baked potatoes and grilled veggies. It’s yummy.
You don’t generally think of pizza when you think of grilling, but smokers make awesome pizza. This option is perfect for people who aren’t big meat eaters and want to try something different. Throw on your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Final Thoughts On The Camp Chef PG24
This product and company is definitely worth your time and money. It’s affordable, a fantastic design, and has wonderful customer service to back it up if any problems arise.
If you have bought this particular grill before, what are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with the review?
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.
Preparing The Black Beans Ready to Cook
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.
Cooking to Perfection: Bringing The Black Beans to Boil
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.
Storing The Black Beans
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.
Preparing The Beef Ribs Ready to Cook
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.
Choices, Choices, Choices!
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.
Cooking the Ribs
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.
Serving up Your Beef Ribs
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.
If you have no idea what Ahi Tuna is then you may have also heard this type of Tuna steak known as Yellowfin Tuna. There is without no doubt that this type of fish boasts one of the most delicious tastes, and if you are a fan of chunky, steak-like, hearty and wholesome fish then this protein booster is going to be your go-to choice of food.
Like most fish, it’s a brain food and poses many health benefits to your heart, circulation and general complexion. It really is a meaty fish that when cooked properly can be on the most amazing taste sensations you will have ever experienced.
The best thing though; you don’t need to be a Michelin starred chef in order to pull this one off as its one of the easiest foods you are ever likely to cook. Even this dish makes beans on toast look complicated!
Getting the ingredients and Preparing Your Ahi Tuna
All you need in terms of ingredients for your Yellowfin or Ahi Tuna is some seasonings or a marinade (which we will come to soon), some peanut oil or vegetable oil, and the actual tuna steaks themselves.
Preparing the steaks should be the part where you take the longest amount of time on, this should be the section of the preparation process that really brings together the tastes at the end result so time and effort is key and essential at this point.
Firstly, have you got fresh or frozen tuna steaks at hand?
If frozen then you are best thawing it out thoroughly before you begin cooking to get the maximum results. To do this you want to leave it in the fridge until it thaws. If it’s fresh then we can crack on with the seasoning and marinade.
One of the most complimenting mixtures that you can add to an Ahi tuna steak is a spice mixture, because it’s often these spicy flavours that really complement the meaty flavours of the steak.
Creating a mix is quite easy as well; all you need it half a teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano. Mix those all together with a fork or whisk and then coat your steak all over. Now, just leave the tuna for a few minutes to absorb those flavours before we introduce them to the heat.
You can also swap the spices with a more citrus rich marinade such as a Tuna Tartare which consists of cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, wasabi and lemon juice. Usually this kind of mix is best suited to oven baking methods because of the consistency of the marinade.
The next steps in the process of creating a perfect Ahi tuna is to make sure that the pan you are using is heated up to it’s fullest before you place the tuna in. You want the fish to cook evenly across the pan so this is an essential requirement.
Generally Ahi Tuna is served rare because the texture and taste is much better than a cooked piece of Ahi Tuna which struggles to keep in moisture. However, some people do enjoy the tuna seared, so if this is you then you can add the tuna steaks to the pan for a couple of minutes on each side to just give it that golden look on the outside.
If rare isn’t your thing there is nothing wrong with fully cooking the tuna steaks, and all you need to do is keep the tuna on the heat longer until you are satisfied with the texture and consistency.
Serving the Ahi Tuna Steaks
The wonderful thing about tuna is how you can serve it, and whether it’s rare or fully cooked you can bring together many colours and appealing sights onto a plate quite easily. If you have chosen to rub spices onto your tuna then you can cut the steak up into portions and present them in a domino effect on a plate, or you can cut them into cubes if you added no marinade, and then simply season them at the very end.
Or, if you have used a tartare sauce like we mentioned earlier on in this guide you can simply leave the steaks as a whole piece and then serve them up with a slice of lemon and some fluffy basmati rice.
Either way, tuna steaks can really develop your creative skills in the kitchen and have you thinking outside the box on experimental presentations. One thing we can safely put our money on is that your guests will love this Ahi tuna whether its rare, seared, fully cooked, part of a starter or as a full blown main meal.
So what are you waiting for? Get some fresh Ahi Tuna and wow your guests!
It’s grilling season. And you’re tired of making the same old thing every time you crank up the flames. Something new is needed. Something delicious is demanded. And trying duck is definitely an option. With this how-to, you’ll find that smoking a duck is easy, fast, and results in one of the most delicious meals you’ve had in a while.
Before you get started with smoking that delicious fowl, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.
Smoking a whole duck is actually a little easier than smoking a chicken or turkey. A duck is entirely dark meat, meaning that you don’t have to balance the doneness of the duck, whereas you would with other fowl.
Dark meat may still look pink even when it’s fully cooked. Because of this, it’s important to take the temperature and determine readiness by this instead of appearance.
Duck fat is amazing for other things, like roasted potatoes. If you prepare the pan properly, you can catch the duck fat and use it for other meal preparations after your duck is done smoking.
How to Smoke a Duck
1. Give Yourself 24-Hour Lead Time
To best prepare your duck for smoking, you’ll want to get the duck into the refrigerator about 24 hours before you start the smoking process. Leave the duck uncovered, though, as this will help to dry the skin properly, while not allowing the meat to spoil.
If you don’t have an extra 24 hours, you can use a blow dryer on the duck to completely dry it before getting started.
2. Gather Your Supplies
You’ll need to get together the following items before you get started.
Once you’ve gathered and prepared the fresh ingredients, you’ll roll the lime around on the cutting board to help release the juices. You’ll also cut a couple of holes into the sides of the lime.
Now, you’ll need to prepare the duck by removing it from the fridge. If the skin isn’t totally dry, engage a blow dryer and get the skin dry.
To help release the fat in the duck, you’re going to poke some holes into the skin.
4. Stuff the Duck
Put half of the shallots, garlic, and lemongrass into the cavity of the duck.
Next, put the lime in as a mid-point within the duck.
Now, put the rest of the fresh ingredients into the duck cavity.
5. Prepare the Pan
Now that the duck is stuffed, you’re ready to get the pan and grill or smoker set.
Fill the bottom of the pan with water, close to, but not over the wire rack. This water will help to keep the duck from drying out while you smoke the meat. It will also prevent the duck fat from burning.