Weber has a line of marinade mixes that you add juice to that are really, really good. And they’re perfect for flavoring chicken before cooking it on the Char-Broil Big Easy. I picked up a package of each and used them to marinate my favorite, split chicken breasts. The original BBQ marinade is mixed with apple juice to produce wonderfully seasoned chicken. A hint of hickory smoke and a hint of sweetness, you’ll think you’re enjoying sauced chicken, but instead all that flavor comes from the marinade alone.Since the Big Easy cooks at a high temperature you do have to watch that your chicken doesn’t char. One way to help prevent that is to not use marinades containing substances that might burn, like sugar or honey. The other is to rinse the chicken before cooking. Now, you’re going to lose a bit of flavor doing that, but if like me you’re going to remove the skin before eating, it really doesn’t make that big of a difference.
If you like boiled peanuts, you’re in luck. If you like smoked peanuts, you’re in luck too. These smoked peanuts in the shell will satisfy you no matter which camp you’re in. Lightly smokey and well, pea-like, you’ll want to make a big ole batch for snacking during the next big game on TV.
Unlike just boiled peanuts, which have a soggy shell, these smoked peanuts in the shell spend some quality time over higher heat, giving the shells an almost roasted-like texture. So when you crack one open, you might be expecting a roasted peanut. That’s not what you’ll get. The time in the brine not only softens the peanuts it lets them absorb smoke. That’s what you’re after.
Combine the water, salt, sugar and peanuts in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 20 minutes.
Drain the potatoes into a large colander and then spread out on a flat surface covered with towels to dry completely.
Fire up your smoker for 250 F. Use any wood you prefer, but the peanuts will absorb the smoke so I recommend a lighter fruit wood.
Add the peanuts to the smoker. If your grates are too wide, add foil sheets or pans with holes poked in them or use a grill mat like I did.
Cover grill and smoke for 20 minutes. Stir and smoke 20 more minutes. And then stir and smoke 20 more minutes. If the nuts aren't a bit crunchy continue smoking or transfer to a sheet pan in a 225 F oven or on a grill until golden brown and crunchy.
I was not prepared for just how much we loved this Mexican macaroni salad. Sure, I looked at the ingredient list and thought “Hey, that’ll be good”. But I didn’t think it’d be absolutely fantastic. And it was. This is what every ole pasta salad you’ve ever had wished it was. Creamy, crunchy, savory, every bite is perfect. Oh, and it makes a HUGE batch, making it perfect for feeding a crowd!
I made only a small change to the original recipe for this Mexican macaroni salad. I wanted the contracting texture of cheese so I cubed a block of Monterey Jack cheese and added it in. Cheddar (mild or sharp) would also be excellent. I think you’d want it cubed, versus shredded, though, so you get a nice ‘bite’.
If I wanted a spicier version of this salad (and I do), I’d use a spicy salsa and add cubed pepperjack cheese instead.
In my world there’s nothing better than a burger cooked on a super hot flat top griddle. Boy do I love that nice little char you get on the patties. These pepper crusted bacon cheeseburgers amp up that great flat top (though you can certainly grill them!) flavor even more.
The patties are loaded with sweet onion and lots of black pepper. Lots of black pepper. Crispy bacon, lettuce, smoky cheese and a fantastically garlicky aioli top it all off Every bite is loaded with flavor. Do not be shy with the black pepper when you roll the burger patties in it. You really want a good strong pepper flavor. I used smoked pepper but any good freshly cracked pepper will do. For extra smoky flavor used smoked garlic instead of regular raw garlic.
Wow. We were both totally blown away by just how incredibly fantastic these cedar planked Buffalo chicken bites were. Yeah, they’re supposed to be appetizers. Well, that’s not how they ended up here. Eat one? Two? Yeah, right. I’m a Buffalo wing addict to begin with so I’m all over anything that involves wing sauce. Bacon? Cheese? Chicken thighs? It’s like everything yummy all in a single bite, all with a wonderful hint of cedar flavor. Crazy good. One of the best things we’ve ever made. Easily.
Don’t worry if you get a little cheese ‘blowout’ when you make these cedar planked Buffalo chicken bites. And don’t leave that cheese on the planks, either. Nope, scrape it up along with the chicken and just go to town on it. These are delicious, one of the best things you can imagine.
I like to serve these with more warmed Buffalo wing sauce on the side. There’s no such thing as too much Buffalo sauce in my book.
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking 350-400 F. You do not want flame directly below the place where you plan on placing the planks
Cut the thighs in half lengthwise. Place a cube of mozzarella in the center and roll the chicken around it.
Wrap a half piece of bacon around the chicken.
Sprinkle the chicken with the rub. Don't be shy with it.
Transfer to the planks, leaving at least 1/2" space between each chicken roll.
Transfer planks to grill and cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. As the bacon and chicken begin to render fat you may experience flare-ups. I keep a spray bottle full of fresh water nearby when this happens, being careful to spray down into the grill at the fire and not at the chicken which would rinse off the seasoning.
Meanwhile, place the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring the help melt the butter.
Once the chicken hits 155 F internal temperature (make sure you measure in the meat, not the cheese!) using an instant-read thermometer, brush heavily with the Buffalo sauce.
Cook another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is done (at least 165 F).
Brush with any remaining sauce and serve!
I like to have tons of Buffalo sauce, so I double the ingredients and serve half alongside the chicken for dipping.
Ahhhh, the perfect drink on a hot day. This cherry limeade hit the spot and then some. A little tart and a little sweet, you can make this regular or diet. The diet version isn’t completely carbohydrate-free. For that, you can omit the lime juice and cherries and instead use diet syrups, like the ones available from Torani. They make a wide range of diet fruit (and other) flavored syrups. We love them on sno-cones too!
I recommend not storing this cherry limeade with the lime slices if you have any leftovers. The next day it’ll get mighty darned ‘limey’. Just drop the slices in when you are ready to serve, and remove them if you need to refrigerate the remainder overnight.
My fast food dining days are pretty much behind me. Oh I might stop and grab something every once-in-a-while, specially if I’m traveling. I still crave some of my fast food favorites, but now I’m more a make-it-at-home kinda guy. So that’s how we ended up here, with a copycat of my favorite chain burger, the Burger King Whopper (although truth be told, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder and BigMac are close behind on the list!).
I like to cook my copycat Burger King Whoppers on a flat top griddle on my grill. I get the griddle hot, screaming hot, first. That gives me that little char, that little crunch around the edges. And of course cooking on the grill gives you that char-grilled flavor just like at the restaurant!
If you don’t have a grill cook the burgers in a hot skillet!
I’ve been a subscriber to Louisiana Cookin’ magazine for years. This tropical shrimp salad is a great example of why I’ve been a loyal reader for so long. This salad was incredible. A wonderful combination of fruits and shrimp, with a light creamy dressing that has a hint of vanilla. It was the perfect dish on a hot summer’s day. I made this tropical shrimp salad a main dish by using large shrimp and large melon balls. You can also serve this as a side or a great pitch-in dish by using smaller shrimp and melon balls. This salad is also absolutely fantastic without the shrimp.
I used a Greek vanilla yogurt but regular ole yogurt works just fine too. There’s no way you can go wrong with this salad.
Even if you’re a die-hard I-only-put-ketchup-on-my-fries person, you have to try this easy easy fry dipping sauce. Fear not since it does contain (some) ketchup! And mayonnaise (a worthy fry dipping sauce on it’s own!). A few other ingredients and a little spiciness and you’ve got something different for your next batch of fries.
I have quickly learned that one of the most valuable things in my fridge is a jar of pickle brine. It’s the liquid left after you’ve taken out the last pickle. Don’t ever toss it out. You can use it in so many recipes, from this easy fry dipping sauce to fried chicken.
The beauty of the Vortex BBQ insert is that you can take pretty much any deep-fryer recipe and use it on a charcoal grill. It doesn’t have to be for chicken either. This Hidden Valley Ranch fried chicken using the Vortex is a perfect example of just how amazing it is. The meat is crazy tender, unbelievable moist. And the skin? Well, let’s just say I leave it for last because it’s almost like dessert. A true treat.
Hidden Valley Ranch fried chicken using the Vortex is incredibly easy to make. And there’s no mess or clean up like if you’d fried the chicken on the stovetop or in a deep fryer. It’s why I love all my Vortexes. I have some for my big charcoal grills and some for my smaller charcoal grills. Which one I use depends on how much I’m cooking, but no matter what, everything comes out fantastic.