Hot Dogs on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I could’ve fired up my gas grill to cook a batch of hot dogs. Or lit some charcoal. That’s when I had a ‘duh’ moment. The Big Easy! It cooks everything great, so why not use it! So that’s what I did and wow, I have to say it cooks up hot dogs about as quick and as easy as you could possibly get. Just fire it up, load it up and wait. Read a book, watch some TV, play a game, because there’s no turning, no worrying, no burning. Done in no time and roasted perfectly! Say hello to the new way to cook up hot dogs!
For something totally different, try marinating your hot dogs first.

Char-Broil makes two different kabob sets for the Big Easy. One sits on the bottom of the Big Easy with the kabobs extending upwards. The other rests on top of the cooking basket with the kabobs pointing downward. Either one will work just fine for cooking up a nice big batch of hot dogs.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

5 from 1 reviews
Hot Dogs on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Note: I easily fit 8 regular-sized hot dogs onto the kabobs. I might could squeeze 8 more. If you use bun-length dogs you'll only be able to fit 8.
Ingredients
  • Hot dogs (you can also substitute fresh, uncooked sausages but you'll have to increase the cook time)
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Thread the hot dogs onto the Big Easy kabobs. If using the holder that points downward be sure you use the cotter pins or the dogs might slide down and off as they cook.
  3. Lower the kabobs into the Big Easy and cook for 12 minutes or until done as desired.

Seasoned Steak Fries using the Vortex

I use a Vortex insert on several of my charcoal grills, usually for making chicken of some variation or another. This time I thought I’d try something new and see if I could make steak fries just as easily and just as tasty. I could not have been happier with the results. Tasty, creamy, seasoned perfectly, with a slight crunch. Perfect fries to go with my ‘fried’ chicken.
Steak fries cooked in the Vortex are as easy to make as fries out of a bag from the freezer, really. The only thing you have to watch for is letting the fries slip thru your grill grates. On my smaller grills that’s not a problem since the grates are pretty narrow. The grate on my Weber Performer is a bit bigger, though, so I keep the fries at an angle to the grates so they don’t slip on through.

5 from 1 reviews
Seasoned Steak Fries using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Note: I cooked my fries on a 22" Performer. The fries were placed along the edges of the grill as far away from the Vortex as possible.
Ingredients
  • 2 large Russet potatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of seasoning mix, from below, to taste
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling
Fry seasoning mix (makes enough for 6 potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex insert.
  2. Rinse the potatoes and pat dry.
  3. Cut potatoes in half, then half again, and finally in half one more time. If your potatoes are exceptionally large you may want to halve them one more time but don't make the fries too small.
  4. Place fries in a large bowl. Add cold water and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the water and add fresh cold water. Let sit for 5 more minutes.
  6. Drain the water and transfer the potatoes to a large towel. Pat dry.
  7. Wipe the bowl dry and return the potatoes.
  8. Add a splash of oil and toss to coat.
  9. Add the seasoning mix and toss to coat.
  10. Transfer fries to the grill. Place them at an angle to the grates so they don't fall through.
  11. Close the grill and cook for 1 hour, rotating the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes. You can add other foods, such as wings or chicken pieces and cook them at the same time.
  12. Start checking for doneness after 45 minutes. Mine took the full hour.
  13. Remove from the grill and season with more salt before serving.

Chicken Shawarma

This chicken shawarma recipe from Chef Richard Blais has quickly become a favorite lunch-time dish for us. It takes absolutely no time to make and uses ingredients I often have on hand. The chicken is fantastic, thanks to a Mediterranean-inspired rub, and it’s very tender (chicken thighs are another favorite in our house). And the yogurt sauce is fantastic, cooling and slightly sour. All wrapped in a warm pita. This chicken shawarma gives our local gyro joint a run for it’s money!
You could substitute boneless skinless chicken breasts when making chicken shawarma, but I guarantee that the end result won’t be as good. Thighs have more fat and more flavorful. And they’re super tender. If you do use breasts do not overcook them or they’ll quickly become tough.

5 from 1 reviews
Chicken Shawarma
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
For the chicken marinade
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
For the yogurt sauce
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
For the pitas
  • 6 pitas, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Instructions
For the chicken marinade
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, cumin, paprika, allspice, turmeric, garlic powder and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add the chicken thighs, turning to coat. Set aside.
  3. Fire up grill for direct and indirect cooking.
  4. Shake off any excess marinade from the chicken and place the thighs onto the grill over direct heat. Note that the marinade contains oil which might cause flare-ups. If you do encounter a flare-up simply move the chicken to indirect heat until it stops.
  5. Cook chicken until lightly charred and the internal temperature reaches 175 F.
  6. Transfer chicken to platter. Cover and let rest 5 minutes.
For the yogurt sauce
  1. Whisk together the yogurt, lime and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the pitas
  1. Slice chicken into strips and divide between the pitas.
  2. Add chopped mint and cilantro and the yogurt sauce.

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Baked Seasoned Ritz Crackers

I like making little treats for Anita to take to work and share with her co-workers. This time I decided to skip the sweets and send along some great savory baked seasoned Ritz crackers. Nothing fancy, but wonderfully tasty. Great on their own or with a creamy smooth dip or even better, slathered with goat’s cheese!
You could substitute something other than Ritz crackers for this snack, but I’d lean towards something buttery if you do. You want to keep that savory creamy theme going. And make sure you keep an eye on them as they bake. They can quickly turn from golden brown to … very very golden brown!

5 from 1 reviews
Baked Seasoned Ritz Crackers
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Ritz crackers
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Place the crackers into a large bowl.
  4. In a small saucepan melt the butter. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  5. Drizzle the butter mixture over the crackers, Toss gently to coat.
  6. Transfer the crackers to the baking sheets. Spread them out so they bake evenly.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove and let cool before serving.

Buffalo Chicken Subs

I made a nice big ole batch of slow cooker shredded Buffalo chicken the other day. Then I made some awesome Buffalo chicken panini sandwiches, which came out so fantastic that I just had to keep going with the theme. So… I made Buffalo chicken subs! Spicy Buffalo chicken, cold, creamy, crunchy slaw, tangy blue cheese, and cool Ranch dressing, all on a lightly toasted sub roll. Every bite is packed full of flavor.

Buffalo Chicken SubsNothing could be easier to make than these Buffalo chicken subs. I also make extra Buffalo chicken and keep some in the freezer for a quick lunch sandwich.

Don’t like the tang of blue cheese? Gorgonzola is a bit more mellow, but if that’s too strong for you just use Monterrey Jack.

Buffalo Chicken Subs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 sandwiches
 
Depending on the size of your loaves you may want to increase the amount of ingredients below.
Ingredients
  • 2 sub rolls (or use a loaf of French bread, halved), warmed if desired
  • 1/2 cup shredded Buffalo chicken, warmed (see our slow-cooker or Big Easy recipes for making Buffalo chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup shredded slaw mix
  • 2 tablespoons Ranch dressing
Instructions
  1. Combine the chicken with the blue cheese and divide between the bread.
  2. Mix the slaw and Ranch dressing and divide between the sandwiches.

Bacon Cheese-Stuffed Peppers

I absolutely loved these bacon cheese-stuffed peppers. Every bite was full of my favorite things, like cheese and bacon. And a bit of sharp onion and sweet roasted bell pepper. I left the onions fairly crunchy because I was looking for a great crunch (along with the crunch of the bacon) to contrast the soft pepper and gooey cheese. You can cook yours further if you want but don’t go overboard. Crunch here is a good thing.
bacon-cheese-stuffed-peppersFor a spicier version, substitute habanero jack cheese for the cheeses, and use poblano peppers instead of red bell peppers. A sprinkle or two of red pepper flake on top isn’t going to hurt anything either. You can’t go wrong with bacon cheese-stuffed peppers no matter how you change them up (if you do).

Bacon Cheese-Stuffed Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Beer
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) mozzarella cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and add the bacon.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crisp, turning once. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. Cut peppers in half vertically. Remove any seeds.
  5. Place peppers on a baking dish and fill the halves with the beer. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
  6. Meanwhile, crumble the bacon into a bowl and add the onion and cheeses.
  7. Uncover the peppers and pour off any remaining beer. Fill cavities with the bacon mixture and return to the oven, uncovered, until the cheese is melted.

Southern Fried Chicken using the Vortex

I absolutely love making ‘fried’ chicken on my charcoal grill using the Vortex insert. Yeah, I know it’s not really fried, but that’s the point. You get that same crunchy exterior and moist tender interior, all without the oil. I use this southern fried chicken recipe the most, sometimes adding a sauce at the end, but often not,. It’s got that perfect crunch, whether you use skin-on or skinless chicken.
I usually cook chicken using the Vortex on my 22″ charcoal grill, the Weber Performer or my Weber Kettle. You can buy a smaller Vortex for smaller grills, which works absolutely fantastic for chicken wings, but for bigger pieces like the split chicken breasts I used for southern fried chicken, I use a bigger grill so that the meat isn’t so close to the fire.

5 from 1 reviews
Southern Fried Chicken using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 2 cups self-rising flour (if you don't have any, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Chicken, cut into pieces (up to 3 pounds)
  • Vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Set up your grill for cooking with the Vortex insert. Get the coals good and lit before starting.
  2. In a pie pan, beat the eggs with the water.
  3. In another pie pan, combine the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  4. Working in batches, dip the chicken in the egg mixture and coat well.
  5. Transfer the chicken to the flour mixture and coat well. Shake off any excess flour.
  6. Transfer chicken to the grill, placing along the edges with the thickest parts of the chicken towards the center where the Vortex is located.
  7. Cover the grill and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and continue cooking for 15 more minutes.
  9. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and continue cooking for 15 more minutes.
  10. Check for doneness in the thickest parts of the chicken. If it needs more time, rotate the lid 90 degrees and continue cooking for 15 more minutes.
  11. Before removing the chicken, lightly brush with oil if you want a crunchier crust and let cook for another 5 minutes.

Grilled Potatoes with Mustard-Garlic Dressing

There aren’t a lot of grilled sides that I prefer just as much as the grilled main dish at a meal. The mustard-garlic dressing on these grilled potatoes really hit a tone for me. Tender, buttery potatoes contrasted with tangy mustard and vinegar. I found the combination to be perfect, and easy to make to boot.
Anita and I recently ran across The Mustard Man at an event at the Jungle Jim’s market in Fairfield, OH. After sampling each of the mustards I instantly picked up a bottle of each one. They are truly fantastic. Instead of whole grain mustard, I used The Mustard Man’s Simply Peppered mustard in the dressing for these grilled potatoes. The light peppery flavor brought a nice little bite.

5 from 1 reviews
Grilled Potatoes with Mustard-Garlic Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds new potatoes, all about the same size
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water until just tender. Alternatively, steam the potatoes using a steamer. Drain and let cool slightly.
  2. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard and garlic. While still whisking, add the oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fire up your grill for medium-high cooking.
  4. Toss the potatoes with a little oil. Season with salt and pepper and add to a grill basket. Note: I put the grill basket over a sheet pan so that any excess oil drips off.
  5. Place the basket onto the grill and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring gently, or until the potatoes are done and have a light char.
  6. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to coat.
  7. Serve garnished with the chopped parsley.