Sure, I’ve made bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers on my Char-Broil Big Easy. A lot of times. And I love them. But not everyone loves a little kick in their appetizers like I do, so that’s when these sausage-stuffed peppers take the stage. The peppers get a nice little char on them. They have a little sweetness to them. The sausages bring a wonderful smokiness, and they kind of ‘pop’ when you bite into them. That’s a bit unexpected. The cream cheese? Well, it’s creamy. All wrapped in bacon goodness with a sprinkle of rub. I used the rub for my Big Easy root beer can chicken on these sausage-stuffed peppers. The rub has a little smoky flavor to it, along with a bit of garlic and just a very, very small hint of spiciness. Not enough to offend those that prefer mellower snacks.
I use a lot of products from Stubb’s, from sauces to marinades. I’ve been very happy with them all. That’s why I decided to use some of Stubb’s chicken rub on a whole chicken and drop it into my (awesome) cooker, the Char-Broil Big Easy. As always, the Big Easy was easy, cooking the bird in 15 minutes per pound.The Stubb’s seasoning added a little sweetness, and a kinda different flavor, mustard. I’ve rubbed beef in mustard before but never added mustard flavor to chicken. It was fantastic! I did make my chicken a beer can chicken by adding a bit more Stubb’s chicken rub to a can of beer that I then inserted into the chicken. You can skip that part if you wish, or use an empty soda can with chicken broth added. There’s no wrong here because the Big Easy cooks chicken right every time. And boy, does the skin comes out crispy and dangerously delicious to say nothing of how tender and moist the meat is, dark or white!
I’m always on a search for ways to add more cooking capacity to my Char-Broil Big Easy. I started with my homemade Wingin’ator 3000, which works great but you do have to make it yourself. Then Char-Broil came out with a cooking rack that gave you 5 cooking levels. Sadly, the rack wasn’t available for sale for long. A reader of Life’s A Tomato mentioned something to me the other day that should’ve occurred to me long ago: you can use two of the Char-Broil Bunk Bed Baskets at once, giving you 3 cooking levels! Doh! It’s as easy as it looks. Grab the basket that comes with your Big Easy and just lower two bunk bed baskets down into it, securing it with the handles on the sides. You’ll need to offset the two baskets by 90 degrees, otherwise the handles from the lower basket will interfere with the top basket. You can kind of see that in the picture on the right, above.
You’ll get about 3″ of cooking room on each level, plenty for wings or drumsticks. You can fit up to 6 chicken breasts on too, if they aren’t too huge. All in all, it’s a win-win!
The nice thing about this approach is that all of the baskets are dishwasher-safe, readily available, and easy to use. You don’t get quite as much cooking room as with a Wingin’ator 3000 or the (now unavailable) cooking rack, but 3 levels is plenty for a good cookout!
I used to grill (or bake) my frozen hash brown patties. But now that I have a Big Easy, I can make them even easier than before. Just toss a few little cakes-of-potato-goodness into the cooker and in no time you have crispy golden brown hash browns. Anita likes hers plain so she can top them with ketchup. Me, I like a little cheddar and chopped chives.Bacon. Sour cream. Butter. Green onions. BBQ sauce. Roasted red bell peppers. You name it, anything goes great on hash brown patties cooked hot and quick on the Char-Broil Big Easy.
As much as I use my Char-Broil Big Easy to cook up fantastic chicken, I also use it just as much for side dishes. This roasted cauliflower came out absolutely delicious. Tender and flavor-packed, with just a hint of smokiness from the bacon. And as with anything I cook on my Big Easy, it was easy to make.
Make sure when you pick out the head of cauliflower at the store that you don’t get a really big one or it won’t fit into the Big Easy. Shoot for one that is about 8″ wide. For a little kick don’t be afraid to add a few pinches of dried red pepper flake to the chicken broth as you cook the cauliflower. It won’t be overwhelmingly hot, but it’ll give you a slight hint of heat.
You can roast cauliflower in the standard basket that comes with the Big Easy or a bunk bed basket (lined with foil to keep the liquid in), or the Big Easy cooking rack.
Baby potatoes have such a wonderful creamy sweetness to them. I love them roasted so the skin gets just a bit crispy. They pop when you bite into them. The Char-Broil Big Easy is the perfect cooker for making a lot of things, and these Fire-Eater potatoes are one of them. Roasted potatoes hit with a nice seasoning mix that brings a little heat to offset the sweetness. You can substitute any rub or seasoning mix you desire, but you might want to shy away from any that contain a lot of sugar which might burn in high heat. These Fire-Eater potatoes do cook quickly since they are smaller, but keep an eye on them if you do use a sweeter spice mix.
Mmmmmm. Tasty, moist, tender chicken. Montreal seasoning combines many of my favorite things: garlic, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dill seed, and salt. Combine that with the fact that the Char-Broil Big Easy makes perfect chicken every single time and you’ve got a great dish. In fact, I cooked 6 chickens on one of my Big Easy’s just the other day. It’s optional, but I went the beer can route with my Montreal chicken. It’s not any harder to do on the Big Easy than ‘regular’ chicken. Just add a bit of seasoning to an open beer can, insert, and cook. That’s it. The Big Easy cooks chicken just great without the beer can, believe me, but it does add a little coolness factor and flavor.
If you’re not a fan of beer, don’t fret. Soda works just as well. For Montreal chicken, I’d lean towards something like root beer or maybe a ginger ale.