Multiple Bunk Bed Baskets on the Char-Broil Big Easy

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!

Hash Brown Patties on the Char-Broil Big Easy

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.Hash Brown Patties on the Char-Broil Big EasyBacon. 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.

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

Hash Brown Patties on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Frozen hash brown patties
  • Your favorite toppings (ketchup, shredded cheddar, chopped chives, chopped cooked bacon, etc)
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Place the frozen hash brown patties into the Big Easy basket. Use a bunk bed basket to cook even more patties on the Big Easy at once.
  3. Lower the basket into the Big Easy and cook for 25 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy. Note that some patties may get done sooner than others, so start checking them after 20 minutes.
  4. Enjoy with your favorite toppings.

Roasted Cauliflower 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.
roasted-cauliflower-on-the-char-broil-big-easyFor 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.

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

Roasted Cauliflower on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small or medium head cauliflower, leaves removed, stem trimmed
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Fresh thyme (or dried)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • 4 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, cooked, crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the cauliflower in a pot and add the chicken stock.
  2. Add the thyme and bay leaves.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 12 minutes.
  4. Drain but reserve some of the cooking liquid.
  5. Fire up your big easy.
  6. Place the cauliflower into a pie pan and place into the cooking rack.
  7. Pour 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid over the cauliflower.
  8. Pour half of the butter over the cauliflower.
  9. Sprinkle with more thyme and a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  10. Place rack into the Big Easy and cook 10-15 minutes or until the cauliflower starts to turn golden in color.
  11. Remove from cooker and drizzle with remaining butter.
  12. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with bacon and more thyme, salt and pepper to taste.

Fire-Eater Potatoes on the Char-Broil Big Easy

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.
Fire-Eater Potatoes on the Char-Broil Big EasyYou 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.

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

Fire-Eater Potatoes on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
You'll need a Big Easy Cooking Rack fitted with 9" pie pans as shown in the picture above, or you can use a Big Easy Bunk Bed basket lined with foil.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle with just enough oil to lightly coat the potatoes.
  4. Add the Fire-Eater seasoning and toss to coat.
  5. Add potatoes to your Big Easy and lower into the cooker and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes depending on the size. I use a long bamboo skewer to poke the potatoes to test for doneness.

New Char-Broil Big Easy Cookbook

Woo hoo! It’s here! I just wrapped up the total re-design of the Life’s A Tomato free eCookbook of recipes for the Char-Broil Big Easy. With over 200 pages, it’s our biggest cookbook ever.

To download the new eCookbook, just click Our Free eCookbooks in the menu on the right.

Montreal Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

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.
montreal-chicken-on-the-char-broil-big-easyIt’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.

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

Montreal Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 chicken
 
I use the Char-Broil folding chicken roaster to hold the beer or soda cans securely. If the beer you're using is only available in a bottle, just empty the contents into an empty beer or soda can.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  3. Lightly brush the chicken with olive oil.
  4. Generously sprinkle the chicken with the seasoning.
  5. If opting to make beer can chicken open the can and drain (er... drink) about 1/4th of the beer. Add a heaping teaspoon of seasoning to the beer. Insert beer can into the bottom of the chicken.
  6. Place chicken into the basket and insert into the Big Easy.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes per pound or until the chicken has hit 165 F as measured in several locations.
  8. Let rest 15 minutes before removing the beer can (if using) and carving.

Root Beer Can Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

The Char-Broil Big Easy does a phenomenal job cooking poultry. You don’t even have to get all fancy with it, but sometimes I like to do a little extra and make a beer (or soda) can version of my favorite whole roasted chickens. This root beer can chicken came out fantastic. I used a slightly spicy but simple rub, and a good canned root beer. Moist and tender meat with great flavor. I couldn’t have been happier.
root-beer-can-chicken-on-the-char-broil-big-easyThe flavor from the root beer is subtle, but there. Use a quality root beer. If you can’t find one in a can, just empty (er… drink) a can of soda or beer and add the good root beer in.

There’s nothing complicated about cooking a whole chicken on the Big Easy. You can pretty much count on it taking 15 minutes per pound unless it’s really windy out. Of course you’ll still want to poke it with an instant-read thermometer to make sure it gets about 165 F, but I’ve cooked probably 50 chickens on my Big Easy and counting on 15 minutes per pound has never failed me.

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

Root Beer Can Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 chicken
 
I use the Char-Broil folding chicken roaster to hold the beer or soda cans securely. If the beer you're using is only available in a bottle, just empty the contents into an empty beer or soda can.
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, 6-8 pounds
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Your favorite canned root beer
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  3. Lightly brush the chicken with oil.
  4. Combine the remaining ingredients except for the root beer. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining seasoning onto the chicken.
  5. Add reserved spice mixture to the root beer and insert into the chicken.
  6. Place chicken into the basket and insert into the Big Easy.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes per pound or until the chicken has hit 165 F as measured in several locations.
  8. Let rest 15 minutes before removing the soda can and carving.

Honey-Chipotle Glazed Ham on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I’m a big fan of cooking ham on the Char-Broil Big Easy. The ham gets a nice roasted flavor, a bit of a crispy outside, and a super-moist inside. This time I started with a 10 pound pressed ham, which I scored (a technique I need to practice) and then glazed as it cooked. No mess, no fuss, and mighty darned good in the end. The glaze has a bit of sweet and a definite kick to it. Chipotles not only add spiciness, they add a bit of smokiness, giving the ham an almost char-grilled flavor. Fantastic!
honey-chipotle-glazed-ham-on-the-char-broil-big-easySome of the ham I sliced thick, to eat as ham steaks. Some I chopped for omlets. And most I sliced super-thin for fantastic sandwiches.

Also check out my spiral ham cooked on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Man, was it ever great too!

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

Honey-Chipotle Glazed Ham on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (8-10 pound) cooked ham, bone-in or boneless
  • 2 1/4 cups Ginger Ale (diet is fine)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (I added more because we like spicy!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Combine the Ginger Ale, brown sugar, honey and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Stir. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until reduced by half.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Score the ham as desired.
  7. Place into the Big Easy basket and place into the Big Easy. Total cook time will be 15 minutes per pound. 30 minutes before being done, start glazing the ham ever 5-10 minutes. You'll end up using about half of the glaze.
  8. Remove ham and let rest 10 minutes before slicing or carving.
  9. Return the unused glaze to the saucepan and warm slightly to use as a gravy for the ham.