Sometimes I take a break from the big dinners and just serve up some nice tasty salads. I do require croutons on my salad, though. And since it’s hot here, I decided to cook the croutons outside, on my Char-Broil Big Easy. They came out tasty and crunchy, just like I wanted. It pays to think of your Big Easy as an outdoor oven.
I used the Big Easy cooking rack, which sadly is no longer available. So, to make croutons you’ll need a few bunk bed baskets. Depending on the size of your bread you might have to line the baskets with foil.
Depending on conditions, the croutons on the bottom may cook at a different rate than those on the top. Check them often after 10 minutes and remove any ones that are golden brown and crispy.
I’m a big fan of making beer can chicken on my Char-Broil Big Easy. Weber has a beer-can seasoning that hits the spot with the perfect combination of spices. Nothing could be easier. I will warn you, though, the crispy skin comes out absolutely delicious. The advantage of being the person cooking the chicken is that you get first dibs on it and the rest of the chicken.
The seasoning is so good you can leave out the beer can. The Big Easy cooks up chicken so moist and tender you won’t notice it’s not there, and the Weber seasoning packs such great flavor you’ll be as happy as if you did use the beer. If you do decide to also add a beer can don’t use a strongly-flavored beer or it might drown out the great seasonings. And of course, you’re not required to use beer in a beer-can chicken. Many sodas and even wine work just as well.
Oh yes, I’ve made bacon-wrapped tater tots on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Several times. And I love them. Lots. But, if you follow this blog, you know I like some kick to my tots. Hence these bacon jalapeno tots. Same concept, but with some heat. Not a whole lot, but enough to be noticed. Served with a great creamy cheese sauce that also has a bit of a kick to it. The key to cooking bacon-wrapped tater tots on the Char-Broil Big Easy is to cook them until they just start to char. They won’t be super crispy yet. That happens after you take them out of the cooker and they cool. The bacon will crisp up as it sits.
If you don’t want to make this spicy version of bacon-wrapped tater tots, leave out the jalapeno slices and use Monterey Jack cheese in the cheese sauce. You’ll definitely still have a plate of fantastic treats.
I absolutely love roasted baby potatoes. They taste almost like whipped butter, with a fantastic creamy insides. But my favorite part is that crispy skin that pops when you bite into it. The Char-Broil Big Easy cooks up baby potatoes perfectly, and in no time at all. No pre-boiling is required. Just toss them with some oil, salt and pepper and garlic and into the cooker they go! Although you can cook a few potatoes on the rack that comes with the Big Easy, you really want to add a bunk bed basket (or two) so you can cook more at once. If you prefer a potato with a little bit of spicy kick to it try my Fire-Eater potatoes also made on the 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.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.
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. For a little more mellow (but still super yummy!) potato using the Big Easy, try my roasted baby potatoes.
Since I picked up a cooking rack for my Char-Broil Big Easy I’ve been able to cook all sorts of dishes that I used to have to reserve for indoor cooking. I love being able to cook an entire meal outdoors, and that means sides too. And not just your usual outdoor sides like corn-on-the-cob, or grilled veggies. This bang bang cauliflower dish cooks up in less than 40 minutes. The breading gives the florets just a bit of crunch. And the dipping sauce? Fantastic. Creamy, with just a hint of a spicy kick. Depending on conditions, you may have to rotate the pans in the Big Easy as the cauliflower cooks so that each one cooks evenly. If you don’t have a cooking rack you can use the Bunk Bed Basket from Char-Broil, but you won’t be able to cook quite as much cauliflower at once. Whatever you do, do not over-crowd the florets or they will not cook completely.
Nothing beats fresh, in-season corn-on-the-cob. Although there’s lots of ways to cook up sweet corn, I love to add just a bit of flavor, wrap it in foil and toss it into my Char-Broil Big Easy. In no time I am enjoying delicious, sweet, juicy corn. There’s nothing wrong with eating corn with nothing added, but sometimes I like to add a little twist, from Mexican- or Italian-inspired flavors or a bit of smokiness. You can’t go wrong no matter what you add. Or don’t add. Char-Broil makes a few different racks that make it easy to add more cooking space to your Big Easy, so you can cook chicken (or whatever) down below and corn in packets up top. Try out the Big Easy bunk bed basket, for example. Double the space, instantly.