Slow Cooker Buffalo Ranch Wings

I usually cook wings on my Char-Broil Big Easy or on my charcoal grill using the Vortex. I have to admit, I was pretty pessimistic about the idea of cooking wings in a slow cooker. Would I like the texture? Would they taste as great as wings off the grill?

One thing’s for sure, making Buffalo Ranch wings in a slow cooker really couldn’t get any easier. It was the perfect recipe for my working-from-home lunch. Toss everything in first thing in the morning and at lunch, enjoy some wings!

So how were they? Well, mighty tasty for starters. In fact, I loved the flavor. Big time. Texture-wise, they got barely crispy but the meat was oh-so-tender and juicy. For truly crispy skin you’ll have to leave them under the broiler for a good bit of time, but keep an eye on them. I found the skin to be melt-in-my-mouth tender and I didn’t actually miss not having super-crunchy wings. In fact, it was a nice change. I loved them!
Slow Cooker Buffalo Ranch WingsAlthough not traditional Buffalo wings to a purist, I still enjoyed these slow cooker Buffalo Ranch wings more than I actually thought I would. No mess, no fuss and very tasty. Certainly much easier than firing up a grill or even deep fryer to make a batch of the wings you normally expect.

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Slow Cooker Buffalo Ranch Wings

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 -4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded or saved for making chicken broth
  • 1 cup your favorite Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1 packet Ranch dressing mix about 3 tablespoons of homemade
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Ranch dressing for serving

Instructions

  • Place the wings into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Combine the wing sauce, Ranch dressing mix and salt and pepper and pour over the wings.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours - 3 hours until the meat is starting to pull back from the bones.
  • Carefully transfer the wings to a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Place under the broiler and broil until just starting to crisp.
  • Let cool slightly then serve with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Sesame Ginger Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Sesame ginger chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy is a mighty fine example of just how easy making good chicken can be. A quick marinade in salad dressing and into the cooker. No mess, no fuss, no baby sitting a grill. In no time you get juicy, tender, super tasty chicken with a hint of sesame and ginger.

I prefer split chicken breasts, but any cut of chicken will do. I tend to prefer bone in pieces, since they will end up being juicier and more flavorful than boneless cuts.
Sesame Ginger Chicken on the Char-Broil Big EasyI used a bottle of Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger salad dressing as the marinade for the chicken. You can use your favorite brand or flavor of dressing, but steer clear of any that contain sugary things like… sugar. Or honey. Or brown sugar. The Big Easy cooks at a fairly high temperature. Sugary marinades will char and char good in no time. If you do use one that contains sugar, you’ll want to rinse off the chicken before putting it into the cooker. Yes, you’ll loose some flavor (the marinade will still be inside of the chicken), but you won’t run the risk of burning your dish.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!
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Sesame Ginger Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time5 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the chicken into a resealable bag or container.
  • Add marinade to taste. Toss to coat.
  • Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Fire up your Big Easy.
  • Transfer the chicken to the Big Easy basket.
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound or until it reaches 165 F as checked in several places.
  • Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Mock Bacon Filets

Anita loves filet mignon. On occasion I will grab an entire beef tenderloin and cut it into filets. But, let’s face it, filets aren’t the cheapest cut of meat. That’s when it’s time to make these mock bacon filets. Mushroom-stuffed patties wrapped in bacon, topped with more mushrooms and a wonderful sauce. And they’re incredibly easy to make.
Mock Bacon FiletsThese mock bacon filets are almost meatloaf-like. I have to say that the sauce is very, very good. So good in fact that we decided (after our first bite) to use it to glaze our next meatloaf. The sauce really compliments the dish perfectly. So perfectly that you won’t miss not having real filets.

Sometimes I got the piggy route and make bacon-wrapped pork medallions instead!

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Mock Bacon Filets

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: American
Cuisine: Main
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the patties

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Toothpicks

For the sauce

  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 4 drops hot sauce
  • Pinch of garlic salt
  • Pinch of dried thyme

Instructions

For the patties

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  • Place the bacon on a foil-lined bacon sheet and place into the oven to partially cook the bacon while assembling the patties. You do not want the bacon to get crispy, just slightly done. Remove and let cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, bell pepper, onion, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Form the meat into 8 equally-sized patties.
  • Melt the butter in a medium skillet.
  • Add the mushrooms and saute until soft.
  • Spoon a small amount (do not use them all) of the mushrooms into the center of 4 of the patties.
  • Cover with the other patties and pinch along the edges to seal.
  • Wrap patties with the bacon and secure with toothpicks. Transfer to a shallow pan.
  • Pour sauce over patties and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Garnish with remaining mushrooms and serve.

For the sauce

  • Combine all ingredients.

Hot Dog Burnt Ends

If you’ve never made or tried burnt ends, I highly recommend them. As great as smoked brisket is, burnt ends are brisket candy. Highly addicting, they are a real treat. But hey, they do take time and brisket isn’t always the cheapest cut. So what to do if you want to feed a crowd of some meat candy without breaking the bank? Yep, you guessed it: hot dog burnt ends. Smoked hot dogs covered in a caramelized sauce, you’ll never eat those little sausage thingies again. Perfect for a party, these goodies will disappear in no time.
Hot Dog Burnt EndsThere’s absolutely nothing challenging about making these hot dog burnt ends. If you don’t have a smoker you can make the entire dish on a grill. You can even use a gas grill. If you do, I recommend you use a smoky BBQ sauce to add a little of that great I-made-these-on-a-smoker even-though-I-didn’t flavor.

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Hot Dog Burnt Ends

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Author: Inspired by a recipe from Hey Grill Hey

Ingredients

  • 2 8- count packages hot dogs no need to get the expensive stuff here
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons your favorite BBQ rub
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ Sauce

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for 225 F. Use any wood you like, these turn out great whether they are smoked over fruit wood or a stronger wood such as mesquite.
  • Squeeze the mustard over the dogs then brush around all sides. (I found it easier to just spread the mustard with my hands).
  • Sprinkle the rub over all sides of the dogs. Transfer to your smoker and smoke for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, fire up your grill for medium heat cooking (or pre-heat your oven to 375 F).
  • Remove dogs and cut into thirds (about 1 1/2" pieces). Transfer to a disposable pan.
  • Combine the butter, brown sugar and BBQ sauce and pour over the hot dogs. Stir and place on your grill (or in the oven).
  • Cook dogs an addition 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the hot dogs have begun to caramelize.
  • Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Ribs

I almost bailed. I almost didn’t post these slow cooker Vietnamese ribs. To be truthful, they stunk up the house. Seriously. There’s tons of fish sauce in them, and if you’ve used fish sauce before you know it stinks. And then some. But, here’s the crazy part: they’re crazy delicious. That surprised the heck out of me.

That fishy smell disappeared and left me with a rack of completely fall-off-the-bone ribs that I devoured like I hadn’t eaten in two weeks. Who would’ve thought?
Slow Cooker Vietnamese RibsI’d keep an eye on these slow cooker Vietnamese ribs after about 6 hours. I cooked mine the full 7 hours before placing them under the broiler. You may want to take the ribs out sooner if you prefer yours to stick to the bone a bit instead of completely falling off. Mine definitely came out tender.

Also try my oven baked ribs.

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Slow Cooker Vietnamese Ribs

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main
Servings: 1 rack

Ingredients

  • 1 rack baby backs cut into sections so they fit into your slow cooker
  • 2 shallots chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place ribs into the slow cooker.
  • Stir together the shallot, fish sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Pour over ribs.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until the meat is starting to fall off the bones, rotating the ribs after 3 1/2 hours.
  • Turn on your broiler. Carefully transfer the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet and place under the broiler, meat side up, for 4-5 minutes or until nicely browned.
  • Pour the juices that remain in the slow cooker thru a sieve and into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes until nice and thick.
  • Serve ribs brushed with reduced sauce.

Country Breakfast Tots

I may have a slight obsession with the show Carnival Eats on the Cooking Channel. Noah Cappe, the host, has the dream job of traveling around sampling yummy and different fair foods. Like these Country Breakfast Tots he discovered at the Tot Spot food truck at the Georgia National Fair. I made them as soon as I saw them on the King Crab and I episode. Just tater tots, bacon, sausage gravy and fried eggs. Well, not “just”. This is the breakfast dreams are made of.
Country Breakfast Tots

Country breakfast tots isn’t your light-and-fru-fru breakfast item. Obviously. This is the kind of dish I craved back in my younger years working on a dairy farm. I needed food and lots of it because each day had me working hard. Come to think of it, I haven’t worked that hard since. Farming ain’t easy.

Also try my Biscuits + Groovy food truck-inspired Donna Summer, a crazy good breakfast dish!

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Country Breakfast Tots

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Mike

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 cups frozen tater tots heated per package instructions
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or more
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 green onions sliced, for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble or chop.
  • Working in batches (I assume your skillet can cook 4 eggs at a time. If not, cook only 2-3 at a time), crack an egg into the hot skillet. Let it cook for 30 seconds or until the edges are set. Add another egg and also wait 30 seconds. Continue the same process with 2 more eggs. Slightly tilt the pan and spoon the hot oil over the top of the eggs for another minute. Remove the cooked eggs once each has cooked for a total of 3 minutes. Cook the remaining 4 eggs in the same manner. 
  • Crumble the sausage into the same skillet and cook until done, breaking it up as it cooks. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add the butter to the skillet and melt. Whisk in the flour and cook for another minute.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk until warmed. Return the sausage to the skillet and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve by dividing the tater tots between 4 plates. Top with the bacon, sausage gravy and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with sliced green onions. Serve.

Chet’s Trucker Stew

I don’t know Chet. I don’t even know if Chet is a trucker. But I do know that Chet’s Trucker stew is amazing. It’s like if you took a bunch of different great dishes and combined them all in a slow cooker, let it go for about 8 hours and then Boom! I’ts sorta like chili. It’s sorta like BBQ beans. It’s sorta like a bean soup. Every bite is packed with so many different flavors. You would never think they’d go together by looking at the ingredients, but they do!
Chet's Trucker StewChet’s Trucker stew is the perfect cold day dish. You aren’t going away hungry, that’s for sure. Whether you’re a long haul trucker or hunkered down at home on a snowy day, it’s a great easy way to make a big bowl of happiness.

Next time I make this stew (soon!) I may mix it up a bit by using smoked sausage instead of the breakfast sausage and beef. But I’d keep the beans the same, because I felt the combination really made this dish rock.

Also try my slow cooker Cincinnati chili.

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Chet's Trucker Stew

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 110 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound breakfast sausage cooked, drained
  • 1 pound ground beef cooked, drained
  • 1 27 ounce can pork and beans undrained
  • 1 14 ounce can wax beans rinsed, drained
  • 1 14 ounce can lima beans rinsed, drained
  • 1 15 ounce can red kidney beans undrained
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans undrained
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker.
  • Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally.

Southern Bologna Burgers

Anita got me hooked on thick-cut bologna burgers and sandwiches.They are like the grown-up versions of the bologna sandwiches I had as a kid. I get the deli to cut chub bologna 1/2″ thick and then either fry, grill, or smoke it. Then I slather the bologna with Ross’ Pool Room sauce and serve it on buns topped with onion and pimento cheese. Yeah, that’s a Southern bologna burger right there!
Southern Bologna BurgersAny pimento cheese will work on these southern bologna burgers. I didn’t go crazy making one of my more complicated versions. Simple is just fine. For a bit of a kick substitute pepper jack cheese for the Colby or add a minced seeded jalapeno pepper.

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Southern Bologna Burgers

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Mike

Ingredients

For the burgers

For the pimento cheese topping

  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Colby cheese
  • 2 4 ounce jars diced pimento peppers, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

For the burgers

  • Make a 1" cut in the bologna from and edge towards the center.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat or fire up a grill for direct cooking.
  • Fry or grill the bologna, brushing with the sauce as it cooks. You want to get a light char on he bologna.
  • Toast the buns if desired.
  • Assemble the burgers by placing the bologna on the bun bottoms. Add the pimento cheese and bun top and serve.

For the pimento cheese topping

  • Combine all ingredients.