Cedar Planked Asparagus

I am a huge fan of cooking on cedar planks. From sides to main dishes to desserts, I love the flavor and aroma of cedar. I don’t go crazy with the cedar. I char it just enough to add a hint of the wood. It adds something different to grilled foods. Like these cedar planked asparagus. Easy as can be to make, they come out crisp-tender (or, to your liking) with a great fresh asparagus flavor.

Cedar Planked Asparagus

You can easily change the flavor of your cedar planked asparagus by changing the seasonings or using infused olive oil instead. I sometimes like to add a good pinch of red pepper flake for a bit of heat. Lemon-infused oil adds a great citrus flavor. A few roasted pecans or walnuts add crunch and well, nuttiness. You can’t mess these up. Just don’t overcook them.

Also try my cedar planked sweet corn.

Cedar Planked Asparagus

Course Side
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil use flavor-infused oil if you wish
  • 1 fresh lemon thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
  • Parmesan cheese shaved, for topping

Instructions

  • Soak cedar plank in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile bend asparagus stem until it breaks. This will remove the fibrous part.
  • Toss the asparagus with lemon slices, oil, pepper and salt.
  • Transfer plank to the grill over medium heat and top with the asparagus. Grill 20-30 minutes or until the asparagus is the desired tenderness.
  • Serve with shaved Parmesan and sprinkled with more salt and pepper, to taste.

Easy Marinated Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

This super easy marinated chicken is exactly why I love using my Char-Broil Big Easy. I was serving salad for dinner, and wanted chicken to go with it. Not dried out, bland super market rotisserie chicken. Moist, tender flavor-packed chicken. And with as little fuss as possible. And this is it.

Easy Marinated Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I don’t see any reason to use a super fru-fru Italian dressing for marinating the chicken. I used a 16 ounce bottle of generic dressing from our local grocery store. For $1, it added the perfect flavor, tenderness and juiciness to my chicken. Use any dressing (or even bottled marinade) you like, but stay away from anything that contains sugar or sugar-like substances. Sugar will cause the outside of the chicken to burn long before the insides are done.

Also try my apple juice brined Big Easy chicken.

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

Easy Marinated Chicken on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Course Main
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 4 large pieces chicken I used split chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle Italian salad dressing

Instructions

  • Rinse chicken and place into a large resealable container or baggie.
  • Shake the bottle of dressing and add to container. Cover or seal and shake gently to coat.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, turning the chicken once or twice to make sure all sides get time in the dressing.
  • Fire up your Big Easy.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess.
  • Transfer the chicken to the Big Easy basket and place into the Big Easy.
  • Roast for about 20 minutes per pound, or until breasts reach at least 165 F and dark meat reaches 175 F.
  • Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Fried Bologna Sandwich

I smoked a big ole bologna chubb not long ago. Of course I ended up with a lot of bologna. I ended up slicing it nice and thick, freezing some of it for later. Later as in ‘for the best fried bologna sandwich ever’ later. This is the sandwich bologna was invented for. Fried bologna with just a little bit of crunchy char around the edges. Melted gooey cheese. Crunchy BBQ chips and lettuce. And the tang of pickled chow chow. Mustard. Mayonnaise. All on white bread.

Fried Bologna Sandwich

You must use white bread when you make a fried bologna sandwich. It’s a law. Or should be. Let’s face it, you didn’t make this sandwich because of it’s organic farm fresh ingredients. This isn’t fru-fru, this is a big ole honkin’ sandwich that you’ll love.

Fried Bologna Sandwich

Course Main
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 slice bologna at least 1/2" thick. If you can't find thick bologna, use 4 thin slices instead.
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread Wonder Bread
  • mayonnaise
  • prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chow chow or a sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 cup BBQ potato chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Meanwhile, spread one side of one of the bread slices with mayo. Spread one side of the other slice of bread with the mustard.
  • Cut a 1" wide 'X' pattern in the middle of the bologna if using thing slices. This will keep it from curling. I didn't have to do this with my thick bologna.
  • Add bologna to skillet and swirl around to coat the bottom in the butter. Cook a few minutes until browned, then flip and repeat.
  • Add the cheese slices to the bologna and cook another minute to melt.
  • Place the bologna on top of the mayo-topped bread slice.
  • Add the chow chow, potato chips and shredded lettuce.
  • Add the last piece of bread and gently push down on the sandwich to just crush the chips. Don't destroy them, just make the sandwich bite-able.
  • Devour.

Korean Fried Chicken using the Vortex

This Korean fried chicken using the Vortex was right up my alley. As always with the Vortex, the chicken is cooked perfectly. Tender and juicy and delicious. The batter makes for an incredible crunchy coating. I mean, crazy crunchy goodness! And the sauce? Score! Asian flavors with a great spiciness.
Korean Fried Chicken using the Vortex

This Korean fried chicken isn’t no wimpy chicken. I added more sriracha than called for because, hey, I like a little kick! I admit that I doubled the sauce ingredients, and I did end up with a little sauce leftover which of course found it’s way onto chicken wings!

You can tame down the hot sauce and still great fantastic chicken. Or make half a batch mild, half a batch hot! No matter how you do it, it’s impossible to go wrong with chicken cooked using a Vortex.Impossible!

Also try my spicy buttermilk fried chicken using the Vortex.

Korean Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 8 pieces chicken
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 quart warm water
  • 1 1/4 cup corn starch divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder divided
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 12 ounce light beer or club soda

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup gochugang sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha

Instructions

For the chicken

  • Combine the salt and water in a large bowl or container. Stir until the salt is dissolved then add the chicken. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • Combine 3/4 cup of cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of baking powder in a bowl or large baggie. Working in patches, remove the chicken pieces from the brine and pat dry. Transfer to the cornstarch mixture and coat well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 3/4 cups of flour. While still whisking, pour in the beer and create a smooth batter.
  • Fire up your grill with the Vortex. Get the coals good and hot, just ashed over.
  • Remove the chicken from the cornstarch mixture and shake off any excess. Dunk into the batter a few times and shake off any excess. Transfer to the grill around the Vortex.
  • Once the chicken hits 165 F as measured in several locations, brush several times with the sauce. Alternatively, remove the chicken from the grill and dunk into the sauce.

For the sauce

  • Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir until combined. Keep warm until ready to use.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce

I must have had a bad fried green tomato experience as a child because I have not eaten them in years and years. Anita and I were in the produce section at the store and saw some really nice looking green tomatoes. Anita loves fried green tomatoes. So I grabbed a few to make fried green tomatoes with spicy Ranch dipping sauce.

We headed home with the tomatoes. And I have to say, any bad memories I have of fried green tomatoes are now long gone. They were fantastic. Crunchy and tasty, and with a nice lightly spicy sauce for dipping.
Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Ranch Dipping SauceI used Panko breadcrumbs for an extra crunchy coating on these fried green tomatoes with spicy Ranch dipping sauce. If you like yours a little less crunchy, just substitute regular bread crumbs. For extra kick, mix a little cayenne (or my favorites, smoked paprika or chipotle powder) into the bread crumbs first.

Also try my jalapeno bottle caps.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 2 green tomatoes sliced thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce

Instructions

For the Fried Green Tomatoes

  • Heat a few inches of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  • Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper.
  • In 3 separate shallow bowls place the flour, the buttermilk and Panko.
  • Working in batches, dip the tomatoes in the flour, covering on all sides. Shake off the excess flour.
  • Next, submerse the tomatoes in the buttermilk.
  • Finally, coat the tomatoes in the bread crumbs.
  • Fry 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.

For the Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce

  • Combine the ingredients.

Savory Turkey on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I think that like most people, I purchased my Char-Broil Big Easy for making Thanksgiving turkey. And I’ve sure made my share of fantastic turkeys using it, too. From spicy to savory, the Big Easy does turkey amazing, each and every time. This recipe produces a tremendous bird, filled with the flavors of Thanksgiving. It looks fantastic, tastes delicious, and is so moist and tender. All that and so very easy to make, you can’t beat the Big Easy time and time again.

Savory Turkey on the Char-Broil Big Easy

When injecting the turkey it’s important to be consistent. You don’t want to bite into huge pockets of injection in one bite, only to get nothing in the next. Don’t rush the process. Take your time and get the injection in everywhere, from just under the skin, to deep inside the breast meat.

I use a heavy duty injector that has larger holes for injecting liquids that have big chunks of ingredients. Even so, it can be challenging and sometimes clogs. I recommend grinding your spice ingredients first so they are fine enough to easily flow through the injector.

Also try my beer-and-butter Big Easy turkey!

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

Savory Turkey on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting time 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the turkey

  • 9 pound bone-in turkey breast
  • olive oil

For the injection

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 seasoning from below

For the seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper

Instructions

For the seasoning

  • Combine all ingredients. If your injector does not have large holes you will want to grind the mixture first, using either a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Half of the mixture will be used for the injection, while the remaining seasoning will be using as a rub for the outside of the turkey.

For the injection

  • Combine all ingredients with half of the seasoning mix. Whisk well to dissolve the salt.

For the turkey

  • Inject the injection mixture evenly into the turkey. Get it everywhere.
  • Lightly rub the outside of the turkey with oil. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning.
  • Fire up your Big Easy. Add the turkey to the Big Easy basket and lower into the cooker.
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound. Let the turkey reach 165 F for white meat, 175 F for dark meat. Remove from the cooker and let rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Notes

This recipe is for a 9-pound bone-in turkey breast. Larger breasts or whole turkeys may require that you double the amount of seasoning and injection ingredients. The cook time will also be longer. You can usually plan on 20 minutes per pound with the Big Easy.
You will need a good injector for this recipe. One with larger holes, preferably.

Copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

I am definitely not one of those that thinks everything needs to be made from scratch. But that being said, I do enjoy the challenge and reward of making something that is a good copycat of something I can buy in my grocery store. Like this copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. I was making a big ole batch of smoked pork when I realized I didn’t have a sauce on hand. Well, in no time at all I whipped this great sauce together. It has the right consistency, just like the ‘real’ stuff. And it has that (nearly) same great flavor.
Copycat Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

The great thing about making your own copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce is that you can customize it for your tastes. Want it a bit more smokey? Add a tad bit (a very small tad bit) of liquid smoke. Maybe (like me) you want a bit of spiciness? Add more cayenne pepper or a few (long) shakes of hot sauce. Thinner? Stir in some water. Thicker? Don’t add as much water. Make it your own. I did.

Also try my copycat Dreamland BBQ sauce.

Copycat Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

Course BBQ Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cold water optional
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch optional

Instructions

  • Stir together all ingredients except for the water and corn starch in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the brown sugar has dissolved.
  • If you want a thicker sauce, combine the water and corn starch in a small glass and slowly stir in to the sauce. Continue to simmer until the desired thickness is achieved.
  • If the sauce gets too thick add water, a very little bit at a time, and stir.

Smoked Hazelnuts

I’ve made the ‘usual’ smoked nuts a number of times. You know, peanuts. Walnuts. Pecans. Those things. This was my first time smoking Hazelnuts. In fact, I’d never even thought about making them until I ran across a picture someone posted of a big batch of smoked Hazelnuts. They looked so amazing I could almost smell and test them. I’ve always loved Hazelnuts, so I figured I’d love them smoked even more and I was right!
Smoked Hazelnuts

You can shell and eat these nuts just as they are. And I certainly devoured a few handfuls. But, my main reason for smoking them was to use them in recipes. First up? A smoked Hazelnut butter for baked sweet potatoes!

As you can tell from the recipe, I didn’t add anything to the nuts before I put them on my smoker. They don’t need it. No oil, no salt and pepper. Just put them on ‘au naturale’ and let them go for a while.

Smoked pistachios are also amazing! Try them too!

Smoked Hazelnuts

Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling 30 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • raw Hazelnuts in shell

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for 225-250 F cooking. Use hickory or a fruit wood.
  • Add the nuts to the smoker. Don't crowd them. Smoke for 1 hour.
  • Remove and let cool completely before shelling.

Rotisserie Roasted Peanuts

For years I thought “Why in the world do I need a rotisserie for any of my grills?” Well, my 20 year old gas grill reached the end, and I decided to get a rotisserie with my new grill. And boy howdy am I so glad that I did! Besides making (of course) chicken and ham, I also get to make really cool treats, like these rotisserie roasted peanuts! These nuts are perfectly roasted, with just the right crunch and just the right grilled flavor.
Rotisserie Roasted Peanuts

You can make rotisserie roasted peanuts on either a gas or charcoal grill. If you’re using a gas grill don’t be afraid to add a few chunks of wood to get a bit of a smoky flavor. Don’t go crazy with it, though.

I have a Weber rotisserie. To make these peanuts I purchased a rotisserie basket. I’ve found it to be a must-have with a rotisserie. It’s perfect for potatoes, chiles and of course, peanuts! The link to the basket can be found below the recipe.

Also try my smoked peanuts.

Rotisserie Roasted Peanuts

These nuts are perfectly roasted, with just the right crunch and just the right grilled flavor.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cool time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 485kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 24 ounce raw peanuts in the shell
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill with the rotisserie. You want the temperature at the rotisserie to be around 350 F.
  • Place the peanuts in your roasting basket and place onto the grill. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the shells start to turn darker in color. Do not let them get dark brown.
  • Remove and sprinkle with salt. Let cool slightly then serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 8g | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 3.3mg

Grilled Chive Potatoes

Well now, these little bites of yumminess didn’t last long. Grilled chive potatoes didn’t take long to make either. Creamy and tender inside, the potatoes had nice crispy skin. Covered in butter and chives, with just a hint of lemon,  each one was sooooo good. I grilled the potatoes, but you can make them in the oven just as easily.
Grilled Chive PotatoesWhat will I do different next time I grill some grilled chive potatoes? Probably nothing. Oh I might add a pinch of red pepper flake but that’s it. They don’t need anything else.

If you don’t have fresh chives just use green onions instead.

Also try my grilled Ranch potatoes.

Grilled Chive Potatoes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes rinsed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the potatoes and reduce the heat to a gentle boil and let boil until the potatoes are just starting to turn tender, 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water. Slice into halves.
  • Fire up your grill for medium-high direct grilling.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the chives and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer the potatoes to the grill, cut-side down and let grill until just starting to turn golden brown and getting just a little char around the edges. Brush lightly with the butter mixture.
  • Remove potatoes and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Drizzle with remaining butter mixture and serve.