Cracked Pepper N’ Garlic Ground Beef Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

I love making jerky on my Nesco Snackmaster Pro. I’ve been using ground top round for my ground beef jerky, but any lean ground meat will work. I tend to prefer jerky with a lot of flavor. I’m not really into mellow jerky. Which is why I enjoyed the heck out of this Cracked Pepper N’ Garlic jerky made using a seasoning  from Hi Mountain that I picked up at our nearby Cabela’s. The jerky is definitely peppery (I used more seasoning than the package calls for because hey, like I said, I like my jerky to be packed with flavor!) with a nice hint of garlic that isn’t overwhelming. It’s a really, really tasty jerky that you’ll enjoy more than you may want (so make a double batch!).
cracked-pepper-n-garlic-ground-beef-jerky-on-the-nesco-snackmaster-proI grind my meat using my own grinder, but if you’re friends with your butcher (and you should be), you can get him to trim and grind it for you. Or if you prefer sliced jerky, your butcher can do that for you too. That’s why they’re there. Getting to know your butcher is a really good idea, so take the time to say ‘hi’ even if you don’t need anything from him or her the next time you see them.

Cracked Pepper N' Garlic Ground Beef Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
Author: 
Recipe type: Dehydrator
Cuisine: Jerky
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1/2 pound
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. NOTE: I personally feel that the flavor is too mellow when mixing per the package instructions, 2 1/2 teaspoons per pound. I use a heaping tablespoon. You may want to first make a pound per the package instructions and see if you want a stronger flavor.
  2. Place beef in a resealable bag or container.
  3. Place meat, seasoning, curing salt and water into a mixer and mix for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer meat to a resealable container or bag and refrigerate for up to 8 hours, massaging every hour or so to get the marinade distributed and absorbed evenly.
  5. Remove meat from the marinade. Add to a jerky gun and squeeze out onto Nesco trays.
  6. Add the dehydrator top, set to maximum temperature setting and dehydrate for 5 hours, rotating the trays (bottom to top) every 2 hours or so.
  7. To test for doneness remove a piece and let cool slightly. Try to bend the meat. If it gives and starts to tear at the bend it is done. If it bends without tearing return to the dehydrator and let it run another 15 minutes and test again. If the meat is crunchy it is overdone but still good. It's really personal preference as to how you like your jerky. Soft, chewy, crunchy. There's no wrong here.
  8. Let cool before storing in an airtight container.

Fiery Smoked Chuck Roast

Chuck roast goes on sale here every so often and since I’m huge fan of smoked chuck, I always rummage through the meat case and find some that has a nice marbling and is the same thickness throughout and rush home to toss it on the smoker. I’ve smoked Cajun chuck roast, Barbacoa-style, and just ‘plain’ ole chuck roast and all were fantastic. This time I decided to go the spicy route and marinate the roast overnight in Goya’s chipotle marinade. The beef took on a wonderful flavor that wasn’t overly spicy but still had a really nice kick. Perfect on a sandwich, and much cheaper than brisket.
Smoked chuck roast looks and ‘acts’ pretty much like smoked brisket. It slices well if you prefer yours sliced. It chops well if you’re into that. And it pulls great too. I like mine pulled just like pulled pork BBQ. Mounded high on a bun I’m a very happy guy. Fiery smoked chuck roast makes me happy.

Fiery Smoked Chuck Roast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 pound chuck roast
  • 1/2 (24 ounce) bottle Goya Mojo Chipotle Marinade
  • Chipotle chili powder, to taste (or substitute your favorite spicy rub)
Instructions
  1. Place the chuck roast into a resealable container or bag.
  2. Add the marinade. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 250 F.
  5. Shake off any excessive marinade and sprinkle the roast with the chipotle chili powder.
  6. Smoke for two hours.
  7. Transfer meat to a large piece of foil and seal tightly.
  8. Return to the smoker and smoke another 4-5 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 200 F.
  9. Remove from the smoker and let rest 30 minutes before slicing or chopping.

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Pot Roast

It’s not uncommon for me to dream of a meal the night after I’ve had it. What isn’t common is when I dream about a meal BEFORE I’ve even had it. I knew going in that this slow cooker jalapeno pot roast was going to be great. Of course, after a day in the slow cooker the meat was tender and easy to shred. And it has just the right amount of spicy kick to it. It’s definitely not a bland pot roast by any stretch of the imagination.
I set out making slow cooker jalapeno pot roast for po boy sandwiches and that’s it. As soon as I came across the recipe I knew that that’s what I was going to do. And the sandwiches came out absolutely perfect. I could’ve served the pot roast over mashed potatoes or made an open-faced sandwich or even better, used it in tacos, but I wanted a sandwich with some cool toppings like tomato and onion and lettuce to contrast the spicy beef. Perfect!

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Pot Roast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds chuck steak or roast
  • 1 (4 ounce) can fire-roasted jalapeno peppers, not drained
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Place meat into the slow cooker.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and pour over the meat.
  3. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.
  4. Carefully remove the meat and chop or shred as desired, then return to the slow cooker to absorb the juices.

Slow Cooker Bold Ranch Pork Chops

Cold weather can sometimes make me ‘cooking lazy’. That’s when I just want to toss a few out-of-the-pantry and out-of-the-fridge ingredients into a slow cooker, turn it on, and come back half a day later to a done dish. Doesn’t mean it has to be all out of a can, but it isn’t all from scratch either. And it’s still good. And spicy. Gotta have spicy and these bold ranch pork chops deliver on that.
I served these pork chops with warmed leftover mashed potatoes. The gravy from the slow cooker is great over mashed potatoes, but I think it’d be even better over grits, so I’ll give that a whirl next time. They’ll be instant grits, though, to keep with my ‘cooking lazy’ mood.

Slow Cooker Bold Ranch Pork Chops
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted (low-salt recommended)
  • 1 packet of Ranch dressing mix (about 3 tablespoons if you buy in bulk or make your own)
  • 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, see my note
  • 4 thick cut boneless pork chops
Instructions
  1. Note: Between the soup and Cajun seasonings, this dish can be salty. I recommend a low-salt soup and making your own Cajun seasoning, cutting the amount of salt in half.
  2. Turn your slow cooker on low.
  3. Whisk together the soup, Ranch dressing mix, and Cajun seasoning in a small bowl.
  4. Place the pork chops in the slower cooker.
  5. Add the soup mix.
  6. Cover and cook for 6 hours.

Spicy White Chicken Chili

Whew, oh boy! This isn’t some boring, barely-seasoned, overly-tame, put-you-to-sleep white chicken chili, no sir! You pretty much open your pantry and grab everything in it that is spicy and throw it in a pot with some chicken, some beans, some roasted peppers, and some broth. Done!
I really enjoyed the smokiness of this spicy white chicken chili. There are so many different flavors coming together in every spoonful. I’m thinking you could easily make this a beef chili by substituting cooked crumbled ground beef (or small pieces of chuck) along with beef broth. Or you can easily go the turkey route, using crumbled cooked ground turkey.

Spicy White Chicken Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin (optional, or use less if you wish)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 poblanos, roasted, stems and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, roasted, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 cans chopped roasted green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • Your favorite toppings (shredded cheese, tortilla strips, sour cream, etc)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large Dutch or pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Add cumin, chili powder, cayenne, chipotle powder and salt and pepper and stir.
  5. Add roasted poblanos, roasted jalapeno, green chiles, cilantro, 3 1/2 cups of the chicken broth, chicken, lime zest and juice.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 30 minutes.
  7. Add the beans and cook another 15 minutes, adding more broth if necessary.
  8. Serve with desired toppings.

Chipotle Tartar Sauce

I’m a big fan of po boy sandwiches. Sometimes fancy, sometimes not so fancy. Last weekend I made two ‘cheater’ fried clam and fried shrimp po boys. I call them ‘cheater’ because I used frozen already-fried seafood. But just because I’m cheating doesn’t mean I’m not going to step up my game a bit by adding a fantastic chipotle tartar sauce. A bit spicy and a bit tangy, this is the perfect tartar sauce to kick up any seafood.
You want to use a mayonnaise that isn’t too thin or your tartar sauce will, of course, be thin. Not that that’s a bad thing, but most people like a nice, thick tartar sauce. You could call it a remoulade or comeback sauce if yours turns out a bit on the thin side!

Chipotle Tartar Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 1/2 cups
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

Anchonero Hot BBQ Wings

One of the best things I love about chicken wings is that there isn’t just one perfect combination of rub and sauce. There are an infinite number of great wings, and these Anchonero Hot BBQ wings are just another example of a perfect combination of a spicy southwestern rub and sauce. A little heat and a little sweet, you’d think I hadn’t eaten in a month when I devoured these wings. ‘Anchonero’  is a combination of ancho (a wonderful mild pepper, a dried poblano) and habenero (a pretty darned spicy pepper!) chiles. You get great chile pepper flavor in every bite, that’s for sure. I found the spice level to be great, not too hot but definitely not mild either.
The Anchonero rub and BBQ sauce i used on these wings comes from AlbuKirky Seasonings, in yep, you guessed it, Albuquerque, New Mexico. They have lots of southwestern-flavored rubs and sauces and jellies. Check them out, you’ll love them all!

I cooked these wings on my Weber Jumbo Joe using the Vortex insert but you can use a deep fryer, oven, gas grill, Char-Broil Big Easy, or whatever you prefer!

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Anchonero Hot BBQ Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 Servings
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place wings into a large resealable bag.
  2. Add the oil.
  3. Add the rub. Seal the bag, and toss gently to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours before cooking.
  5. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  6. When done, place wings in a large bowl and add sauce. Toss to coat.

Kick’N Chicken Legs on the Char-Broil Big Easy

It just occurred to me the other day. I have never cooked chicken legs by themselves on my Char-Broil Big Easy. I’ve done plenty of whole chickens, and tons of wings and breasts, but never legs. What the heck was I thinking? I immediately set out to remedy that situation. These Kick’N chicken legs came out fantastic, just like all the other poultry I’ve ever cooked on the Big Easy. Super moist and tender, and thanks to Weber’s Kick’N seasoning, nice and spicy!
You won’t end up with crispy skin when you make these Kick’N chicken legs, but you will end up with delicious meat bite after bite. I’d say I used the right amount of the seasoning because I do prefer a little kick to my chicken, but not so much that I’m balled up on the floor crying. These legs were fantastic and spiced perfectly.

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

Kick'N Chicken Legs on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
 
I used a bunk bed basket because it makes for easier cleaning. You can fit two bunk bed baskets into the Big Easy basket at once.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Big Easy.
  2. Lightly brush the chicken legs with oil and season, to taste, with the Kick'N chicken seasoning.
  3. Transfer legs to the Big Easy.
  4. Lower the basket into the Big Easy and cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound, or until the legs reach 165-175 F as measured in several spots.
  5. Remove and let rest 10 minutes before serving.