If you’re a fan of smoked brisket, you’ve likely had burnt ends. I’ve had them, but frankly I usually don’t bother and simply slice up the point of the brisket along with the flat.
For the uninitiated, the brisket is made of 2 muscles. The flat is the leaner of the two, while the point has more fat. The grain of the two muscles run counter to one another and are joined by a seam of fat. Buying the whole brisket, or “packer cut”, can be intimidating to some as there is a significant layer of hard, white fat covering a good portion of the meat.
Typically, I will buy and cook the flat. The cost per pound is definitley more, but my family prefers the leaner cut and it takes a good amount of work to trim a packer cut before cooking. Nonetheless, I purchased a small packer cut brisket this past weekend and put it on the Big Green Egg on Sunday morning.
As the brisket was finishing up, I called an audible and decided to seperate the point and cut it into cubes. I placed these in a pan and hit them some of my rib sauce. I know, I know, rib sauce on brisket? Trust me, these were the best burnt ends I’ve done. And, I’ll definitely do them again.
Heck, maybe I’ll even start buying the packer cut from now on.
The buzz around the Bacon Explosion has died down a bit since it first became a thing a couple of years ago. I haven’t done one of these in awhile, but with the Daytona 500 coming up I thought I’d dust off this recipe and put it on the menu.
Just as a refresher, here is the process for building your very own Bacon Explosion.
First, create a weave of bacon strips. For this attempt, mine is 5×5.
I brushed lightly with sauce and rub before adding a layer of pork sausage.
In the middle, I snipped some pre-cooked bacon into pieces and added a little BBQ sauce.
Then roll the sausage into a log.
And, roll the weave around around sausage.
I cooked this one indirect at ~275* and hit with a little sauce to finish. Sliced it up and served it hot of the smoker!
I’ve seen variations on this recipe. Drop me a note and let me know how you’ve tweaked this to your liking.
There’s a local pizza joint/brew pub that makes a killer appetizer called Prosciutto Involtini. In fact, when my bride and I eat there, we often have a salad and this appetizer and call it a meal. This dish is basically pizza dough topped with, mozarella cheese, and prosciutto.
A few weeks ago, she came up with the notion to try to make these at home. Her first attempt was a homerun, so I decided to make a batch for the Superbowl. We cheat a little a use a premade mozarella & prosciutto roll that we slice and lay over a ring of pizza dough.
Here’a a photo journal of the process.
Pizza dough laid out sort of like a pretzel
The Prosciutto and Mozarella Roll
A slice on each loop of pizza dough
The final result I didn’t get a shot of these on the grill. But I setup my Big Green Egg for pizza cooking/baking and grilled these at 425 degrees until the pizza dough began to get brown.
These were a big hit at the Superbowl party and are great with marinara suace for dipping. I’ll definitely do these again (and again).
With football playoffs underway, I wanted to try something different to share with friends while watching the NFC playoffs on Saturday. I’d seen this appetizer a couple of different times recently, so I decided to give it a shot.
Basically, pig shots are formed with a slice of sausage wrapped in a piece of bacon on it’s edge. This forms a “shot glass” that you then fill with whatever you choose. I used a mixture of cream cheese and green chillies. I applied a spicy BBQ rub and also topped them with brown sugar.
Here are a few pictures of the process:
Kielbasa & Bacon
Filled with cream cheese, green chillies, and topped with brown sugar
The finished product
Here is the stey by step process:
cut sausage (I used Kielbasa) into 3/8″ discs
wrap 1/2 piece of bacon (on edge) around each disc and secure with a toothpick
combine 8 oz. block of cream cheese (softened) with 1/2 can of green chillies
apply bbq rub
pipe or spoon cream cheese mixture into “shot glasses”
top with brown sugar
cook indirect at ~300* for 45-60 minutes or until the bacon is finished to your liking
*Note: I cooked indirect on the Big Green Egg with platesetter in place (wrapped in foil of course)
If I do these again, I think I’d add some grated cheese to the cream cheese mixture and experiment with a different type of sausage, Boudin maybe?
What’s on your menu for football playoff season? We all need a killer dish for the big game in a few weeks.
Seems like we often go to casual gatherings where we take a dish. I’ve gotten tired of the same old thing, so I looked for a way to do something a little different while still cooking outside.
Enter, Chicken Sliders. This was pretty simple. I simply bought thin sliced chicken breasts at the lcoal grocery store. I cut each in half and hit them liberally with Plowboy’s Yardbird rub. I grilled a pound of bacon and then grilled the chicken. I placed the chicken along with a couple of strips of bacon and a slice of cheddar cheese on Hawaiian rolls to serve.
Here’s the process. First, I grilled a pound of bacon. Next, I grilled the half chicken breasts that were sliced thin.
And finally, I assmebled the sliders with a slice of cheddar cheese, a couple of strips of bacon, and half a chicken breast on a Hawaiian roll.
A couple of things that I’ll do differently next time. First, I think I’ll use a tenderizer mallet to flatten the chicken breasts a little mroe. I also think that the slider would benefit from some other condiment. BBQ Sauce, mayo, etc.
Other than those few tweaks, this was a success and I’ll be doing this again.
It’s playoff time in the NFL and that means I have a lot of chances to get together with friends for football on the weekends. I don’t do this all that much during the regular season, but after the holidays it seems like folks aren’t as busy and we enjoy getting together.
But I digress. I get tired of the same old snacks that I’ve done for gatherings like this. So, I was looking for something different when I came upon a reference to bacon-wrapped chicken bites. Sounded good to me, so I gave it a shot on Sunday.
I cubed 2 large chicken breasts and wrapped each cube in a half a strip of bacon. I then rolled them in brown sugar and hit them with a little bit of spicey rub. That’s all there was to it.
I fired up the Big Green Egg and set it up for indirect cooking. However, I ran the temp up to about 350 degrees. The chicken cooked for 45 minutes to an hour. The only problem I had was judging the doneness of the chicken, as I couldn’t really see the chicken through the bacon.
There are a couple of things I’ll do differently next time. First, I won’t panic and switch to direct cooking half-way through. That was a mistake (and why there are no “after” photos). Second, I think a little more brown sugar and a little more heat would be good. I will try to punch up the flavor next time for sure.
Conference championships are coming up this weekend so you’ve got time to perfect your game time grub before the Superbowl. Leave a comment and let me know what you’re going to cook for the big game.
Awhile back, we attended a social gathering where they served drinks and appetizers. One of the appetizers was toasted baquette pieces topped with a small piece of beef and horseradish. I filed that away as something that I wanted to try to put a BBQ spin on.
So last Saturday night, I had a chance to do just that. I grilled a couple of pork tenderloin on Saturday morning. I then wrapped them and placed them into the refrigerator to chill. It’s much easier to slice them thin when they are chilled than it is when they are warm.
I then placed a piece of tenderloin on toasted baguettes, and topped each with a slice of a Harvati Dill cheese that my bride is fond of. They make a great finger food and were a big hit at the gathering that we took them to.
Feel free to experiment with this. I think these would be good with a dollop of a spicy or flavored mustard or something simialr as well.
At Thanksgiving, I was visiting family in Pittsburgh and met the owner of Cafe Fifth Avenue. It’s a bar and restaurant that’s right next to Consol Energy Arena where we always take in a Turkey Day Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game. He serves up some mighty tasty chicken wings and through the course of the conversation (and a couple of cold beers), he sent me home with a bag of the seasoning that uses for my very own. If you’re in Pittsburgh, please stop by and try his chicken wings. They were awesome!
I’d been itching to try this on fried chicken, but due to life circumstances in and around the holidays I’ve been trying to eat a little better and fried chicken just hasn’t been on my list. But Sunday, I deciced to try and adapt a recipe for “oven fried” chicken to the grill.
So I soaked a package of chicken wings in buttermilk, seasoned the flour with my new chicken seasoning, and placed the wings in a disposable pan. While this seemed like a reasonable approach, I don’t think my fire was every really hot enough. Towards the end I finally got it where it should have been all along, around 425 degrees.
I did pull the wings out of the pan and crisp them a little directly over the fire at the very end. All in all, the wings were tasty and preferred by my kids over the chicken breasts that I was also grilling. I’ll probably give this another try soon and I’ll use a little more of the seasoning on the chicken. Heck, the Super Bowl is coming up and you can’t go wrong with chicken wings at a football game, now can you?
I grew up in the midwest and pork steaks were something that we grilled often. I was probably 25 years old when I realized that people elsewhere in the country didn’t know what a pork steak is. I was reminded of this again last month when I was in Murphysboro, IL for the Business of BBQ with OnCue Consulting at 17th Street Barbecue. Dinner that evening was lightly smoked pork steaks finished over a high heat grill, but not everyone was familiar with a pork steak. These pork steaks were tasty, but I like them dry rubbed and smoked until they’re so tender that they almost fall apart.
But I digress. For the unitiated, pork steaks come from pork butt sliced into steaks. They are very common at bars, restaurants, and backyard cookouts in the midwest. I grew up eating them grilled hot & fast, but a few years ago I began cooking them low & slow on the smoker.
I’ve experimented with a couple of different flavor profiles, but we prefer them seasoned with a basic grill seasoning and smoked until they are melt-in-your-mouth tender. Here are a few shots of the smoked pork steaks that I did last week.
Your typical pork buttBut this one is “sliced”A Pork SteakPork Steak on the Backwoods FatboyThe finished product
Is this cut of meat available where you live? Leave me a comment and let me know.
I’ve done this several times and pulled the chicken for sandwhiches and the like. However, I’ve had two conversations this week with folks who didn’t necessarily get what I was talking about. So here’s a shot of a “spatchcock” or butterflied chicken.
To do this, just cut down each side of the backbone/spine of a whole chicken and remove it. Place your fingers in each side of the incision, press inward on the breast bone with your thumbs, pull each side apart apart at the incision that you’ve made, and the breast bone will crack open till the bird lies flat. I grill these at ~325 degrees or so for ~1 hour & 15 mins (or until they’re done).
If you haven’t tried this, you should. It’s pretty darned tasty.