Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Leftover Brisket: Brisket, Egg, and Cheese Biscuits.

[FTC Disclaimer]  We have no affiliation with Deep South Smokers.  Flame Boss has given us samples but we have also bought units from them at full price too, they are worth it.  We are proud to be sponsored by Certified Angus Beef Brand but this is not a sponsored post.

We smoked a couple of briskets a couple of weekends ago to practice for upcoming BBQ competitions.  The next morning I woke up at 5am with this idea in mind.  It's a brisket, egg, and cheese biscuit, complete with a cheese skirt.

  • The brisket was shredded from the point, the best part of the brisket IMO.
  • I seasoned the egg with a little of our beef rub recipe and fried it sunny side up.
  • I made a "cheese skirt" using Bojangle's concept for the Cheddar Bo biscuit that they used to sell.  I took the bottom half of a biscuit, topped it with fresh shredded Colby-jack cheese, and put it on a sheet pan in a 425f oven for 3-4 minutes.  This melts the cheese in a "skirt" around the biscuit.
  • Alexis made the lemon pepper sour cream biskets.  

I could have done the briskets on our kamado grills but since it was for competition practice, I used the Deep South Smokers GC36.  This is a gravity fed, insulated box smoker.  

The Flame Boss is an electronic controller that maintains a specific temperature in your cooker and monitors the cooking temperature of up to 3 meats.  It is wireless via wi-fi so it lets me keep an eye on things on my smart phone.  These work with a pit like my Deep South or something smaller like Big Green Eggs.
 I use several factors for selecting my briskets.
  • Source - When possible, I like to get Certified Angus Beef Brand briskets because I find their 10 quality standards provides a consistent brisket.  My second choice is prime briskets, usually from Costco because they are about the only store that routinely carries prime brisket in my area.  I'll do wagyu from time to time but I've scored better without it.  
  • Size - It depends. For competition I look for 17-18 pounds.  If I'm cooking it whole on a large Big Green Egg, the length limits it, usually around 13 pounds. 
  • Shape - For competition I buy 2 briskets. One with a very nice flat and the other with a big point. I get two because on one, I trim the point short so part of the point protects the flat. I'll take my slices from that flat and the burnt ends from the other point.  The flat should be well marbled, flexible, and have "mostly even" thickness. It should also have color to it, I don't like pale briskets.  If I am just buying one for home, I look for the one that has the nicest flat with a decent point.
We separate the brisket flat from the point for competition.  It makes the cook time faster and it gets more bark on my point for burnt ends. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Unboxing a Humphrey's BBQ Smoker - Battle Box

[FTC Disclaimer]  We have no affiliation with Humphrey's BBQ, and John paid advertised pricing.

My neighbor and BBQ teammate, John, took delivery of his new Humphrey's BBQ Battle Box this morning. It is the Wounded Warrior Project version of the Battle Box which means 10% is donated to the Wounded Warrior Project and it comes in this cool dessert camo color scheme.

Humphrey's BBQ Battle Box Wounded Warrior Project
The Humphrey's BBQ Battle Box is an insulated box-style cooker.

The smoker made its way from Limerick, Maine, where Humphrey's BBQ is located, to Knoxville, Tennessee packed well in a crate.

You can see that the unit was well protected.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

BBQ Class: Georgia BBQ Championship Champions Cooking Class

The Georgia BBQ Championship organization has put together a Champions Cooking Class in Atlanta on June 30th this Summer.

The three category winners from last year will be teaching the class, sharing the BBQ expertise that put them on top.  
  • Chicken and Pork - Yes Dear BBQ
  • Ribs - Angry Jack BBQ
  • Brisket - Bald Hawg BBQ

Plus, one lucky class attendee is going to win a bad ass Primo Oval XL400.  How cool is that?! 

The class cost is just $200.  If you have ever priced BBQ classes, then you know this is a bargain price.  For more information or to register, go to the Georgia BBQ Championship website.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Brown Sugar and Honey Bacon Smoked on a Pellet Cooker

[FTC Disclaimer] I have no affiliation with Thermoworks or Beswood.  I genuinely my Grilla a few years ago as a thank you for cooking on their Memphis In May team.

I love bacon but who doesn't?  I recently cured, smoked, and sliced a batch of Brown Sugar and Honey Bacon.  

How to smoke bacon on a pellet cooker smoker

Curing and smoking your own bacon takes a little time and refrigerator space, but it is well worth the effort. 
  • You get truly smoked bacon, not something that was sprayed with aerosolized liquid smoke and cooked in a big oven.
  • You get to make choices about the seasonings.
  • You get control of the thickness of your slices.
  • You save a good bit.  I pay less than $3 a pound for pork belly, but bacon at the stores is running $5 to $7 per pound depending on the type.

Bacon smoked on a Grilla pellet smoker

One tip, wear gloves when handling the bacon cure.  First, it's just a good idea any time handling curing salts.  Second, if you don't, you will find that minuscule paper cut that you forgot existed.

Brown Sugar and Honey Bacon

adapted from Chris Lilly's Fire and Smoke: A Pitmaster's Secrets


  • 8 pound pork belly, skinless
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons pink curing salt (Prague powder #1)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup black pepper, coarse ground/16 mesh
  • 1/2 cup local honey


Friday, April 13, 2018

Ribeye Steaks with Cajun Butter

[FTC Disclaimer]  I have a sponsorship with Certified Angus Beef® Brand; however, this is not one of the sponsored posts.  I have no affiliation with Big Green Egg, Grill Grates, or Walker and Sons.

I'm a big believer in the fact that quality beef doesn't need much more than salt, pepper, and a bit of fire to make a brilliantly tasty steak.  But I'm also a believer in the truth that sometimes you have to shake things up a bit.

These Ribeye Steaks with Cajun Butter fall into the latter category.

I had gone to Food City to buy some chicken, but I saw this pack of pretty Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye steaks sitting in the meat case, just taunting me.  I had to buy them, it was a matter a principle. 

I felt like being a little wild with them, so I planned to hit them with some Cajun seasoning and finish them with a Cajun compound butter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Creamy Chicken and Penne

This is just a quickie recipe that we put together last night for dinner.  It was really just to get something on the table, but it turned out too good not to share it.

We used leftover fire-braised chicken thighs but you can substitute the meat from a rotisserie chicken instead. I'll explain the fire braising process after the recipe if you are interested in that.  But this chicken is creamy, delicious, and straight up comfort food.

Creamy chicken and penne casserole recipe for quick weeknights using leftovers.

Creamy Chicken and Penne


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 sweet onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups fire-braised chicken
  • 1/2 cup smoked Alpine white cheddar or other cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced green onion
  • 12 ounces dry penne, cooked according to directions


Monday, April 2, 2018

Steak Fajita Bowls

[FTC Disclaimer] This post is sponsored by the Certified Angus Beef ® brand in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.

Fajita bowls are a favorite at our house.  First, they are delicious. Second, they are suitable for using up ingredients in the fridge. Third, because you get to pick and choose your ingredients, they accommodate the picky eaters in your family.

Steak Fajita bowls are ideal for that picky eater because you get to choose your own toppings.

Fajita bowls are a fajita without the flour tortilla. 

  • They have a base of seasoned rice.  I like to use either cilantro lime rice or a Mexican style rice.  
  • They have a grilled protein.  Typically this is steak or chicken that has either been marinated or heavily seasoned.
  • They have a melange of grilled peppers and onions.
  • The rest of the ingredients are up to you.  We like to make a buffet of ingredients and let everyone compose their own fajita bowls.  Some of the ingredients we put out are:
    • avocado 
    • black beans
    • tomatoes
    • fire roasted corn
    • Mexican crema
    • Cotija cheese
    • Shredded Oaxaca cheese
    • Tortilla strips
    • Pico de gallo
    • Store bought black bean and corn salsa for those shortcut nights
    • salsa verde
    • cilantro

The main attraction, of course, is the grilled steak.  Skirt steak is more traditional, but I like the thickness of a good flank steak.  I start off with a Certified Angus Beef® Brand flank steak that I bought at our local Food City. 

You can buy pre-made fajita seasonings at the grocery store.  Typically those are made for 1 pound of meat so you would need to buy 2 for a good sized flank steak. I prefer to make my own NMT Fajita Seasoning Dry Rub recipe, and that is what we used for this steak.

How to score meat
I score my flank steaks by running a sharp knife across the surface making 1/4" deep cuts, which open it up for seasoning and give the edges a neat texture once it is sliced.  TIP:  Hold the steak stretched out like this when seasoning it.

Grilling tip - stretch your meat when seasoning, compact it when cooking.
Holding it open like that lets the seasoning get down into all of the nooks and crannies.