Sunday, May 31, 2020

How I Clean the Big Green Egg Modular Nest..

[FTC Standard Disclosure] I received no compensation for this post.

I have had my BGE Modular Nest for two years and I still love it for its storage, expansive workspace, and durability. Even though it's low maintenance, it was time for me to give the table a little TLC and preventative maintenance.

Big Green Egg Modular Nest System
We got our Big Green Egg Modular Nest at Mannix Pools and Grills in Winter Haven, FL.

Wear and Tear

So what needs to be done with such a robust, hearty table? It was all cosmetic. There were some chips in the powder coating from where I have accidentally struck the table here and there. Fortunately, the frame is aluminum so these chips don't rust. 

Example of powder coating chip on a Big Green Egg Modular Nest
The powder coating is generally tough. But if you strike the edge with something hard, like metal tools or another grill cart, it can pop off like this.  Almost all of mine were on the front upper edge, where I do most of my prep work.

I had also noticed some corrosion or rust in some of the corners where the rails come together. That makes sense, given that is where water would collect after rain or where acidic marinades or sauces might spill.

Example of corrosion or rust on a Big Green Egg Modular Nest
This was after I had washed the table but you can see how the water pools in this location and would take longer to dry. Also, a lot of the marinades, sauces, and spritzes we use are acidic. A spill here, a spill there, and it will cause corrosion on aluminum and rust on the steel parts.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Flat Top Cheeseburgers

[FTC Standard Disclosure] I received no compensation for this post.

Have you had odd food cravings during the pandemic restrictions? 

The other day, I had a strange desire for a Quarter Pounder® with Cheese. That's not something I think about often. Usually, if I have a fast food craving, it will be for Cookout because they make my favorite type of burger - Carolina ATW style with slaw, chili, onions, and mustard.

My Not-A-Quarter-Pounder with Cheese

But I was specifically craving a simple QP with Cheese, so I made us some burgers on the griddle. I have several options for cooking flat-top burgers using my arsenal of grills and grill accessories.

I picked the small Blackstone because I was only making 3 burgers. TBH, I probably use the small one 9 times for every 1 time I use my big 36" flat top. It's more convenient, is just the right size for our needs, and it fits right on my Egg table.

This thing is a beast, too. It survived the whole week at Bonnaroo music festival with my son and his college buddies last year!

Smashing burgers on the Blackstone griddle
I preheated my flat top, wiped it down with peanut oil, and then smashed out three 8-ounce ground chuck patties. Yeah, I know 8 ounces is not a quarter pound. I'm having it my way and I'm lovin' it. Yes, I am also aware that I'm mixing fast food slogans.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Ribeye Steak with Chroizo Hash

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post.

What goes better with ribeye steak than potatoes?  How about potatoes in a tasty hash with chorizo, onions, sweet red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and fajita seasoning?

Ribeye steak with chroizo hash cooked on the grill.

Alexis picked up a couple of ribeye steaks this weekend, and this is what we made. The crispy potatoes, savory chorizo, and the mild heat of jalapenos made this hash the perfect side for a pair of steaks.  If it was morning time, I would have thrown a few Sunnyside-up eggs in there, too.

I wanted to do something different from my usual steak routine, so I decided to cook the steaks sous vide and finish on a hot grill.

Using the Anova sous vide to prepare ribeye steaks.
It was a beautiful Spring day in Knoxville, so I brought my sous vide equipment outside and set up on my expansive BGE Modular Nest. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Sriracha-Peach Glazed Boneless Country Style Ribs

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] I received a complimentary review copy of Mastering The Big Green Egg from the publisher. The link is an Amazon Affiliate link, so I do get a small percentage if you buy the book.

I'm not usually a big fan of peaches. I don't care for peach ice cream, peach Snapple, or peach Jolly Ranchers. But when you put peach on pork in the smoker or grill, it magically transforms into delicious sweet porkiness that I can't resist.

Craig Tabor's Sriracha Peach Glazed Pork Chops Pork Ribs
BBQ country-style boneless pork ribs, poblano mac and cheese, and BBQ beans - yum!

This recipe comes from Craig Tabor's book, Mastering The Big Green Egg, which I mentioned in my 2020 BBQ/Grilling Books Preview.  Craig's recipe is for double-thick bone-in pork chops, but those weren't available due to the pandemic interruptions.  The store did have some country-style, boneless pork ribs, so I went with those.  

Review of Mastering The Big Green Egg by Craig Tabor Page Street Publishing
This will be an excellent Father's Day gift or buy it for yourself to shake things up on your kamado grill this Summer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

BBQ and Grilling Books Previews

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post, other than I received electronic review copies of the books from the various publishers. The links are Amazon Affiliate links. Obviously, if you buy MY book, I get compensated, that's kinda how that works, right?

Whenever I feel like I have gotten into a cooking rut, I like to break out BBQ and grilling cookbooks to shake things up.  Cookbooks expose me to new ingredients, teach me new techniques, and maybe challenge some of my preconceived notions.  

Cooking from written recipes is one of the fastest ways to learn to grill and become a serious grillmaster.  

 Here are some previews of the new books that I have been checking out for 2020.  

Note: Three of these entries are written for specific types of grills. The recipes will work for just about any grill, so don't let that stop you from checking it out.  It's just that the authors provide in-depth knowledge, tricks, and tips for those grills in addition to the recipes.

Prices are as of 5/12/2020.

Award-Winning BBQ Sauces and How to Use Them 

About The Author

Ray Sheehan is the founder/owner of BBQ Buddha, an international award-winning line of healthy-minded BBQ sauces and Rubs.  Ray is also a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge and the pitmaster for the BBQ Buddha Competition Team.  

Book at a Glance

This paperback book varies from the typical pork, beef, chicken, sauce/rubs organization for most BBQ cookbooks.  Instead, this book is organized into chapters based on 10 BBQ sauces recipes with 50 recipes for using those sauces.  I like that unique approach.  The book has classics like MOINK balls, breakfast fatties, and burnt ends as well as creative combinations such as the Surf and Turf Burger and Southern Cordon Bleu. 

Book review Award Winning BBQ Sauces and How To Use Them
Award-Winning BBQ Sauces and How To Use Them is loaded with Ken Goodman's color photos.  

Recipes That Caught My Eye

  • BBQ Infused Turkey Burgers with Apple Jalapeno Slaw
  • St Louis Spare Ribs with Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce
  • Pulled Smoked Chicken Sandwich with Carolina Slaw
  • Smoked and Grilled Chicken Wings w/ Peach BBQ Sauce
  • Surf and Turf BBQ Burger with BBQ Aioli

Why You Should Buy It

Adding 10 quality BBQ sauces to your repertoire jump-starts your BBQ and grilling game with a short learning curve. 

BBQ Infused Turkey Burger with Apple Jalapeno Slaw
I've already made the BBQ-Infused Turkey Burger with Apple Jalapeno Slaw with excellent results. It doesn't look as pretty as the book picture but it was still flavorful and tasty.

Show-Stopping BBQ With Your Traeger Grill 

About The Author

Ed Randolph is a hardworking pitmaster. He earned Best BBQ at Food Network's 2017 New York Wine and Food Festival. He won when he appeared on Chopped in 2019. His Handsome Devil BBQ team has won 6 state BBQ championships and caters high-profile events all over the country. Ed also wrote Smoked: One Man's Journey to Find Incredible Recipes. He appears at 50 events a year and as a competitor and vendor, the thought of that leaves me exhausted!  

Book at a Glance

In his new book, Ed focuses on the Traeger grill, the most popular pellet cooker.  The book is 160 pages and has about 60 recipes uniquely organized in Smoker, Grill, Oven, and Rubs/Sauces. He delivers a good variety of recipes that are sure to please your palate.  He includes a basic primer for using pellet grills, tools of the trade, spice guide, and sanitation.  The photography is also by Ken Goodman.

Book Review Show-Stopping BBQ With Your Traeger Grill

Recipes That Caught My Eye

  • Turkey Breast Stuffed with Gruyere Cheese and Spinach
  • Blueberry Muffin Sausage Fatty
  • Smoked Meatloaf
  • Cuban-Style Pork Shoulder
  • General Tso's Chicken Wings
  • Charlies's Blackberry-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Why You Should Buy It

If you're one of the thousands of new pellet grill owners, let Ed help you get the most out of your pellet cooker.  Again, these recipes will work on any type of grill.

The Offset Smoker Cookbook 

About The Author

Chris Grove, wait....that's me!  My love for BBQ started as a child on a dirt farm road in North Carolina when I had my first bite of chopped smoked pork.  Since then, my BBQ journey has given me a first-class education in smoke and fire.  My teachers have ranged from the relatively unknown side-of-the-road pitmasters to World Champion pitmasters. I have learned about beef and pork on farms, ranches, and in pristine meat labs. I am a pitmaster of my own award-winning competition team and have been certified as a food judge from three different organizations. I have documented this journey on this website for the past twelve years and I share that knowledge and passion in my books.

Book at a Glance

The Offset Smoker Cookbook is my second book, following up The Kamado Smoker & Grill Cookbook.  It is geared toward the common offset smoker found in backyards across America, such as; Oklahoma Joes, Char-Griller, and even the old Brinkmann SnP. With the trend towards highly efficient and often automated smokers, I have seen a resurgence of getting back to the basics of wood, fire and food with offset pits. I share tips, tricks and techniques for getting the most use out of these classic smokers.  Photography by myself, Alexis Grove, and Ally Robinson.

Book Review The Offset Smoker Cookbook

Some of My Personal Favorites

  • Cheddar Chipotle Meatloaf
  • Smoked Whole Pork Shoulder with Golden Mustard Sauce
  • Brown Sugar Bourbon and Sorghum Bacon
  • Deep-Fried Loaded Mashed Potatoes
  • Smoked Spareribs with Honey Bourbon BBQ Sauce
  • Rolled Flank Steak with Bacon Jam and Smoked Gouda
  • NMT Southern Sweet Rub 

Why You Should Buy It

Because my kid is in college?  Kidding.  This book is excellent for someone just starting their BBQ journey, someone who just bought an offset pit, or for people who have an offset pit that just don't use it much. The recipes work on any smoker or grill and the rubs and sauces are some of my best work.

Note:  If you want an autographed copy, email me and we'll make arrangements.

The Offset Smoker Cookbook
Ultimate Roast Beef Sandwich featuring aged strip loin and served with Tobacco Onions for piling on the sandwich.

Texas Q -100 Recipes for the Very Best Barbecue from the Lone Star State, All Smoke-Cooked to Perfection

About The Author

When I first got serious about perfecting my BBQ craft, one of the books I turned to was the best-seller, Smoke and Spice, written by Cheryl Alters Jamison and her late husband, Bill. That book is a classic and is a road map for anyone wanting to learn the art of smoking meat. I have the utmost respect for Cheryl, as an author, and I put her on a level above the rest of us BBQ and grilling book writers.  She doggedly researches her topic, squeezes the secrets out of pitmasters, and has a story to tell.  I guess that you can say Cheryl puts the "author" in the phrase "BBQ authority".  

Book at a Glance

Texas Q - 100 Recipes for the Very Best Barbecue From The Lone Star State All Smoke Cooked To Perfection is a title as big as Texas itself.  It is different than a lot of today's BBQ and grilling books in that it doesn't look like an Instagram feed. Cheryl makes judicious use of pictures and lets her written content, stories, and recipes speak for themselves.  

The book is divided into three sections.  The first section introduces her BBQ story, covers the BBQ basics, and outlines the tools, supplies, and equipment needed for a complete Lone Star outdoor kitchen.  The next set of chapters covers seasonings, beef, pork, chicken, and Gulf seafood. The final three chapters an array of sauces, side dishes, and desserts.

Book Review Texas Q Cheryl Jamison

Recipes That Caught My Eye

  • Smoked Jalapeno Wings with Hot Ranch
  • Brisket Deviled Eggs
  • El Paso Salpicon (a Southwestern Texas sort of hash)
  • Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Jalapeno Bearnaise
  • Sprite-ly Filipino Chicken
  • Backyard BBQ'd Chicken Breasts

Why You Should Buy It

It's written by a legendary BBQ author and will appeal to food geeks (like me), voracious food readers, and anyone wanting to learn authentic Texas BBQ.

Mastering The Big Green Egg 

Page Street Publishing $21.99

About The Author

I'm proud to count Big Green Craig Tabor as a personal friend. If you take one look at his Instagram feed, you'll see that this guy can and will cook anything. His food doesn't just look good, it tastes amazing! I know from personal experience. Craig competes in the World Food Championships and his team won the big daddy of Eggfests - the official Big Green Egg Eggtoberfest with a stunning array of food. When it comes to the grill, Craig Tabor is creative, bold, and skilled and I would pit his cooking against anyone's food.

Book at a Glance

This book is an operator's manual and a cookbook for the Big Green Egg. Craig does an excellent job explaining the ins and outs of how to use a kamado grill. The book is 40 recipes divided into categories that read like Jeopardy categories: Smoking/BBQ, Things on a Stick, In Between the Buns, From the Sea, On the Side, and Fully Baked.  To give you an idea of the bold & creative approach that Craig takes, several years ago we celebrated New Year's Eve at his house and he combined deep frying, smoking, and the then-current hot food trend of Nashville hot chicken to make Smoke-Fired Nashville Hot Ribs. They burned the hell out of my mouth but I couldn't stop eating them. 

Photography by Ken Goodman includes a good bit of step-by-step or instructional photographs.

Book Review of Mastering The Big Green Egg

Recipes That Caught My Eye

  • King of Texas Beef Brisket
  • Sriracha Peach Glazed Pork Chops
  • Steak Kebabs with Chinese Garlic Sauce
  • Pastrami'd Tri-Tip Sandwich
  • Tequila Lime Steak Tacos with Fire Roasted Corn Salsa
  • Nashvegas Hot Grilled Chicken Sandwich
  • Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Glazed Cedar-Planked Salmon
  • Fried Green Tomatoes with Chipotle Remoulade

Why You Should Buy This Book

Mastering The Big Green Egg is an excellent book for those new to the kamado grill but this book is good for anyone wanting to jazz up their live-fire cooking.  Craig's recipes are always rock-solid tasty.

I couldn't wait to try Craig's Cowboy Burger so we made it on Mother's Day for our family.  Crispy deep-fried jalapenos, bacon, spicy BBQ sauce, cheddar-jack cheese, and a honking big Wagyu-sausage blend patty all on Alexis' homemade sourdough rolls.  Everyone LOVED them.

Looking down on a mound of deliciousness - you gotta try this burger.

I will be cooking from these books and doing full reviews of some of them.  Whether you get one of these or just grab some of your old cookbooks off of the bookshelf, I encourage you to fire up your grill and try some new recipes this year!  

Monday, May 4, 2020

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

[Standard FTC Disclaimer]  I receive no compensation for this post. 

Our youngest son is homebound from college during the COVID-19 precautions and he had finals this past week.  He was studying and asked if we would make chicken alfredo pizza.

SDoten on Twitter asked about the recipe, so here it is.  It starts with our Simple White Pizza Sauce recipe.   This sauce is also killer in grilled cheeses and melts, see the bonus recipe at the end of the post.

(NOTE:  Our full pizza tutorial is here:  How to Cook Pizza on a Kamado Grill.)

Simple White Pizza Sauce
Published 05/04/2020


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 ounces mozzarella provolone blend of shredded cheese
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)


Friday, May 1, 2020

Smoked Green Chile Brisket

Reginald asked about my Smoked Green Chile Brisket last week on Twitter:

I was going to send him a link to the recipe but was shocked to find I had not posted it before.  That is surprising because Green Chile Brisket is a staple at our house. It is tender, savory, juicy, slightly earthy, and has a mild kick.  We use it in just about everything.

Brisket Nachos (or tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, chimichanga, )

Green chile brisket nachos cooked on a Big Green Egg kamado grill.
Green chile brisket, fire-roasted corn, diced tomatoes, black olives, green onion, jalapenos, shredded Colby-jack cheese, and our homemade queso.

Breakfast Tacos

Green chile brisket breakfast tacos cooked on a big green egg kamado grill
A slice of green chile brisket with creamy scrambled eggs, jalapeno, diced tomato, shredded Monterey-jack cheese, and chipotle crema.  It was supposed to be a corn tortilla but flour works.

Brisket with Pimento Cheese Grits 

Green chile brisket with pimento cheese grits will make your tongue slap the brain out of your head.
Stone-ground grits loaded with our homemade poblano-pimento cheese and a couple of chunks of green chile brisket.  So good it will make your tongue slap your brain out of your head.

Stuffed Potatoes

Green chile brisket stuffed potatoes.
A couple of small baked Russett potatoes stuffed with cheeses, green chile brisket, green onion, butter, and BBQ sauce.