Friday, May 12, 2023

Gorgonzola and Roasted Garlic Sauce for Steaks, Beef Roasts, and Burgers

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This is the recipe for the sauce that we served with reverse-seared beef tenderloin at the 2023 Chain of Lakes Eggfest. We won 1st place there and this sauce was definitely one of the reasons that we did so well. A lot of folks asked for this recipe so here it is. 

Gorgonzola and Roasted Garlic Sauce for Steaks

About Gorgonzola Sauce

This sauce is rich in texture and flavor. Loaded with heavy cream, the sauce is like velvet. It has the flavor trifecta with gorgonzola cheese, green peppercorn, and roasted garlic. It is excellent on:
  • Beef roasts, such as beef tenderloin or rib roasts,
  • Steaks, including ribeye, porterhouse, strip and filet, and
  • Big juicy burgers!

Green Peppercorns

Green peppercorns are just black peppercorns that aren't sun-dried. 
  • Green peppercorns have a fragrant aroma and have a more fruity flavor.
  • Green peppercorns have less heat and are less astringent in flavor than black peppercorns.
  • Green peppercorns are more tender, so I crush mine in a mortar and pestle to get rustic, coarse bits for my sauce.
  • Substitute - If you can't find green peppercorns (I mail order ours), you can probably find those little pepper grinders full of tri-color pepper in any grocery store. Coarsely ground tri-color pepper will work, just dial back the quantity to about 1 teaspoon.

Here's the recipe.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Appetizer Idea: Fried Mashed Potato Cakes with Brisket and Pimento Cheese

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I smoked a brisket last weekend and while it was tender, delicious, and amazing, that is just the start of this post.

One night last week, I made twice-baked potatoes with some of this tasty brisket and leftover pimento cheese that Alexis had made.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

The process is simple. 

  • I baked two large Idaho bakers on the Egg until they were tender. 
  • I sliced the top off and scoops the steaming potato pulp into a large bowl. 
  • There I added about a cup of chopped brisket and a heaping amount of pimento cheese. 
  • I stuffed most of this mix back into the potato shells.

I put the potatoes on a tray into a Big Green Egg set up for indirect heat and running at 350°f. I topped them with a few pats of butter and let them run for 20 minutes.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

2023 Chain of Lakes Eggfest

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Once again, I'm super proud of the Nibble Me This grilling team. Last weekend, we cooked in the 2023 Chain of Lakes Eggfest and the hungry crowds voted us as the 2023 Champions.

2023 Chain of Lakes Eggfest grilling food festival
I couldn't ask to cook with a better group of friends and family.

But even better, this grilled food festival is an annual fund-raiser hosted by Mannix Pools and Grills for Girls Inc. and the local Boys and Girls Club. The top 3 placing teams - TromboKing, Pork's Peak, and Nibble Me This - not only donated our cash prizes back to the charities but the 3 teams also MATCHED that with an additional donation, totaling $5,000 extra for the two clubs.

Here is a look back at the event.


Before we light the first fire, Rhonda (team captain and my sister) and I plan it all out.

  • What to serve - We look at things that are crowd favorites, can be prepped ahead of time, and have short cook times so we can keep the food coming out.
  • How much to serve - We create a demand forecast by taking the number of ticket presales and typically double that to account for walk-up sales.
  • What to take - We coordinate our equipment & supplies lists so that team members bring everything we need but not 2 and 3 of everything since space is a premium.


Since we only have 2 hours before gates open on the event day, we have to smoke our green chile-seasoned pork butts during the week. Rhonda did two of these for Jordan's Drunk Pickles and I did one for the Smoked Pork Taquitos.

Is the Thermoworks Signals any good? It's my favorite!
Eight-pound pork butt seasoned with Albukirky's Green Chile Seasoning. For smoke, I used Jealous Devil Smoke Wood blocks that I cut down to cubes for the kamado grill. I used the Thermoworks Signal with a Billows fan to run the Big Green Egg grill at 250°f.
Thermoworks Signal [Affiliate Link] (currently $59 off)
Thermoworks Billows [Affiliate Link]

Friday, March 17, 2023

Avocado, Chorizo, and Pepper Jack Cheeseburger

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A chorizo, avocado, and pepper jack cheeseburger is a delicious twist on the classic American cheeseburger. This burger features a juicy patty made from ground chuck and topped with gooey melted pepper jack cheese. We crown it with creamy avocado and flavorful chorizo. The combination of smoky, spicy, and creamy flavors creates a mouthwatering burger experience that's sure to satisfy any craving.

Avocado, Chorizo, and Pepper Jack Cheeseburger cooked on a Big Green Egg

Alexis was craving a griddle-cooked burger while I wanted mine grilled. No problem. I used my modular cast-iron grate from Craycort, which let me swap a grate section out with a griddle plate as shown below.

Craycort's modular grate system lets me use various inserts like this griddle plate, a chicken throne or a veggie wok.
I've been using cast iron grates from Craycort for about 14 years. In addition to being a fantastic cast-iron grate, the modular design lets you add other components like this griddle, a vegetable wok, or a chicken throne. 

Not that you need a recipe for a burger, but here is what we did.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

New Year's Day Pork Butt

 [FTC Standard Disclaimer] We received no compensation for this post. None of the links in the post earn us a commission either. 

I was only planning on smoking that brisket for New Years' Day but Food City had pork butts for $1.49 per pound and I couldn't resist picking one up. 

Smoking pork butt on the Big Green Egg kamado grill
Smoked pork butt finishing on the Big Green Egg.

Meat Prep

I kept it simple. I started with an 8.7-pound Smithfield bone-in pork shoulder butt roast.

  • Trimming - None needed.
  • Injection - I injected it with a simple solution of 12 ounces of apple juice and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt.
  • Seasoning - I heavily coated the pork butt with Fire and Smoke BBQ Company's Second City Sweet BBQ Rub. I covered it and let it dry brine for 6 hours in the fridge. 

Monday, January 2, 2023

New Years Eve Brisket Cook

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] We received no compensation for this post. Any links that may earn us a commission are tagged [affiliate link].

We welcomed in 2023 by smoking a whole brisket and a pork butt overnight on New Year's Eve. Here's my notes about how the brisket cook went.

Meat Prep

I started with an 18-pound USDA Prime, Certified Angus Beef Brand whole brisket.

  • Wet aging - I wet-aged the brisket in the original packaging for a few extra weeks.
  • Trimming - I did a competition-style trim, meaning I separated the point from the flat. I mainly did that so it would fit in a large Big Green Egg but I also like getting bark on all sides of the point.
  • Injection - I injected it with 2 cups of plain beef stock, skipping the typical phosphate-basted injections used in competitions. 
  • Seasoning - I used Thunderbird's Bravo Bark Builder for Beef and let it dry brine for about 6 hours before smoking. Usually, I do at least 10-12 hours but I was short on time and figured that some time was better than none, right?

This brisket was a long boy! That meant I pretty much had to trim it comp-style, which separates the point and the flat. Otherwise, it would be too long to fit inside one of my large Big Green Egg kamado grills. 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Product Review: Thermoworks Signals and Billows

[FTC Standard Disclosure] I paid full price for my Thermoworks Signals and Billows. I used Thermoworks products for over a decade before recently agreeing to become an affiliate seller for Thermoworks. All links in this post are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you purchase through these links.

Last week, I was speaking with a relatively new user of kamado grills and he wasn't familiar with electronic controllers. That made me realize I had not yet written up my review of the Thermoworks Signals/Billows combination for controlling smokers/grills.

Thermoworks Signals
Here is the Signals controlling my large BBQ pit while smoking 3 briskets.
I own 6 models and 3 brands of controllers.
I have used this controller for 18 months.
So this is an in-depth, thorough review.

Intro to Electronic Controllers

Electronic Controllers are equipment that uses some type of processor (CPU) and a fan to control the temperature of your smoker/grill at a chosen temperature. It's a feedback loop. The CPU reads from a probe inside the grill and if the grill temperature is less than the chosen temperature, the CPU tells the fan to cut on. The fan will stoke the fire, increasing the temperature. The CPU checks back for the result and readjusts. It's more complicated than that, but that's the gist. 

  • Advantages
    • Consistent monitoring leads to a consistent fire (within variables)
    • SLEEP! It's nice to sleep during overnight cooks without having to worry about the temperature dropping or the smoker getting too hot.
  • Things can still go wrong when using a controller, for example - the grill runs out of fuel, airflow gets restricted, the temperature probe fails, or power failures.
  • Learn fire management first! I strongly recommend people use the manual controls of their grill or smoker for six months before starting to use an electronic controller. There's no substitute for knowing how to manage the fire on your grill.
Credit: Thermoworks

So now that you know WHAT an electronic controller does, HOW WELL does the Signals/Billows combo do that? 

Signals Features

The Signals is the CPU or "brains" of the controller. It is what monitors and analyzes what's going on in your smoker/grill and it's what tells the fan what to do.

Four Channels

The Signals is a 4-channel cooking thermometer that is useful for BBQ, oven roasting, deep frying, sous vide cooking, home brewing, and candy making. You can monitor 4 meats or 3 meats and 1 cooking temperature probe at the same time.

Connectivity and Smart Technology

The Signals device has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology. The smartphone app unleashes the full power and flexibility of the Signals unit. More about that later.
TIP for Wi-Fi - Most home routers today offer 2.4GHz (longer range) and 5GHz (faster speed).  Most grilling areas are far from the router so most BBQ and grilling devices are designed for the 2.4GHz. If you experience connectivity issues with grilling equipment, make sure the 2.4GHz setting is enabled on your home router. 

It's Alarming!