Smoked Tomahawk Steak

Fred Flintstone would be envious! Bring out your carnal man by cooking up one of these!

Occasionally, my butcher will have Tomahawk Ribeyes, with a giant rib bone still attached to a most wonderful steak. Whether you go for this barbaric delight, of prefer a nice strip or filet, the process is the same.

Start by seasoning the steak with your favorite steak seasoning. I prefer Chicago Steak Seasoning. Smoke the steak on your smoker for an hour. Then, move to direct heat and grill until done. Should only take a couple of minutes/side

Twice Baked Potatoes

Believe it or not, I don’t just use my smoker for meat. This twice baked potato is a great side for any of you entrées.

Ingredients

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dry bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat smoker to 400F. Use a fork to pierce the potato skins.
  2. Bake the potatoes unwrapped for about 1 hour, or until soft, in the preheated smoker.
  3. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  4. Over medium-low heat melt the butter in a large saucepan. Combine onion, mushrooms, red pepper, garlic powder, pepper, chives and salt. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft.
  5. Slice open the baked potatoes and, keeping the skins intact, scoop the insides into a medium bowl. Transfer the onion mixture to the bowl. Mix in the sour cream. Pour in 1/2 of the cheese and continue mixing until all ingredients are well blended.
  6. Using a large spoon, fill the potato skins with the mixture. Top with bread crumbs, the remaining cheese and bacon.
  7. Return the potatoes to the preheated smoker and continue baking for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the filling is slightly brown.

Crispy Pork Belly

Pork belly isn’t just for bacon. This piggy delight is juicy, crispy and delicious!

Start with a skin-on pork belly. Cut into 2-3” strips. Cross hatch skin in a 1” diamond pattern by scoring skin.

Mix together 1T baking powder and 1t sea salt. Rub on skin side and let sit in refrigerator on a rack for 1-2 days.

Before grilling, mop with cider vinegar. You should get a nice white fizz from the vinegar/baking soda reaction.

Cook at 225F for 1 hour, followed by 350F for 3 hours, or until 200F internal temp.

Finish at 500F for 30 minutes to crisp up. Cut and enjoy!

Smoked Pastrami

Pastrami is nothing more than corned beef with a spicy, peppery bark.

First thing you need to decide is if you want to cure your own brisket, or buy one that is ready to go. You can typically find great deals on corned beef flats around St. Patrick’s Day in the meat case. But if you want to make your own, follow this recipe:

Start with a 4-5# beef brisket flat. Make a brine of 1 gallon of water, 2/3C kosher salt, 1t pink salt (Prague powder), 1 onion and 8 cloves of garlic. Dissolve the salt completely, then add in the onion and garlic. Place the brisket in a large resealable plastic bag and cover completely with brine. Refrigerate for 6-7 days, flipping the bag every day to keep things even.

If you buy a corned beef brisket that is already cured, just jump ahead to the next step.

For the pastrami rub, mix together 1/2C black coarsely cracked peppercorns, 1/2C coriander seeds, 2T mustard seeds, 1T brown sugar, and 1t ground ginger.

Rinse the brisket under water and pat dry. Place in a roasting pan and thickly apply the rub to all sides. Place in your smoker at 225F, fat side up. Cook for 8-10 hours until the the internal temperature reaches 170F. Wrap in butcher paper and continue to cook until it reaches 195F, about 3 additional hours.

When done, wrap and place in an insulated cooler for 2-4 hours. Slice across the grain and enjoy!

Smoked Corn Beef

Once you’ve had smoked corn beef, you will never settle for the old norm. Salty, smoky, tender and delicious!

First thing you need to decide is if you want to cure your own brisket, or buy one that is ready to go. You can typically find great deals on corned beef flats around St. Patrick’s Day in the meat case. But if you want to make your own, follow this recipe:

Start with a 4-5# beef brisket flat. Make a brine of 1 gallon of water, 2/3C kosher salt, 1t pink salt (Prague powder), 1 onion and 8 cloves of garlic. Dissolve the salt completely, then add in the onion and garlic. Place the brisket in a large resealable plastic bag and cover completely with brine. Refrigerate for 6-7 days, flipping the bag every day to keep things even.

If you buy a corned beef brisket that is already cured, just jump ahead to the next step.

When ready to cook, rinse the brisket under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Smoke the brisket, fat side up, for 3 hours before moving to a roasting pan. While the brisket smokes, prepare a braising liquid. In a sauce pan, combine 1 bottle of beer (lager, Guinness preferably), 2T brown sugar, 1 1/2 T pickling spice, 1 white onion thickly sliced and 2 garlic cloves. Heat until it simmers.

After the 3 hour smoke, move the brisket to a roasting pan, fat-side down, and pour the braising liquid into the pan. Cover tightly with foil and roast at 250F for 3-4 hours, or until it is fork-tender.

When done, remove the meat from the pan and let it rest for 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Carve 1/4″ slices across the grain and enjoy the best corned beef ever!

Prime Rib- Dry aged and smoked

Smoked, bone-in, prime rib…a carnal thing of beauty! You can go right from the meat case to the grill, or, dry age it for a bit.

This one was dry-aged for 4 months. Rubbed the prime rib with garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. Let it age, unwrapped, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 4 months. Before cooking, you need to trim it up a bit, but will find the meat a beautiful purple color that will cut with a fork when done.

When ready to cook, smoke for 3-5 hours. Then, sear over direct heat for a minute or so on all sides. Increase the temperature in the smoker to 400 and continue cooking until center is 125-130. Pull from the grill and let rest 15 minutes before carving.

Ham

A ham is nothing but a fresh pork leg, cured for about a week in a salt water solution, similar to what happens to bacon. If you do it right, it will be the moistest, tastiest piece of pig you have ever eaten!

First thing you need to do is get a fresh ham and remove the skin and most of the fat. You can turn the skin into cracklins and cook the fat down to lard should you wish. Makes the kitchen smell like holy hell, but it is very good.

Next, get a 5 gallon food grade bucket, or line a plastic bucket with a turkey roasting bag. Make your brine by mixing together 3 gallons of water, 2 cups of kosher salt and 3 tablespoons of Prague Powder #1, or pink salt. Not to be confused with Himalayan salt, pink salt is the active ingredient that turns your pig into ham.

Inject your fresh ham with the salt water solution to cover every square inch of the ham. If you don’t thoroughly inject the ham, you will just get roast pork, which isn’t bad, but it’s not ham. Place the injected ham with brining solution in the bucket or bag and refrigerate for 7-10 days. When the ham is ready to go, the brine should be relatively clear.

Once the curing is complete, smoke for about 5 hours at 325F, or until it reaches 145F. During the last hour, you can glaze the ham with your favorite glaze or BBQ sauce. Cut, serve, and enjoy the best ham only Honeybaked could dream about!

Cheese

Smoked cheese is the bomb, however, it can be tricky to do. Traeger used to sell a cold smoker attachment, that would bolt on to the end of the grill after you relocated the stack to the cold smoker. It has a damper in the bottom that allows cooler, ambient air to mix with the exhaust air in the smoker to create a cooler environment to smoke your cheese in.

I am fortunate that I live in the midwest, so smoking cheese in the winter is not a problem. Anytime the outside temperature is under 40F, I can maintain 150 in the grill and around 70-80 in the cold smoker. Any cheese can be smoked, but the soft cheeses, like Mozzarella and Havarti, absorb the most smoke.

I typically let them go for about 3 hours, but you need to watch them closely to ensure they don’t start melting. The lower 2 pieces come from a brick of Mozzarella and are starting to melt. Time to pull the cheese. I’ve also been able to take Mozzarella string cheese and smoke it, works really well.

Another option to smoke is to get a pellet tube and just let it smolder in any grill. Adds smoke, but no heat. Takes a bit longer, but will get the job done.

The hardest part is letting the cheese age after smoking. It tastes so damn good on day one, it’s hard to believe it gets better overtime, but it does. I usually let mine sit in the fridge for 3 months before consuming. Regardless, it is the best thing, ever!

Baby Back Ribs

Simple, yet delicious. And a relatively quick cook, typically finishing in 6 hours or so. Good choice for tailgate parties if you have the time.

You can make these as simple or as complicated as you want, using store bought rubs and sauces, or choosing to make your own. You can also choose to have the meat fall off the bones, or leave it with a little bit of a tug off the bone.

Start with as many slabs of baby back ribs as you want to cook. I typically get the 3 pack from Costco. Remove the membrane on the back of the ribs. The easiest way I have found to do so is to peel a corner up with a sharp knife, then grasp it with a paper towel and pull to remove. Those Costco ribs don’t have much of a membrane to start with, but those from a local butcher typically do.

Rub both sides of the ribs with your favorite rub, or use my pulled pork rub recipe. Wrap the ribs in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to cook, set your smoker for 225. Place the ribs on a rib rack, fat side up. Let them cook for 3 hours without touching them. After 3 hours, you’ve got a decision to make. If you want them to have a bit of a pull, leave them on the rib racks and start spritzing with a mix of pineapple juice, water and white vinegar. Use 2 parts juice to 1 part water and 1/2 part white vinegar. If you are cooking 3 racks, I would use 1C juice, 1/2C water and 1/4C vinegar. If you want them to fall off the bone, wrap each rack in a double layer of foil. Before sealing the foil, add about 1C brown sugar to each rack and drizzle with honey and about 1/4C of pineapple juice.

If you wrapped the ribs, after 2 1/2 hours of being wrapped (5 1/2 hours into the cook), remove from the foil and place back on the grill. If you left them in the rib rack the entire time, remove them from the rack and lay flat on the grill. Sauce up one side using your favorite BBQ sauce, or make this one from scratch. Let cook for 15 minutes before flipping, saucing and cooking the other side.

Eat immediately after pulling from the grill.

Beef Jerky

Jerky made from beef brisket.

A meal in every stick! You can make out of Flank Steak or Beef Brisket.

You can make beef jerky as simple as applying a dry rub and go, or marinating overnight. If you want to go the long way, give this a try:

  • 5 pounds flank steak or beef brisket flat
  • 3/4 C Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2C A-1 steak sauce
  • 1/4C soy sauce
  • 2t chili paste
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1T salt
  • 1T Cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1T onion salt
  • 1t lemon pepper

Cut the meat against the grain. Use flank steak if you want a tender and tasty jerky. Use beef brisket if you want a meatier meal in a stick. Whichever you choose, cut them about 1/4″ thick.

Combine all the dry ingredients with the liquids and blend well. Mix in the meat slices and marinate for 24 hours.

Drain well and pat dry before cooking. Place in smoker at lowest level (150-170F) for 5 hours. Make sure the meat does not touch the other pieces. You can hang from an upper rack using a skewer and threading the meat through the grill grate. After 5 hours, turn the heat up to 225 and cook until done. You’re looking for the meat to be dry, but chewy. Watch the jerky closely, as it will continue to cook after you pull it off the grill. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to eat.