Thursday, November 22, 2007

What we entered in the Char-Broil Big Easy Thanksgiving contest

Well, we pushed it to the very end. After returning home from the family Thanksgiving Day dinner and buying two turkey's on the way home (yes - one of them is for me to smoke!) we quickly checked the entry rules for the Char-Broil ( contest and realized that the midnight deadline was Eastern Time! We had 40 minutes to get our entries in!

We did. Jen wrote them up on my computer and I formatted the emails to match the requirements and got them in with a whole 11 minutes to spare!

I thought I'd share them here even though they have nothing to do with grilling or BBQ. I hope you enjoy!

This first one is great. We are hooked on this for dessert.

Recipe Name: Apple Crisp

Section of the meal the recipe is recommended: Dessert
Serving Size: 1 cup (or more!)
Number of Servings: 4-6
Time to prep for cooking: 10-15 minutes
Time for cooking: 30-35 minutes

Ingredient List with Measures:
4 good sized apples (Pink Ladies are best)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup quick oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter plus a tad more for greasing/buttering

Quickly peel apple and cut apples into 1/8 inch slices. Discard cores.

Place apples in a buttered 8-inch round glass pan or loaf pan. In a bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and using a pastry cutter, work butter so that is resembles pea sized balls. Pour mixture over apples and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until nicely browned but not burned.

I like to serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

And this is one of Jen's favorites.

Recipe Name: Cranberry Orange Bread
Section of the meal the recipe is recommended: Passed during meal
Serving Size: 1 slice
Number of Servings: 10-12 slices
Time to prep for cooking: 20 minutes
Time for cooking: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Ingredient List with Measures:
1 orange
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup cranberries
1/2-3/4 cup walnuts, broken
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Zest orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup. Heat a mug of water in the microwave until it boils and pour boiling water into measuring cup until it reaches 3/4 of a cup. Add zest and butter in small pieces so it quickly melts. Stir mixture until butter melts completely.

In a bowl large enough to accommodate all ingredients, beat egg with sugar. Add cranberries and walnuts and coat with flour before mixing. Add salt, baking soda and powder and orange mixture to bowl. Mix by hand until well blended.

Into a prepared standard sized kitchen loaf pan pour batter and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check for doness after 1 hour.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Free Fryer Contest - and an interesting new product

Deadline is November 22nd - so hurry up if you want to try your luck.

Char-Broil has a new product - "The Big Easy". It is an oil-less turkey fryer that works with infrared heat. Interesting idea.

To promote this new product they are having a contest where the winner gets a free Big Easy. All you have to do is send in the recipe for your favorite "easy" Thanksgiving Day food. It can be any part of the meal. You can enter up to three times - but you have to get them in before midnight on Nov 22nd. - here's the link for complete information on entering the contest.

I'd love to try some various meats cooked up in this thing to see what they are like. If anyone has experience with infrared cooking, drop me a line to let me know what you think about it, how it compares to grilling, smoking, or deep frying. I'll share your comments with other readers.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Quick Survey Up

I just added a short survey to the site - top left over there, easy to find.

I've been looking at a lot of smoking sites and blogs and seeing that there are a lot of folks that like to soak their smoke woods as well as a lot that like to burn it dry.

My smoking mentors have always said to soak it. So that's what I do. But it got me wondering what the poll numbers would say.

So if you are one of the few that might stumble across this site, take a minute and pick your vote. Only two possible answers! I decided to run the poll for two months.

I am interested in seeing the results, of course. But also to see if anyone even stops by!

Oh! I almost forgot. If you are reading this and take the poll, also take a minute to Comment to this post and let me know what your favorite wood(s) to use for smoking is.

I will post again with the results and any info I gather on favorite woods. Thanks!!

Good smoking!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Charcoal briquets history

So charcoal has been around for ages. What about the charcoal briquet? Seems Henry Ford had a big hand in that. Here's a little history from the Kingsford website. See what happens when family works together? =)

Some nice Equipment Tips on this Site

I have just started poking around on this site, but this Tips & Modifications page looks like it has a ton of informative tips - especially for folks that might want to modify their smoker a bit. This is on the Virtual Weber Bullet site, but most of these ideas can be used with other brands of smokers as well.

These Weber Bullet users seem to really love their smokers. I haven't seen one of these in the stores (Home Depot and Lowe's) here in the San Diego area. I haven't been looking for them either.

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Smoker Information

I forgot to mention what the new smoker is...

It is a Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker.

I got the green color. Why? Well, that was the only choice I had, so...

Tip of the day on this smoker: Don't buy it online from the manufacturer. They charge $90 - Lowe's has it for $44.

I'll post more on it after I get the two missing parts and fire it up.

New after-fire smoker

Well, we almost lost the house in the October 2007 wildfires in San Diego. Inches. Just a few inches of concrete is what saved the house. The gardens, roses, orange, oak and avocado trees were not as lucky.

So what does Jen do while we are at the store buying parts to fix the pipes that burned off and needed to be capped? She buys me a new smoker! Ironic since just a few days before she turned down an invite to a great smoked-food restaurant because she didn't want anything to do with smoke or fire...

A few parts were missing, so I called the manufacturer and they are being shipped. I hope to have them in a few days.

This smoker is a little bigger, and can be lifted off of the charcoal pan. Very nice. This is the style of older smokers I have seen - nice to have that access to add more charcoal or wood.

I also learned a few weeks ago that the chunks of wood I have been using are too large. So I will be trying some new techniques in my new smoker here soon.

Jen is even talking about me doing a turkey for Thanksgiving...could be interesting.
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