Tag: recipe

Recipe: Grill Fried Chicken Wings

At Thanksgiving, I was visiting family in Pittsburgh and met the owner of Cafe Fifth Avenue.  It’s a bar and restaurant that’s right next to Consol Energy Arena where we always take in a Turkey Day Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game.  He serves up some mighty tasty chicken wings and through the course of the conversation (and a couple of cold beers), he sent me home with a bag of the seasoning that uses for my very own.  If you’re in Pittsburgh, please stop by and try his chicken wings.  They were awesome!

I’d been itching to try this on fried chicken, but due to life circumstances in and around the holidays I’ve been trying to eat a little better and fried chicken just hasn’t been on my list.  But Sunday, I deciced to try and adapt a recipe for “oven fried” chicken to the grill.

So I soaked a package of chicken wings in buttermilk, seasoned the flour with my new chicken seasoning, and placed the wings in a disposable pan.  While this seemed like a reasonable approach, I don’t think my fire was every really hot enough.  Towards the end I finally got it where it should have been all along, around 425 degrees.

I did pull the wings out of the pan and crisp them a little directly over the fire at the very end.  All in all, the wings were tasty and preferred by my kids over the chicken breasts that I was also grilling.  I’ll probably give this another try soon and I’ll use a little more of the seasoning on the chicken.  Heck, the Super Bowl is coming up and you can’t go wrong with chicken wings at a football game, now can you?


Smoked Pork Steaks

I grew up in the midwest and pork steaks were something that we grilled often.  I was probably 25 years old when I realized that people elsewhere in the country didn’t know what a pork steak is. I was reminded of this again last month when I was in Murphysboro, IL for the Business of BBQ with OnCue Consulting at 17th Street Barbecue.  Dinner that evening was lightly smoked pork steaks finished over a high heat grill, but not everyone was familiar with a pork steak.  These pork steaks were tasty, but I like them dry rubbed and smoked until they’re so tender that they almost fall apart.

But I digress.  For the unitiated, pork steaks come from pork butt sliced into steaks.  They are very common at bars, restaurants, and backyard cookouts in the midwest.  I grew up eating them grilled hot & fast, but a few years ago I began cooking them low & slow on the smoker. 

I’ve experimented with a couple of different flavor profiles, but we prefer them seasoned with a basic grill seasoning and smoked until they are melt-in-your-mouth tender.  Here are a few shots of the smoked pork steaks that I did last week.

Your typical pork buttBut this one is “sliced”A Pork SteakPork Steak on the Backwoods FatboyThe finished product

Is this cut of meat available where you live?  Leave me a comment and let me know.


Spatchcock Chicken on the Big Green Egg

I’ve done this several times and pulled the chicken for sandwhiches and the like.  However, I’ve had two conversations this week with folks who didn’t necessarily get what I was talking about.  So here’s a shot of a “spatchcock” or butterflied chicken.

To do this, just cut down each side of the backbone/spine of a whole chicken and remove it.  Place your fingers in each side of the incision, press inward on the breast bone with your thumbs, pull each side apart apart at the incision that you’ve made, and the breast bone will crack open till the bird lies flat.  I grill these at ~325 degrees or so for ~1 hour & 15 mins (or until they’re done).

If you haven’t tried this, you should.  It’s pretty darned tasty.


Bananas Johnson

Okay, I know there’s a dish called Bananas Foster but this is my take on bananas on the grill.  So I’ve decided to call it Bananas Johnson (after a potato dish called Potatoes Johnson).

There’s really nothing to this one.  Just some cut the ends off of a couple of bananas, slit them lengthwise, and put them in the cooker.  Once the peels get good and black, sprinkle some brown sugar in the slit.  Once the brown sugar carmelized, I served these with a little vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.  Wow!  This rocks!

Got a variation on this trick?  Drop me a note and let me know.


Smoking a fatty!

I talk about this quite a bit and recently a co-worker who reads the blog inquired, “What’s a fatty?”.  That’s when I realized that I’d never actually defined what that means anywhere on G&B.

Here you can see a fatty on the BGEQuite simply, a fatty is a tube of sausage that you might slice into patties for the skillet or crumble and fry for other recipes.  However, for the grill you simply pull the wrapper off and put the whole log on the cooker.  Breakfast sausage works great or you can use Italian sausage, chorizo, etc.  You can even stuff the sausage roll with cheese and other fillings if you’re inclined.

I like to use Bob Evans breakfast sausge, apply some BBQ rub, smoke or grill it until it’s done, and then slice it as a chef’s treat while I’m cooking or slice it and put it on mini-bagles or biscuits for breakfast the next week.

That’s it.  There’s really not much to it.  Give it a shot the next time you’ve got your cooker running.


Recipe: Pineapple, Shrimp Kabobs

Every year, our neighborhood puts on a block party.  There’s always lots of side dishes and someone is drafted to grill burgers, brats, & hot dogs.  This year, I decided to take something  a little different to the party.  I pondered my patience for putting together dozens of ABT’s, stuffing a half dozen fatties, or grilling a hundred chicken wings.

In the end, I decided pineapple shrimp kabobs would be super easy, colorful, and significantly different from the appetizers that I typically churn out on one of the Kamado style cookers that I use.

So here’s how I put them together:

  • 100 frozen shrimp (defrosted of course)
  • Cut red, orange, and yellow bell peppers into pieces ~1″ sq.
  • Prepare pineapple into ~1″ cubes
  • Alternate shrimp, pineapple, & peppers on bamboo skewers (I did 2 shrimp per skewer)
  • Grill over a hot fire
  • I applied a warm mango salsa that I picked up at Sam’s Club.
  • Enjoy!

Tip:  Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 mins. prior to assembling.  Otherwise, they can burn in half over a hot fire.

Pulled Pork on the Big Green Egg

Pulled pork is one of the cornerstones of BBQ. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest things to do. There are some variations on the ingredients in pulled pork but the most important one is patience.  Remember BBQ is cooked low and slow and it’s done when it’s done.

Here’s how I prepare pulled pork:

Pulled pork is one of the cornerstones of BBQ. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest things to do. There are some variations on the ingredients in pulled pork but the most important one is patience.  Remember BBQ is cooked low and slow and it’s done when it’s done.

Here’s how I prepare pulled pork:

  • Start with a whole pork butt.  Sometimes you’ll find these called Boston Butt, bone in butt, etc. and they typically run 6-8lbs.
  • Slather the entire butt with cheap yellow mustard.  Not dijon, not Grey Poupon, not spicey; just simple yellow mustard.   You won’t taste this and it really just serves to bind the rub to the meat.
  • Liberally apply the rub of your choice.  There are a couple of commercially available rubs that I like.  If you don’t already have a favorite, I’d recommend Dizzy Pig’s Dizzy Dust or Bad Byron’s Butt Rub.  Personally, I can’t tell much difference in doing this much in advance of starting your pit, but I’ll leave that up to you.
  • Fire up your pit for indirect cooking with a drip pan and get your temperature settled in to about 250 degrees.  I leave the drip pan empty.  To me, it’s just for catching the drippings.  Note:  if you’re using a cooker with a water pan, then I’d add water to the pan.
  • Put your butt on and settle in for a long cook.  I use 1.5 hrs per lb. as an estimate for planning purposes only.  At the end of the day, every cooker is going to cook a little different and so will each piece of meat.  Remember, the meat is done when it’s done.  Cook by internal temp of the meat, not the clock.
  • After 4-5 hrs, your butt should be close to 160 degrees internal temperature.  It’s in this range, +/- 10 degrees that the internal temperature of the meat will plateau.  Once it plateaus, it can stay there for several more hours.  It’s in this plateau that the magic is happening.  The connective tissues are breaking down and the fat is rendering from the meat.  Keep feeding the fire (if needed) and be patient.  While pork is edible at 160 degrees, it ain’t done.
  • Once the meat breaks the plateau, the temperature will begin to rise again.  Once it hits 195 degrees internal temperature, it’s done.  Wrap it in foil and let it rest for at least an hour.
  • When you’re ready to eat (and who wouldn’t be by now?), unwrap the butt and it should easily pull apart.  I like to use a couple of forks for pulling the meat apart.  I also discard the bone and any excess fat during this process.
  • Serve it up on cheap white hamburger buns and provide some BBQ sauce as a condiment.
  • Enjoy!

So get out there and get cooking, but remember patience is required to get through that plateau.  Hang in there, the results are worth it.