Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!! - An old saying but very appropriate with this delicious meal we feasted on last night. Doesn't get any better than a smoked chicken breast, SRG baked potato, and a nice green salad. I make it a point to always smoke/roast only bone-in skin-on chicken parts. The reason is that the bone-in skin-on keeps the moisture in and I believe enhances the flavor of the chicken. Without the skin the chicken meat will have that dry leathery look and be very tough. Remember that if you want the skin to be crispy you'll need to cook it at a high temperature (350º to 400ºF) at the end of the cook. No one wants to eat rubbery chicken skin.
Chicken, like Turkey, can be bland unless you take the time to season under the skin and allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat. Too many people just season on top of the skin and then wonder why the chicken is neutral tasting. Unless the skin is crispy most of us do not eat the skin - heck, today many of us no longer eat the skin. So it's important to properly season the chicken before cooking.
Trim excess skin and fat from bone-in chicken breasts and thighs. Carefully peel back the skin and rub roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil on/under the skin and all sides of the chicken. Season the chicken on/under the skin and all sides with Pete's Western Rub and McCormick Montreal Chicken seasoning. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker-grill to 180ºF using Cookinpellets.com 100% Hickory pellets. Smoke the chicken for 1½ hours at 180ºF before increasing the pit temperature to 350ºF. Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts at the thickest part reach 170ºF and 180ºF for the chicken thighs. Rest the Chicken for 10 minutes loosely under a foil tent before serving.
For baked potatoes to die for I highly recommend using a Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill (SRG). Scrub the taters clean and allow them to dry. Lightly rub the taters with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil and season with Pete's Western Rub. Cook the potatoes on High with the Lid Open for approximately 1½ hours until the internal temperature of the spuds reach 210ºF. If the baked potatoes are done before the chicken wrap them in foil to keep them hot. Once you taste a baked potato using this recipe in the SRG you'll never go back to baking potatoes in the oven.
Smoked Tri-Tip – RVing
Who says you can't take it with you? On the road that is and not into the hereafter ... Our Motorhome manufacturer's motto is "Roughing It Smoothly" and my Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett wood pellet smoker-grill is perfect to take on the road with us. Watched a little TV and used my WiFi connection to monitor and control the Davy Crockett.
Used one of my time tested recipes to smoke this peeled Choice 3 lb Tri-Tip roast I picked up at Costco. Since it was peeled I only needed to trim a small amount of excess fat and silver skin. Rubbed the Tri-Tip with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and lightly seasoned all sides with Pete's Western Rub before wrapping the roast in plastic wrap and refrigerating overnight.
Preheated the GMG Davy Crockett to 225ºF with Cookinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix pellets. The Premium Perfect Mix is comprised of Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, and Apple pellets. Trust me when I say you can't go wrong when using these pellets. Smoked the Tri-Tip roast at 225ºF until the internal temperature reached 145ºF. Rested the roast for 15 minutes under a loose foil tent before slicing against the grain. Remember that a Tri-Tip roast has grains which run in multiple directions. After all, it's called a Tri-Tip cause it's the junction of 3 muscles.
Cooking times: On @ 2 pm / IN @ 2:30 pm / OUT @ 5 pm / Rest under foil tent for 15 minutes ... Remember - Always cook to internal temperatures.
Smoked Pork Butt Roast
Smoked Pork Butt Roast - For those of you who might be looking for other ways to cook a Pork Butt this recipe will more than meet that requirement. OMG!! Those were the first syllables that the Dear Wife exclaimed as she tasted her first bite. It's been such a long time since I fixed a Pork Butt in this manner that I'd forgotten just how succulent the roast is when fixed like this. I first learned to use this method when I attended a Barbecue cooking school from a stick burner and I adapted it for a wood pellet smoker-grill. The key is to take the pork butt to an internal temperature of 187ºF before resting it for 15 minutes.
You can see from the photos just how moist the roast is after being sliced against the grain. When the roast was ready to be sliced I cut the pork butt in half in order to see which direction the grain ran. Note the beautiful smoke ring and how easy it is to identify the direction of the grain. Yes, the USDA guidelines say that there is no longer a need to take pork to 160ºF. The new standard is 145ºF ... But for this recipe make sure you take it to 187ºF. Odd number but trust me, it works.
This recipe is actually quite simple. I started with a small 3 pound pork butt from Winco and trimmed the fat cap off. I always trim the fat cap off because I want to maximize the amount of bark formation. I like to rub my pork butts with extra virgin olive oil for the glue before applying one of my favorite pork rubs. In this case I used Jan's Dry Rub. Wrapped the seasoned pork butt in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. I highly recommend Jan's Dry Rub but you can substitute your own recipe for pulled pork.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker-grill to 225ºF. For best results I recommend using cookinpellets.com Premium 100% Hickory wood pellets. No filler woods - just pure Hickory. Perfect compliment for pork. Used Silicone Cooking Bands to tie the seasoned pork butt. I have found that meat cooks more evenly using these bands.
Smoke the pork butt at 225ºF for 2 hours before increasing the pit temperature to 350ºF. Cook the roast until the internal temperature of the butt reaches 160ºF. Remove the pork butt roast and double wrap it in heavy duty foil. Ensure that the temperature probe remains in place when wrapping in foil. Return the wrapped pork butt roast to your wood pellet smoker-grill until the internal temperature reaches 187ºF. Pull the roast and allow it rest for 15 minutes before slicing against the grain.
Practice Smoked Turkey
14 lb Practice Smoked Turkey - No matter how many times you smoke/cook a turkey it's always helpful to practice and verify your plans before that big Thanksgiving meal with family and friends. Not only did I use this cook for practice but it also emptied my freezer of those great priced turkeys available around the holidays. Most grocery stores practically give those gobblers away in order to get you inside their doors. I usually grab 3 to 4 Foster Farms Fresh Young Turkey 14 pound turkeys at Costco (usually ~ 99¢ / lb) . I'll smoke one and freeze the rest to enjoy every few months during the year.
Unlike what people think smoking a turkey is one of the easiest cooks to make. Many people will just season inside the cavity and on the skin before placing the bird into the pit. I, on the other hand, advocate not only seasoning inside the cavity and on top of the skin but also under the skin. Not seasoning the turkey under the skin keeps all those wonderful flavors from enhancing the turkey meat. Brining never hurts although most commercially bought turkey have already been enhanced with a sodium solution. I prefer to rub extra virgin olive oil on and under the skin before seasoning on and under the skin with a combination of McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning and Smoker Pete's Western Rub. The combination of spices are superb!!
Wrap the seasoned turkey in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 or more hours - even overnight if you wish. This will allow the seasonings to work their magic on the turkey meat. In order to capture the drippings for gravy and keep the inside of my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill clean I like to place the turkey on a Non-Stick "V" Rack inside a large aluminum pan.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker-grill to 230ºF using cookinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix. The Perfect Mix is composed of Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, and Apple pellets. You'll love the results! Smoke the turkey for 3 hours at 230ºF before increasing the pit temperature to 325ºF. Finish cooking the turkey until the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 170ºF. Rest the smoked turkey for 20 minutes loosely under a foil tent before carving. You can never eat too much turkey!!
Tri Tip Roast Smoked to Perfection
Tri Tip Roast Smoked to Perfection - It's been too long since I last posted anything and for that I need to apologize but I'm in the process of working on weight control. Too many years of eating too much of my cooking. There is absolutely nothing wrong with all the fantastic cooks/smokes I've perfected and enjoyed over the years except that like many of us I tend to over do it at times. It comes down to portion control - something I struggle with. I have therefore chosen to get back to keeping a journal to track what I eat and in what amounts ... Over the last 3 weeks I have now lost about 14 pounds.
Right now I am limiting myself to 2 - 3 ounces of protein. At that size portion it takes a few meals to consume a 2½ pound smoked Tri Tip Roast. This scrumptious roast for example will provide SWMBO and I 3 meals and enough sliced roast to graze on and make a few sandwiches. That's the beauty of an empty nest!
When buying my Tri Tips I prefer to purchase peeled roasts. That means the fat cap has been trimmed. The price is a tad higher but buying Choice grade roasts in bulk at Costco lowers that cost. Vacuum sealed 3 of the roasts and prepped the 4 th. Rubbed the Tri Tip with extra virgin olive oil on all sides and Pete's Western Rub. Wrapped in plastic and refrigerated overnight.
Preheated the MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill to 235ºF using cookinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix pellets. Smoked the seasoned Tri-Tip at 235ºF for approximately 2 hours until the internal temperature reached 143ºF. Rested the Tri Tip loosely under a foil tent for 15 minutes before slicing against the grain. Remember that Tri Tips have grains in two different directions.