I found that using the Culinary King LED Barbecue Grill Light is literally as clear as night and day! We have all struggled for years to see what we're cooking in the evenings and those overnight cooks. If you're like me you've tried all sorts of ways to light up your grill in order to check the progress of your cooks or wood pellet level. I've used a gamut of methods - from those miner lamps you strap to your head to holding a small flashlight between your teeth. Fortunately, when using the Culinary King LED Barbecue Grill Light those days are over with for ever!
Baked a pizza the other day and without my Culinary King LED Barbecue Grill Light I never would have seen the pie well enough to gauge when to rotate the pie and achieve that great crispy crust you get from a wood pellet BBQ smoker-grill like a MAK 2 Star General. As you can see in the photos above it's as clear as night and day!
The 10 Ultra-bright LED Lights emit an extremely bright beam that is adjustable using one of the 3 brightness levels via a sensor touch. I love the fully adjustable 120º - 360º rotation capability and the ability to easily clamp the light to my different grills. Takes just seconds to clamp the LED light on my MAK 2 Star, Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett or Traeger PTG grills.
The light has a Lifetime Guarantee, can be used in all weather conditions, and has a 50,000 Hour Lifespan. Doesn't get any better than that! I also like the fact that I can use it on my bicycle for those early evening rides in the summer or as a flashlight to light my path when taking a stroll around the RV park.
By far, this is the best LED Barbecue light I have ever found and used. I would highly recommend this light to anyone looking for a bright, versatile, fully-adjustable way to clearly keep an eye on your evening cooks. No more barbecuing with a headlamp strapped to my head in the dark!!
The general consensus in some circles is that you can't grill on a wood pellet barbecue smoker-grill. This is true for many if not most wood pellet smoker-grills today because they are designed to only provide indirect cooking capabilities. However, there are a large handful of manufacturers that provide the technology for direct grilling. A MAK 2 Star General and a Green Mountain Grills Davey Crockett are two of those units that have direct grilling. Both are capable of reaching temperatures over 500ºF and in conjunction with searing grates produce scrumptious steak house results. Who wouldn't want to sink their teeth into a beautifully 1½ inch grilled to perfection medium-rare steak.
While pre-heating your wood pellet barbecue smoker-grill to 450º-500ºF, like a MAK 2 Star, allow your steaks to rest at room temperature. Rub the steaks on all sides with extra virgin olive oil and Pete's Western Rub (page 169 of my cookbook).
Using searing grates grill the steaks for a couple of minutes before using a pig tail food flipper to rotate the steaks 90º in order to achieve those beautiful cross grill marks. Flip the steaks over using the food flipper and grill them to an internal temperature of 135º (medium-rare) or 145ºF (medium) depending on your preference. Don't forget to rest your steaks for 5 minutes before serving.
When using a pig tail food flipper grab the meat by the fat in order not to pierce the meat.
You haven't lived until you've tasted baked potatoes using a Char-Broil Big Easy Infrared Smoker, Roaster, and Grill (SRG). Lightly rub the potatoes with extra virgin olive oil and season all sides with Fagundes seasoning. With the SRG on high and the lid open bake the potatoes for 1½ to 2 hours until the internal temperature reaches 210ºF.
Here's a sneak peak of the covers of my upcoming book The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook. The cookbook will be available on May 24, 2016 but you can Pre-Order your copy now from either Amazon or Barnes & Nobles.
Click Here to download a pdf version of the press release for the cookbook from the publisher, Ulysses Press.
You've heard the old saying -> "This ain't your Mama's meatloaf!" <- Right? No? Well, you have now ... This MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill Smoked Beef & Pork Meatloaf will change your opinion of any meatloaf forever. Whether or not you use your favorite meatloaf recipe passed down for generations or my favorite recipe which includes ground beef and pork sausage with tomato sauce and a sprinkling of seasonings.
I used 1 pound of 80/20 ground beef and 1 pound of Jim Dean pork sausage. Mixed the meats with finely diced red onion, 3 eggs, Italian bread crumbs, tomato sauce, garlic, seasoned salt, garlic salt, and black pepper. I usually season thinks by feel - a dash of this and a dash of that. I slowly add bread crumbs until the meat achieves the right consistency - If too dry, add some tomato sauce - if too wet, add some bread crumbs. If you're like me and love meatloaf you've made hundreds of loaves and should have a feel for your meatloaf recipe. If not then please request the recipe in the comments section.
Formed 2 meatloaves and created a small cavity at the top of each loaf for tomato sauce. Preheated the MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill to 180ºF (Smoke setting) and smoked the loaves with Hickory for an hour. Filled the loaf cavities with tomato sauce, increased the pit temperature to 350ºF and cook until the internal temperature of the loaves reach 165ºF. Rest for 10 minutes loosely under a foil tent before serving.
Should you deprive yourself of all those delectably scrumptious smoked/roasted/baked meals when you're on the road camping in your tent, trailer, 5th wheel, or RV? Not me! My quest for a tailgate unit that met my needs, expectations, weight, and budget started years ago. I only have experience with 2 tailgate units so I will limit my Have Tailgate Wood Pellet Smoker-Grill will Travel post to those units.
Note ... There are many great wood pellet smoker-grill tailgate units on the market but being on a fixed budget I will discuss my migration from an entry level unit (Traeger PTG) to a mid-range unit (Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett) and to the upcoming cream of the crop/top of the line unit (MAK Grills MINI-MAK).
All wood pellet smoker-grills can produce great results so long as you take the time to learn your grill. Be aware, however, that not all controllers are remotely equal and that in my humble opinion the heart of any smoker-grill is the controller!
Traeger Portable Tabletop Grill (PTG)
I bought my Traeger PTG (Portable Tabletop Grill) in December of 2012 for the primary purpose of using it on the road with our RV. While getting to know my PTG I found large temperature swings with the unit and issues with flame-outs at lower temps. I decided to modify my PTG with a PID Controller - click to see my PTG modification posting. My PID modified PTG gave me infinitely more control of the unit but required a hands on approach for the cooks.
As you can see from the images above, I was able to produce wonderful results using my modified PTG. But the constant monitoring requirements to maintain desired temperatures drove me to find another tailgate unit.
Warning ... Any and all modifications that I made on the PTG are not authorized by Traeger or anyone else and nullified my warranty. Perform any modifications at your own risk.
Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett
After doing extensive research I bought my GMG Davy Crockett grill in December of 2013. This pellet grill is a great product and now comes with a WiFi controller, open flame technology grease tray, a meat probe, and a peaked lid allowing for larger cuts of meat and poultry. It can run on 12 VDC or 120 VAC so it's perfect for home, camping, tailgating, and/or hunting just to name a few. Note some of the stunning results in the images above - all cooked to perfection!
Initially my Davy Crockett's left side of the grill ran noticeably hotter than the right side. After contacting Green Mountain Grill's outstanding customer support they immediately sent me a new heat deflector that helped greatly to minimize my heat issues. I have produced a vast array of wonderful meals on the road and home with this unit. Just like needing 2 ovens now and then for a meal I've often used used my Davy Crockett in conjunction with my MAK 2 Star grill to produce out of this world gourmet meals.
MAK Grills MINI-MAK
Am I happy with my Davy Crockett smoker-grill? For the most part the answer is yes - then why am I anxiously awaiting the release of the new MAK Grills MINI-MAK tailgate unit? The answer is simple ... I'm spoiled!! I have owned a MAK 2 Star General Wood Pellet BBQ Smoker-Grill since March 2011 and truth be told, I've always wanted to be able to take the technology of the 2 Star on the road with me! To date, MAK is the most awarded pellet grill in the barbecue industry. They just won their 4th Vesta Award - peer reviewed awards given each year during the Hearth-Patio-Barbecue Association’s annual trade show and convention. The last award is for their MINI-MAK prototype. I for one can't wait till the unit comes out so that I can put it through it's paces.