CookinPellets Grilled Strip Steak
I never get tired of grilling and devouring a scrumptious New York Strip Steak cooked on my MAK 2 Star Wood Pellet Smoker-Grill. I prefer my steaks Medium-Rare so I grill my steaks to and internal temperature of 130ºF. One of the advantages of my MAK 2 Star is having the ability to configure the pit for indirect as well as direct cooking. Using the FlameZone® feature and a Searing Grate I configured the pit for direct cooking.
While pre-heating the MAK 2 Star to High (450ºF+) with CookinPellets Premium 100% Hickory wood pellets I seasoned the NY Strip Steaks with Pete's Western Rub (recipe can be found in my Cookbook) and allowed the steaks to come up to room temperature. It's a well accepted fact in order to grill a steak to perfection it should be at room temperature when tossed on the grill.
Even though beautiful cross grill marks do not affect the taste of medium-rare steaks it certainly makes them that much more appealing. I was very impressed with the performance of the CookinPellets Premium 100% Hickory wood pellets at the high temperatures produced on the MAK 2 Star. I've been impressed with the pellet performance at lower temperatures and after using them at a High temperature I can confidently say that I will be using them for all my cooking/smoking needs.
To achieve those beautiful cross grill marks cook the steaks for a couple of minutes before rotating the steaks 90 degrees on the searing grate. You can then turn the steaks over and finish cooking them to temp. I like to purchase a cryovaced full New York Strip at Costco and cut my own steaks to my preferred thickness. Not only do I get beautiful steaks but you can also save a nice chunk of change cause the price per pound will be a lot less.
Kielbasa Stuffed Pork Loin
Want to have some fun with a Pork Loin? Then try stuffing one with the goodness of your favorite sausage! That's what inspired me to combine a Kielbasa with a pork loin roast. I took my sharp filet knife and cut a slit through the pork loin and pushed a sausage into the center. Turned out so good that I'm looking forward to my next stuffing inspiration! Stay tuned to see what that will be ...
You can safely cook pork to 145°F, which is medium rare. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that pork be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F, followed by a 3 minute rest time, to enjoy pork that is tender, juicy, and full of flavor.
Ever since the present USDA standards came out I have been taking my pork to 145ºF versus the old standard of 160ºF and I haven't looked back ... Notice how juicy the stuffed kielbasa stuffed pork loin turned out. I can attest to the fact that it tasted as scrumptious as it looks. Yes, it was extremely tender too! The smoke ring does not alter the taste of the pork loin but it certainly looks impressive.
Rubbed the kielbasa stuffed pork loin with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil and seasoned the roast with Jan's Original Dry Rub. Used Silicone Cooking Bands to help keep the shape of the roast. Wrapped the roast with plastic and refrigerated overnight.
Preheated my MAK 2 Star General Wood Pellet Smoker-Grill to 250ºF with cookinpellet.com 100% Hickory pellets. Smoked the stuffed roast for approximately 2 hours to an internal temperature of 145ºF. Rested the roast for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain an serving with a side of baked beans and fresh steamed green beans. I'm really enjoying the bold delicious results infused into the pork loin roast by the cookinpellet.com 100% Hickory pellets!! Hickory and pork - a winning combination ...
Smoked Turkey Zucchini Enchiladas
This time of year it's a daily challenge to find different low-carb ways of using the ample amounts of Zucchini Squash I'm harvesting from my garden. I decided on a Mexican enchilada recipe in order to use the large zucchini squash that often wind up hiding in my squash patch. So in order to keep this low-carb I replaced the traditional corn or flour tortillas with thin ¼ inch slices of zucchini. But what to stuff the enchiladas with? Looking through my freezer I came across a Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast from a previous cook. BINGO ... perfect - just what I needed!
This recipe was easy and quick to prep. The one change I would make is slicing the zucchini thinner than the ¼ inch slices that I used because the ¼ inch slices were a little stiff and difficult to roll up. I needed to cook the enchiladas a little longer at a higher temperature to ensure that the zucchini was cooked properly. Other than that I was extremely pleased with the results and I will definitely cook this recipe again using leftover turkey, chicken, or pulled pork.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 large chopped red onion, 2 tsp mince garlic, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 4 cups shredded smoked turkey, 1½ cups red enchilada sauce, 3-4 large zucchini squash, 1½ cups grated Monterey Jack, 1½ cups grated sharp Cheddar, and sour cream.
- Preheat oven of wood pellet smoker-grill to 375ºF
- Cook onion in a large skillet over medium high heat until soft
- Add garlic, cumin, and chili powder
- Add shredded turkey and 1 cup of red enchilada sauce
- Peel thin slices of zucchini using a vegetable peeler
- Lay out 2-3 zucchini slices, slightly overlapping
- Place ample amount of turkey stuffing on zucchini slices
- Roll up the zucchini enchilada and transfer to a baking dish
- Repeat the procedure until the baking dish is full
- Pour remaining sauce over zucchini enchiladas
- Cover enchiladas with Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses
- Bake covered for 45 minutes
- Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes
- Garnish with sour cream
Premium Perfect Mix Smoked Pork Rib Roast
Pork Rib Roasts can be found either as bone-in or deboned. For the most part I prefer to buy my boneless pork loins at Costco and butcher the roast into center cut pork chops and roasts. Since there is only the two of us these days a ten pound pork loin easily provides us with about five meals. My favorite cut from the pork loin is the rib roast end. The roast originates in the rib area of the loin and contains a bit more marbling which makes it more flavorful. The pork rib roast is the counterpart of a standing beef rib roast or a rack of lamb.
As I continue to use the cookinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix (100% Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, Apple) and 100% Hickory I'm discovering just how wonderful the results are. With other wood pellets that use Alder or Oak fillers the flavor profiles tend to blend into one an other cause for the most part the 70 to 75% filler wood is what dominates the infused smoke into the meat. With these pellets you're getting the full 100% hard wood flavor(s) smoke infused into the meat, poultry, fish, etc. First chance you get you should try these pellets and judge for yourself. As I've said, you won't be disappointed!
Pork Rib Roast Prep:
- Trim any silver skin and excess fat from 2-3 lb Pork Rib Roast
- Rub roast with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil
- Season all sides of roast with Jan's Original Dry Rub
- Wrap seasoned roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
Pork Rib Roast Smoking Instructions:
- Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking
- Preheat your grill to 180ºF with cookinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix hardwood pellets
- Smoke the pork rib roast for 1½ hours
- Bump the pit temperature to 375ºF
- Roast until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145ºF
- Rest the smoked pork rib roast loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before carving
For a great low cal meal, serve the smoked pork rib roast with a side of Cauliflower Bake and al dente steamed yellow crooked neck squash. Here is the link for my recipe for the Cauliflower Bake.
Perfect Mix Spatchcocked Cornish Hens
I have spatchcocked (buttterfly) chickens often over the years. I then decided that if I can enhance the cooking process and infuse smoke profiles into the chickens then I could also apply the technique to turkeys. I have since spatchcocked many turkeys some of which were up to 14 pounds with scrumptious success. I found that the chickens and turkeys cook more evenly when spatchcocked.
So why not spatchcock Cornish Hens? Indeed, why not! Ever since I started smoking poultry I have used different hard wood pellets for my cooks ... Hickory, Cherry, Maple, and Apple. Each provided the poultry with wonderful results. I have since discovered Premium Cookinpellets.com Perfect Mix which does not use any fillers (Oak or Alder) but rather a mix of 100% hard wood Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, and Apple. This combination of wood pellets provided awesome flavor and a smooth finish. When biting into your first piece of meat you will never experience the harsh smoke profiles often associated with other forms of fuel.
I recommend using Premium Cookinpellets.com Perfect Mix 100% Hardword pellets for poultry, pork, beef, fish, lamb, and game. You, your guests, and family will really cherish the delicious mouth watering results of your cooks. You will also drive them and your neighbors crazy with the aroma of the light blue smoke emitted during the smoking/cooking process. Don't be surprised if some of your neighbors offer to provide the meat if you'll smoke it!
Prepping for the Wood Pellet Smoker-Grill
- (2) Tyson All Natural Premium Cornish Hens (1½ lbs each)
- Spatchcock the Cornish Hens
- Remove the backbone and flatten the breast plate
- Carefully pull back the skin from the breast and legs/thighs
- Rub under and on the skin with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Season under and on the skin with McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning
- Wrap seasoned Cornish Hens tightly in plastic wrap
- Refrigerate for 4 hours
On the Wood Pellet Smoker-Grill
- Preheat the grill to Smoke (170°-180° F)
- Use Premium cookinpellets.com Perfect Mix 100% Hardwood pellets
- Smoke the spatchcocked Cornish Hens for 1 hour
- After an hour of smoke - Bump pit temperature to 375°F
- Roast Cornish Hens until the internal temperature reaches 180ºF
- Note - 180°F is the internal temperature recommended by Tyson
- Rest the Cornish Hens for 10 minutes loosely under a foil tent before serving
For planning purposes only:
Total time of cook was ~ 2½ hours ... Always cook to internal temperatures!