Smoked Pork Tenderloins
Smoked Pork Tenderloins - "Pork. The other white meat" was an advertising slogan the National Pork Board used in 1987 to pitch pork as a white meat alternative to chicken or turkey. Back then the USDA standards was to take pork to 160ºF which unfortunately tended to make pork dry and tough. The USDA has since changed their standards and now recommend to take pork to 145ºF which leaves the pork moist and tender. The most tender cut of pork is the tenderloin just like a beef tenderloin which provides Filet Mignon. The pork tenderloin equivalency to Filet Mignon is a Medallion and is commonly known as the Filet Mignon of Pork. But one thing is certain, the pork tenderloin is 2 to 3 times cheaper than the beef.
One distinct feature of a pork tenderloin is a small amount of connective tissue known as silver skin. I highly recommend that you always remove the silver skin because it doesn't dissolve when the tenderloin is smoked. Remove the silver skin using a very sharp paring knife by working the knife between the silver skin and the muscle fibers. Angle the knife slightly upward and use a sawing action.
Rub the trimmed pork tenderloins with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil and lightly season with your favorite pork seasoning/rub. I recommend using Jan's Original Dry Rub which can be found in my cookbook The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook. Wrap the seasoned pork tenderloins in plastic and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker-grill to 225ºF with Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. The Perfect Mix is comprised of Hickory, Cherry, Maple, and Apple hardwood pellets. The formula is a closely guarded secret but the results are magnificent! Smoke the tenderloins for approximately 2 hours until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. Rest the smoked pork tenderloins loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before serving.
Note how moist and tender the pork tenderloins are. The reddish color of the tenderloin is a product of the cherry pellets. Cherry will tend to give a reddish tint to meat. Especially pork, chicken and turkey. The tenderloins were so tender that I easily cut the meat with a fork.
Instant Pot Smoked Turkey Vegetable Soup
Instant Pot Smoked Turkey Vegetable Soup - Waste not ... want not! Learned a long time ago that a Turkey provides a multitude of appetizing leftover options. When I smoke a turkey it provides us with a certain amount of grazing options, casseroles like turkey tetrazzini, ingredient in a chef's salad, turkey à la king, and of course soups. But what about a smoked turkey vegetable soup? I'm here to tell you that a smoked turkey carcass will add a wonderful zing to your broth.
After carving a 14 lb smoked turkey I covered the carcass with water, added some garlic, black pepper, and chicken bouillon. Boiled the carcass over a medium-high heat for a little more than 30 minutes. Used a colander to strain to broth and picked the rest of the turkey from the carcass. The smoked turkey broth (about 4 cups) was simply savory and distinctive.
Combined the smoked turkey stock, cabbage, stewed tomatoes, red onions, diced potatoes, celery, asparagus, mushrooms, frozen peas, garlic, salt, pepper, and a bit of pulled leftover turkey in my Instant Pot. Pressure cooked on high for 4 minutes ... Enjoy!!
Superlicious Vertically Smoked Turkey
Superlicious Vertically Smoked Turkey - How many turkeys have I smoked over the years in my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill? A bunch!! Too many to count because we simply love smoked turkey and the leftover uses are endless. As I've mentioned before I stock up the freezer during the holidays cause supermarkets and big box stores practically give the turkeys away just to get you in the door. As such, we enjoy the benefits of a smoked turkey every few months year round.
I have always laid my turkeys breast side up or spatchcocked them for smoking and/or roasting but until yesterday I never cooked a vertically mounted turkey using a non-stick vertical poultry roaster. Why? Not sure ... I've owned my non-stick vertical poultry roaster for years but never used it. I have however used smaller roasters for chickens with wonderful results.
Any gobbler large than 14 lbs would need to be smoked with the breast side up or spatchcocked. But that's not an issue cause I prefer the 14 pounders. The largest turkey I've smoked/cooked in my pellet grill was 22 pounds. Takes a long time and a lot of patience to smoke a bird that size. Besides, we have an empty nest and the 14 lb size is perfect for us.
Defrosted a Foster Farms 14 lb Fresh Young Turkey I bought at Costco around last Christmas when the prices were really reasonable. Make sure you defrost your poultry in the refrigerator. All it takes is a little planning.
- Rinsed an patted dry with paper towels
- Rubbed roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil on and under the skin
- Seasoned on and under the skin with a combination of McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning and Smoker Pete's Western Rub which can be found in my Cookbook - The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook.
- Mounted the seasoned turkey on a Non-Stick Vertical Poultry Roaster
- Placed the vertically mounted turkey in a roaster pan to catch the drippings for gravy and to help keep the grill clean
Preheated my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill to 200ºF with cookinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix (Hickory, Cheery, Maple, Apple) pellets. Smoked the turkey for 3 hours at 200ºF before bumping the pit temperature to 330ºF until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reaches 170ºF. Rested the smoked turkey loosely under a foil tent for 20 minutes before carving. For planning purposes only it took about 5 hours from the time I turned the grill on to the end of the resting process. But remember to always cook to internal temperatures!
Gotta love the temperature control that the MAK Pellet Boss provides. The graph below (one of many features of the MAK Grills Mobile) illustrates the lack of temperature swings. The only slight glitches you might see is when I opened the pit to take a few pictures.
Low-Carb Hickory Smoked Thighs
Mouthwatering crispy skin chicken thighs are a perfect option for anyone following a low-card lifestyle. A Hickory smoked chicken thigh (skin eaten) has zero grams of Total Carbohydrates. Yup, Zero! So there's no reason to deprive yourself of the goodness that only a delicious piece of chicken can satisfy. Now would you really pass up a couple of these scrumptious golden brown dark meat beauties? In the past I've always selected the breast white meat but lately I'm really enjoying the full flavor of the dark meat.
It's one thing to have zero carbohydrates in the chicken but what about the sides? The sides are usually where many of us start to falter but that doesn't need to be the case. Do I miss bread, rice, potatoes, etc? Why yest I do!! But fortunately I simply love fresh steamed vegetables. So check out the photo below where I served a smoked chicken thigh with steamed broccoli, yellow Summer squash, green beans and beautifully prepare deviled eggs. Don't be afraid to supplement your steamed vegetables with a few pats of butter which also contain no carbs ... 1 cup of broccoli = 6 grams of carbs - 1 cup of yellow squash = 4 grams of carbs - 1 cup of green beans = 6 grams of carbs - 1 boiled egg = 0.6 grams of carbs (deviled egg contains mayo, pickle juice, salt & pepper).
Trim chicken thighs of fat and any excess skin before lightly rubbing roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil under and on the skin. Season under and on the skin with my Poultry Seasoning found in my Cookbook. Wrap the seasoned chicken thighs in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking. Preheat your grill with smokinpellets.com Premium 100% Hickory pellets to 180ºF. Smoke the chicken thighs at 180ºF for an hour before bumping the pit temperature to 375ºF. Finish the cook when the chicken internal temperature reaches 180ºF. Allow the chicken thighs to rest for 10 minutes before serving. For estimating purposed only: Start to finish should take approximately 2 - 2¼ hours hours.
MAK SmokeBox Salmon
Can't always find fresh wild salmon in my local grocery store so I settled for 2nd best and picked up a farmed Atlantic salmon filet. Not quite the same but it's fresh and available year round. Decided to take my cold smoking to the next level by using my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill Super Smoker Box. Normally, to smoke salmon properly, I would brine my salmon first but I wanted to combine a cold and hot smoke technique for a quick and dirty fish dinner.
Season your farmed fresh Atlantic Salmon with a light dusting of Old Bay Seasoning and a thin layer of Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste & Glaze with Honey & Pineapple. Allow the salmon filet to come to room temperature.
Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking. Preheat your grill to 180ºF with smokinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix 100% Hardwood pellets. Place the salmon in the MAK 2 Star Super Smoker Box and smoke the salmon for 2 hours. Remove the salmon fillets from the Smoker Box and transfer the fillets to the pit. Bump the pit temperature to 400ºF and cook for approximately 12 - 15 minutes until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 145ºF or easily flakes with a fork.
I chose to serve the smoked salmon a cucumber and red onion salad. If you're watching your carbohydrates you should try this recipe but be careful to limit the amount of Teriyaki baste & glaze you use.