Smoked Half Chicken
I can't remember the last time I smoked a whole or half chicken because Costco rotisserie chickens for under $5 is just too good to pass up. You literally can't buy a chicken and cook it yourself for that kind of money! Obviously, Costco is not making anything from those rotisserie chickens but they certainly are delicious. Unfortunately, right now it's not that conducive to shop at Costco because due to the Covid-19 issues you will have to wear a mask and stand in lines just to enter the store. During our last visit we found large Foster Farms chickens for 99¢ a pound and decided that I needed to have to have some chicken in my freezer besides just chicken thighs. Even last week there was a limit of 1 package of 2 per person. Times are changing but not necessarily for the best!
Carefully peeled back the chicken skin and rubbed the half chicken under and on the skin with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Then liberally seasoned under and on the skin with Jan's Original Dry Rub (see photos below). You can find the recipe for the rub on page 168 of my cookbook, The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook. Wrapped in plastic and refrigerated the seasoned half chicken in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Poultry is very porous and doesn't need much more than 4 hours.
Preheated my Green Mountain Grills WiFi Controlled Davy Crockett Portable Wood Pellet Grill to 225ºF using 100% hard wood CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. Placed the half chicken in a foil pan on a small wire rack to keep the half chicken out of the grease/drippings and to keep the Davy Crockett clean. I prefer not to have to have to clean the grease pan after cooking poultry. From past experience, I know it's going to be a greasy mess.
Smoked the half chicken at 225ºF for 45 minutes before bumping the Davy Crockett pit temperature to 350ºF. Finished cooking the smoked half chicken until the thickest part of breast reached an internal temperature of 170ºF. Rested the Smoked Half Chicken for 10 minutes loosely under a foil tent before serving ... For planning purposes only -> About 2¼ to 2¾ hours from start to finish (Preheat, smoke, roast, rest). Served with roasted red potatoes & onions with a side of green salad.
Smoked Pork Sirloin Roast
During these troubling Covid-19 times with reports of meat packing plants closing there are many ways of smartly and economically filling your freezers with your favorite cuts of pork, beef, and poultry. I prefer buying meat in bulk, custom cutting the meat, and vacuum sealing the cuts in portions for the two of us. Saved a nice chunk of cash by buying whole boneless pork loins at Costco. Yesterday I smoked a 2½ pound Sirloin Roast. I highly recommend you buy whole pork loins - all you need is a freezer, sharp knife, and a vacuum sealer. I just learned this morning that Costco is limiting people to only 3 meat items. Looks like a meat shortage may soon become an issue. Here's hoping that this doesn't turn out to be like the manufactured toilet paper shortage.
Trimmed fat cap, excess fat, and silver skin from a 2½ pound Pork Sirloin Roast. Rubbed all sides of the Sirloin Roast with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and liberally seasoned all sides with my Pork Dry Rub. The recipe for the Pork Dry Rub can be found on page 169 of my cookbook, The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook. Used Silicone Hot Cooking Bands to shape and bind the seasoned roast for even cooking. Wrapped the seasoned Pork Sirloin Roast in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
Preheated my Green Mountain Grills WiFi Controlled Davy Crockett Portable Wood Pellet Grill to 180ºF using 100% hard wood CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. The Davy Crockett is perfect for smaller meals, for on the road in our RV and for a small family or two people.
Placed the Pork Sirloin Roast on a Teflon grill mat and smoked at 180ºF for an hour. The Teflon grill mat keeps the meat from sticking to your grill grates. After an hour of smoke I bumped the Davy Crockett pit temperature to 350ºF and cooked the roast until the internal temperature of the Pork Sirloin Roast reached 145ºF. Rested the smoked roast loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain ... For planning purposes only - took a total of about 2½ hours which includes the preheat time - Always cook to internal temperatures!
Where do beef short ribs come from, what do they taste like and how should you cook them? Short ribs come from the beef chuck portion and not the rib portion. They are the five short ribs from the chuck section that are too small to be used for good steaks. The meat in between these bones is from muscle that is used heavily, and therefore has less tenderness but much more flavor. Since short ribs come from the area between the chuck and rib, they combine characteristics of both cuts. Short ribs get the rich marbling of rib steaks with the deep beefy flavor of chuck roast. Traditionally, beef short ribs are braised (A combination of dry and moist cooking methods where you sear the meat and then bake the meat in a liquid), or smoked low-and-slow till the internal temperature reaches 200º - 205ºF.
Short Rib information courtesy of Lake Geneva Country Meats website.
Trim off the fat cap, membrane and silver skin from the top side of the short ribs. Rub all sides of the ribs with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Pete's Western Rub which can be found on page 169 of my cookbook - "The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook". Wrap the seasoned short ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker grill to 225ºF using 100% hard wood CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. Smoke the beef short ribs for 3 hours at 225ºF before bumping the pit temperature to 250ºF. To help prevent your food from sticking to the grill grates be sure to use one or more Teflon grill mat. Continue smoking the short ribs at 250ºF for approximately another 3½ hours until the internal temperature of the ribs reach 200º - 205ºF. The short ribs should be tender and almost falling off the bone. Wrap the ribs in heavy duty foil and rest them for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Smoked Tri Tip Roast
For many decades, Tri Tip Roasts were virtually unknown outside the Central Valley of California. Even today, many of you can't find Tri Tip Roasts and/or your butcher or local grocery store meat cutter doesn't really know what a Tri Tip Roast is. Since I live South of Sacramento I've known about Tri Tips for decades. In the old days you could get a Tri Tip Roast for less than $3 a pound but these days you're lucky to find one for less than $7 or $8 a pound - A Prime Tri Tip Roast at Costco runs closer to $10 a pound. Why? Because the secret is out and people have learned just how great this cut of beef really is and the demand for Tri Tips have soared.
I prefer buying cryovac peeled Tri Tip Roasts in bulk from Costco or Cash & Carry. This allows me to save $2 to $3 a pound per roast. Peeled Tri Tips have the fat cap already removed. Piece count varies by cryovac bag. I like to trim each Tri Tip Roast of any excess fat and silver skin before vacuum sealing and freezing.
Rubbed both sides of a Tri Tip roast with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and my Pete's Western Rub which can be found on page 169 of my cookbook - "The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook". Wrapped the seasoned Tri Tip roast in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
Preheated my Green Mountain Grills WiFi Controlled Davy Crockett Portable Wood Pellet Grill to 235ºF using 100% hard wood CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets which is comprised of Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, and Apple pellets. The Davy Crockett is perfect for smaller meals, for on the road in our RV and for two people.
Smoked the Tri Tip Roast for approximately 2 hours at 235ºF until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the roast reached 145ºF. Rested the roast loosely under a foil tent for 15 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain(s). As you can see from the photos, 145ºF for us produces a nice medium rare output. For rarer results, pull the roast at 135ºF. Served with a side of potato salad and fried asparagus.
Times are for planning purposes only - always cook to internal temperatures unless you're one of those gifted cooks that can tell when a piece is ready to your specs by pocking it with your finger. Personally, I prefer to test the internal temperature using an instant read digital thermometer.
Smoked Chicken Thighs
It's hard to beat the delicious flavor profiles provided by Smoked Chicken Thighs. The combination of the seasonings and smoke from the 100% hard wood CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix pellets will dazzle your taste buds. To ensure that you always achieve moist results make sure that you pick up bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. I noticed at Costco that they now have their own brand of chickens and chicken parts. At least here, in Northern California, Costco used to carry Foster Farms fresh chicken. Love Foster Farms cause their processing plant is only 40 miles South of my residence.
I have always been a strong advocate of keeping your wood pellet smoker grill as clean as possible for each and every cook. As such I always replace the heavy duty foil covering my heat shield pan and shop vac out any ashes in the fire pot & interior surfaces of the grill pit. If you've ever smoked/cooked poultry you have found that by the time you're done there is quite a bit of grease/drippings everywhere from all the chicken fat that is melted during the cook. In order to facilitate the cleaning process I am using a heavy duty foil boat to cook the chicken thighs and trap all that grease/drippings. Check out all that grease that would normally collect on your heat shield rather than the foil boat. Besides, all that grease/drippings are ideal for a fantastic chicken gravy.
I like to trim the majority of the excess fat and skin from the bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. I then carefully peel back the skin for direct access to the meat. Rubbed under & on the chicken thigh skin with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil. Seasoned under & on the chicken thigh skin with McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning and Pete's Western Rub. You can find the recipe for Pete's Western Rub on page 169 of my cookbook. The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook. Repeat the seasoning process on the back of each thigh. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker grill to 180ºF with CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix pellets and smoke the bone-in skin-on seasoned chicken thighs for an hour. After an hour of smoke, bump the pit temp to 400ºF to finish the cook and make the skin crispy. Cook at 400ºF for approximately 45 minutes until the internal temperature of the thigh at it's thickest point reaches 180ºF. Allow the chicken thighs to rest loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before serving.