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.
Perfect Mix Smoked Meatloaf
"It's Déjà Vu all over again" ... A famous quotation attributed to the great philosopher Yogi Berra! Meatloaf has always been my favorite comfort food of all time and I cannot tell a lie - I order meatloaf every chance I get in restaurants but I must confess that none of those meatloaves hold a candle to the Cookinpellets.com Perfect Mix Smoked Meatloaf I fixed on my Green Mountain Grill (GMG) Davy Crockett last night.
An oven cooked meatloaf is OK but a smoked meatloaf topped with tomato sauce and served with corn on the cob, an SRG baked potato, sautéed mushrooms and smothered in brown gravy is divine. I'm sure you'll agree once you try my recipe.
For the Meatloaf I like to use one pound each of Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage and 80/20% Costco Hamburger. I mix the meat with an ample amount of finely diced red onions, bread crumbs, garlic, garlic salt, seasoned salt, black pepper, 2 eggs, and tomato sauce. Unfortunately I toss in a little of this and a little of that but if anyone wants precise measurements just leave a comment.
Preheated my GMG Davy Crockett to 200ºF and smoked the meatloaf for an hour with Cookinpellets.com Perfect Mix. Bumped the pit temperature to 350ºF and cooked for 30 minutes. Top the meatloaf with tomato sauce and complete cooking until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 165ºF. Rest the meatloaf for 15 minutes before serving.
Scrubbed clean 4 baking potatoes and allowed them to dry for 20 minutes. Rubbed taters with Roasted Garlic extra virgin olive oil and seasoned them with Pete's Western Rub. Baked them in the SRG on High with the lid open for approximately 1½ hours until the tater's internal temperatures reach 210ºF.
What to do when the best laid plans of mice and men are influenced by outside factors? You improvise! I planned ahead and defrosted (always in the fridge) a small pork loin and two large bone-in skin-on chicken breasts to be smoked two days in a row. But due to unplanned circumstances I was unable to smoke the proteins in the time frame intended. It came down to my having to cook the meat or risk having it go bad. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone ... or should I say "Two for the price of one" ... The price being the amount of time and cookinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets.
Opted to use my Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett Wood Pellet Smoker-Grill which turned out to be just the right size for this cook. The results were exquisite and oddly enough these two different meats were smoked and cooked at the same temperatures but the chicken breasts cooked to an internal temperature of 170ºF while the apple stuffed pork loin cooked to a temperature of 145ºF.
If you're like me you might not be the greatest knife man so I used a butterfly technique on the pork loin roast that I read about. I butterflied the roast as best as I could (there are a ton of videos online) and then placed the roast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a stainless steel meat mallet, I carefully flattened the pork loin roast to about half an inch thick. This thickness was perfect for stuffing using the roll up method. Worked out great and I will definitely be using this method again. The other option is to practice my butterfly techniques but I would probably waste too many roasts - Have you seen the price of meat these days?
Chose to rub roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil under and on the chicken breast skin. Followed by seasoning under and on the chicken skin with my Poultry Seasoning. Wrapped the seasoned chicken breast in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 4 hours.
Thinly sliced a Granny Smith apple and laid the slices on the butterflied pork loin roast. Rolled the roast and secured it with silicone cooking bands. Rubbed the stuffed pork loin roast with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with my Pork Dry Rub. Wrapped the seasoned roast in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 4 hours also.
Preheated my Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett to 200ºF using cookinpellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. Smoked the chicken breasts and pork loin roast at 200ºF for 1 hour. Bumped the pit temp to 350ºF and cooked the chicken breasts and apple stuffed pork loin roast for approximately an additional 1 hour until preferred internal temperatures were met. Chicken to 170ºF and Pork roast to 145ºF. Pulled and rested the meats for 15 minutes loosely under a foil tent before serving.
Hit the ground running with my new Green Mountain Grill (GMG) Davy Crockett (DC) and decided to put a twist and a little zing to some Hickory smoked stuffed red bell peppers. As you can see from the image above, the GMG Davy Crockett is perfect for smaller meals. But don't be fooled with it's size. With my previous GMG DC I smoked some turkeys that were up to 14 pounds. It's a very versatile unit and is fantastic for tailgating and to take along in your RV. What happened to my older unit you ask? While visiting our Son last Summer I decided to leave my DC with him and I'm happy to say he's enjoying the use of it.
Preheated the GMG DC to 225ºF using Cookinpellets.com Premium 100% Hickory pellets. Smoked the stuffed peppers for 45 minutes before increasing the pit temperature to 350ºF. Cooked at 350ºF until the internal temperature reached 160ºF. About 30 minutes. Rested the peppers for 5 minutes before serving.
Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef cooked and drained, 5 red bell peppers w/core and seeds removed, ½ cup diced red onion, ½ cup diced celery, ¼ cup diced red pepper tops, 10 ounce can of RO-TEL diced tomatoes & green chilies, 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese, 12 diced black olives, ½ tsp granulated garlic, ½ tsp garlic salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (used to top the peppers), 8 ounces cream cheese (softened) and ½ tsp chili powder.
Directions: Par boil cored red bell peppers for 7 minutes. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Stuff each red bell pepper and top with mozzarella cheese.