Yeah’ Smokette!

30 May

On.  My.  Wish list.

Cookshack Smokette Original.

I can smell them pork bellies from here.


Ouch, at $600+ it’s not cheap though.

How about a reasonable alternative?  Sure, this combo water smoker by Meco looks damn interesting, and at under a single Benjamin it’s even affordable.

It smokes water?

We’ll try and get our hands on one and road test it.  Water smoker you ask?  Well, it boils water using one heating element to create steam in the cooking cavity, and uses a separate heating element to smolder the wood chips and make smoke.  It’s a well-thought out approach and should result in tasty smoked meats.

But wow that Cookshack looks great!



Gearing Up for Memorial Day, Pt I

23 May

We can’t get enough of Serious Eats lately, they’ve really settled into a great groove.  I’ve been digging deep, looking for forgotten recipes and old classics.  Like this one.  Look at this gorgeous bird.

Tasty poultry from the grill.

Also a nice write-up on excellent and inexpensive cuts of meat for the grill.

While the photo below shows some winners, including the skirt, hanger and flap steaks, as well as short ribs and the grand daddy West Coast cut called the Tri-Tip.  I think they left out the flat-iron though, which is also a pretty fantastic (and cheap) cut for the grill.  I made some recently in the Korean kalbi style with brown sugar, soy, ginger and green onions.  Yup.  Delicious.

Hungry now indeed....


What are you going to cut all this delectable meat with anyway?  Well, the knives shown in the Serious Eats series above are all from Korin, one of the best Japanese knife shops in the country, but here’s another option:  Ginga Trading.  However, if all of that is just a bit out of your price range…the Victorinox Fibrox series is an exceptional value for butchering knives, especially the flexible boning knife.  I’ve always appreciated the grippy handles and sanitary construction.

Now go get grilling!!


Backyard Accessorizing

23 May

It’s well understood that bugs are anathema to a good cook-out, and fortunately there’s a great way to ward them off while still playing with one of our favorite things:  FIRE.  That’s right, Tiki Torches.

Of course we’ve all seen Tiki torches for, well, just about our entire grilling lives, but recently I fell prey to a Tiki® ad on my Facebook feed and was not expecting to them to have stepped up their game over the years…but hey, these are pretty cool, at least the nicer ones anyway.

Ahh, torché!

Crazy Ballpark Dogs!

22 May

More fun from Serious Eats.  This time they’re looking at Ballpark Hot Dogs around the country.  I’ll be honest and tell you flat-out that the Cali-dog at the Angels’ Stadium and the Texas Tommy from Harry The K’s in Philadelphia are both looking pretty good right about now.  On the flip side I’m not too optimistic about the Food Network branded dogs.  Nope.  Not too optimistic at all, given that they look like refugees from Taco Bell.

One of my favorite ballpark meals was at the Big O in Montreal when the Expos were still there.  Mmmm, smoked meat on griddles buns.

What’s the best ballpark dog in your world?

Texas Tommy from Harry the K's in Philadelphia. Get one now!


Grilled Favas

22 May

Fava beans can go on the grill too.  Give ’em a good char then let them steam in a covered pan for a few minutes before peeling.  Great in salads, light soups or as falafel:  pureed with a bit of egg and chick pea flour and fried in small balls.