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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Bowl Appetizers

Well Folks, This Sunday is the biggest football game of the year, and a lot of you will either be hosting or are going to a Super Bowl Party. These parties are as much about the drinks and the food, as they are about the game. So in the next few days,I will be sharing some simple appetizers that I like, and you may want to try for the buffet table at your party.

The firsts recipe is for "MOINK" Balls, these little appetizers are fast becoming  a fan favorite at tailgate parties and any place where people gather to have a good time. These are real simple to make and are sure to become one of your go to snacks. All you need is a bag of frozen Beef Meat Balls and some Thin Sliced Bacon. You cut the bacon strips in half  and after seasoning the meat balls with your favorite BBQ rub, you then wrap  them with a half strip of bacon securing the bacon with a toothpick. You may need to put the frozen meat balls in the microwave for a few seconds so you can get the toothpick to go though the frozen meat balls. You don't want to cook the meat ball just soften it enough to get the toothpick to go though to secure the bacon. Now take some brown sugar and sprinkle over the top, to give each "MOINK" a little coat of sweetness.

Now set up your grill to cook indirect. Next put the "MOINKS" on the cool side, and grill till the bacon is crisp. You need to turn the MOINKS so they crisp up evenly. After the "MOINKS" are all nice and browned and the bacon is crisp. You will remove these tasty morsels from the grill and place them in a aluminum pan and pour on some of your favorite BBQ sauce to coat and return to the grill to heat the sauce.

These are hit every time I have made them and I'm sure they will be for you also. These are great because you can make as many or as few as you need. My suggestion is to make plenty because they go fast.

My pick for the Game will  be revealed on Friday.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Big Easy Dinner

Well folks, I said I would tell you how I use my gear to cook up some great food. So after yesterday's BBQ contest, the wife and I wasn't up to eating BBQ today, so I decided to use the Char-Broil Big Easy. This cooker is advertised as a oil less Turkey Fryer. Let me tell you, it is able to do a lot more than Turkey at Thanksgiving. I use this cooker year round with great results.

So I went to the market and picked up a 2lb Hormel Pork Loin marinated with garlic and onion. This Pork Loin is great when you want a quick meal. I also got some russet potato's. The Big Easy is a baked potato machine. When I got home I rubbed the potato's with olive oil and lightly coated with Kosher Salt. The Big Easy cooking basket is made so you can layer the food to cook. I put the pork loin on the bottom then added a shelf and put the potato's over the loin. Now all you do is light the Big Easy and insert the basket into the cooking chamber.

After cooking for a hour, I checked the Potato's with a probe and they probed tender and done. Next I checked the temperature of the pork loin, and it was at 160 degrees, PERFECT.  Now all I had to do was let the Pork rest for 10 minutes and slice. While I was slaving away cooking dinner on the Big Easy, my wife was making the veggies to finish the meal. All done in a hour and it was fantastic.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pork Steak Contest

Well Folks the first contest of 2012 is in the books. I finished 6th out of 26 teams at the Pacific Mo. Pork Steak Cook Off. It was a beautiful day the weather was outstanding for the end of January in Missouri. Clear skies and high in the 40's. I got to the site at 9AM and started to set up, this was the first time for me to be cooking solo. Everything went smooth, the guys next to me helped me get my pop up set up.

We got our meat at 10AM and I seasoned the steaks and got my fire started, set up the kettle for a indirect cook.. This is the first time using MOJO Bricks in a contest, and was a little unsure how much to use. These bricks put out some intense smoke and I didn't want to over smoke the meat. So I added just 2 small chunks and let the fire settle in at about 275 degrees. At 11AM put the steaks on and closed the lid. At 11:30 turned the steaks and spritz the steaks with my special spritzing spray.Turned again at 12 and sprayed again. At 1PM the steaks were at 160 degrees and I foiled them with a little of the spritzing juice. Let them cook  for about 45 minutes then put them in a foiled pan of my BBQ sauce. At 2PM  took them out of the sauce and put back on the grill to firm up the sauce.

Now its time to build my turn in box. Earlier I built my turn in box with a lettuce base and a putting green of parsley.Pulled the steaks and cut them up, finding the most tender pieces to turn into the judges.This is when I knew I had missed on tenderness. Don't know why, just didn't get as tender as I had hoped. I tried something different this time, I took my seasoning and put into a coffee grinder and grounded it into a fine  powder.I took this powder and added it to the meat just before putting in the box for a extra layer of flavor.The flavor was great so I'll do this again. Put 5 piece into the box. I only had to turn in 4 pieces, but I heard it helps to put a extra piece in the box, that way the last judge gets to pick a piece rather then be left with just the last piece.

After turn in, it was time to tear down the site. This is where I missed my team mates, after cooking all day, a little help tearing down the site makes it easier on the old man. Went in to hear the final results and cheer the winners, and even though I didn't get a call, still was happy with a 6th place finish out of 26 teams. Can't say why the tenderness wasn't like I wanted, but the flavor was spot on and I learned a little something about the seasoning to enhance the flavor profile for next time.Also the MOJO Bricks added the perfect cherry smoke to the meat.

Now who wants to help me unload the truck.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Getting a Little Edgy

Well folks, you want to know how Competitive BBQ can get in your blood. Tomorrow I'm going to go The Freeze Q Contest, held by SLBS at the Highway 61 Roadhouse in Webster Groves. Meeting up with the Mad Moose BBQ team out of Steelville Mo. to check things out and have a couple of beers. Then I'll head home and start to load up the truck for the 5th  Annual Pork Steak Cook Off  in Pacific Mo. on Sunday. It will be my first contest of 2012 and to be honest, I always get a little nervous before a contest, and this time is no different. Starting to get everything set in my mind as far as time lines and any changes I might make to try to set myself apart from the other teams. You have to write everything down, from what time you set up your site to when you season the meat,to when to put the meat on the cooker. I even have a timeline for what temperatures I will foil the steaks, and when I'll add the sauce. Every step of the cook all the way to the turn in to the judges. Sounds silly to some I know, but hearing your name called at the end the contest  makes it worth the effort.

The other reason I'm a little on edge for Sunday, is this is the first time I'll cook solo. My Brother in-law and Son aren't able to come and help this time. These contest are fun to share with others. So if any of you get a chance, stop by and say HI.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Gear

Today I'm going to talk about my Pits, Smokers and Grill. I called this blog "Don and his Grill", but truth be told, I don't grill that much. What I do most is BBQ/ Smoke. When I do grill a Steak or want to grill up some hot dogs or a Hamburgers real quick, I'll turn on my Jenn Air Gas grill. With this grill I can get the high heat I need to sear a steak or grill a Hamburger. The other Gas tool I have is the Char-Broil Big Easy. This is a oil less turkey fryer that can do a lot more than cook some very tasty Holiday Turkey. In the future I'll show how this can be a year round cooker that you will use for more than turkey. Next in my arsenal is the Ugly Drum Smoker. The Ugly Drum is a 55 Gallon barrel that is made into one of the best Smokers you will ever use, and it cost less than $100.00 to build. I won't go into how to build one, but all you have to do is Google the term, Ugly Drum Smokers, and you will find 100's of sites with instructions and plans on how to build your Ugly Drum in a afternoon. You can also go to a site called "The BBQ Brethren" they have a thread that is close to 500 pages with pictures and plans on how to build one. I'll just say that I have built 3 of them. Two for my BBQ team and I gave one to my son. It's a smoking machine and is responsible for me winning  a couple of trophies. Last but not least is my Weber Platinum Kettle. This is the one pit I have had the longest, and it is what I used when I began learning how to make BBQ.

All of these are tools I use when I compete or when I'm cooking at home. When I go to a contest, I take both of my Ugly Drums and the Weber Kettle. Each one has it place in producing the best BBQ to turn in to the judges. Each one has to be watched and controlled to achieve the temperature that will give each of the meats the right flavor profile.This is competing on a shoestring, but I have competed against teams that have the $5000.00 to $10,000.00 rigs, and I have beat them. That's not to say I wouldn't like one of those rigs,its just to let you know you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to make Great BBQ. I will tell you in future installments how I use each one of these so you can also make some Great BBQ.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Product for Smoke

Hello Everyone, I'm excited to introduce you to a new source of smoke for your BBQ.
MOJO Bricks is a product that is  Eco-Friendly, produces great smoke and burns longer and hotter than wood chunks. MOJO Bricks uses sawdust and wood shavings, pressed into bricks using natural organic polymer. MOJO Bricks are available in Oak, Hickory,Cherry,and Maple. Send me a message and I'll tell you how to get some so you can enjoy some Great Smoke flavor.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dinner Tonight

Nothing to fancy tonight for dinner. Chicken Quesadeilla's. Had some chicken tenders about 1 pound or you can use 2 boneless,skinless chicken breast. Seasoned them with Taco seasoning and grilled until just done. DON"T over cook. Dry chicken doesn't make a great meal. In a skillet saute some thin strips of green peppers and half a sliced onion. Season these with the taco seasoning also . Careful with the seasoning, you don't want to over season and make it to salty.

After you get the veggies and the chicken cooked take the chicken and slice into cubes.  Now take some soft  tortilla shells and spray one side with cooking spray. Lay shells on the grill oiled side down,put some chicken and veggies on one side of the shell, top with Mexican cheese, and fold over. like a soft taco. Grill till the down side is nicely browned. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes. Then grill the other side for the same amount of time. Do this with the other shells and enjoy with salsa of your choice. 

Simple easy meal you can make in a hurry.

Don and his Grill: Welcome Everyone

Don and his Grill: Welcome Everyone: Hello Everyone. I really don't have any idea what I'm going to do with this blog, other than I'll be posting my adventures in BBQ. I'll be p...

Welcome Everyone

Hello Everyone. I really don't have any idea what I'm going to do with this blog, other than I'll be posting my adventures in BBQ. I'll be posting recipes that I like and as I learn how,posting pictures of what I grill and step by step directions so you can grill the same food on your grill.

I will also keep you posted on how my BBQ Team fares on the the Sanctioned BBQ Contest Circuit.  The Team name is "THE MAN, THE GRILL, THE MAGIC".  This will be my first year competing in contests sanctioned  by KCBS and SLBS, it will be a learning experience. Hopefully by sharing my experiences, it will help myself and you if any of you are thinking of competing in the wonderful world of competitive BBQ. In prior years I have only cooked in Backyard contests.I haven't done badly, I have won a few trophies and a little money. So I have decided to jump in with the big boys and see how well I can do against the best.

Speaking of contests, my first one of 2012 will be the "5th Annual Polar Bear Pork Steak Cook Off" This will be held at the Pacific Eagles Clubhouse on Sunday Jan. 29th 2012. This isn't a sanctioned contest, but will be a chance to fire up the grill and compete against other Pit Masters

Hopefully you will enjoy my adventures in competitive BBQ, and you will learn a trick or two that will make you a better BBQ Pitmaster in your own backyard. I will do my best to entertain and teach you what I have learned over the years BBQing for family and friends. The most important thing to remember about grilling, be it in a contest or in the backyard is to HAVE FUN!!