WIN FREE STUFF1 This weeks contest Chili Head is back as judge 9-16

Big Poppa

Chili loves banging the gavel Judge two out of the last three weeks with some showstopping winners...he has sent spinny and sis in law into hibernation

First place $25 store credit to Big Poppa Smokers
Second Place $15 store credit to Big Poppa Smokers
third place $10 store credit to Big Poppa SMokers

Everybody else gets a $5 store credit just for entering......they add up baby!


New member
Sometimes you just need a simple dinner.......

earlier in the day I threw a pound of ground beef in the grill (there were a couple chuck roasts in there). then made up a quick chili with some Soileau's chili mix (good stuff, squirt was right - it's hot stuff - face is a little warm :eek:).

tonight threw some onion rings and a few hot dogs

toasted a bun, topped with a little cheese sauce (homemade cheddar), the hot dog, a little of the chili and a little cabot seriously sharp cheddar on top.....


makes me happy
Last edited:

Kevin Arsenault

New member
Hello everyone!
I've finally gotten around to doing my first big cook at my new campus appt, and I think it turned out quite nice.
Before I start, I would like to thank everyone who helped me out in my last thread

... That said, android phones seem to lack a recycling bin feature, and this has lead to a few pictures I took being lost to cyber space...
So this entry will be a little lean on the pictures.

I started with 2 pork tenderloin in a plastic bag with some apple juice, mural of flavor (one of my favorite mixes of spice), and some salt.

The next day I got to work.
I first took some bacon, put it on a pan with some parchment paper and threw it into the toaster oven until it started getting firm.
I then took the pork tenderloin out of the bag and wrapped it up, using toothpicks to hold the bacon in place.

Now, the grills at school are a bit odd, as they are open topped, so smoking the normal way was not really an option. What I could do was put some coals into the left side of the grill, let them get ready, and when it was time to cook, put some pellets on the right side, a few coals, and some paper to ignite.

After the cloud of mesquite stopped trying to kill me and my apartment mate I moved the pork over to the coals and let it cook.

So we moved all the meat inside and I got to work on a reduction with some apple sauce, and added some cinnamon, apple juice, apple cider vinegar and some maple syrup.

Now, I'm really mad because both of my pictures of the finished product did not come out. So instead have this adorable picture of one of my girlfriends friend's daughter eating bacon for her first time.

And here is a picture of everyone who showed up for dinner.


For those of you wondering, the bacon turned out more on the meaty side, and kept the tenderloin nice and juicy.
And the vinegar really does make the sauce.

Heedfully there will be less technical problems in my next cook!

:edit: Well now I know what I want when I get back home. :edit:


New member
The Arsenault's are out of the gate!!

Kevin, take a look at using Picasa to host pictures from your phone. Should upload straight to it. That's what I use.


New member
Southeast Asian-Inspired Shrimp with Grilled Veggies

A few days ago, I was feeling the need for seafood. What did we have in the freezer? Shrimp. What did we have in the fridge? Broccoli, asparagus, and scallions.

So, here's what I did.

1. Took some lemongrass and sliced it. I grated some ginger. I grated some garlic. I zested and juiced some key limes.

2. I marinated the shrimp. I took the above ingredients, some fish sauce--what Filipino's might call "patis"--some crushed red chili flakes, salt and pepper, and a little lemon juice and let it all sit while I got the veggies done.


3. Scallions with garlic olive oil, salt and pepper. Asparagus with the same. Broccoli with the same plus some low-sodium soy sauce.

4. Asparagus on the grill grates.

5. Grilled the hell out of the scallions. Foil love in the smoker box to steam with some 25 year-aged balsamic vinegar from Zingerman's and some juice of half a lemon.

6. Broccoli on the grill grates after that. Shrimp on to skewers.

7. Shrimp on to grill grates.

About six minutes later.



Finished Product:
Last edited:

smoker pete

New member
Brined Bone-In Turkey Breast

Forever and a day I've contemplated the age old question : " ... to Brine or NOT to Brine a Turkey ..." Turns out that until I attended the California BBQ Association's University "Authentic BBQ Advanced Class" it was always ... NOT!! Well I have seen the light, tasted the results and it prompted me to definitely give brining a shot.

My local grocery store had Bone-In Turkey Breasts and Turkeys on sale so I gobbled up 3 breasts for a great price of $9 each - No matter what the weight. Picked out the largest ones and saved over $30.

Simple Turkey Brine:

1 Gallon of Water
1 cup of Sugar
½ cup of Sea Salt
1/3 cup of Brown Sugar
1 ½ cups of Apple Juice
Laury's 12 oz Herb & Garlic Marinade

Into the fridge to brine overnight. A general rule to use for brinning is around one hour per pound. This breast was 9.4 lbs and was brined for 14 hours.


Removed breast from brine and rubbed on/under skin with EVOO and Jan's Dry Rub. Preheated the MAK 2 Star Wood Pellet Grill to 230ºF with Hickory pellets.


Setpoint to SMOKE (~180ºF) for 2 hours. Bumped the temperature to 325ºF until the Internal Temperature hit 165ºF. Rested under a foil tent for 20 minutes.


You can see just how moist the Bone-In Turkey Breast turned out and the flavors were exquisite!! Can't wait to use the leftovers to make a big batch of Turkey Tetrazzini ...


The money $shot ... Some Brined Turkey Breast, portion of Rice garnished with some tasty Gravy, a Salad with fresh ingredients from the garden (tomatoes and cucumber) ... I may never smoke/cook another Turkey without brinning it first. If you've been hesitant to brine a Turkey and/or Chicken I recommend you brine one the next time and see for yourself the benefits of brinning!!



New member
Birds and Brew and Cherry Pellets

I decided to try something I’ve never done before and cook a couple of hens perched on beer cans. I’ve read nothing but good things about cooking this way so figured what the heck.

Here are the birds rubbed with garlic evoo, kosher salt and pepper on the inside, some garlic powder and some Yardbird and perched upon their half filled adult beverage cans.

Here they are about half way through the cook and it’s a little obvious the heat from the fire has been a little uneven but they are looking good to me.

I pulled the birds when they reached 180 and I have to say, taking them off the fire, with the adult beverage cans still containing their golden nectar was no easy feat but I managed without dropping them! And here they are resting and behaving nicely.

And here is the final shot, plated with Lundberg rice cooked in red miso and a baby green salad with fresh tomatoes dressed with a honey Balsamic dressing:

These birds were moist, tender and wonderfully flavored by the foil packet of cherry pellets and rub. There is plenty left over so if you want some, speak up because I’m going to pull the chicken make stock of the carcass and save it for use at a later date.
Thanks for looking.


Simply Chicken Nacho's

Sometimes, you just take the easy route. A couple of chicken breasts on the grill with some Pueblo Rub and its a good start to chicken nachos.


Earlier in the days, while smoking some jerky I also smoked some super sharp cheddar in anticipation of the nachos. Sliced chicken, olives, fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, and some smoked super sharp!


Topped it off with fresh made guacamole. Nothing left. Can't go wrong with this one.


New member
What to feed vegetarians?

My sister and husband came over for dinner Saturday...they're vegetarians (not that there's anything wrong with that, just not my normal mode).

So Friday I picked up some tofu as well as some sharp cheddar and some habenero cheddar, onto the MAK for a cold smoke. The tofu would be used for Saturday, the cheddar's would be wrapped and aged a bit first, I still have a little left from previous cheese smokes.

Meanwhile in the main chamber I smoked some fresh picked cayenne, jalapeno, and habenero peppers. (MAK multi-tasking)

Saturday the plan was to let everyone make their own naan bread pizza's. The available ingredients were sauteed bell peppers, onions, squash, and bannana peppers. Fresh garden tomatoes, avocados, mozzarella cheese, EVOO, various seasonings, and the smoked tofu.

While everyone assembled their pizza's, an appetizer, (four cheese focaccia) was getting happy on the MAK.

Here's some shots of the pizza's. First up is my brother-in-law's, he skipped the tomatoes, but made up for it with a liberal dose of my cayenne/habanero powder (good man!)

Here's my sister's, lots of tomatoes, no hot pepper powder, sigh.

Ok, here's where the cheatin' of my daughters was home and wanted crab legs instead of veggie stuff, so my wife pick some up and did a crab boil...of course, we were unable to resist, here's my wife's plate, she made some hollandaise sauce too...nice!

Who am I to argue with that? Here's mine. EVOO base (cayenne/habanero powder applied to the base), then everything but the tofu was added on top. The crab and hollandaise were added after baking.

Dessert was a golden oldie (from two weeks ago, but hey, it was new to them!) This time I made 6 blueberry, 5 cherry, and 1 chocolate truffle with cherry (sauce only please, yeah for the 'crab' daughter). Due to vegans, no egg wash, so not quite as browned as last time.

Here I tried both (always believed in thorough research!) Everyone agreed (except choco girl) the blueberry was the best.
Last edited:


New member
Reverse-seared ribeyes

I hit them with some John Henry's Raspberry Chipolte rub, then put them in the cold-smoke/warming area with the MAK on Smoke.

When the IT was 110F, I set the MAK to HIGH, removed the flame zone cover, and put on the grill grates.
I didn't get a shot of that. I pulled them at an IT of around 130F, they got away from me a little.

Finish pics, with sauteed onions and baked potatoes.





Praline Bacon Acorn Squash with a side of Surf & Turf

My GrillGrates arrived Friday, so we picked up some bottom sirloin & shrimp to give them a try. The Mrs. spied one of her favorite fall veggies Acorn Squash, so I figured "Why not? I can figure out something with them on the pellet smoker.

Here goes...

The acorn squash cut in half and turned up-side-down on a rack over-top a pan of water. Baked at about 300° for 45 minutes.

About 30 minutes into the cook the steaks were seasoned with some Little Louise w/black pepper & added to the perimeter to catch some smoke (Oak/Black Walnut mix).

When the steaks reached the desired temp they were pulled and I added a mixture of Brown Sugar, Chopped Pecans & Crumbled Bacon to the acorn squash. They went back in the smoker while I heated up the GrillGrates for a reverse sear on the steaks.

Some pre-cooked shrimp were loaded onto a FireWire skewer and hit with some Smoking Guns Sweat Heat. Man is that stuff good on shrimp!

Stoven meets GrillGrates for the first time.

Done and plated.


Now I have to tell you, as good as the steak & shrimp both were, the real star of this show was the Praline Bacon Acorn Squash.

Tender with a light smokiness paired with the sweet & salty crunch of the Brown Sugar, Bacon & Pecans, then finished with a creamy dollop of butter, this was absolutely the best acorn squash I have ever eaten. This dish will be added to my repertoire for sure!

Last edited:


New member
Brisket and Butt

Decided to do my first Brisket this weekend so I started small with a 7 pounder and also threw a 9lb Butt on.... Figured if I jacked up the brisket we would at least have some good pork shoulder.... My MAK couldnt have picked a better time to blow a rod... Thanks to BP and everyone who responded for the tips on how to bypass the ignitor and still get her lit...

Used a CT glue on both and Plowboys with Little Louies w pepper on the Brisket and some Plowboys and Obie Cues on the Butt Onto the MAK on smoke for 1.5hrs then bumped to 220


This morning about 8 hrs later



Went easy and grabbed a large can of Bushes Baked Beans then added a little of my own and onto the mak for a couple hrs..


Pulled the Brisket at 198, foiled it at 170, it took about 14.5hrs... Thought that was a little long... Pulled my pork at the same temp...The Butt stalled forever at 178... Total time on that was about 16hrs..




Made some sliders on Hawaiian sweet rolls with the Brisket, homade cole slaw and some Blues Hog sauce....It was really good...I do think I need some work on my Brisket not much of a smoke ring but it was sooo tender it just fell apart...The pork is always a no fail, you really cant mess that up!!!



Chili Head

New member
Final Results for contest 9/18/2011

Well done everyone!

Im posting the entries first and then the winners starting with third place.. We had ten entries this week and here's the players and their food in order of posting:

Deb with onion rings and chili cheese dogs.

Kevin with Pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon.

Roburado with shrimp,scallions and grilled veggies.

Smoker pete with bone in turkey breast with rice and a salad.

Susan with beer butt chicken, rice and a salad.

383inTheD with grilled chicken nachos

Rip with make your own pizzas and mini pies for dessert.

FLBentRider with reverse seared ribeyes and baked potatoes.

TentHunter with grilled squash, steak and shrimp.

Bflodan with brisket and pulled pork sliders with paked beans.

I tell ya these are some tough choices! Everything looked wonderful and I wish everyone could be first. But that can't happen so here we go..

Third place goes to..Susan! with her Birds and Brew!
Beer butt chicken, Lundberg rice cooked in red miso and baby green salad with fresh tomatoes dressed with a honey Balsamic dressing.

Looked great Susan! I want that wing!! You put up a beautiful plate of food.

Second place goes to..Rip! With Smoked tofu, cheese, pepper, crab pizzas! With mini pies and ice cream for dessert!



Rip that crab pizza sucked me in!! I bet it tasted fantastic! And those pies..buddy I want to be your friend! Really nice!

And without further adieu ...

First place goes to..TenTHunter!
With his Praline Bacon Acorn Squash with a side of Surf & Turf!!


TenTHunter that squash is a thing of beauty! I'll have some of that please! :D
The steak looks like it was cooked perfectly. The shrimp and rice was the perfect side for this meal. I'm wishing I could smell and taste it instead of looking and wondering.

Nice job everyone!! It all looked really good!

Thanks BP for hosting this for us! I very much appreciate it!


New member
Alright Tent! Way to go! Congrats to Susan too! Thanks Chili, tough week to judge. BP, thanks as always!
Top Bottom