Posts Tagged ‘Big green egg’

Brined & Smoked Christmas Turkey

I brine because I hate dry turkey. Throughout the year I brine various birds and pork before it hits the grill. I love juicy meat and brining is a great way to achieve that. Consider it a turkey slam dunk. Juicy flavorful bird and leftover turkey that is still moist well after the Christmas meal. For me the sammies after are almost as important as the actual meal.

My go to recipe for brining turky is Alton Brown’s Good Eats Roast Turkey brine. It is the #1 searched recipe on the food network site. With good reason. It works. Always.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil

Directions

Click here to see how it’s done.

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

*Personally I omit the ginger in the brine and the rosemary in the aromatics. I love rosemary in beef recipes but I am just not fond of it on turkey.

 

I also like to use butter and fresh sage leaves under the breast of the turkey to create a really lovely looking bird. It looks wonderful on the Christmas table decorated with additional apples and sage leaves on a large platter.

I bbq my turkey in a disposable pan on the Traeger or Egg. I like to capture the pan drippings & juices to form the base for my gravy. The temperature should be 450-500F to begin and then I lower it after the first 45 minutes to 275/300F. I like to use oak and hickory or apple and pecan pellets or wood chunks.  I keep an eye on the color of the breast and if it starts to get a little dark I cover it with foil. Alternatively you can ice the breast first before it hits the grill. Fill up two Ziploc sandwich bags with ice and place on the breast leaving them there for an hour before you grill. This will significantly lower the temperature of the breast.  The reason is pretty simple dark eat and white meat don’t necessarily finish at the same time.  You want the breast to be 165F when finished and the dark meat to be 180F. Lowering the temp of the breast slows down its cooking time.

Heres a great video on how to carve a turkey:

I like to serve my turkey with whipped potatoes, my sweet potato casserole, grilled parsnips, gravy, cranberry sauce, bread, butter and another favorite of mine Stuffing Stuffed Acorn squash & Grilled Brussel sprouts:

Stuffing Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sage chips

4 medium acorn squash split in half and cleaned out
8 tablespoons butter
¼ lb bacon finely diced
1 medium onion finely diced
3 stalks celery finely chopped
8-12 fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 boxes commercial stuffing mix

Directions
Preheat grill for use indirect to 350 degrees F.
In a large disposable sheet pan (this will make clean up much easier) place the halves of squash . Place 1 tablespoon of butter in each half. Grill until the flesh is just starting to turn soft (approximately 1 hr)
Make commercial stuffing according to directions and set aside
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until brown and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon reserving fat in the pan. Add sage leaves and fry until the leaves are just starting to turn brown at the edges and remove to paper towels to drain. In the same skillet add the onions and celery, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
In a large bowl combine commercial stuffing mixture, onions, celery and bacon. Fill each cavity of the squash half with this mixture. Return to the grill to warm through. Approximately 20 minutes. Garnish each squash half with the fried sage leaves.

 

Grilled Brussel Sprouts

1 lb Brussel sprouts cleaned and trimmed
¼ cup butter melted
Salt
Pepper
Granulated garlic
Fresh thyme sprigs
1 BBQ buddy™ pan

On a charcoal grill with a medium heat (300F) place bbq buddy ™ pan.
Fill with brussel sprouts and sprinkle on granulated garlic, salt & pepper.
Brush with butter. Turn after 5-10 minutes then brush with butter again.
Remove when brussel sprouts are just starting to turn soft (approx 15-20 minutes)
Garnish with sprigs of thyme.

 

 

Turkey Legs on the BGE

I have been to Disney World Florida more times than I can count when I was a kid and once with my eldest daughter Lexi and my parents. One of my fondest memories besides spending time with family was the Giant Turkey legs. If you ever go make sure to stop and get one. It will be enough to feed at least 2 people. You will feel like a carnivorous Neanderthal while chowing down on one. You won’t care. They are that good. Every time I think of juicy delicious turkey legs my memories take me back to Disney World.

I did my best to recreate those turkey legs on the BGE. I used Clubhouse brand Montreal Chicken seasoning with a dash of poultry seasoning as well.  I generously seasoned the legs and placed them on the BGE with some pecan wood chips and a drip pan underneath. I kept them low at about 225F and I went back a couple of times and basted them with the juices. They were not exactly as I remembered but they were juicy and delicious. It was really fun to tell my kids I was serving them dinosaur birds. Much more fun than telling them they were eating turkey.

The BGE performed nicely. As it was the first cook I got to experience how little charcoal it takes. Overall the BGE did terrific and I was really pleased with the ease of cooking on it.

You don’t have to be an Egghead to appreciate this cookbook

Well I am once again adding to my ever increasing list of BBQ books. The folks at Big Green Egg were kind enough to give me a copy of their latest book. Just for the record. I don’t have a Big Green Egg. Yet. I am a firm believer that having multiple types of grills is a good idea. They all have different personalities. I love my Traegers. I compete with my Traegers. I really do believe they are the easiest BBQ to own and to operate. So I am definitely a pellet head. However I love playing with charcoal too. Playing with fire can be a lot of fun and certainly a challenge at times. Some women collect shoes I prefer to collect BBQ’s. It makes the whole BBQ experience fun.

So the cookbook is really quite expansive. This is a big cookbook. 320 pages. It is a gorgeous cookbook to own. The pictures are incredible. The recipes many I have tried and would recommend -Smoke Beef Short Ribs done with hickory chips for example. I have found many of the recipes are easily transferable to other BBQ equipment in addition to Eggs.

Some of the recipes also use the stove top (ex Kale on page 307 with the apple wood smoked bacon). It is a delicious recipe.

I like the format of this cookbook. I enjoyed reading the Chef & Pitmaster Biographies. Overall this has to be one of the best laid out cookbooks for BBQ I have ever seen. Plus God bless them they realize there are Canadians and International Folks that BBQ since they even included a Metric Conversion table as well.

From the Gourmet (ex Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Creme Fraiche & Caviar) to the most basic (ex Italian Sausage subs) this cookbook has it all for anyone who loves to grill & BBQ. I would highly recommend it for the recipes whether you own a Big Green Egg or other grill/bbq.

The book is only available at Green egg dealers, it will be late summer before it’s available through Amazon

Interview with Ray Lampe aka Dr. BBQ

Danielle Dimovski Diva Q & Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ Canadian Open 2006

Ray (Dr. BBQ) was one of the first successful American Competition BBQ’ers I ever met. It was 2006 and he was the head judge for the Canadian Open. His BBQ class held in Detroit was the very first one I took. He is an extremely candid person. He never minces words.  He has no regrets about calling people out on things that are not right in his book. In the years since he has done a heck of a lot. He has 5 cookbooks published, taught multiples of classes, and has been on countless TV programs and is easily recognizable to anyone in competitive BBQ.

Who is Dr. BBQ?

Ray Lampe grew up in Chicago and after high school spent 25 years in the family trucking business. In 2000 the trucking business had run its course, and it was time for Ray to do something different. He had been participating in BBQ cook-offs as a hobby since 1982, so he decided to take a leap and try to turn his hobby into a career. In 2000 Ray moved to Lakeland, Florida and began his career as a BBQ man.

I caught up with Ray while he was prepping his gear for this weekends first KCBS competition of the year in Lakeland FLA.  I haven’t had much time to catch up with Ray over the last few years. I have been busy and so has he. It certainly hit home that we need to talk a bit more often as the conversation we had ended up being about 2 and a half hours. It wasn’t so much of an interview as it was just catching up with a friend.

D- So tell me about your new site Firecooker.com

RL-Well I am the resident Pitmaster of Firecooker.com. I want it to be a  comfortable backyard community of grillers and BBQ’ers. I wanted a place to showcase BBQ videos, awesome recipes and a great forum. I think its lots of fun and really informative for anyone out there whether they be a competitive BBQ’er looking for tips or a backyard guy or family that wants to see some great tips. It really is for everyone. Just go on and check it out then upload a video. Its really user friendly.

From the website:

FireCooker is a free service for BBQ and grilling fans. You can use FireCooker to rate and review BBQ and upload your own recipes and videos.  You can also keep track of BBQ you’d like to try and buy as well as subscribe to what your buddies have reviewed. The site was built by BBQ fans for BBQ fans.  Whether you’re grilling or slow-cooking in the backyard, we want FireCooker to be the place where you can learn new grill skills, talk to other backyard chefs and rate their recipes and videos

D- How long have you been a member of KCBS?

RL- I have been a member of KCBS since 1991. I have seen a lot . I know where the bodies are buried. (he chuckles) I was there for a lot of it.

D- You have put out 4 books over the last few years when is the next book coming out?

RL- The next book to come out will be one I did for Williams Sonoma. Ribs Chops Steaks & Wings It will be available in April and is available for pre-order. So now I have done 5 books in 5 years.  I am already working on number 6.

D- Recently you made an announcement that you are no longer the Executive Chef for Southern Hospitality.  Was the split amicable?

RL- Absolutely it was amicable. Originally the plan was to open additional locations of Southern Hospitality. Unfortunately due to the economy this just didn’t end up occurring. As such I want to be able to leave my options open. I know that’s probably selfish but I was not a partner. I would like nothing more than to hear that they are expanding the business in the future. They are great guys. Good people to work with.  I would certainly like to work with them again in the future. I wish them only the very best.

John Markus, Chris Lilly, Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ

D- Would you have liked to be on TLC BBQ Pitmasters?

RL- John Markus is a good friend of mine. We were in negotiations for me to do the show. Unfortunately at the time I was already doing Tailgate Warriors. John had such a tight schedule that I just could not be there for them. We just couldn’t work it out. Its just business. It hurts me not to be on that show. I would have loved to be there with my good friends. I know Myron, Leeann, Tuffy, and Jamie. Myron is a ball-buster for sure ( he says laughing) he is a great business man. Its all good for BBQ.

D- You have had an agent now for about a year. How has that impacted your BBQ career?

RL- The opportunity came from Southern Hospitality. My agent was at IMG and has now moved on to another agency. Have an agent that represents me works well. I fill a niche. There are more opportunities.

Some of the things this BBQ man does:

* He’s an expert judge on the Food Networks “Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri”
* He’s featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”
* He travels the country as the Spokeschef for The Big Green Egg grill and smoker
* He’s the featured BBQ Chef at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia
* He’s a spokesman for The National Pork Board
* He’s judged at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship BBQ Cookoff
* He’s judged at the Terlingua, Texas International Chili Cookoff
* He’s judged at The Best of The West Rib Cookoff in Reno
* He served as Executive Chef at Southern Hospitality BBQ in NY 2008-2009
* He writes the “Ask Dr. BBQ Column” for Fiery Foods & BBQ Magazine
* He’s been a guest chef at the Club Med Food and Wine Festival
* He’s been a guest chef at the Woodford Reserve Distillery

D- Do you have any plans for the Superbowl?

RL- I am doing a corporate Tailgate Party. Ill be working with ribs chicken and all total I will have 4 dishes. I’ll even make a Jack Daniels Pie. Whether I get to see the Superbowl live remains up in the air at this moment. I sure hope I get to.

Thanks to Todd at Plowboys BBQ for the use of this photo

D-What TV Projects are you currently involved in?

RL- Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri is something I have been involved in as an expert judge on the Food Network. I have to say that working with Guy is something. He is a real TV professional. Nothing with him is scripted. I really can’t remember if he ever had to do a retake. He is that good at it.

Also I am featured on Food Networks Best thing I Ever Ate airing this Friday (today January 29) Look for the Meatfest show and me eating a Beef and Sausage Combo in Chicago

  • Ray Lampe: Dr. BBQ – Italian Beef and Sausage Sandwich – Joe Boston’ Italian Beef

    2932 W. Chicago Ave.

    Chicago, IL 60622

    (773) 486-9536

    There are also other great TV programs currently in the works and as they come up Ill let you know

    Dr. BBQ has appeared on:

    * Food Network
    * E! News
    * HGTV
    * The NFL Network
    * The Discovery channel
    * The Outdoor Life Network
    * CNN
    * Daytime Tampa Bay
    * Good Morning Texas
    * The Howard Stern Show
    * Martha Stewart Living on Sirius
    * NASCAR Sirius Radio

D- Will you be appearing on Guy Fieri’s new game show Minute to win it?

Minute to Win It, scheduled to debut on NBC on March 14th 2010, at 8pm, challenges contestants to complete ordinary tasks in ten seconds or less. Each completed task earns money, with a maximum payout of $1,000,000 for ten successful completions.

RL- (Laughing) I have not been asked to .

D- Your classes in the past have also included the Greenbriar. Are there plans to continue teaching BBQ there?

RL-The Greenbriar classes we (Ray, Chris Lilly & Myron) did in the past were excellent.  I would expect them to continue in the future.

D-Whats on your agenda with Big green Egg?

RL- I’ll be in Phoenix for the Eggs in the Desert Eggfest with Big Green Egg.  I’ll be teaching there and hanging out with other eggheads.

D- What competitions do you plan on attending this year?

RL- I would like to get to more but I just can’t anymore. I never have time to practice either. So far this year I will be at Lakeland this weekend, the American Royal, I am trying to get up to New York for the Grilling on the Bay. I will also be attending competitive BBQ’ers first $100,000 event in Little Rock Arkansas, Smoke on the Water. I always knew it would get to $100,000. I am glad I am able to attend the first one.  I am trying to put together a schedule that will also allow me to attend some of the other Nascar BBQ events.

D- Where else will you be this year?

RL- I’ll be at the Houston livestock Finals show and the Dallas Pro Bowl event. Lots of other things and places as well. As the dates come up ill have them put on the website. Its going to be a really fun and interesting year. Check the website often for updates.

D-Whats the best advice you would give to people wanting to get into the business of BBQ?

RL- Just remember this. Have integrity. Don’t screw people over. Don’t back stab. If you say you are going to do something then commit to it. Above all BBQ is business. Just like any other business out there. This one just happens to be BBQ. Its not a mystical magical thing.  You can help people and that’s great however you have to look out for your own business needs.   You have to still meet your commitments.  At the end of the day you have to understand  its a business.

You can find Dr. BBQ on twitter & Facebook

Also you can follow firecooker on twitter .

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