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Author Archives: Primal Smoke

Better Know a Smoker Part 3: So You’re a Yuppie…

Since it has been a while, you might want to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 before starting with this one.  This is my final piece of advice for someone looking to buy their perfect summer BBQ; and that advice is not to buy pellet and electric smokers, they are not real smokers.

The Pellet Smoker

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This piece of [worthless] equipment does all the work for you….sounds like a BBQers dream come true, just set it and forget it.  Of course not everything that is easy is better.  Case and point fast food.  Enough said.  Many pellet smokers have built-in temperature control, keeping the smoker between 225 and 250 which is really a problem if you want to cook anything besides pork.  We like to smoke our famous briskets around 300 to break down the connective tissue and trust me we have tried cooking brisket low and slow…it ended up like shoe leather.  Smoked salmon or jerky on the other hand needs to be around 175 so having the ability to control the temperature yourself is imperative.

Also, check out any BBQ message board and you’ll see that people tend to complain about the lack of smoke flavor from these compressed processed pellets.  In fact, even if you have a pellet smoker that you can crank the heat up with, the higher the temps cooking with these pellets, the less smoke flavor you get because they burn very cleanly.

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Just like a big mac is not food…this is not wood!

And don’t forget, since pellet smokers are automatic, they have parts that can break, like a motor and electronics systems.

Even the man himself, Myron Mixon said at a pitmaster competition, “Man I know I got this thing won when I see the other team fire up a pellet smoker.”

The Electric Smoker

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Is that a mini-fridge? Nope, that is the saddest excuse for a smoker that you can possible waste your money on.  Sure, they do have a place in resturaunts, since the people cooking can’t maintain the temps on dozens of racks of ribs at a time…unless of course you are in the south, we still cook over open flame pits down here. However, these have no place in your backyard.  In fact, if you own one of these get off my blog, close out this window immediately, you are not allowed to use any of my recipes.

The flavor on these is inferior to even the pellet smoker, and don’t ever expect to get that beautiful bark or crispy chicken skin on one of these machines.  Hell, most competitions wont even allow electric smokers.  Enough said…just dont do it.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Barbeque, basics

 

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Grilled Tri-Tip

Sorry I havent written in a very long time…did you miss me? Of course you did! I have been suffering from a condition known as “baby brain,” where my pregnant body has decided to shuttle all of my body’s resources into the new little parasite leaving me semi-retarded.  What brain function I do have left is reserved for focusing on all the sh*t I need to do/research/buy over the next few months…and housework, I really need to do some housework, when I have the energy, turning food into a human being is exhausting enough.

Now, the tri-tip is a seriously under-rated piece of meat.  It is part of the sirloin, and is (hands down) the best roast on a cow.  It is very well marbled, which means its tenderness rivals our beloved filet(at 1/4 the cost).

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After trimming any rouge hunks of fat, we rubbed ours with a good strong beef rub that had a lot of coarse ground malabar black pepper, salt, and garlic with just a little bit of chili powder, paprika, and onion powder. Then start up a dual zone fire on your grill, one side for searing and the other for cooking.

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We cooked the tri-tip for 5-7 minutes each side over high heat, then moved it over to indirect heat and threw in some cherry wood.  Let the tri-tip cook for another 20 minutes or so, or until the internal temp gets close to 140 on the thick end.

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Top your meaty goodness with a few chunks of Kerrygold butter and wrap in tinfoil.  Let the meat rest for at least 20 minutes, I throw mine in the microwave or oven so it doesn’t cool to quickly.

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Slice, serve, and then come thank me for introducing you to this amazing cut of meat!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Beef

 

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Pizza Chili

Yep, I am cooking indoors again for a while. Cold and snow aren’t my thing, I am not dedicated enough to my livelihood to go outside and freeze my ass off when I am a freaking awesome at inside cooking too.  I know it is a lame excuse.

Pizza in a bowl beats liquid pizza nightmare, hands down

Pizza in a bowl beats liquid pizza nightmare, hands down

So, this recipe was created from a craving for pizza and a love for chili…all of the home-made pizza taste, with only a fraction of the effort

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB fat for browning your meat
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 TB dried basil
  • 1TB dried oregano
  • 1 t ground thyme
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2 cans or 1 tetra-pak of diced tomatoes
  • 2 TB chili powder
  • 1 package of white mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 t paprika
  • 2 t parsley
  • 2 t whole fennel
  • 2 TB balsamic vinegar
  • a few bunches of fresh basil
  • whatever pizza toppings you like, pepperoni, olives, go crazy!

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Ok, I know that sounds like a lot, but most of this stuff you probably already have if you keep a well-stocked paleo kitchen.  Start by heating up a pot, or dutch oven to brown your meat in.  After it looks cooked through add your balsamic vinegar and deglaze, that means scrape all of the tasty bits off the bottom.  Add in the tomatoes and tomato paste, then all your veggies, and spices, reserving half of fresh basil for adding at the end, and the other half garnish.  If you are feeling naughty throw some cheese on the b*tch…whats pizza without cheese?

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There is a little trick to getting beautiful basil confetti, stack the leaves up and roll them like a cigar, .then cut across to get perfect little strips, and voila! Perfect basil garnish

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2 Comments

Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Beef, Pork, Soups

 

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Leftovers: Italian Pulled Pork Two Ways

Ok, so you just made a whole pork shoulder over the weekend, now what the hell are you supposed to do with all the leftovers? If you are like me, you will get sick of eating that much BBQ, there is only so much of the same food I can eat before saying f*ck it, and end up giving the leftovers to the dogs.

Please please please can we have some? Look we are sitting pretty!

Please please please can we have some? Look we are sitting pretty!

Anyone who knows how big an entire pork shoulder is knows how necessary these leftover recipes are.  You will need:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TB dried basil and oregano
  • 1 tea of onion powder
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped(I get mine dried like raisins, but packed in oil will work too)
  • 1/2 an onion
  • a sprinkle of parsley
  • crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes(I buy the tetra-paks that are 26 ounces, but the cans are usually 14 ounces)

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Heat the sauce in a dutch oven and stir until everything is combined.  Add in your leftover pulled pork and heat thoroughly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve!

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Wait….there’s more! No BBQ? No problem(I am talking to you Megan).   You can take a pork shoulder roast or picnic roast, and cook it indoors too.  I have had it both ways and it is equally delicious!

Like so

Like so

Preheat the oven to 250F and start warming up your dutch oven on the stove with a bit of cooking oil.  If you don’t have a dutch oven use a heavy for browning skillet and then transfer the pork to a roaster or oven safe pan with a lid or covered in tin foil(maybe even a crock pot if you want to throw it on before work and come home to a perfect dinner). Add in the balsamic vinegar and deglaze the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan, then add in your sauce ingredients.  Stir until combined, then cover and put that awesomeness in the oven for 4-5 hours.  After a few hours, check the pork, it should start to pull apart easily.  Pull the chunks you can apart, give it a quick stir, and back in the oven for another hour or two.

I did not really time this, I just left it in the oven all afternoon.  Once it breaks apart into pulled pork easily it is done! I usually check periodically, then turn the oven down to 175 or off and leave it in there until my hubby gets home to enjoy that deliciousness.  Chances are you will not burn this if it stays in for a few extra hours.

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Also the SousVide and TX Bar Organics recipe showdown voting is up, please take a minute to vote for Primal Smoke and get yourself entered to win a great gift card! What BBQer wouldnt want 200$ of free beef?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Pork

 

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SousVide Surf and Turf Benedict

In case you haven’t heard, the SousVide  and TX Bar Organics paleo blogger challenge is in full effect.  Please take a minute and vote(for me of course).  Anyone who votes is automatically entered to win one of the $200 gift cards.  Here is the badass breakfast recipe I created for the challenge…

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5lbs of cooked snow crab legs or approx one cup of crab meat
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 12 tablespoons of minced red onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of duck fat + extra for frying
  • 2 TX Bar Organics grass-fed filet mingons
  • salt and pepper

Ok, I am going to commit a meat sin here for the sake of competition, I am going to take the worlds most perfect cut of beef and slice it open and mutilate it prior to cooking…please don’t be afraid, I am a professional.

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Start by gutting your crab legs and mixing the meat with one egg, garlic, jalapeno, onion, and the spices. Add in one TB of coconut flour and check the consistency, you may want to add a bit more (slowly), so that it holds together.

Next, take that beautiful TX Bar steak and cut it lengthwise almost all the way through, to form a pocket for all your tasty crab stuffing. Salt and pepper both the insides and outsides of the steaks, if you don’t salt your food you don’t love the people you are cooking for! Top each steak with 1/4 teaspoon of duck fat and seal them into a SousVide pouch. Before you go to bed, throw the steaks into a SousVide water oven, at 54 degrees Celsius(just over 129F).

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In the morning, your delicious breakfast will be ready and waiting. Heat up a cast iron skillet and sear the steaks on each side in a bit of fat to get a nice brown crust. Now, I know that benedict style breakfasts are usually served with a poached egg, but I haven’t poached a d*mn thing since I went paleo…why bother when fried eggs are so much better(and easier). Place one egg, fried in duck fat, on top of each steak and smother with coconut hollandaise.

Creamy Coconut Hollandaise ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the egg, lemon juice, and coconut cream into a bain marie(glass bowl over a pot of boiling water), and whisk like your life depends on it. Seriously, just keep whisking until you think your arm is going to fall off. Slowly steam in melted coconut oil and continue to whisk until the mixture is emulsified. Mix in your chives and spices to taste, this sauce will thicken up as the eggs cook. Garnish your meal with some chopped chives and fresh grated horseradish(optional) This is the only breakfast delicious enough to stand on it’s own without the addition of bacon, that is no small feat, but feel free to serve with bacon if you’re feeling frisky(your tastebuds will thank you).

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6 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Beef, Breakfast, Seafood

 

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Better Know A Smoker Part Two: The Offset Box

There is one main reason why people what an offset box smoker…because they look really f*cking cool! You look like a serious BBQ professional with one of these big bad boys in your backyard.  Lets figure out what an offset box smoker really is, and the pros and cons of owning one.

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On the left you see where the barrel where charcoal or wood is burned, we use ours almost exclusively as a stick-burner.  The larger barrel is where you cook all of that delicious meat.  One can imagine that the obvious problem with these grills is one side ends up much hotter than the other, this can lead to some pretty depressing sunday afternoons when you end up eating takeout staring at all of the beautiful meat you ruined.  There are dozens of cheap offset box smokers out there, and you really do get what you pay for.  Cheaper metals, and poorly designed leaks and gaps around the door and chimney can cause you to lose heat, and have temperature variations of up to 100 degrees from end to end.

Don't use your good bone-broth for this, as you are just going to discard it later

Our big boy BBQ

If you already have one of these you are in luck, you can use any heat safe silicone sealant to close up the gaps.  Remember, the only place smoke should be coming out of the smoker is the chimney, so if you see it leaking out the door, run to the hardware store as fast as you can and seal that thing tighter than a pair of hipster jeans.  There is also a great way to test for hot-spots found here, those can easily be fixed with a convection plate in the bottom of the smoker.  If you are in the market for one of these smokers but don’t feel like doing modification, there are several high-quality brands that will make a great addition to your backyard.

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Ok, maybe you don’t have to go that high-end, but please consider that a smoker is a serious investment.  If you get one that does not work properly, you will not use it, and then you have just wasted a substantial amount of money on something that will turn into a rusty eye-sore that could probably get you fined by the home-owners association.

Don't be a victim!

Don’t be a victim!

Horizon and Oklahoma Joe make an incredible product, definitely worth the investment, or you could swallow your pride and get yourself barrel smoker, you wont have the ego inflating large size that we love to brag about in this country, but you get consistent temps and a very user-friendly design with little to no modification needed.  If you still have your heart set on an offset box smoker, look for one that is made out of thick metal, to help keep temperatures consistent.  A little shopping around at any BBQ store and you can feel which ones are made with high-quality materials and which ones are Chinese pieces of crap.  Thin metal simply cannot hold the heat the same.  Inspect the smoker and look for tight seals, or prepare to modify the smoker yourself with a little sealant, it really takes less than an hour to give yourself a superior meat machine.

 

And remember…BBQ is not a hobby, it is a way of life

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Barbeque, Random

 

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Frog Leg and Filet Faileo

I love it when a recipe comes together…this however is not one of those times.  I grabbed some frog legs at the store and figured I could do what I always do, experiment in the kitchen and be lucky enough to have it turn out perfect.  What I should have done is look for a recipe ahead of time before I decided to throw those b*tches on the BBQ

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Here is what I started with,

  • 4 pairs of frog legs
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 t coriander and onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 TB white vinegar
  • 3 beef tenderloin steaks
  • salt and pepper

I mixed all of the ingredients except the meat together in a bag and threw in the frog legs, they marinated in there for about 3ish hours.  I then cooked the delicate meat on the grill for 60-90 seconds per side.  These are prone to getting tough and drying out so don’t leave them on too long.

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Whoever said these things taste like chicken is on drugs…they are not like any chicken I have ever tasted, and I have put some questionable food-like substances in my mouth in the past! If I were to cook frog legs on the grill again, I will marinate for at least 48 hours and glaze them with a vibrant sauce.  They just don’t have any flavor on their own and they really need some things that are not whole30 approved to make them edible(like sugar)! I know why most people batter and deep-fry these little guys.

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Now, here is a little tip for cooking beef tenderloin steaks.  When You pull them out of the package they just do not look pretty and perfectly round like what you get in a restaurant, so tie around the edges with some butcher twine and it will help mold your steak, like beautiful beefy play-doh.  The only thing you need to season these with is salt and coarse ground pepper, anything more would be a crime.  Cook them on the grill for 5-7 minutes a side, and don’t forget to let them rest before serving.

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So there you have it, the worlds best steak and the worlds worst amphibian.  Seriously, those frog legs were friggin gross! I would eat them in a survivalist situation if left with no other options, but I am pretty sure I would eat my cat before trying to catch those slippery little f*ckers….sorry Lyra

Noooooooo

Noooooooo

 
7 Comments

Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Beef, Random, Seafood

 

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