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Friday, November 18, 2011

Grill Baked Peach Pie

Alright fans, I've got another non bbq item for you...sort of. I love pie. It's just one of those things that brings me a warm fuzzy feeling. Great comfort food. I decided that I would see about making one on the grill. I've done tons in the oven and the grill is just really an outdoor oven, so here goes.

You'll want to gather all the ingredients for the pie. First, you need the peaches. I suggest you get 4-6 fresh peaches and peel & slice them. I however, for this recipe, used some peaches that my mother gave me a few months ago. They were fresh picked from her trees, then sliced (but not peeled) and frozen in a simple syrup solution. Because of that I didn't need to add any sugar, but you may want the following items:

For the pie:
1 prepared pie crust dough (yeah, I know...but it's one of the few things I just don't like making if I don't have to)
4-6 peaches, peeled & sliced
1 cup sugar
3 T flour
1 T brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg

For topping:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 stick butter (6 T)

Get a 9 inch aluminum pie pan and place your pie crust in it. In a large bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon & nutmeg. Add in the peaches and toss gently (I added the ingredients to my thawed peaches, minus the sugar, and mixed). Pour this mixture into the pie shell and set aside.

Head out to the grill and get it up to about 375 (gas or charcoal). I set up my grill with two burners on and one off. I will place the pie over the off burner so it doesn't get direct heat.

Now, back to the kitchen.

In a small bowl, add the flour and brown sugar. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs. Pour this over your filling. Fold over the excess pie crust and crimp with a fork.

You'll either want to use foil to cover your crust or a pie cover to keep the crust from over-browning. I placed an aluminum pie cover over my crust and placed the pie on the grill.

After about 25 - 30 minutes, you'll want to remove your crust cover and bake for another 20 - 30 minutes. When your pie is bubbly and the topping has turned a golden brown, you're set. Remove the pie from the grill and set on a cooling rack and let it cool completely.

Once your pie has cooled (or mostly cooled), slice and serve (with ice cream if you like). The topping should be nice and crispy and the fruit is tender and sweet. This is an awesome treat you can enjoy anytime!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Smoked (then grilled) Chicken Wings

Hey "Q" fans! Last week, I decided to do some wings for my tailgate spread and I was in a smokin' mood. I normally bake my wings, let them cool, then drop them in hot oil for a minute or two to get a nice crispy crust. This time though, I wanted to get a little more smoking experience.

I started out with a few pounds of wings right from the grocery store instead of those pre-done frozen things. I think it's my restaurant worker coming out in me. I just like to prep 'em myself. Anyway, I got my boning knife and a cutting board ready and got to preppin' the wings.

You want to start out by spreading the wing out so you can clearly see the three separate sections and the joints between them. The next step is to slice right in the middle of each of the two joints. You'll be left with the drumette, wingette & tip.

Rinse the wings and pat dry. I then set the drumette and wingette on a foil lined baking pan and put the tip in a plastic container. Some people will tell you to throw these pieces out, but don't do it. If you cook like I do, these are the perfect pieces to use for making chicken stock. Save 'em!

Now that I've got all the wings prepped and sitting on our pan, it's time for some flavor. I grabbed my squeeze bottle with vegetable oil and gave the wings a small coating. The oil will help hold the rub and keep them from sticking to the grill. After they're oiled up, give them a nice coating of rub, turn them over and coat the other side. Let sit in your fridge for about 15 minutes while you get the grill ready.

I got my cast iron smoker box and loaded it up with chips (I'd like to add here that I don't soak my chips. I know some do & some don't...I've just found they work just as well dry as they do wet, so I don't bother.) I turned on one burner and let it heat up. When the grill was between 250 & 300 and my chips had started smoking, I went inside and grabbed the tray of wings.

Place the wings on the grill (not directly over your heat). Let them smoke for approximately 30 minutes, then turn them over and let them smoke about 30 more minutes (for those temperature minded folks, 165 degrees).

At this point, you have a few options. You can sauce your wings and pull them off the grill and enjoy them as is, or you can crisp 'em up a bit. Me, I like crispy. I love the smoky aroma that is coming from my wings, but they are a bit soft and that's just not what I want. So for me, there's only one thing left to do. That right! You're using a grill, so let's grill 'em off!

Turn up the heat on your burners and move the wings to the direct heat side. You're not going to have them here long, so don't panic. Once you get all the wings on the heat, start to brush them with your favorite sauce. Since I had 24 wings, I used all 3 Doomer's "Q" Sauces and did 8 Hot & Spicy, 8 Dark & 8 Original. I let the first coat start to caramelize, then brushed on a 2nd coat. Once this coat started to caramelize, I pulled them off the grill.

Now comes the best part of all! Grab a few of each flavor wing, some paper towels and a beer. Head on over to your favorite comfy seat and prepare to watch the game and enjoy some smoked wings Maryland Style! Oh soo good!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pulled Pork

Just so you all understand, I'm more of a kitchen guy. I was taught by my mother and grandmother to cook, watched my dad grill, worked in restaurants (not bbq places with a smoker, mind you)... I've...never smoked a pork butt. That's right, this is my first...and I'm using a gas grill. Brave, I know.
I set up the grill for indirect cooking by putting a pan with some water over 2 burners (left off) and turned on the third burner and placed a cast iron smoker box, filled with hickory chips on the heat distribution plate.

We don't have a butcher close by, so I headed to the grocery store to get the butt. I decided to go with the picnic half of the butt. I like a challenge and felt this was the piece to use. I oiled the butt (hehe, childish humor) and rubbed it down (more hehe) with some Willie's Hog Dust. The butt was just over 5 lbs. You typically smoke it for about 2 hours per pound and around 225-250.

Now a lot of recipes tell you to remove the skin and most of the fat. Again, I went against the norm. Since I went to the grocery store, it was mostly trimmed already. I left the on remaining piece of skin & fat on and placed the butt skin side down on the grill.

After smoking it for a few hours, I turned the butt over and sliced the skin off, leaving some of the fat. I placed the skin next to the butt for a little more smoking and dusted the remaining fat with some more rub (crazy, right?). I have plans for this skin, so it needed smokin'. :)

 The smoker box didn't need refilling but I did throw a small foil pack in after the first hour for a little extra smoke. When we hit the "halfway mark" (about 5 hours) I checked the temp and we were at the dreaded 150. Having not smoked a butt before I might have freaked at only being at 150, but I did my research and have talked enough with some of the bbq folks enough that I've heard of the "stall".

I decided to give it some time to see if the meat would pull through the stall on it's own, but once we got to 2 hours till dinner and we hadn't move past 160 I broke. I grabbed a sheet of heavy duty foil and wrapped the butt. I did not add liquid to the foil, which is a technique some like to use. Placing the butt back on the grill, I grabbed the smoked skin and closed the lid.

I let the butt sit in the foil pack for about 1 1/2 more hours and then popped it open for a sec to get the temp. It was 185! I let it roll for the last 1/2 hour and checked it again. We were over 190. I pulled it off the grill and let it sit in the foil with a vent hole for about 30 more minutes so it could rest. After that, I put it in a foil pan and using two serving forks I pulled the meat into shredded awesomeness! See how clean that bone is?! The pork just fell off.
I removed all the bones and the big pieces of fat. I then mixed it thoroughly to assure pieces of the crispy outer crust were evenly distributed with the soft tender pieces.

I took the piece of skin we had smoked and sliced off two small strips and removed some of the congealed fat. My son and I each enjoyed a crispy piece of the skin. The actual purpose of the smoked skin though, was a tasty treat for our dog. After it cooled, we let him rip into his treat.

We all grabbed a plate and some burger rolls and picked out our favorite Doomer's "Q" Sauce to top the pork. For mine, I had three with Doomer's Original, one with Doomer's Hot & Spicy, and one with slaw & Doomer's Original! Excellent!

If you've never smoked a pork butt, don't panic. It can be done and you don't have to be a pro. Just take your time and trust the cooking process. As I like to say, Just "Q" it! Till next time...