Gateway Drum Smoker Giveaway

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Enter this drawing for your chance to win a matte charcoal Gateway Drum Smoker—a $1030 Value!

To get started, submit your name and best email address in the form below. Then earn additional entries in the giveaway by completing the other actions listed, and sharing with your friends.

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Meat Processing Cheat Sheet

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Are you interested in making sausage, bologna, ham, jerky, snack sticks, and bacon at home? There is a lot to learn, but a little guidance goes a long way in preparing these delicious meats and snacks with confidence. Here is a handy list of guidelines you will want to refer to often.

Updated January 25, 2021.


General Guidelines

Note: Temperatures given are in F.

  • Always use cure for jerky, snack sticks, summer sausage, ring bologna, bologna, ham, salami, bacon, etc!

Sodium nitrite (sometimes referred to as Insta Cure #1, Prague Powder, or pink curing salt) is the one you will use most frequently. The correct ratio for sodium nitrite (with the exception of bacon, see below) is 1 ounce per 25 pounds of meat or 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of meat. Buy sodium nitrite here.  

Sodium nitrate (sometimes referred to as Insta Cure #2) is only to be used in salamis, pepperonis, and other specialty items. 

  • If adding high temp cheese to fresh sausage, snack sticks, summer sausage, ring bologna, or bologna, add 1 pound of cheese per 10 pounds of meat. For example, 8.5 pounds of venison + 1.5 pounds of pork fat + 1 pound of high temp cheese + 2 teaspoons of sodium nitrite + the seasoning of your choice would make a terrific summer sausage!
  • When making snack sticks, summer sausage, ring bologna, or bologna, add 1 pint of cold water (per 10 pounds of meat) to your meat after it is ground to make stuffing easier.
  • After stuffing your snack sticks, summer sausage, ring bologna, or bologna, refrigerate them in a covered container to let the cure work throughout the meat. This also gives the seasonings more time to absorb into the fibers of the meat. (Curing times: snack sticks 1 hour, summer sausage 2-3 hours, bolognas 4–6 hours).
  • Cook to internal temperatures of 150 degrees for pork, beef, veal, lamb, and game and 160 degrees for products containing poultry.
  • After removing snack sticks, summer sausage, ring bologna, or bologna from the smoker, immerse them in an ice water bath for 5–10 minutes. This stops the cooking process.
  • When marinating muscle jerky, let it marinade for 12–14 hours if sliced across the grain, 24–28 hours if sliced with the grain.
  • When making formed jerky, shoot the strips onto a wire rack, and let the strips sit 1–2 hours in the refrigerator to let the cure work throughout the meat. Letting the meat cure before making the strips will change the texture of the meat, making it very difficult to load into your jerky gun.
  • If your smoker doesn’t run as low as 150 degrees, try cold smoking the product first before smoking it at 200–225 degrees. Cold smoke snack sticks and formed jerky for 20–30 minutes, muscle jerky for 30–45 minutes, summer sausage for 1 hour, and bolognas for 2 hours. Cooking times will be slightly shorter than the times listed for cooking in an oven. This cold smoking should not be done on warm days!

Fresh Sausage

  • Using venison? Add 20-30% fatty pork or pork fat.
  • Using pork? Pork butts are perfect! Add up to 10% pork fat for really juicy sausages!

Seasoning Blends

Casings

If you're not making links, form it into patties for breakfast sausage or fry it loose for casseroles and other dishes.

Cooking Methods

Using a grill: Cook the fresh sausages at 350 degrees with medium smoke until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees.

Using a stove: Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.

Snack Sticks 

  • Using venison? Add 5-10% fatty pork, pork fat, or lean ground beef (70-80% lean).
  • Using beef? Use 80-90% lean ground beef.

Seasoning Blends 
These come with a cure packet.

Casings

Cooking Methods

Using a smoker: Smoke them at 150 degrees with heavy smoke for 1 hour, then increase the temperature to 200 degrees until the internal temperature of the sticks hits 150 degrees (approximately 30–40 minutes longer).

Using an oven: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke per 10 pounds of meat to the seasoning blend, then cook them at 200 degrees until the internal temperature of the sticks hits 150 degrees (approximately 1 hour).

Summer Sausage or Ring Bologna

  • Using venison? Add 10-20% fatty pork, pork fat, or lean ground beef (70-80% lean).
  • Using beef? Use 80-90% lean ground beef.

Seasoning Blends 
These come with a cure packet.

Casings

Cooking Methods

Using a smoker: Smoke it at 150 degrees with heavy smoke for 4 hours, then increase the temperature to 200 degrees until the internal temperature of the meat hits 150 degrees (approximately 1–2 more hours).

Using an oven: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke per 10 pounds of meat to the seasoning blend, then cook it at 200 degrees until the internal temperature of the meat hits 150 degrees (approximately 3 hours).

Bologna

  • Using venison? Add 10-20% fatty pork, pork fat, or lean ground beef (70-80% lean).
  • Using beef? Use 80-90% lean ground beef.

Seasoning

Casings

Cooking Methods

Using a smoker: Smoke the bologna at 150 degrees with heavy smoke for 6 hours, then increase the temperature to 200 degrees until the internal temperature of the meat hits 150 degrees (approximately 5–6 more hours).

Using an oven: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke per 10 pounds of meat to the seasoning blend, then cook it at 200 degrees until the internal temp of the meat hits 150 degrees (approximately 6–7 hours).

Muscle Jerky 

  • Using venison? The hindquarters or the backstraps make great muscle jerky!
  • Using beef? Brisket flat, top round, or eye round are great choices.

Seasonings (available in our store)

Preparation Methods

Using a smoker: Smoke the jerky at 150 degrees with medium smoke until it is rigid, but tender enough that it doesn't snap when bent (approximately 6–8 hours).

Using an oven: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke per 10 pounds of meat to the marinade. Set the oven as low as possible (usually 175–200 degrees), and prop the door open 1–2” to let some of the heat escape. Cook the jerky until it is rigid, but tender enough that it doesn't snap when bent (approximately 4–6 hours).

Using a dehydrator: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke per 10 pounds of meat to the marinade. Set the dehydrator at 150 degrees or as low as possible. Dry the meat until it is rigid, but tender enough that it doesn't snap when bent (approximately 6–8 hours).

Formed Jerky 

  • Using venison? Any ground venison works fine.
  • Using beef? Use the leanest ground beef you can possibly find!

See "Muscle Jerky" for recommended seasonings.

Preparation Methods

Using a smoker: Smoke the jerky at 150 degrees with medium smoke until it is rigid, but tender enough that it doesn't snap when bent (approximately 3–4 hours).

Using an oven: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke per 10 pounds of meat to the seasoning blend. Set the oven as low as possible (usually 175–200 degrees), and prop the door open 1–2” to let some of the heat escape. Cook the jerky until it is rigid, but tender enough that it doesn't snap when bent (approximately 2–3 hours).

Using a dehydrator: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke per 10 pounds of meat to the seasoning blend. Set the dehydrator at 150 degrees or as low as possible. Dry the meat until it is rigid, but tender enough that it doesn't snap when bent (approximately 3–4 hours).

Bacon

Use a skinned pork belly.

Basic cure for a 10-pound pork belly (adjust as needed to match the weight):

  • 4 ounces kosher salt
  • 2.25 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 0.75 ounces cure #1 (sodium nitrite)

For a maple bacon, slather the belly in maple syrup before applying the cure mixture. For a peppered bacon, add 3 tablespoons coarsely-ground black pepper to the basic cure mixture and lightly dust the belly with more before refrigerating for the pellicle formation.

Mix the cure ingredients well and apply the cure to all sides of the belly. Put the belly in a large zip lock bag or covered container. Refrigerate it for seven days and flip the belly once a day. Very thick bellies might take several extra days to cure; the belly should feel firm to the touch.

After the curing process is completed, remove the belly from the bag, rinse it well, and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes. Then pat it dry with paper towels, set it on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet, and put it back in the refrigerator uncovered for 18–24 hours to form a pellicle.

Preparation Methods

Using a smoker: Smoke the belly at 150 degrees with medium smoke for 2 hours, then at 200 degrees until the internal temperature of the bacon hits 150 degrees (approximately 2–3 more hours).

Using an oven: Cook the belly at 200 degrees until the internal temperature of the bacon reaches 150 degrees (approximately 3–4 hours).

Let it cool on the counter for 30–40 minutes before refrigerating or freezing it.

We carry a full line of meat processing equipment and supplies, including grinders, stuffers, seasoning blends, and casings. Our staff is also happy to help you with your meat processing questions! Visit us during store hours or browse some of our products in our online catalog here:

Location:
Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply
140 W Main St
New Holland, PA 17557

Phone: (717) 355-0779

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

How to Smoke Cheese

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Have you tried your hand at smoking cheese yet? If not, you're missing a lot!

Transform the typical party tray of cheese, crackers, and summer sausage by adding some smoked cheese! Smoked cheese also ratchets up the WOW power of other recipes, like mac 'n cheese, home-made party dips, grilled cheese sandwiches, and more. 

Follow our smoked cheese recipe below to discover how fun and easy it is to do!

And if you already know how to smoke cheese, don't miss our advanced tips for taking your smoked cheese to a whole new level.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make sure to clean your grates well, or put the cheese on wire racks.
  2. Set up your grill or smoker for cold smoking with a 5” x 8” Maze cold smoker made by A-Maze-N Products.
    • In a gas grill, you’ll be setting the A-Maze-N cold smoker down in the bottom center of the grill.
    • In a pellet smoker or stick burner, the Maze smoker will go on the grate, on the opposite side of the stack.
    • In a kamado style grill, kettle grill, or drum smoker, clean out all the ash and unburned charcoal; the Maze will go in the firebox or charcoal basket area. Install the heat diffuser or smoking plate between the Maze and the cheese (if applicable).
    • In a cabinet style smoker, the Maze will go in the smoking chamber, below the bottom grate. Put a pan of ice on the bottom grate directly above the Maze.
  3. Fill the Maze with BBQr's Delight smoking pellets in the 1-pound bags. (With the exception of the specialty savory herb and Jack Daniel's varieties, which have oak added to ensure a quality burn, the 1-pound bags are 100% flavor species.)
  4. Hit the pellets with a blow torch (at each end of the maze) until the pellets continue burning after you remove the torch. You want to see a flame coming off the pellets, not just smoke. Let the pellets burn for 60–90 seconds, then blow out the flames. The pellets will continue to smolder.
  5. Put the Maze into your smoker.
  6. All bottom vents (if applicable) of the smoker should be wide open. The exhaust vents or stack (if applicable) should be closed as far as possible while still drawing the smoke through the chamber.
  7. Put the cheese into the smoker. Do NOT light your grill or smoker in any other way.
  8. After 1-3/4 hours, flip the cheese. This prevents unsightly light-colored bands from the grates or wire racks.
  9. After another 1-3/4 hours, remove the cheese from the smoker.
  10. Chill the cheese in the refrigerator for 1 hour, unwrapped, to firm it up.
  11. Vacuum seal the cheese and put it back in the refrigerator for aging. The cheese should be aged for a minimum of 2 weeks, preferably a month or more. Aging softens the initial harshness of the smoke, and as the cheese ages, the flavors really begin complementing each other.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

BBQr's Delight Flavor Pellets

We recommend the 1-pound bags of smoking pellets from BBQr's Delight for cheese. These "flavor pellets" contain only the species named on the bag (with the exception of the specialty savory herb and Jack Daniel's varieties, which have oak added to ensure a quality burn).

The 20-pound bags are designed for pellet grill fuel and are a mix of oak and the flavor species.

Tips

One-pound blocks are the perfect size to smoke. If purchasing the more economically priced five- or ten-pound blocks of cheese, cut these into about one-pound blocks. 

Cold smoking generates little or no heat, but if you cold smoke on a warm day, the temperature inside your smoker will likely rise high enough to melt the cheese. Move your smoker into the shade and add a tray or two of ice to the smoker to prevent melting or excessive softening.

Airflow Tips

  • If using a charcoal grill or smoker, make sure the ash and any unburned fuel is cleaned out and the bottom vents are all wide open to allow airflow to the Maze and through the smoking chamber. 
  • If the smoker has a screen at the bottom vent (like a Big Green Egg), make sure to close the screen while leaving the vent itself open. The fine mesh screen will prevent the smoke from wafting out the bottom.
  • A larger smoker like a cabinet style or a stick burner, or a smoker with poor natural air circulation, might need to have a fan blowing outward at the stack to draw the smoke through.

Advanced Tips

Experiment with different pellets. For harder cheeses like cheddars, use pecan pellets or those great Jack Daniel’s pellets. For softer cheeses like Muenster or Cooper, try apple, cherry, or savory herb pellets.

Get creative. 

  • Try soaking cheeses for twenty-four hours before smoking. One neat example is to puncture a block of sharp white cheddar on all sides with a toothpick in a one-inch grid pattern. Vacuum seal the cheese with a pint or two of red wine. Merlot is terrific for this. If you don’t own a vacuum sealer, pour the wine into a deep covered container and lay the cheese in it, rotating it every two hours.
  • A second great flavor combo is to vacuum seal or soak a block of Muenster in an ale!
  • How about this one? Add 6 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves to a pint of premium quality olive oil, and let it infuse for 5–6 hours at room temperature. Gently stir the oil every hour. Glaze a sharp white or yellow cheddar with the olive oil (do not remove the rosemary leaves from the oil), then smoke it immediately. Set the glazed cheese on a wire rack in a pan to catch the oil drippings.

Try extreme aging. Cold smoke blocks of cheese for 4 to 4-1/2 hours, instead of the standard 3-1/2 hours. Vacuum seal the cheese (this is a MUST), and age it in the refrigerator for eight months or more. Harder cheeses work best for this. For example, smoke a block of Parmesan, age it for a year, then shave it onto a pizza or into a pasta dish. Bon Appetit!

My Grandma’s Pecan Pie in a Big Green Egg

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Outdoor cooking is no longer just about the meat. Any kind of indirect heat smoker that can hold a baking temperature can be used for cooking dishes you normally wouldn’t think of cooking outdoors, including my grandma’s amazing pecan pie!

In my opinion, no Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday is complete without homemade pie. Pumpkin is high on the list for many, but pecan pie is my all-time favorite, so I decided to show you how easy it is to cook a pecan pie on the Big Green Egg and take it a notch above the ordinary.

This would make an excellent dessert for your holiday meal or any time of year, really.

Do you need help cooking your holiday meals? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

The Crust

My wife made the crust for this pie from scratch using the following recipe. It’s gluten free and delicious! The oat flour gives it a delicate, crumbly texture I really like.

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups oat flour
  • 6 tablespoons oat fiber
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2/3 cup cold butter, grated
  • 1/4–1/2 cup ice water

Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl, and then cut in the butter until it forms small crumbs. Add enough water as you’re mixing it to turn it into a dough consistency.

This recipe makes two crusts, so separate the dough into two equal parts. Roll each one thin between two pieces of wax paper, remove the top piece of wax paper, and flip it onto a pie dish. Cut the excess crust off with a butter knife and crimp the edge with your fingers.

If you are used to making your own pie crusts, you might have a favorite recipe already. Or if you don’t want to make your own crust, you can always purchase a 9-inch shell at the grocery store and still enjoy the wonderful wood-fired flavor we’re getting ready to enjoy here.

The Pie

My mom passed this on from her mom, so it’s been in my family for quite some time. Once you taste it, you’ll understand why!

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecan halves or pieces

Beat all the ingredients, reserving the pecans. Stir in the pecans and pour the mixture into a pie crust.

At this point, you can bake the pie either in the oven or in your smoker. I’m using the Big Green Egg with a target temperature of 375 degrees F.

To fire the Egg, I used Rockwood charcoal with a chunk of pecan smoking wood. Light the charcoal with wax fire starter squares or a hand-held torch and a BBQ Dragon.

I used the Flame Boss to control the temperature (more on that below).

Once the charcoal is well lit in one or two spots, add a chunk of smoking wood, set the convEGGtor in the grill to set it up for indirect heat, and rest the cooking grate on the convEGGtor.

Close the lid and adjust both vents to wide open. Use the screen vent in the bottom to keep embers from escaping the bottom of the grill.

Once the temperature is within 50 degrees of your target temperature (325 degrees), it's time to hook up the Flame Boss or start adjusting the vents to stabilize the temperature.

If you are using the Flame Boss, see my notes on how to set it up below. If not, slide both vents to 1” open and then adjust the top vent as needed to stabilize it at 375 degrees. See my notes on temperature control below if you are having trouble dialing in the temperature.

Bake the pie in the grill for 40–50 minutes or until the filling has set and is only a bit jiggly.

Temperature Control in the Big Green Egg

If you're new to this, it will take some time to master temperature control, but it works on this principle: Give the grill more air to raise the temperature and give it less air to lower the temperature. This is done by adjusting both the top and bottom vents.

How you fire the grill and what your target temperature is will affect how you adjust the vents, but if you understand the principle, you can figure out how to master the temperature in any scenario. For most cooks, you'll be running with the vents between 1/4” (a pencil thickness) and 1-1/2”.

In this cook, I used the Flame Boss to control the grill temperature. This cool gadget is like cruise control for your charcoal grill. It electronically adjusts the air flow to keep the temperature steady and also monitors the temperature of up to three different pieces of meat. You can connect it to your network for monitoring the grill and meats from your phone too. 

Note: As you can see in the photos above, I set up the Flame Boss while the grill was getting hot, but it works best to wait until the grill is within 50 degrees of your target temperature.

Install the adapter in the bottom vent, plug in the power cord, pit probe, and fan, hook the fan into the adapter, clip the pit probe onto the grill's factory thermometer probe, and set the pit temperature on the Flame Boss to 375 degrees F.

Close the bottom vent so the only air going into the grill is through the Flame Boss adapter. The Flame Boss works with forced draft, so close the top vent to about 1/16" open.

Flame Boss Tips:

  • If the temperature creeps above what you have the Flame Boss set, you may need to close the top vent a little more (no less than a sliver).
  • If the temperature won't rise to the set pit temperature, slide the top vent open in tiny increments until the Flame Boss can do its job.
  • Be careful not to let the Egg get too hot. The Flame Boss is designed to raise and maintain the grill temperature, so it has a hard time lowering a runaway fire by 50–100 degrees.

Cool the pie a bit before serving it. I prefer it cooled overnight in the fridge and served the following day. This is an advantage if you have a small smoker and don’t have room for the entire meal. You can easily make your pies a day or two early and surprise everyone the day of your family gathering with a delicious wood-fired dessert.

If you’ve never tried a smoked dessert, I hope you try this one. It’s “easy as pie,” and the flavor is perfect for anyone who loves that classic wood-fired flavor!

Do you need help cooking your holiday meal? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

​About the author: Lavern Gingerich is a writer and the digital marketing manager for Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply​.

Holiday Recipe: How to Smoke a Prime Rib on a Big Green Egg

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Are you excited about cooking a holiday meal this Christmas that will linger in the memories of those who enjoy it with you? Or planning a fancy-ish menu for a party or business conference?

Smoked prime rib roast is perfect for a festive meal or when you want something more elegant than grilled chicken or smoked brisket.

If this is your first time smoking a prime rib, it may feel intimidating, but my tips and tricks in this recipe will help you smoke a prime rib you can be proud of. Even if it isn’t perfect it will be delicious, and you might even surprise yourself!

A beef roast cooked by this method is best cooked to medium rare or medium doneness. If some of your guests don’t appreciate a good steak, they might not care for this dish either. My suggestion is to prepare a second meat option, such as chicken or pork. If you’re cooking a holiday meal, you could offer a double-smoked ham with a cranberry glaze.

Have any outdoor cooking questions? Need some supplies for cooking a holiday meal on your smoker or grill? We'd love to help! Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA during store hours (listed at the bottom of this page).

Purchase the Roast

I purchased a whole 18-pound boneless ribeye roast. If that’s too much meat for you, you can get one cut down to five or six pounds. If your grocery store doesn’t have any in the display case, talk to the butcher about breaking one down for you. They might even tie it up for you.

The roast I cooked was a choice grade from Sam's Club. Their prime grade ribeyes (referring to the grading system, not the cut) are nearly twice the cost per pound and they were out of stock, so I decided to go with choice.

If you can find prime grade and want to spend the extra money for better marbling, it would give you more exquisite results, but for most people on a budget, choice offers the best balance of cost and quality.

I like to prepare the meat the night before I plan to cook it for two reasons: First, it gives the dry brine time to work its magic in the fridge, and second, we won’t have to worry about spending an hour prepping the meat the day of the cook. If you’re cooking this on a special day, you might be glad the meat is ready to season and set on the smoker.

Trim

Take your time to trim the roast because you want to build up a tasty bark that won't need to be discarded at serving time.

Carefully trim off the fat cap and the silverskin. Remove anything on the surface of the meat that you don’t want to eat so that the bark can build directly on the meat.

The meat will cook more evenly if it’s shaped like a cylinder. If the meat is oblong or tear-shaped, I recommend you tie some loops around the roast with cooking twine every couple of inches to hold the roast into a more round shape. The twine also helps keep the muscles from separating during the cook and heating unevenly.

Dry Brine

This step helps to keep the final product more juicy.

Salt the outside of the roast all over with kosher salt. It takes roughly 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat. You can substitute kosher salt with table salt (use 1/4 teaspoon per pound). You can also just eyeball it if you’re careful not to cake it on too much.

Set the roast in a pan, cover it with plastic wrap, and set it in the fridge overnight, or at least four hours.

Season

I seasoned the entire surface with Oakridge Carne Crosta Steakhouse Rub, a coffee-infused seasoning designed to create an irresistible crust on beef roasts and steaks! The directions say you should apply the rub at least 30 minutes before putting the meat on the smoker.

If you prefer mixing your own beef rub, you can use this one:

Meathead’s Cow Crust

Mix the following ingredients in a bowl and season the meat with it, or elevate the flavors by turning it into a paste, which amplifies the flavors of the rub. Simply add 1 part water to 1 part dry rub, pour the paste on the meat, and rub it in. The meat may be put on the smoker immediately.

  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves, lightly crushed or broken
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon American paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder

Makes enough for 10–12 pounds of beef. Multiply as needed.

Smoke

For this cook, I’m using my Big Green Egg XL. My roast has just enough room on this size grill. I fired the Egg with Rockwood lump charcoal and and three chunks of pecan smoking wood.

Have any outdoor cooking questions? Need some supplies for cooking a holiday meal on your smoker or grill? We'd love to help! Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA during store hours (listed at the bottom of this page).

Cook the roast with indirect heat at 225 degrees F until the center is within 10–15 degrees of your target temperature. I was aiming for medium-rare in the center, so my final target temperature was 135 degrees.

Mine took 3-1/2 hours to reach 120 degrees. As an estimate, figure 30–40 minutes per inch of diameter.

How to Fire a Big Green Egg for Indirect 225 Degree F Cooking

  • Add enough charcoal to fill the Kick Ash Basket, or if you’re not using a basket, up to the top of the firebox ring.
  • Open the top and bottom vents all the way. Use the screen vent in the bottom to keep embers from dropping out the bottom of the grill.
  • Light two wax fire starter squares (available in our store) and cover them with several pieces of charcoal.
  • Replace the convEGGctor and cooking grate.
  • Close the grill lid after about 10 minutes and wait for the temperature to rise.
  • Once the temperature is within 5–10 degrees of your target temperature, slide both vents to around 3/4". Watch the thermometer for 10 seconds and determine whether it’s going up or down. Make vent adjustments as needed to dial it in. (Give the grill more air to raise the temperature and less air to lower the temperature.) For this cook, I was running with the top vent open about 1/4” at the widest part and the bottom vent at roughly 1/2” open, but that will depend on how the grill is fired and how long you open the lid. It should not take major adjustments throughout the cook to keep it on track.
Pecan Smoking Wood

Pecan Smoking Wood

Rockwood Lump Charcoal and Wood

Rockwood Lump Charcoal and Wood

Top Vent Open All the Way

Top Vent Wide Open

Bottom Vent Open All the Way

Bottom Vent Wide Open

At Cooking Temperature

Grill at Target Temperature

Bottom Vent Adjusted to Stabilize Temperature


The goal is to finish the center without drying out the meat near the surface, so it’s important to use a low and slow method. Aim for 225 degrees to be safe.

The biggest challenge in cooking prime rib is getting a consistent internal temperature in all parts of the roast. There are basically three reasons for this:

  1. One end tends to be smaller in diameter than the other.
  2. The roast comes tear-shaped.
  3. Heat has to travel through the surface of the meat to cook the center.

To overcome this, we will heat it up very gently to minimize overcooking the outer ring of meat before the center is ready. Tying the roast with cooking twine also helps it cook more evenly.

I set the roast directly on the cooking grate with the convEGGctor under it, but if you would elevate the roast and put a drip pan containing some liquid under it, that could help insulate it from the heat so it might cook more evenly. If you are using a different style of smoker, and the heat is very intense at the lower grate level, keep the heat low and make sure it doesn’t burn.

The key is also to make sure you don’t overcook the meat! Check the internal temperature about 45–60 minutes into the cook and then every 30 minutes or so. If you don’t have a leave-in thermometer, use an instant-read thermometer, such as the Thermapen MK-4. If the bottom side of the meat starts getting too dark, turn it to help it cook more evenly.

Sear

Once the center reaches 120–125 degrees, remove the strings and sear the roast over direct heat for several minutes per side. Be very careful not to char it. You only want to deepen the color and release the oils in the rub.

Strings removed and ready for searing:

For this step, I opened the vents on the Egg all the way and removed the convEGGctor. I should have only opened the vents partway because my fire was pretty frisky, so I couldn’t leave it on direct heat as long as I wanted to. As you can tell in the photos, I actually blackened part of it accidentally. It’s embarrassing to admit a mistake like this, but if I can help you avoid the same mistake, that’s worth something. 

Remember, keep a very close watch on the meat during this part of the cook!

If the fire isn’t too hot, you can sear it for a total of 20 minutes, turning it all around to cover the whole surface during that time.

Double check the internal temperature to see if it has reached your target temperature of 130–135 degrees for medium rare.

For some reason, one side of my roast cooked faster than the rest, so I have a band of about medium doneness along that edge. It’s not on the edge that was facing the fire for the first phase of the cook, so I’m not sure what caused that, unless it happened when I was searing that side.

The comforting fact is that using a quality piece of meat and dry brining will help keep the parts that are a bit more done from drying out. In fact, I almost prefer the texture of a medium doneness to a shy medium rare.

It’s hard to get it perfect every time, so I hope you are inspired to relax and enjoy the adventure!

Slice and Serve

As soon as the roast is done searing, slice it into ½” thick slices and serve it with the sides you’ve prepared. Some sides our family enjoys are chunked and roasted potatoes, sweet potato fries, skillet-fried or steamed vegetables, and garden salad.

If you’re planning a holiday meal on your smoker, consider tackling a prime rib! It seems intimidating but it really isn’t that hard. Even if you’re new to it, using the tricks I’ve showed you, you should be able to smoke a delicious and memorable prime rib for your family this Christmas!

You can make a homemade seasoning blend with herbs and spices or make it easy on yourself and pick up a bag of Oakridge Carne Crosta Steakhouse Rub here at our store. This stuff has a coffee flavor and is designed to put an amazing crust on beef. Once you smell and taste it, I think you’ll fall in love with this seasoning and want to keep some on hand for your grilled steaks too!

Have any outdoor cooking questions? Need some supplies for cooking a holiday meal on your smoker or grill? We'd love to help! Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA during store hours (listed at the bottom of this page).

​About the author: Lavern Gingerich is a writer and the digital marketing manager for Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply​.

Wood-Fired Sweet and Salty Party Mix Recipe

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Have you ever thought of baking a Chex mix in your smoker? This snack mix is perfect for celebrating Christmas or cheering up a long winter evening.


We have a tradition of making party mix around the holidays, and baking it over wood and charcoal really kicks the flavor up a few notches! Instead of our usual recipe with cheese puffs and pretzels, I thought it would be fun to experiment with a sweeter profile, so I added some Christmas-colored M&M’s. It certainly is a hit at our house.

To get started, mix the following in a bowl:

  • 4 cups Cheerios
  • 3 cups wheat Chex
  • 3 cups corn Chex
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup cashews

In a small kettle, make your sauce:

Melt the butter and mix it with the other sauce ingredients. You can substitute the last two items with your favorite seasonings. The Meadow Creek rub is pretty salty, so if you swap it out with a rub that’s low in salt, you might want to add some regular salt.

Pour the sauce over your dry mixture and stir it well. There should be enough butter to coat all the cereal. Dump the mix into a 9x13-inch aluminum pan.

For this recipe, I used my Weber kettle grill, fired with 100% hardwood lump charcoal on the one side and a chunk of apple wood. I set the pan on the opposite side with the lid turned so the vent was directly above the pan.

This recipe would be great for a pellet smoker, Big Green Egg, or an offset smoker too. You could use any kind of fruit wood or pecan wood for smoking.

Besides giving the mix a smoke flavor, you want to bake the sauce into the cereal. The time and temperature are flexible, but you want to "kiss" it with smoke and heat the mix enough to crisp the cereal and shrink the Cheerios a bit. 

If you have a smoker that has trouble getting up over 250 degrees in the cold, that isn't a problem. At 225–250 degrees F, it will take 1-1/2 to 2 hours. On my Weber kettle, I used a bit too much charcoal, so my grill ran at 400 degrees and the mix was done in 45 minutes.

Who doesn't love those tiny savory Cheerios baked in Worcestershire sauce and butter? They are the best!

If you’re cooking at higher temperatures, stir the mix every 15 minutes; at the lower temperature, every 30 minutes should be enough.

Let the mix cool for fifteen minutes and add 1 cup of red and green M&M’s. If you add them while the mix is still hot, the candy will melt and split.

Try freezing some of the party mix in an air-tight container or in a vacuum sealed bag. I think it tastes better after a couple of weeks in the freezer, because the flavor has more time to mix.


​About the author: Lavern Gingerich is a writer and the digital marketing manager for Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply​.

This story is taken from StoryQue Magazine and used by permission.

How to Cure and Smoke Bacon With Thermoworks DOT Thermometer

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Bacon goes well with almost anything. It’s used in everything from sandwiches to chocolate—we haven’t found anything this versatile meat can’t do!

The art of curing meat dates from well before the dawn of refrigeration, all the way back to ancient civilizations as a way to preserve meat for long periods of time. Since those first ancient attempts, it has been perfected and made into nothing short of an art form.

Bacon is a staple in many cuisines and can be prepared in various ways, from cold-smoked German Speck to unsmoked Italian Guanciale to good old American apple smoked bacon. There are variations in how bacon is seasoned, as well, from salty and savory to sweet—a whole world of bacon possibilities just waiting for you to explore. But if you’ve never made your own smoked bacon from a slab of pork belly, that simple, satisfying preparation is definitely where you should start.

Home cured bacon frying in a cast iron skillet

Here we present a basic cure for the bacon, but you can enhance it with any spices or herbs that you choose. A nice touch, for instance, is a teaspoon of juniper berries and a couple bay leaves ground in with the pepper, or maybe a little cayenne to give it some kick. No matter how you season your bacon, or whether or not you smoke it, knowing the key temps makes this a simple project and using a leave-in probe thermometer like the DOT makes tracking those temps easy.

The Thermoworks DOT is a simple and durable leave-in probe thermometer that will track temperatures in your oven or grill and sound an alarm when you've reached your desired temperature.

Thermoworks is the leading brand of commercial grade digital thermometers. A selection of Thermoworks thermometers and a wide range of tool and supplies for smoking and processing meat are available in our store at 140 W Main St, New Holland, PA.

Key Principles of Making Bacon

Making your own bacon is as simple as getting the right cut of pork, curing it, rinsing it, and cooking it before slicing. If you have room in your refrigerator for a cookie sheet for a week, you can make bacon. Let’s look at the steps individually.

Find the Right Pork Belly

Purchase a pork belly with the skin removed. It can be difficult to tell if the skin is on or removed, but an easy way to check is to make an indent on the fat side with your fingernail. If the skin is still on, your fingernail will only make a small indent. If the skin is removed properly, you will see a deep nail imprint in the fat of your pork belly.

Make the Cure and Cure the Meat

Curing meat is a process of removing water and changing the proteins. We remove water by coating the pork belly in salt and sugar, which creates an osmotic pressure and draws the water out. By removing excess water from the meat, we lower its “water activity,” making it less hospitable to bacteria and other spoiling organisms.

For hundreds of years, people have used nitrates and nitrites to cure meats like bacon. The addition of these chemicals to the pork actually changes the nature of the proteins. The altered proteins retain their pink color when cooked and also acquire a different taste: think of the difference in flavor between a pork roast and a ham. Back in the day, cured sausages needed the nitrates to prevent botulism spores from forming. If people didn’t use it, they would get sick and die from bad salami or ham. In fact, botulism gets its name from the latin word for sausage! Now, you’re probably not hanging your bacon in the shed all winter, so the botulism-prevention aspect isn’t as important, but I do recommend using the curing salts for the full flavor and aesthetic effects.

If you’re not comfortable using the curing salts, however, you can omit them. The flavor won’t be quite the same, and the color of your final product will be more brownish, but it will still be very tasty.

Basic Bacon Cure Recipe

As a guide for making your own cure, you can use this basic ration:

  • 1 lb kosher salt
  • 8 oz sugar
  • 2 oz pink curing salt (Prague Powder #1)

Mix a big batch together, if you like, and keep it indefinitely in your cupboard. The cure-to-meat ratio is 2 oz of cure for every 5 lb of meat. You can build it out with additional seasonings from there!

Cure rubbed onto pork belly

Cure the Bacon

Rub the cure all over your pork belly and let it sit in a cookie sheet on a shelf in your refrigerator. Be sure that your refrigerator is keeping the meat below 40°F (4°C) for 5-7 days. (Put the probe of your leave-in probe thermometer like the DOT next to the meat for an hour or so to verify your fridge temp. You can turn your fridge setting up or down as needed.), Flip the pork belly every day or two to be sure that it bastes evenly in the liquid that exudes from it. There will be quite a lot of liquid. Some people like to cure bacon in a large plastic bag for this reason. If you want to do this, you’ll need to cut the belly into chunks first and rub each chunk with cure individually before curing, then place them in large locking plastic bags. I personally don’t know of a zip-top bag large enough to hold a 10 lb slab of pork belly, so we cured our pork belly on a cookie sheet.

Rinse, Dry, and Smoke the Bacon

After curing for a full week, remove the pork belly from the refrigerator. Thoroughly rinse the curing liquid off the pork belly. Then pat the meat dry and refrigerate it again, uncovered like this, for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

The pork belly must be gently cooked to finish your preparation. This means either smoking for a traditional flavor or, if no smoker is available, you can slow cook it in a traditional oven. Either way, the cured belly should be cooked at 200°F (93°C) until it reaches an internal temperature of 150°F (66°C).

Smoke the bacon to an internal temperature of 150°F.

Use a leave-in probe thermometer like the DOT to keep track of the pork’s internal temperature. This cooking will not render the fat, nor will it crisp the belly into cooked bacon. Instead, it will firm up the flesh and help to make the resulting bacon last longer in the refrigerator.

The Thermoworks DOT is a simple and durable leave-in probe thermometer that will track temperatures in your oven or grill and sound an alarm when you've reached your desired temperature.

Thermoworks is the leading brand of commercial grade digital thermometers. A selection of Thermoworks thermometers and a wide range of tool and supplies for smoking and processing meat are available in our store at 140 W Main St, New Holland, PA.

Cool, Cut, and Use

When the pork belly reaches 150°F (66°C), remove it from the smoker or oven and let it cool. Place it in the refrigerator to chill and re-solidify the fat. Slice it as thinly or thickly as you like and cook it up! Make notes on what you like or dislike about the flavor so you can improve it next time.

Home cured and smoked bacon recipe

Curing Bacon

Recipe from Steven Raichlen

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork belly, 10-12 lbs.
  • 2/3 C kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 C brown sugar, granulated sugar, or maple sugar (we used brown sugar)
  • 4 tsp pink curing salt, such as prague powder #1 (optional)

Instructions

  • Mix the ingredients for the cure.

Mix the cure ingredients.

  • Place the uncured belly on a pan or in a large bag. If your belly is too large for your pan, cut it into smaller pieces.
  • Rub the belly all over with the cure mixture, adding whatever doesn’t adhere into the pan or bag.

Rub the cure all over the raw pork belly.

  • Close the bags or cover the pork and let it rest in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, turning and flipping it every day to redistribute the liquid that seeps from it.
  • Check the belly to see if it’s done curing. Press on it in several spots to see if it is firm. If it is not firm all over, let it cure for another day or two.
  • Cook the cured belly. In a smoker or oven preheated to 200°F (93°C), insert the probe from your thermometer into the thickest part of the cured belly and set the high alarm on your DOT to 150°F (66°C) and cook the belly until it reaches the pull temperature, about 3-4 hours.

Smoke or low-roast the bacon until it reaches 150°F internal temperature.

  • When the alarm on your DOT sounds, remove the pork from the oven/smoker. Let it cool on the countertop, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap place it in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

Cool the bacon well before slicing it.

Slice the bacon and cook it up in the frying pan or the oven (see below). Of course, this is a LOT of bacon, so feel free to wrap chunks of it and freeze them for up to 3 months. Enjoy! The week-long prep will be worth the wait!

Homecured bacon recipe

➤ Thermal Tip: The Best Way to Cook Bacon for Eating

Achieving perfectly crisp, evenly cooked bacon is all about patience. You see, bacon is made up of two distinct elements—the fat (which is actually a mixture of fat and connective tissue) and the lean—and each cooks differently[…]By cooking bacon over low heat, the shrinkage differential [between the fat and the lean] can be minimized, keeping your bacon flatter and allowing it to cook more evenly. A large heavy skillet with even heat distribution is essential.

Want to cook bacon for a crown? Do it in the oven. An oven heats more evenly than a skillet does, delivering perfectly crisp bacon by the trayful.

The Food Lab, by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Mmmmm... smoked bacon

A bit of planning and patience is needed to tackle the 5-7 day curing, but it may just be the best bacon you’ve ever had. Knowing the key temps for your smoker and the meat and tracking those temps with a leave-in probe thermometer like the DOT makes the process nearly foolproof.

The Thermoworks DOT is a simple and durable leave-in probe thermometer that will track temperatures in your oven or grill and sound an alarm when you've reached your desired temperature.

Thermoworks is the leading brand of commercial grade digital thermometers. A selection of Thermoworks thermometers and a wide range of tool and supplies for smoking and processing meat are available in our store at 140 W Main St, New Holland, PA.


Source: Martin Earl, Culinary Editor at ThermoBlog

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe on the Big Green Egg

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Credit for this delightful pumpkin cheesecake recipe belongs to Reagan Cawley. Reagan and her parents are regular chefs at our Eggfest here in New Holland and they teach our annual turkey fest. Their dedication to cooking and attention to detail is always outstanding. 

Since a very young age, Reagan has been making great impressions on her family and guests with her baking skills, such as baking a perfect soufflé at age 10 for her mom’s birthday party! Reagan served this pumpkin cheesecake at our turkey class this year, and we loved it so much we decided to share it here on the blog.


Instead of cooking this cheesecake in the oven as it’s usually done, I cooked it in my Big Green Egg to give it a wood-fired flavor. The crust picked up a subtle smoke flavor that elevates this amazing cheesecake to a remarkable level. If you haven’t tried smoking a dessert yet, you are missing out on a delicious treat!

Because of all the pumpkin in this cheesecake recipe, it is less dense than a typical cheesecake, but rich enough to make an elegant dessert for your Thanksgiving holiday meal or any fall season meal.

The maple glaze perfectly complements the buttery crunch of the crust and the smooth pumpkin-flavored filling for a tantalizing combination that makes tastebuds sing!

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup

Regan’s original recipe was intended for cooking the cheesecake in an oven. I’ve rewritten it for baking the crust and cheesecake in a Big Green Egg, but you can also bake it in your kitchen oven using my notes below.

Her recipe also calls for cooling the cheesecake in the fridge overnight. Matt, our resident cheesecake enthusiast, recommends freezing the cheesecake for nicer slices. I’ve also included some professional slicing tips which Matt learned from his friend John, who has scored multiple perfect scores in dessert contests.

Do you need any supplies or tools for your outdoor cooking? Call us at 717-355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA (store hours at the bottom of this page) for rubs, sauces, thermometers, gloves, gadgets, charcoal, pellets, and everything else you need to cook outdoors. You can also browse hundreds of products in our online catalog.

Directions

Step 1: Fire the Big Green Egg to 325 Degrees F

To fire the Egg, I topped of my Kick Ash Basket with Rockwood Lump Charcoal and nestled two wax fire starter cubes into the charcoal. With the lid open and the top and bottom vents fully open, I lit the fire starters.

Let the fire burn for 10–15 minutes, then close the grill lid with the vents fully open. Once the temperature rises to within 25 degrees of your target temperature (in this case, 300 degrees), adjust the top and bottom vents to about 3/4” open.

Give it some time to settle in and adjust the top vent as needed to raise or lower the temperature. To lower the temperature, close the vent further; to raise the temperature, open the vent a bit wider.

Step 2: Wrap a Springform Pan in Aluminum Foil

Wrap a 10-inch springform pan in 18” aluminum foil to protect your pan from getting colored from the smoke. The foil is also necessary for the water bath later in the process. Fold the sides of the foil to form a sheet just wide enough to reach the top edge of the pan. Be extremely careful not to tear the foil because even a pinhole will let water seep into the cheesecake.

No springform pan? If you prefer to use an aluminum cake pan instead of the springform pan, that’s fine too. You won’t need to wrap it in foil, but make sure you grease it well with unsalted butter (next step).

Step 3: Prepare the Crust

Brush the inside of the pan with some of the butter. Stir the remaining butter with the crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, packing it tightly and evenly.

Are you gluten-free? To make this recipe gluten-free, I used Schar Honeygrams in the 5.6-ounce boxes. It took 5 packs of 6 crackers each to make 2-1/2 cups of crumbs.

Put the crackers in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin or use a food processor.

Step 3: Bake the Crust

Set the pan directly onto the cooking grate in the Big Green Egg and close the lid (or in your oven). Cook it until it turns golden brown or for 15–20 minutes. Cool the crust on a rack.

Step 4: Mix the Filling

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. I used a 7-cup electric teakettle.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add the remaining 2-1/2 cups of sugar, then beat it just until it’s light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed.

Beat in the sour cream, then add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices. Beat until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the cooled crust.

Step 5: Bake the Cheesecake

Set a full-size aluminum pan (or roasting pan bigger than the cake pan) onto the Egg’s cooking grate, then position the springform pan into the center of it. Pour the boiling water into the foil pan. The water should cover at least one-third of the cake pan’s height.

If you’re using the oven, set the cake pan into a roasting pan and gently place the roasting pan in the oven without sliding the oven rack out, then pour the boiling water into the roasting pan.

Bake the cheesecake until the outside of the cheesecake sets, but the center is still a bit jiggly. This should take about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Step 6: Cool It

Remove the cheesecake from the Egg and set it on a rack to cool at room temperature for 1–2 hours.

A cheesecake can collapse in the center if you cool it too quickly, so if you’re baking it in an oven, turn off the oven and open the door briefly to let out some heat (or prop the door open with a spoon). Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 more hour, before cooling it on a rack at room temperature.

Step 7: Glaze It

Simmer the glaze ingredients in a small pot over medium heat for 10–15 minutes, stirring it constantly, until it thickens.

Run a blunt knife around the edge to loosen the cheesecake from the ring.

Pour the glaze over the top of the cheesecake. Some of the glaze will run into the crack around the outside edge if you loosened it properly.

Step 8: Freeze It

Cover the cheesecake with aluminum foil and freeze it for at least 8 hours or overnight. Keep it frozen until you’re ready to slice it.

To keep the foil from dipping into the glaze, place a round dinner plate upside-down on top of the springform pan before wrapping it in foil.

Step 9: Serve It

Remove the cheesecake from the freezer just before slicing it. By the time you get the slices plated and served, it should be thawed perfectly.

Unlock and remove the springform ring, then slice and serve the cheesecake. If desired, place a dollop of whipped cream on each slice.

Professional Slicing Tricks

  • A clean hot blade makes the best cuts. Heat your knife (a 12” slicer knife works perfectly for this) under hot running water. Run the hot water over the knife blade for approximately 5 seconds on each side. Wipe the blade dry with a paper towel and cut the cake in half.
  • Rinse and wipe the knife clean with a paper towel.
  • Reheat and dry the knife again, using a clean paper towel, then cut the halves into quarters.
  • Repeat the cleaning and heating steps for each cut. It’s easier and faster to make nice slices if you cut each half separately.

Making a cheesecake sounds complicated, but it’s worth every ounce of effort required. Whether you’re a cheesecake master or this is your first time making cheesecake, I hope you’ll give this recipe a chance. I think you’ll be surprised with how easy it is to completely wow your family and guests with a smoked pumpkin cheesecake.


Thanksgiving Recipe Library

About the author

Lavern Gingerich is the digital marketing manager at Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply. He enjoys helping barbecue enthusiasts avoid making mistakes on the smoker or grill and master amazing barbecue quickly.

Turkey Stuffing Recipe

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Do you need a tried-and-true turkey stuffing recipe to complete your holiday dinner? Here's a traditional Amish favorite you can't miss!


We've been talking a lot about cooking a perfect turkey lately. While the turkey is the centerpiece of a memorable Thanksgiving dinner, there are other essential components that go into crafting a holiday feast that your guests won't forget. 

Next to the turkey itself, a delicious turkey stuffing is probably the most important part of your meal. In this post we'll show you how to make a turkey stuffing that will not disappoint! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon bread cubes
  • 1-1/4 sticks butter
  • 1/4 cup lard
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 tablespoon salt
  • Finely ground black pepper (approximately 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 cups celery (ground in food processor)

Cooking Instructions:


  1. In a saucepan, brown the butter and add the lard. Mix the two until they are fully melted.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir one-half of it into the bread cubes and set them aside.
  3. Beat the eggs until fluffy and add the salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the bread cubes.
  4. Move the saucepan back to the heat and add the celery to the remaining butter and lard. Stir the celery until it's heated thoroughly.
  5. Let the celery mixture cool and combine it with the bread mixture, stirring it well.
  6. Cook the stuffing at 350 degrees F in an uncovered baking dish for 30–45 minutes, stirring it occasionally.

This recipe can also be stuffed in a 12–14 pound turkey and cooked with the turkey.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this delicious turkey stuffing! Check out the list of posts below for more resources to help you with your holiday cooking.

Thanksgiving Recipe Library

How to Make Smoked Turkey Gravy

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A smoked turkey gravy is the final ingredient in a Thanksgiving feast your guests will never forget.

What makes my smoked turkey gravy unique is the Asian-style homemade stock I use for the base. The drippings from the turkey splashing into the gravy and the subtle wood-fired smoke swirling over the gravy expand and enrich the flavor of the gravy, redefining everything you thought you knew about gravy!

Instructions for Smoked Turkey Gravy

  • Pour several quarts of homemade chicken stock into a pan large enough to catch all the drippings while the turkey is smoking. If you don’t have time to make stock, use a store-bought unsalted chicken stock or broth. You will sacrifice the exceptional flavor of a homemade stock, but the outcome will still be delicious.
  • If the stock has solidified, you can warm it slightly to liquify it, making it easier to work with.
  • Add several bay leaves to the pan and set it into the smoker. 
  • If you’re smoking the turkey on a smoker with multiple cooking grates, set the pan on a grate beneath the grate holding the turkey. If your smoker only has one cooking grate, set a V-rack in the pan and put the turkey in the V-rack.
  • If the level of liquid in the drip pan drops too low, add a quart or so of boiling water. Do not use cool water, as it will temporarily reduce the smoker temperature.
  • When the turkey is within 10 degrees of its target internal temperature, carefully pour all of the drippings inside the turkey into the drip pan and remove the drip pan from the smoker. 
  • If you used a V-rack, transfer the turkey directly onto the cooking grate. Keep cooking the turkey until it’s done. 
  • Strain the contents of the drip pan into a saucepan and sample it. The gravy should have a rich and savory taste. If it’s too thin, bring it to a boil, stirring it briskly to keep it from burning. When it reaches the thickness you want, reduce the heat to low, and skim the fat. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring it well. Be careful not to over-season it!
  • Keep the gravy over low heat, stirring it occasionally, until serving time.

Should you thicken a turkey gravy?

I never thicken a gravy with flour or cornstarch. Thickening a smoked turkey gravy like this muddies the incredible flavor profile you’ve worked hard to create. Besides, a thin gravy will soak into the turkey meat a bit, but a thickened, starchy gravy just sits on top of the meat.

If your gravy is too thin for your preference, you can boil it down as explained above.

Check out my step-by-step instructions for making a homemade Asian-style stock with a depth of flavor that will amaze you:

Still have questions? Visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA or call us at (717) 355-0779 for help with your outdoor cooking questions. We carry everything you need to cook outdoors, but more importantly, we have personal experience in smoking and grilling and are happy to help you overcome your cooking challenges free of charge.

About the author: Matt Miller is an employee at Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply and avid student of all things barbecue. He enjoys developing recipes, trying new seasonings, and helping customers with their smoking and grilling questions.