They say, “Can’t you just get over it…?” Forgive sounds good. TasteeBQ is not quite sure he should…
The show had it’s Season Finale last Sunday, but TasteeBQ is still processing What Had Happened… Our Hero had been invited to make an appearance on the new television Show “FrankenBites” on Smack TV. It is a Cooking Competition where Superheroes from all over the world compete for a Power Supply of $10,000 dollars. For the occasion, he created the perfect dish: Smoky BBQ Bacon Cheddar CheeseBurger Popcorn. So far, so good… until the show’s Editors got a hold of the tape.
This creative dish can be made with an outdoor Grill or in the kitchen with a skillet (or grill pan), oven and a homemade Stovetop Smoker. It includes all of the elements of America’s favorite Sandwich: lean Seasoned Ground Beef, thick Smoky Candied Bacon and gourmet Cheddar Cheese. Instead of a Bun, TasteeBQ makes it into a Gluten Free Snack mixed with Popcorn and a HEROIC! BBQ Rub. Classic condiments are included: Pickles, Tomatoes, Green Chili Peppers, and even a special Mustard Ketchup Mayoli. A variation of the dish comes in Butter Lettuce Cups.
On the day of the shoot, the Judges on “FrankenBites” gave TasteeBQ high praise for the flavors. One called the HEROIC! seasonings “Genius”. “Forget the $10,000 dollars”, he said; “We can take the dish and make $1,000,000 Bucks.” From there, things turned not-so-nice. Ironically, the ensuing Judge complaints were about the Popcorn Box and extra Kernels that TasteeBQ agreed to add at the last minute. In the end, our Hero had small objects thrown at him while being dragged out by a Producer. In turn, he decided to throw back his one shot at $1,000,000 Bucks: his Business Card. It was all done in Fun.
Not seen on the televised episode of “FrankenBites”, an online video of TasteeBQ’s encounter with the “FrankenBites” Judges was released. All positive praise for the dish is edited out, and a dumbed-down Recipe is added in. Ha Ha Ha.
Try making the True Recipe at home, and you be the Judge:
SMOKY BBQ BACON CHEDDAR CHEESEBURGER POPCORN
4 Cups Cooked Popcorn
1 lbs. 90%+ Lean Ground Beef
1 lbs. Smoked Thick Sliced Lean Bacon
2 Cups Smoked Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
4 Tbsp. HEROIC! by California Gold BBQ Rubs (I will provide)
2 Tbsp Cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes
1 Large White Onions (Sliced)
Zesty Dill Pickles (optional)
Small Green Chili Peppers (optional)
Vermouth Marinated Queen Martini Olives (optional)
Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper to taste
BBQ SPICED MAYOLI
1/3 Cup Ketchup
1 Cups Mayonaise
1/3 Cup Yellow Mustard
1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onion
HEROIC! BBQ Rub
-Preheat Grill or Oven to 430 degrees
-Season Bacon evenly on each side with Brown Sugar and BBQ Rub on foil
-Smoke on Indirect Heat or Bake Bacon until done on one side, then flip to finish second side. Set aside to cool as Candied Bacon hardens
-Season Ground Beef with Worcestershire Sauce, BBQ Rub, Salt, fresh ground Pepper -Form 1/2” Patties and cook evenly on Grill or Grill Pan
-Slice Onion into 1” Slices, season with BBQ Rub and cook evenly on both sides
-Stovetop Smoker- Heat Large Pot with small tray 1/4 cup Hickory Wood Chips, 4 to 6” high Cooking Rack inside Pot.
-Smoke cooked “Stovetop” Burgers on rack for 15 minute
-Smoke Candied Bacon on rack for 15 minutes
-Chop Tomatoes into 1/4” inch cubes
-Chop Grilled Onions into small dice
-Shred block of Smoked Cheddar, keep cool
-Season Popcorn with BBQ Rub, put on Smoker for 10 Minutes
-Add layer of hot crumbled Beef and chopped Bacon
-Add Minced Grilled Onion
-Add even layer of shredded Cheddar Cheese
-Serve small bowl of Mayoli on side for dipping
-Garnish Mayoli and Popcorn with Chopped Green Onion
Under the circumstances, TasteeBQ isn’t jealous that The Cafeteria Lady edged him out for the limelight of being ridiculed on National TV. He was pleased to be part of something that makes The World a Better Place to Laugh. If he is not cultivating the $1,000,000 Bucks next year, maybe TasteeBQ will go for a Round #2 rematch with the “FrankenBites” Judges. In the meantime, he will spreading joy with Smoky BBQ Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Popcorn wherever he goes.
Tune in next time for more of The Adventures of TasteeBQ…
In new video, Chef Mick Brown makes an early version of BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Popcorn using POWER Rub.
[Note This is an Update to Article originally released in December 2013.]
‘Tis the Season of Giving, Joy to the World, Chestnuts Roasting… Yada, Yada, Yada. Our superhero TasteeBQ doesn’t begin his Holidays Celebrations in September (Like many Retailers. Next year they will be starting in August). Like many of us, the Holiday Spirit doesn’t usually take him over until the final shopping weekend before Xmas. This year he was planning to gift- to family and friends- his favorite, most essential Grilling accessory: Coal. But something told him that it wouldn’t be received in the spirit intended. So TasteeBQ had to come up with another plan.
He was sprinkling BBQ Dry Rub on his Deluxe Mixed Nuts, and preparing to cook them on his sunny California Smoker. Then, TasteeBQ got Zapped with a sudden burst of inspiration. He began to think about all of the unfortunate Boys and Girls throughout the World who are not privileged enough to live in California and have access to Grills from Webber, Char-Broil or the Big Green Egg- yearround. Some people even live in Apartments. While others may not be able to excavate their BBQ Rigs from “Let it Snow” Land. More interactive than those screechy Musical Holiday Cards, he decided to bestow the Gift that keeps on Giving: The DIY Stovetop Smoker (STS).
HOW TO MAKE A DIY STOVETOP SMOKER-[STS] FOR .99 CENTS
Here’s all you’ll need:
1- Large Pot or Dutch Oven/ with Lid (Heavy Bottomed or Cast Iron will work best)
1- Steaming Tray or Rack (to fit inside of Pot)
1- Bag of Mesquite of Hickory Wood Chips from the .99 Cents Only Store.
Before you run out to grab a Whole Hog or 50lb. Chicken, bear in mind that this technique works best for small portions of Prepared Foods. Stovetop Smoking is a quick and easy way to infuse real Natural Wood Smoked Flavor, without leaving your Kitchen. Chefs have used similar techniques for decades doing indoor Tea and Herb Smoking, with Fish, Potatoes and other Veggies. TasteeBQ has just began to experiment with translating it to BBQ. So far the results are simply delicious. [Others have also discovered this technique, see Links].
1. Put Pot on Stove, with small foil pouch of dry Wood Chips (no more than 1/4 Cup) placed in the center.
2. Place Rack inside Pot with the Food to be Smoked
3. Cover Pot with Lid (leaving small vent) and turn burner to High. You should start seeing smoke in 3-5 Minutes. From there it depends on what you are Smoking. Let’s experiment together. Maybe we can compile 100+ DIY Stovetop Smoker (STS) Recipes in time for the next Super Bowl. Many of you will still be in the snow, so it should work out nicely.
Here are some Suggestions to try, followed by our first 2 DIY STS Recipes.
For Precooked Snacks, Pasta, Nachos, Nuts, Popcorn, Pretzels:
Place Food on open foil tray, preseason with BBQ Rub, or seasoning mix of your choice. Once lid begins to smoke, close lid. Cut heat to medium for 2-3 Minutes, then cut off. Leave food in closed chamber for 10-15 minutes (until smoke dissipates. In case of emergency, always have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and pre-clear a path to an outside door or window where you can release smoke.* An built-in intake system is even better.
*This shouldn’t happen if you stick to less than 1/4 Cup of Wood Chips and turn off burner in regular intervals while cooking, or every 15-20 minute Smoking Cycle.
For Pre-Roasted, Baked or Smoked Meats, Bacon, Fish and Vegetables, Pizza, Rice, Pre-cooked Baby Back Ribs, Hot Wings:
Start with above instructions. The idea is to warm it through on your DIY STS. Pre-warmed or room temperature food will absorb smoke faster, so it could be good to go after only one Smoking Cycle. Cold leftovers may take 2-3 Cycles.
For Uncooked Meats, Potatoes, Root Veggies
TasteeBQ has recently learned that he is not the first, or only one to think of this Stovetop Smoking technique. A quick web search found blogs as old as 2012. Most of them suggest to STS the meat on low for up to a couple of hours, then finish in the oven. This will also provide a milder flavor. The other way is also fine- cook Meat first, then set it in the STS for a Smoke Cycle or Two. Links to referenced Articles appear below.
Recipe #1- Stove Top Smoked Mixed Nuts
Great for Holiday and New Year’s Gatherings. Also works with Cashews, Pistachios, Almonds, Walnuts or Peanuts.
1. Season Assorted Mixed Nuts with your choice of Spices, Seasoning or Herbs (we used HEROIC! Rub.)
2. Place in Foil Pouch, then into your STS.
3. In only one Smoke Cycle, Nuts will come out tasting warm and delicious. Won’t last long, at all.
Recipe #2- Stove Top Smoked Salmon
This a great “Next Day” Recipe for leftover Grilled, Baked or Smoked Salmon. We served ours over a bed of Cheesy Garlic Fettuccini.
1. Place Portion of Salmon on Foil. Spritz with water or Citrus Juice to help maintain moisture.
2. Re-season Salmon with BBQ Rub or Spices and Herbs.
3. Cook on STS for 1-2 Smoke Cycles until warmed through. Finish with Tzatziki Sauce with Dill or Garlic Herb Seasoned Butter.
Fill out this Brief Contact to receive STS News , Updates on 100 DIY Stovetop Smoking Recipes or if you’d like to share STS Recipes.
NOTE: The following article details a home cooking experiment. It is not intended to insure the the safety of anyone who tries it home. To be sure your DIY Smoker is safe, you may want to have it inspected by Fire and Food Safety Professionals. This project is not recommend for those under 18, without parental supervision.
9/9/13- A big thanks to Marc Farris, Producer of the BBQ channel on YouTube. Thanks to his tip, we researched the latest FDA Guidelines on Terra Cotta. Until more testing is done, we do not recommend you do this at home. Otherwise, hope you enjoy reading about our little experiment.
Some “Lead-Free” Pottery Can Still Taint Food- FDA
You love the smoky flavor of Pulled Pork, but are tired of the long lines at the local BBQ Stop? The wait is over. You can build your own Electric Ceramic BBQ Pot Smoker at home. It is fast, easy, environmentally friendly and affordable. The commercial Ceramic Giant Egg can easily cost more than $1000, with all the accessories. Even Lady Gaga could have trouble affording one. TasteeBQ was recently inspired by vintage 2007-2008 Alton Brown videos which made Ceramic Flower Pot Smokers for $50. Now, he hopes to take you to the next level.
The concept of using plain Terra Cotta pots didn’t seem so appealing to TasteeBQ. He needed something that could be presentable on the front patio next to his cherished Venus Di Milo. So TasteeBQ set a budget of $100 to see if he could build a Smoker with a little more visual appeal. In the end, he only spent $77.38 (tax not included) to build an environmentally friendly Electric Ceramic BBQ Pot Smoker, which uses less Wood and little to no Charcoal. Also, no Propane Gas or Lighting Fluid required.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BUILDING CERAMIC BBQ POT SMOKER
Here are the Parts Needed, where we got them and for how much:
2- 19″ Wide Terra Cotta Vases from Home Depot $13.98 ea.= $27.96
1- Proctor Silex durable Fifth Burner from Rite Aid= $19.99
1- Weber Charcoal Grate (#7441) from Home Depot= $10.99
1- Instant Read Meat Thermometer from Target= $7.39
1- Decorative Terra Cotta Chicken (retail $19.99) on Clearance at Target= $5.98
3- Decorative Cobblestone Base Bricks from Home Depot ($1.69 ea.)= $5.07
Additional Materials Needed (from around the house):
Wood Chips/ Chunks (Mesquite, Hickory, Cherry, or Applewood, etc..)
Metal Pan for Chips,
2 Bricks (clean) to hold up Hot Plate,
Outdoor Extension Cord
BBQ Tongs or Poker for stirring Chips
Fire Extinguisher (Always good to have around whenever cooking.)
EASY 5-STEP SET UP takes less than 1 Hour. Of course, it is good to check that everything fits before doing final assembly.
1. Set Pot on Base Bricks in steady position, leave gap to run Cord through.
2. Line Bottom Pot with Aluminum Foil. Then place level Holding Bricks at bottom inside Pot.
3. Set Burner on top of Bricks. Position Control Knob in open spot where it can be reached. Run Cord through bottom hole. Outdoor extension Cord may be needed to reach nearest outlet. Be sure connection is at safe/dry location.
4. Place Metal Pan with Wood Chips on top of Burner Coil.
5. Place Grate on Top of Bottom Pot. Now you are ready to get Smoking. First time starting it up, we checked that Burner was working before adding Meat. The Burner had to be turned up to Max to make Wood Chips smoke and heat entire oven.
We used the Terra Cotta Chicken to cover top hole and hold in the heat. Once it started to smoke, we placed Meat Thermometer in top hole until it topped 190 degrees, so we knew we had a hot Oven.
Before moving on to the Pulled Pork Recipe, here are some general Pros and Cons:
– Smoker is electric and environmentally friendly. We only had to replace Wood Chips once, at the beginning (to get sufficient amount). After that, it did aromatic wood cooking with very little actual clouds of smoke. The Wood Chunks worked (sort of) like smokeless incense, while the smaller Chips seemed to smoke better. If you want more constant smoke, try adding Ceramic Charcoal and replenish wet Wood Chunks every hour or so, as needed.
– It is easy to use as Slow Cooker, would be very difficult to overcook Meat. At least with our sized Smoker. It you build smaller one with 12″ Grate, your Smoker is likely get much hotter, so you may have to adjust heat accordingly.
-The Flavor- This is real deal Wood Smoking technique. Food came out tasting great. If you don’t like the flavor of coal, it is even better the the Giant Egg, which uses Charcoal.
– Cost: The $77.38 is less than you would spend for one Smoked HoneyBaked Ham. Smoke two DIY Hams and you have already saved money.
– The Lid can get a bit hot, awkward and heavy (our Pot weighs over 25 lbs). There are no handles so use Oven Mitts to pick up Lid. Be careful to clear it above the Meat, as to not knock it away. Once again, if you build a smaller 12″ Grate model, Lid should be lighter to handle. Once you get Recipes (and curiosity) down, You can do no-peek cooking for hours at a time.
– Smoker is for Low and Slow BBQ Only. Not for Grilling. One advantage of the Giant Egg is that it cooks at extreme heats as well as low temps. This Ceramic Smoker cannot replace your regular Grill for quick fire Hamburgers and Steaks. It would be next to useless if you are into Vegan Cuisine, which almost always calls for quick Grilling Recipes. (though we may experiment with Smoked Kale Chips). This Smoker is best for Chicken Pieces, Sausages, Roasts and Whole Bird Cooking. It could also used to smoke Fish.
-Emphasis on Slow. Our 5 lb. Pork Roast took 11 Hours to get well done (and probably could have gone for 3 more). We could normally Smoke a Pork Roast in 4-5 Hours on a regular Charcoal Grill. While experimenting with Smoker, give yourself extra time to be sure your Meat gets fully done. Make alternate back-up plans if you are on deadline for dinner. You can always transfer Meats to finish in oven. Even an hour on the Smoker will impart Natural Wood Flavors that you can’t get from Oven cooking alone, or from Liquid Smoke.
[Consider Smoking your Pork Roast the Day before your party. Refrigerate it after it cools down (1-2 Hours). Then reheat it in foil at 420 degrees in Oven for 40 minutes on day of Party, before pulling Pork.]
RECIPE: CITRUS PULLED PORK (Gluten Free)
If you have shopped lately for fresh Ribs, we don’t have to tell you how expensive they can get. Especially if you are feeding a large crowd. Serving Pulled Pork is an affordable alternative. One 5 lb. Roast will render enough meat for about 10- 12 sandwiches. If you are only serving a few (and can afford Ribs) you can also use Smoker to cook them. We will do Rib Recipe soon.
Many Pork Roast Recipes call for the traditional Salt and Sugar Brine. Our Brine uses Orange Juice, which contains enough natural Sugar and Acids to do the Job. Extra Sodium is in the Gluten Free Italian Dressing and Worcestershire Sauce. You can also try this with Apple Juice, Cider and Cloves for the Holidays. Or an Orange Juice/ Lemonade Combo might be nice.
1 5lb. Pork Picnic Shoulder or Butt Roast
1 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/3 Cup Gluten Free Italian Dressing
4 Tbsp. POWER BBQ Rub
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Salt & Pepper (if desired)
1 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
2 Tbsp. Apple Cider
2-3 Tbsp. POWER BBQ Rub
1 Tbsp. Molasses or Raw Sugar (if desired)
In Large Ziplock, cover Pork Roast with Orange Juice, Italian Dressing, BBQ Rub, Worcestershire Sauce and Salt and Pepper. Shake Well and Refrigerate overnight. May place on Foil or in Bowl in case of leaking.
Next Day- no need to rinse off Brine. Shake off extra liquid and move Roast to Smoker Place Meat on the Grate to the side, to reduce juice dripping into Wood Chips. After 1 to 1-1/2 hours place Foil underneath, leaving Meat open to absorb more smoke.
After 4 hours, wrap Roast completely in Foil to get it to heat up inside, and catch the oncoming flow of juices.
Ours Pork Picnic Roast took 11 hours to get done, you may smoke yours for up to 14 hours.
You will have plenty of time to make this simple BBQ Sauce. Heat 1 cup of Orange Juice, mixing in 2 Tbsp. POWER BBQ Rub and 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar. Once it boils, reduce to simmer and (you may) add Raw Sugar or Molasses. Stir frequently. Sauce will thicken as it simmers. It will be ready to use in about 15-20 minutes.
Once Pork is done let it rest for about an hour. Pull Meat off bone and separate into chunks. Use 2 Forks to shred Pork to desired consistency. Add BBQ Sauce to drench (not drown) Pork. Add a little more BBQ Rub, as well. Stir and let Meat absorb sauce for a least a few minutes. Serve on your favorite Grilled Bread Roll with Coleslaw & Chips.
RECIPE: GRILLED CABBAGE BROCCOLI COLESLAW
1 bag Trader Joe’s Broccoli Coleslaw Mix
1 Cup Sliced Yellow Cabbage
1 Half Cup of Gluten Free Mayo
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider
1 Tbsp. POWER BBQ Rub
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
We grilled 1 Cup of sliced Yellow Cabbage. You can put it on Smoker to wilt for 30 Mins. Julienne Cabbage and add to Broccoli Coleslaw Mix with Mayo, Cider, BBQ Rub and salt and Pepper to Taste. Refrigerate for up to 1/2 hour before serving. We topped our Pulled Pork Sandwich with Slaw. Delightful.
Alton Brown’s original homemade video on How to Make Ceramic Flower Pot Smoker
Are you trying to eat healthy, but feel like you are stuck in a hard place between a Taco Truck and a BBQ Shack? Consider this recipe the gluten free (GF), grain free, good for you alternative. Many of us think of traditional Barbecue (or Barbeque) cuisine as being comprised of sweet heavy sauces, fatty meats and greasy side dishes… And we love all of it! However, nowadays more and more people are seeking healthier BBQ choices- for fitness, nutritional and medical benefits. Many chefs are now recommending that you use a dry BBQ Rub as a way to achieve bold flavor without all of the fat.
TasteeBQ has heard you, and offers this simple, delicious and heroic dish:
Grilled Steak Tacos in Butter Lettuce Cups
If you don’t have a Grill available, the main ingredients can be Pan Roasted or Broiled in the Oven. Not into the Meat thing? Feel free to substitute juicy Portobello Mushrooms or your favorite Vegan Meat Substitute. These are also great with Grilled Chicken Breast.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings)
1 1/2 to 2 Lbs- Boneless Steak (New York, Sirloin, or Skirt Steak)
1- Large Onion (White or Yellow)
1- Head of Butter Lettuce (approx. 8 layers)
4- Roma Tomatoes
2- Red Peppers (May mix with Green or Yellow)
1 to 2- Large Carrots
1/2 Cup- Chopped Green Scallions
2 Tbl- POWER or HEROIC! BBQ Rubs by California Gold BBQ Rubs
[May substitute a packet of Taco Seasoning, check for Gluten Free (GF) if important]
1 Tbl- Dry Cumin
8 oz- Crumbled Goat Cheese (optional)
1. Chop Peppers and Tomatoes in half, removing seeds. Cut Onion and Carrot (lengthwise) into 3/4” slices. Rinse and Dry Steak, set aside.
2. Put Veggies and Meat in separate containers or foil pouches. Lightly coat with Olive Oil. Toss with Dry Rub, Cumin- Salt and Pepper (to taste). Be sure to finish Veggies, then the Meat. Try to marinate everything for at least 15 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
3. Grill Steak 4-6 Minutes per side, depending on thickness. Grill Veggies for same amount of time (Note- Carrots may take longer cook time to tenderize).
4. Chop Veggies and Steak into 1” pieces. Place meat, then Veggies into individual Butter Lettuce Cups. Sprinkle a little extra rub on top, along with Chopped Green Scallions and Crumbled Goat Cheese (optional).
These Tacos are great for a party first course or appetizer. As a main dish add more Meat or Grilled Avocados. It can also be served with Rice and/or Beans on the side. Go for the grain with Tortilla Chips or add colorful Veggie Chips (as a GF alternative). Of course, sprinkle the Chips with a delicious BBQ Rub and Enjoy!