Category: Food Recipe

Turkey

Smoking a Turkey is easy, try it during this season of Thanksgiving


Smoking a Turkey is fun, easy, and the results taste awesome!

Turkey is pretty lean meat so to prevent it from drying out, and to ensure it has awesome flavor, I use a brining solution. Brining is a solution of water and salt, and the process of brining is where you soak a turkey, or any kind of meat, in a brining solution to develop flavor and ensure moisture in the meat you are cooking. The brining process, which i recommend doing for at least 24 hours, will ensure your meat is seasoned and moist from the inside out.

The tricky part about brining a turkey is finding enough space in your refrigerator to place the turkey and brining solution. Since refrigerator space around the holidays comes at a premium, even if you have an auxillary refrigerator in your garage, the solution I have found is to leverage a 5 gallon drink cooler, the ones used to hold Gatorade or Water, to conduct your brining process. The insulation of the cooler will ensure the integrity of your solution and meat are in-tact and that the meat doesn’t fall into the “temperature danger zone”. Your relatives, spouse, and/or significant other will thank you for bringing awesome food without cluttering up the refrigerator!

If this is the first time you are smoking a turkey and you are worried about drying out your meat, you can think of the brining process as your own personal insurance policy to ensure your meat tastes good, seasoned well, and moist through and through!

Second Elm Brining Solution:

  • Kosher Salt
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cumin
  • Thyme
  • Sugar
  • Lemons
  • Water

After soaking in the brining solution for 24 hours the turkey is nearly ready to begin cooking. Pull the turkey out of the brining solution, rinse it off and place it onto a rack or stand to prep it for the grill.

Pre-heat the grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, and place some wood chunks around the perimeter of the charcoal bed to add smoke to the turkey while it is cooking. I cook all of my meat on the Kamado Joe Classic II because it maintains heat, it is easy to clean and having the right tool makes any job easier! Just make sure when you are using heat deflector plates when smoking a turkey. The deflector plates will ensure your meat is cooked perfectly while indirectly applying the heat to the meat.

The turkey should be ready to go on the grill, if you want to brush it with some olive oil for additional flavor please feel free, but I would not recommend stuffing your turkey. Once the turkey is on the grill you will want to stick an oven safe meat thermometer into the turkey so you can monitor the internal temperature of the meat, I personally use a radio frequency thermometer that allows me to monitor the temperature of the meat without even opening the grill! You are going to need to smoke the turkey on the grill at a constant temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-12 hours, so turn on the football game, grab a drink and prepare yourself for the best tasting turkey you have ever had!

When you pull the turkey off the grill make sure it has an internal temperature of 185 degrees Fahrenheit, and start cutting it for your family and friends you will quickly receive the self-proclaimed title of Grill Master! You don’t need to tell anyone that it was one of the easiest things you have ever cooked, it’s our secret!

If you are looking for more great recipes to cook on the grill, take a look at this one for Chili!

Chili

Low-Carb Chili – Easy to make and Tastes Great!


There are so many things you can do when it starts to get cold outside, clean, break out the blankets and jackets from the moth-balls, or you can tap your inner-chef and cook some food that warms you from the inside out!

I love to cook on the grill and one of my favorite things to make when it is cold outside is Chili, because it is easy to make and it tastes great! I always feel better after eating chili because it was one of those meals growing up that mom used to make that would fill the air with the pleasant aroma of peppers, spices, and awesomeness. Because I am feeling nostalgic, and it is pretty cold outside I thought I would share my recipe for chili. You can pretty much make this entire meal for 8 people for about $15 shopping at your local grocery store…pretty good right?

Ingredients:

  • 1.75 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 cans of Mild Rotel Toatoes
  • 2 cans of Kidney Beans
  • 1 White Onion
  • 2 packets of McCormic Original Chili Seasoning

I like to cook my Chili in a couple of different stages, but at the end of the day all you need to do is cook all the ingredients in a pot for about an hour. I will say that the longer you cook your chili the better it will taste, just be careful not to cook it so long that it dries out.

Preheat your Grill to about 350-400 degrees and make sure you are using a plate-setter or heat deflector because you don’t want to overcook the chili. Chop up the Onion and the ground beef and place them into a large pot, i prefer a 4 quart cast iron dutch oven! Place the pot onto the grill and brown the meat with the onions. The is going to smell awesome so if you have poor will power it is best to just walk away from the grill for a few minutes!

Once the meat and the onions have cooked, add in the two packets of McCormick Chili Seasoning, the two cans of Mild Rotel tomatoes, two cans of kidney beans, and stir all of the ingredients together. The Chili is really going to start to take shape at this point. Cover the pot and let the chili cook for at least an hour on the grill before stirring the pot. I would recommend cooking the chili for at least two hours to achieve great flavor, keeping in mind that you want to keep the chili hydrated. If you plan on cooking the chili for 3-4 hours I would highly recommend adding beer to the chili to add additional flavor and prevent the chili from drying out.

The results are awesome! I highly recommend this chili to anyone who is eating or feeding a family on a budget, add a little bit of rice and the meal can be extended to even more people.

I hope you enjoy this chili, I know I do! Stay Hungry and creative!

 

 

Kamado joe

Low-Carb Breakfast Casserole – Eating Good Tastes Awesome when you Cook on the Grill

Eating foods that are low-carb can be good for a number of reasons, but the one thing i know is that eating low-carb is simple of the recipes are easy and the food tastes great!

It is difficult to describe how something tastes, but I figured if I can show you how easy it is to make some of my recipes then you can make them for yourself and experience the awesome taste! The recipe I am going to walk through has a lot of flavor and because it is a casserole you can easily add your own spices and flavors to bring out the best elements of the ingredients.

To make my Low-Carb Breakfast Casserole you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of Salt (I prefer Kosher salt)
  • 1 lb of Sausage (I prefer the Jimmy Dean Regular)
  • 12 Large Eggs
  • 1 Large Bag of Cheese (I prefer Sharp Cheddar)
  • 3 Bell Peppers
  • 1 White Onion
  • 1 Disposable Aluminum Pan

I typically prepare my casserole the night before I make it because I like to just heat up the grill and get to cooking in the morning!

The construction of this casserole begins with cooking the sausage. I typically brown the sausage in a skillet on the stove but if you want to cook this entire recipe on the grill it will just taste that much better! Once you have cooked the sausage, you will need to cut up the bell peppers, the onion, and you will need to mix the eggs. When I am mixing the eggs I add in 1 tablespoon of salt because eggs will take on whatever flavor you add to them.

Once all the ingredients are ready, pour them into the disposable aluminum pan one-by-one (I use a disposable aluminum pan because it makes clean-up that much easier). It does not really matter what order you pour them in, because you are going to mix them all together in the end! Once the eggs, sausage, bell peppers and onions are all in the pan, pour 1/2 of the bag of cheese into the casserole and mix it in with the other ingredients. Once everything is mixed together pour the remaining 1/2 bag of cheese onto the top of the casserole to create a layer of cheesy awesomeness on the top.

Pre-heat the grill to about 400 degrees and once the grill is at the right temperature place the casserole onto the grill. I use a Kamado Joe Classic II charcoal grill because it is easy to use and everything i cook on it tastes great! The casserole will need to cook for about 50 minutes to cook all the way through. After 50 minutes have passed, open the lid to the grill, pull the casserole off and set it somewhere to cool for about 5 minutes. Slice it up and you are ready to eat!

I love this recipe because it can feed a family of three or an army of people you have in town to celebrate the birthday of your cousin’s nephew! It tastes great, it’s good for you and when you receive compliments on your culinary expertise you will be glad you have this recipe in your arsenal.

Kamado Joe

Five Star Meal for $15 – Pork Tenderloin on the Kamado Joe Ceramic Grill

One of the great things about summer is that the weather affords us more warm daylight hours to enjoy family, food and the ones we love. For me this means spending more time behind the grill and trying my hand at some of the ideas i see on the food network. That being said, there are a lot of things I see on food network that are incredibly difficult, but the experts make them look incredibly easy. That is one of the reasons I write about the things I cook and build, they are simple to make!

WARNING– If you do not like to cook things that are easy to complete and taste awesome then read no further. The recipe below will excite your taste buds and make you feel like you can challenge Bobby Flay! In all seriousness the recipe below is one that I wanted to talk about because it is one of the most economic meals to pull together, it is very flavorful, and you will be able to feed an army or entertain a large group of people with it on a budget. Even if you do not have a grill, this recipe can be executed in your oven using a baking dish, but i must tell you it does taste better on the grill!

Prepare your taste buds…

 

FIVE STAR MEAL for $15 – PORK TENDERLOIN on KAMADO JOE

Ingredients:

  • Pork Tenderloin – 2 lbs (You can get a pack of 2 at Sam’s Club for about $11)
  • Olive Oil – enough to coat the pork tenderloin
  • Sea Salt – 1 tablespoon
  • Black Pepper – 2 teaspoons
  • Tones Rosemary Garlic Seasoning – probably 3/4 of an 8oz container
  1. Preheat your grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to use good quality charcoal when grilling or smoking meat because it will allow you to control your heat and it will add flavor to whatever you are cooking. I recommend using the XL Big Block Lump Charcoal made by Kamado Joe because it is the best!
  2. Lay the pork tenderloin onto a backing sheet to prepare it for the seasoning. I recommend placing a layer of parchment paper onto the baking sheet prior to placing the pork tenderloin because it will make the cleanup process extremely fast.Seasoned Pork Tenderloin
  3. Once the pork tenderloin has been laid on the baking sheet lather the meat with the Olive Oil. This will allow the seasoning to adhere to the meat and let’s face, it olive oil tastes awesome.
  4. Sprinkle the Salt and Pepper onto both side of the meat. You can use any kind of salt and pepper you desire, I prefer Sea Salt and Black Pepper.
  5. Finally, generously apply the Tones Rosemary Garlic Seasoning to both sides of the meat to create a crust that will enhance the flavor of the meat and WOW your audience! If you prefer to let the seasoning marinate into the meat it will only enhance the flavors. I don’t typically marinate my pork tenderloin because it is usually something i picked up that same day before heading home.
  6. Once the pork tenderloin is completely seasoned it is ready for the grill. Once your grill is at 400 degrees Fahrenheit simply place the meat onto the grill.
  7. Once the meat has been on the grill for 10 minutes, flip it onto the other side and cook it for another 10 minutes. Total cook time for the pork tenderloin will be 20 minutes. You do not need to use an indirect heating plate or plate setter to cook pork tenderloin.
  8. Before taking the pork tenderloin off the grill make sure, using a meat thermometer, that the internal temperature of the meat is at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This will signify that the meat is cooked.
  9. Finally, take the meat off the grill and let it rest for approximately 10 minutes. The meat will continue to cook even after you pull it off the grill and it is important to let it rest so that it fully cooks and to ensure all of the flavor stays locked into the meat.

If you love cooking on the grill as much as I do, I think you will love this recipe. It is easy to execute and your taste buds will thank you! The other cool thing about pork tenderloin is that it is incredibly in-expensive and it is very tender. The thing i did not mention in the recipe above is what to do about side dishes. The 2-pack of pork tenderloins cost $11 but the side dishes i selected, in this case green beans, cost another $4 dollars. Dollar for dollar and pound for pound there are few things you can cook that taste as good and stretch as far as a pork tenderloin.

Kamado Joe

Want to impress the Family with you Culinary Skills around the Grill?

This is the time of year when it is great to be outside enjoying sunny weather and the smell of a charcoal grill. There are plenty of great things to cook on the grill but if you are tired of cooking the same things then perhaps you should break the mold a little bit and try some beef stew! It may not have as much flare as steak but a good beef stew is aromatic, hearty, has outstanding flavor and will quite literally feed an army.

Check out the Second Elm Beef Stew that was cooked in the Kamado Joe ceramic grill and let us know your thoughts!

Beef Stew cooked on the Kamado Joe Ceramic Grill

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of Beef Tenderloin
  • 1 bag of new Potatoes (cut into 1/4’s)
  • 1 Bag of little Carrots
  • 1 White Onion (cut until diced)Kamado Joe Beef Stew
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcester Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Garlic Salt
  1. Combine all ingredients into a cast iron skillet or dutch oven, i prefer the dutch-oven!
  2. Preheat the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I recommend using Kamado Joe Lump Charcoal because the chunks are larger and more dense which makes it easier to control the heat on the grill.
  3. Once the grill has reached the appropriate temperature, place the dutch-oven onto the grill for a total cook time of about 90- 120 minutes.
  4. If you would like to add additional flavor to the stew, I recommend smoking some hickory wood in the first 30 minutes the stew is on the grill. To do this, simply place 4-5 chunks of hickory onto the lump charcoal before placing the stew onto the grill. After you place the stew onto the grill, leave the lid off the dutch-oven for about 30 minutes to let the smoke soak into the potatoes and the meat. After 30 minutes you can place the lid back onto the dutch-oven or just let the residual smoke season the stew

This beef stew is easy to make and tastes great. you can evolve the flavor profile by adding additional spices like thyme and rosemary or you can just keep it simple. This recipe will feed a large group of people as well, so if you are looking for something different to put on the grill that smells and tastes great give it a try!

Double-Onion A1 Cheese Burgers

Double Onion A1 Cheese Burgers on The Kamado Joe

If you are a steak lover on a burger budget, this is a burger you must try! Follow our recipe, or throw in your own ingredients, but this burger is perfect to prepare for the end of summer.

Ingredients:

  • 2.25 lbs of Ground Beef
  • 1 Chopped Vadalia Onion
  • 1 Chopped White OnionKamado Joe Grill
  • 8 Ounces of A1 Steak-sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Block of Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well in a large bowl
  2. Create patties about the size of the palm of your hand, make sure to perforate with a fork to prevent burgers from blowing up like balloons
  3. Pre-Heat Grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  4. Place Double Onion A1 Cheese Burgers on grill and cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn-off the grill and flip the burgers one last time and let them rest on the hot grill for 3 minutes (This will make sure the meat is cooked to well done without drying them out) Total Cook Time of 13 minutes
  5. Take burgers off the grill, apply cheese if desired, and let them rest for 3 minutes before serving.

If you like the taste of steak on a bun, then this is the burger for you. It is moist and juicy and pairs perfectly with wine or beer. Yes, wine can go with this burger! I prefer a vintage from Mt Veeder because it is warm and brings out the flavors of the meat and the onion in the burger.

Kamado Joe Grill

Ranch Burgers on The Kamado Joe Grill

At Second Elm we believe summer time is the best time to get out and grill. There is no special reason it is the best, but it happens to be the time when most people are outside with their families and friends putting meat on the grill and drinking cold beverages to stay cool. The aroma of cooked meat, smoked or grilled, is something would be ideal to air through a supermarket, any time of the year, to activate the “old-factory” senses and make the shoppers hungry for a good, old-fashioned burger!

I have spent a lot of time over the years cooking burgers and one of the easiest, and most flavorful, ones I have ever cooked is the Ranch Burger. Doritos made a ranch chip, Taco Bell made a Doritos Taco with Cool Ranch, and I make hamburgers infused with Hidden Valley Ranch. The great thing about food is that you ca try anything, and putting Hidden Valley Ranch into a burger is far from the nuttiest thing I have ever done!

RANCH BURGER

Ingredients:

  • 2.25 lbs of Ground Beef
  • 2 packets of powdered Hidden Valley Ranch
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Chopped White Onion
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well in a large bowl
  2. Create patties about the size of the palm of your hand, make sure to perforate with a fork to prevent burgers from blowing up like balloons
  3. Pre-Heat Grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  4. Place Ranch Burgers on grill and cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn-off the grill and flip the burgers one last time and let them rest on the hot grill for 3 minutes (This will make sure the meat is cooked to well done without drying them out) Total Cook Time is 13 minutes
  5. Take burgers off the grill, apply cheese if desired, and let them rest for 3 minutes before serving.

It is important to understand that if you don’t like the taste of Hidden Valley Ranch, you will most certainly not like the taste of this juicy, flavorful, outstanding Ranch Burger cooked to perfection on the Kamado Joe.

This particular burger was paired with the Anchor California Lager, made by the Anchor Brewing Company. This is a great tasting, light lager beer perfect for the summer time because it has a great flavor and smooth taste, especially when it is chilled to 33 degrees Fahrenheit!

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