Tag: outdoors

cowboy steak

How to Cook Cowboy Steaks on the Grill – The Reverse Sear!

Since I first saw them hit the meat counter at my local butcher I have been wanting to grill and taste the Cowboy Steak!

I have cooked steak dozens of times and have a perfect formula for cooking a traditional filet based on time and temperature, but this steak is different, it is HUGE!. So the goal is a perfect steak, but how do you achieve a perfect steak with meat that is nearly two inches thick? The answer is called the “Reverse Sear”!

Basically a reverse sear is where you slow cook meat for a period of time to cook it evenly inside and out without losing flavor. The trick on the reverse sear is that once you have slow cooked the meet for about an hour at a low temperature of around 200-250 degrees, you need to sear the steak for 2-3 minutes at a high temperature of about 450-500 degrees to lock in the flavor and finish the meat. This is a challenge for many grillers because most grills do not allow you to have two temperature zones on the grill. The solution to this dilemma is the Kamado Joe ceramic grill!

The Kamado Joe ceramic grill is equipped with a system that allows you to use an indirect heat plate on half of your grill while allowing you to apply direct heat for searing on the other half of your grill. I have been using a Kamado Joe Classic II for over a year now, i sold my Big Green Egg to get it, and it is far and away the best ceramic grill I have ever used….no wait, it is the best grill I have ever used! When i cooked this cowboy steak I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t cook it correctly, it is an expensive piece of meat, but I should have known that the Kamado Joe grill would be doing most of the work! Check out my video on how to do a reverse sear on the Kamado Joe ceramic grill, and look below for my recipe to make it taste great!

Ingredients:

  • Kamado Joe Grill
  • Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt

Seasoning Instructions:

  • Let the meat sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes
  • Coat both sides of the cowboy steak in olive oil, or whatever oil you prefer
  • Sprinkle both sides of the meat with black pepper
  • Generously apply Kosher salt to both sides of the meat
  • Once it is seasoned, let the meat sit at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes

Grilling Instructions:

  • Preheat the grill to 250 degrees
  • Place a heat deflector on one side of the grill and raise the grate to the highest setting, this will be used for slow cooking
  • Place the other grill grate on the lower setting, this will be used for searing
  • Place the seasoned steaks on the grill side that has the heat deflector, let is cook for 25 minutes, then flip and let it cook for another 25 min on the side with the heat deflector. Total slow cook time is 50 minutes
  • About 5 minutes prior to slow cooking is done open all the vents, lower and upper, on the grill to make it really hot. Then flip the cowboy steak onto the searing side of the grill, the lower grill grate without the heat deflector, and let it sear for 2-3 minutes, then flip it and let it sear the other side for 2-3 minutes

Total cook time for this cowboy steak is 56 minutes, 50 minutes at the slow cooking temperature of 250 degrees, and the remaining 6 minutes at searing temperature of 450 degrees.

Cooking this steak was really fun and it was really cool to use the dual zone feature of the Kamado Joe Classic II. If you are in the market for a versatile kamado style charcoal grill that will never rust and consistently deliver outstanding results i recommend the Kamado Joe grills from Second Elm. The product is outstanding and the service at Second Elm is even better!

cheesecake

How to Make a Cheesecake from Scratch, and bake it on the grill!

Not everything you cook on the grill needs to be savory, it can also be sweet! One of the sweet things I have always loved to make has been cheesecake, mainly because it is easy to make and it tastes great! Because the two most valuable pieces of real estate during the holidays are refrigerator space and oven space, I decided I would try something different and bake my family cheesecake on the Kamado Joe Classic II charcoal grill. It is a little bit of a spoiler alert, but the experience was awesome, better than baking it in the oven in the house!

I made a video of the experience to show you how easy it is to make! I certainly hope you enjoy my family cheesecake recipe! So much fun and it smells soooo good!

Ingredients:

-1 box of graham crackers
-1 stick of butter
-1 1/4 cups of sugar
-3 blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
-3 large eggs
-1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
-8oz of sour cream

You will want to use a heat deflector for this recipe!

Pre-heat the grill to 325 degrees and start putting together your cheesecake by making the crust. To make the crust you will need to melt 1 stick of butter and combine it with the graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup of sugar. Make sure to stir the butter and sugar into every bit of the graham cracker crumbs to ensure structural integrity of your crust! Once the crust is mixed, place it in a spring-form pan and using a fork or a spoon, spread the crust along the sides and bottom of the spring-form pan. I would highly recommend using a spray oil on the spring-form pan prior to placing the crust into it because it will ensure the crust sticks to the side of the pan. Once the crust is prepared and covering the pan, place it on the grill for 10 minutes to bake.

While the crust is baking you can go ahead and make your cheesecake batter. This is easy and fun! combine the 3 blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, the 3 large eggs, 1 cup of sugar, and the tablespoon of vanilla extract into the mixer and mix it until it reaches a batter consistency. Then fold in the 8oz of sour cream using a spatula. The sour cream will give the cheesecake body.

Pull the crust off the grill, pour your cheesecake batter into the crust, then place the cheesecake onto the grill at 325 degrees for 60 minutes. This is going to have the best smell, just be prepared to fend off the nosy neighbors who are poking their heads over the fence to see what you are cooking! After 60 minutes on the grill, your cheesecake should be done baking. Pull it off the grill and let it cool on the stove for about 30 minutes before placing it into the refrigerator. You want to let the cheesecake settle in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours prior to eating so it can settle.

Once the cheesecake has settled it is ready to eat. If you want to add toppings this is the time to do it! Go as sweet or fruity as you want, just remember once you starting eating this cheesecake it is going to be hard to stop! Check out our food page for more great recipes!

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!

Yeti Coolers

Shop Local and Get the Best Christmas Gifts of the Season in Downtown Rogers

For as long as I can remember I have been able to recall the traffic, mobs of people, coupons and newspaper ads symbolizing the beginning of the holiday shopping season. These elements still exist in some circles but the environment is changing, in some cases faster than retailers can adapt. I guess the real question to ask yourself this holiday season is “What are you looking for this year, a great shopping experience or the hustle and bustle synonymous with the retail experience that can be found at your local Walmart?”

Don’t get me wrong, Walmart is a huge company and it has the potential to be a great company, but consumers are looking for convenience, personality, service, and price. As much as the 21st Century consumer is accustomed to doing things on their own they are also interested in a satisfying shopping experience at an affordable price. There are tremendous innovations that are occurring to deliver product to the home, systematically stock inventory using robots, and if you have been into your local Walmart recently you may have noticed the number of registers dedicated to self-checkout and scan-and-go have increased where the number of manned registers has significantly decreased. Consider this when you are shopping this holiday season, then consider the service, personality, and quality of the products that can be purchased at the boutiques in historic downtown Rogers, or downtown Bentonville.

Kamado Joe

Local Shops offer an experience that cannot be matched by Walmart, Amazon, and most other national chains. Shops like The Dotted Pig, The Honeycomb Kitchen Shop, Second Elm, and The Urban Tub are among the best boutiques in downtown Rogers that offer fantastic shopping experience, and great products, plus they are within walking distance of the best restaurants in Northwest Arkansas such as Parkside Public “A Burger Company”, The Rail “A Pizza Company”, Levi’s Gastrolounge, Brick Street Brews, and the Ozark Beer Company.

 

There are so many great options it is difficult to name them all! Go into one of these stores or one of these restaurants and I guarantee you will find the high-quality products you are looking for, at a price you can afford and your transaction will be processed by a real person!

At Second Elm we have the latest products and fashion from Yeti Coolers, Fayettechill Apparel, Kavu, ENO, Maui Jim and for the backyard chefs we have Kamado Joe grills and accessories. During the holiday season we will be grilling and smoking some meat and sporting the best outdoor apparel. We have the perfect gift items with the Fayettechill Jackson Vest, and the new Yeti “Brick Red” Ramblers and the Yeti Load-out Bucket! It is all in your backyard in Downtown Rogers!

Today there are so many options to choose from when deciding how and where to spend your time and money shopping for the people who are important in your life. Consider shopping local and look forward to a great experience for this holiday season!

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.

NWA T-Shirts in Tybee

Take Local Pride with you wherever you go! NWA T-Shirts on Tybee Island

There are so many things that occur in the communities we live in! Here in Northwest Arkansas (NWA) we are hosts to multi-national corporations, Fortune 500 Companies, and a large array of cleverly crafted boutiques and pubs. The cool thing about being in an area like Northwest Arkansas is seeing all of the creativity and entrepreneurship that spawns out of the boutiques despite the fact that they are surrounded by mass merchandisers like Walmart and Sam’s Club.

NWA T-Shirt
PJ wearing her NWA T-shirt at Tybee Island

The Northwest Arkansas T-Shirts (NWA T-Shirt) was created for this very reason! The NWA T-shirt, like so many other local brands in Northwest Arkansas, started because someone wanted to create something special, something that was their own, something that was unique. Like other shirts it is soft to the touch, it has a relaxed fit, and it is available for purchase only at select boutiques. But what makes the NWA T-shirt special is the fact that it was conceived locally, created locally, sold locally, and each person who wears the shirt can show their pride of Northwest Arkansas. To some people Northwest Arkansas is home, to others it is a place they visited while passing through or calling on Walmart or Sam’s Club, and to the rest of the world it is a small, known or unknown, town in the middle of the country land-locked by Oklahoma, Kansas, Mississippi and Missouri.

Regardless of where you are from, where you are going, and where you have been I encourage you to shop local, try local flavors, and if you have a chance to stop by Second Elm in Rogers, AR please pick up a NWA T-shirt! Northwest Arkansas is home to many things and many people but above all things it is a place where sparks can become flames of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Explore-Entertain-Evolve and shop local!

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.