Griller Gifts – what to get for that hard-to-buy-for Griller in your life!

Griller Gifts – what to get for that hard-to-buy-for Griller in your life!

Got a griller in your life and finding it hard to shop for him or her?

Well our grilling blog crew at Griller’s Gold happens to be a bunch of “gear heads” and always love shopping for the latest and greatest bits to use when we indulge our favorite hobby. That is of course, turning out favorite yums for our families and friends on our pellet grills fueled with Griller’s Gold Premium Hardwood Pellets.

We hope that our idea list below sparks some good ideas for your griller:

Thermometers

No good chef or serious BBQ griller doesn’t have their favorite thermometers.  Having the ability to accurately measure temperatures means that you can accurately deliver food off your grill that is to the right doneness level, at a safe eating temperature and is of the highest quality. 

Here’s a few of our favorites in a couple of different categories:

Instant Reading Thermometer:  The ThermaPen 

Ask any serious chef which instant-reading thermometer they use, and they’ll all say the same thing: ThermaPen. 

A ThermaPen is a product from ThermoWorks, a company that makes professional quality temperature measuring devices for a variety of applications. The “standard” ThermaPen has a folding probe, and the best part is its speed and accuracy – it measures the temperature at the absolute pinpoint of the probe, and it delivers the reading within a few seconds. It is truly a pro tool! 

A ThermaPen isn’t cheap by any means (regular price around $100) but they are built like tanks and last forever. We have one that is 20+ years old and still works perfectly! On sale now at $69.95 at https://www.thermoworks.com/thermapen-one/

Remote-Monitoring Thermometers and Probes 

Some pellet grills come with plug-in temperature probes and that’s great – but we’ve heard they can be pretty variable on accuracy, and accuracy is what it’s all about.  Here are some great products proven and used by the Griller’s Gold Team for remote-monitoring of your food (meaning that you can get the information without standing at your grill).

  1. Meater Thermometers:  We have to admit to falling in love with this thing when it was just an idea on Kickstarter and after waiting a year for it to arrive, well, we weren’t disappointed.

    That’s several years ago now and they have continued to evolve and innovate the product. The concept is simple – a metal probe pen that you insert in your meat and pair with your phone and you’re good to go!

    It measures both temp of your food and the ambient temp of your grill. They come in single packs, multiple-pen setups and more!  Lots of sale prices right now at https://store-us.meater.com/products/meater-plus 
meater themometer - great gift for grillers
  1. Inkbird Remote Thermometer:  Inkbird is a pretty cool company and they make a variety of temperature control and temperature measurement products.  A remote thermometer like this has several probes that you can push into your food, hang in your grill to monitor temperature, etc. 

    Great for if you’re cooking things that don’t get done at the same pace like a chicken plus a beef roast. Rather than picking just one for you, we suggest you shop their website – they have everything from fairly inexpensive bluetooth probe setups ($51.99) up to multiple-probe wifi-enabled counter-top consoles. See what fits your budget and your griller’s needs at https://inkbird.shop/collections/bluetooth-bbq-thermometers
inkbird remote themometer - gift for griller in grillers gold blog
  1. ThermoWorks Smoke remote thermometer:  Another item we’ve had for years – ours is past 10 years old now and is still on its original set of batteries!

    This thing is bullet proof and works great and is on an insane deal. This is only a two-channel thermometer, but it’s dedicated remote receiver seems to have a much longer range than standard Bluetooth.

    And the reason we’re suggesting this one is it is at an insane deal right now – $64.35. We paid close to double that when we first bought ours.  That said, Themoworks has a huge selection BBQ products so you may want to shop a bit on their site.  Here’s the link to the SMOKE:  https://www.thermoworks.com/smoke/

Tools and Accessories for the grill

These items are fun/useful tool items to add to your pellet grill to be able to make different food items, enhance your grill’s performance, and the best part, have more fun:

GrillGrates

GrillGrates are accessory grates that lay right on top of your pellet grill’s cooking grates. They work by absorbing the heat of the grill and somehow concentrating it, delivering up to 200F more heat at the grate rails, which delivers great searing and grill marks – moreso than what you can get from your grill’s standard grates.

We don’t need to know why they work, but trust us, they work great. We have them and love them! They make kits sized to fit your grill, or you can buy their standard sizes.

They interlock together from smaller sections so you can use them on part of your grill while still using the regular cooking grates.  Check them out for pellet grills at https://www.grillgrate.com/pellet-grills/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA1ZGcBhCoARIsAGQ0kkqFQMrjWkPzju7zpo8yxbWDnc8ERvA_vB1RZbYPNDYTEszgvCB3ycwaAhFrEALw_wcB

grill grates - great gift for grillers, grillers gold blog

Flat Top grills

Flat top grills are metal plates you can lay on your grill’s cooking grate to cook typical flat-top grill foods like burgers, breakfast items like pancakes, hash browns and eggs, and even Japanese “Hibachi” style food.

There are a lot of selections out on the marketplace and for this category, we don’t have a particular one we recommend.

We do know that the GrillGrate folks (above) also make one. Things to keep in mind on these are to make sure that if you buy one that’s the same size of your grill that it is made for it – we’ve heard that these can obstruct airflow if they aren’t designed for your grill. 

Now this all said, one “flattop” solution we love the best is our simple cast iron griddle from Lodge Cast Iron – this isn’t anywhere near the size of our pellet grill but it’s big enough to make a couple of omelets, or a few fried eggs all at once.  A flat top on top of your pellet grill can save you the cost of one of those big dedicated flat top grills. Here’s a link to that product on Lodge’s site:

https://www.lodgecastiron.com/product/chef-collection-reversible-grillgriddle?sku=LCDRG

cast iron grill - great gift for grillers, grillers gold blog

Cast Iron Cookware

Of all the grill-friendly cooking accessories to have, cast iron cookware is the most versatile.

We own several sizes of skillets, as well as the griddle mentioned above, and because a) they are all-metal; and b) are cast-iron with no special finish to discolor or get ruined by grill use, they are perfect for grill cooking. 

What to cook in them? Side dishes such as potatoes or vegetables, fish, especially delicate fish that might fall apart on grill grids, and even desserts (ever tried wood-grilled peach cobbler?) are amazing when kissed with that delicious Griller’s Gold flavor from your pellet grill! 

Our favorite brand is good ‘ol, USA made Lodge, made in South Pittsburg, TN near the border with Alabama and near Chattanooga.  Great place to visit!  Visit their website for lots of ideas for gifts for your favorite griller.  https://www.lodgecastiron.com/

lodge cast iron assortment - great gifts for grillers

Grilling gift hand Tools: 

Here’s a list of things in our grilling bits cabinet that we can’t live without:

Nomex Gloves

These are gloves made made of knitted fireproof Nomex fiber so they are very heatproof. Useful for lifting hot grates and other hot grill tasks: https://www.amazon.com/Heat-Resistant-Grill-Insulated-Grilling/dp/B075GXPC8K?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1&psc=1

nomex black gloves - grilling gift, grillers gold blog

Neoprene BBQ Gloves 

These gloves are heavy canvas coated with heat-resistant neoprene and are just the ticket for handling hot meats off the grill. Not heat resistant enough for cookware at oven temps but for food off the grill they work perfectly. We use them for pulling pork, handling briskets and birds and just about anything where you need hands on the actual food. https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Bar-B-Q-Insulated-Barbecue-Gloves/dp/B000XAL1QE/ref=sr_1_20?keywords=neoprene+bbq+gloves&qid=1669664667&sprefix=neoprene+bbq%2Caps%2C149&sr=8-20

insulated black bbq gloves - great grillers gift, grillers gold blog

Bear Paws

Bear Paws are specially designed to help you rip and tear apart pork shoulders and Boston Butts for pulled pork and wow do they do the job! https://www.amazon.com/Original-Bear-Paws-Shredder-Claws/dp/B003IWI66W/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=bbq+bear+claws+tear+meat+shredder&qid=1669664853&sprefix=bbq+bear%2Caps%2C121&sr=8-3

bear paws shredding tools - great gift for grillers, grillers gold blog

Drink Holder

And finally, the one thing you can never do without – a magnetic drink holder for the grill!  Sticks to any strong metal surface (like the pellet feeder box on your grill!) and lets you park your favorite beverage while you tend your grill. Here’s one that we have: https://www.amazon.com/LEKUSHA-Magnetic-Tractor-Refrigerator-Treadmill/dp/B09GXHPRXT/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=magnetic+cup+holder+for+toolbox&qid=1669664967&sprefix=magnetic+cup+holder+for+%2Caps%2C115&sr=8-5

magnetic drink holder for side of grill - great gift for grillers, grillers gold blog

That’s a wrap to this edition of the Griller’s Gold blog!  We hope you’ve gotten some great ideas for gift giving for your favorite griller.

From all of us at Griller’s Gold, we wish you the happiest of Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving Feast on the Pellet Grill

Thanksgiving Feast on the Pellet Grill

Thanksgiving is in a few short weeks and it’s our favorite food holiday!

Every family has all of their own wonderful traditions and favorite dishes.  The great thing about owning a pellet-fueled grill, besides fueling it with Griller’s Gold Premium Hardwood Pellets, is that with the precision temperature control these grills provide, they can serve as an additional oven for your kitchen, fueled with delicious smelling and tasting hardwood!

Many traditional thanksgiving foods will really benefit from the “kiss” of wood smoke flavor that you’ll get when cooking on your pellet-fueled grill. And of course, not every item is compatible. 

So in this post, we’ll cover making an OUTSTANDING turkey on your pellet grill and then ideas for sides that work well with being cooked in a wood-fueled environment.  On to the bird!

Up close shot of Thanksgiving turkey being carved

Fantastic Wood-Roasted Turkey

Making a turkey on a pellet grill does not have to be complicated in any way. 

In fact, you can go as simple as:

  • Buy a turkey
  • Thaw it
  • Remove the packaging and the giblets package
  • Fire your grill up to 350F
  • Season it with salt and pepper
  • Put the turkey on the grill
  • Close it up
  • Take it off when the breast meat is 165F in the center.
  • Rest it for 30-45 minutes tented with foil
  • Carve! 

That’s as easy as it can be and it’s delicious that way. We will frequently do this super-simple method on a Sunday when we want to make food to feed the family for the week. It’s just so easy.

But, we’re here to talk about a fantastic bird, so here’s how you kick that up several notches!

Choosing the Turkey

Our turkey journey starts with the bird. We have tried a variety of different turkeys – all natural/minimally processed, fresh, frozen, free range, you name it. We have found that the “big brand” bird that everyone knows is also the most consistent in terms of quality, cutting, preparation and ease of cooking. These birds come pre-brined, so that step isn’t necessary.

If you do like to use minimally-processed turkeys, they really benefit from an overnight brining. If you’re not sure how to do it, visit YouTube or Google – there’s tons of resources.

Seasoning Your Thanksgiving Bird

We like to season the turkey with barbecue blogger Meathead Goldwyn’s “Simon and Garfunkel Rub”. We mix up a big batch of it – it is thyme, parsley, rosemary, oregano, basil, bay leaves and sage all ground up together! 

To season, start by rubbing the skin overall with a few tablespoons of cooking oil or olive oil and then sprinkle the rub generously over the turkey along with salt and pepper.  Be sure to season the cavity too! Then we tie the legs and wings close to the body with butcher string.

We like to roast the bird in a foil roasting pan and to raise the bird off the bottom of the pan so the air can circulate, we put a bunch of chunky-cut aromatic veggies across the bottom of the pan – quartered up onions, large pieces of carrot and celery do great for this. Those vegetables can then be used to flavor up your gravy with the pan drippings that land in the pan from the bird.

When cooking a turkey on the pellet grill, we don’t stuff it. We have found that by the time the stuffing is cooked to a safe temperature that the breast meat is overcooked, so we’ll do the stuffing in a side dish pan while the turkey rests.  See below.

On to the grill!

Thanksgiving turkey in the roasting pan on the grill

Preheat your pellet grill using your favorite Griller’s Gold Natural Hardwood pellet flavor – for turkeys we use Competition Blend the most – to 225 degrees F. We’re going to start low and slow as pellet grills put out more smoke flavor at lower temps, then we’ll boost the heat and roast as usual. 

Let your grill preheat at least 15 minutes at this lower temp and then load up the bird into the grill. If you have a temp probe, insert it deeply into the breast meat, but don’t hit the ribs in the center of the bird.

Close up the grill and go watch some football for 90 minutes. 

In that time, the turkey skin will absorb a nice kiss of that delicious wood smoke. At the 90 minute mark, head back to the grill and turn up the temperature to 350F, and give the bird a 180 degree turn to the opposite direction. At this point, total cook time is dependent on the size of your bird, but the average size turkey (15 to 16 lbs) should take about 2 to 3 hours more time to finish up. 

We like to check on the bird and give it turns about every 45 minutes for even cooking.  The bird is done when your probe thermometer reads 165 degrees in the deep part of the breast meat.  Check it in several places.  The legs should be about 185 in the deep part of the drumstick and thigh.

Key Tip – RESTING the turkey

Now for the most important part:  RESTING! 

Bring the bird into the kitchen, lift it off the vegetable bed in the pan and put it on a platter or sheet pan. Put a “tent” of heavy duty foil over it and leave it alone for at least 30 minutes while you’re getting the rest of the meal on.

In fact, Gordon Ramsay recommends resting turkeys a full hour!  There is a lot of thermal mass there, and it will stay hot and ready to serve, but the rest really lets the bird finish cooking and redistribute the juices for moist meat and flavor.

And that’s it – after the rest, carve and serve!  It will be fantastic and the skin will be out of this world – that’s the chef’s treat for cooking and carving it.

Thanksgiving side dishes

Thanksgiving Side dishes

As promised, here’s a list of sides you can also do in your pellet-fueled grill:

Gravy

You made your bird in a roaster with a bunch of aromatic veggies – that pan will have lots of tasty drippings in it.  Dump a quart of either turkey or chicken stock over the veggies to “rinse” the drippings off, then pour off into a large measuring cup or gravy separator.

Simmer your roasted veggies with the stock for 10-15 minutes to extract flavor and also concentrate the stock. Skim or separate the fatty drippings from the stock and use those to make your roux for your gravy.  Your gravy will have a wonderfully smokey flavor.

Stuffing/Dressing

After the bird comes off, put a baking dish with your stuffing in it out on the grill and bake it for about 30 minutes while the bird rests. It will pick up a little smokey flavor from the grill and be extra tasty.

Vegetables

Grilled vegetables on the pellet grill are outstanding! Have a look at our Farmstand Vegetables post for ideas!

Desserts 

Wood grilled fruit cobblers and “brown bettys” are outstanding when baked on a wood-fired oven, and your pellet grill, fired by Griller’s Gold pellets is exactly that – a wood-fired oven.  Bake at the same temp and time as in your recipe but do it on your pellet grill for extra flavor!

Smoked Old Fashioned Cocktail 

Yeah, we went there! Before your holiday guests arrive for the day, pour a bottle of your favorite bourbon into a shallow large baking dish like a lasagna dish. Fire up your pellet smoker at the lowest setting and use the “smoke” or “super smoke” setting if you have it.  Put the pan of bourbon on the grill and close it up, and smoke your bourbon for 20 minutes.  It will pick up a wonderful smokey flavor and aroma.  Use it to make bourbon Old Fashioneds!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Easter & Passover Feast on the grill!

Easter & Passover Feast on the grill!

Ahh, spring is springing!

The days are longer. The sun is higher in the sky, the grass is greening up, and the crocus, daffodils, and tulips are starting to pop out of the ground—time for renewal and rebirth. 

Spring also features the twin religious holidays of Easter and Passover. We won’t get into the religious meaning, but it’s a time when families get together to celebrate and EAT! So here are some fun things you can cook outdoors, fueled with Griller’s Gold Premium 100% Hardwood barbecue pellets!

Easter

Easter – every family has its own traditions, but we’re sure they include lots of great eats! Here are some fun ideas for you.

Smoked Deviled Eggs:

What’s traditional with Easter? Coloring Easter Eggs. And doing colored Easter Eggs with the kids means you’re making lots of hard-boiled eggs.  Rather than having to eat egg salad for lunch the next two weeks, this is a great appetizer to use up those eggs for your family’s Easter dinner party after the kids finish hunting for them.

deviled eggs with bacon and chives - grillers gold easter feast blog

Most people we tell about this recipe go “huh?” with a healthy bit of skepticism, but we gotta say, this one is “don’t knock it till ya try it!”

Here we go:

Make in advance:  

  • 1 dozen or more hard-boiled eggs (again, use up those colored eggs!)
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked, crisp, and crumbled
  1. Preheat your pellet grill using your favorite flavor of Griller’s Gold pellets at 180 degrees to make the smoked deviled eggs.  While the grill preheats, peel your hard-boiled eggs, and when the grill is at temp, put the peeled eggs on the grill and smoke for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 mins, take the eggs off and cool them in the fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes in the fridge, cut the eggs in half the long way and pop out the yolks into a mixing bowl. Return the egg white “shells” to the fridge to continue to cool.
  3. For a recipe using 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, add a half cup of mayonnaise, 2 ½ tsp of dijon mustard, ½ tsp of Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp of hot pepper sauce, ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper, and ½ tsp of salt to the eggs in the bowl and mix – making sure to mash up the yolks well.
  4. Arrange the egg whites on a serving platter. Scoop the egg yolk mixture into a zipper bag, squeeze the contents into one corner, press out the air and seal the bag. Cut ¼” off the corner of the bag where the eggs are and “pipe” the eggs into the cavities of the shells, distributing evenly.  You can also scoop the egg yolks in with a spoon, but the bag method is easier. 
  5. Dust the tops of the eggs with a shake of paprika for color, then top each with a little crumbled bacon and perhaps some snipped chives or green onion tops.  
  6. Serve. Take a bow to the thunderous applause.

These can be made up to a couple of days in advance, just keep them sealed from the air in a container.

The Main Dishes

Easter dinners are often known for a couple of traditional dishes – ham and lamb.  Here are two great recipes that will make your family say “Ahhh!” as they push back from the table.

Double Smoked Spiral Cut Ham

Hams are the upper part hind leg of a pig and come in a variety of ways – boneless, bone-in, cured, smoked, etc.  One of our favorites is the spiral cut ham – these beauties are typically cured, then smoked, then placed on a machine that cuts the meat on a spiral making it easy to serve.

They come fully cooked, so getting them ready to serve is just a matter of heat and eat.  They recommend heating over a gentle heat, so what could be more perfect than the thermostatically controlled heat of a pellet grill set up for low and slow cooking.

Christmas or Easter spiral sliced ham with oranges and cranberries

Buy:

A spiral cut ham – “half” hams are most popular. They run between 6 and 9 lbs and are distinguished by the one end that is flat.  A whole ham weighs anywhere from 10 to 20 lbs and is twice the size and somewhat oval-shaped.  Either works for this recipe – just vary the cook time!

Setup: 

Fire up your pellet grill to 250 degrees with your favorite Griller’s Gold Premium Wood BBQ Pellets.  For this recipe, we love the fruity tastes of either Griller’s Gold Fruitwood Blend or Cherry BBQ Pellets.

Cook:

Remove the packaging from the ham and place the ham in a large disposable roasting pan. The ham will give up quite a bit of liquid as it heats, and you won’t want that in your grill. The cook time will vary by size, but you’re seeking an internal temperature of about 150 degrees near the bone for your ham – that will typically take 2-3 hours at 250 for a half ham.  The packaging should have heating instructions that you can interpret.

Glaze:

Most hams come with a glaze mix packet. (We like to make our own!) But feel free to use theirs – just follow the directions on the package. After your ham hits the heating temp, move it inside and fire your oven up to 500 degrees (if yours only goes to 450, that’s fine). 

In a medium saucepan, heat up 1 cup of brown sugar, ¼ cup of apple juice, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, ½ cup of honey, ½ tsp ground cloves, and ½ tsp ground ginger. 

Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for a minute or two.  Brush this all over the outside of your ham, then slide the ham into the oven. Heat at 500 for 3 or 4 minutes, then brush with more sauce and give it 3 or 4 minutes more.  If it starts to burn at all, remove it quickly – you just want to caramelize the sugar on it.


Serve: 

Have a long, narrow knife and a meat fork handy for guests to free up the slices of their ham.  If you have any glaze leftover, mix it with a few tablespoons of the liquid from your roasting pan and serve it on the side as a sweet gravy.

Super easy grilled Rack of Lamb

rack of lamb - grillers gold easter blog

Lamb is so traditional for Easter dinner, but legs of lamb can be a bit intimidating and, frankly, tough! But a rack of lamb on a pellet grill is easy to do, usually super tender, and is done quickly.

Here’s our favorite recipe:

Buy: 

We buy pre-frenched, ready-to-go lamb racks from the warehouse stores. Costco almost always has these for a pretty good price. We always buy at least one on every trip to have them in the freezer ready to go.  One rack will usually feed 2-3 people. For a hungry crew, have one rack for every 2 people.

Marinate: 

For two lamb racks, mix up ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (canola works too) with the juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard, ½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbs fresh), and 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed or 2 tbs fresh, finely chopped, plus about 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper.  Spread the marinade on the lamb on the meaty side and the ends, and marinate for about an hour. 

Cook: 

Preheat your pellet grill using your favorite Griller’s Gold pellet flavor (we like Competition Blend or Smokehouse Blend for this recipe) to 250 degrees F. If you have one, put a probe thermometer in the lamb racks and set the alarm for 125 degrees.

We like our lamb bright pink, medium, so adjust accordingly.  It will take the lamb racks about 30-45 minutes to get to that temperature. When they do, remove and cover with foil and a towel to retain the heat and boost the grill temperature to 400 degrees.

Return the lamb racks to the grill (and stay by the grill for this – lamb fat is notoriously flammable! If a ton of smoke starts coming from the grill, check for fire!) put them fat side down and sear for 2 minutes. Keep turning every 2 minutes until the internal temperature is between 135 and 140 degrees.

Bring them in, cut them into individual “lamb lollipops,” and serve!

Passover

Passover is the holiday that celebrates the Jews escaping the slavery of the Pharoah in Egypt. Jewish people have a standing joke about Jewish holidays that goes “They were persecuting us. We prevailed! Let’s eat!” and Passover is no exception! Here’s one of our favorite recipes:

Smoked Passover Brisket:

A traditional Passover dinner dish is a braised beef brisket. These are usually slowly braised with a savory liquid, often smothered with onions, and cooked until the meat is pull-apart tender. This recipe takes that traditional preparation and kicks it up a notch by starting the cooking out on the pellet smoker to kiss it with some tasty smoke flavor prior to finishing in the oven. This is super easy and fun to make.

A Kosher note: You can decide whether you use kosher ingredients for your family based on your own traditions and observance. This recipe is kosher-style which is to say it follows basic kosher rules but does not specify kosher products.

Buy and Trim: 

We like to use a brisket flat for this recipe – which is also known as a “first cut” brisket. It’s the flatter lower muscle.  We like to trim the fat cap of these to about ¼” thick and trim back the thin edges to the point where the meat is at least ¾ thick – save that trim.  It makes amazing burgers!

Seasoning:

For this style of brisket, rather than our usual BBQ rub, we first like to wet the meat with some Worcestershire sauce, then season it liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic salt – that’s it!

Smoke: 

Fire up your pellet smoker for very low and slow – 180 degrees. For this one, our favorite pellet is Griller’s Gold Premium Wood BBQ Pellets SmokeShack Blend, but really, all of them are suitable. Put the brisket on, and set a timer for 2 ½ hours. If your grill has a “max smoke” or “super smoke” setting, use it. This is about the ONLY recipe you’ll see from us where we cook using time versus temp! All you’re doing is infusing the meat with smoke flavor.

Roast:

Take your brisket off the grill and put it in a big roasting pan.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. 

Mix up a braising liquid consisting of 2 1/2 cups of beef broth, 1 cup of red wine, 1 cup of prepared Chili sauce (see Kosher note above), and ½ cup of dark brown sugar.  Pour over the beef, then slice up at least two large, sweet onions into thin slices and bury the meat in the onion slices. This is one of those “more the merrier” things!

Cover the meat tightly with foil (or if your roaster has a lid). Put the meat in the oven and cook it for between 2 and 3 hours – the meat is done when it is at least 200F degrees internal and pulls apart easily at the edges. Remove from heat to a large platter, cover with foil and a towel to retain the heat, and rest at least 20 minutes – that will firm the meat up for slicing.  Slice crossways to the grain in nice thin slices and serve with the onions and the liquid in the pan as gravy.

By the way … you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this delicious brisket!


So there ya go! Three amazing main dishes and one killer appetizer. From our families at Griller’s Gold to yours, wishing you happy springtime wishes and warm memories of these holidays!

Until next time!

March Madness grilling!

March Madness grilling!


Ah, “March Madness” – ostensibly that, of course, refers to the big college basketball championship series and its exciting “gotta win to advance” format. But when we think of March Madness, we think of the weather getting more springlike and our MAD desire to get out there and GRILL SOME STUFF! Right?

So, this post is about how we combine those two – here’s some March Madness-worthy bites you can make right on your grill using Griller’s Gold Premium 100% Hardwood pellets to give everything that tasty wood-grilled flavor!

If you’re like us, you’re camped out in front of the big screen watching sports, you need to have some good snacks, and some good beverages handy – good friends also make it more fun. We’ll revisit some of the snack items we’ve written about before AND give you three great  recipes for classic “watching sports munchies.”

smoked Chicken Wings Three Ways

Seriously, is there a more perfect food than a chicken wing?  There are three or four good bites of tasty meat, usually either fried, grilled, or baked, and tossed with some yummy sauces. So we’re going to take you through how to get great wing results on your pellet grill and some outstanding sauce ideas to go with them. 

Griller's Gold Smoked Wings Recipe - crispy wings with golden color

Expert Wing Tips

Buy: We like to buy our wings at Costco or Sam’s Club in the big bags of frozen raw wings. Be sure to purchase raw – you want end-to-end control of the product.  If buying fresh wings at the grocery store or butcher shop, by all means, go for that – we like the flats and drumettes separated, and no tips, but whole wings can be cooked this way as well.

Prep and Season:  Thaw your wings and drain them, then spread them on a rack over a sheet baking pan and let them dry at room temp for about 30 minutes – this step helps the skin get crispier.  For 4 lbs of wings (about 30 pieces in total, split between drumettes and flats), mix:

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of baking powder (yes, this helps the wings crisp up as they cook)
  • 1 ½  Tablespoons of a seasoning mix of your choice – we like Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, but Morton’s Season-All, or just about any other seasoning mix works.  If you want to go old school, mix up 1 tsp each of salt, pepper, and sugar and ½ tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. 

Toss the wings in this seasoning mixture in a large bowl to evenly coat the wings. Spread them back out on your rack and let rest another 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat your pellet grill to 425F degrees.  Yup, we’re comin’ in hot!

Griller's Gold Smoked Wings - chicken wings on the grill spaced evenly

Cook:  Put the wings on the pellet grill, spreading out evenly, so there’s a touch of air space between them – it’s the convection air that makes these crisp up.  Cook for about 30-40 minutes at 425F degrees, turning every 10-15 minutes – you’re looking for 180 degrees at the bone of one of the thicker drummettes.  

A note for non- pellet grill owners: 
This recipe works great on a charcoal or gas grill as well – just cook the wings over indirect heat (so shut off a burner, or bank your coals to one side). And if you want great wood-grilled flavor, prepare a “cigar” of Griller’s Gold pellets by taking a cup or so of the pellets and rolling them in a sheet of aluminum foil.  Twist off the ends and poke several holes in the foil with a skewer.  Place directly on the coals or your “flavor bars” over the lit burners on your gas grill.  Use the same heat – 425F degrees.

wing Sauces X3!

We promised three sauces, and these are easy, so here you go:

Classic Buffalo 

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 T of Brown Sugar
  • 1 T Minced Garlic

Melt 1 stick of butter and whisk up with 1 cup of Frank’s Red Hot sauce. Place back on low heat until it bubbles a bit, then whisk in 1T brown sugar and 1T minced garlic (Ok yeah, technically this is garlic Buffalo, but don’t bust us. It’s fantastic!). Toss with the wings hot off the grill and serve.  Don’t forget the ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping!

Korean Sticky Heat 

This one is so yummy – hot/sweet umami bomb! 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 T Canola Oil
  • 1 T Goshujang or Sambal Oleek
  • 2 cloves of garlic mashed (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
  • 1 1/2 tsps of ginger paster puree
  • 1/2 tsp Asian Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Asian sesame oil


In a saucepan over medium heat, mix ½ cup soy sauce (we like the low sodium variety), ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 tablespoon Gochujang or Sambal Oleek – both of these are Asian chili pastes that add heat and flavor, 2 cloves of garlic mashed (or 1 tsp minced garlic), 1 ½ teaspoons of ginger paste/puree, ½ teaspoon Asian fish sauce, ½ teaspoon Asian sesame oil. 

Let simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors, then toss with the wings.
Extra napkins and maybe some wet wipes for the sticky hands on this one!

Garlic Parm

This recipe is so simple but so good.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • 3-4 T of grated parmesan cheese

Melt one stick of butter to bubbling, add 2 tsp minced garlic and simmer for a minute or two to “bloom” the garlic.  Add 1 tsp seasoning salt, then remove from heat.  Toss the wings in the butter and garlic mixture, add 3-4 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, and toss well.  Serve!

By the way, if you decide to make the wings in the oven or deep fryer, of course, these sauces will work well there, too!

smoked BBQ Baloney!

Yeah, we said that. You may know this recipe by a few other names like “Redneck Ribeye” and “Poor Man’s Prime Rib,” but what it is, is simply delicious!  And ridiculously easy to do.

Griller's Gold Smoked Bologna - three images, one cooked and cut into cubes, one raw and one half done on the grill

BUY:  Go to your local grocery’s deli counter and ask for a 4 to 6-inch piece of their slicing bologna (or baloney if you prefer) whole – people call this a baloney “chub.” You don’t want it sliced!  They might look at you funny but roll with it! We have found that the Eckrich brand works really well but just buy whatever you like.

PREP:  Fire up your pellet grill with Griller’s Gold pellets of any kind and preheat to 250 degrees F.  Take your “chub” and split it in half so that you have two “half-moon” shaped pieces, then using a sharp knife, cut a ¼” or so deep crosshatch pattern into the round surfaces of it. Slather it with yellow mustard (just good ol’ hot dog mustard is fine) to give your rub something to stick to, then cover it well with your favorite barbecue rub.

COOK:  Onto the pellet grill it goes – we like to smoke it for 3-4 hours at 250.  There really is no “done” point on this – it’s ready when you decide to pull it off and eat it!

SERVE:  Cut the BBQ Baloney into bite-sized cubes, making sure that each cube has a bite of bark on the outside. It’s a bit of a geometry puzzle, but we’re sure you’ll figure it out!

Lay them out on a platter with some toothpicks.  We also like to offer a few dipping sauces – BBQ sauce, some spicy, grainy mustard, maybe a hot sauce! And this is way good with the leftover Korean Sticky wing sauce above.

NEXT LEVEL:  These are fantastic when made into sticky burnt ends – just mix ¾ of a cup of your favorite barbecue sauce with ¼ cup of honey.  Toss together with the cubed-up baloney and then put in a foil pan (if using the grill) or baking dish (if indoors) and bake at 325~350F degrees for 20 minutes to caramelize the sauce.

Beef Jerky, smoked the easy way!

Beef Jerky is SO easy when you have a thermostatically controlled pellet grill – and you get that fantastic wood flavor from those Griller’s Gold 100% Hardwood pellets. Usually, when we make this recipe, we make it from scratch, but this is a faster recipe that uses some commercial products to get the job done. Now that said, this does require an overnight step and a relatively lengthy cook but, well worth the reward!

Griller's Gold Blog - Smoked Jerky Snacks on the pellet grill

BUY:  2-3 lbs of beef flank steak

PREP:  Remove the beef from the package and lay it out in a single layer on a platter, plate, or baking sheet. Next, put the pan into the freezer for about 20 minutes to make it easier to cut the meat up. 

After the freezer rest, cut the steak into serving-sized strips with the grain of the meat. Marinate overnight in a good-quality Asian teriyaki-style sauce. Our favorite is Soy-Vey Very Teriyaki, but feel free to use your favorite.

COOK: Preheat your pellet grill to 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Place the strips of meat on the grill crossways to the grid bars (don’t want them to fall through!), close the lid, and go away for 2 ½ hours. At 2 ½ hours, go check them – you’re looking for well-dried strips of beef that still have a bit of tenderness on the bite. They will be a bit sticky. This cook usually takes us between 3 and 4 hours.

Remove from the grill, cool to room temp and serve. Don’t be surprised if your friends snarf them all up!  Save any leftovers (IF there are any!) in a zip lock bag in the fridge for up to a week.

Smokey Snacks Revisited:

Check out some delicious game-day munchies from an earlier Griller’s Gold blog post.

Smoked Goldfish(™) crackers or cheese crackers  

This is a super easy smoker recipe! Toss one bag of Goldfish crackers or a regular-sized box of cheese crackers with a ¼ cup of cooking oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. If you want heat, add ¼ t of cayenne pepper. 

Spread in a foil pan and put in the smoker for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Temperatures are ok from 180 to 250 on these as well.  Absolutely delicious!

Smoked Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips  

These are even easier! Spread a bag of nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips out on a sheet pan and slide them into your pellet smoker at 180 degrees – let them go 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  

You’ll never eat another “straight from the bag” nacho cheese tortilla chip again. It also works great with potato chips, especially cheese flavored.

Smoked Queso Dip  

This kind of dip has been quite the rage of late in the BBQ social media forums and it’s quick and easy to prepare, too.

There are a thousand different recipes for this online. 

Here’s the one we’ve found to be the best combo of easy and tasty:

Taco Meat or Chorizo smoked Queso Dip 

Using a prepared taco seasoning and ground beef, prepare 1 lb. of taco meat to the instructions on the package. You can also substitute crumbled chorizo sausage, browned and drained. For this recipe, use a ½ pound of the taco meat or browned chorizo.

  • 1 can Rotel tomato/chile pepper mixture
  • 1 cup diced raw onion
  • 1/2 cup diced pickled jalapenos (can be omitted if desired)
  • 20 ounces of Velveeta cheese cut in 1” cubes (note – regular cheese like cheddar will not melt evenly enough for this, you need the pasteurized process cheese to work right)
  • ⅔ cup of sour cream

Mix together the prepared taco meat, the Rotel, onion, and jalapenos or chiles and spread out in a foil pan, then scatter the cubed cheese over the top.  Smoke for 45 minutes at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes, then stir in the sour cream and smoke 15 minutes more.  Serve hot with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Smoked Queso Dip

(Photo Credit:  4sonrus.com)

Happy March Madness, everyone! Until next time!

smoky snacks!

smoky snacks!

Most people when they think of using their wood pellet grill smoker only think in terms of classic barbecue fare – smoked meats, typical sides, etc. But that hot chamber with its wafting and tasty smoke can also be used to make some delicious snacks.  Like anything done in the smoker – all it takes is time, some tasty seasonings and the heat and smoke from your smoker, fueled of course, by Griller’s Gold natural hardwood pellets.

Dry Smoke is Key for Smoky Snacks

One thing to keep in mind on these recipes – these are all designed for DRY smoke – if your smoker has a water pan in it, don’t fill it.  That may make heat control more difficult, but thankfully these recipes are not very temperature sensitive.  Additionally, these are great “extra space” recipes in your smoker – if you’re doing a long smoke of something and you have some room, put one of these in and make some extra treats – again, provided that you’re doing a dry smoke like on a pellet grill fired with Griller’s Gold pellets. 

Also, note the recipes below don’t have a recommended type of Griller’s Gold pellet – that’s because all the flavors will be good with these – just use what you have on hand or what you’re using already in your smoker.

Here’s a few ideas that will be a hit at your next party – all of them are very easy and completely delicious! 

Smoked Nuts

Rather than paying extra for a fake smoke flavor on mixed nuts, how about the real thing?

This is one of those “it’s so easy why didn’t I think of it before?” recipes and using a wood pellet grill makes these especially easy. 

Here’s the ingredients:  1 container of your favorite nuts – mixed, single variety, whatever works for you.  Here’s the method:  Dump them into a foil pan and put them into the smoker at between 180 degrees and 250 degrees for an hour or so, stirring every 15 minutes or so – more time if you want more smoke flavor, less time for a more subtle flavor. 

We quote a temperature range there because these can go on with other food, but if doing them by themselves on a wood pellet grill, go to the low end – 180 degrees as pellet grills tend to kick out more smoke at lower temps.

Now, to kick them up a notch, do this – for every 3 cups of nuts, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and whisk in 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce, 1 t each of garlic powder and onion powder and if a spicy kick is wanted, a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce.  Toss this with the nuts prior to smoking. You’ll see this same mixture below. 

Smoked Goldfish™ crackers or cheese crackers 

Again, super easy – for one bag of Goldfish crackers or a regular sized box of cheese crackers, simply toss them with a ¼ cup of cooking oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder and paprika, and if you want heat, ¼ t of cayenne pepper.

Spread in a foil pan and put in the smoker for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Temperatures are ok from 180 to 250 on these as well. Absolutely delicious and we double dog dare ya to not eat a huge handful hot from the smoker. Amazing!

Smoked Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips 

Yeah we said that. These are even easier – it’s literally dump, smoke, eat like it’s your job.

Spread a bag of nacho-cheese flavored tortilla chips out on a sheet pan and slide them into your pellet smoker at 180 degrees – let them go 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. 

You’ll never eat another “straight from the bag” nacho cheese tortilla chip again. Also works great with potato chips, especially cheese flavored.

Smoked Queso Dip 

This has been quite the rage of late in the BBQ social media forums and it couldn’t be easier.

There are a thousand different recipes for this online.

Here’s the one we’ve found to be the best combo of easy and tasty:

Taco Meat or Chorizo:  Using a prepared taco seasoning and ground beef, prepare 1 lb of taco meat to the instructions on the package. Can also substitute crumbled chorizo sausage, browned and drained. For this recipe, use a ½ pound of the taco meat or browned chorizo

1 can Rotel tomato/chile pepper mixture

1 cup diced raw onion

1/2 cup diced pickled jalapenos (can be omitted if desired)

20 ounces of Velveeta cheese cut in 1” cubes (note – regular cheese like cheddar will not melt evenly enough for this, you need the pasteurized process cheese to work right)

⅔ cup of sour cream

Mix together the prepared taco meat, the Rotel, onion and jalapenos or chiles and spread out in a foil pan, then scatter the cubed cheese over the top. Smoke for 45 minutes at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes, then stir in the sour cream and smoke 15 minutes more.  Serve hot with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Smoked Chex Mix

Who doesn’t love a big batch of homemade Chex mix? Everyone that makes it puts different custom touches in their mix.

Here’s a link to a great oven-toasted Chex party mix recipe that we’ve used a lot and it’s always a winner.  And here’s how you kick it to the next level – instead of toasting this in your oven at 250 degrees, smoke it in your wood pellet smoker with Griller’s Gold pellets for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. 

Also, the linked recipe calls for using sheet pans – this also works fine in a foil roasting pan – just make sure you’re stirring it well to expose as much of the crunchy stuff to the smoke. It’s great with a mug of cold beer!

Try Your Own!

Do you have a favorite snack recipe that requires some oven baking? One of the beautiful things about wood pellet grills fueled with Griller’s Gold pellets is that they offer great temperature control and will give your food a subtle “baked in a wood burning oven” flavor. Any oven-baked canapé or appetizer will be extra tasty when baked in your pellet grill. Experiment a little – we have yet to find something that wasn’t just a bit tastier after a ride in our pellet smoker.  Pick the perfect wood pellet for your next meal, and, happy smoking!

Holiday Weekend Menu – Monday

Holiday Weekend Menu – Monday

Ah, Monday of a three-day weekend.  You’ve gone hard all weekend, time to chill a bit, maybe do a few chores around the house or vacation home, and get ready to dive back into the workweek.  You’ve got a few guests around still, so let’s feed them right – but let’s make it a bit more fun and interactive.  One of our favorite ways to do that is a burger and sausage bar!

Burgers and sausages on a pellet grill, especially one fueled with Griller’s Gold 100% Hardwood Pellets, are especially good. The “kiss” of smoke you get when you cook hot and fast on a pellet grill gives these old faves an extra “something” you just can’t get from plain old charcoal or from a gas grill.

Burger Bar: 

A fun way to do this is to let everyone season and create their own burgers.  Offer a burger bar with a selection of meat, a variety of seasonings and sauces, shredded/crumbled cheeses,  and chopped onions, mushrooms, and peppers as mix-in items.  For seasonings, consider ingredients such as garlic and onion powder and herbs like thyme, as well as rubs and commercial blends.  Check out this great recipe, Smokehouse Burger.

For sauces … hot sauce, barbecue, steak sauce, soy, etc..  Then let your guests have at it. If you’d like to control portions to make sure your meat supply covers everyone, just make pre-weighed balls of ground meat.  In terms of meat, for ground beef, let’s face it – fat is flavor – consider 80 or 85% lean ground beef.  To make things interesting, you can offer up additional ground meats like chicken breasts, veggie burgers, lamb, bison, turkey, even game like venison if you have it. 

For sanitary purposes and to keep things straight, provide vinyl or nitrile food service gloves as well as sheets of foil for each person to put their burger on.  Offer up squares of paper that your guest can put their names on to help keep straight whose burger is whose.  

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