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Traeger's Homemade BBQ Calzone

Posted by Mike C. on October 4, 2014

Traeger's Homemade BBQ Calzone

Traeger family, I'm going to do you a favor today. A very easy, quick, delicious favor. We receive so many questions every day and two of the most common questions are, "What can I do with the left overs from my BBQ party" and "What's a quick and easy meal I can make for my family?" Never fear, the BBQ calzone is here. This is the perfect, quick dish for your leftover meat, and I mean any meat. Throw together a creamy bbq sauce, or a take on a BBQ remoulade, and you're dealing with a work of perfection. Adding a few store ingredients (or even a quick purchase from your local pizza place) and you've got a 15 minute meal with no effort. 

 

Traeger's BBQ Calzone

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb left over BBQ (we used sliced pork)
1 small pizza dough (Store bought or local pizza place)
1 egg (for eggwash)
3 slices white american cheese
2 tablespoons of your favorite Traeger BBQ sauce
Sprinkle of Traeger chicken rub

PREPARATION

As with anything we're going to start getting our items ready, while preheating our Traeger. Open your grill lid and place your setting to "Smoke". This will need to run around 3-5 minutes. I'm using some left over pork shoulder I had, I decided to slice it instead of doing a pull.

 

Get your meat all sliced up and ready. If you're using pork feel free to slice, chop or shred. Any other meat just treat it any way you want. 

 

I contacted a local pizza place and was able to buy a small pizza dough for $2. You can't beat that. Feel free to make your own of course, but if you're looking for a quick and easy meal this is the ticket. Take your dough and roll it out to a proper thickness. That will depend on you. I can tell you whatever size I want but some people like a thin crust, while some like it thick and chewy. Now would be a great time to set your grill to "High" as well.

 

Once you have your dough all rolled out spread your bbq sauce on the bottom half of the circle then you can layer your meat and cheese and fold the other half over to seal. 

 

You can get as fancy as you want with this. If you feel like making decorative folds, go for it. If you want to press it together as is there's no shame in that.


Now you can beat your egg and start to brush the top of your calzone with the egg wash. Then sprinkle on a generous amount of your Traeger chicken rub and we're ready for the grill.

 

Place your calzone on the Traeger for 15-17 minutes depending on your temperature. This is going to give you a nice golden brown and while you're waiting, we can throw a little sauce together! This is too easy, 1 part mayo to 1 part BBQ sauce. Tablespoon for Tablespoon. 1/4 for 1/4, however you see fit. In my case I did 1 tbsp of each and added a tsp of pickled pepper juice for an added acidity boost. I think it was a nice touch, feel free to add whatever else you'd like to make it your own.

 

Traeger's Homemade BBQ Calzone

Sauce is done, 15 minutes are up. Let's go see what we're working with.

Traeger's Homemade BBQ Calzone

There you have it. This nice crispy pillow is filled with soft, delicious smoked meat, a touch of bbq sauce and some nice melted cheese to top it all off. Dip it in your bbq remoulade and you're in quick dinner heaven. This was a big hit with my family and I'm confident it'll work for you! As always, take pictures and send them in to use on our social media and show us your take on our recipes! We love to hear from you!

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Smokey Blister Bombs

Posted by Mike C. on October 3, 2014

Smokey Blister Bombs

 

 This is a little thrown together appetizer I made while at my mom's house. She's pretty well famous in our family for her stuffed peppers so while I was in town I had to ask for some. These things have a tendency to be either really hot or not hot at all. I wasn't looking to have my mouth burned this paricular evening so as I was looking through her fridge I noticed a can of biscuits and decided to get creative. Thus, the Blister Bomb was born! I had the amazing opportunity when creating this recipe to make these blister bombs with Schmacon! For those of you who haven't heard of it yet, Schmacon is bacon made from beef. Of course you can substitute regular bacon, you're just not going to get all of that delicious, beefy goodness!

As if delicious wrapped jalapenos, dripping with amazing cheese isn't enough, just by reading this post you could win $25! If you recreate this recipe, take a picture and use #traegerblisterbombs and our blogger @foodiemikec on instagram or twitter, one photo will be selected as our winner and you win a $25 Traeger gift card! You have until 10/21/14 to enter. 


 

Blister Bombs

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8
Recommended Pellets: HIckory

INGREDIENTS:

8 jalapeno peppers

4 slices of white american cheese

4 slices Schmacon (or bacon)

1 can of 8 biscuits

Your favorite Traeger rub

 

PREPARATION:

I love to start out getting everything in it's placed. When you're organized in the kitchen it makes it that much easier to get things together smoothly.


 

Now that we're all ready we can go ahead and start hollowing out the jalapenos, removing the seeds and membrane from the middle. Not only is it essential to allow room to stuff with glorious, gooey cheese, but also this will make it so the peppers don't totally scorch your tongue.

 

 

Before we get our fingers all messy, let's go ahead and warm up the grill. Open your Traeger's door and turn it to the "Smoke" setting, allowing it to warm up for 3-4 minutes. While this is going we can get ready to wrap the peppers in our delicious Schmacon (or bacon).

 

 

Here comes the fun part, we get to wrap 1/2 piece our smokey Schmacon (or bacon) around each pepper, finishing it off by skewering it with a toothpick to prevent the Schmacon (bacon) from unraveling. 

 

 

Now is the perfect time to kick your Traeger up to "High", after you was those beefy (porky) hands of course. Once your grill is up around 400 degrees, you're ready to set your peppers onto the grill.

 

 

Let these bombs cook on "High" for 10 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes. This should allow the peppers to blister up, thus "blister bombs". Once they have a great amount of color, it's time to take them off and turn the grill down to 350.

 

 

Now that we have the peppers inside we can pull the toothpicks and fill each pepper with half of a slice of cheese. 

 

 

We're ready for the final step. Now we can take out our can of biscuits. One by one, take one raw biscuit, flatten it out, then wrap it completely around each pepper. Pinch each opening tight, so that the biscuit doesn't spread open while cooking. Once each biscuit is covered, dust the top lightly with your favorite Traeger rub. 

 

 

All of our Blister Bombs are ready and the grill should be sitting at 350 degrees, go ahead and put your bombs on the grill and set your timer for 15 minutes. Allow these to cook until a light golden brown.

 

Smokey Blister Bombs

It's finally time. Time to dig into these cheesy, smokey delicious pillows of heavenly goodness. They should have a bit of bite to the pepper still. I suggest cutting them open so your guests or family can see the delicious melted cheese oozing out.

 

Smokey Blister Bombs

 

Enjoy! We can't wait to see everyone's pictures! Make sure to tag @traegergrills and our blogger @foodiemikec on Instagram or Twitter for a chance to win a $25 Traeger gift card!

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Traeger Tailgate Series: Bacon Bowl Bean Dip

Posted by Mike C. on September 9, 2014

Traeger Tailgate Series: Bacon Bowl Bean Dip

If you're looking to turn heads at your team's next game, look no further. Not only do you have an impressive bowl made of bacon, you have an amazing layered bean dip that will blow your mind. Bean dips have been a staple at parties and game days through the dawn of time, but this is not your ordinary appetizer, this is Traeger magic.

 

Traeger Tailgate Series: Bacon Bowl Bean Dip

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: As many friends as you'd like to make
Recommended Pellets: Mesquite, Pecan, Hickory or Cherry

INGREDIENTS:
1 pack of bacon
1 can of kidney beans (or your favorite refried beans)
1 small container of sour cream
1 tub already made guacamole (or home made)
1 c of your favorite shredded cheese as well as 3 slices of processed packaged cheese

For the beans:

2 tbsp of your favorite salsa
1/2 pack taco seasoning
Dash Salt and Pepper

PREPARATION:

Let's start by getting our ingredients assembled and turning our Traeger to the "Smoke" setting and opening the lid for 3-5 minutes. While the grill is warming up we can create our bacon weave.

 

Start off by taking your bacon apart strip by strip and laying it side by side until you're around 5-6 slices deep on a cutting board or a sheet of plastic. Once you have them laid out start by pulling the odd or even strips from left to right about 1 inch it start your weave. Only do odds or evens though, this will start your weave. Once you have the bacon slices pulled back just a touch, lay a piece of bacon across the exposed slices and the gaps, then fold the bacon you originally peeled back on top of the strip you had just laid. Then its just a matter of doing the same thing, just the alternate. If you started with the odds do the evens but now that the first strip is established, instead of pulling from the left to the right, do the right to the left until you can lay another strip. It should look like this.

 

 

If you continue to alternate and lay strips you'll have a full out bacon weave and this is the easiest method I've found to use. Once you do it a time or two you'll become a pro.

 

Now is when we talk options for our bowl base. I personally have a metal bowl that I use for tortillas and other things so I figured that would be a great place to start. If you have an oven safe bowl of any sort grab that. If you don't, I've seen people create bowls just using wadded up foil to create the bowl. 

 

 

how to make a bacon bowl

Let's get our grill set to 375 and prepare for bacon bowl glory. Once your grill is to temperature, put your bowl upside down on the grill then lay your bacon over the top of it, this way the grease will run off of the bowl and bacon so you're not collecting a mass of grease inside the bowl.

 

how to make a bacon bowl

Odds are depending on the size of your bowl, you're going to have excess. That's ok. Just the bacon do it's thing. I wouldn't suggest cutting the bacon down now, you never know how much the bacon will shrink so it's best to just let it work its course. While the bacon bowl is working let's get our dip ready to go. I personally go with kidney beans and smash them because I love the flavor, but you could just as easily use a can of refried beans to save yourself a step. If you're going with the kidney bean method, drain half of the can's juice out while saving the other half. Pour the juice and beans into a bowl and prepare to smash. 

 

Add 2 tbsp of your favorite salsa, a dash of cumin, salt, pepper and 1/2 pack of taco seasoning then start to smash away.

 

Now that our bean dip is ready to go we can gather the rest of our dip ingredients, it won't be long until our bowl is ready to go.

 

Traeger Tailgate Series: Bacon Bowl Bean Dip

Now that our bowl has been on around 25-30 minutes it's looking pretty good. This would be a great time to pull the bowl off and slice some of the excess bacon from the top of the bowl. Reserve that bacon because it'll make a great layer for the dip. Once you're trimmed up you can put it on the grill for another 10-15 minutes to finish. You want the bacon to get a little dark, but not burned. Otherwise your bowl will be soft and not hold the dip well.

 

Now that you're staring at your bowl you're probably thinking to yourself, "Well this has spaces in it, how will it hold the dip in?". Don't worry. I've got it covered. Take your 3 slices of processed cheese slices and layer it around the inside of the bowl.

 

Traeger Tailgate Series: Bacon Bowl Bean Dip

Now we can go ahead and assemble our layers. Let's start with a good amount of our bean mixture.

 

Now let's throw in some sour cream. The beans will spread out a bit around the sour cream as well so keep that in mind.

 

What would be better than tossing a ton of cheese all over the top of this?

 

This is looking incredible! Time to add our guacamole. Feel free to use store bought or home made, your choice!

 

Traeger Tailgate Series: Bacon Bowl Bean Dip

It's almost game time. Now we can finish off with a little bit of sour cream and chop up the bacon you cut off and top the sour cream with it. Then it's time to dig in. 

 

Traeger Tailgate Series: Bacon Bowl Bean Dip

I can't begin the explain how amazing all of this tastes together. You should have seen the line at my house with people trying to get their hands on some. I guarantee this will be a game day hit, prepare for a stampede! Go Pokes! As always, we'd love to see your creations on our social media. Find Traeger grills on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @traegergrills 

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Traeger's BBQ Meatball Onion Bombs

Posted by Mike C. on September 8, 2014

Traeger's BBQ Meatball Onion Bombs

Everyone has heard the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" if this is true, I can't imagine what this picture is screaming right now. This delicious meatloaf ball is filled with mushrooms, onion and parsley, while being encased in an onion shell and wrapped in bacon THEN finished with your favorite Traeger BBQ sauce. Talk about ridiculously good. This is one of those recipes you have to share with your friends because it is too good. Make these bad boys for your next get together and just wait for the results! 

BBQ Onion Bombs

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 60 minutes smoking at 225, 20-30 minutes at 350
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb ground beef
2 yellow onions
1 pack bacon
1/4 c each chopped parsley, chopped mushrooms and diced onion
1 tbsp spice ketchup 
1 tsp each soy and worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp each brown sugar and Traeger Prime rub
1/4 c Panko bread crumbs

PREPARATION

As always let's start by getting the grill and our food all ready. Start your grill as normal by placing the setting to "Smoke" and leaving your grill door open. Do this for 3-5 minutes to warm up your Traeger.

 

Start off by cutting the tops and bottoms off of your onions and ridding them of the tough exterior skin. Slice your onion in half and start to peel the layers of onion apart. You want to keep the biggest layers of onion you can to stuff, however, make sure you're not keeping the tough exterior onion layers, that won't taste (or cut) very well.

 

Set your onion shells aside and let's mix our meatloaf. Mix 1 lb of ground beef, diced onion, parsley, mushroom, as well as your spices, condiments and bread crumbs into a bowl and mix by hand.

 

Now that our meatloaf mixture is ready, you can heat your Traeger to 225 and get ready to stuff these onion bombs. Take a small handful of your meatloaf mixture and place it inside one of your onion layer pieces, then press another layer piece on top of the mixture, making an onion sealed meatball. Continue with the rest of your onion layers until your meatloaf mixture is gone. The number of onion bombs will depend on the size of the onions you buy.

 

Now, let's wrap this thing in bacon. Why? Because...bacon. I wrapped 3 slices of bacon around each bomb, you may need more bacon depending on size. Secure the bacon with tooth picks so it doesn't unravel while it's cooking. 

 

 

Traeger's BBQ Meatball Onion Bombs

Place these bombs on your Traeger at 225 for an hour to smoke, once the hour is up, kick up the heat to 350 for another 20-30 minutes until your internal temperature is around 160-165, you'll have some carry over heat even when you pull the bombs off the grill. The last 10 minutes or so of cooking, put your favorite Traeger BBQ sauce all over the onion bomb and let it caramelize.

 

 

Traeger's BBQ Meatball Onion Bombs

After your 10 minutes are up you're ready to rock and roll. These things are fantastic. Not only do you have a nice, savory, sweet meatloaf, you also have that sticky, salty aspect going on as well. Garnish with a little parsley and you can hear people starting to drool all over your floor. Make sure after you make these beautiful creations at home, you tag us on our social media by searching Traegergrills or @traegergrills.

 

Traeger's BBQ Meatball Onion Bombs

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Traeger Tailgate Series: Roast Garlic Parmesan Wings

Posted by Mike C. on September 2, 2014

Traeger Tailgate Series: Roast Garlic Parmesan Wings

Folks, game day is upon us. No matter who you're cheering for, you better be expecting some great eats. This is the big season for all of the Traeger family. This is when people love to come over and eat some good BBQ or some awesome tailgating food. Be prepared Traeger family, the tailgaters are coming...

These wings are good. Too good. Roasting your garlic before adding it to the sauce gives it a whole new depth of flavor. Your guests are going to go nuts over these wings, and they're so easy to make. This will definitely be a repeat recipe for you and with a new game every Sunday, that's a good thing.

Roast Garlic Parmesan Wings

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Mesquite
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

2 lb chicken wings
1 whole garlic bulb
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c mayo
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp each basil and oregano
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 teaspoon lemon juice

PREPARATION

As always let's start by getting the grill and our food all ready. Start your grill as normal by placing the setting to "Smoke" and leaving your grill door open. Do this for 3-5 minutes until the grill warms up. In the mean time, let's tend to our garlic.

 

This is going to be pretty easy. All we're looking to do is cut the garlic in half.

 

By now go ahead and crank up your grill to "High" we want around 400 degrees. While your grill is getting up to temp let's put our garlic in foil and seal it up.

 

Odds are some of it will come apart, and that's ok. Just throw it in with the rest of the garlic. We're going to get the chicken a little pre-seasoned as well. Nothing too major, just a little salt and pepper because it's going to be smothered in our delicious sauce which will have a little salt and pepper in it already.

 

Looks like we're ready. Place your chicken and garlic (wrapped in foil) on the grill and we're going to let it cook for 30 minutes. At 15 minutes however, we're going to flip the chicken over to get a nice color on both sides. 

 

While our chicken and garlic is getting all golden brown and delicious, let's prepare our sauce. Easy enough, just start measuring out your ingredients and throw it all into a bowl. I like to add a little salt and pepper at the end. Once our garlic comes off the grill we'll finish the sauce off with those soft little cloves!

 

Ok, after 15 minutes we've flipped our chicken over and now after ANOTHER 15 minutes we're ready to go! 

 


Traeger Tailgate Series: Roast Garlic Parmesan Wings

Our garlic will be a nice soft brown. You can continue to cook the garlic a little longer if you'd like and get some more color but you also run the risk of burning your garlic, and if you've had burnt garlic you know that's not very tasty.


Traeger Tailgate Series: Roast Garlic Parmesan Wings

Now all we have to do is scoop a little bit of our garlic into our sauce and mix it up well. Since the garlic is cooked, it will be very soft so it will mix into the sauce very easily. I would say it's safe to start out with around 6 cloves but make sure to taste your sauce then add more if needed. Once there's too much garlic in it, you're kind of stuck. Feel free to add as much as you'd like. Cooking garlic gives it some amazing flavor and even brings out some sweetness so roasting your garlic will take it to a whole new level.

 

Traeger Tailgate Series: Roast Garlic Parmesan Wings

All there is to do is sauce these babies up and watch them fly off the plate. I suggest you have some of this sauce handy because it's going to be a hit, let alone the amazing smokey-grill flavor the Traeger gives your chicken. Remember, we want to see your tailgating and BBQ pictures! Add us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching for Traeger Grills or you can find us using @traegergrills. Show us how you like to tailgate!

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World Famous Peach Cobbler Cupcakes

Posted by Mike C. on August 7, 2014

World Famous Peach Cobbler Cupcakes

Ok maybe "World Famous" is a bit of a stretch, these cupcakes aren't exactly world famous, yet. That is, until the world tries them. This was a lazy evening idea, my mother makes an amazing peach cobbler and that kind of sounded good but a cupcake didn't sound bad either. So I decide, "Hmm, peach cobbler cupcake. I definitely need to google that!" To my surprise I couldn't find anything. Which was good news for me, that means this was my shot to be an innovator. So allow me to introduce to you, my almost world famous, Peach Cobbler Cupcakes.

World Famous Peach Cobbler Cupcakes

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
MAKES: 12 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

1 box moist yellow cake mix 
2 large peaches
3/4 c sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 can of white icing (or container of icing with pastry bag and tip)
5 butter cookies (can be store bought)

PREPARATION

Let's start off getting our peaches ready for a quick boil.

 

Take your peaches and turn them upside down. You want to cut a small X across the bottom, being careful not to cut too deep. All we're trying to do here is make a shallow X that way when we do a quick, 1 minute boil, it will help to loosen the skin without really cooking the peaches. Next get a saucepan full of water and get it to a rolling boil. Once it's at a rolling boil, drop your peaches in and let them sit in the water for 1 minute.

 

After your minute is up, immediately drain the peaches into a colander and rinse off with cold water to stop the cooking. You should be able to see that the skin is already peeling back because the X will look a bit wider.

 

This skin should be fairly easy to come off now.

 

Make sure you get all the skin completely stripped. Sure, you can eat the skin, but it definitely will add a "bite" to the cobbler filling once it's prepared. Trust me.

 

Once you have all of the skin off you can begin to cut the peach around the pit then start to dice the peaches down. You want a pretty small dice so it can be inserted into the middle of your cupcake.

 

Now we're ready to create our filling, take your diced peaches and place them into a large pan and start cooking them over a medium heat. As it starts to sizzle, add your sugar, lemon and cinnamon. Cook this mixture on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until a majority of the juice from the peaches evaporates leaving a nice, thick syrup. Once your mixture is ready, transfer to a bowl to cool.

 

Once you transfer your mixture to a bowl, turn on your Traeger with the lid open and make sure it's set to the "Smoke" setting. After letting it warm up around 3-5 minutes, set your grill to 350 degrees. While your grill is heating up, follow the directions on your box cake mix and put the mixture into your cupcake pan, with liners. When the grill is at 350 bake your cupcakes for 13-16 minutes, until a light golden brown.

 

The last part is the fun part. There are also two options here. You can either get a piping bag (or a ziplock bag) with piping tip and pipe the peach cobbler mixture into the middle, or you can just take a small knife and poke holes in the middle of the cupcake then spoon your peach mixture inside. Once your mixture is settled nicely in the center of the cupcake, you're ready to ice them as well. I like to put just a little icing on, so you can still taste the bright peach flavor but add that great amount of sweetness as well. You also want to see the gorgeous color of the peach cobbler as well. A nice added touch, take 5 sugar cookies, or cookies of your choice, put them into a ziplock bag and crush the cookies with a rolling pin. Then you can take pinches of the cookies and sprinkle the icing, adding a nice crunch to the cupcakes.

 

World Famous Peach Cobbler Cupcakes

Every single person who has tasted these cupcakes immediately fell in love, I just know that you will too. Make sure to take pictures of your family enjoying these cupcakes and tag us on our social media @traegergrills. We'd love to see your creations!

 

World Famous Peach Cobbler Cupcakes

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The Best Grilled Romaine Salad with Homemade Bleu Cheese and Bacon Dressing

Posted by Mike C. on July 19, 2014

The Best Grilled Romaine Salad with Bleu Cheese and Bacon

This is going to be your new summer side! I've heard many people say they didn't like grilled lettuce because it get's soggy and wilted. Well I'm here to help you ensure that it doesn't happen to you. Many people who have tried to grill lettuce tend to over cook it, which will make it wilted and kind of soggy. Follow these quick and easy steps and be elevated in summer side dish glory!

Grilled Romaine Salad

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 2 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
MAKES: 2 wedge salads

INGREDIENTS

1 Romaine lettuce heart
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Optional Bleu cheese dressing:

2 tsp bleu cheese
2 tsp mayonaise
1/4 c milk

Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

PREPARATION

Begin by starting your grill with the lid open, making sure the grill is on the "Smoke" setting. Allow it to heat up for 3-5 minutes. We can take this time to prepare the lettuce and dressing.


Cut your romaine in half, then either brush or drizzle olive oil over both faces of the romaine. Once the oil is on, season the lettuce with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Now we can kick the grill up to "High" and get it good and hot. Once your grill is ready we can throw the romaine on, face down.

 

Now this is the important part, you want to stay close to your lettuce. As soon as you walk away, you'll come back and it will be a wilted mess. Depending on your grill and the weather conditions, your grill could be anywhere from 400-500 degrees so the cooking time will vary here. I was around 450 degrees so it literally only took around 2 minutes to grill. You won't have really dark marks on the lettuce, but you will have some nice color because of the oil and cheese.

 

Now we can take our lettuce in and get it inside and prepare our dressing. You can prepare your dressing by mixing your bleu cheese, mayonaise and milk in a bowl. Mix it will, although you will want a few bleu cheese chunks as well. Season to taste with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder. Keep in mind the garlic powder will get a little more intense in flavor as it has a chance to rehydrate.

 

As you start to dress your salad, if you're like me you want more bleu cheese, so feel free to throw a few more crumbles all over the top.

 

The Best Grilled Romaine Salad with Homemade Bleu Cheese and Bacon Dressing

If maybe you're feeling like there's just a little something missing from this salad, I wouldn't hold it against you if you threw a little bit of cooked bacon on top to garnish. Why bacon? Because, bacon.

 

The Best Grilled Romaine Salad with Bleu Cheese and Bacon

If your mouth isn't watering already you might want to check your pulse. I promise this salad tastes as good as it looks. If you haven't already, go ahead and dig in. That beautiful grill flavor, the saltiness of the bleu with the smokiness of the bacon. Talk about flavor perfection.

 

The Best Grilled Romaine Salad with Bleu Cheese and Bacon

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The King of BBQ: Traeger's Burnt Ends

Posted by Mike C. on July 3, 2014

The King of BBQ: Traeger's Burnt Ends

I hope you all can agree with me here for a moment and say that when it comes to BBQ there is nothing better than Burnt Ends. If you're a pro around the BBQ circuit you've probably had this more times than you'd care to admit, and if you've never been blessed enough to try these burnt ends then quite frankly, you haven't lived. This is the ultimate flavor. It has the beautiful smoke, the tender beef, the crispy exterior and the flavorful juices. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about this dish all over again. Now, it is hard to find just a "point" of a brisket. If you're not familiar with the portions of the brisket, its all one big cut of meat but essentially there are two parts, or muscles. One is the flat, the other is the point. Just as you'd assume the flat is the long, more narrow portion of the meat and the point is the "hill" of the brisket. If you can't tell that much of a difference there's a good chance you've bought a pre-trimmed brisket and they've removed a good portion of the point. It happens. Aim for "packer" briskets, you'll have to cut off excess fat, but it's totally worth having the cut of meat you want. If you can't find one, no big deal. We'll work with what we have!

 

King of BBQ: Burnt Ends

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Cook Time: 9 and 1/2 hours (it's worth it...)
Serves: An Army
Recommended Pellets: Hickory, Apple, Cherry

INGREDIENTS:

8 lb brisket trimmed

8 beef bouillon cubes

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 bottle Traeger Rub

1/2 c of your favorite Traeger sauce

PREPARATION:

Ok, here's the start of this epic journey. I've done brisket two ways, one by mixing beef brother with worcestershire and injecting the meat, the other was crushing beef bouillon cubes and mixing it with worcestershire sauce. Both work great, for this preparation I chose to go with the later. Start by getting your brisket set out and in a vessel that will make this as mess free as possible.

 


 

 

Ok, now we can go ahead and make the wet portion of our rub. Start crushing up 8 beef bouillon cubes in whatever you'd like, then add your tablespoon of worcestershire sauce and mix it well. Once you have it all incorporated start rubbing all of that goodness all over your brisket.

 

After your wet rub is set go ahead and throw your favorite Traeger rub all over your brisket. Make sure you're pretty liberal with the seasoning. You're not going to over season this thing, actually the rub is going to give you a nice "bark", don't you dare call it burned. There's a difference. So, this next part is totally up to you. You can go ahead and take your brisket to the Traeger, or you can do like I did and let it sit over night in the fridge. I felt it would help the flavors marry and the salt would break down into the meat a little bit. Anyways, to the next step!

When you're ready to cook, go ahead and start your Traeger by turning it on and setting your thermostat to "Smoke" with the grill door open. Once you've given it around 5 minutes set your heat to 250 degrees and shut the door. Once your temperature is ready to go you can go ahead and get your brisket on the grill.

 

Here's the best part about owning a Traeger, once your meat is set in and the lid is shut, we're going to cook it for 4 hours. No tedious stocking of wood. No manning a fire. No guess work at all. Set your lawn chair out, pour yourself a nice lemonade (thats as hard of a drink I'll take), and watch the grass grow while letting these wonderful aromas carry you away. If you haven't recently added pellets you might have to check it after a little while but if you're all topped off and ready to go you're ready to relax. Once 4 hours is up we're faced with another situation. It seems at this point in time a lot of briskets kind of hit a stall point. People feel that it takes a while to reach the perfect internal temperature and if you just let the meat sit and finish cooking it will dry out, on the other hand, some people say its best to wrap your brisket in foil (known as the Texas Crutch) and let the meat steam and come to heat. This ensures a nice, moist brisket, but could kill your bark. What a dilemma. I opted for the texas crutch, and odds are I always will. Here's why. When you're making burnt ends, you're going to take the point muscle off of the brisket anyway, re-season, then place back on the smoker. If you've already got your moisture down, another coat of seasoning will just add to your bark and create even more texture. So for me, it's always going to be wrapped in foil. So next step, wrap in foil, on the grill at 250 for another 4 hours. Once your 4 hours is up make sure you're gentle with your package. It has all kinds of delicious juices in there so feel free to open over a bowl to savor all that flavor.

 

Now if you look at the above picture it's more clear where your point is apart from your flat. You can almost see a dividing line to guide you on your way. Next step, remove the point from the flat and get ready for phase two.

 

Take your cooked point and cover it all over again in your favorite Traeger rub then set it BACK on the grill at 250 for another 1 and 1/2 hours. With this time feel free to take the 1/2 c of your favorite Traeger sauce and 1/4 c of your saved brisket juices and combine the two. Talk about some amazing flavor. Now you're set to go ahead and slice your flat against the grain so you have a nice, tender texture. Once you have it all sliced go ahead and slather some of your BBQ sauce mixture on it. This will help you make it through until those burnt ends are ready!

 

The King of BBQ: Traeger's Burnt Ends

Now after patiently waiting for an hour and a half, this is going to be one glorious site. This point has picked up even more smoke and caramelization making this the perfect burnt end.

 

The King of BBQ: Traeger's Burnt Ends

If you're not familiar with this style of BBQ you're going to say, "Oh no its burned". No. No it's not. We don't do that here at Traeger. Once you taste this delicious bit of perfection, you will quickly realize there is no burned taste to it. Sure its "burnt" but that's just the look, not the flavor. I like to cube this stuff up and pour the sauce over the top. I had the priviedge of serving this to an amazing crew of physical therapists that I have been working with to recover from a small series of surgeries that I've accumulated as a soldier. They've put in so many hours trying to make me better, this was just a small way to show my appreciation. Plus it's fun to give the Captain BBQ tips, he's a member of the Traeger family too! Hope you all enjoy this king of bbq, the burnt end! I know we all did.

 

The King of BBQ: Traeger's Burnt Ends

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Red, White and Bleu: 3 Sauces of Summer

Posted by Mike C. on June 26, 2014

Red, White and Bleu: 3 Sauces of Summer

There's no doubt that the American spirit pulses through our veins here at Traeger. What's more patriotic and American that BBQ? Not much. I swear I can smell freedom every time I open the door of my grill and can hear lady liberty herself singing any time I pull a finished product off the smoker. For the 4th of July, nothing like an American tribute for your next BBQ from an American soldier himself. I'm proud to say I'm a soldier in the US Army and have the amazing opportunity to write beautiful recipes for you all to enjoy. Talk about living the American Dream! So let's break this down. While you're firing up your grill for the 4th, you're going to need some A game material. I've composed 3 sauces here to take your BBQ to the next level. First, the all American red, perfect for your ribs or pork. Second, the Alabama white, this is amazing on grilled chicken. Last but not least, the Bleu. This bleu cheese sauce is so incredible with steak, you're likely to shed a tear for not having it sooner.

 

Red, White and Bleu: 3 Sauces of Summer

 

The Red:


PREP TIME: 5 min.
COOK TIME: About 15 minutes
SERVES: 2 cups

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup Ketchup

1 6 oz can Tomato paste

1/3 cup Brown sugar

1/3 cup Vinegar

1/3 cup Corn syrup

1/2 cup Water

1/4 cup Maple syrup

2 tbsp Honey

1 tbsp Molasses

2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Soy sauce

1 tsp Liquid smoke

1/2 tsp Onion powder

1/2 tsp Cornstarch

1/2 tsp Mustard powder

1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp Black pepper

1/2 tsp White pepper

1/8 tsp Garlic powder

1/8 tsp Celery salt

1/8 tsp Ground cumin

1/8 tsp Ground corriander

 

PREPARATION:

This is the good stuff right here. Basically there are 3 steps, "Assemble the gear, The Mix and the Cook". So, let's assemble.

 

Next, let's mix! BUT, when you go to start mixing, make sure you're following the measurements AND MAKE SURE you start this sauce COLD. Since there is cornstarch in the mix, if you tried adding it hot, there would be a clumpy mess on your hands. Of course you can feel free to deviate from the recipe to make it your own, the measurements are basically just a guide to help you along your culinary journey.

 

As everything is now incorporated, over medium heat bring the mix to a boil. Once you've hit a boil, reduce the temperature to a simmer and let it cook around 15 minutes so all of those amazing flavors meld together. 

 

And just that easy you are left with a gorgeous red sauce that is good on, well, anything at all. I personally took this beautiful red to a slab of ribs, you will not be disappointed. You can find many great rib recipes here on the Traeger blog site to get you started!

 

 

The Alabama White:

 

PREP TIME: 5 min.
COOK TIME: Absolutely Zero
SERVES: 2 cups

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Vinegar

1/4 cup Apple juice

1/2 tsp Salt

Juice of 1/2 lemon (Watch for seeds)

1 tsp Coarse black pepper

1 tsp Jar horseradish

Dash of Cayenne

 

PREPARATION:

You've got to love a recipe like this! Once again, we start with the assembly!

 

Next step, mix! Carefully measure out your ingredients and throw them into a bowl

 

Last, stir. That's it, really. Just stir. There is no need at all to cook any of this down. It all mixes together with no need for heat and the consistency is amazing. 

I suggest finding your favorite Traeger chicken recipe, then in the last 5 minutes or so slather on some of this creamy goodness all over your chicken of choice. We would also suggest just dipping the piece of chicken in the sauce, then serve. Everyone who tries this sauce loves it and wants the recipe.


Once it's had around 10 minutes to cook, that beautiful sauce coats all over the chicken and just seems to permeate through the essence of the chicken, leaving you with big, bold, juicy bites of goodness.

 

Feel free once the chicken is done to slap on some more sauce if that's your thing. This stuff is so good you might be looking around your kitchen for the nearest straw, but please don't.

 

The Bleu:

 

One of my personal favorites! If you're a fan of bleu cheese, and you should be, you're going to fall head over heels for this sauce. My wife personally can't stand the stuff, but loves this sauce. So don't turn your nose up at it just yet. Maybe just hold it for a few minutes...

 

PREP TIME: 10 min.
COOK TIME: 7-10 minutes
SERVES: 2 cups

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 stick of butter, salted

1 Vidalia onion

3/4 cup Heavy cream ( I didn't say this was fat free)

1/3 cup Bleu cheese

 

PREPARATION:

FIRST AND FOREMOST: For this recipe I decided to use a cast iron skillet, I set it on the grill while it's cranked to High all through the warm up stage to make sure it is good and hot in order to give me a strong sear on my steak. Of course the Traeger can sear a steak just fine on it's own, I'm also doing this to create delicious little bits in the bottom of my pan to contribute to my sauce! So this is how I prepared this meal / sauce, of course take any variation you need to accommodate to your suited cooking style.

 

You know the drill, let's get everything assembled and ready. This will make your life so much easier.

 

Well, that was quick. Don't mind the chunk taken out of my wedge of bleu, quality control... Anyway... Take your onion and cut it in half, then start slicing it in the thickness you'd like, I prefer to cut the onion a little thick in order to really taste it when you take a bite. 

 

Yeah, that looks great. Now go ahead and take your butter and put it into a pan over medium high heat until the butter fully melts.

Great, after the butter is completely melted, throw your onion in, salt and pepper it, then saute for a good 5 minutes or so until the onion gets soft and gains some beautiful color. Color = Flavor you know.


Now that our onions are soft we're almost done! I can almost taste it all over again! Next step is to add your 3/4 cup of cream, once the cream heats up, around 1 minute or so, then you can start to add that beautiful bleu to the party. 

Red, White and Bleu: 3 Sauces of Summer

After another minute or 2 of cooking, cut the heat and just stir. All of those delicious flavors are melding together and you're ready to top off your amazing steak.


4th of july BBQ sauces

Now at this point I'm not opposed to someone throwing on another small mountain of bleu on top of this, but that's totally your preference. Or if you're doing it for the 4th of July add a little blue food coloring to make it a little more patriotic. Do it) I can say from personal experience that all of these sauces / meals are a hit. I had a few friends over to be my taste testers and everyone went home happy. Just don't forget the reason for the 4th of July. I serve with some of the greatest men and women on the planet, and that's not just Army, it's also my brothers and sisters in the Marines, Air Force and Navy, and the guard and reserve units in those branches as well.

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Ginger Soy Chicken Thighs

Posted by Mike C. on June 13, 2014

Ginger Soy Chicken Thighs

 

I'm going to be honest with you right now and tell you that this recipe was a last minute dinner idea. The night before I had made some ginger soy dressing for a basic salad and fell in love with the flavor. After sitting around and asking the wife, "What sounds good tonight" around 36,000 times, I decided I'd marinate some chicken thighs I had in my dressing from the night before and see how it turned out. I took one bite and was instantly hooked. This stuff is packed with so much flavor its kind of ridiculous. It was so easy to make, I even steamed some brown rice for a side. Come on, I barely had to cook. I grilled some limes and cut up some green onion and that's it. Tell me you don't need this on a busy weekday!

 

Ginger-Soy Chicken Thighs

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes; 4 hours for the chicken to marinate
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4
Recommended Pellets: Apple

INGREDIENTS:

4-6 chicken thighs

1 cup prepared ginger-soy sauce

3 green onion stalks

2 limes

Sauce:

1/2 cup grated onion
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
tablespoons water
tablespoons grated fresh ginger
tablespoons ketchup
teaspoons soy sauce
teaspoons sugar
teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic


PREPARATION:

When you go to make your dressing, you can do it how I did, or you can opt for a blender or food processor. This sauce may have a decent amount of ingredients but it is incredibly easy and packed full of flavor. I used my cheese grater and used the small holes to grate down 1/2 c of yellow onion and 2 tbsp of fresh ginger. Once that's in the bowl all you have to do is measure the rest of the ingredients and incorporate it all into the bowl. I wanted to grate the onion and ginger in so this dressing would have a nice texture to it as well. Once your sauce is all mixed up, take your chicken thighs and put it into a zip lock bag and use around 3/4 of the dressing to cover. I let my chicken thigh sit for around 4 hrs, turning the bag every hour. Once you reach your final hour take the chicken out of the fridge and set it on the counter to increase its internal temperature. When your 4 hours is almost up, go ahead and turn your Traeger on and make sure the grill is set to "Smoke" with the lid open. Give that around 4-5 minutes for your grill to prepare. 

While your grill is preparing, now would be a good time to cut your limes and green onion to be used later.

 

 

Now that your garnish is set up, turn your grill up to "High" and let it get good and hot, around 10 mins. Once your grill is hot, go ahead and throw your marinated chicken thighs on, skin side down. 

 

 

As soon as the chicken hits the grill you will immediately be slapped in the face with this delicious, aromatic dream. Something that will have you thinking about this meal for the next week. Cook the chicken for around 10 mins then flip it over. Make sure you monitor your chicken well. This dressing has sugar in it that will caramelize quickly if you let it, so to prevent burn, keep your eyes open! After you flip the chicken over, grill it another 10 minutes then add your limes and finish the chicken off with another 5 minutes.

 

Ginger Soy Chicken Thighs

Perfect. The way I threw this all together, I steamed some rice, threw that on my cutting board, topped it with my chicken, then finished it with a squeeze of my lime juice and a nice sprinkling of my sliced green onion. Just to reinforce the flavor, take the remaining 1/4 c of dressing we reserved and drizzle it all over everything. Let those delicious juices flow throughout your rice and make this meal one for the record books.

 

Ginger Soy Chicken Thighs

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