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Injected Herb Roasted Turkey

Posted by Susie B. on March 28, 2013

Injected Herb Roasted Turkey

I know, I know. Turkey is typical Thanksgiving fare. Just take a leap of faith on this one. Turkey is usually cheaper than a spiral sliced ham per pound this time of year, feeds a crowd, makes a beautiful presentation, and (when cooked on your Traeger) tastes divine. Trust us. Make this turkey and be the superstar of your family gathering.

Moist and flavorful, this turkey is out of this world scrumptious. Thanks to a simple, yet delicious injection sauce and a smattering of herbed butter, your Easter turkey will have everybody wondering what they ever saw in ham. If you have never injected a Turkey before, don't worry. We are going to show you just how it is done! Did you know Traeger sells this handy little Meat Injection Kit to make the injection process simple?

A few tips to get you started: 1) Do not inject a turkey that has already been brined or koshered. 2) If you use spices in your injection sauce, make sure they are very finely ground or they will clog your injection needle. 3) If your injection sauce contains butter--and we recommend that it does--keep the sauce warm so the butter doesn't coagulate. We are providing you with a basic injection recipe, but feel free to make it your own by adding your favorite Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, beer, etc. 

 

Injected Herb Roasted Turkey

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Pellet Recommendation: Maple, Apple, Pecan
Serves: 8

 

INGREDIENTS:
For the Injection:
1 cup good-quality chicken stock, preferably low-sodium
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 sprig each of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and parsley, or substitute 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground poultry seasoning
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

For the Turkey:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary, and marjoram
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 turkey, 12 to 14 pounds, thawed if previously frozen
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub, or salt and pepper
2 cups chicken or turkey broth


PREPARATION:

In a medium saucepan, combine chicken stock, butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire Sauce, herbs, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Allow the injection marinade to simmer for 10 minutes while you prepare your herb butter and turkey.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the 8 tablespoons of softened butter, mixed herbs, and black pepper and beat until fluffy with a wooden spoon. (You can make the herbed butter several days ahead: Cover and refrigerate, but bring to room temperature before using.)

Remove any giblets from the turkey cavity and save them for gravy making, if desired. Wash the turkey, inside and out, under cold running water. Dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Tuck the wings behind the back, and tie the legs together with butcher’s string.

Pour your injection sauce through a fine strainer and reserve the liquid. Using your Meat Injection Kit, inject your turkey with the sauce. Following the picture guide below, inject one full chamber of your injection sauce into each designated spot. Three into each side of the breast and one into each thigh and one more into each leg.

Using your fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon, gently push some of the herbed butter underneath the turkey skin onto the breast halves, being careful not to tear the skin. Massage the skin to evenly distribute the herbed butter.

Rub the outside of the turkey with the melted butter and sprinkle with the Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub. Pour the chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 325 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. Put the roasting pan with the turkey directly on the grill grate. Roast the turkey for 3 hours. Insert the probe from the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, but not touching bone: You’re looking for a temperature of 165 degrees F. The turkey should also be beautifully browned with crisp skin. If the temperature is less than that, or if your turkey is not browned to your liking, let it roast for another 30 minutes, then check the temperature again. Repeat until the turkey is fully cooked. When the turkey is done, carefully transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Do not tent it with aluminum foil or the skin will lose its crispness. Use the drippings that have accumulated in the bottom of the roasting pan to make gravy, if desired. Carve the turkey and serve.

Traeger's Injected Herb Roasted Turkey

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Make your own Sand Weight for your Traeger Grill Cover

Posted by Mary M. on March 21, 2013

Has this ever happened to you?

Fix your grill cover

I live in an exceptionally windy area, and occasionally my Traeger cover tends to blow off. I don't want to leave my Traeger exposed to the harsh elements, so I finally I decided to do something about it.

 

Here's a solution that is so easy and affordable, if you live in a wind tunnel like I do.

Traeger Cover Sand Weights

SUPPLIES:

4 latex balloons
3-4 cups of sand
Empty plastic bottle
Twine
Popsicle stick

Use a funnel to pour the sand into the empty plastic bottle. (I found a 50 pound bag of sand for $3 at Home Depot.) In order to make a more durable weight, each weight is made using two layers of balloons. Slide one of the balloons on the popsicle stick (or anything long and skinny - but not sharp) and then slide that balloon into another balloon.

Take the popsicle stick out and blow up the balloon until it's about the size of a grapefruit. I just used a bicycle pump, which made it 10 times easier. Just make sure to keep a tight seal around the mouth of the balloon. After you've blown it up, twist the balloon a few times.

While still keeping the twists in the balloon, put the mouth of the balloon over the plastic bottle holding the sand.

Don't let go of the twist until you turn the bottle upside down and start shaking in the sand. Shake in about half of the sand or as much as the balloon will hold.

Take the balloon off the bottle and tie one end of the twine around the neck of the balloon. Cut a big enough piece of twine to loop it through the grommet in the cover. Loop it through and tie the other end around the balloon again and you're done!

Sand bag weights for your grill

Repeat the same steps with the other two balloons and remaining sand. Tie the second weight through the grommet on the opposite side.

Your evasive cover nightmares are over. She may not be the belle of the ball, but she gets the job done.

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Traeger Tips: A Look at what your Traeger can do

Posted by Susie B. on March 20, 2013

Whether you are a seasoned Traeger veteran ot the new kid in town, we are here to give you a few tips, pointers, and guidelines to make sure you get the very most out of your machine. Your Traeger is much more than just a smoker or even a grill. It is a versatile cooking tool in a class all its own. Below, we will be looking at 6 different cooking techniques that your Traeger has mastered. So brush up on your skills or branch out into some new flavor territory and try a recipe or two that you haven't attempted yet.

Taeger Texas Grill

This information can all be found on page 3 of Traeger's eCookbook Pulled Pork to Peach Pie

GRILLING As most people know, grilling is a cooking method where food is placed on a grill grate and exposed to dry radiant heat. There are two forms: direct and indirect. An example of direct grilling is holding a marshmallow on a stick over an open fire. A Traeger, on the other hand, is designed primarily for indirect grilling, which meaans food is not exposed directly to a fire. Instead, the heatis evenly dispersed throughout the Traeger’s cooking chamber, eliminating flare ups and reducing the potential for charring and moisture loss. Grilling works best on foods that are fairly small and not much thicker than the palm of your hand: hamburgers, hot dogs, fish fillets, shrimp, chicken breasts, pork chops, peppers, summer squash, pizza, etc. Use the highest heat your Traeger is capable of.

Check out this recipe for Grilled Lemon Chicken Breast and enjoy a fast weeknight meal on your Traeger.

BARBECUE In North America, the term “barbecue” has become both verb and noun, variously meaning an appliance (i.e., barbecue grill), a cookout (join us for a barbecue Sunday), meat (we’ll be serving barbecue at the party), and a verb (food cooked for a relatively long time over low heat). Low and slow cooking is one of the things a Traeger does best. It is capable of maintaining low, evenly distributed heat for hours and can render even the toughest cuts of meat (brisket, pork shoulder, ribs) tender and juicy. It is often combined with smoking.

If you have a lot of time to cook low and slow try this recipe for a Midnight Brisket that cooks on a low temperature for 14 hours.

ROASTING This term refers to cooking meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables using dry heat without the addition of liquids. Whole birds such as chicken, turkey, duck, or game hens are good candidates, as are larger whole fish, pork loin roasts, trimmed beef tenderloin roasts, prime rib, and leg of lamb. Dense vegetables such as potatoes, beets, turnips, yams, whole onions, carrots, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are also excellent when roasted.

We love roasting vegetables on the Traeger. The heat from roasting brings out the natural sweetness of pretty much anything, especially these Sherry Roasted Root Vegetables.

Roasted Vegies

BAKING We never say we’re going to bake a prime rib or roast chocolate chip cookies. But technically, roasting and baking are parallel cooking methods; both use dry heat to cook food. But Traeger’s unique ability to bake is one reason women love their pellet grills! Imagine having the equivalent of a second kitchen when producing that all-important Thanksgiving dinner. (With the turkey on the Traeger, you can stop choreographing the dance of side dishes through your crowded indoor oven. Or bake the smokiest, tastiest pumpkin pie your guests have ever had on your Traeger.) Think about those hot summer days when you hate to heat up the kitchen, but the kids want to bake a cake and the husband’s craving meatloaf or lasagna. Try making those things on a gas grill!

We are very open about the fact that since becoming proud owners of a Traeger, we have not used our oven. We bake everything on the Traeger. Branch out and try a sweet dessert like this Blueberry Bread Pudding.

Blueberry Bread Pudding

BRAISING Braising is similar to roasting, but with the addition of liquid or the capture in a covered roasting pan or foil pouch of steam and natural cooking juices. It is typically done at lower temperatures than roasting—usually around 300 degrees F. It is the preferred cooking method for drier, tougher meats like beef eye of round roasts, hams, brisket (which can be smoked first, then braised), lamb shoulder or leg, pork shoulder or Boston butt, beef short ribs, pheasant, or turkey breasts or legs. The addition of liquid impedes browning, so sometimes, foods are seared on High first before being transferred to a covered roasting pan with liquid or enclosed with foil.

If you are looking to really tenderize and flavor infuse a piece of tough meat, give this Pot Roasted Beef Brisket a try. It is a hearty and delicious meal that feeds a crowd.

Roasted Beef Brisket

SMOKING Although deeply rooted in America’s grilling culture, smoking was once impractical for most men and women because it involved building pits, chopping wood, and tending nighttime fires. Then Traeger invented pellet grills, and a whole new world opened up to backyard grillers. Most smoking is done at temperatures between 180 and 250 degrees F, easy to maintain on a Traeger. Smoking is both a method of low-temperature cooking as well as a flavor enhancer, and is suitable for most proteins, especially larger, tougher cuts of beef and pork: Use it for meat, poultry, seafood, cheese, tofu, nuts, and even hard-cooked eggs. You can combine smoking with other cooking methods, too. For example, we smoke brisket and pulled pork for 3 to 4 hours, then foil the meat for the remainder of the cook. Even burgers benefit from 30 minutes of smoke before being finished on higher heat.

If you never use your Traeger for anything else, it will have been worth the purchase if you take the time to smoke your own jerky. Follow this step by step recipe guide for Coffee Break Jerky and never buy that expensive stuff from the store again. (Yours will taste better, too!)

Coffee break beef jerky

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Buffalo Chicken Dip in Your Salsabol

Posted by Mary M. on March 18, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Dip

To a lot us, March means two things. Nascar and March Madness. Both are great excuses to gather with some good people, your faithful Traeger and shove your face full of good food. Traeger's Buffalo Chicken Dip is the ultimate party pleaser. It's a marriage of the best parts of buffalo wings: that hit of throat-clenching heat with the soothing creaminess of the blue cheese dressing and of course lots of chips' best friend, CHEESE!

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

Recommended Pellets: Oak or Hickory

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups finely shredded or diced chicken meat
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (go full-fat, baby!)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
3/4 cup bottled blue cheese or ranch dressing
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 green onions, diced

This just may be the quickest dip you've ever made. Mash the cream cheese and shredded cheese together in a bowl. Add in the hot sauce, blue cheese, celery and chicken. (I know we've given you plenty of options already, but this is a yet another great use out for that juicy meat from the Traeger Chicken Challenge.)

Put all of that into a casserole dish and start up your Traeger on Smoke for 4-5 minutes, until the fire is established. Then set the grill to 350 degrees F and close the lid to allow it to preheat for about 10 minutes. Bake the dip for approximately 35 minutes. I ended up cooking it closer to 45 minutes because I used a smaller casserole dish. Once it's hot and bubbling, you're good to go grab some chips!

buffalo chicken dip

Garnish with the lovely chopped green onions and then dig in!

dip in the Salsabol

Buffalo Chicken Dip, meet the Salsabol. It is the perfect vessel for delivering this delicious dip to those friends who are anxiously waiting, chip in hand. One of the worst feelings is being that person at a party who makes an embarrassing mess - either on yourself or all over the table. (Not judging cause that person is usually me.) Well, the Salsabol is here to help you save face...and your shirt.

The Salsabol

What's so special about this bowl...or bol? It's designed with a revolutionary lip the curls up and back over the bowl to create the perfect little salsa shovel for your chip. Each time you scoop dip or salsa up the tall side of the bowl, the lip catches any rogue pieces and pushes them back onto your chip allowing for maximum loading into your mouth. It's brilliant!

I have to confess that my goal with each chip pass is to scoop up as much of that spicy goodness as feasibly possible. An excellent dip like this one is a valuable commodity, not to be wasted! The Salsabol helps you build the perfect leaning tower of salsa or huge mound of delicious dip on your chip and prevents you from looking like a bumbling idiot while doing so.

And as if you needed more incentive, they also donate 1% of all their proceeds to Oceana, which is an international nonprofit charity that works to protect our oceans. Basically you're giving back with each bite you take.

So grab that bol and feast your taste buds on some irresistible Buffalo Chicken Dip. Forget about bringing an extra shirt or wearing a lobster bib...unless someone brings ribs. That is a whole different story.

You can find a Salsabol at uncommongoods.com for $16. (or $48 with the cool Bamboo Serving Platter)

 

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Smoked Southwestern Cobb Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

Posted by Susie B. on March 13, 2013

Southwestern Cobb Salad With Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

You were really excited about this new recipe until you read salad at the end of the title, weren't you?

Now, some people love a good salad. Some people love meat.

Some of both of those people may live in your house.

This is a meal to suit all food lovers and it is hearty enough to satisfy that dinner time appetite. Layers of fresh greens, flavorful toppings, satisfying chicken, and the most delicious dressing you have ever tasted come together to settle all veg vs. meat disputes you have ever had. Don't be intimidated by the ingredients list. All of the components can be made in advance, which makes this a perfect meal to throw together at the last minute on a hurried weeknight or when you are cooking for company. On top of the make-ahead benefit of this meal, we have a cool little kitchen gadget to introduce you to in just a minute that will make assembling the diced components a lot easier.

 

Smoked Southwestern Cobb Salad


Serves: 6-8
Recommended Pellets: Mesquite or Hickory
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 whole head of romaine, rinsed and chopped
3-4 cups spring mix lettuce blend
Toppings:
5 peeled, hard cooked eggs
6 slices of bacon
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese (smoked using this method if you have access to a cold smoker)
Black bean & corn salsa:
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 cup sweet corn kernels
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
1/3 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Smoked avocado guacamole:
2 smoked avocados
1/3 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
dash cayenne pepper
juice of 2 limes
kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Yellow pepper salsa:
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 small tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
Chicken marinade:
(We adapted this Traeger recipe for a whole bird to make a fantastic marinade)
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
juice of 1 orange
juice of 2 limes
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons Mexican-style hot sauce, or more to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 to 2 tablespoons Traeger Cajun Shake, or your favorite fajita or taco seasoning
Spicy Buttermilk Dressing:
1/2 cup sour cream 
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
2 tablespoons buttermilk, plus 1-2 tablespoons extra as needed
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bunch green onions, white and green parts
2 tablespoons cilantro
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley 
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons (or more to taste) cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce

Preparation:
In a gallon zip-top bag, lime juice, orange juice, onion, garlic, hot sauce, oregano, salt, and vegetable oil. Add the chicken, press out the extra air, and seal. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.



Start your Traeger on smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Put your peeled, hard cooked eggs directly on the grill grate and smoke for 30 minutes. Your eggs will brown slightly from the smoke.


Grilled eggs


While your eggs are smoking, begin assembling your toppings. Combine the black beans, corn, cilantro, onions and salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Combine the yellow pepper, tomatoes, and onions in a bowl (using this crazy awesome onion/vegetable chopper from Zyliss) and set aside. 

Zyliss onion chopper

Zyliss chopper


In a blender, add the mayo, sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar, Worchestershire sauce, green onions, cilantro, parsley, sugar, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Blend to combine, adding the extra 1-2 tablespoons of buttermilk as needed until desired thickness is achieved.

When your eggs are done smoking, chop them and set them aside. Turn your Traeger up to 350 degrees, close the lid, and let it preheat for 10-15 minutes.

Take your chicken out of the marinade and sprinkle with Traeger's Cajun Shake. Discard the marinade. Arrange your chicken on the grill with the bacon and avocados. Remove the bacon and avocados after 5-7 minutes and flip the chicken. 


While the chicken cooks to an internal temperature of 175 degrees, crumble your bacon and make your smoked avocado guacamole. Cut the avocado flesh into a 1/4 inch dice and combine with cilantro, onions, garlic powder, salt, and lime juice. Set aside.

Slice your chicken and begin to assemble your salad in a big bowl or on a large platter. Start with the lettuce and arrange all of your toppings starting with the chicken in a line across the middle. Pour the dressing directly on the salad, or serve on the side.

Smoked southwestern cobb salad

 

The onion and vegetable chopper really made assembling this dish a breeze. If you are interested in getting a Zyliss Onion Chopper for yourself, you can buy one here.

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The Butter Cutter Will Make Traeger Recipes Even Easier!

Posted by Mary M. on March 11, 2013

Every now and then you come across a gadget that you know you have got to try for yourself. We saw the Butter Cutter and thought, "Yeah, we've used a knife for all these years, but why not?" So just for you, Traeger Nation, we tried this puppy out.

What does it do?

We'll end the dramatic suspense for ya.

It cuts butter.

BUT it is pretty cool and makes cutting butter for individual servings or a large recipe really easy. Just load the butter in the top of the Butter Cutter and then with each squeeze of your hand, it cuts a perfect little portion of butter.

Don't worry - if the portion seems a little slim for your taste, just make it a double...or triple-clicker. And in case you're thinking, I don't care about the size of my butter slices, hold tight! It's not only for those of you concerned about your butter intake.

Here are some of its nifty features:

     1. Holds and slices butter with a squeeze of your hand

     2. Takes up less shelf space in the refrigerator

     3. Keeps your butter clean

     4. Keeps your hands clean

     5. Easily cleaned in the dishwasher or with warm water

     6. Tastefully replaces the ever-greasy butter dish

     7. Measures out butter with 5 slices per tablespoon

     8. Can cut an entire stick of butter into slices in about a minute

If you're making the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies but forgot to take your butter out of the fridge to let it soften (I do this far too often), the Butter Cutter will come to your rescue. Cutting the butter up into small slices helps to bring it to room temperature within minutes so the butter is soft enough to whip into perfectly fluffy cookies.

It would also be perfect for adding butter to your Traegered Corn on the Cob or Cast Iron Scalloped Potatoes or even the compound butter for your Smoked Beef Tenderloin.

You can find one for yourself here.

 

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Tasty Thai Chicken Kebabs with Traeger's Skewer Set

Posted by Susie B. on March 7, 2013

Kebabs. Almost as fun to say 10 times fast as they are to prepare and eat.

(You just tried to say Kebabs 10 times fast, didn't you?)

The ultimate party food, Kebabs are a great way to feed a crowd because, no matter what you put on them, there will be something to please everybody. Thread on your favorite meats, vegetables, or even fruits and you have a hearty meal in just minutes.

We love the robust flavors of Thai cuisine and we can't resist veggies cooked on the Traeger. This recipe is a the beautiful marriage of both of these. Serve these beauties with rice or even Traeger'ed pan bread.

Thai Chicken & Vegetable Skewers

 

Serves: 4-6
Recommended Pellets: Apple or Cherry
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken slices)

 

INGREDIENTS:
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 bell peppers
1/2 red onion
2 cups fresh mushrooms
3 tomatoes
Your favorite Asian peanut sauce for serving 


PREPARATION:
Slice the chicken lengthwise into 1-2 inch cubes. (This is easier if the chicken is partially frozen first.) Place the cubes in a resealable plastic bag. 

In a blender jar, combine the cilantro, coconut milk, lime juice, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, curry paste, cumin, and pepper and blend until smooth. Pour over the chicken strips and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Drain the chicken and save the marinade. 

Dice your vegetables into chunks that are fairly similar in size so they will cook evenly.

Thread the chicken cubes and vegetable chunks alternately onto bamboo skewers. Brush the leftover marinade over your prepared kebabs to add some flavor to your vegetables.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange the skewers in two rows directly on the grill grate.

Grill the chicken until a probe thermometer inserted partially into one of your chicken pieces reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately with the peanut sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Smoking Cheese, And Why You Need A Cold Smoker!

Posted by Brady P. on March 7, 2013

A lot of question have been asked about Traeger's Cold Smoker. We are here to answer all of those questions and tell you why you need a Cold Smoker.

The Cold Smoker has two removable porcelain grill grates, a dome thermometer, and a warming vent that can be opened and shut to allow for a warmer or cooler smoke depending on what you're making. It fits the Lil'Tex/Elite and the Texas grills

So why cold smoke?

Cold smoking allows total smoke penetration inside of the meat. The outside surface of the meat or casing doesn't harden like it does with hot smoking, so it allows the smoke to penetrate the meat easier. It also adds another fun dimension to your Traeger.

What are some things you can cook with the Cold Smoker?

Salmon- cold smoking salmon and being able to cut it thin to put on bagels, crackers, or right in your mouth is awesome.

Oysters- If you love raw oysters, but would love a smoky flavor, the Cold Smoker would be perfect.

Fruit- If you want to add an interesting taste to a special dessert or salad, smoke some peaches, apples, or pears. Make sure to add some lemon juice to slow down the oxidation process.

Cured meats- If you love to cure meats and want to add some great smoke flavor, the Cold Smoker would be a great way to do it.

Cheese- Need I say more?

We have been experimenting with different cheeses and techniques just for Traeger Nation. So far we have smoked Chedder, Pepperjack, and Gruyere.

The 1st thing you will want to do is freeze the block of cheese overnight. This will keep it from getting to hot and melty depending on the temperature outside.

We recommend smoking cheese in the fall, winter, and early spring months for the best results. If you find that your cheese is getting to hot, you can always put it in a colinder of ice with a metal try underneath to catch the ice as it melts. You may have to replace ice a few times throughout the smoking process.  

 

Next turn on your Traeger to smoke leaving the lid open for 4-5 minutes. Close the lid and smoke the cheese for 4 hours. Make sure to check on the cheese every hour to make sure its holding up. Especially if you're are doing a softer cheese like the Pepperjack or Gruyere. 

 

Finally after 4 hours your cheese will be done. It will get a nice dark smoked crust that will make your tastebuds dance! 

 

Slice it up and throw it on your favorite sandwich or a smoked burger. We would love to hear about your cheese smoking experiences. Let us know what worked for you and maybe what didn't. 

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Killer Coffee Break Jerky with Frogmats

Posted by Susie B. on February 27, 2013

Every once in a great while, you come across a fantastic gadget that makes you feel like you had never really lived until the moment you first used it. Combine that experience with a killer recipe and it is like foodie nirvana. I want to give you one of those moments by introducing you to the Frogmat and Traeger's Coffee Break Jerky. A match made in smoker heaven. (Yeah, it's a real place)

This jerky is cured meat perfection. It effortlessly marries the salty, the sweet, the smoky, and the spicy in each chewy bite. This recipe is great because the Traeger does all the work for you, the hardest part is waiting the 5 hours until it is finished.

Coffee Break Beef Jerky

 

Serves: 4
Recommended Pellets: Cherry, Oak, Pecan

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup brewed strong coffee or espresso, cold
1 cup cola
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick® curing salt (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 pounds trimmed beef top or bottom round, flank steak, or sirloin tip (this is what I used)


PREPARATION

1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the coffee, cola, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, curing salt (if using), pepper, and hot sauce.

2. With a sharp knife, slice the beef into 1/4-inch thick slices against the grain. (This is easier if the meat is partially frozen.) My sirloin tips were thinly sliced already. Trim any fat or connective tissue and cut into strips that are 1-2 inches wide.

3. Put the beef slices in the large resealable plastic bag with the marinade mixture. Massage the bag so that all the slices get coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.

4. When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).

5. Remove the beef from the marinade and discard the marinade. Dry the beef slices between paper towels.

6. Arrange the meat in a single layer directly on the grill grate. I put my Frogmat down on the grill first and then laid my beef strips directly on top.

7. Smoke for 4 to 5 hours, or until the jerky is dry but still chewy and somewhat pliant when you bend a piece. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag while the jerky's still warm. Let the jerky rest for an hour at room temperature. Squeeze any air from the bag, and refrigerate the jerky. It will keep for several weeks.

After you spent all of those hours waiting for your jerky to smoke, it would be a huge shame to have it stick to your grill grate. That is the beauty of the FrogMat. Nothing sticks! We have used them for more than just jerky, though. Honestly, I only ever take it off my Traeger to clean it and then put it back on. Check out some gems from my Frogmat Scrapbook:

 

If you are interested in picking up a Frogmat for yourself, you can find a list of dealers here. They will run you anywhere from $8 to $40 depending on size.

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Bring in Spring on your Traeger with Fresh Herbs!

Posted by Susie B. on February 26, 2013

The groundhog predicted an early spring, and ever since then we can't wait for warmer weather. Sadly, the sun did not get the memo and has not been cooperating. We decided it was time to bring in a little bit of freshness and flavor to lift our spirits. Nothing says spring like fresh, bright herbs. They liven any dish and give a pop of flavor that you just can't get with the dehydrated alternative. Since our herb garden isn't up and running yet, we gathered up all of the herbs we could get our hands on at the supermarket and brought them home with sunshine on the brain.

Now what?

If you read our recent post about Pistu, Pesto, and Chimichurri, then you probably already have a few good ideas. We won't stop there, though. We wanted to take our love of all things herbacious to another level and prep them for a rainy (or snowy) day in our future.

Preparing fresh herbs can be time consuming, sometimes it might seem easier to just scoop a teaspoon full from the jar. We found a pretty awesome kitchen gadget that takes the time out of fresh herb prep, and a technique that allows you to reap the benefits of fresh herbs all year long. Behold, the RSVP Herb Scissors. These monster scissors are just what you need to get a lot of herb chopping done quickly and efficiently.

 

These scissors are no joke. Five stainless blades get the work done five times faster. Literally. I lined up my favorite herbs on the cutting board and I got through a pretty intimidating line-up of high maintenance vegetation in minutes.

 

 

Voila! Herbs prepped. Now what? Let me direct you to a few of my favorite Traeger Recipes that greatly benefit from the addition of fresh herbs opposed to dehydrated:

Traeger's Homemade Focaccia: The fresh herbs pump this dish up from delicious to better than restaurant quality. There is a step by step tutorial coming for this specific recipe soon!

Beef Tenderloin with Tomato Vinaigrette: Fresh Thyme stars as a delicious addition to the bright vinaigrette added at the last minute.

Herb Roasted Turkey: Bright herbs really punch up the flavor in this traditional turkey. Don't save it just for holidays, Traeger'ed turkey breasts make an amazing weeknight meal and even better sandwiches.

 

After you have used some of your herbs in these awesome recipes, take whatever you have leftover and save them for future use. With just a few simple steps, you can have that great flavor of fresh herbs any time you want!

Take your chopped herbs and put them directly into an ice cube tray. You can create whatever combinations you like. I did an italian combination of oregano, rosemary, and thyme; a chive and butter combination; and some that were dill only. I recommend only using herbs you plan on cooking with and don't mind having coated in oil or butter. My italian herb cubes will be great as the base for a hearty marinara sauce or under the skin of a Traeger'ed chicken or turkey. My dill cubes will melt beautifully over some Traeger'ed salmon. My chive and butter cubes are going to go directly on some Traeger'ed baked potatoes.

 

Once your cubes are full of herby goodness, fill them with Olive Oil or melted butter.

 

 

Once your cubes are all filled, send them off to the freezer.

After your herb cubes have had some time to chill, pop them out of the tray and into labeled freezer baggies. To make it easier to get your cubes out, run hot water along the back of the tray for a few seconds and they should slide right out.

Now you have the sweet taste of spring and summer available any time you want. Let us know what recipes you love to use fresh herbs for!

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