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Traeger Tips for Pit Master-Worthy Ribs

Posted by Mary M. on June 17, 2014

Traeger Tips for Pit Master-Worthy Ribs

Traeger folklore states that the love of ribs and barbecue in general dates back to homo erectus, dragging his knuckles and a dead animal carcass across the floor. Shortly after discovering fire, the greatest discovery of all was made. Meat that is charred and kissed by fire and smoke tastes so much better than raw meat and in fact is almost intoxicating. And so from there one of the pinnacles of barbecue was born:

RIBS.

Every time we gnaw on and obliterate those succulent, messy bones we hearken back to those primal roots and feel that same ancient, warm-bellied satisfaction. Rib success and pure joy is found in the harmony of balanced seasoning, smoke, sticky sauce and a bite of bark.

With a few key tips in your arsenal, producing these competition-quality ribs is easy as 1 2 3...or should we say 3-2-1? (If you haven't tried our 3-2-1 rib recipe, you just gotta!) So here's what you need to know to make those meaty ribs that would make even the choosiest of pit masters proud.

TRAEGER TIPS FOR PIT MASTER-WORTHY RIBS

1. Do NOT boil your ribs. Some folks think that a boil on their ribs will make them tender. Just say no. All of the flavor leaches out of the ribs and into the water, which is just a travesty, quite honestly. You're making ribs, not soup. (And never, ever microwave them...EVER! It's just a crime against pork-kind.)

2. On a related note, avoid buying ribs packaged with added liquids or solutions. (If they are, it will be in small print on the package. But beware any ribs that look too “wet”.) You want to have control over the seasonings and flavor that you add to wake up your anxious taste buds.

3. Different cuts of ribs produce (wait for the surprise) different textures and tasting ribs. Makes sense, right?

Baby backs, also called top loin ribs, are a good example of what it means to eat “high on the hog”. They are tender, and respond well to either “low and slow” or higher, faster-cooking temperatures.

Spare ribs, on the other hand, come from lower on the beast’s ribcage, and are bigger, meatier and more porky-tasting. Because they are "meatier", they turn out to be a thicker and denser rib. Spare ribs respond better to “low and slow” cooking methods at temperatures between 225 and 250 degrees F—easy to maintain on a Traeger.

4. Prep your ribs. Whether using baby backs or spare ribs, always remove the first membrane (called the pleura) on the back of the bones. Starting on one of the middle bones, use a screwdriver or other thin, blunt implement to pry the membrane up. Then use paper toweling to get a firm grip before pulling it off. Sometimes, this has already been done for you. Do not remove the membrane that connects the bones or your rack will fall apart.

5. Season wisely and judiciously. Using Traeger’s Pork and Poultry Shake (or your favorite rub), season the ribs on all surfaces right before cooking. Many recipes recommend leaving a rub on for 24 hours, but any salt in the rub will act as a cure on the meat, drawing out moisture and changing the ribs’ texture.

Marinades or wet rubs (also called slathers or pastes) are usually not as salty as dry rubs and can be left on the ribs for several hours prior to grilling. Even common yellow mustard, spread thinly on the meat, works well.

6. Don't forget your mop. Very thin liquids such as broth, beer, apple juice, or cola—can be “mopped” or sprayed on baby backs or spares to keep them moist during long cooks. A diligent mopping makes a difference in the finished product.

7. TOOLS: Use a rib rack to increase the number of racks you can cook at one time. If you don’t have one, you can wing it by forming each rack into a space-saving circular “crown”, bone-side facing in; secure it with skewers.

8. Not all good ribs have to "fall off the bone" to be successful. It's all personal preference, truly, and the texture of the finished charred and smoky rib also depends on the cut of the rib (see #3). There are quite a few insanely delicious and properly roasted ribs that are tender but still have some chew, similar to a tender steak, and that don't fall off the bone.

If fall-off-the-bone tender ribs are your goal, smoke the ribs for 3 hours, then wrap them tightly in foil along with some apple juice. Cook for 2 to 3 additional hours at 225 to 250 degrees F. Then carefully remove the ribs from the foil and brush with barbecue sauce. Return the ribs directly to the grill grate for the last 30 minutes to 1 hour to “tighten” the sauce. This is our outrageously yummy and popular 3-2-1 rib recipe (in Traeger's Everyday Cookbook).

9. How do you know when your ribs are done?? There are several ways to gauge doneness: Insert a toothpick between the middle bones—it should penetrate easily; the ribs should begin to flex and tear in the middle when lifted on one end with tongs; an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the meat between bones should read 190 degrees F; the meat will have shrunk away from the ends of the bones by 1/4- to 1/2-inch. (Please note: ribs cooked on a Traeger will not shrink as much as ribs cooked on conventional grills, so the other doneness tests are preferable.) A thin pink ring just under the meat’s outer surface is called a “smoke ring,” and it is a griller’s badge of honor.

10. Bring your own wet naps cause ribs love a good sauce. And luckily for you, we have a rainbow of sauces for you to choose from or you could just make your own. There's just something primally satisfying about ripping into Traeger'ed ribs and smearing that sauce all over your face.

It just feels (not to mention tastes) so good!

Cajun Spiced Smoked Shrimp

Posted by Susie B. on June 16, 2014

Cajun Spiced Smoked Shrimp

Often times, we find the simplest of recipes to be our favorites. Likely because they are so easy to prepare and require so few ingredients we can throw them together in a snap with full confidence they'll taste amazing. So it is with these Cajun Smoked Smrimp. The ingredient list is short, the cook time... also short. The flavor is huge, however, and never fails to please our crew.

The lemon, garlic, Cajun flavor combo knocks our socks off without overpowering the subtle sweetness of the shrimp. Throw these on the grill next time you're looking for a quick-cooking dinner to impress. Everybody who tries them will complement your cooking prowess and it can be your secret that it was the easiest meal ever. 

 

Cajun Smoked Shrimp

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 minutes
Serves: 6-8 people
Recommended Pellets: Alder, Hickory, Oak

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs raw, peeled, deveined shrimp
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves carlic, finely minced
1 tablespooon Traeger Cajun Shake
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

PREPARATION:

In a large zip-top bag, combine all ingredients and gently toss to ensure all of the shrim are covered. The shrimp can be covered and marinate for 3-4 hours, if desired, but it's not necessary.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Close the lid, turn the temperature setting to High, and allow the grill to preheat for 10-15 minutes.

Thread the shrimp onto bamboo skewers and place directly on the hot grill grate. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side until the flesh is opaque.

Cajun Spiced Smoked Shrimp

Cajun Spiced Smoked Shrimp

Serve immediately. We love them tossed into pasta and sprinkled with parmesan, or served on a bed of fresh greens with avocados and a creamy dressing. Enjoy!

Click below for a printable version of this recipe:

Cajun Smoked Shrimp.docx (14.82 kb)

Traeger'ed Blackened Whole Chicken

Posted by Mary M. on June 15, 2014

Traeger'ed Blackened Whole Chicken

Blackened, spicy, crispy skin is the stuff dreams are made of. Although the technique of blackening proteins is commonly known as a classic Cajun approach, there's no reason why we can't all join in on the fun.

We've come up with a tasty blend of spices to remind you of those good ole' Cajun days (even if you don't have any, yet). We love experimenting with different cuisines on the Traeger and one of the cheapest ways to do so is by getting the proverbial "whole hog" or in this case the whole chicken and enjoying every single part of it. Why pay more for the labor cost of cutting and trimming the chicken? It's cheaper and juicer to Traeger and devour the entire crispy, plump little bird.

TRAEGER'ED BLACKENED CHICKEN

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hour
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple, Cherry, Hickory or Mesquite
SERVES: 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

1 whole 3-4 lb. chicken, neck and giblets removed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons smoked kosher salt, or kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon thyme
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 apple, for aromatics
2 cloves garlic, for aromatics
1 bunch thyme, for aromatics
Parsley, for serving

PREPARATION

Start the Traeger on Smoke with lid open until the fire is established (about 5 minutes). Preheat the Traeger to High heat with the lid closed, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile mix together all of the spices in a small bowl.

Cut up the apples and garlic, or whatever aromatics you choose to use, into chunks.

Coat the chicken inside and out with the seasoning mixture and stuff the aromatics inside the cavity of the bird. Let the seasoning permeate the chicken while the Traeger preheats. You could even season the chicken the night before and keep it in the fridge.

Use butcher's twine to tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the chicken's back. Place directly on the grill grate and cook for about 1 hour or until the temperature of the thigh registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Traeger'ed Blackened Whole Chicken

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, brush the chicken with the melted butter.

Traeger'ed Blackened Whole Chicken

Take the chicken off the Traeger and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving. Make sure everyone gets some of that crunchy skin!

Traeger'ed Blackened Whole Chicken

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Traeger'ed Blackened Chicken Recipe.docx (11.97 kb)

The Ultimate Traeger Snack-Off! How To Smoke Your Favorite Snack Food

Posted by Susie B. on June 14, 2014

The Ultimate Traeger Snack-Off! How To Smoke Your Favorite Snack Food

When we first heard reports of Traeger fans smoking cheese crackers, we knew that you were all onto something special. We already had a smoky snack mix recipe in our Kids Cookbook that used smoked nuts (which are delicious, by the way!) but never went so far as to smoke the crackers too. After trying the smoked cheese crackers, we were hooked. All those wasted years, eating regular un-smoked snacks. Wasted, I tell you!

We hit the snack aisle in our grocery store like a woman posessed searching for any and all snack foods that we thought would be oustanding with a little hit of Traeger's smoky goodness. You've always hear the saying, "If ye seek, ye shall find" and that was never more true than in this circumstance. From chips to pretzels, crackers to pork rhinds, we are here to guide you through the wonderful voyage of finding the ultimate smoked snack!

Once your snacks are smoked, the rest of the journey is up to you! Float crackers in soups, dip smoky chips in smoky dips, serve smoky pretzels alongside your favorite beer. The possibilities are endlessly delicious!

 

SMOKED SNACKS

 

Prep Time: None
Cook Time: 1-2 hours (personal preference)
Serves: As many as you want!
Recommended Pellets: Hickory

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag of your favorite snack food

PREPARATION:

Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Arrange your snacks on a grill pan or a FrogMat to prevent the smaller crackers from falling through the gril grate. Close the lid and smoke your snacks for 1-2 hours. Taste during the process to be sure your snacks have as much smoke flavor as you like. More dense snacks (pretzels, cereal mix) require longer smoke time. Lighter snack (chips, crispy onion rings, cheese crackers) require less time.

The Ultimate Traeger Snack-Off! How To Smoke Your Favorite Snack Food

PRETZEL TWISTS: Probably the least smoke-enhanced snack that we tried. We recommend smoking pretzels for a long time and serving immediately when they are still warm. 

The Ultimate Traeger Snack-Off! How To Smoke Your Favorite Snack Food

CEREAL MIX: This one was interesting! The cereal didn't take on much smoky flavor, but the crackers all did. It made for a nice blend of smoky/salty. These were perfectly smoky after about an hour and a half.

BUTTER CRACKERS: These took on a nice amount of smoke flavor. Noticeable, but not overwhelming. These would be great served with a smoked cheese as an appetizer! Perfectly smoky after about an hour and a half.

CHEESE CRACKERS/FISH CRACKERS: These two crackers were almost identical in flavor and texture. Super delicious combo of salty, cheesy, and smoky. These were our favorites just to munch on straight off of the grill. Smoked to perfection in about an hour.

The Ultimate Traeger Snack-Off! How To Smoke Your Favorite Snack Food

The Ultimate Traeger Snack-Off! How To Smoke Your Favorite Snack Food

PORK RHINDS (chicharron):  Salty, crunchy and smoky? A match made in snack heaven. These crispy little skins took on tons of smoky goodness in not very much time.

The Ultimate Traeger Snack-Off! How To Smoke Your Favorite Snack Food

CRISPY ONION FLAVORED RINGS: The favorite of our crowd for straight up snacking. Super smoky and mega flavorful, these gems were the first that went missing in our bowl full of goodies. They were pretty smoky after about a half hour, but we liked them even better after an hour of smoke.

The Ultimate Traeger Snack-Off! How To Smoke Your Favorite Snack Food

RUFFLED PLAIN POTATO CHIPS:  Likely the most versatile of all our snacks. Serve these smoky crisps with some of our favorite dip recipes. Smoke chips for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour depending on your tastes.

 

                                                                                                                 

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

Citrus Rosemary Whole Roasted Chicken

Posted by Mike C. on June 13, 2014

Citrus Rosemary Whole Roasted Chicken

 

I have always been a big fan of smoked chicken. My dad is the one who taught me all about smoking food and many of those memories involve injecting a bird then patiently waiting for it to turn golden brown and delicious. When injected and cooked properly these chickens are so incredibly moist with unbeatable flavor. This time I decided to make my own citrus-rosemary butter to inject it with, also, stuffing the cavity with more lemon and rosemary to really reinforce the flavors. The best part, the lemon will steam inside the chicken giving it great flavor on the inside and aiding in keeping the chicken moist. Pair these delicious delicate flavors with Traeger's famous "Chicken Rub" and you're in flavor heaven.

Citrus Rosemary Chicken

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 1/2 hours
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory
SERVES: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 5 lb roasting chicken
1/2 stick butter
2 lemons
2 sprigs rosemary
2 cloves garlic
Traeger Chicken Rub

PREPARATION


Start off by throwing a stick of butter into a sauce pan with the zest of one lemon, 2 garlic cloves crushed and 1 sprig rosemary taken off of the stem. Heat on medium until all of the butter is melted, the kitchen should be very fragrant with lemon and garlic. Once it is all melted and incorporated, add 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and stir in until dissolved. Take your butter mixture and strain it so you're only left with butter that can be loaded into an injector without plugging it up.

 

Now that your injector is ready, let's get the chicken prepared. I always take my chickens out and rinse them off, discarding any bits that might be inside. Pat it dry with a towel and prepare to inject. You want to make sure to inject the bird all over, using all of the butter injection. I always use quite a bit in the breast being as that white meat tends to need a bit of extra help with moisture. Once you're all injected we can take this time to cut our remaining 1 lemon in half and taking out our last sprig of rosemary to stuff the cavity. 

 

Now would be a great time to warm up your Traeger. Open your grill's lid and turn the grill to the smoke setting. Leave the lid open for 4-5 minutes until the grill heats up then turn it to high. Now, back to the bird. So far we're cleaned and injected. Now take the remaining rosemary and throw the whole sprig into the cavity of the bird, as well as the lemon halves, both should fit. Ok, cleaned, injected, stuffed. All we have to do now is season it well with our Traeger Chicken Rub and we're all set. Don't be shy with this stuff, this rub will make this dish! 

 

Now all there is to do is turn your Traeger to high, then throw this beauty on the grill and let it cook for an hour and a half. Or until the internal temp. reaches 170 degrees. 

 

Citrus Rosemary Whole Roasted Chicken

I wish I could see the look on your face when you open the lid and see this finished product. This chicken will be a beautiful brown and when you go to slice this chicken it will be so incredibly tender you could almost use a spoon to cut it. This will be one of the most tasty and moist chickens you may ever eat.

 

Citrus Rosemary Whole Roasted Chicken

Hickory-Smoked London Broil with Blue Cheese Butter

Posted by Mary M. on June 12, 2014

Hickory-Smoked London Broil with Blue Cheese Butter

What we call a “London Broil” can actually refer to several different cuts of meat of varying thicknesses. It could be anything from a flank steak to a round steak to a sirloin. Keep that in mind while you're grilling and make sure that you have your instant-read thermometer on hand because that means the grilling times aren't going to be exact. It also means that you can use one of the cheaper cuts of meat and save yourself some cash but still have it tasting like you spent some serious coin. No one needs to know. Let's keep it our 'lil secret.

After a generous dose of hickory smoke, the london broil gets its grand finale with a luxurious blue cheese butter. The taste is incredible and it also adds a little fat and richness to a cut that can be quite lean.

Find this recipe along with other wallet-friendly recipes in our Traeger on a Budget cookbook.

HICKORY-SMOKED LONDON BROIL WITH BLUE CHEESE BUTTER

PREP TIME: 15 minutes plus 6 hours for marinating the meat
COOK TIME: 1 hour, 20 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory
SERVES: 4
COST: $

THINGS YOU’LL NEED

FOR THE BLUE CHEESE BUTTER:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 scallion (green onion), trimmed, white and green parts finely minced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, or more to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE MARINADE AND MEAT:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ketchup or commercial steak sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 pounds “London Broil”, about 1-1/4 inches thick (see Note below)
Traeger Beef Rub, or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

Make the Blue Cheese Butter: In a small mixing bowl, combine the butter, scallion, blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper and beat with a wooden spoon. Cover and refrigerate if not using soon. (The butter can be made 2 to 3 days ahead, or even frozen for 3 months.)

Make the marinade: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, oil, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and sugar.

Put the meat in a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over it. Refrigerate the meat for at least 6 hours, or even overnight.

When ready to cook, let the meat come to room temperature. Drain it, discarding the marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Season with the Traeger Beef Rub.

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

Lay the steak directly on the grill grate and smoke for 1 hour.

Transfer the meat to a platter. Increase the temperature of the grill to 400 degrees and preheat for 10 to 15 minutes. Return the meat to the grill grate and grill until the internal temperature in the thickest part is 130 degrees F when read on an instant-read meat thermometer, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. (The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the cut.)

Transfer to a cutting board. Let the meat rest for 3 minutes, then thinly slice on a diagonal. Serve with the Blue Cheese Butter.

Hickory-Smoked London Broil with Blue Cheese Butter

Hickory-Smoked London Broil with Blue Cheese Butter

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Hickory Smoked London Broil Recipe.docx (12.66 kb)

Homemade Traditional German Bratwursts with a Smoky Traeger Twist

Posted by Susie B. on June 11, 2014

Traditional German Bratwursts with a Smoky Traeger Twist

When you have a Traeger, your possibilities for producing deli quality meats is practically endless. We've toyed around with various forms of salami and summer sausages, but with grilling season upon us we knew it was time to up our game and tackle the sultan of sausage: The German Bratwurst. Sure, you can just buy brats at the store but these beauties surpass anything you can get out of the package because they are made with love and smoked to glorious perfection in your own backyard. Traditionally, bratwursts aren't smoked but we like to think that everything is better with a little smoky flavor. We seasoned these sausages up like a classic wurst, with the added benefit of some curing salt and a long visit with our smoker. They are beautifully pink and have a flavor you have to taste to believe.

If you haven't made the voyage into home sausage making, let this be your introduction. The only specialty tool you really need is a sausage stuffer. Trust us, you really need one. If you think you don't and try to make sausage without it (say, using a funnel or spoon) you might end up at your local open-all-night big box store searching for one at 2 in the morning. Luckily for you, most kitchen supply stores have manual versions for around $20. Consider it an investment. You'll also need some sausage casing. We prefer using natural casing and were able to purchase it from the butcher counter at our local grocery store. Some people like to grind their own meat when making sausage, and while that is an option, you could also just buy pre-ground meat from the store and it works just great!

 

Traditional German Bratwursts with a Smoky Traeger Twist

 

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Yield: Approx 20 sausages
Recommended Pellets: Hickory

INGREDIENTS:
4 lbs ground pork (80% lean 20% fat)
1 lb ground veal or ground beef
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Instacure or Morton's Tenderquick curing salt
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground mace
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup cold milk
2 whole eggs
1 cup non-fat dry milk powder (as a binder)

PREPARATION:

Combine the salt, tenderquick, nutme, mace and ginger in a large pitcher or small bowl. Add the milk and eggs and beat until well combined.

Pour the egg mixture over the ground meat and gently mix to combine.

Using your hands, mix in the milk powder until evenly distributed.

Feed the casings onto the end of your sausage stuffer.

Fill the food tray with your meat mixture and fill the casings. Twist the casing after every 6-8 inches are filled with meat.

When all of your meat mixture has been stuffed into the casing, start your Traeger grill on Smoke for 4-5 minutes with the lid open until the fire is established. Lay the sausage directly onto the grill grate and close the lid. Smoke for approximately 2 hours or until the internal temperature has reached 175 degrees F.

Traditional German Bratwursts with a Smoky Traeger Twist

Either serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be reheated with the grill on High and cook until the casing is crisp. Enjoy!

Traditional German Bratwursts with a Smoky Traeger Twist

 

 

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Traditional German Bratwurst.docx (14.92 kb)

Sausage and Pepper Skewers

Posted by Mary M. on June 10, 2014

Sausage and Pepper Skewers

We confess. We didn't study "Kebabing" in the remote deserts of the Middle East. (Should you find that class, sign us up!) But with a Traeger at our hips we all feel like experts.

Yes, there actually is a science to "skewering" or "kebabing". It has to be slightly charred on the outside yet perfectly cooked on the inside with a marvelous balance of meat, veggies and sometimes even fruit.

Although the Traeger makes it pretty easy to achieve success, allow us to give you a few kebab tips to keep up your sleeve:

1. Use a mix of meat and vegetables/fruits but choose ingredients that will cook at relatively the same rate. (Alternatively you could also par-boil things like zucchini to get that even cooking.)

2. Cut your meat and vegetables/fruits into the same sizes so that all of the skewered ingredients finish cooking simultaneously.

3. Choose skewer ingredients that won't fall apart or off of the skewers. For example, use cherry tomatoes instead of slices of tomatoes that will just disintegrate on the grill.

4. Space out your slices. If you thread all of your ingredients too close together they won't cook evenly and you will rob yourself of some of that lovely char.

5. Cook them high and fast. That's the beauty of kebabs. They cook quickly, get a nice char and taste like a griller's dream!

SPEEDY SPICY SAUSAGE & PEPPER SKEWERS

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: about 10 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Mesquite, Hickory or Pecan
MAKES: about 8 skewers

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1 to 2 inch slices
1 lb of large shrimp (26-30 count), shelled and cleaned
1 green bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and cut into large chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and cut into large chunks
12 ounces cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion, cut into large chunks
Traeger Cajun Rub
Olive oil

Spicy Ketchup Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tablespoon minced chipotles in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

PREPARATION

If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for about 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (about 5 minutes). Preheat to High heat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Set out all of your skewer ingredients that you're ready to start assembling those kebabs.

Thread on the ingredients, alternating between the meat and the vegetables.

Drizzle each of the skewers with olive oil and season on all sides with the Traeger Cajun Rub.

Put the skewers directly on the grill grate and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip the skewers over and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.

Sausage and Pepper Skewers

While the sausage skewers are cooking, mix up all of the ingredients for the Spicy Ketchup Dipping sauce and transfer to a small bowl for serving.

Pull the kebabs off the grill and serve them with some lovely crusty bread and that spicy dipping sauce.

Sausage and Pepper Skewers

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

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Traeger How To: Cooking a Full Packer Brisket

Posted by Susie B. on June 8, 2014

If you are a new Traeger owner, we most often suggest your virgin brisket voyage be done with a foolproof recipe (like our Beginners Brisket). All of our Traeger recipes call for the brisket "flat" which is a leaner 6-8 pound portion of the whole brisket. This is the cut you will most likely find pre-packaged in the beef section at your local grocery store. We call for this cut in our recipes because the size and thickness is typically pretty consistent so it is easier for our lovely readers (that's you!) to get a great result every time.

If you are a more seasoned member of Traeger Nation and have mastered the brisket flat, we are here to present you with the delicious new challenge of cooking a full packer brisket (and give you the tips, tricks, and tools to dominate)! Did you know there is more to a brisket than just the flat you are used to? There is a large, fatty, delicious cross-section of brisket called the "point" or "deckle' that runs across the top of the fat cap of the brisket flat. (See the pic below to see how the two cuts come together) The point is elemental in cooking the most amazing brisket you've ever had. A brisket with both the point and the flat is reffered to as a full packer brisket in the BBQ world and typically weighs between 12-16 lbs. To get a full packer brisket, you might have to make friends with your local butcher (if you haven't already) and specifically ask for a brisket with both the flat and the point.

Traeger How To: Cooking a Full Packer Brisket

Even seasoned smoke veterans often shy away from cooking a full packer because it is definitely an investment (both in time and money), but with your Traeger and a few pieces of advice you can cook the best brisket you've ever had. Follow the simple steps below and you'll likely never going back to cooking just the flat again.

To start: Trim the excess fat from the corners and sides of your brisket down to about 1/4 inch thick. Coat brisket liberally with preferred rub (beef rub, prime rib rub or something as simple as salt and pepper) and wrap in plastic wrap. Let the wrapped brisket sit 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Start grill on smoke – allow plenty of time for cooking. After grill has ignited, place brisket fat side up on the grill grate, insert thermometer probe and smoke for 4-6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches around 150 degrees.

After the 4-6 hour smoking period, turn grill up to 225 degrees and cook until internal meat temperature reaches 180 degrees. This will take another 2-4 hours, approximately.

Remove brisket from grill and wrap in foil.

Traeger How To: Cooking a Full Packer Brisket

Place foiled brisket back on grill and cook until internal temperature is 195 to 205 degrees. Each cut of brisket is different and the length of this stage of cooking varies. It will probably take an additional 2 hours, minimum, to reach 195 degrees. Just remember, low and slow is your friend when it comes to a tender brisket.

A few additional tips:

**Placing a pan filled halfway with equal parts olive oil and water underneath the grill grate during the smoking and cooking phase (before foiling) helps keep the brisket extra moist. The water and oil tenderize and moisturize the meat while it cooks, plus it catches delicious drippings you can pour back over the meat before you cover it with foil.

**Not all briskets are “done” at the same temperature. Once you reach an internal temperature of 195, you should test the brisket using your temperature probe – you should be able to slide the probe into different parts of the brisket very easily, like butter. We have had better success at achieving a tender, juicy brisket by letting it reach 205 degrees before pulling from the grill. Many people place it in a cooler and let it rest for up to 2 hours. The longer you "hold" your brisket to temperature (between 195 and 205 degrees) the more moist your meat will be.

** If you like a darker bark on the outside of your brisket, return the meat to the hot grill after reaching the final temperature of 195-205 degrees until your desired darkness is achieved.

Traeger How To: Cooking a Full Packer Brisket

 

To Serve:

Slicing a full packer brisket is different than slicing just the flat alone. Since there are two connecting muscles with two different grains, you must first separate the flat from the point. There is a line of fat that separates the two muscles and it is fairly simple to find with the edge of your knife (or even your fingers). The fat will be much softer than the muscle, so simply glide a very sharp knife along the soft line of fat and the two pieces will come apart easily.

 

 

The piece that remains underneath is the flat. Simply slice against the grain into pieces approximately the width of a pencil (1/4 inch). These slices will be much leaner than the pieces you will cut from the point.

The large cap of meat you removed from the top is the point. This is the fattier piece of muscle (and much more flavorful). This piece can also be sliced against the grain into 1/4 inch wide pieces for serving, or shredded.

Traeger How To: Cooking a Full Packer Brisket

Traeger How To: Cooking a Full Packer Brisket

Now after all of your hard work and dedication, you finally get to enjoy the meats of your labor (they're better than the fruits, promise).


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