Thursday, September 25, 2014

Smoked catfish

Bring on those Golden Gophers from the great state of Minnesota. Or, as they say, the land of 10,000 lakes. I wanted to venture out and try something new for the start of the Big 10 season.  Since I didn’t have any moose meat laying around and didn’t know if gopher was even legal to eat, I decided to try some smoked fish. I went thru the freezer looking for some walleye I had tricked into the boat last year on our Canadian fishing extravaganza but had no Luck.  The best I could do was a mess of fresh catfish filets a buddy of mine dropped off.  They turned out to be extremely tasty and will be a staple moving forward for sure.  Here is what you will need.

  • 1 Catfish filet (Per person)
  • Buttermilk
  • Hot Sauce (your favorite)
  • Seasoning (your favorite BBQ rub will do)

Cover and soak the fish filets in a mixture of buttermilk and your favorite hot sauce. I used about 1/8 cup of Franks Red Hot sauce and it came thru very mildly in the taste of the fish. Use as much or as little as you’d like. 

After 1 hour in the buttermilk, remove the fillets and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with your favorite BBQ rub. Don’t be shy!

Fire up the grill/smoker to 225-250 degrees. I love a good apple or pecan wood for fish as it won’t overpower the fish flavor. Set the grill up for indirect heat and add the wood chunks. Once the smoke is flowing, place the seasoned fillets on the greased grill grates and close the lid. This is a short cook, so don’t plan on going far. After about 30 minutes, check the fish and make sure you are getting some good color. You will notice the fish is starting to sweat a little. This is a good thing.

 After an hour, your fish should have a nice dark color with the edges starting to get a little crispy.  We are about 15-30 minutes away from a finished Cajun smoked catfish dinner. After 90 minutes on the smoker, you should be able to poke the fish with your finger and it will flake. It should still be moist, but have some flakiness to it. This is when its done. I made some red beans and rice (out of the box) as a side and added some grilled lemon juice. 

Thanks again for reading and let me know if you have any recipes to you would like me to try. I am always interested in new & tasty grilled goodies. Go Blue! This is part of a weekly series of tailgate recipes for Great site for your Wolverine football news. Check em out.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pepper Stout Beef

I have been wanting to try this recipe for almost a year now and I can't believe I've waited this long. I am now mad that I put it off for so long.  This was not only easy , but could be my new favorite sandwich. Thanks to Larry Wolfe for this great recipe.  Larry has a great blog at the WOLFEPIT.  Make sure you check it out. It combines everything I like. Meat, peppers, onions and beer.  Find something in that combo that is not good.  I dare ya.  It's not only tasty, but very versatile.  I love it on a toasted ciabatta roll, but could also be served on sourdough, hawaiian bread, french rolls or even regular hamburger buns.  Here's what you will need.

  • 4 lbs chuck roast
  • 3 bell peppers. (I used 3. Red, Green and Yellow)
  • 3 JalapeƱos ( I like it hot. Use 2 for less heat)
  • 1 lg red onion
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 12 oz bottle of Guinness Extra Stout
  • Kosher Salt and pepper 


Start with a 4 lb chuck roast and trim a little of the extra fat. If there isn't any extra, your ready to season it up. What a beautiful hunk of meat.  


Cover the chuck roast with salt and pepper mix.  I love pepper, so I went extra heavy in this area.  It adds a nice crust once the roast has been on the smoker or grill for a few hours.

How good does that look....

I smoked the roast at 275 for about 3 hours with 2 chunks of hickory wood.  This is not mandatory, but I love the hickory flavor.  Cook until the internal temp hits 165 degrees.

The WSM works great for this recipe

Time for that Hickory.

Smoke em if ya got em

While the roast is on the smoker/grill, it's a good time to assemble to the other ingredients. 

Cut up the peppers, onions, jalapeƱos and garlic and add to an aluminum pan along with the Worcestershire Sauce and Guinness. Mix em up and let them wait for the meat.

Where's the Beef? (I had to go there)

After 3 hours, it was time to take the meat off the smoker. The higher temp will add a nice crust to the meat along with a pink ring of smokiness.  


I want to dig in now, but we are still 3 hours away from greatness.

Ready for the veggies.

At 165 degrees, its time to add the meat to the veg.  

Don't forget the Stout!

Add and foil (Tightly)

It's like a perfectly wrapped present.

Crank up the smoker/grill or oven to 350 degrees and let go for about 3 hours.  This will make the meat super tender and keep the juices in.

After about 3 hours, give it a "Peeky Look". The meat should be fork tender and the veggies will be soft and juicy.  If you don't have a pair of "Meat Rakes", get some.  This is one of my favorite BBQ tools. They do a great job shredding and pulling pork and beef.  Go ahead and shred and mix it up.

Yummy Juice

Once the meat and veggies are all mixed up, its time to put everything back in the 350 degree smoker/grill/oven for about 30 minutes until the juice reduces by half.

I can't wait

After 30 minutes, it should look like this.  Grab a ciabatta, tortilla, french roll or just a fork and go to town.


I went with a ciabatta roll for this one.  I had some horseradish sauce in the fridge and decided to add this to the toasted roll.  

Overall, this was one of the easiest recipes so far.  It makes a great sandwich and freezes well. I look forward to making a few PSB tacos, burritos and quesadillas in the near future.  This is a WINNER!!! Please let me know how your version turns out.  ENJOY

Smoked Bologna

Trust me, you will love this one. You don't have to admit that you love it, but you will.  This always gets the most "GROSS" comments, but disappears 5 minutes later. Don't forget your mustard, cheese and Texas Toast white bread. 


  • 2-4 lb chub of bologna
  • Mustard 
  • Rub (Basic BBQ Rub)


Fire up the smoker or grill for indirect heat. I went with a temp of 275 and it turned out great. I added a few chunks of pecan wood for some mild smoke.  Pecan is the most versatile wood and will work on anything.

Score the chub of bologna to add a little extra surface for the rub. I'm not going to lie, it also adds a really cool look.  Cut into the meat about 1/4 of an inch. Add a little mustard and some rub and place on the smoker. This will go for about 3 hours, so relax and have a cold one.

The Mini WSM is perfect for this.

After about 45 minutes, a crust starts to form on the outside and it will start to open up a little.

Looking tasteeee

The pecan smoke adds a nice smell to the man cave patio.

Go Lions !!!

After 3 hours in the smoker and a slathering of some sweet BBQ sauce, we have this beauty.

Add the sauce 30 minutes prior to removing from smoker

I just love this pic.  Makes my mouth water.

"Where all the white bread at"?

Slice thick or thin for great sandwiches.

Great flavor!

Let's Eat!

This is a great tailgate recipe as it doesn't take forever to cook.  Trust me, your group will love it. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hatch Green Chili Tri~Tip...."CAVEMAN STYLE"

"Caveman Style" grilling is quickly becoming a fan favorite in backyards everywhere.  Not only does it create a SUPER juicy and tasty cut of meat, but it also has that "WOW" factor that will impress every guest in attendance.  Let's be honest, every grill master loves his EGO stroked a little. And by a "little", I mean A LOT!!!! This is an extremely easy style of grilling that can be somewhat intimidating at first, but trust me, it shouldn't be.  Follow these simple guidelines for a great steak, or in this case, a Hatch Green Chili Tri~Tip.  CAVEMAN STYLE.


  • 2-3 lb Tri~Tip Roast
  • Stubbs Hatch Green Chili Marinade (My new addiction)
  • Salt & Pepper & Garlic combo or your favorite Rub


The first guideline is Non Negotiable. For this recipe, you must use LUMP Charcoal. Lump has several benefits when compared to your normal, everyday briquettes. Lump is charcoal, in it's purest form. It burns hotter, faster and leaves very little ash. This is why I prefer LUMP 99% of the time.  For this recipe, we will need 1 full chimney of lump charcoal. Heated until we have a hot, white bed of coals.  Move coals to 1 side of the grill. This will help later when we grill indirectly.

I decided to inject my Tri~Tip with some of the Stubbs marinade, using my new BBQ injector toy. The same one I forgot to take a picture of for the purpose of this post.  :)  Trust me, I injected. This is not mandatory, but adds another layer of fun. 

Once injected, generously coat the Tri~Tip with a basic steak rub. Don't be shy with the rub as some will fall off in the cooking process.  Load er' up. Make sure and take a look to see which way the grains are running on the Tri~Tip. This will be important later. 

Once the coals are hot, try your best to even them out. We want a nice, flat bed of coals to lay our hunk of beef on. Once the sizzling begins, keep an eye on your stop watch. We want to cook it for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. (3 sides) This is only about 10 to 12 minutes total.  

After 12 minutes, remove the TT from the coals and add your cooking great. We will finish it on indirect heat. Place the Tip on the opposite side of the grill from your hot coals. I like my grill at about 275 degrees and will cook until the TT reaches 125 degrees internally. Don't forget your trusty Thermapen for this. Feel free to add some hickory wood chunks as well. 

As it's cooking over indirect heat, I like to baste with the Hatch Chili sauce every 10 minutes or so. As you can see, we have some yummy, charring on the outside of the meat. So Tasty!!!

I am looking for a nice medium rare roast when done, so I will go to 125 degrees internally. It will continue to rise another 5-10 degrees during this next step.  Remove from the heat and place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the marinade and wrap tightly. I prefer to double wrap mine and keep the heat in!!! This step helps tenderize the roast and lets the juices redistribute.  

After about 45 minutes. we are almost ready to cut and enjoy.  Remove the TT from the foil and save those juices. Let the meat rest uncovered for 5 minutes. Now, it's time to slice. Always slice against the grain on a Tri~Tip. This makes for a more tender cut of meat. The grains in a Tri~Tip usually run in 2 different directions, so pay close attention when slicing. For a better idea of how these grains normally run, click here. Chris does a great job of breaking down the Tri~Tip Roast in video form. Once you get it sliced up, pour those extra juices over the top and enjoy. This also makes a great sandwich.

I love a great Tri~Tip roast and cannot get enough of this Hatch Green Chili marinade from Stubbs. These 2 work great together and will be a backyard staple moving forward. Give it a try. I think you will enjoy it and your guest will be impressed. My guests also loved the serving board (pictured above). Get it from Texas Irons.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pork Tenderloin Sliders w/ BBQ onions

The football season is finally here and I could not be more excited.  Not only do we get to see how our new offensive GURU plans to operate things, but we also get to fire up the grills and smokers as we sip on a few "barley pops".  Since we are playing Appalachian State and they are based in Boone, North Carolina, I wanted to make a tasty pork recipe. They love their pork in North Carolina! Here is what you will need. 



Preheat your grill or smoker to 250 degrees. If you are using a charcoal or gas grill, you will need to set it up for indirect heat. Click here for Indirect Heat set up. I like using fruit woods with pork, so I'm using pecan wood chunks for this cook. Pecan has a nice sweet flavor and won't leave a bitter taste as some stronger woods might do.  As the grill/smoker is pre-heating, take the pork tenderloins and trim off the silver skin. Don't worry, it's easy and only takes a minute. Silver skin is a connective tissue that has a shiny white appearance and only covers a small portion of the loin.  Use a sharp knife so you don't trim off a hunk of meat with it. Once this is done, apply your favorite rub. I love using Stubbs rubs/sauces for a few reasons. First, they taste great! Secondly, they can be found everywhere. I don't have to drive half way across the state to find em. Lastly, the Stubbs CEO is a Michigan Alum. That's enough to make me a loyal BBQ customer. 

I don't hold back when seasoning the loins as they can take a lot of spice. If you like some added kick, throw in a little cayenne pepper. Once the loins are seasoned, it's time to toss em on the smoker. I like to use 2-3 chunks of wood per hour. The wood chunk should be about the size of your fist.  

We can also start cooking our onions and getting some smoke flavoring on them too.  Slice em up and add a few chunks of butter. If you want to add some rub or salt/pepper, go crazy.  I like my onions full of flavor, so I added a few spoonfuls of seasoning. Place the onions over the heat source and let em sweat a little while the tenderloins heat up.

Now we have about 45 minutes to kick back and relax. Take this time to enjoy a few of your favorite beverages or toss around the pig skin. Or both. 

After about 30 minutes, it's time the check the internal temp of the pork loin. If you are going to be cooking a lot of meat this year, invest in a good thermometer. My favorite is the Thermapen because it's accurate and SUPER fast!

Once it gets to about 130 degrees, it's time to start glazing with your favorite Stubbs BBQ sauce. I love using Honey Pecan or Hickory Bourbon for this recipe.  Time to Glaze!!!

The pork loin is done once it reaches 140 - 145 degrees. This should only take about 45 minutes with a grill temp of 250-275 degrees. I don't like to go much higher than this as it will start to dry out. Once the internal temp reaches 140 degrees, remove from the heat and tightly wrap in foil. The internal temp will continue to rise another 5 - 7 degrees while it's wrapped. This process will also help tenderize the meat. Once the onions are soft and tender, add a few spoonfuls of BBQ sauce. Cook them until they are fully sauced and thickened. It's up to you on how long to go.  After about 10 minutes in the foil, it's time to slice the tenderloin. You can go ahead and enjoy it just like this or make some tasty sliders. 

Toss a few slider buns on the grill to add some char and toasty goodness.  Don't walk away, it only takes about 30 seconds until they are done. 

I like to assemble the sliders and toss them back on the grill to melt the cheese. I wouldn't put them back over the hot coals, as they could burn. Use the cool side of the grill.

Once the cheese is melted, it's time to enjoy about 10 of these in record time. I think I had 6 of these tasty buggers in under 5 minutes. 

This recipe is a favorite at our tailgates and is super easy to make. These would also be great on some hawaiian rolls or chopped up in a tortilla.  Pork tenderloins are also leaner than chicken breasts, so feel good that you are being somewhat healthy to start the season. If you have any questions or recipe ideas, feel free to contact me at I love to discuss BBQ and Maize and Blue football. GO BLUE!!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Smoked Bacon Onion Rings or "OINKIONS"

This is one of my new favorite appetizers on GAMEDAY and couldn't be easier. We all love onion rings and I have yet to meet anyone that dislikes bacon, so why not combine the 2? You will love the way these take on the smoke flavor and melt in your mouth after a 90 minute cook.

  • Sweet Onion
  • Bacon
  • Sweet Rub (Rub of your choice)
  • Sweet Chili Sauce (Optional)


Slice onion into 1/2 inch pieces and separate. Leave 2 or 3 rings on each portion. Wrap with thinly sliced bacon. Wrap these as tight as you can. This will help them crisp up during the smoke.

Once you have them wrapped, I like to put a toothpick in the side to keep the bacon from unwrapping.  Sprinkle with some sweet rub and they are ready for the smoker/grill.

 I ran these at 300 degrees with some pecan wood along side the brisket I was cooking. It doesn't take long for these to start getting some nice color and filling the air with smells of BACON-GREATNESS!!!

After about 90 minutes, they are done. You can start munching on them as is, if you want. 

I went one step further and added some Sweet Chili Sauce.  After 5 minutes, they have a nice layer of sweet and spicy, sticky gooey-goodness. 

These are a winner and will keep your bacon loving guests happy.  Let me know what you think and if you have any pics, please forward.  Thanks for stopping by.