How to Smoke Meat like a Pro

Last month, we helped you prepare for hunting season, and with a successful hunt comes a bounty of meat that you’re eager to smoke! Smoking is a delicate science that requires much more finesse than grilling burgers on a BBQ. Here’s a guide to smoking meat for a tender and delicious cut every time.

Brining

It’s a scientific fact that brining your meat keeps it from drying out during the smoking process! For optimal moisture retention and to combat an overly salty flavor, soak your meat in a brine, with sugar, molasses, and herbs & spices, for 10-12 hours before smoking. To make a good base, add three tablespoons of salt to one quart of water then throw in whatever else you prefer. 

Choose the Right Flavors

Each type of wood releases a unique flavor and aroma which affects the taste of your food. Mild woods, like apple and alder, are great for foods without a lot of seasoning, while strong woods like mesquite, hickory, and pecan are perfect for more heavily-flavored meats. 

Keep it Low and Slow

If you’re smoking over coals, don’t add your protein until the coals have hit their heat peak and developed a coat of white ash. You want the charcoal for its heat, not its flavor. Make sure there’s a gentle and consistent flow of smoke throughout the cook.

For long cooks, cooking over indirect heat is key. The meat juices and fat drippings will cool the embers over time and produce a bitter, dirty smoke, so you’ll want to keep big cuts of meat away from the flames while maintaining a temperature of about 225ºF.

Use a Water Pan

Smoking’s severe process tightens muscle fibers, squeezing out natural juices and drying out the meat. Using a water pan in your cooker can maintain the temperature, limit major fluctuations, and even out hot spots. The water vapor will also allow more smoke to stick to the meat, boosting its flavor and creating a smoke ring. Just be sure to refill the pan as needed.

Finish Off Right

Don’t wrap your meat in foil or remove it from the grill until the crust is caramelized. This is one of the best parts of smoked meat! Also, removing your smoked meat too early can lead to foodborne illness, whereas removing it too late can result in a bitter, dry cut. You want to cook it to the recommended internal temperature, no more or less.

The Recipes to Top It Off

Ground Venison Jerky

Ingredients:

  • 5 pound ground venison (may substitute ground beef)
  • 1/4 c. Tenderquick
  • 2 tbs. black pepper
  • 2 tbs. garlic powder
  • 2 tbs. Marjoram
  • 3 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbs. cayenne pepper

Instructions:

  • Mix ground meat and seasoning. 
  • Roll out on wax paper to fit your smoker to 1/8 inch thick. 
  • Smoke for 2 hours at 140˚F. 
  • Remove from smoker and blot excess fat with paper towel. 
  • Flip meat over on new wax paper. 
  • Smoke for 1 additional hour at 140˚F. 
  • Remove jerky and cut into strips and serve.

Smoked Quail or Pheasant

Ingredients:

  • Sprinkle 8-10 quail or 2 pheasants, spit, with Cookshack Spicy Chicken Rub.
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can mushrooms or 1 lb. fresh mushrooms
  • ¼ c. cream sherry wine or apple cider
  • 1/8 tsp. Tarragon
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground lemon peel
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

  • Mix all ingredients and pour over meat in 9X13 baking pan. 
  • Smoke-cook for 3 hours at 225° with 2 oz. of apple wood.

If you’re looking for the perfect smoker to cook up the rewards of your big hunt, Cookshack has plenty of smokers for you to choose from. Visit our website to view what we have to offer!

Preparing for Hunting Season

With summer almost over, it’s time to gear up for the upcoming hunting season. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or brand new to hunting, following these tips will help you get off to a great start.

Study, Study, Study

Make sure you know all details about regulations in your state. Many details of these regulations will change from year to year, so don’t assume regulations from last year will be applicable for this year.

While you’re in study mode, this would also be a great time to take a hunter education course. Classes are offered by most state wildlife agencies and are available in online or traditional formats. Classes tend to fill up in the summer and fall so be sure you sign up quickly! You can find a list of state wildlife agencies here.

Purchase Licenses, Tags, and Stamps

What you need to buy depends on which animal you’re hunting, where you’re hunting it, what you’ll be using, and when you’ll be hunting. Usually the first step is buying a big or small game license. Deer, elk and other big-game hunters also need species tags for the animals they’re hunting, while most waterfowl hunters must have both a federal migratory bird stamp and state validation to hunt ducks and geese.

Learn the Land

If you are hunting on private land and haven’t already asked permission, this is should be your first step. Introduce yourself to the landowner and ask for permission to hunt on their property. Even better, offering them a hand around their farm or acreage is a great way to build a relationship and say thank you, paving the way for more opportunities to hunt there in the future.

You’re going to be spending a good amount of time on your hunting land so it’s best to get well acquainted with it early on! A great way to start is to spend some time with maps as a good map can provide a wealth of hunting information. 

 

Next you’ll want to get out and learn the land firsthand. The more familiar you are with that area, the more likely you’ll be to enjoy a successful hunt. Scouting a hunting spot multiple times during the late summer and early fall will allow you to learn the daily comings and goings of the species you’re after.

Once you’ve bagged that big buck, you’re going to want to grill a steak or two! Find the perfect grill for tender, seared meat, at Cookshack by visiting our website!

4 Major Benefits of Cooking with a Pellet Grill

Now that summer is here, and backyards and patios are filling up with families, it’s time to take the cover off of your grill and get cooking! But why spend this summer sweating over a rusted grill when you could get a top-of-the-line pellet grill that’ll change your cooking forever?

Here are the 4 major reasons why you should consider buying a pellet grill.

#1 Wood Fires Taste Better

Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like grilling your meats over a natural wood fire. Unlike charcoal or propane, the smoke from a wood fire surrounds and enhances your meat, and gives it that signature smoky flavor that gets your guests smiling.

Grillmasters interested in pellet grills can further enhance the flavor by buying special pellets.Use hickory, apple, or cherry wood pellets to give your BBQ a unique mouthwatering taste!

#2 Versatile Cooking

With a pellet grill, you open your family up to a wide variety of meats and flavors you are not able to reach with a normal grill. 

From classic burgers, steaks, and chicken you’d put on a normal grill, to briskets, ribs, and turkey you’d place in a smoker, you’ll make your backyard the home cooking hub of the summer.

#3 Easy to Use

No need to be nervous about new features and cooking methods—pellet grills are designed to be 100% user-friendly. Cooking meat starts simply by pushing a button, so you don’t need to worry about lighter fluid or propane sources. 

Best of all, wood pellets do not flare up like charcoal or propane, so there’s no need to worry about any surprise burns!

#4 Consistent Control

Constantly tapping the thermometer on your grill to get the dial moving? Grillmasters can ditch these struggles with the absolute temperature control of a pellet grill! 

With completely enclosed environments and electric heating methods available, you’ll have full control over what temperature your meat is at and get it to the perfect level of juiciness.

Barbecuing meats is both a science and an art, and like any artist, you need the best tools you can get to satisfy the senses and create something great. Give our grilling experts a call today at 1-800-423-0698 or visit us online and explore our wide variety of smokers and pellet grills.

How to Grill The Perfect Steak For Your Family and Friends

Now that grilling season is finally here, backyards, campsites, and public parks across America will soon be filled with laughter, the clacking of bottles, and the sweet smell of barbecue seasoning!

We only get half of the year for fun in the sun, so here are just a few tong-worthy tips to make sure every steak you serve your family is plate-worthy.

Give Your Steak Time To Unwind

When getting ready for their first barbecue of the season or a big family dinner, a lot of grill gurus will make the mistake of pulling the beef directly from the refrigerator and throwing it on the grill.

Not only does this mean that your meat will take longer to cook, but you also risk having it turn out looking unappetizing and tasting bland too.

Give your steak time to unwind before grilling by letting it sit for 20-30 minutes and watch the juices work when the time comes to cook!

Success Begins with Salt!

We all know that seasoning your steak is the secret to success, but are you using the oldest seasoning in the world: salt?

Family feast masters can be hesitant to use salt sometimes because it’s well-known for being hydrophobic, which can risk drying out your meat.

However, seasoning your steak with it will cause the salt to embed itself in the meat and mix with all of the juices and other seasonings to form a delicious exterior!

Keep Your Mind on the Moisture!

There is nothing worse in the world than a dried-out steak. Well, there are plenty of things that are worse out there, but a dried-out steak definitely makes the list of top ten!

We can get so caught up in making sure that our meat is safe to eat that we end up overcooking it and ruining the flavors. Grilling steak is like adding ingredients to a pasta sauce; it’s better to underload rather than overload!

Even if your steak isn’t that perfect medium-rare, remember that beef only needs a slight searing for safe eating and you’ll still have those delicious juices!

Families across the country are stepping outside and ripping the covers off of their barbecues, and we’re here to help you make this a savory summer you’ll never forget. Give our kitchen cuisine experts a call today at 1-800-423-0698 or visit us online and find out how we can help take yourgrilling experience to the next level.

Celebrating 100 Years of The National Restaurant Association Show

Every year, restaurateurs, celebrity chefs, and food fanatics travel from across America to one of the world’s greatest culinary events: The National Restaurant Association Show!

This year’s event marks the 100th anniversary of the organization, and here are some of the reasons why you should consider going to McCormick Place in Chicago, IL from  May 18th-21st.

A Century of Style and Taste!

The National Restaurant Association has spent the last 100 years connecting kitchens across America and giving restaurant owners the support that they need to succeed.

This dedication is most clearly seen in their annual restaurant shows that bring together the latest and greatest innovations in the cooking world along with all of the hottest trends that restaurants need to grow their customer base.

“Meat” and Greet With Celebrity Chefs!

The National Restaurant Association Show isn’t just the place to keep your restaurant on the cutting edge of cuisine, but it’s also a gathering event for tastebud trendsetters like Rick Bayless, Abra Berens, and Abe Conlon too.

Celebrity guests aren’t only restricted to the kings and queens of cuisine though; the National Restaurant Association is also proud to welcome the greatest spirit masters in the world, including Tony Abou-Ganim, Jarmel Doss, James Bowers, and many more!

See the Latest Innovations from Cookshack!

Cookshack has been attending the National Restaurant Association show for over 33 years, and it’s no stretch to say that we’ve become just as much of a staple as the delicious food demos.

Cookshack will also be providing free samples of our delicious meats and signature spice and sauce blends, meaning every guest will walk away with a head full of ideas and a belly full of samples!

Cookshack is proud to be celebrating over 33 years at the National Restaurant Association Show, and we look forward to celebrating with you on May 18-21st at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Book your tickets online and then make sure to stop by booth #2035 to visit with us and see how Cookshack can help make this years event the best one yet! If you can’t make it to the show, you can visit our website to take a look at all we have to offer!

 

How to View and Write a Cookshack Review

The 411 on Cookshack Reviews

Cookshack has received a few questions about how the new website works. Hopefully, over the next few months while people get used to the new site, we can help make finding information easier. Here is a little bit more information on Cookshack Reviews including Howtos.

What reviews does Cookshack Publish?

We publish ALL of the new reviews we receive online. 1 star or 5 star, our reviews are viewable on our website. We also distribute our reviews during weekly meetings so everyone knows exactly what issues or compliments customers have. Feel free to leave an honest review. We feel that reviews are the only way anyone can make an educated decision on what product will best fit their needs, even if it’s not with us. You can also find more reviews on our Facebook Page.

How can I view the current online reviews?

To see the reviews already made for a product, follow these steps

  1. Navigate to that product by using the navigation panel on the top of the site or use the magnifying glass in the upper right corner to search for your product.
  2. Once you’ve made it to the product page, you can scroll down to see the average review buy generic viagra online scores and the breakdown of stars given in the reviews.
  3. Click “All Reviews” to see all details and comments. You can also arrange the reviews by date or by rating.

How do I write a Review for a Smoker? (Click through method)

From www.cookshack.com, follow these steps:

  1. If you have a residential smoker, click “Residential Products” in the navigation header. If you have a commercial smoker, click “Commercial Products” in the navigation header.
  2. Next, click “Equipment.” This will take you to a landing page with pictures and descriptions of our smokers on it.
  3. From here, you simply click the title of the smoker you would like to review.
  4. On this page, you will see the smoker, price, details, specs, features and current reviews. Scroll down and under the reviews panel, click “Write A Review.”
  5. Once you have filled out the review form, you can either submit your review or preview what it will look like before submitting.

Not only can you write a review of each of our smokers, pellet grills, charbroilers and pizza oven, but also leave a review on any product we sell on our website. Unless you already know where everything is on our website, the easiest way to get to a product to review is to use the search tool.

How do I write a review for something other than a smoker? (Search Method)

From www.cookshack.com, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the little magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner.
  2. Enter a search term that describes what you would like to review. For example, if you have the SM025 Smokette Elite Electric Smoker, you can search for “SM025” or “Smokette” or even “Elite.” Another example would be searching for “brisket” if you want to review the brisket rub.
  3. Select the product from the search list.
  4. On this page, you will see the product, price, details, specs, features and current reviews. Scroll down and under the reviews panel, click “Write A Review.”
  5. Once you have filled out the review form, you can either submit your review or preview what it will look like before submitting.

PZ400

The PZ400 is officially running through our production line! We are making our final demo units and trade show pizza ovens. This means if you ordered a pizza oven the day cialis 5mg prix it released on our website, your unit should ship soon!

Not sure what a PZ400 is? Check out our press release:

Cookshack, Inc., introduced its first wood-burning, pellet-fired pizza oven.

With significant advances in convenience, consistency and temperature control, the new Cookshack PZ400 can change the face of artisan pizza. A handcrafted pizza cooked over real wood and smoke can be cooked in just 3 minutes without having to turn the pizza or manage a fire.

Temperatures on the pizza oven range from 170-900°F meaning this oven isn’t limited to pizza alone. Pellets made from real wood give authentic flavor to calzones, quesadillas, Stromboli, desserts and much more.

Finally, One of the primary benefits of the Cookshack Pizza Oven is its size. Most wood fired pizza ovens are bulky or must be left outside. With the PZ400, there is no need to remodel an entire kitchen to add gourmet pizza since it only requires installed under a standard commercial hood.

Cookshack currently manufactures commercial and residential smoker ovens, pellet grills and charbroilers in its Ponca City, Okla., manufacturing facility and headquarters. Like all of Cookshack’s products, the PZ400 is proudly made in the USA and made to last with stainless steel construction, Spin-Glas® insulation and electronic temperature controls.

For more information on Cookshack products, contact Dave Mason, commercial sales representative, at 1-800-423-0698 or visit cookshack.com.

Cookshack Cares Foundation

Here at Cookshack our vision is fairly simple: Our customers produce award winning barbecue in equipment crafted with passion and character.

One of our core beliefs here at Cookshack is that we are a company of Character. That Character development results in improved work habits, strong relationships, and assists us towards maximizing our potential. Because of our focus on Character, Cookshack Team Members not only work on Character qualities that help them be more

productive but also to become better citizens. We believe that Benevolence (giving to others’ basic needs without having as my motive personal reward) is important both within our company and within our community.

IMG_4467

Cookshack Cares’ First Project: Cleaning Up at Local Campgrounds

Because of this Cookshack team members also give back to our community. Cookshack team members created the Cookshack Cares organization 2 years ago to help support our community and to build relationships with each other. In the past two years our team members have helped the community in many ways from cleaning up the yard at our domestic violence shelter, working with Habitat for Humanity, to reading to students in our local school system. Helping our community is just one of the great things about being a team member at Cookshack. While these activities have helped many in our community it has also helped bring our Team Members closer together and develop relationships with one another.

Cookshack Team members walked, ran and found sponsors to help raise money for the March of Dimes during the 2015 Fun Run for Babies.

Cookshack Team members walked, ran and found sponsors to help raise money for the March of Dimes during the 2015 Fun Run for Babies.

In order to help our community even more, Cookshack recently started a 501c3 organization that we call the Cookshack Cares Foundation to help Team Members in their times of need or to be able to donate to other charities in our community. Just like the Cookshack Cares group, many Cookshack Team Members give to the Foundation every month. This has allowed the Foundation to help several employees when they have had emergencies. Cookshack Cares Foundation is just one of the many ways that Cookshack Team Members help in reaching our vision.

Cookshack Smokers Have Many Uses Including BBQ Competitions!

Cookshack smokers are used by many different types of people and businesses.  One of the groups who are the most passionate and devoted to the art of barbecue are competition cooks and their teams.   Teams from all across the nation use our Fast Eddy™ by Cookshack line of pellet smokers and pellet grills to compete in contests large and small. The unit that is most popular with these teams is the Fast Eddy’s™ by Cookshack FEC100.  With proper management, you can use this one smoker to do all four KCBS categories using this one awesome unit! Check out this video to see how.

FEC100 Pellet Smoker Oven

FEC100 Pellet Smoker Oven

You may wonder how teams who use our equipment perform in contests.  Of course, each week is different, but many of these teams are consistently successful.

Here are a few teams that we wanted to recognize:

Hawg Doctors from Geneseo, NY  – Michael and Andrea Sawyers: They competed for the first time at the American Royal World Series of BBQ Invitational event and placed 15th out of over 170 teams! They own three FEC100 units.

Bill and Lynn Pruchnik: They compete in contests from Massachusetts to Mississippi and have Top 10 places in most of these contests. They use their FEC100 to run their catering and vending business as well.

Cajun Jax Campsite setup

Cajun Jax Campsite setup

Loaded FEC100

Loaded FEC100

The FEC100 will hold a small pig!

They use their FEC100 to hold a small pig!

Hickory and Spice BBQ from Tustin, CA – Rick, Luke, and Andrew Mysse: 2015 was their rookie season competing, and they walked to the Winner’s Circle in 7 out of the 8 contests! They won 1 Grand Championship, 1 Reserve Grand Championship, and three 1st place briskets with one earning a perfect 180 score! They compete with the FEC100 and plan on adding an FEC120 in the future!

Down to Smoke (DTS BBQ) Team from Phoenix, AZ – Phil Johnson and Howard Daley Jr.: Phil the Grill was recently on Chopped – Grillmasters and other team members have appeared on BBQ Pitmasters, BBQ Pit Wars, and other internet talk shows. They were in the Top 10 at the prestigious Memphis in May competition last year.  Phil recently told Cookshack, “I use one of the first FEC100 ever made. It has a lot of championship juices. Lol. Looking forward in using it in some big competes this year.”

Phil the Grill on Chopped Grillmaster uses our FEC100

Phil the Grill participating in Chopped – Grillmasters

Phil the Grill

Phil the Grill with Awards

Porky Butts BBQ from Omaha, NE – Blane Hunter and Erik Christensen: They used an FEC100 and had their best year of competition in 2015.  They earned three Grand Championships, three 1st place chicken calls, two 1st place rib calls, and five 1st place brisket calls.

Porky Butts BBQ and his twin FEC100's

Porky Butts BBQ and his twin FEC100’s

W n W Bar B Q from Kearney, NE – Gary, Marty, and Bill Wendt: They have owned their FEC100 since 2014, and they won three Grand Championships last year in the MWBA circuit. They also placed 10th in the Sam’s Club Regional.  They attended our Competition Cooking Class in December of 2014 and their credit their recent successes to this class and the FEC100.

Cookshack has a competition team that tries to compete in four to five contests a year although last year we only made two contests.  Our team consists of Cookshack President/CEO, Stuart Powell, his daughter Jessica James, Cookshack Continuous Improvement Manager, Butch Flick, and Cookshack Customer Service Rep and KCBS Master Judge, buy viagra online no prescription Bill Vice.  When our team manages to get to a competition, we love to visit with as many of our customers as we can.

Cookshack team turning in an entry at the 2013 American Royal

Cookshack team turning in an entry at the 2013 American Royal

Cookshack team prepping at the Cherokee Strip Cookoff. They use the FEC100, PG1000, and FEC500 at this contest. They were the 2015 People's Choice Winner!

Cookshack team prepping at the Cherokee Strip Cookoff. They use the FEC100, PG1000, and FEC500 at this contest. They were the 2015 People’s Choice Winner!

If you are not sure if you want to compete or not, try attending a contest in your area to see what the excitement is all about.  Barbecue folks are friendly; the smoke smells so good, and you will see a variety of smokers and setups! As always, if you need more information about competition barbecue or anything at all, contact Cookshack at 800.423.0698!

Cookshack Smoker Clearance Sale!

We are making room in the warehouse!

Did you always want to own a smoker or pellet grill but have not bought one yet?  Now is your chance to get one at unheard savings!

We have a limited amount of reconditioned and factory second residential/home use smokers, carts, and grills in the warehouse.  We want to offer these to you at special pricing!

Save 15% off regular list price for all Factory Second units!

Save 20% off regular list price for all Reconditioned units!

To take advantage of this special deal just give us a call at 1-800-423-0698!  These are not available online!  Quantities are limited so do not wait to call!

Help us empty the warehouse!

Help us empty the warehouse!

So what is the difference between a Factory Second and a Reconditioned unit?

A factory second is a unit:

  • identified by our production and customer service team as having a cosmetic flaw during the production process
  • or incurred shipping damage and was returned to Cookshack by a customer
  • that has not been cooked in but has been seasoned during quality checks

A reconditioned is a unit:

  • a unit that was sold to a customer and returned due to an issue but it has been cooked in by the customer before it was returned to Cookshack

All of the units are reworked and quality controlled just like a new unit.  So some flaws in cosmetics will save you money! In both cases, these units are eligible for the full warranty as a new unit.

All of our units come with the same guarantee and warranty.

  • 90-day parts and labor – parts will be replaced, and labor will be taken care of at no cost to the customer for the first 90 days of purchase
  • 2 year limited warranty – for the first two years after purchase, parts will be replaced at no cost to the customer, labor is not included after the first 90 days.

For the policies regarding the loss of warranty or voided warranty, please see our full Limited Warranty Policy and our Return Merchandise Policy. 

These units will not last long!  Call us today to take advantage of a long-lasting unit that makes cialis generique delicious barbecue every time you use it!