Author Archives: Christa Jones

Group Of Friends Having Outdoor Barbeque At Home

Getting Your Backyard Ready for a Great Summer Cookout

Backyard BBQs are an American tradition. They’re the time when we step outside and enjoy the sun with the people who matter most. But how do you make sure that this year’s parties will keep your guests coming back?

 

Here are our top 5 tips for knocking your backyard shindig out of the park!

 

Clear Up Your Backyard

Your lawn is the first thing your guests will notice when they arrive and can greatly affect the mood of your party before the fun has even started. Before you send out the party invites, be sure to water your lawn and seed any yellow spots left by animals or winter.

 

Add Plenty of Seating

Backyard BBQs are the perfect way to unwind after a hard week of work, so help your guests relax by providing comfy seating they can sink into! Whether you have a deck, a patio, or a large green lawn, set up some tables and chairs so your guests can mingle and eat at all through the night.

 

Create a Menu of Ice Cold Drinks

Summers in Oklahoma are hot and humid, and there’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a nice cold drink. Different people have different tastes, however, so whether your friends prefer beer, wine, soda, or just water, make sure they have the perfect drink to quench their thirst.

 

Get the Hardest Working Grill for All Your Meats

No matter how much fun your games are or how tasty your margarita mix is, the true key for a shindig’s success is a delicious meal and the grill that can make it. If it’s time to retire your rusted-out grill, invest in a cutting edge smoker that cooks your meat to perfection and seals in the flavor you love. You won’t just get your guests thanking you—your stomach will too!

 

2020 is set to be the perfect summer for warm and fun nights, and we want to help you bring all that fun to your backyard. Give the grillmasters at Cookshack a call today at (580) 765-3669 or visit us online to see our line of industry-leading smokers and grills.

Close up pizza in firewood oven with flame behind

Smoking Hot Recipes for Your Wood-Fired Pizza Oven

Looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon with the kids? How about a casual and delicious dinner for a friendly gettogether? Whatever the occasion, a homemade pizza is one of the best ways to get the party going and make sure all involved have a great time.

Here are our top 3 homemade pizza recipes.

Karen’s Smoked Pizza

Start off your afternoon of fun by spreading one can of your favorite pizza sauce across two pizza crusts. These pizza crusts can be store-bought, but there’s no better way to spend time with the family than to make pizza dough together.

Next, pop on whatever veggies or meats you like on pizza (we promise not to judge if you throw pineapple on) and throw both pizzas in your Cookshack smoker for one hour at 250 ℉.

Once the hour is up, swap out the pizza positions in your smoker and put them back in for another 30 minutes. This will give them that delicious crispiness and smokehouse flavor you can’t find anywhere else.

Smoked Pepperoni Pizza

What’s the one thing in the world that’s better than a pepperoni pizza? A fast pepperoni pizza! Whether you have a sporting event you have to get to in a hurry or you just want to eat dinner right now, our Cookshack smokers can help you cook a pizza that will have the kids going wild.

Start this recipe by sprinkling cornmeal on your pizza peel to keep the pizza from sticking too much. Next, make your dough and flatten it across your pizza peel before pouring your favorite marinara sauce across the top. Throw on some delicious slices of pepperoni and sprinkle a few handfuls of mozzarella to seal the deal.

Think the fun ends there? Think again! Just throw your pizza in our PZ400 pizza oven at 700 ℉ for 3 minutes and your dinner is ready to go.

Pulled Pork Pizza

Pulled pork is the ultimate food. It works on burgers, it works on fries, and (you guessed it) it even works on pizza!

Before you even touch the pork, begin by sauteing diced onion and bell pepper on the stove with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once the onions and pepper are properly cooked, take your pizza dough and brush it down with olive oil.

Next, take a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce and spread that across the dough surface, giving it that perfect kick. Wrap up the production by throwing your pulled pork and sauteed veggies on top and tossing it in the PG500 pizza oven for 12 minutes at 500 ℉.

Pizzas are the perfect meal for any evening, but the real fun is making them with your family and friends. Find more great Cookshack recipes by calling our team today at (800) 423-0698 or visit us online to see our excellent selection of pizza ovens and accessories.

How To Cook a Wood Fired Pizza

 

We’re sure that just about everyone would agree that pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven is extra tasty! Take a look at our guide for how to cook the perfect, delicious wood-fired pizza! 

Prepping the Oven

Once the pizza dough has been made, it’s time to heat your oven. While a traditional wood-fired pizza oven could take as long as 24 hours to fully heat up, Cookshack Inc.’s pizza oven is fully heated in under an hour! With this pizza oven, you’re also able to adjust the heat from 170-900°F, so you’re not limited to just pizza! 

With this temperature control, you can try your hand at calzones, quesadillas, Stromboli, desserts, and more! While your pizza oven is warming, you can roll out your dough, and prepare your pizza! 

Cooking the Pizza

Pizza baking is a dynamic process—after placing your prepared pizza onto a lightly floured pizza peel, put the pizza into the oven and give the peel a slight jerk to move the pizza to the oven floor. 

Due to the high temperature, the crust should begin to puff up and cook immediately. After approximately 40 seconds, slip the peel under the pizza and rotate it 180 degrees to ensure that it’s evenly cooked. Make sure you don’t shift the pizza too far to one side of the oven, as this could cause it to burn.

You should expect your pizza to cook much faster than a conventional oven! The Cookshack Inc. pizza oven will cook your handcrafted pizza over real wood flames in just 3 minutes! When the pizza is done, the crust will be nicely browned, the cheese melted, and the other ingredients bubbling. All that’s left is to remove it from the oven, slice it, and enjoy! 

At Cookshack Inc., we’ve got the tools to help you create a mouthwatering, handcrafted pizza for your whole family to enjoy! Visit our website to see everything we have to offer! 

 

Starting Your Own Restaurant

A new restaurant business requires plenty of planning, attention to details, and commitment toward quality and success to be successful.

First of all, determine what the main concept of your restaurant will be. For example, will it be a causal family restaurant or a high-end elegant restaurant? You will need to research the potential location to see what will work in that area. For example, a location like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills would probably not have a moderately priced, casual family restaurant.

Outline your restaurant’s menu, and define its specialties. Identify how your restaurant will meet the area’s needs, such as offering catering or being the only authentic Italian cuisine restaurant in town.

Create business plan for your restaurant. This plan should include the restaurant’s concept and type of menu, as described above. Then create a budget to determine the required startup costs and funding requirements.

It’s time for paperwork! Apply for the required vending and restaurant licenses, according to your city’s ordinances. Secure a commercial insurance policy that provides protection and liability coverage for the business, its customers, and staff.

Now for a fun part. Create a delicious menu that engages with potential customers reading it. One of the first things a customer looks at before deciding to eat at a restaurant is the menu. The best menus have “personality” and are a visual representation of your restaurant’s cuisine. Don’t make the menu boring. For example, instead of merely “Spaghetti” on your menu, you can call it Grandpa Mateo’s Famous Spaghetti.

Purchase or lease your restaurant’s equipment, inventory, furniture and fixtures. Set up the restaurant interior so that the kitchen/staff areas are efficient and the customer area has “atmosphere.” Employ effective interior design using the appropriate colors, decorations, and props. Atmosphere is very important in a restaurant, reflecting not only the type of cuisine you are serving but also imparting a sense of well-being to your customers.

Hire staff for your business. Background checks are important and you want the people working for you to have a sense of loyalty. Treat them well and they will treat the customers well!

Ok, now we’re ready to get this puppy off the ground. Advertise and advertise well in local papers, both print and online. There’s no such thing as too much exposure. Social media is also an efficient way of getting the word out about your new restaurant. Now that your advertising has stirred the public’s interest, you’re ready to open your doors and start making money.

Bon appetite!

Have a Merry Christmas with This Smoked Ham Recipe

Dazzle your tastebuds with a delicious smoked ham cooked in your very own smoker for your Christmas dinner this year! 

Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (7 pound) pre-cooked bone-in ham 
  • ⅓ cup BBQ spice
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 ¼ cup apple cider (divided use)
  • Cooking spray
  • Fresh herbs or fruit for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Preheat smoker to 250 degrees F
  2. Coat a disposable aluminum pan with cooking spray. Place the ham cut side down in the pan.
  3. Sprinkle the BBQ spice over the exterior of the ham. 
  4. Place the pan in the smoker and cook for one hour.
  5. Continue to cook the ham for another 2-3 hours, basting every 30-45 minutes with the 2 cups of apple cider. 
  6. The ham is done when a thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the ham, reads 140 degrees F.
  7. When the ham is about 135 degrees F, make the glaze.
  8. Place the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and remaining 1/4 cup of apple cider in a pan over medium heat.
  9. Bring the pan to a simmer. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until glaze has just thickened.
  10. Brush the glaze all over the ham. Transfer the ham to a platter. Garnish with herbs and fruit if desired, then serve.

Tips for Smoking a Ham

There are many ways to smoke a ham, and if you feel like getting creative you can try making your own homemade version of the BBQ spice mix!

Choose a disposable aluminum pan to keep your clean-up to a minimum, but remember that disposable pans can be flimsy and must be handled with caution to prevent burns or spills. 

Choosing the Right Smoker

A high-quality smoker is a great gift idea for the food connoisseur in your life. As you’re looking for the right smoker, consider versatility, size, price, features, and fuel type. 

For example, a smoker that’s easy to clean and maintain is ideal for the chef who loves convenience, whereas the more meticulous cook might prefer a smoker with precise temperature control.

Cookshack is the place to look to find the perfect smoker to cook up your mouth-watering Christmas ham. Visit our website to see everything we have to offer!

Preparing the Perfect Smoked Turkey for Thanksgiving

Are you looking for a fun way to spice up your Thanksgiving meal? Try our mouth-watering smoked turkey recipe with our state-of-the-art Cookshack smoker for an unforgettable holiday meal. 

Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 hours

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (10 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 (12 fluid oz.) cans cola-flavored carbonated beverage
  • 1 apple, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Directions: 

  1. Preheat smoker to 225-250 degrees F
  2. Rinse turkey under cold water and pat dry. Rub the crushed garlic all over the outside of the turkey and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Place in roasting pan. Fill turkey cavity with butter, cola, apple, onion, garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper. Cover loosely with foil.
  3. Smoke at 225-250 degrees F for 10 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F when measured in the thickest part of the thigh. Baste the bird every 1-2 hours with the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan.

FAQs About Smoking a Turkey

Is using a disposable roasting pan dangerous? 

A flimsy disposable roasting pan is more likely to buckle under the weight of a large turkey, possibly burning you in the process. Use a stainless steel roasting pan or handle a disposable pan very carefully. 

Is a fresh turkey juicier than a frozen one? 

This depends on personal preference. Consider getting a frozen turkey if you like to shop for Thanksgiving ingredients well before the holiday, and remember that a fresh turkey should be cooked within 1-2 days of purchase. 

Should I brine my turkey? 

Brining helps to avoid chewy, tough, and dry meat. Understanding the ins and outs of brining isn’t difficult once you know a few basic principles!

Our Cookshack Smokers

At Cookshack, we have an amazing variety of innovative smokers to help you get that delicious, smoky flavor every time! They’re easy to load, clean, and maintain and are also energy-efficient. Our smokers are made with special Spin-Glas insulation that’s surrounded by double-walled construction so the outside of the smoker is cool to the touch and safe for family. 

If you’re looking for the perfect smoker to cook up your delicious Thanksgiving turkey, Cookshack has a large variety to choose from. Visit our website to see what we have to offer!

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.