How to Enjoy the Best Smoked Turkey This Thanksgiving

A smoked turkey is a perfect way to serve turkey during the holiday season, whether it be Thanksgiving or another special occasion. If you haven’t tried the delicacy that is smoked turkey, now is the time—try it, you won’t regret it!

Smoking a turkey is a whole different beast compared to a brisket or other cut of meat. Here are some common questions you might be asking before you smoke your first bird. Following the tips below will bring you to holiday fame in the eyes of your guests, and crown you the king (or queen) of turkey dinner perfection.

How do I Smoke a Turkey?

Any grill or smoker you have will work for a smoked turkey.

At Cookshack Inc., we recommend a pellet smoker because it maintains the smoke and temperature so you don’t have to do as much babysitting. But you can make this smoked turkey on a gas grill, charcoal grill, or any type of smoker you have.

Ideally, you should use a grill that allows indirect heat, maintains consistent temperatures, and allows you to add in wood smoke.

Smoking a turkey definitely takes a bit longer than roasting. Read on and plan in advance so you can have plenty of time for the perfect turkey!

What Supplies do I Need for a Smoked Turkey?

Here’s what you’ll need to assemble in advance to make sure your dish is a success:

  • Turkey. Make sure it is fully defrosted and around 15 pounds or less for food safety reasons.
  • Fuel. Ensure you have plenty of propane, gas, pellets, etc. before smoking this turkey.
  • Smoking Wood. This may consist of chips, chunks, or pellets. We definitely recommend apple, cherry, or hickory for smoked turkeys
  • Drip Pan. This turkey is gonna be juicy, so make sure you have a drip pan on hand to catch all that!
  • Instant Read Meat Thermometer or Remote Meat Thermometer. Temp is key when smoking a turkey.

How Do I Season My Turkey?

Many folks go with brine when they roast a turkey, but now that you have chosen to smoke your bird this year, why not shake things up with a rub as well?

There are a plethora of rubs out there to choose from, but if you want to keep things simple for your first smoked turkey, check out the one in our Turkey 101 Guide. The key to a perfect turkey rub is ensuring that it gets evenly distributed under the tough skin since applying it on top does not allow all the flavors to easily penetrate.

How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Turkey?

Here are the basics:

  • Purchase a fresh, medium-sized bird weighing about 10 to 12 pounds. Follow the directions for crafting the perfect brine here.
  • Brine for 48 hours (keep it in the fridge to keep it cold)
  • Put your favorite rub underneath the skin, inject if you want, and slather it with butter (or oil)
  • Place in a hot smoker, set to at least 250°F
  • About 2 hours into the smoke, rub more butter (or oil) on skin
  • Smoke until a temperature probe inserted in the breast registers 160°F and the thigh registers 175°F. It will be done in as little as 3 hours, or up to 5

At Cookshack Inc. you’ll find everything you need for smoking the perfect holiday turkey this year, including an award-winning, made-in-the USA line of smokers and grills. Contact us today for more information on all our products.

Everything You Need To Know To Cook The Perfect Brisket

Brisket is a juicy, tantalizing, melt-in-your-mouth hunk of meat that seems to have been created by the gods. There’s no question why it’s a favorite cut among many carnivores. Learn more about brisket, and how to cook the perfect one, below.

Why is Brisket so Decadent?

We’re glad you asked. As we have established earlier, brisket sure is something special. To break down the connective tissues, this cut of beef needs to be cooked slowly. A unique feature of this cut of beef is that it can be slow-cooked so that it becomes fork-tender but still slices easily. Additionally, it is well known to have a more “beefy” taste than other slow-cooked beef cuts, such as chuck, meaning you get tons of juicy, tender, flavorful goodness in every bite.

Which Brisket Cut is Best?

The brisket is the cow’s chest muscle, located near its front legs. The chest muscle gets a good workout when the cow stands and walks around, making its meat tough and flavorful. Due to its size, a full brisket is typically halved for commercial sale, resulting in two distinct cuts: the flat and point cut.

In general, the flat cut makes up the majority of the brisket. Because the surface of the meat is covered with a thick layer of fat, it protects the meat from drying out during cooking. Most likely you will find this cut in your local supermarket, and it’s the better of the two for slicing.

A point cut is thicker, smaller, and contains more fat and connective tissue than a flat cut. This extra fat provides more flavor, but less meat, which is why it is usually ground into hamburger meat or shredded for sandwiches.

Each cut has advantages and disadvantages, so it is best to choose the right cut specifically for the type of recipe and outcome you are going for.

Be Careful Not to Overcook It!

Just like any cut of beef, brisket can become tough or dry if under or overcooked. Many people think that because brisket is smoked for a long time that it cannot be overcooked, but to unlock all the amazing flavors of the cut, it has to be cooked over low, consistent heat for several hours.

The general rule is to smoke the brisket at 225°F, for 1.5 hours per pound. So if your brisket is 8 pounds, it should sit in the smoker for 12 hours to fully cook. However, depending on your smoker and cut of meat, this time can vary so make sure to check the internal temperature. Once the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 185°F it is ready!

For more brisket information, such as how to choose the best brisket, or how to season and load your cut into the smoker, check out our Brisket 101 Guide.
Ready to create the most mouth-watering brisket of your life? Check out some of our favorite recipes:

At Cookshack Inc. you’ll find everything you need for smoking the perfect brisket, including an award-winning, made-in-the USA line of smokers and grills. Contact us today for more information on all our products.

How to Host a Tailgate Party like No Other, from Home!

The most wonderful time of the year is here: football season! Oklahoma is known for our college football teams, and for many of us, football is a way of life. Even if you cannot attend and tailgate in person, you can still enjoy the games from the comfort of your own backyard. This year, make your home the center of the action with these tips for throwing a great football watch party at home.

Make the TV the Star of the Show

Keeping your eyes glued to the screen so you don’t miss a play? For a realistic tailgating experience, set the flatscreen up outside or grab a projector and throw up a white sheet for an outdoor big screen experience. Invite guests to bring their own folding chairs so everyone can relax in comfort while social distancing outdoors. You may also want to consider bringing a fan or two outside so your gang can stay cool while they watch the game.

Keep it Fun for Everyone!

While the adults enjoy the big game, set up some fun activities on the lawn to keep the kids entertained, such as:

And if you or your guests are feeling young at heart, why not join in the fun?

The Food Is Everything

It is not a tailgate party without some amazing BBQ, beer, and sides. At Cookshack, we’ve got you covered. Here are some great recipes you can make for the big day:


Sausages are easy to cook and even easier to grab. With these recipes, they will be gone as soon as you put the tray down!

Burgers & Sandwiches

Nothing is more patriotic than enjoying a delicious burger or sandwich as you watch the game. Take one of these recipes for a spin at your next tailgate or backyard BBQ.

Veggies & Sides

It is never a meal without the mouthwatering sides. Throw some of these recipes together for the veggie lovers in your life on game day!


Isn’t everyone’s favorite time of the party when they bring out the dessert? Ours sure is! We hope you left some room for these tasty treats.

Looking for even more fun recipes? At Cookshack, we are passionate about everything BBQ, so check out our website for more tantalizing recipes, or grab one of our recipe books today!

Want to showcase your tailgate game this season? Check out our selection of spices and rubs to give your BBQ some extra flavor. To learn more about how you can take your BBQ to the next level, give Cookshack a call or visit our website today.

What’s the Secret to Smoking Perfect Meat?

There is no secret, but there are several ways to ensure the meat you’re smoking is moist, flavorful, and delicious every time. How? One of the best ways to make sure you are getting consistently great results in your backyard is using a pellet smoker. If you’re not familiar with this popular smoking method, keep reading to learn how it works.

What Are Wood Pellets?

Barbecue wood pellets are made of real hardwood that is ground up and compressed to make— you guessed it, pellets. With wood pellets, no binders or fillers are used. Just real wood. And unlike heating fuel pellets, barbecue pellets are made from your choice of wood allowing you to choose the flavor you prefer.

Since wood pellets are a manufactured product, you never have to worry about pests in your pellets as you do with logs. And pellets come in plastic bags that make them easy to handle and a breeze to store.

Why are Wood Pellets the Best Option for Smoking?

Wood pellets are the superior option for smoking meats because they give you consistent flavor without over-smoking so you don’t have to worry that your meat will taste like creosote. (You know, that over-smoked, turpentine-like taste some meats have when cooked with logs.)

Whole logs, unlike wood pellets, contain moisture and creosote making it difficult to produce consistently flavorful meat. And storing logs is always an issue. Not only are logs dirty and messy, but they must also be kept free from pests and rodents, and having a woodpile can be a challenge. Pellets, on the other hand, come in handled plastic bags, can be easily stored and there are no worries about critters coming in contact with your fuel source.

Wood pellets also burn more efficiently. Pellets typically burn down to 3% ash compared to 30% ash from logs. Less ash means less mess, so you don’t need an ash dumpster with pellets. Plus the ash from a pellet smoker is cool to the touch when it comes out, so there’s no need to worry about the risk of a fire when you empty your smoker.

If you are looking for consistently flavorful, smoky, fall-off-the-bone ribs or tender juicy brisket to feed your family or guests, then wood pellets are one of the best choices for smoking. (And did we mention how easy pellets are to use, store and clean up afterward?)

Find a flavorful selection of wood pellets at Cookshack Inc. along with everything you need for smoking high-quality meats, including an award-winning, made-in-the USA line of smokers and grills. Contact us today for more information on all our products.

How to Cook Ribs on the Grill for Beginners

Using recipes when cooking ribs for the first time can be beneficial. You just have to follow each step and include each ingredient in the recipe, and your ribs will turn out delicious, right? Not always.

When it comes to smoking ribs on the grill, you need to have basic knowledge of how to choose a good slab of ribs and how to properly prepare them. If you’re a beginner, take the time to learn these 10 helpful rib smoking tips to land you the best results.

1. Choose a slab with meat and fat that is evenly distributed

By selecting a slab where the meat and fat are as even as possible, the entire slab can be cooked evenly. Nothing is worse than having moist, tender ribs on one end and chewy, dry ribs on the other.

2. Remove the membrane

Beginners often overlook this step since they are not even aware the membrane exists. The problem is, if left on, it leaves your ribs quite chewy. While removing the membrane requires some practice, it becomes easier with each dish you prepare.

3. Let your ribs relax with your rub

Once the membrane is removed and you have applied your rub, it’s important to let your ribs sit in your refrigerator for at least an hour. This will allow the water-soluble ingredients in your rub to dissolve. As they dissolve, a glaze will form and penetrate the meat. The more time you allow it to sit, the more the meat can soak up.

4. Decide the texture of ribs you want before smoking

Want your ribs to fall off the bone or do you want them to have a bit of chew to them like eating a steak? Your choice of texture affects how you will cook them. For instance, you can choose from several different methods to achieve falling-off-the-bone ribs, the most popular of which is the 3 2 1 method.

5. Cook your ribs over indirect heat

Using direct heat will result in a charred exterior crust and chewy, dense meat. For certain meats (such as ribs) to tenderize properly, the meat, fat, and cartilage must be broken down over time.

6. Smoke bone side down

When you smoke your ribs’ bone side down, smoke will be able to evenly penetrate the meat and throughout all the ribs.

7. Spray your ribs throughout the smoking process

Spraying (or mopping) your ribs can help keep them moist during the smoking process. If you want a full-formed bark, some people opt not to spray, but we recommend this technique to ensure optimal moistness for beginners.

8. Use look and feel to test doneness

Technically, ribs are cooked when the internal temperature reaches 160°F for pork ribs and 145°F for beef ribs. However, collagen and fats melt anywhere from 190°F to 203°F, so determine when they’re done by look and feel.

9. Smoke Your Ribs on a Cookshack Grill

Paying attention and learning these basics can be a process in itself. As a beginner, do you want to go through the process of learning how to manage fire and smoke as well? With easy-to-use temperature control and heavier construction that will retain heat and smoke better than the competition, a Cookshack Wood Pellet Grill PG500 or PG1000 is perfect for anyone looking to smoke ribs, whether a beginner or Pit Master.

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.

Why a Food Truck Is Perfect for Your Restaurant

The restaurant industry is full of ways to maximize profits. Perhaps you’ve tried promotions, new menu items, happy-hour specials, and more, but you’re still struggling to stand out from the crowd. It might be time to think outside the box—and by “box” we mean restaurant. A great way to expand your customer base and grow your business is to get a food truck!

Check out these 4 sweet perks to investing in a food truck for your restaurant this summer.

Advertising With a Side of Fries

A restaurant’s marketing strategy is crucial to attracting new customers and growing sales.

Food trucks are becoming a key component to running a successful restaurant in this era of social media. Photos of your delectable food are wonderful, but who doesn’t want to advertise with the actual mouth-watering dishes you serve at your restaurant?

Potential customers can now visit your truck to sample your products instead of just considering them from an advertisement. The added benefit of advertising that actually pays you back in cash is awesome. Starting a food truck business that eventually becomes financially self-sufficient is never a bad thing.

Grow Fast with Low Upfront Costs

Expanding your business by establishing another location is a natural business choice as your business grows, and you seek new ways to maintain your level of growth. Rather than opening another brick-and-mortar location, why not consider purchasing a food truck?

A food truck provides great flexibility regarding location since you could virtually conduct your business from anywhere, with startup costs that are often less than $50,000—a fraction of the cost of a brick and mortar location.

The menu in your restaurant can be adjusted and pared down so that it fits your truck. Now customers can choose between two locations—one of which is mobile—and still enjoy the same quality of food. This flexibility can help your business too, since you can go to your target customers instead of hoping they come to you.

Create a Unique Menu

For many restaurants, the appeal for customers to come is for unique and creative dishes that keep them coming back for more. A food truck allows you to serve your customers anywhere and anything you choose, such as a BBQ menu or new vegetarian options. The radical changes you make to a successful establishment can alienate your long-term customers, but your food truck is the perfect way to experiment and attract new patrons in safely and creatively.

Seasonal Opportunities

There may be seasonal opportunities for you to take advantage of with a food truck, such as bringing your truck to beaches or parks now that warmer months are upon us. Is a big sporting event coming up? If you can obtain space outside a local arena, you can capitalize on sporting fans in town.

Looking for a younger crowd? A university can also be a lucrative place to earn some extra income when students are moving between classes. With some brainstorming, you are sure to find some amazing ways to use your truck—the sky’s the limit! Running a food truck can be a fun and creative venture for a new or existing business, and we want to make it an easier one too! Give the team at Cookshack a call today at 800-423-0698 or visit us online to see our wide selection of smokers, grills, and pizza ovens.

3 Ways to Celebrate National BBQ Month

May is National BBQ Month, and our team at Cookshack is planning to mark the occasion with gusto. Whether you’re a professional or a newbie, this is a great month to go all-in on delicious dishes—challenge yourself to master a new element of the process or embrace the spirit of the season with a relaxed, BBQ-centered gathering. Need inspiration? These are our three favorite ways to celebrate.

1. Try a New Sauce or Spice Rub

National BBQ Month is the perfect time to broaden your flavor horizons. A new sauce or spice rub brings a new dimension to a weekday dinner or a weekend gathering with friends. If you usually go with a sweet and savory rub, try a spice blend with bold Mexican spices. Are you a dry-rub diehard? Branch out into wet rubs that use mustard, honey, or vinegar. Venturing away from your tried-and-true spices and sauces is a fantastic way to find new combinations and reinvigorate your love of BBQ—just in time for summer!

2. Learn a New BBQ Skill

Every BBQ master knows that creating a juicy BBQ dish is equal parts art and science. Take your briskets and ribs to the next level by learning a new skill for National BBQ Month. If you’ve never tried a microplane, use the tool with garlic or shallots to add a jolt of flavor at the end of the BBQ process. Are you all about beef and pork? Celebrate this month by experimenting with beer-can chicken, trying out different lagers and IPAs to find the right blend of hops and flavors.

3. Host a Friends and Family BBQ

There’s no question—BBQ is best when it’s shared. Bring a bit of fun to National BBQ Month by hosting a celebration for your family and friends. It’s a great way to show off the new flavors and skills you’ve discovered throughout the month. The trick to a successful gathering is to keep your focus on the main course; let your guests bring the side dishes. That way everyone gets the chance to try something new, and you can all kick off the summer season right.

After a long winter, National BBQ Month is a fun way to bid farewell to cooler weather and celebrate all things BBQ! Do you want to celebrate this month in style? Check out our selection of spices and rubs to give your BBQ some extra OOMF. Purchase our 5-pack spice kit which includes all of our customer favorites—a 20 oz bottle of Signature Barbecue Sauce, 10 oz shaker bottles of RibRub and Brisket Rub, 13 oz shaker bottle of Spicy Chicken Rub, and an 8 oz shaker bottle of Chili Mix. Have trouble finding the right products for you? Give Cookshack a call, or fill out our contact form.

Why Does Your Business Need a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven?

The quality of your oven might not seem like a central component of your business. It might seem safe to assume that the ingredients and recipes are much more important. It sounds simple, right? In fact, the type of oven that you use has a huge impact on the quality of your pizza. A regular oven might simply heat your pizza, but a wood-fired oven can take an average pizza and turn it into a crispy, restaurant-quality delicacy.

What Makes Wood-fired Pizza Ovens So Unique?

Wood-fired pizza ovens don’t just cook your pizza—they enhance the flavor and texture with the natural wood smoke used to heat the interior. While a regular oven might use electric or gas power, a wood-fired oven uses real wood to infuse your pizza with an all-natural smoky flavor.

It’s like buying a pizza at an authentic, family-owned restaurant in Italy. Even if you make your pizza by hand, a regular oven might give your pizza a bland, artificial taste that you associate with frozen pizzas. Wood-fired ovens are the real deal.

Wood-fired ovens also enhance the texture and quality of your pizza. When you bake your pizza in a wood-fired oven, the heat makes the crust dry and crispy while the ingredients stay juicy and flavorful. If you cook your pizza in a traditional oven, you might notice that the crust tends to lie flat. A wood-fired oven makes the crust rise and bubble for that perfect homemade appearance.

When you think of a wood-fired oven, you might think about a barbecue smoker that takes hours to cook the meat. Wood-fired ovens are the exact opposite. You can cook your pizza in just a few minutes or less and still infuse it with a delicious smoky flavor. If your dining room is packed, you can deliver hot food to your customers as quickly as possible.

Where Can You Buy a Wood-fired Pizza Oven?

Cookshack Inc sells high-quality wood-fired pizza ovens directly to restaurants and business owners. For your convenience, you can order our ovens and other kitchen appliances online. Our wood-fired pizza ovens can cook just about any pizza in three minutes or less. They’re made specifically with restaurant owners in mind, so you know you’re getting the perfect oven for your fast-paced business.

Can You Use a Smoker to Smoke Seafood?

When most people think about smoked meats, they likely picture a traditional barbecue with ribs and brisket or the simpler hamburgers, brats, and hot dogs. Some people enjoy smoked bacon or pork sausage for that classic Sunday brunch. However, many people don’t realize that you can smoke seafood in your smoker to create a delicious homemade flavor!

What Are the Benefits of Smoking Seafood?

Many only know two ways to cook seafood: grilling and frying. Smoking seafood though opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Just like barbecue, you can experiment with different types of wood to bring out different flavors. For fish, some experts recommend using hickory, apple, or cherry. You can also try different sauces and brines to enhance the complex flavors of salmon, tuna, and other types of seafood.

Smoked seafood is also a healthier alternative to the traditional barbecue. Most people prefer smoked red meat, which can be loaded with fat, cholesterol, and calories. Seafood is leaner, healthier, and bursting with delicious flavor. When you serve smoked seafood, you can throw a classic backyard barbecue that’s easier on the arteries, and still delight the palate of your guests.

What Kinds of Seafood Can You Smoke?

You can smoke a wide variety of seafood, although the smoky flavor complements some types of seafood better than others. Popular smoked seafood recipes include ones featuring salmon, tuna, shrimp, oysters, halibut, catfish, scallops, tilapia, and clams. Your smoked seafood could be the main entrée or part of another dish like a creamy clam chowder.

Once you’ve mastered the art of smoking seafood, you can add different vegetables, herbs, and spices to your dishes and see how they complement the smoky flavor profile. Looking to get adventurous?—experiment with different sauces and rubs that are made specifically for smoked meat.

How Do You Smoke Seafood?

Smoking seafood is an easy and rewarding experience. You can prepare smoked seafood just like you would other meats in a regular smoker from Cookshack. We sell a wide range of smokers for both home and commercial use. Simply add the wood to the smoker, then let the meat cook for several hours so that it absorbs the delicious smoky flavor!

In addition to smokers, we also sell sauces, rubs, cookbooks, wood chunks, wood pellets, replacement parts, and other supplies that you need for a successful cookout. 

We do more than residential cookers, we have commercial products that are built with large restaurants in mind as well—browse our selection of commercial smokers. Have questions, contact us today for expert advice.

4 Reasons Why BBQ Is the Best Takeout Food for Restaurants

Takeout has become an increasingly popular option for many restaurants. Here’s why adding BBQ to your takeout menu is a tasty option your customers will love! 

  1. Embrace the Ultimate Comfort Food

We’ll admit it—we’re a little biased, but we believe that BBQ is the ideal cozy, comfort food for individuals or families to enjoy! With more people ordering takeout now than ever, it’s a classic addition that will entice your customers to place an order. With the increased desire for a convenient culinary experience, customers can treat themselves to a delicious, home-cooked meal, without needing to do the cooking!

  1. Make It a Family Affair

A family-friendly meal that even keeps the kids happy—yes please!? When customers don’t know what to make for dinner, BBQ is the perfect option! Whether you decide to make it a “Family Special” offered on Friday nights or a weekday feature, these combos are sure to inspire some quality family time.  

  1. A Convenient Option

Many people don’t want to put in hours smoking or grilling the perfect, mouthwatering BBQ—they just want to eat it! Adding a barbeque option to your menu allows customers to take advantage of your cooking expertise and professional barbeque equipment so they can savor a delicious meal any night of the week without having to plan and prep for it! 

  1. A Versatile Menu Item

Barbeque is a delicious menu item that can easily be adjusted to suit a theme or promotion. Whether you want to adjust the recipe to fit a specific theme, or change the sides that accompany the meal, it can easily be done with BBQ!

When you’re thinking about widening your repertoire and adding barbeque to your restaurant’s menu, there’s only one team to trust—Cookshack! Visit our website today to check out our smokers and grills.