Recent Posts

Cranberry Raspberry Sauce – an easy, fast, gourmet, delicious side dish

Cranberry Raspberry Sauce – an easy, fast, gourmet, delicious side dish

All of a sudden, it is time to get ready for the holidays as another year flies past. And whether you love cooking a huge feast or are just bringing one dish to a gathering, it’s really nice to have a simple, easy but still 

Cheddar Scallion Buttermilk Biscuits – Your New Favorite Recipe

Cheddar Scallion Buttermilk Biscuits – Your New Favorite Recipe

*This post about cheddar scallion buttermilk biscuits contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a very small thank you that cost nothing extra to you! When you google, cheddar scallion buttermilk biscuits, you will get over 45 thousand search results. But I still decided that the 

The Best Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings – From Your Gas Grill

The Best Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings – From Your Gas Grill

*This post about grilled chicken wings contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a very small thank you that cost nothing extra to you!

grilled chicken wings

According to the Hearth, Patio & BBQ Association, around 70% of adults own a grill or smoker with 65% of those having a gas grill. That’s a lot of gas grills in backyards across the United States! While the gas grill may be looked down up by live fire aficionados, I couldn’t live without mine It’s so easy, convenient, and makes the best crispy grilled chicken wings of any of my backyard cookers.

There are a couple reasons for this. The first is heat control and the second reason is direct heat. A gas grill is really good at maintaining constant temperatures as compared to a charcoal grill. On the other hand a pellet grill can hold temperatures for a long time, but it doesn’t use direct heat. The common place gas grill can do both.

Constant Heat for Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings

I love all my cookers equally, but they all excel in an area that the other’s don’t. My early 90’s Weber Summit gasser is an amazing cooking machine. Its’ ability maintain consistent and even temperatures at any level is just as good as my pellet grill; and my pellet grill has a PID controller that is constantly monitoring temperatures and making adjustments. Compare that to my Weber, which is just a couple of mechanical knobs!

Weber Summit

My other cooker is a Weber kettle which can hold constant temperatures, but it takes a little more skill. Considering we need to cook the wings about 50 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the charcoal grill is going to start to struggle after 30 – 40 minutes. Maybe if you have an expensive ceramic cooker like a Big Green Egg or a Kamado Joe it would be different, but for me and a majority of other people, the gas grill is the way to go.

Direct Heat For The Win

I have been able cook a decent crispy grilled chicken wing on my charcoal grill, but the gas grill is better. The reason is direct heat. I usually set up my charcoal grill for indirect heat cooking wings. So when the fat renders out of a wing, it will fall onto bottom of the cool side of the grill and that’s not what we want in this case.

A gas grill typically has radiant heat bars below the cooking surface to try and evenly distribute heat. So when those fat drippings fall on to the heat bars they will vaporize. Those vapors then come back up and adhere to the meat. That is what gives grilled food it’s grilled taste. Weber actually calls those radiant heat deflectors, flavor bars, for a reason.

Tips To Make The Best Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings

Make sure your grill is sitting around 300 degrees. I’ve found this to be the best temperature as is renders the fat nicely without burning the wings. For my grill, I set all the knobs as low as they will go. If your grill is running hot, you can close the value to the gas source to get to the target temperature.

You will also need to pre-heat your grill for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the grates to heat up sufficiently to prevent the chicken skin from sticking. Speaking of grates, make sure to clean them as good as you can. I use a wood scraper like this. What’s nice about the wood scrapers is that they conform to your grates over time, making it a snap to clean. This particular one comes with a meat thermometer which leads me into my last point.

Last but certainly not least, make sure you cook the wings to an internal temperature of 200 degree Fahrenheit! GASP! Yes, I know that according to the FDA, chicken is cooked all the way through at 165. But cooked all the way through doesn’t necessarily mean that the chicken is cooked as good as it can be! Wings, and dark meat in general, have a lot more connective tissue and fat in them as compared to the breasts. The connective tissue needs to be cooked to a higher temperature to break down, and since the wings have so much fat in them, they won’t taste dried out. This also gives the skin plenty of time to turn crispy which is exactly what this is all about.

I hope your next batch of grilled chicken wings turns our crispy and dare I say, better than fried!

Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings

Crispy chicken wings are one of my favorite foods all all time. I have finally unlocked the secret to getting fried-like crispiness from my gas grill and it's easier than you would expect.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cripsy gas grilled chicken wings, crispy grilled chicken wings, grilled chicken wings, grilled chicken wings recipe

Equipment

  • gas grill

Ingredients

  • 2 -3 pounds chicken wings
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola, vegetable)
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  • Light your (gas) grill on low between 275°F – 300°F. You may need to close the propane tank slightly to achieve this temperature. Let the grill preheat for a minimum of 15 minutes. Make sure to clean the grates as much as possible.
  • Lightly coat the wings with the oil and sprinkle on the kosher salt. Toss to ensure even coverage.
  • Place the wings on the grill. The wings should sizzle slightly on the grates. If not, keep preheating the grill. Close the lid of the grill
  • After 25 minutes, the wings should be ready to flip. Using tongs, gently release the wings from the grates and flip.
  • After the wings have hit an internal temperature of 200°F, remove from the grill and toss with the butter. Set the grill to high heat.
  • Toss the wings back on the grill for another 2 – 3 minutes with the lid open. Constantly move the wings to prevent burning.
  • Remove the wings from the grill, sauce or season as you like and then enjoy!
Bourbon Honey Bacon Jam – Easy to make.  Ultra addicting.

Bourbon Honey Bacon Jam – Easy to make. Ultra addicting.

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Bacon makes everything better.” Well, if just plain old bacon makes things better, than my bourbon honey bacon jam will make everything great! This sweet and savory condiment can be added to food at every meal; breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks 

Smoked Mac and Cheese – The easy, straightforward, delicious side dish

Smoked Mac and Cheese – The easy, straightforward, delicious side dish

Mac and cheese is a classic side dish enjoyed by kids and adults and everyone in-between. However, throwing the skillet onto the smoker to make smoked mac and cheese can take it to the next level. This slight kiss of smoke plays really well with 

Copycat Honey Hog BBQ Rub – Stop buying store bought and make it at home, easily

Copycat Honey Hog BBQ Rub – Stop buying store bought and make it at home, easily

*This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a very small thank you that cost nothing extra to you!

Copycat Honey Hob BBQ Rub

Sure, you could just go to the store and pick up a bottle of the very popular Meat Church rub. But if you keep on reading, I’ll tell you why you should make this copycat Honey Hog BBQ rub at home. It mainly boils down to salt, price and personal preference. And even better, it’s really easy to make and it gives a great color on the smoker. I just love this stuff with ribs and pulled pork. It even goes well with chicken.

Lets Have the Salt Talk

If you have been following me for a while, you will notice I almost never use commercially prepacked rubs. The biggest reason for this is salt. I find that these commercial rubs are either way too salty or lack flavor in general. This doesn’t allow me to control how much salt gets applied to the meat and the quality and freshness of the other ingredients in the rub.

I discussed this briefly in my steak dry rub post, but the general rule of thumb is around 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat. The reason that this is the rule of thumb, is because SALT PENETRATES FOOD! Given enough time, salt will work its way from the surface all the way to the center of the piece of cold food. Apply some heat, and it works even faster. This is why adding salt at the end of cooking will never be the same thing as adding salt at the beginning. The same amount of salt added at the end will make the food taste very salty as compared to properly seasoning at the beginning. Cook’s Illustrated did a thorough example about salting food and you can read more about it here.

How Much Salt Is In A Bottle of Honey Hog BBQ rub

Copycat vs Meat Church

According to the label, there are 130mg of sodium per serving. Considering there are 227 servings per container, and knowing that salt is 40% sodium, that means that there are about 100 grams of salt in the 400 gram bottle. 25% of the entire Honey Hog BBQ rub is salt.

With the salt already mixed in, it’s impossible to know if the salt is in direct contact with the meat. The salt can be blocked by the sugar and additional seasoning,  therefore can’t penetrate the food. Additionally, a 10 pound pork butt will need much more salt than a 3 pound rack of ribs but it’s not feasible to measure the salt exactly. My copycat Honey Hob BBQ rub doesn’t have salt directly in the ingredients. That’s because I consider salting a separate step and so should you!

How Much Does It Cost to Make The Honey Hog BBQ Rub

Honey powder

$8, approximately. I know, it’s not exactly life changing when you consider the prepackaged Honey Hog BBQ rub is $10. But I will point out that is a 20% savings which makes it seem a little more worthwhile from a monetary standpoint. The $8 dollars is approximate and will vary based on how much acquiring all the ingredients will be.

Speaking of acquiring ingredients, I keep all the spices on hand except the honey powder. That was a special order from Amazon that set me back about $14 for the whole container. But if you are like me, what the hell am I going to do with a pound of honey powder?  Maybe you should consider subscribing to my email list! I plan on using this stuff in a few recipes that I have in mind. Which ultimately brings me to my last point.

Why I Choose To Make My Own Rubs

rub ingredients

At the end of the day, it really comes down to personal preference. I will never tell you that your food doesn’t taste great because you use a prepackage rub. There wouldn’t be almost a full aisle dedicated to rubs and seasonings at your local grocery store if they didn’t produce good results. Plus, they are extremely convenient so that you don’t have to acquire and measure out all the ingredients.

If my blog isn’t enough evidence, I like to experiment and create with food. I know that this isn’t for everyone but I would at least encourage you to consider doing it every once in a while. Who knows, maybe you’ll come up with something that everyone loves and become a multimillionaire, my wife is still waiting for me to become one!

Copycat Honey Hog BBQ Rub

The ever popular sweet honey BBQ rub that you can replicate at home.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Rub
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq, bbq rub, copycat rub, rib rub, sweet bbq rub, sweet pork rub
Servings: 1
Cost: 1

Equipment

  • Airtight bottle or jar

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons honey powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients and shake to combine. Optionally, run the rub through a spice grinder to make rub more uniform.

Notes

Take note, this recipe doesn’t have salt.  The salt needs to go on before the seasoning using about 3/4 teaspoon per pound of meat.
Spice-Crusted Smoked Salmon with Yogurt Mint Lemon Sauce

Spice-Crusted Smoked Salmon with Yogurt Mint Lemon Sauce

It’s a very rare treat when I get to cook salmon at home. Actually, it means that my wife is going out and I am on my own for dinner! She refuses to eat any kind of fish, so when she is gone is the 

Blood Orange Margarita – A Classic with an Amazing, Seasonal Fruit Twist

Blood Orange Margarita – A Classic with an Amazing, Seasonal Fruit Twist

You may be asking yourself, “why mess with a classic?” I’ll respond to that with, “why not?” The blood orange margarita is a fantastic way to elevate the taste of the classic drink. Additionally, the blood orange has a stunning color that brings so much 

Hasselback Potatoes – The best roasted potato

Hasselback Potatoes – The best roasted potato

Hasselback potatoes ready to be served.

Hasselback potatoes look so much fancier than a regular baked potato. A regular baked potato is like wearing sweatpants and sweatshirt. You are never going to impress anyone in your comfy clothes. But adding the slices to the baked potato, is like getting all dress up for a night out. That’s when you are sure to have a different affect on people.

I don’t believe anyone would argue that Hasselback potatoes do not look more appetizing then regular baked potatoes. But I will argue that these beat out ordinary baked potatoes on taste as well. The best part of the baked potato is the skin, hands down. Potato skins are one of my favorite appetizers off all time. So all those slices open up the potato to help make more of those crispy, crunchy bits that add delightful texture.

What’s up with that name, Hasselback Potatoes?

The answer to this question will take us to Stockholm, Sweden. Hasselback is extracted from Hasselbacken, the restaurant that is generally given credit for introducing them to the world. According to their website, the dish was created by a trainee chef in 1953 and remain a permanent fixture on their menu today.

Which potatoes work best?

The russet potato makes the best baking potatoes and also makes the best potatoes for hasselbacks. They are easy to slice, hold up well during cooking and are just plain delicious. You want to look for russet potatoes that are elongated. The big fat ones just won’t be the same.

How to you get those slices?

There are many many but the best way is to slice the potato in-between a pair of wooden utensils or some chop sticks. These will act like a bump stop to help you from slicing all the way through. And with a little practice, you can get the slicing done pretty quickly.

Slicing the potato in-between two wooden utensils.

The possibilities are endless with Hassleback Potatoes

I kept my recipe pretty simple with just the addition of garlic, but you can add anything your heart desires. Stuff each slice with a piece of bacon. Top it will cheese and sour cream. Skin the potatoes before baking. Add parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. There are so many variations and combinations.

My favorite way to eat these delicious potatoes is pair them with skirt steak and chimichurri sauce. There’s just something about steak and potatoes with that herby and acidic sauce that goes so well together.

Hasselback Baked Potatoes

These super fancy baked potatoes that look ultra elegant but really aren't that much work. All it takes is about 30 seconds per potato and trick everyone into thinking they are getting something deluxe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hasselbeck baked potatoes, hasselbeck potatoes, potatoes, side dish
Servings: 4
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • oven
  • sharp knife
  • wooden utensils or chop sticks

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes or however many you need
  • 2 tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable) 1/2 tablespoons per potatoes approximately
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 cloves garlic – diced optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Wash and dry the potatoes
  • Lay the potato in-between wooden utensils (or chop sticks) and slice almost all the way through. Use the wooden utensils as a bump stop to help leave about ¼ inch of potato unsliced. Each slice should be about the width of a pencil. Be careful near the ends.
  • Carefully coat each potato in oil and salt. Line up on a parchment paper lined sheet tray.
  • Insert into 425 degree oven and cook until almost all the done. For the medium sized potatoes in the picture it should take about 50 minutes.
  • About ten minutes before the potatoes are done, baste in melted butter (with optional garlic).
  • The potatoes are done when a fork easily goes through. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Notes

Hasselback potatoes, just like baked potatoes are a blank canvas.  I kept mine simple but you can add so many difference toppings like bacon, cheese, sour cream and so on.
Chimichurri Sauce – The Herbaceous Steak Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce – The Herbaceous Steak Sauce

As the title says, chimichurri sauce is for great for steak, which is usually how I consume it, but it goes great on chicken, vegetables, bread…just about anything. My family loves it and we usually eat it about 1 once a month. Chimichurri goes amazingly