Apr 15 2007

Space management issue

In a previous post, I mentioned that we received a smoker from Cookshack which TG is learning to use. I’ve got pork butts down pretty well lately. Since it is a smoker, it needs to be outside, but since it has digital settings it needs to be covered. Right now it is sitting and functioning quite nicely on our screen porch. Now what is the problem with that? Nothing, as far as the General is concerned. However, The Little Lady has a major issue with a piece of cooking equipment on “her” porch. So far she has been a “trooper” and all the time occasionally throws barbs about it my way.


Last week, The General got a call from a freight company wanting to deliver a 250 lb. box to our house. Guess what? It was a new TEC grill from Char-Broil! I had been hoping that I might receive one after Char-Broil invited us to New York City to the preview party for this new line. Oh, my, it is a BIG box and right now it is sitting in our front hall. We do not have a patio (yet) and I have taken up all the backyard space I can with my two Weber kettles and a Smokey Joe. Now, guess who isn’t happy about all of this? TLW She has been making comments that it is time to create an outdoor kitchen to house all of this equipment. Great…except it will cost $$$$.

Grills Where

TG has to take all of this under advisement:

New Cookshack smoker….free

New TEC Grill…free

The Little Woman happy…priceless

Apr 15 2007

An Easter Success


The General cooked with a new ham, but not new to this coastal area…Lee hams. They are packed in Southeast Georgia. I cooked them up to 160* and coated them with a simple coating of brown sugar and honey. They were absolutely outrageous…but the main compliment I received was that they were not salty. Many hams have a high salt content…but not so with the Lee ham.

Most of the hams were smoked for the Old Savannah City Mission’s Easter meal which was served inside the mission due to inclement weather. We had hoped that it would be a repeat of the Christmas dinner which was served outside “on the corner.” Approximately 100 homeless “friends and neighbors” were treated to a dinner rivaling many served in Savannah’s elegant homes. The dinner included ham, corn bread casserole, yams, corn, rolls, melon, grapes and chocolate covered strawberries. Guests could even coat their own strawberries, along with angel food cake cubes….as we had our very own chocolate fountain!

It was a special dinner, and the friends and neighbors loved it. But those of us serving them had an even better time…

Apr 1 2007

Cookshack and Easter


Of all the people in the BBQ World, the good folks at
Cookshack are some of the nicest. Saturday morning when TLW checked our emails, she found some recipes they sent in their monthly newsletter…just in time for Easter. Traditionally in our family, the Easter dinner consists of either lamb or ham…or both. Here are some of their recipes:

Rosemary Smoked Prime Rib

1 – 8 lb. Prime Rib (Bone-off)

1/8 c kosher salt

2 tbsp ground black pepper

2 tbsp crushed fresh rosemary leaves

• Combine dry ingredients and rub meat. Refrigerate at least four hours.

• Place rib in smoker and smoke-cook with 4 stems of fresh rosemary in the

wood box at 250°F, to an internal temperature of 140°F (approximately 2


• Hold in smoker at 140°F for at least 2 hours.

A traditional holiday favorite, this ham recipe from Cookshack is as easy to prepare

as it is delicious.

Pit-Smoked Ham

1 – 12 – 16 lb. cured, bone-in ham (sliced or unsliced)


Brown sugar

Ground cloves


Whole cloves (optional)

• Select a cured but not cooked ham*. Unwrap and pat dry. If you selected a

sliced ham, make sure it is tied securely.

• Bring one of your smoker’s grills to your prep area and place on top of a

baking sheet. This is a messy job and it will be much easier to get it in the

smoker if you do this.

• Score it, if you like. Rub the exposed parts of the ham with a handful of

honey. Heap about 1/2 c. of brown sugar on top of the ham and spread

evenly. Shake about a tablespoon of ground cloves and a tablespoon of

allspice over the top of the ham. Stud the ham with whole cloves (optional).

• Take the baking sheet to the smoker and slide the grill off the cookie sheet

into the smoker’s side rack. Smoke-cook over hickory wood at 225oF to an

internal temperature of 160oF.

• Remove from the smoker a let it sit for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Everyone is going to love this ham and they will crown you King (or Queen) of


*This recipe works just as well on a cooked ham. Prepare as above, but cut smoke-

cooking time to 2 – 3 hours. Remember, the ham is cooked, you are adding old-

fashioned smokehouse flavor that no store-bought ham can equal!

This recipe is a new take on the traditional spring leg of lamb. Serve with roasted

new potatoes and a tossed salad of baby greens for an easy-to-prepare meal.

Olive-Cured Smoked Leg of Lamb

1 head garlic

1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup olive olil

1 cup Kalamata olives, rinsed, drained, pitted and prueed

Zest of 2 lemons

Chopped fresh thyme and rosemary to taste

4 pounds boneless, butterflied leg of lamb

• Preheat a conventional oven to 350oF.

• Remove excess skin from the head of garlic. Moisten it with olive oil and wrap

it in foil. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

• Cool and cut off a bout a 1⁄2 inch of the root section. Squeeze the roasted

garlic from the bulb.

• In a small bowl, combine the roasted garlic, olive puree, lemon zest, and

enough olive oil to create a smooth paste. Add thyme and rosemary to taste.

Spread the butterflied lamb open, like a book. Spread the olive paste on both

sides of the lamb.

• Roll the lamb up, tie with kitchen string, and refrigerate for 8 hours, or for up

to 2 days.

• Smoke cook at 250oF with 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary in the woodbox for 2 1⁄2

hours, or until done.

Cookshack puts a lot of emphasis on their recipes and I have great confidence in them and their ability to produce good eatin’ food. In the old days of smoking and grilling, Weber grills led the pack with their innovative dome lid. Seems like I remember a square topped grill by the name Mecco and I also remember a Fiesta grill that was sold in supermarkets and drugstores. Today, the equipment has gotten much more sophisticated and it takes time to learn how to use it…until you can become “one with the equipment.” I know people who swear about their Big Green Egg, but in the beginning all they probably did was swear at it! Such is the case when I hastily purchased a piece of equipment at a trade show. From the getgo, The General and that piece of equipment had issues, because I wanted it to do one thing, and it was built to do another. I then gave up on it and put it into storage.

Sometime last year I mentioned on this blog about that experience when someone asked me how to select a grill. The good folks at Cookshack happened to read it, and the next thing I knew they sent me a bigger, nicer model to replace the original piece of equipment. I am now counting my successes each and every time I use it. Thanks, Cookshack for making it right!