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Char-Broil Gratitude Post & the birth of a smoker.

Char-Broil Gratitude Post & the birth of a smoker.

I have been wondering how to start this post for a while now. It came to me quite clearly  a few days ago to just simply share the story I have been telling so many in the journey to build this smoker. Because how else do you let the world know of a company with customer service so outstanding that you want everyone to own their products? Of a company that stepped up way way above and beyond. A company I had the pleasure of working with last spring when they rolled out their Life Is Better Bbqed campaign.

Of course I am talking about Char-Broil.

My replacement Char-Broil BBQ on Nutmeg Disrupted

In the spring of 2015 I did a 3 post project for Char-Broil. They had a Spring campaign going on with Lowes and I was honored to be a part of it. As you know we love BBQ on Nutmeg Disrupted and to work with such an amazing team was a dream come true. I received a gorgeous Char-Broil BBQ from Lowes to review and grill with for the campaign. The BBQ was mine to keep.

Flash forward a few weeks after the campaign wrapped up standing in line at Starbucks…

My phone buzzed, it was a text from my son. A huge storm was rolling into town and a tree was down in the backyard. As I was standing there I was struck with a bit of panic. Tree down. Which tree. No way it could be the 1000+ pound tree beside the deck. Then he sent a photo from the inside of the house through the patio door. All you could see was leaves.

Indeed it was said tree.

I paid for my coffee then quickly made the 70 minute trip home.

A huge maple tree down from a summer storm.

Massive tree down during a summer storm on Nutmeg Disrupted

A bbq crushed by a massive tree on Nutmeg Disrupted

That was what I found when I arrived home.

I was devastated. Yes that is a bold statement to make about a BBQ, but in that moment I was completely devastated. It took a couple of days to get the tree bucked up and retrieve the crushed grill. Almost every inch of it was damaged.

The evening the tree fell I had Tweeted about the storm and the sad fate of my BBQ. I was thankful no one was hurt, had anyone been grilling out back I can’t even imagine how that would have ended. The smoker that was on the deck took a hit and was damaged but the full weight of the tree was on the BBQ.

What happened next was something so unexpected and wonderful.

Within 24 hours of my BBQ misfortune I had been contacted by the marketing company that represented Char-Broil during the Lowes campaign.

Char-Broil had heard about what happened and they wanted to make it right and send me a new BBQ to replace the one that was crushed. Talk about a company standing behind their product! Because I had done some work for them they were willing to replace their product, not because they had to, simply because they wanted to. Now that is a brand I want to stand behind and do business with.

I may have cried a little when I received that news. BBQ is a passion and to have not only my smoker but my BBQ also taken out in a brief moment was a huge loss.

Char-Broil customer service on Nutmeg Disrupted

After the tree was cleared away we took apart the BBQ to salvage any of the good parts. It felt like a such a waste tossing out such a new piece of equipment and the goal now was to repurpose what we could. Immediately it was decided that we would build a smoker. The only pieces not damaged were the handles off the doors, the temperature gage, the logo and the heating element area of the grill, though bent it was still functioning. With the salvaged bits stored away we set off with a plan of building a smoker. We had an idea of what we wanted for the body of the smoker and scoured the ads for upcoming auction sales. Everything we looked at was just not quite what we had envisioned until one day while in Canadian Tire after a year long search we found the perfect body for our new smoker.

Shopping for a new smoker body on Nutmeg Disrupted

The vision has always been to build a large smoker. Something substantial so that we had the area to do a large cook. Having catered weddings and hosted pig roasts we have had the opportunity to use some very large BBQs and we wanted our smoker to not only be impressive but have the power to do the job.

Adding the Char-Broil details to the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

From there everything started to fall into place. In conversation with Brian our butcher we mentioned that we were building a smoker and he gave us a great idea as to what we could use for the racking inside the unit. The heating element was a close fit and with a bit of work the smoker started to coming together.

Fitting the heating element into the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

We did a few small trial runs to work out the kinks and cooked for an event mid summer.

The first offical cook with the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

The smoker has been getting a lot of attention, it is a gorgeous piece of equipment and with every inquiry I share my Char-Broil story.

In closing I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Char-Broil. Not only have you made this girls BBQ dreams continue, you make a product that I love and your customer service is unmatched. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire Pudding. Those crisp little cups of love made just for filling with rich flavorful gravy! They are not hard to make at all,  they just take a little bit of time and planning!

Traditionally they are served with roast beef but go well with any meat or poultry dish.

Yorkshire Pudding from Nutmeg Disrupted

Yorkshire Pudding

2 cups of all purpose flour

2 cups of milk

6 eggs

1 teaspoon of salt

canola oil

 

Break the eggs into a large bowl.

Using a wisk, beat well to break up the yolks. Add the milk. Now add the flour and salt. Wisk well to combine thoroughly. Place the batter into the fridge for a couple of hours.

Heat oven to 400F.

You have choices as to what kind of cooking vessel to use to cook the puddings off. Muffin tins, bread pans or even cake pans work well.

Spray the pans well with non stick spray. I never skip this step, even when using non stick bakeware.

Pour a tiny amount of canola oil to cover the bottom surface of the pans.

I always place the pans onto cookie sheets before going into the oven. It helps catch any spills or overflows which can make one heck of a mess at the bottom of the oven. Place the pans into the oven to heat for 10 minutes.

I like to pour the batter into a large measuring cup for the next step. It makes quick work of a hot job.

Leaving the pans in the oven fill them half full with batter. Bake for 25 minutes.

Enjoy immediately!

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Alberta Beef

Alberta Beef

For the second month of The Canadian Food Experience Project our focus is A Regional Canadian Food. Seeing I am a very proud Alberta girl it only seemed a given that I would go with Alberta Beef.

The province has over four and a half  million head of cattle, compared to the population of roughly 3.931 million people we are out numbered by cattle. Agriculture has a significant position in the province’s economy with 44% of all Canadian beef being produced in Alberta! 44%. That is huge. Alberta is the largest cattle producing province in Canada. We export 35% of our beef to the United States and other countries.

I cook a lot of beef. My cousins all had 4H cattle growing up and my dad was a huge foodie with an fantastic backyard BBQ. When we had company over beef was always on the menu.

It is extremely versatile and you can prepare it 1000 different ways.

Below is just a small sampling of some of the beef dishes I love to create.

Ground beef burger using Alberta Beef.      Slow smoked Alberta Beef brisket.

 

Making beef jerky at home with Alberta Beef.     Beef Mushroom stew usiung Alberta Beef.

Grilled Alberta Prime Rib Beef Steak

Beef Dip

1 beef roast

2 cups of water

1/2 cup of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon of dry onion flakes

1 tablespoon of granulated garlic

pepper to taste

2 bay leaves

Beef dip featuring Alberta Beef.

Place roast in a slow cooker. Add the water, soy sauce and seasonings. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the beef is fork tender. Remove from the cooker and shred. Strain broth, skim of fat. Pour broth into small cups for dipping.

Using crusty rolls make the Beef dips with topping of your choice. I love a bit of sauteed red peppers and a bit of german butter cheese.

Beef Dip featuring Alberta Beef.

If you ever find yourself in Alberta, try the beef! Not only are you supporting the local economy you will be enjoying some of the best beef in the world!

We are growing everyday! Now 81 participants strong! Please do check out the food scene across Canada by tuning into the Canadian Food Experience Project. A round up of the projects posts will be available here on the 14th of July. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.

The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us.

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18 hour Slow Smoked Alberta Beef Brisket

18 hour Slow Smoked Alberta Beef Brisket

The love affair with the smoker continues!

I was asked recently what kind of smoker I use.

 

It is a Grill Pro propane smoker. The interior has 3 shelves so you can smoke a fair amount of meat or fish at one shot.

The next step in my smoked meat journey is the Beef Brisket.

Like the slow smoked pork, this is something I again have only seen on television, never having tried the authentic thing.

With a quick call in to the butcher shop and a stop at the bulk spice section we were ready to rock and roll.

Wanting to keep things very simple the first time out I decided that the beef would be rubbed with spices and head straight into the smoker. In doing my research I discovered many different techniques that are used for the brisket. Some brine the beef, some rub and then wrap the brisket to sit in the spices overnight.

I know when ever I am first trying out a recipe or technique I keep it simple and straight forward. Once you learn the basics you can then have fun experimenting.

The rub for the brisket.

dry mustard

garlic powder

onion soup powder

pepper

seasoning salt

paprika

cayenne pepper

brown sugar

chili powder

Combine and rub well onto the entire surface of the brisket.

I did not write the measurements down, it was an after thought. As were the before pictures. I slept in far later then I had hoped that morning and was in a rush to get the beef into the smoker. When you are cooking for 15 – 18 hours, starting on time is important.
It was a fantastic rub, the only changes would be slightly less mustard and a touch more brown sugar.

When picking your brisket make sure it has a nice layer of fat across the top, also known as the fat cap.  You can trim it if you find it too thick. Also look for nice marbling throughout the meat. This all contributes to the tenderness of the finished brisket.

It was on the smoker for a total of 15 hours. A combination of apple and cherry wood chips were used. Liquid was used, I started off with red wine and finished with water.

My magic number for the brisket was 185 degrees when it was pulled and wrapped after it came out of the smoker. This continues the cooking process and also allows the meat to absorb all of the juices making  making the brisket even more tender.

It was smoky and delicious. Very different from the slow smoked pork. It was tender and addictive. There was a tang from the peppers and mustard. Perfection. For the first time out, I was very very pleased. I can not wait to get another to experiment with. Really the fun has only just begun.

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