Bourbon and Black Pepper Prime Rib

The holiday prime rib is a celebration of all that is good about beef and it doesn’t need much other than a grill, salt, pepper, and garlic.  But sometimes it is good to enhance the flavor with a little something special like the oaky smokiness of bourbon.  That’s what I did with this rib roast – I used a bourbon and black pepper baste to complement the beef and build layers of flavor on top of the beef rub base.

Black Pepper and Bourbon Prime Rib

Bourbon and Black Pepper Prime Rib

Ingredients

  • 5 pound bone in beef rib roast
  • ¼ cup beef rub
  • For the Baste
  • 1 tablespoon tallow or oil
  • ½ cup diced sweet onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup beef stock

Instructions

  1. Preheat your smoker to 275°f. For the Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, this was as simple as putting water in the water pan, putting oak wood chips in the smoker box, and then starting the preheat cycle.
  2. In a small stock pot over medium heat, sauté the onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2-3 more minutes.
  3. Add the bourbon (it’s best to do this with the pot away from open flame) and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pepper, paprika, stock, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes and then let rest. If you want less texture, you can strain the baste before using. I use it with the coarse ingredients still in there.
  5. Season the beef all over with the beef rub.
  6. Place the rib roast in the smoker and let it slow roast.
  7. After 2 hours, baste the rib roast with the bourbon baste and let it keep smoking. Baste it again at 3 hours with the rest of the baste and let it continue cooking.
  8. For rare, pulled the roast at an internal temperature of 125°f – about 4 hours.
  9. For medium rare, pull the roast at an internal temperature of 130°f – or about 4 ½ hours.
  10. For medium, pull the roast at an internal temperature of 140°f – or about 5-5 ½ hours.
  11. Rest the roast for 10 minutes on a raised cooling rack.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/bourbon-black-pepper-prime-rib/
Spices for Prime Rib
It is important to use coarse ground black pepper for this, preferably Malabar if you can get it. The sweet smokiness of the bourbon complements the smoky beef.
Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker is an easy way to slow roast your prime rib. It has an integrated meat probe thermometer so you will know when to take the roast off.
Smoker Box Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
I used oak chips because I think it goes well with beef. I also like pecan or a mix of the two. But try others, find out what you like.
Water Pan Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
Some people ask me about putting flavored liquids into the water pan, like beer or apple juice. I don’t think it hurts anything but I also don’t think it does anything to help, either. If you ask me, I just think it’s a waste of a perfectly good beer.
Spice Rub Prime Rib
I like using extra coarse beef rubs for prime rib because that big hunk of beef can handle a lot of bold flavors. You can use a commercial Montreal seasoning or just some coarse salt, pepper, and dried garlic. Pictured is my current favorite beef rub which is a hybrid of my signature beef rub recipe and Chef Christopher Prieto’s beef rub recipe.
Prime Rib and Spice Rub
I trimmed off the fat cap to expose as much meat as possible to get that delicious crust.
Spiced Prime Rib
Have your butcher partially slice the ribs off. This lets you season the meat under the bones and maximize flavor.
Twined Prime Rib
Roast seasoned and tied back together with butcher’s twine.
Baste for Prime Rib
Whether you strain the baste or not is up to you. I like the slight chunkiness for texture on the crust of the roast.
Prime Rib in Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
The roast is on the 3rd rack with a half sized steam pan on the 4th rack. Add beef stock to the pan and it will catch the beef drippings, giving you fantastic beef jus.
Roasted Prime Rib after first baste
Just after the first base. For ease of handling I just pull the whole rack out of the smoker. That way I can baste the roast while the smoker stays shut, maintaining its heat.
Prime Rib temperature in Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
Notice that the probe for the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Smoker is placed about center mass of the roast. That will give you the most accurate temperature reading.
Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker Display
The “brains” of the Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker makes sure it is smoking at steady temperatures. That’s nice as the days grow shorter, colder, and maybe you don’t want to sit outside tending to a smoker.
Prime Rib perfectly cooked
The baste that was all wet before has now cooked into a flavorful crust.
Prime rib ready to cut
Such a beautiful sight, a prime rib defines “special occasion”.
Prime Rib beautifully displayed
Step 1 – cut off the ribs to make slicing easier. Plus, these are a chef’s treat – what the pitmaster gets to have and doesn’t have to share! Those are beef ribs, delicious tasty beef back ribs. I like to season the cut side with more beef rub and throw it back onto the cooker for another hour or so. They are delightful, steak on a stick!
Black Pepper and Bourbon Prime Rib with au jus
One of my all-time favorite holiday or special occasion meals – beef prime rib au jus.

Southern Honey Glazed Ham

I grew up in the South and a big part of the culture was covered dish suppers for any social event.

  • Church function? Covered dish supper.
  • PTA meeting? Covered dish supper.
  • Holiday party? Covered dish supper.

But you could always count on someone bringing a great Southern style ham – smoky and sweet.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love a savory ham glaze with the typical allspice, nutmeg, and clove flavor profile. But the hams that I remember from those get togethers were all about the sweet.  Think cola glazes and brown sugar crusts.  For my Southern ham, I cook it on my Char-Broil Charcoal Grill 780 with a little pecan wood and then use a glaze using some of the best Southern sweet things – sweet tea, local honey, sweet BBQ rub, and maybe even a smoky sweet shot of bourbon.

Southern Honey Glazed Ham

Honey and Sweet Tea Glazed Ham

Ingredients

  • 8-10 lb bone in, spiral sliced cooked ham
  • For the Glaze
  • ½ cup local honey
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup sweet tea
  • 1 tablespoon sweet BBQ rub
  • 1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon [optional]
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill to medium heat (300-325°f), set up for indirect heat. For the Charcoal Grill 780, this was done by having coals on the two ends of the charcoal tray and the ham over the empty space between the two ends. Using a “fuse burn” will give you longer cooking times.
  2. Make the glaze. Combine the honey, sugar, tea, BBQ rub, mustard and bourbon (if using) in a small sauce pot and bring to a simmer over low heat on a grill with a side burner (or over medium high on stove top). Simmer until reduced – about 10 minutes.
  3. Thicken the glaze. Make a slurry by whisking together the corn starch and water. Whisk this slurry into the glaze and cook the glaze for another minute. Remove and allow to slightly cool
  4. Place the ham, cut (flat) side down in a half sized steam pan or casserole dish. Drizzle about half of the honey/sweet tea glaze over the ham and brush it on, evenly. Cover tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  5. Cook the ham. Place the ham on the grill over indirect heat, close the grill and let cook for 2 ½ hours.
  6. Glaze and smoke the ham. Pour and brush the rest of honey and sweet tea glaze on the ham. Place two chunks of pecan wood on/near the hot coals and smoke the ham for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Drizzle with any remaining glaze and serve.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/southern-honey-glazed-ham/
Honey Glazed Ham and ingredients
Sweet Southern ingredients! Use local honey – it helps your allergies and supports your local beekeeper.
So this happened...I was making the glaze when this little dude came along, landed on my whisk, and took an interest in what I was making.  He told me that he's an expert on local honey but I've never seen him before so I can't vouch for him.
So this happened…I was making the glaze when this little dude came along, landed on my whisk, and took an interest in what I was making. He told me that he’s an expert on local honey but I’ve never seen him before so I can’t vouch for him.
Gas2Coal and Performance Charcoal 780
I used my Charcoal Grill 780 because the adjustable coal tray and 4 vents provide a lot of options. I used the Gas2Coal just for its side burner for the glaze.
Honey Glazed Ham on Grill
Here’s the set up for this specific grill. I have the tray fully lowered and the coals banked to the sides so the ham isn’t cooking directly over the heat. Also notice the fuse burn – that provides extended cooking times. More about that in a minute.
Honey Glazed Ham cooking over coals
Place the ham flat side down in a half sized steam pan and then brush with half of the glaze.
Charcoal for Honey Glazed Ham recipe
So the “fuse burn” is just what it implies. You put un-lit briquettes on your charcoal tray and then place live coals at one end. As those burn, they catch the neighboring coals on fire and it burns like a fuse – maintaining heat. For this cook, I used about 20 unlit coals on each end and pushed them back (but make sure the tray holes are clear). Then I started a chimney of coal and dumped half on the front of each side like this.
Char-Broil Charcoal Performance 780
I target 300-325°f. I like that every Char-Broil grill that I have has a quality temperature gauge so I don’t have to guess as to what “medium hot” is.
Glazing Honey Glazed Ham
The second round of glaze is going to give you another layer of flavor and the glossy sheen.
Smoldering Wood in Charcoal Performance 780
For Southern hams, I like to use pecan or hickory because back in the day, people smoked with the woods in their region. Hickory and pecan are all over the South. Put the wood chunks (not soaked) over the hot coals to get it started while you are glazing the ham. Then move it to near the coals to let it smolder.
Glazed Ham over coals
The glaze will also capture the fresh smoke. The hams were smoked when originally cooked, this is just a quick fresh kiss of smoke. Think of the glaze as lip gloss. It helps the smoke stick to the ham. I picked this trick up from one of the top competitive BBQ teams a few years ago.
Southern Ham
Smoky and sweet, just like a Southern ham should be.
Southern Honey Glazed Ham
Just looking at this picture makes me want to grab a dinner roll and make a sandwich.

Smoked Leg of Lamb Roulade with Apple-Cranberry Sourdough Stuffing

This prime-grade leg of Colorado Lamb has been brined in seasonal spices, butterflied and thoroughly trimmed, lined with a finely cured prosciutto, filled with a tart apple-cranberry sourdough stuffing, then rolled, tied and slowly smoked to tender, medium-rare perfection. Paired with a gorgeous full-bodied red wine and a winter white kale and arugula salad with pear, pomegranate, and a date honey balsamic vinaigrette.

Cheers and bon appetit! -David

Smoked Leg of Lamb Roulade with Apple-Cranberry Sourdough Stuffing

Ingredients

    For the Brine
  • 1 gallon cool water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • Fresh sprigs of rosemary and thyme
  • 2 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • For the Leg of Lamb
  • 4 cups homemade sourdough stuffing, fully prepared – or click HERE for easy to follow recipe
  • 1 (4-5 pound) boneless leg of American Lamb, thoroughly trimmed and butterflied
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for basting
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black peppercorn, to taste
  • 16oz prosciutto, finely sliced
  • You will need
  • • 6-8 12” strands of kitchen string
  • • 4 cups red oak wood chips, or hickory wood chips

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot bring water, salt and sugar to a boil. Once rolling boil achieved, remove from burner, toss in a few handfuls of herbs, peppercorn and cinnamon sticks. Allow the water to cool entirely (to room temperature), then immerse the leg of lamb, cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours. Afterwards, remove meat from the brine, discard brine water, rinse lamb off under the faucet and pat dry with paper towel. Set aside and allow meat to return near room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare homemade sourdough stuffing. Set aside.
  3. 1 hour prior to smoking, butterfly and thoroughly trim the lamb, removing as much of the tough, gamey fat as possible. Drizzle the meat with olive oil and massage a liberal degree of seasonings, zest, salt and ground peppercorn into all portions of the lamb. With fat cap down, spread prosciutto across the bone-side portion of the meat. Spoon an even layer of stuffing across the prosciutto-lined butterflied- lamb leg. Then roll the lamb tightly upon itself in jelly-roll fashion. Wrap with kitchen string and truss in 2-inch intervals. Set aside.
  4. 20-30 minutes prior to smoking, load smoker with wood chips, fill the water pan and preheat to 225F. Place the wrapped leg of lamb across the middle rack of the smoker – fat cap up. Slowly roast for 90 minutes - 2 hours, lightly basting every 20 minutes with olive oil, or until the internal temperature of the roll achieves 130F and juices run clear.
  5. To finish, sear the exterior of the rolled lamb over a well-oiled super-heated cast iron pan, or the hottest direct heat grill grates of your Char-Broil TRU Infrared Grill. Char the lamb roll exterior at 1-2 minutes per quarter turn, searing for 4-8 minutes total.
  6. Carefully transfer lamb to a cutting board. Tent with tin foil and rest for 10 minutes before removing the kitchen string, slicing across the grain into thing medallions, and plating. Season additionally to taste, and serve.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/smoked-leg-lamb-roulade-apple-cranberry-sourdough-stuffing/

smoked leg of lamb roulade with apple-cranberry sourdough stuffing

Herb-Encrusted and Smoked Cornish Hen

The American Rock Hen, otherwise known as “Game Hen” or “Cornish Hen,” is an exotic domestic bird, originally crossbred in the far northeast farmlands of Connecticut during the mid-1950’s. These fine feathered fowl are often mistaken as “wild game” or young chickens, but are a distinct farm-raised breed and unique for three reasons – 1. The breast meat is incrementally greater in volume as compared to similar-sized broiler chickens, 2. In 5 weeks these birds will attain adult weight (between 2-3 pounds) and fully prepared for harvest nearly 2 weeks sooner than their broiler chicken counterparts, and 3. their sweet, succulent meat demands a premium in price per pound.

Less than 30 years ago, these birds were considered an American delicacy, served only upon special occasion, but today can be found in farmer’s markets from coast to coast. These birds are not only phenomenal in flavor due to their grass and grain diet, but a perfect single-serving substitution for turkey, chicken, pheasant or duck.

Prepared and served whole, the smoked Cornish Hen recipe below provides the step-by-step guide and best practices to brining, seasoning, smoking and basting Cornish Rock Hen to tender, juicy, mouthwatering perfection.

Herb-Encrusted and Smoked Cornish Hens with Southern Cornbread Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 16 cups water
  • 2 12oz cans of beer (or non-alcoholic beer)
  • 2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • Fresh sprigs of rosemary, sage and thyme, plus additional for stuffing and garnish
  • 6 1-2 pound whole Cornish hens, thawed, trimmed and giblets removed
  • 1 stick of cold butter, sliced into 12 equal parts
  • Olive oil, plus additional for basting
  • 1 cup Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black peppercorn, to taste
  • Zest of 3 small lemons, lemons then quartered
  • Cornbread stuffing, fully prepared
  • 4 cups apple wood, or your favorite alternate hardwood

Instructions

  1. In a large pot bring water, salt and sugar to a boil. Once rolling boil achieved, remove from burner, toss in a few handfuls of herbs, and allow the water to cool entirely (to room temperature). Pour in 2 cans of beer, immerse hens, cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
  2. Remove hens from brine, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Discard brine. Place hens back in the refrigerator for 1 hour, uncovered, to further dry and tighten the skin.
  3. 45 minutes prior to smoking, remove birds from refrigerator to begin returning to room temperature. Gently slide a finger between the breast meat and adjoining skin, then slide a slab of cold butter under the loosened skin – 2 slabs of butter per hen, 1 over each breast.
  4. Drizzle the hens with olive oil inside and out, then massage a liberal degree of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, peppercorn, and 1/6 of the lemon zest into all portions of each bird. Stuff posterior of the bird with prepared cornbread stuffing. Insert a quartered lemon and small handful of fresh herb sprigs into the upper end of the hen’s cavity.
  5. 20-30 minutes prior to smoking, load smoker with wood chips, fill the water pan and preheat to 275F.
  6. Place the hens evenly across the smoker racks – balancing the bird upon it’s backbone. Slowly roast for 2 hours, lightly basting every 30 minutes with olive oil, or until the internal temperature of the dark thigh meat reaches 165F and juices run clear.
  7. Carefully remove hens from the smoker and transfer to a cutting board. Tent with tin foil and rest for 10 minutes before discarding the lemon and herbs.
  8. Carve, season additionally to taste, and serve.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/herb-encrusted-smoked-cornish-hen/

herb-encrusted and smoked cornish hen

Gorgonzola and Black Pepper Burger

Burgers get kind of crazy these days. Sports bars and gastropubs pile so much stuff on them that they have to stab a knife through them to keep them upright and you’d have to be able to unhinge your jaw to bite into some of these towering burgers.  Or the “Jucy Lucy” (aka Juicy Lucy) trend where so much cheese and stuff is crammed into the burger, you don’t even notice the burger itself.

This afternoon, I wanted a simple but quality burger so I challenged myself to create a great burger with only a handful of ingredients and without a trip to the store.  Fortunately, we’ve been cooking a lot this week and there was a lot in the house to choose from. This is what I came up with…

Gorgonzola and Black Pepper Burgers

These are a grown-up style “Jucy Lucy” – just a little cheese in there to let you know it’s there but there’s no cheese dripping off of your chin and the beef is still the focus, not the toppings.  Gorgonzola and black pepper stuffed burgers with baby spinach and red onions.  Simple, right?  Simply delicious, too!

Gorgonzola and Black Pepper Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh ground chuck
  • ¼ to ½ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • Finishing salt, to taste
  • 4 brioche or hamburger buns
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • ½ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Evenly divide meat into 8 balls. It is best to do this by weight, 3 ounces each. Using the Char-Broil Cast Aluminum Burger Press, form the balls into 8 thin patties.
  2. Top 4 patties each with one fourth of crumbled gorgonzola in the middle of each patty and then spread one fourth of the black pepper on each patty from edge to edge.
  3. Cap each of the 4 loaded patties with the other four patties. Pinch and knead the edges until sealed and formed back into a square edge. If you have the time, place in refrigeration for 45 minutes before grilling.
  4. Preheat your grill to medium high heat (450°f)
  5. Grill the burgers for 4 minutes on each side (give it a quarter turn at 2 minutes if you want cross hatch marks). As always, use your digital thermometer and if you didn’t grind your own beef, cook them to USDA food safe temps.
  6. As soon as the burgers come off, hit them with your finishing salt. [see notes]
  7. Toast your buns! It always makes your burger better, if you ask me.
  8. Serve on toasted buns with baby spinach and thin sliced red onion.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/gorgonzola-black-pepper-burger/

Notes

Burger Press
To make stuffed burgers, you want patties of even thickness and size. That starts with using a Char-Broil Cast Aluminum Burger Press. [FTC Disclaimer: I received my press as part of my sponsorship package, free of charge.]
Gorgonzola and Black Pepper Burgers in Burger Press
One tip: When using a burger press, use wax sheets to make it easier to remove and stack the patties as you make them. Make sure to keep the meat as cold as possible.
Making Burgers
For the most even burgers, weigh it out. For a single patty burger, I go with 5.3 ounces (1/3 pound). For a double, I use 4 ounce patties. For Jucy Lucy burgers, I use a pair of 3 ounce patties.
Using a burger press
Don’t be shy. Really crank down to press the meat out flat.
Burger press methods
The advantage to a burger press is that you get patties with consistent size and thickness. That’s a secret to cooking – it’s easier to cook when everything is the same size. That’s why chefs go nuts learning do dice, brunoise, and batonnet to exact standards. Same thing goes for your back yard.
Making gorgonzola and black pepper burgers
Keep the cheese away from the edges so you can seal the edges more easily.
Burger press burgers
The burger press makes consistent burgers like this, easy.
Cooking gorgonzola and black pepper burgers
Immediately after flipping, which is when you often see flare ups on some grills because grease hits the coals and ignites. But here you only see a little smoke, because the Char-Broil Gas2Coal uses a special coal tray that maximizes efficiency and minimizes fires.
Finished Gorgonzola and Black Pepper Burgers
You need to hit the burgers with the finishing salt as soon as they come off, while they are juicy and will grab the salt. The finishing salt can be as easy as fine sea salt. Here I’m using fine pink Himalayan salt with black pepper.
Gorgonzola and Black Pepper Burgers, ready to eat
Another good thing about using a burger press is that it gives you a burger that fits the bun. It doesn’t take 25 ingredients to make a great burger, just quality ingredients.
Gorgonzola and Black Pepper Burger in hand
Now that’s a burger!

Rotisserie Roasted Red Wine & Herb Leg of Lamb

Roasted leg of lamb is a real show stopper for special occasions and festive meals.  Rotisserie roasting a leg of lamb over hot coals makes it even better because as the fat renders, it continuously bastes the roast.  Plus, it shows off your grilling flair!

Buying A Leg of Lamb

Buying lamb can be intimidating since it’s not something that most people in the United States buy all the time.  Here are some tips to take the pressure off you.Making the Grade: Like beef, in the United States, all lamb is   But grading is voluntary so the lamb you see may or may not have a grade.  If it has a grade, Prime is the best, followed by Choice, and then Select.

  • Home Grown or Down Under: The two primary options for grocery store shoppers are either New Zealand/Australian lamb or domestic. Lamb from New Zealand is typically grass fed.  Domestic lamb is grain fed and usually larger in size. If you like the edgy taste of lamb, go for the New Zealand lamb.  If you like it tamer and less gamey, go for domestic.
  • How Does It Look? If your lamb is not graded, that’s okay. Look for light red meat and the fat should be firm and white.  Darker meat and yellow fat indicate an older animal and/or oxidation. It’s okay to see red “blood” in bones, that means it’s a younger animal as this disappears from the marrow in older animals.
  • A Bone to Pick: Leg of lamb can be found with the bone in, semi-boneless, or boneless.  Since we are putting this bad boy on a rotisserie rod, you want the boneless leg of lamb.  These often come in an elastic net to hold the shape of the roast.
  • Mary had a little lamb…how much do the rest of my guests need? Allow about ½ pound, pre-cooked weight, per guest.  I find it is better to do multiple smaller roasts to accommodate quantities rather than one big one.  Smaller ones are usually more tender and cook quicker.

Once you have your perfect leg of lamb, you want a highly seasoned plan of attack.  This recipe uses red wine, garlic, and herbs for a boldly flavored paste to match the rich flavor of lamb. A little coriander and lemon juice brighten those flavors, making this leg of lamb worthy of any special dinner.

Herb Leg of Lamb

Rotisserie Roasted Red Wine & Herb Leg of Lamb

Ingredients

  • 2.5 to 3.5-pound boneless lamb of leg
  • For the paste
  • ¼ cup quality olive oil
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste or 6 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • For the tzatziki sauce
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup seeded, peeled, and minced cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon garlic past or 3 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh dill weed
  • Kosher salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until combined into a thin paste.
  2. Use half of the paste and cover the leg of lamb, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. See notes for options of how to do this. Allow to rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Reserve the rest of the paste for later.
  3. Mix the tzatziki sauce ingredients together and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving
  4. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat with an indirect set up so the hot coals or lit burners are not directly below where your meat will be.
  5. Spear the rotisserie rod through the leg of lamb lengthwise, trying to keep it as dead center as possible. Place on the grill and adjust the rotisserie tines to secure the meat tightly over the gap between the hot coals or lit burners. Close the lid and allow the roast to cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Baste the meat with the remaining red wine and herb paste. Continue cooking until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 135°f for medium rare. This should take anywhere from 20 more minutes (50 minutes total) for smaller roasts to 45 more minutes (1 hour 15 minutes total) for heftier roasts.
  7. Allow the meat to rest on a raised cooking rack for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with the tzatziki sauce.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/rotisserie-roasted-red-wine-herb-leg-of-lamb/
For this cook, I used my Gas2Coal hybrid grill with the Char-Broil Universal Rotisserie accessory. The Gas2Coal becomes even more convenient during the colder weather. It’s nice to fire it up with the ease of gas and come back out in 10 minutes to cook over hot coals.
For this cook, I used my Gas2Coal hybrid grill with the Char-Broil Universal Rotisserie accessory. The Gas2Coal becomes even more convenient during the colder weather. It’s nice to fire it up with the ease of gas and come back out in 10 minutes to cook over hot coals.
Gas2Coal and Rotiserrie
Installation was relatively easy and I got it done in about 10 minutes while the lamb was marinating. I could probably have done it in 5 minutes if I bothered to read the instructions.
Leg of Lamb
Lamb has strong flavor so you want to match that with richly flavored ingredients.
Leg of Lamb Red Wine and Herb Paste
The red wine and herb paste is admittedly very green but don’t worry. It will cook on to the roast with a typical brown crust.
Marinated Leg of Lamb
For maximum flavor, I prefer to take the roast out of the netting to slather the paste all over it and then roll it back up. You can either re-use the netting or tie it with butcher’s twine.
Wrapped Leg of Lamb
But we have also tested this leaving the leg in the netting and it still worked well, so you don’t HAVE to take it out.
Gas2Coal Charcoal
Example of my typical rotisserie set up. You don’t won’t the rendered fat to drip directly on coals below or it can cause a grease fire and burn your meat. Note that this is just for a visual example. When starting the coals on the Gas2Coal, place the coals in their usual place and once ready, shift them to this arrangement.
Leg of Lamb Rotisserie
Tip: Your leg of lamb will shrink a little while cooking so when you secure the meat tines on the rotisserie, push in a little to compact the meat. Otherwise it might start wiggling loose during the cooking.
Leg of Lamb cooking
You can leave the lid open while using a rotisserie but it will take more than twice as long to cook so I like to go “lid down”. Universal kits like this “fit most” but aren’t perfect on every grill. Check how yours operated BEFORE it’s all loaded up and hot. I noticed mine was binding a little bit, hindering the free rotation of the rotisserie. Rather than risking the roast sticking in one position, I just propped the lid like this and it worked great.
Leg of Lamb over coals
A side benefit to the Gas2Coal charcoal tray is that when the juices drip on to the metal tray, they vaporize and help flavor the meat.
Roasting Leg of Lamb
The second roast that we tested was much bigger and took longer, so I had to add some coal. I just pushed the existing briquettes in and filled behind them with lump coal, like Char-Broil’s Center Cut Lump Coal. Lump coal starts up easier from the existing coals and burns cleaner, without any funny off tastes.
Rotisserie Leg of Lamb
Like most roasts, resting the meat after cooking lets the meat finishing cooking and helps to evenly distribute the juices.
Roasted Leg of Lamb ready to eat
Young lamb is best served medium rare. This gives the maximum tenderness and rich taste.

Of course, I never recommend buying specific grilling equipment for just one dish. Some other things I like cooking on the Char-Broil Universal Rotisserie are:

  • a highly seasoned beef eye of round cooked to medium rare and sliced thinly
  • a boneless pork loin crusted with a coarse rub
  • a boneless turkey breast basted with honey, wine and stock.

Hickory Smoked Turkey with Honey Bourbon Glaze

A well smoked, juicy turkey is a beautiful thing and can be the cornerstone of a memorable family meal.  There are a few tricks you can do to ensure that bird is always juicy.

Cook by Temperature not Time 

Cooking times and temps (e.g. cook for 5 hours at 275°F) are just estimates.  Your best bet for a juicy bird is using a remote probe thermometer and cooking the turkey until it registers an internal temperature of 157-160°F in the breast.

Pre-Treat the Turkey

Pretreating the turkey will add moisture, help retain moisture, and/or add flavor.  Pretreating can be marinades, dry brines, wet brines, or injections.  Marinades add flavor but don’t penetrate much.  Dry and wet brines work well but take extra time.  For this recipe, we use a sweet, buttery injection with the smokiness of bourbon.

Baste/Mop/Spritz the Turkey 

Adding moisture and flavor to the turkey while it cooks helps too.  You can baste or mop the turkey with a flavorful liquid.  You can spritz it with things like spray “butter” (butter substitutes) or light colored fruit juices that complement the flavor profile you are using.  In this recipe, we break out a sweet and smoky compound butter.  It bastes and flavors the turkey as it cooks.  An extra benefit of compound butter over basting, mopping, or spritzing is that you don’t have to keep opening your smoker.  Frequently opening your cooker to baste/mop/spritz keeps letting your heat out and extends your cooking time every time you open it.

I cooked this recipe on a Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Smoker that I received as part of a compensation package from Char-Broil to work with their team.  I have to admit that I chose to use it out of all of my many other smokers and grills because I was lazy.  I was very busy doing other things and the Deluxe Digital Smoker is as easy and “hands off” as you can get.  This recipe will work on other Char-Broil grill and smokers as well.

Hickory Smoked Turkey with Honey Bourbon Glaze

Ingredients

  • 9 – 11 pound young turkey, thawed if frozen
  • For the injection
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 ounce bourbon
  • For the compound butter
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, left at room temperature for 1 hour
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar (can substitute light brown sugar)
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • For the seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (can substitute light brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
  • For the honey bourbon glaze
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • You’ll also need
  • Meat injector/syringe like the Char-Broil Marinade Injector
  • 3 cups Hickory wood chips

Instructions

  1. Make the compound butter. Mash the butter, turbinado, and bourbon together in a medium bowl until they are well mixed together. Place in refrigeration until ready to use. Can be made a day or two ahead of time, just take it out about an hour before using it to let it soften.
  2. Make the injection. Mix the injection ingredients together in a small pot over your grill’s side burner or stove top over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and then whisk until all of the ingredients are melted and combined, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes before using.
  3. Make the seasoning. Mix together the seasoning ingredients in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  4. Preheat your cooker to 275°f. For the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, that’s easy. You just load the chip bin with hickory wood chips, put water in the water pan, and turn the unit on to preheat mode.
  5. Prepare the turkey. To spatchcock the turkey, place it breast side down and cut up each side of the spine with a pair of poultry sheers. Discard the spine or use it for making stock. Flip the turkey over and press down firmly on the breast bone to flatten the turkey. You should hear the rib bones crack. (See instructional pictures below.)
  6. Inject the turkey. Inject 2-3 tablespoons (30-35ml), or about one syringe full, into each breast. Inject 1-1.5 tablespoons (15-27.5ml) into each leg, thigh, and wing.
  7. Season the turkey. Work a finger between the skin and meat to create openings by the thighs and breasts (see instructional pictures below). Work the compound butter into the openings and spread it around under the skin. For any remaining butter, slather it on top of the skin. Season the turkey, front and back, with the dry rub.
  8. Smoke the turkey. Once the smoker is preheated to 275°f and you can see occasional wisps of smoke, place the turkey, skin side up, on a rack in the smoker. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 155°f, about 30-35 minutes per pound.
  9. Glaze the turkey. Drizzle half of the glaze on the turkey and return the bird to the smoker until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°f.
  10. Rest and serve the turkey. Remove the turkey from the smoker, drizzle the remaining glaze onto the turkey and let the turkey rest for 10 minutes. Carve, slice, and serve!
http://www.charbroil.com/community/hickory-smoked-turkey-honey-bourbon-glaze/

Notes

  1. Tubrinado sugar (aka raw sugar) is a less processed type of sugar that doesn’t burn as easily as white or brown sugar, so it’s useful for grilling and smoking.  Most grocery stores carry it now but you can substitute light brown sugar if necessary.
Spatchcocking is much easier than it looks if you have a good pair of poultry shears. You’re just cutting two straight lines.
Spatchcocking is much easier than it looks if you have a good pair of poultry shears. You’re just cutting two straight lines.
When you press down on the chest bone, do it with a lot of force, you are trying to break the ribs. I find that using a CPR style two handed approach works best.
When you press down on the chest bone, do it with a lot of force, you are trying to break the ribs. I find that using a CPR style two handed approach works best.
Tucking the wings back like this helps them cook more evenly and it exposes more of the breast to smoke and heat.
Tucking the wings back like this helps them cook more evenly and it exposes more of the breast to smoke and heat.
Now that you have prepped the bird, let's get into layers of seasoning.
Now that you have prepped the bird, let’s get into layers of seasoning.
The injection adds sweet and smoky flavors, as well as moisture to help ensure a juicy bird.
The injection adds sweet and smoky flavors, as well as moisture to help ensure a juicy bird.
The compound butter lays down another round of flavor. Once you have established an opening, use two fingers to insert the butter under the skin. Then distribute it around by massaging it from above the skin.
The compound butter lays down another round of flavor. Once you have established an opening, use two fingers to insert the butter under the skin. Then distribute it around by massaging it from above the skin.
Getting the butter under the thigh skin works the same way.
Getting the butter under the thigh skin works the same way.
The seasoning is basic but very effective in enhancing the flavor of the bird. The dried lemon peel brightens the flavor.
The seasoning is basic but very effective in enhancing the flavor of the bird. The dried lemon peel brightens the flavor.
I pick up the turkey to make it easier to get the hard to reach areas like under the wings and legs.
Don't forget to season the back of the wings, legs, and body cavity.
Don’t forget to season the back of the wings, legs, and body cavity.
Tying the legs together helps hold the turkey together so the legs protect the thin part of the breast and it fits better on the Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker rack better.
Tying the legs together helps hold the turkey together so the legs protect the thin part of the breast and it fits better on the Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker rack better.
Trimmed, injected, buttered, seasoned, and tied.
Trimmed, injected, buttered, seasoned, and tied.
The same recipe works with a 5-7 pound bone in turkey breast. Cut out the backbone.
The same recipe works with a 5-7 pound bone in turkey breast. Cut out the backbone.
Turn the breast over and firmly press down to crack it open.
Turn the breast over and firmly press down to crack it open.
Inject the same amount (30-45 ml) in each side of the breast.
Inject the same amount (30-45 ml) in each side of the breast.
Season all over. You'll use less rub of course, about 1/3 cup total.
Season all over. You’ll use less rub of course, about 1/3 cup total.
Fully prepped 11 lb turkey and a 6 lb breast. Next stop, smoke town via the easy to use Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker.
Fully prepped 11 lb turkey and a 6 lb breast. Next stop, smoke town via the easy to use Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker.
Tip: Prepare your turkeys on the removable racks from the smoker. That makes it easy to load in and out of the smoker. Just remember to wear heat resistant gloves when taking them back out.
Tip: Prepare your turkeys on the removable racks from the smoker. That makes it easy to load in and out of the smoker. Just remember to wear heat resistant gloves when taking them back out.
Many beginners make the mistake of thinking that they need a thick white smoke, but that just means your wood is burning poorly and it will make your food taste like soot. Once preheated, your smoke coming out of the vents should be in thin wisps of light colored smoke. Fortunately, the line of Digital Electric Smokers from Char-Broil is engineered to take care of that for you so you don’t have to worry about it.
Many beginners make the mistake of thinking that they need a thick white smoke, but that just means your wood is burning poorly and it will make your food taste like soot. Once preheated, your smoke coming out of the vents should be in thin wisps of light colored smoke. Fortunately, the line of Digital Electric Smokers from Char-Broil is engineered to take care of that for you so you don’t have to worry about it.
Tip: If cooking on multiple levels, you might want to put a drip barrier between the two turkeys so the top one doesn't drip on the bottom one. In Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, you can easily handle two 9-11 pound turkeys or 4 bone in turkey breasts or a mix thereof.
Tip: If cooking on multiple levels, you might want to put a drip barrier between the two turkeys so the top one doesn’t drip on the bottom one. In the Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, you can easily handle two 9-11 pound turkeys or 4 bone-in turkey breasts or a mix thereof.
Checking the appearance of the breast at 2 1/2 hours into the cook. In general for cooking poultry, if the skin starts to appear to dry out, you can spritz it with spray "butter" or a light colored fruit juice. Since we used a ton of butter under and on the skin with this recipe, that really isn’t an issue here. (Note, it was not cooking at 75 degrees, it was cooking at 275f. LCD displays like this aren’t actually solid lights, they rapidly flash, tricking the human eye but fast shutter speeds, the camera will catch it.)
Checking the appearance of the breast at 2 1/2 hours into the cook. In general for cooking poultry, if the skin starts to appear to dry out, you can spritz it with spray “butter” or a light-colored fruit juice. Since we used a ton of butter under and on the skin with this recipe, that really isn’t an issue here. (Note, it was not cooking at 75 degrees, it was cooking at 275F. LCD displays like this aren’t actually solid lights, they rapidly flash, tricking the human eye but fast shutter speeds, the camera will catch it.)
Ready to serve! I also prefer a spatchcocked turkey because of the way it looks on a platter - a side benefit besides the quicker and more even cooking. Confession – I forgot to glaze this one until later. I got busy working on something else. It was still pretty, though.
Ready to serve! I also prefer a spatchcocked turkey because of the way it looks on a platter – a side benefit besides the quicker and more even cooking. Confession – I forgot to glaze this one until later. I got busy working on something else. It was still pretty, though.
Turkey breast ready to slice. The turkey breast is great for small families, families that prefer white meat, or when you need just a little extra turkey.
Turkey breast ready to slice. The turkey breast is great for small families, families that prefer white meat, or when you need just a little extra turkey.
Instead of carving the breast top down in slices like the traditional way, I prefer to cut off each lobe of the breast. I slice down as deep and as close to the sternum (center breast bone) as possible. Then slice in from the side bottom towards the sternum.
Instead of carving the breast top down in slices like the traditional way, I prefer to cut off each lobe of the breast. I slice down as deep and as close to the sternum (center breast bone) as possible. Then slice in from the side bottom towards the sternum.
This frees the lobe from the breast like this. Use a fork or fingers to pick out any meat that got left behind on the breast. Now you will be slicing the breast against the grain instead of with it, giving a more tender slice.
This frees the lobe from the breast like this. Use a fork or fingers to pick out any meat that got left behind on the breast. Now you will be slicing the breast against the grain instead of with it, giving a more tender slice.
Even after smoking for hours, the turkey was juicy as can be when sliced.
Even after smoking for hours, the turkey was juicy as can be when sliced.

Smoked Pork Crown Roast with a Sage Pan Gravy

Anyone can smoke a bird (though, we highly recommend it and would love for you to try it), but how many times have you seen a stunning crown roast outside of childhood cartoons. This holiday classic is cut from the loin of the pork, the ribs, with the rib bones carefully frenched and cut to form a circle, with the bones pointing upwards for beautiful presentation. However, don’t let the beauty of this dish intimidate you, a pork crown roast is easy to prepare, especially when you are using an electric smoker. Once smoked, fill the center of the roast with a homemade sausage stuffing made from the pork trimmings.

Smoked Pork Crown Roast with a Sage Pan Gravy

Ingredients

  • 1 Crown Roast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbs Honey Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • Pecan wood chips
  • Fresh Sage
  • For the Pan Gravy
  • ¼ cup butter
  • Handful fresh sage leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbs fresh parsley, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Special order your crown roast from your butcher no less than one week before your celebration. Have the butcher assemble the roast for you and grind the trimmings and save them for another project (or for sausage dressing).
  2. Prep your Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker for 225F with the rack at the lowest position and the water pan filled. Have your wood chips ready to go.
  3. Season your pork with a healthy dose of salt and allow the pork to rest at room temperature, covered, for one hour.
  4. When the smoker is heated, mix the minced garlic, Dijon and Hhoney mustards, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and a dash of black pepper in a small bowl. Brush the mixture all over the pork.
  5. Place a digital thermometer along one section of the pork, making sure to not press against the bone, as this will lead to a false reading. Place the crown roast in the smoker and smoke until the roast reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Remove from the smoker and cover. Meanwhile, preheat your charcoal or gas grill. Finish the roast over the flames to add a bit more texture to the outer layer, about 5 minutes. Remove and wrap with foil. Allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the pan gravy. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tbs of the butter and add any reserved drippings from the resting crown roast. Fry the sage until crispy. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the remaining butter and melt. Sift the flour over the melted butter and mix to combine, cooking about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the wine, making sure the flour doesn’t lump. Add in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, whisking constantly, and allow to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add in the fresh minced parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Place the crown roast on a serving platter and garnish with fresh sage. Slice at each rib bone and serve, removing any cooking twine as needed. Serve the pan gravy on the side.
  9. Or serve with a smokey sweet potato mash and maple bourbon glaze.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/smoked-pork-crown-roast-sage-pan-gravy/

Smoked Pork Crown Roast

Grilled Pumpkin with Cinnamon Whiskey Glaze

As soon as the first fall nights turn crisp, it seems like everyone goes wild for pumpkin or anything flavored with pumpkin seasonings.  Here is a simple way to satisfy that craving on your grill.  Grilling pumpkin is quick and easy.  One of the major flavor pairings for pumpkin is cinnamon so I thought I’d turn this squash into a dessert by gilding it with a sweet cinnamon whiskey glaze.

Grilled Pumpkin with Cinnamon Whiskey Glaze aka Fireball Pumpkin DSC_5842

Cinnamon-flavored whiskey exploded onto the scene just a few years ago and has been one of the most popular adult beverage trends since then, so it seemed natural to pair the two popular flavors together.  This glaze is warm and sweet and would go spectacularly with anything pumpkin or apple, such as crumbles, muffins, or pies.  The alcohol taste is mild but you can adjust according to taste by adding one tablespoon at a time.

For this recipe, you will want a “pie pumpkin” which you should be able to find in produce departments during the Fall season.  These are smaller pumpkins that are grown for flavor instead of the big jack-o-lantern pumpkins which are grown for their size.   You want one that is free of dark spots and feels dense, rather than the hollow thump you get if you knock on one of the big pumpkins.

Grilled Pumpkin with Cinnamon Whiskey Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • Spray oil
  • For the seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon roasted ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon dried orange zest (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • For the Cinnamon Whiskey Glaze
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1-2 ounces cinnamon whiskey

Instructions

  1. Put the chicken stock in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to a half cup, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add in the brown sugar and whisk until blended. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Make a slurry by whisking the cornstarch and water together. Whisk into the stock mixture until blended, just 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add in the cinnamon whiskey to taste.
  5. Mix together the seasoning ingredients.
  6. Preheat your grill to medium high heat.
  7. Clean the pumpkin. Wash and then slice in half with a large chef’s knife. Scrape out the seeds and pulp (the seeds are great for roasting). Slice the pumpkin into ¾ to 1” wedges. Clean the inside edges with a vegetable peeler.
  8. Spritz the slices with the spray oil and then sprinkle them evenly with the seasonings.
  9. Grill the slices over direct heat for 5 minutes a side.
  10. Brush the slices on both sides with the cinnamon whiskey glaze and place them on the upper rack of your grill. Cook for five more minutes.
  11. Remove from the grill and serve while warm.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/grilled-pumpkin-cinnamon-whiskey-glaze/
Pumpkin, sugar, and cinnamon are a natural flavor pairing.
Pumpkin, sugar, and cinnamon are a natural flavor pairing.
Remember that cooking outdoors includes variables like wind, so it may take longer than 15 minutes to reduce the stock if it's a windy day.
Remember that cooking outdoors includes variables like wind, so it may take longer than 15 minutes to reduce the stock if it’s a windy day.
When done, the sauce should cling to the back of a spoon like this. It will also thicken as it cools.
When done, the sauce should cling to the back of a spoon like this. It will also thicken as it cools.
The Char-Broil Gas2Coal and its quick, easy starting come in handy as the colder weather approaches. You’ll appreciate the convenience of gas-assisted starts even more on those blustery cold days, but still get that real charcoal cooked flavor. Note: I received my Char-Broil Gas2Coal as part of a sponsorship from Char-Broil.
The Char-Broil Gas2Coal and its quick, easy starting come in handy as the colder weather approaches. You’ll appreciate the convenience of gas-assisted starts even more on those blustery cold days, but still get that real charcoal cooked flavor. Note: I received my Char-Broil Gas2Coal as part of a sponsorship from Char-Broil.
If the Char-Broil grill that you are using has a thermometer, target cooking at 450F.
If the Char-Broil grill that you are using has a thermometer, target cooking at 450F.
You can clean and prep the pumpkin in the 12 minutes that it takes for your Char-Broil Gas2Coal to get preheated.
You can clean and prep the pumpkin in the 12 minutes that it takes for your Char-Broil Gas2Coal to get preheated.
The oil spritz will give the seasoning something to bind to and help keep the slices from sticking to the grate. You can use spray oil, spray butter substitutes, or even brush on clarified butter.
The oil spritz will give the seasoning something to bind to and help keep the slices from sticking to the grate. You can use spray oil, spray butter substitutes, or even brush on clarified butter.
If using tongs to flip your slices, use the ones with silicone tips. Metal tong tips will cut into the pumpkin if you squeeze much at all.
If using tongs to flip your slices, use the ones with silicone tips. Metal tong tips will cut into the pumpkin if you squeeze much at all.
Moving the slices up to the second rack will let them finish cooking without the sweet glaze burning.
Moving the slices up to the second rack will let them finish cooking without the sweet glaze burning.
For an extra layer of flavor, I like to sprinkle the plate with more cinnamon and a little turbinado sugar but that is completely optional.
For an extra layer of flavor, I like to sprinkle the plate with more cinnamon and a little turbinado sugar but that is completely optional.

Spicy Honey Maple Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham

Spiral sliced hams are one of the easiest things to smoke because all of the hard work has already been done for you.  The smokehouse has already trimmed, cured, and smoked the ham.  It’s fully cooked, all you are doing is reheating it and adding a special touch or two.  This recipe works with a bone in or boneless spiral sliced ham.

When I BBQ, I am looking to create a profile of 4 things: salt, sweet, heat (spice), and smoke.

Salt

Cured hams are going to be slightly salty from the curing process.  You don’t really need to add any salt.

Sweet

Using a sweet glaze will help tame the saltiness and bring out the natural sweet flavor of the ham.  The glaze for this recipe has layers of sweetness with maple syrup, local honey, and brown sugar.

Heat

In addition to red pepper jelly, I have a secret ingredient up my sleeve for adding a little kick to my glaze – hot honey.  A local beekeeper was selling his “mojo lightning honey” from a small booth at a BBQ contest and I had to buy some after tasting it’s sweet fury.    It’s local honey infused with ground dried chiles.  One of the biggest retail grocery chains in the US carries a private label “Cayenne and Garlic Infused Honey” which is similar but I’d recommend buying all of your honey locally if you can.  If you can’t get your hands on hot honey, you can add ½ tsp cayenne to the glaze and adjust to taste.

Smoke

I use a trick from competition BBQ here – “scruffy smoke”.  Your ham isn’t going to accept much more smoke flavor, it’s already cooked.  But the last thing you put on food is the first thing your guests will taste, so we hit it with smoke at the end.  Usually, you want your BBQ smoke to be clean, thin, and light white or even invisible but this is an exception.  For a very brief period, we’re going to dirty up that smoke a little to get it heavier and then put the glazed ham back into the cooker.  It sounded crazy and it goes against all I knew about BBQ the first time I learned this trick….but it works.  It gives the food a good kiss of smoke.

This sweet and spicy ham ups the ante on the boring old Sunday dinner ham.  It has a sweet and smoky glaze with a kick of heat.  Speaking of kicks, it has another one – the glaze is spiked with apple pie moonshine!  You may substitute apple juice but we like the tang that the moonshine adds.Maple Glazed Ham Easy Recipe DSC_4055

Spicy Honey Maple Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 7-9 pound spiral sliced boneless ham
  • For the Sweet and Spicy Glaze
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup spicy honey
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup red pepper jelly
  • ¼ cup apple pie flavored moonshine (or apple juice)
  • ¼ teaspoon roasted ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • You’ll also need
  • Small casserole pan or a foil half steam pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Smoking wood chips – maple, apple, pecan, or hickory

Instructions

  1. Preheat your smoker or grill to 275°F.
  2. In a small pot over medium heat, add the Sweet and Spicy Glaze ingredients and bring the glaze to a simmer. Cook at a low simmer, whisking frequently, until all of the glaze ingredients are combined and the sugar has dissolved – about 5 minutes.
  3. Place the ham, cut side down, in a foil half steam pan or small casserole dish. Drizzle ½ cup of the glaze over the ham and brush to coat it. Cover tightly with foil.
  4. Place the wrapped ham in the smoker and cook until heated through, about 3 ½ hours.
  5. Remove the ham from the smoker. Remove the foil and drain off the juices. Apply the remaining glaze to the ham.
  6. Dirty up your smoke. For the line of Digital Electric Smokers, this means to take the wood chip box out, add some fresh wood chips, stir it up and put the box back in the smoker. If you are using indirect heat on a grill, add fresh wood chips to where coal is actively burning.
  7. Wait a few minutes until the smoke begins to get heavy again. Put the uncovered, glazed ham back into your smoker and let it go for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Remove, slice and serve.
http://www.charbroil.com/community/spicy-honey-maple-glazed-spiral-sliced-ham/
My weapon of choice this time is the Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker. Char-Broil gave me this to review when they first came out and a year later it’s still rocking and rolling. In full disclosure, I am compensated by Char-Broil but I don’t let that influence my opinion.
My weapon of choice this time is the Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker. Char-Broil gave me this to review when they first came out and a year later it’s still rocking and rolling. In full disclosure, I am compensated by Char-Broil but I don’t let that influence my opinion.
I was lucky enough to have a box of sugar maple wood chips. This is a pretty hard wood to get commercially. If you can’t get maple, I’d recommend apple, pecan, or hickory. Any of those will work.
I was lucky enough to have a box of sugar maple wood chips. This is a pretty hard wood to get commercially. If you can’t get maple, I’d recommend apple, pecan, or hickory. Any of those will work.
Two varieties of "hot honey” – chile infused honey that has a pretty bold punch of heat. It is available as a store brand at the largest grocer in the US but I prefer to buy from local beekeepers. First, local honey is said to help ward off pollen allergies. Second, a study by Food Safety News a few years ago showed that 76% of the “honey” sold on store shelves is either adulterated or not honey at all. The better food you put into your Char-Broil grill, the better food you’ll get out of it.
Two varieties of “hot honey” – chile infused honey that has a pretty bold punch of heat. It is available as a store brand at the largest grocer in the US but I prefer to buy from local beekeepers. First, local honey is said to help ward off pollen allergies. Second, a study by Food Safety News a few years ago showed that 76% of the “honey” sold on store shelves is either adulterated or not honey at all. The better food you put into your Char-Broil grill, the better food you’ll get out of it.
Keep the glaze at a low simmer like this. Don't let it start simmering rapidly or boil.
Keep the glaze at a low simmer like this. Don’t let it start simmering rapidly or boil.
The glaze should be golden amber in color and slightly thick after simmering. It will thicken more as it cools.
The glaze should be golden amber in color and slightly thick after simmering. It will thicken more as it cools.
If you don't have a steam pan, you can always just wrap the ham in foil.
If you don’t have a steam pan, you can always just wrap the ham in foil.
Use a basting brush to get the glaze all over the ham. Scoop it up from the pan with a spoon and keep pouring it over until the entire ham is coated like this.
Use a basting brush to get the glaze all over the ham. Scoop it up from the pan with a spoon and keep pouring it over until the entire ham is coated like this.
For using a charcoal grill, like the Kettleman, put the pan in the middle like this and do a fuse burn around the edges as shown in the user manual. The lid would be closed during cooking.
For using a charcoal grill, like the Kettleman, put the pan in the middle like this and do a fuse burn around the edges as shown in the user manual. The lid would be closed during cooking.
If you are using a gas grill, like my Commercial TRU Infrared, I would set it up for indirect heat like this. The two burners under the ham are off and only the far left burner is controlling all of the heat. The lid would be closed during cooking.
If you are using a gas grill, like my Commercial TRU Infrared, I would set it up for indirect heat like this. The two burners under the ham are off and only the far left burner is controlling all of the heat. The lid would be closed during cooking.
I used the easiest of them all, the Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker. For the ham, it really doesn't matter which level you put it at as long as it fits.
I used the easiest of them all, the Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker. For the ham, it really doesn’t matter which level you put it at as long as it fits.
The remote control is convenient because it lets you monitor and control the smoker while you are busy doing other things.
The remote control is convenient because it lets you monitor and control the smoker while you are busy doing other things.
Wear steam resistant gloves or tongs to open the packet as steam will come out. You might notice that this is a bone in ham. I tried this recipe on both and it works just fine on either.
Wear steam resistant gloves or tongs to open the packet as steam will come out. You might notice that this is a bone in ham. I tried this recipe on both and it works just fine on either.
Remove the rendered fat and juices from the pan so you can glaze the ham. TIP: Save these juices and strain them into a fat separator to remove the grease. Save that juice – it is excellent injected into drier cuts of pork like pork loin.
Remove the rendered fat and juices from the pan so you can glaze the ham. TIP: Save these juices and strain them into a fat separator to remove the grease. Save that juice – it is excellent injected into drier cuts of pork like pork loin.
Glazing the bone-in ham.
Glazing the bone-in ham.
A boneless ham glazed and ready to go back into the smoker.
A boneless ham glazed and ready to go back into the smoker.
I borrowed a trick from Chef Adam Perry Lang and made a board dressing of glaze, honey, and brown sugar on the cutting board before slicing the ham. It is just one more way to get layers of flavor.
I borrowed a trick from Chef Adam Perry Lang and made a board dressing of glaze, honey, and brown sugar on the cutting board before slicing the ham. It is just one more way to get layers of flavor.
As the pieces fall while slicing, the board dressing gets on the exposed ham, repeating the flavors from the ham exterior.
As the pieces fall while slicing, the board dressing gets on the exposed ham, repeating the flavors from the ham exterior.

Of course, the best thing about a ham is having leftovers.  Pot pies, croque madame, and omelets are always great ideas for leftover ham. Here are another two of our favorites.

A grilled ham and Colby jack cheese sandwich is amazing at 2 in the morning.
A grilled ham and Colby jack cheese sandwich is amazing at 2 in the morning.
One of my favorites is the BBQueban - a BBQ version of a Cubano. Sliced ham, pulled pork, Swiss cheese, mustard based BBQ sauce, and sliced pickles on Cuban bread. Put that in a panini press and you’ve got good eats.
One of my favorites is the BBQueban – a BBQ version of a Cubano. Sliced ham, pulled pork, Swiss cheese, mustard based BBQ sauce, and sliced pickles on Cuban bread. Put that in a panini press and you’ve got good eats.