Archive for ‘Griddling’

How to Make Thin and Crispy Pizza on the Blackstone Griddle

This was after I finished all the pizzas I made. Yeah, the photo is a little messy, but I will be making these again in the near future and I’ll recapture some better shots.

This, much like anything you can think of (asides from candy bars), can be made on any model of the Blackstone Griddle. It’s easy, simple and delicious. I love pizza any way I can get it. While my all-time favorite is an ultra-cheesy, Chicago deep dish pizza, thin’n’crispy is always a hit, too.

Recipe
— A pack of flour tortillas (8-10 inch ones)
— Pizza sauce (I use Classico pizza sauce, but you can use whatever you want; if using marinara sauce, I recommend adding a pinch of sugar to it for a little sweetness.)
— Cheese (I used shredded mozzarella, but you can use virtually any blend of cheese)
— Toppings (much like cheese, you can use virtually anything you want; I made a barrage of different pizzas, from pepperoni only to pepperoni and sliced’n’sauteed white button mushrooms to cooked’n’crumbled Jimmy Dean hot pork sausage.
— Basting cover (I used the 12″ basting cover from Blackstone Products, but you can use any kind of basting cover… even a cheap aluminum pan!)
Optional: Italian seasoning (I love the McCormick Organic Italian seasoning, which features a blend of marjoran, oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil). Adding this adds an extra punch of flavor to pizza. I like to add a little garlic powder to this mix as well.
— Optional: Fresh, chopped basil

Instructions
I used my 17″ Tabletop Blackstone Griddle for this cook, but you can use any model, including the 22″, the 28″ or the 36″.
— Fire up the griddle to medium/medium-low heat
— Once hot, add a tortilla onto the flat top cooking surface
— Using a spoon, add your sauce all around the pizza — have the freedom of using how much sauce you want… a little or a lot!
— Optional: sprinkle the Italian seasoning all around the surface as it will sit into pockets of sauce
— Top with cheese
— Add your toppings onto the cheese; this is where I added the fresh, chopped basil.
— Cover with the basting cover for a minute or so; when I watched Todd Toven make pizzas on the griddle at the Blackstone Griddle More Tour demos, he added a couple of ice cubes to the surface when he covered the pizzas with the basting cover in order to promote steam and quicker melting, but I didn’t use any.
— Remove the basting cover; once the bottom side of the tortilla is browned the way you like it, carefully remove it from the flat top cooking surface (I used a couple of Blackstone spatulas).

It’s a really easy, simple recipe that makes for a delicious meal, and it’s fun to cook, because you can do virtually anything you want with these pizzas.

Note: I cooked up both the mushrooms and the Jimmy Dean hot pork sausage prior to cooking. As for why I cooked the mushrooms first, it is due to how how water they lose when they are cooked (nobody wants a watered down, soggy pizza), not to mention mushrooms are much more digestible when cooked.

Extra Spicy’n’Cheesy Habanero’n’Jalapeno Chorizo Quesadilla (Recipe)

4-cheese habanero, jalapeno’n’onion chorizo quesadilla on the 17″ Tabletop Blackstone Griddle.

This is not for the faint of heart. I’m a lite chilihead and was craving some extra flavorful with a powerful pepper punch. I’m a big fan of chorizo. I first had it many years ago at a local Mexican restaurant where they include it in their fajitas that I’m a big fan of.

Recipe/Instructions
— Two flour tortillas
— I used a food chopper to finely chop up three habanero peppers, one jalapeno pepper and one small yellow onion
Great Value Fiesta Blend cheese (shredded monterey jack, cheddar, queso quesadilla and asadero cheese) from Wal-Mart
— Two rolls of Ole Mexican Foods chorizo.

Posting this stock photo just to give you an idea of the ‘rolls’ of chorizo from Ole Mexican Foods.

— You can use a skillet pan for this, but I used my 17″ Tabletop Blackstone Griddle for this cook.
— After pre-heating the griddle to high heat, I added my chorizo to the flat top surface and began mashing it up with a spatula.
— Since chorizo doesn’t take too long to cook in this manner, a few minutes later after plenty of stirring the chorizo around, I added my mixture of the habaneros, the jalapeno and the onion to the mix to stir in.
— After the peppers and the onion cooked for a few minutes in the chorizo, I turned the heat down to low, moved the chorizo/pepper/onion mix to the side
— Add one flour tortilla to the griddle surface, top with cheese all around the tortilla
— Add the chorizo/pepper/onion mix on top of the cheese-topped tortilla
— Add another layer of cheese before placing another tortilla on top of it.
— Push the top tortilla down to create a little bit of a ‘stick’ with the melting cheese.
— Flip after about 15-20 seconds, very carefully, by sliding the spatula underneath and holding the top tortilla with your hand. Be careful to avoid burning yourself.
— A minute or two later, plate it up.

If you are a spicy food lover like me, you will love this delicious concoction.

Leave the recipe as is or modify it! Whatever you do, give it a shot and let me know what you think about it.

Crazy Cajun Chicken Wings on the Blackstone Griddle (Recipe!)

Crazy Cajun chicken wings on the 36″ Blackstone Griddle.

This is a quick, easy and simple one! I bought a 4 lb. pack of chicken wings from my local grocery store, cut off the wing tips (and disposed of them) and separated the drums from the flats. This made up a little over 20-some wings for $7 (they were marked down to around $1.19/lb.).

All you need
Chicken wings!
Blackstone Crazy Cajun seasoning
Basting cover (optional; I used this one from Blackstone Products)
Duck fat spray (optional)
Oil (I used olive oil)

Instructions
— I sprayed both sides of the drums and flats with duck fat spray and then applied the Crazy Cajun seasoning. I love the duck fat spray in particular because it helps you achieve a crispy skin.
— I fired up two burners of my 36″ Blackstone Griddle and set them both to high.
— Added a thin coating of olive oil to the griddle surface once it was blazing hot, about 10 minutes in.
— Added the wings and covered them with the basting cover for a few minutes
— After a few minutes, I moved the wings around using a pair of tongs and re-covered.
— I repeated that process a couple of times and removed the basting cover from use and turned the heat down to medium until finishing up the wings.

I used a thermometer probe to check the temperature of the wings (I love my Thermapen Mk4 by Thermoworks). I like to get mine to around 175-180 degrees.

I timed this cook! I started them at 5:05 p.m. and finished them up at about 5:25 p.m. for an 18-minute cook time!

I write that the basting cover is optional, but if you aren’t using one, I recommend cooking the wings on medium heat, and doing it without a cover will take 30-40 minutes. I like using the cover because it helps the temps on the inside cook faster before you finish them off to ensure a crispy skin.

These wings were delicious and flavorful. I’m a bit of an unabashed salt fiend, and I have to say the Crazy Cajun seasoning is quite salty, so I loved them. The meat pulled right off the wings very easily and the skin was super crispy, just the way I like it.

When I got my Blackstone, I never thought of doing wings on them, but man oh man are they good. The flat top surface will ensure that you achieve a crispy skin with ease, and the basting cover — which I highly recommend even though I write that its use is genuinely optional — helps cook them faster than without it.

Deep-fried wings? Excellent.
Smoked/grilled wings? Excellent.
Griddle-cooked wings? Just as excellent as deep-fried and smoked/grilled!

Give it a shot and let me know what you think about it.

The Absolute Best Oil for Seasoning Your Blackstone Griddle

Seasoning Blackstone Griddle with a shiny coat of oil

People argue about it like cats and dogs on the Blackstone Griddle Owners group on Facebook. It has been going on for years, almost daily. You have the crowd who are flax oil die-hards — not for cooking with it, but merely for seasoning the griddle with it — and then you have those who are set in their niche ways, believing in the almighty powers of lard or Crisco to get the job done.

Thankfully, my grizzly self is here to tell you the best oil in the world that you can possibly use for taking care of your Blackstone griddle and preparing it for the next cooking session.

Are you ready?

Here’s the answer: It absolutely doesn’t matter. You can use any kind of oil that you want and acquire the same result as everyone else who takes care of their griddles in the end.

I butchered the seasoning on my 36″ Blackstone Griddle due to a lack of patience, back in August 2017, although everything turned out fine. When I bought the 17″ tabletop Blackstone Griddle, you know what I used? It certainly wasn’t $8-$10 bucks on a bottle of flax oil (since it is worthless for actual cooking where the smoke point is so low); I bought a small 98 cent bottle of vegetable oil, and it worked just as fine as any other oil. Vegetable oil certainly isn’t the healthiest thing to cook with, but for seasoning the griddle? Not only is it economically superior versus flax oil given the extreme price difference, it will yield the same result (a slick, black, non-stick surface for your griddle).

Speaking of the low smoke point of flax oil, I think that’s why many of the flax oil die-hards choose it for seasoning their griddles, because you want to add multiple thin coatings of oil and allow it to burn and smoke off. However, I’ve read horror stories about people using flax oil to season their griddles, as some people have said a crust will form and cause it to flake. Devil’s advocates of those comments have stated that the reason this happens is because people add too much oil onto the flat top surface instead of a thin coating.

Regardless, you don’t have to spend steak money just to season your griddle.

At the end of the day, no matter what cooking oil you use, you will achieve a dark, slick, non-stick surface, not to mention that every time you use your griddle to cook with, it will further season the griddle and aid in your efforts to take care of it over time.

The more you cook on your Blackstone Griddle, the more you are taking care of it and the overwhelming likelihood that it will never rust.

Ribeyes and Bacon-Fried Corn on the Blackstone Griddle (Recipe)

Ribeye topped with mushrooms & caramelized onions, bacon-fried corn and garlic toast

Blackstone Griddle-seared ribeye topped with caramelized mushrooms & onions, bacon-fried corn and toast.

I had two ribeyes weighing in at a combined weight of 2.10 lbs. that I purchased from Food Lion; they were quite thick, so cooking times vary.

Recipe
For the ribeyes:
— I used the
Blackstone Steakhouse seasoning (I had a little sample pack from the ‘swag bag’ I received at one of the Griddle More Tour events) to rub both sides of the ribeyes after allowing it to sit out. You can buy it at virtually any Wal-Mart in the outdoor/grilling section along the shelves. Sure, cuts of steak like ribeyes may not need anything more than salt and pepper, but I was excited about giving the seasoning a try!

— I microwaved about half a stick of butter prior to cooking and allowed it to sit out on the counter to soften up a little bit with a couple of crushed, minced cloves of garlic. You can use whipped butter for quicker results, I’m sure.

OPTIONAL: I caramelized some onions (Vidalia onions) and mushrooms (8oz. pre-sliced white button mushrooms) to top the ribeyes.

For the bacon-fried corn:
— 2 lbs. of frozen corn that I sat out on the counter for a couple of hours prior to cooking
— 1/2 lb. of bacon cut into tiny bite-sized strips
— Pinch of kosher salt
— Black pepper (amount varies)
Blackstone Taco & Fajita seasoning
— Chopped cilantro (use enough to your liking; I love cilantro so I used a good bit)
— Garlic paste; you can use minced garlic, but I admittedly copied what Todd Toven did during the Blackstone Griddle More Tour events when he cooked up the bacon-fried corn by adding a dash of it directly onto the flat top surface of the Blackstone Griddle.

Instructions
— Whether you are using the 36″, 28″, 22″ or 17″ Blackstone Griddle, turn your burner(s) to high!
— Cook up the bacon until it is done to your liking
— Add the corn from the bag and mix it up with the bacon
— Add the aforementioned seasoning — the pinch of kosher salt, the black pepper, the crushed red pepper and the Blackstone Taco & Fajita seasoning. As far as how much I used, I did not use a specific amount. I spread the corn and bacon out and added enough black pepper to my liking, but not enough to ‘cover’ the entire mixture. With the Blackstone Taco & Fajita seasoning, I used more of it than I did the black pepper as I tried to add enough to each spot of the corn. I’m a lite chilihead, but the people I cook for? Not so much. I sprinkled in just enough crushed red pepper to give it a kick, maybe about a little less than half a tablespoon.
— Add in a little bit of the garlic paste and mix together well with the bacon and corn.
— Once the corn is cooked through, turn off the burners on one of the far sides of the griddle and move the bacon and corn mixture all the way over there. Mix in the chopped cilantro.

Bacon-fried corn featuring cilantro, garlic paste and Blackstone taco seasoning

Bacon-fried corn

— On the other side, with the other burner(s) on high, add a thin coat of olive oil (or the oil of your choice) and completely optional step —Add the mushrooms and onions to the griddle and cook ’em up; once done, move them over to the griddle where you have the burners turned off.
— I cooked the two ribeyes for about six minutes on each side for a medium rare finish, but cooking times will vary pending on the thickness of the ribeye you are using. Towards the end, using a tablespoon I added the butter/garlic to the top of the steaks and flipped them over to cook the minced garlic underneath the ribeyes for about a minute.
— Remove the steaks and (again, optional step) top them with the mushrooms and onions.
— Remove the bacon-fried corn to a bowl or other type of serving plate.
— Allow the steaks to rest for about five minutes and dig in!

Ribeyes cooking away on the Blackstone

Ribeyes topped with mushrooms and onions

*As for the garlic toast you see in the photo, I just used some Sunbeam Giant light bread, spread out some butter and garlic salt on it and put it in the oven on broil for a few minutes, flipping midway through.

I hate looking up recipes on the internet only to have to dig through someone’s life story just to find the recipe/ingredients, so there you go! I saved my life story for the last part of this post.

This is only the second time I’ve cooked steak on my Blackstone Griddle after owning it for almost two years! Yep. It’s true. I thought, “Steaks?! On the Blackstone!? Psht! They belong on the Weber kettle, cooked over screaming hot lump charcoal!” While I still love steak cooked over a delicious woodfire, don’t sleep on the Blackstone! On the burners that were set to high for about 10-15 minutes, my infrared thermometer (I use one by Cuisinart) was reading 570 degrees! Yes! Perfect searing temperature. I didn’t believe the Blackstone could hit those temperatures for whatever asinine reason in my head. The Blackstone will give steaks (or any meats) a beautiful sear.

I’m loving the line of Blackstone seasonings, from the All Purpose (fantastic!), Taco & Fajita (uber fantastic) and now the Steakhouse. I’ll be picking up a bottle of the Steakhouse very soon, because I was extremely impressed by it. I just bought a bottle of the Crazy Cajun the other day and I’m dying to try it!

Give this recipe a try and let me know how you love it, like it or hate it.

Fun Times Meeting Todd Toven on the Blackstone Griddle More Tour

I have followed Todd Toven’s YouTube videos featuring the Blackstone griddle for a few years now. I always appreciated the zest in his personality in the videos, from his veritable catch phrases, “Take a look at that!” and, “Let’s give it a try!” to his enthusiasm in operating those awesome griddles. He stated in one video that he bought a 36″ Blackstone griddle about six and a half years ago, started making YouTube videos featuring the grub he was throwing down on it, was ensuingly sponsored by Blackstone Products and recently in the last year or two he was hired by the company, and nowadays that excellent hiring has Todd going around the country and working hard as he showcases what these spectacular outdoor flat top griddlin’ cooking stations can do.

I purchased my first Blackstone griddle, the 36″ with the front grease management system, in August 2017. This was before Walmart was an official licensed carrier of Blackstone Products, and being that time of the year where grill-related items are often marked down, I saw it begging me to take it home at a price of $199. I immediately sent Kurt Halls from Caribeque a message on Instagram, basically asking him to enable me, because yeah, I wanted the validation to get it, he confirmed that it is an awesome cooker to add to the outdoor cookin’ family, and boom, I bought it, and it is one of the very best investments I have ever made.

I continued following Todd’s videos and noticed he was going to be in Christiansburg, VA back in October, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend that one due to a scheduling conflict. A few weeks ago, I watched a video of his on YouTube where he posted about cooking hot dogs on the Blackstone, recommending a way to add a kick to them by throwing some black pepper and granulated garlic on them. I actually watched the video up until right after he ‘gave ’em a try’ and shut it off. A couple of days later, I showed the video to a man I consider to be like a second dad to me — Sonny — and he watched the video all the way through, and I heard Todd talk about the Blackstone Griddle More tour dates and I heard the words, “Bristol, Virginia Walmart.” As soon as I heard those words, I knew I had to go! And so I did.

You cannot meet America’s Griddler, Todd Toven, without wearing one of his “Make America Griddle Again” t-shirts.

With my pal Kevin Ball, the man who will not eat corn for very specific reasons.

I arrived at the Wal-Mart off of exit 7 in Bristol and finally met Todd as he was coming out of the Wal-Mart. It was a comical moment, because as we shook hands in our greeting, I told him I was Troy AKA ‘Grizzly Troy’ and he had a good laugh, saying that he expected someone with the name ‘Grizzly’ Troy to be wearing buckskins and overalls. I always get a kick out of the reactions to the Grizzly name, but really it simply has to do with being a hairy dude with gray hair, and I lazily came up with it as the name for this site and my Instagram page.

Todd cooked up some breakfast quesadillas, griddle pizzas, chicken tacos and bacon-fried corn! I loved it all, but the bacon-fried corn was my favorite of the four offerings, and you know I will soon have to ‘give it a try’ at home on my Blackstone griddle.

It was a dreary lookin’ day, but the rain didn’t set in until nearly the tail end of the demo. I expected a bigger crowd, because the exit 7 Wally World is usually one that stays packed, generally, but it wasn’t too wild. Perhaps it was because of the weather or due to the fact that it was on a Thursday. Regardless, I had a great time. The most comical part was, asides from this guy who was doing a demo of his own on some little ol’ janky motrbike thingymajig, a lady who asked Todd what all could be cooked on the griddle; he comically told her, “everything short of a candy bar” to which she reciprocated an angry look towards him over that response. Unfortunately I missed watching this happen as I had stepped inside of the Wal-Mart to grab a bottle of water to drink.

Todd mentioned his upcoming tour dates in the following days, from Roanoke to Christiansburg to Dublin. He emphatically stated that the Christiansburg demo would be his fifth one at that particular Wal-Mart, stating that the manager of the store, Brick Tickle, was the best around, because Brian goes all out whenever Todd comes around with Blackstone by helping advertise for it and being a part of the demo. When Todd mentioned this, I thought, “What the heck?” and considered making the trip out to Christiansburg on that Saturday to see what the fuss was about.

Hanging out with Todd and the Christiansburg, VA Wal-Mart crew.

Griddle pizzas!

Ribeyes, New York strips featuring Juan’s ‘secret’ garlic’n’butter and onions & mushrooms on the Blackstone griddle.


I made the 113 mile trek to Christiansburg, VA on that Saturday and, despite the rain and surprising myself by sporting a jacket in the month of June, had a great time. I actually met a gentleman there who was from a town about 15 minutes down the road from my hometown, Sherman, who went all out and purchased the new Blackstone pro series 36″ griddle!

In the process, I made an offer to Todd that he couldn’t refuse; I wanted some chicken wings cooked up on the griddle and asked him if he would cook ’em up if I went inside of Wal-Mart and bought ’em. His eyes lit up as he emphatically stated, “We can do Redneck Chicken Wings 2.0!” So I did just that, along with procuring a bottle of Country Bob’s All Purpose sauce.

Redneck Chicken Wings 2.0

Despite the rain and ensuingly high winds, it was another great demo and I was glad to attend and be a part of two of them in just a few days. At the Christiansburg demo, Todd threw down some more breakfast quesadillas, griddle pizzas, stir fry and steaks!

Todd is just as cool of a dude in person as he is in his YouTube videos. I’m a big time advocate for Blackstone Products because I love the griddles! From my 36″ to the 17″ tabletop I picked up months ago. I will only ever rep and support products I truly believe in.

I have to say, I appreciate the work he puts in. I would absolutely love to be a part of a company like Blackstone, doing demos like these around the country, but I can imagine the hecticness of doing them, from the long traveling, being away from home for an extended period of time, shopping for groceries in the wee hours of the mornings as well as other preparations for the demos, setting up, answering the same repetitive questions ad nauseum (hey, it’s part of the job, but still!), dealing with the occasional less than personable individuals who roam the world as well as everything else it invariably entails. He worked hard in some nasty weather and did it like a professional. Thanks, Todd!

(Oh, and Todd being from Pennsylvania, I reckon he’s a Pirates fan and he had to put up with a couple of guys wearing St. Louis Cardinals baseball caps.)

If you are on the fence about whether or not a Blackstone griddle is right for you in your outdoor cooking repertoire, I’ll tell you straight up, “Yes!” However, check and see if the Blackstone Griddle More tour is coming to a Wal-Mart near you, because I guarantee you that if you were to attend one and subsequently taste the food that America’s Griddler is serving up, y’know, by ‘giving it a try!’, you’ll be putting one of those griddles in the back of your car in no time.

One last thing: for goodness sake, check out Todd’s site Make America Griddle Again and give some serious consideration to buying one of his Make America Griddle Again t-shirts, because let’s be honest — that is the best MAGA acronym that exists.

The Importance of Seasoning Your Blackstone Griddle

August 2017, I went to Wal-Mart to check out what kind of discounts there could possibly be in the outdoor section. August is the time of the year when places like Wal-Mart, Lowes and Home Depot begin marking down different grilling and barbecue accessories, and sometimes — sometimes — grills. I had spent many months of that year lusting for a 36″ Blackstone griddle, because everyone was posting about them on social media within the BBQ/grilling community. I wanted to see what the fuss was about, because I didn’t think it would be a big deal since it was just a flat-top griddle powered by propane. “So what?,” I thought. Keep in mind this was before Wal-Mart’s licensed agreement with Blackstone. Anywho, I walked in, saw that they had the 36″ Blackstone griddles marked down to $200 and within moments I was at the checkout buying one along with a 20 lb. propane tank.

I got home and barely read the instructions, because I was so excited to get the thing together. After hurriedly piecing the beautiful thing together, I got some ground beef, bacon and sliced onions…

See what I did?


See the huge mistake I made?

I didn’t season her up!

What you are supposed to do with these griddles is, you fire up all four burners upon the first go, rub them down in a layer of of cooking oil, let it burn off over the course of 10-15 minutes, apply another layer of oil, repeat the process a few times, wipe it down and you’ll have a nice, dark layer of seasoning to create a non-stick surface.

Lo and behold, my griddle ended up being A-OK, because I scraped it down after this cook, applied oil and continued cooking on it, and it eventually created a gorgeous non-stick surface. It happens. I was a dope for being way too excited to cook on it.

Fast-forward to February 2018. I had not used my griddle since about September or October from the previous year, and it had rusted. I used oil, kosher salt and a couple of grill stone/blocks to scrub it to remove the rust and reseasoned it with some canola oil. The Blackstone website recommends using flaxseed oil to oil these griddles up, but you can use whatever you want, and I don’t care for flaxseed oil since the smoke point is too low. Sure, canola oil doesn’t have a top notch smoke point either, but it gets the job done just the same. Use whatever oil you want and it will get the job done when it comes to seasoning up your griddle.


My Blackstone surface looked pretty rough in the top photo, but she looked cured after I scrubbed her and reseasoned in the bottom photo. Yes, the bottom photo looks too oily, but I was allowing the oil to burn off. Shoutout to Blackstone Products for reposting this photo to their Instagram back in early 2018 when I posted about it.

I’m a huge Blackstone enthusiast, because I fell in love with this griddle so quickly. I love making smashburgers, tacos, cheesesteaks, stir-fry, chicken wings, diced potatoes and little pizzas (with tortillas) on it. I bought the 17″ tabletop Blackstone griddle with the new rear grease management system a couple of months ago and, thankfully, I used better judgment (and exercised patience) by seasoning this one up with cheap vegetable oil 3-4 times before frying a pack of bacon on it.

The first layer of oil going onto the new 17″ tabletop Blackstone griddle.

As you see here, the Blackstone is developing a nice layer of seasoning after it darkens.

Sealing the deal. I finished seasoning it and fried up a pack of bacon for its maiden cook.

I picked up the 17″ tabletop Blackstone griddle because I was enticed by the idea of its portability uses, for one, and for two, it is fantastic for smaller cooks, because this little baby can still cook up a damn good bit of food in a hurry. Yes, there are cold spots, but using an infrared thermometer helps you find where they are pretty quickly. It still gets piping hot on high and you can do so many things with it.

Don’t be like how I was in August 2017! Sure, do what I did and buy a Blackstone, because they are amazing and the customer service is top notch, but please season it up prior to cooking.

Blackstone Products, if you are reading this, please create a new lid/hood for the rear grease management system versions of the 17″ tabletop griddles! At this time, one does not exist, so I’ve been using aluminum foil as a cover for the tabletop, which is a pain in the ass to say the least. You can flip the griddle surface upside down for storage, but I don’t want any oil falling onto the burners.