Blueberry Pancakes on the Blackstone Griddle (Recipe!)

I made bigger pancakes than I intended with this big ol’ batch, so the recipe for this stack is a big one.

Ingredients/Recipe
— 3 cups of flour
— 6 tablespoons of sugar (you can use less if you want them to be less sweet)
— 5 teaspoons of baking powder
— 3 teaspoons of salt (I used kosher salt)
— 3 eggs
— 3 cups of milk
— 6 tablespoons of oil

Whisk it together into a nice mix. Don’t overmix.

That is supposed to make 12 ‘normal’ sized pancakes, but I made about seven or eight big ones instead (my mistake). They were still excellent. For a smaller batch:

— 1 cup of flour
— 2 tablespoons of sugar
— 2 teaspoons of baking powder
— 1 teaspoon of salt
— 1 egg
— 1 cup of milk
— 2 tablespoons of oil

I bought a 18 oz. package of fresh blueberries from the produce section from my local grocery store, Food Lion, and used about 90-95% of them in the big batch. Hey, I wanted them to be extra berry-licious.

Basic instructions
— Using the 36″ Blackstone Griddle, I set three of my burners to medium and added a thin coat of olive oil to the flat top cooking surface once the griddle was heated up.
— I added my pancake batter using a basic blue bowl that has a little spout for pouring. Blackstone Products sells a breakfast kit that features a batter dispenser that holds four cups of batter, but I do not own it (yet), so I can’t add any kind of personal testimonial here. I made pancakes that were probably too darn big, but again, they were still scrumptious.
— After adding the batter onto the griddle, shaping them into big pancakes, I topped them with blueberries. It would have probably been better had I added the blueberries into the batter mix, but everything still worked out just fine.
— After flipping the pancakes following a few minutes, a little bit of my blueberries fell out along with some batter, but that was OK, because they cooked up and I topped the finished pancakes with them.
— After another minute or so, you’ll be good to go!

Enjoy with your favorite syrup or whatever topping(s) you’d like. I used the Wondershop-at-Target Vermont Maple Syrup Infused With Habanero, which is delicious!

In August, it will be two years since I bought my 36″ Blackstone Griddle, and this is only the second time I’ve ever made pancakes using it! I love breakfast foods, but I’m simply not hungry in the mornings so I don’t eat them extremely often.

This is a simple recipe you can make using your Blackstone, or in a cooking pan. Let me know if you try it and whether or not you enjoy!

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

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.

ForĀ 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

— 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 topped with mushrooms and onions. The Blackstone Steakhouse seasoning really assisted in creating a gorgeous sear.

— 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.

Smoking 35 Pounds of Pork Butt on the 22.5″ Weber Smokey Mountain

An acquaintance asked me to smoke some pulled pork for her son’s high school graduation party. She said there would be twenty to thirty people attending. With that said, I rushed to a couple of trusty barbecue communities (forums) on the internet to look into just how much pork would be needed for that amount of people, and when it comes to pork I’ve come to find that it is a given average that there will need to be about one pound of finished product per 2.6 people (without knowing each person’s individual appetite).

So I headed over to my local Food Lion, bought roughly 35 pounds of pork butt and, at about 10 p.m. I got the smoke rolling in my 22.5″ Weber Smokey Mountain cooker.


I used a mix of hickory and apple wood. Personally, my favorite fruit wood to smoke with is cherry, especially for ribs and bologna. However, I feel like pork butts cry for hickory; there is just something about it when it comes to smoking pork butts where it fits the bill perfectly. As for the apple wood, it is the first type of wood I ever used to smoke anything with when I began my barbecue journey, and you can never go wrong with it.

One might say that pork was shoddily rubbed, particularly on the sides, and that one wouldn’t be wrong, but you really don’t need to go all out, especially if you are doing more than one pork butt at once. Let me know in the comment section if you think I’m wrong about that. I used the tried and true Caribeque Honey Heat Pork & Pultry rub by the man, the myth, the legend: Kurt Halls. Kurt released a brand new pork rub at the end of last year, as part of his Caribeque Signature Series, a dedicated pork rub that features more sweetness than anything. The Caribeque Signature Series Pork Rub is fantastic, but I still like Honey Heat on any and all kinds of pork as my go-to.

I woke up at around 8 a.m. the following day and the temperature of my WSM was sitting pretty at around 230 still, riding high on the Kingsford charcoal briquettes from the night before. Checking the temps of the pork butts, they were all in the 170-175 range and had a little ways to go, so I began cranking up the heat by opening all three of the intake vents as well as adding a little bit of fresh Cowboy lump charcoal to the charcoal ring.


I was curious about how much meat you could add to this big cooker. Back in November, I competed in my first ever barbecue competition in Castlewood, VA at Gent’s Farms, hosted by Brandon and Victoria Gent, the fine folks who run Appalachian Meats in Lebanon, VA. It was a blast and I had a fantastic time. There was another competitor there who was actually using a 22.5″ Weber Smokey Mountain (I used the Barrel House Cooker 18C on that day); he won the smokeoff for the ribs. Anywho, he told me that he had smoked 80 lbs. of pork butt in his WSM one time, and I can imagine that. As you can see, I had my WSM full on the top grate; it would have likely been more optimal for me to use both the top and bottom grates to my advantage, but I didn’t want inconsistent temperatures for my meat (even if that wouldn’t have been the case), so I opted to arrange them on the top grate. I can see how 80 lbs. could easily go down in the WSM, tight as a fit that it may be, however, with the pork butts arranged properly.

By the time the pork was ready to pull, I would estimate the overall shrinkage to be about 40 to 50 percent of the original weight of the pork.


Freshly smoked, freshly pulled.

I needed to have the pork finished by 3:30 p.m for their party that began at 4; it was picked up at 3 by two happy campers who walked away after giving it a sample first. “Awesome!”, they both said in unison.

If you are in the southwest Virginia area and interested in having fresh barbecue catered, contact me!

Is Barrel House Cooker Going Out of Business?

Major Update on 6/18/2019:
Great news, as Barrel House Cooker has updated the BHC users with this information:

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Recently, Barrel House Cooker ran a sale for Memorial Day where its cookers’ accecessories were marked down 50%.

Barrel House Cooker 14D

Directly afterwards, they made a few accessories unavailable, such as the extender that fits at the bottom of the base for the 18C to allow meat to hang a little higher from hot coals at the bottom.

The other day, I learned that Grill Beast, who was a licensed carrier of Barrel House Cookers, stated that BHC ended its contract with them and they are no longer selling the cookers.

If the rumors are true that Barrel House Cooker Company is going out of business, it is a damn shame. I find it superior versus the competition, but its main competitor has such a high influence and following, its heraldedness reigns supreme over the lack of marketing that has been done lately by Barrel House.

If the company does fold, I will still use my Barrel House cookers until they falter, as I find them to be easily the best drum smokers in the game. If they ever deteriorate to the point they are unusable, I guess I will buy a Pit Barrel Cooker, although while I find them to be sound cookers I will feel like I’m downgrading due to its lack of features and useability compared to the Barrel House Cooker. I feel a semblance of resentment towards PBC over its legal issues with BHC, because while I refuse to comment on the contents of the legality matters, competition makes the world go round, and with the outcome possibly eliminating Barrel House in due time, that narrows the market.

This is all conjecture, however, but here’s to hoping Barrel House Cooker Company stays afloat.