Tag Archive for ‘blackstone products’

The New Blackstone Pizza Oven for the 22″ Griddle

The brand new Blackstone Products Pizza Oven Conversion Kit
The brand new Blackstone Outdoor Pizza Oven Add-On for the 22″ Blackstone Griddle

About a month ago, Blackstone Products announced the release of a new outdoor pizza oven. Technically, it is called the Blackstone pizza oven conversion kit, or the Blackstone pizza oven add on. It is a Wal-Mart exclusive, website only, and it is for the 22″ tabletop models.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one. In the last couple of years, I have become a pizza-making fiend. Prior to 2020, the thought of making homemade pizza left me in trepidation. Pan pizza is easy to throw together, but hand-tossed? It was always an exercise in failure. Being stuck at home more often during the pandemic afforded me the time and patience to delve into the world of pizza, and over time I have learned how to make a halfway decent pie.

My better half surprised me with an outdoor pizza oven (a Bertello) for Christmas last year. It heats up to over 900 degrees, and it is perfect for making 10-to-12 inch Neapolitan style pizzas. That pizza oven works great, but given the small opening of the door and the extreme heat, there isn’t a lot of options to do other styles than just a Neapolitan pie.

Enter the Blackstone Pizza Oven Add-On

I was skeptical.

When I watched the first couple of videos of the Blackstone pizza oven conversion kit in action, I noticed a difference between it and other outdoor pizza ovens, like Ooni and my Bertello oven.

Unlike most outdoor pizza ovens, the heat source isn’t coming from the back. That is the case with my Bertello: the fire source roars from the back of the oven with flames rolling over top of the pizza. The pizza sits on a pre-heated, piping hot stone and the bottom cooks up while the residual heat of the flames kiss the top of the pizza to finish it in about 90 seconds.

In the style of the new Blackstone pizza oven, the heat source is coming from the bottom-sides. This product features not one, but two pizza stones: a round stone that sits on the floor of the oven and a square stone that sits above the pizza. There are two mechanisms of cooking at play here. When you pre-heat the oven, both of the pizza stones heat up, so when you load your pizza, the heat coming off the top stone provides aid in cooking the top of the pizza along with the bottom stone. It is like a tag-team in action.

The pizza oven add-on itself is heavy. It is about 50-lbs. Installation is fairly simple. You remove the griddle-top from the 22″ Blackstone base, remove the ‘leg’ stubs on the bottom, add your heat shield, re-add the legs, sit the pizza oven accessory kit directly onto the base and — using a screw-driver — install the handles to the sides, door and the little base on top.

With the door of the oven closed, you can heat the oven up to 600 to 700 degrees in about 20 minutes, based on my anecdotal experiences. Within 30 minutes, you will be tapping it up to a surplus of 800 degrees.

One of the things I love about this pizza oven is that it is quite large. The round pizza stone that you cook on is a 15″ stone, so you can cook a large family style pizza. In addition to that, the opening is big enough to accompany pans. I love making bar style, Chicago style and Detroit style pizzas. With the adjustments of the two temperature control knobs, and a little practice, you can subjectively dial in the temperature to cook pan pies to personal perfection.

My First Pizza on the Blackstone Pizza Oven

14" pan pizza on the new Blackstone Pizza Oven Add-On
14″ pan pizza on the new Blackstone Pizza Oven Add-On
Right out of the Blackstone Pizza Oven
A slice of the pie

I was eager to test out the new Blackstone pizza oven, but I didn’t have any homemade dough, so I ran out to the grocery store and bought a pound of dough.

After letting the dough sit out for about an hour, I stretched the dough out in an oiled 14″ pan. I made a pizza that I can only call the ‘House Divided’ pizza with Rao’s marinara sauce, a blend of mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano and provolone cheeses, half pepperoni, green peppers, diced onion; half Italian sausage, pepperoni, jalapeños, banana peppers. This pie finished in only seven minutes and I capped it off with a drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey.

I turned the burners down, because I wanted the dough to cook without burning the bottom crust.

Neapolitan and New York Style Pizza on the Blackstone Pizza Oven

As soon as I was afforded the time, I whipped up a Neapolitan style pizza dough: a 24-hour room temperature ferment with minimal yeast, bulk proofed for 24 hours and balled up four hours prior to cooking.

A pepperoni Neapolitan-style pie on the Blackstone Pizza Oven
A pepperoni Neapolitan-style pie on the Blackstone Pizza Oven

Boar’s Head pepperoni, a mix of white cheddar, mozzarella and Colby Jack cheese and a homemade sauce (San Marzano style tomatoes, salt, fresh basil, garlic and a pinch of oregano) was the ticket to a wonderful pizza.

With this style of pizza, I left the burners on high, with the door closed, rotating it every 45 seconds. It finished in about two minutes and thirty seconds. Yes, it took a little longer than a traditional Neapolitan pizza, but the results were still fantastic.

A New York style pizza in action on the Blackstone Pizza Oven
A slice of New York style pie on the Blackstone Pizza Oven
A slice of New York style pie on the Blackstone Pizza Oven
Bottom crust of a New York style pizza on the Blackstone Pizza Oven
A perfect under-carriage

I subsequently tried my hand at a New York style pizza. Once again, similar to the Neapolitan style pie, since NY-style is actually a derivative of Neapolitan pizza, I cooked it up with the burners turned on high, door closed. The only differences are that I was more rough when I stretched the dough, so the cornicione (rim of the pizza) was less poofy, and this dough was only about 55-56% hydration compared to the 60% hydration in the above Neapolitan pie.

Detroit Style Pizza in the Blackstone Pizza Oven

A Detroit style pizza in the Blackstone Pizza Oven
A Detroit Style Pizza in the Blackstone Pizza Oven
Detroit style pizza cooking away in the Blackstone Pizza Oven Conversion Kit
Hot & fresh Detroit style pizza cooking away in the Blackstone Pizza Oven

Detroit style pizza might just be my favorite style of pizza in the world, so I am biased in everything I write in this realm of things. I have been making this style of pizza in my home oven for about a year and a half. Typically, it takes 16 to 18 minutes to cook one in the said home oven, and I never have been able to acquire a perfectly browned, crispy crust no matter what. There are many reasons for this, and I think it is due to the fact that my home oven is old and inferior compared to many other ovens out there.

The Blackstone Pizza Oven Add-On perfectly accommodated the 10×14 pan I used for the Detroit style pie. With the burners turned down, I still managed to finish this pizza in nine minutes. Not only that, but the bottom of the crust was perfectly crispy. Again, it is something I have never experienced from my home oven, and the Blackstone pizza oven conversion kit finished it in roughly half the time.

Is the Blackstone Pizza Oven Add-On Worth It?

Considering that most outdoor pizza ovens are over $300 to $400 pending on what you are wanting to buy, my answer is a resounding yes.

The Blackstone pizza oven add-on sells for $227 on Wal-Mart’s website. If you already have a 22″ Blackstone griddle, that is an incredible price for what is a capable, heavy duty, thick and well-made pizza oven. Even if you don’t have a 22″ griddle, the price of the griddle and pizza oven add-on is significantly less than other stand-alone pizza ovens on the market, especially when you factor in the potential for large pizzas and the ability to cook pan pizzas. As I said earlier, many outdoor pizza ovens only give you one option of pizza: Neapolitan, since the heat source is usually incredibly hot. You can do multiple styles in the Blackstone pizza oven.

One might ask, “Well, I have a home oven that I can cook pizza in, even New York style at 550-600 degrees.” Sure, go ahead and use your home oven if it fits the bill for you, but what about during the summer months when it is far too hot to heat up your home? Enter this pizza oven.

I have been having a blast with this new oven. I am in no way, shape or form affiliated with Blackstone Products. I am merely an advocate. I only tout and endorse products I truly believe in and personally use. I will never post about something that does not live up to the hype.

I am not sure how long the new pizza oven accessory kit will be available, so get it while you can. I will be posting pizza recipes in the near future that will go along with the use of this pizza oven.

How to Cook Chicken Wings on the Blackstone Griddle

It seems like you can almost cook anything on the Blackstone Griddle, or any outdoor griddle you can think of that is currently sold in most markets (Camp Chef, Royal Gourmet, etc…), but there are limits. I mean, you can’t smoke a brisket or a pork butt on the Blackstone, nor can you cook Snickers bars on it (on second thought… about the Snickers bars… maybe? Well… nah). However, you can be creative and think outside the box with some recipes you have in mind. Chicken wings, for instance.

Ah. Chicken wings. They might just be my all-time favorite food, but that is a discussion up for debate with myself for another time. When I was a child, a picky child at that, whenever I would go to any restaurant with my family, I always ordered chicken wings. To this day, I still love wings. My favorite wing concocting method is deep frying them. Smoking chicken wings is fine and all, but deep frying them until they are crunchy and crispy on the outside is unrivaled.

Deep-fried wings being unrivaled or not in my heart, I’m a natural born experimenter and enjoy trying an odd cooking method from time to time. Enter my Blackstone Griddle. When I purchased the 36″ model in August 2017, the idea of cooking wings on the flat top surface seemed out of the question for me. They wouldn’t be submerged in cooking oil, and given the thickness of wings, I felt that something like wings would take far too long to cook due to having to constantly turn them while trying not to burn them.

Blackstone Betty AKA Desiree Ruberti Dukes, a quasi-Blackstone legend/aficionado and home chef, posted griddle-cooked wings on social media one day, back in 2018 if I remember correctly. I was astounded, but not without skepticism. They looked great, but I couldn’t wrap my head around the prospect of griddle-cooked wings being anywhere close to the exceptional finish of deep-fried wings.

It wasn’t until June 2019 when I finally put chicken wings on the Blackstone Griddle up to the test. Long story short: it was a success.

Crazy Cajun chicken wings on the 36″ Blackstone Griddle.

Should you try cooking chicken wings on your griddle? Yes. An emphatic yes, at that. But preparation is key. There are a couple of culinary tools, tips and tricks that you should be aware of if you are going to given griddle-wings a try.

My personal essentials for griddling chicken wings:
— Paper towels
— Duck fat spray
— Your seasoning/rub of choice
— Baking powder
— Patience (comically optional)
— Basting cover
— Spatula/tongs — you choose; I use a griddle spatula for wings for quick flipping/transitioning
— Instead-read meat thermometer

I did not mention paper towels, baking powder or, er, patience in the post that I linked a couple of paragraphs up. But they are essential if you want to produce the best, crispiest wings possible on your griddle.

Paper towels — you will want to pat the chicken wings dry to remove any moisture from the skin. This will help you obtain a crispy crust during the cooking since minimal water will be playing into the possibilities of a soft wing skin being produced in the final product.

Duck fat spray — You don’t have to use duck fat spray, as it can be a little on the pricey side ($8.86 at my local Wal-Mart is the cheapest I have found it). I presume you could also use coconut oil spray, but I haven’t tested that presumption out, so I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, if you decide to go that route. I recommend duck fat spray because it aids in crisping up the skin when the chicken wings are cooking, as it sticks to the meat well enough and the duck fat itself stands up to higher temperatures than most other fat (coconut oil is great for higher heat cooking as well, if we are talking smoke points). The spray will also help act as a binder for your rub/seasoning to stick to the skin of the meat. If the rub/seasoning contains salt, it will help draw out more moisture as well, which will also deliver — once again — a crispy, crusty skin.

Baking powder — This is a trick I learned when I tried grilling chicken wings. I’m not a scientist in any way shape or form, but there is something about baking powder where, if applied to the skin of the wings, it is another crispy skin assist. Again, I’m not sure how, but it does the trick. What I like to do is, after patting the wings with paper towels, I’ll toss them into a bowl, spray them with duck fat spray, mix them up with a large spoon or spatula, shake my rub/seasoning of choice onto the wings, give them another mix-up before adding a tablespoon or so of baking powder (pending on how many wings you are cooking) and giving it another mix. Usually, I’ll just use my hands to press the rub/seasoning and baking powder into the meat. It is insignificantly messy, but it helps everything stick together. If I had a general albeit adjustable rule, I would say about a tablespoon or so of baking powder per 3 lbs. of chicken wings.

Patience — I didn’t do this the first go-’round, but in the times I’ve cooked chicken wings on the griddle afterwards, after completing the final mix-up of the rub/seasoning and baking powder, and ensuingly washing my hands (hey, I know this is common sense, but cross-contamination and the potential for salmonella poisoning is not a fun thing to think about), I’ll place the bowl of wings in the fridge the day/night before so that the rub/seasoning and baking powder can settle on the meat. This is optional if you don’t want to wait and would rather get straight to cooking (I feel you, homie, if that is the case), but it helps, significantly or minimally pending on your point of view.

I’m not including the basting cover, spatula/tongs or instant-read meat thermometer in these explanations/steps, because that will come into play during the cooking process.

For a quick recap of the above:
— Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel
— Spray them with duck fat (or coconut oil) spray
— Rub/mix with your choice of rub/seasoning and baking powder onto the wings
— Let ’em rest (again: optional)

So, you are ready to cook ’em up. Now it is time to make the magic happen.

On cooking the chicken wings:
Fire up your griddle on high. This is another general rule, but I feel like the high heat to start the wings is essential for the Maillard reaction to set. Maybe I’m full of it, but the high heat will virtually ‘shock’ the skin of the wings at first. When the griddle is hot’n’ready, add some cooking oil to the surface. I go back and forth between using olive oil and canola oil, but I reckon peanut oil may be optimal, although I haven’t tried it with wings on the griddle.

Add your wings onto the scorching hot griddle surface. Spread them out so that all the wings have an equal chance at meeting that sizzling sear, coming into contact with the oil.

An adjustable rule as well, and keep in mind this is just my recommendation (as you might prefer a different method of time here — it isn’t a hard-and-fast rule), but while the wings are initially cooking, I’ll wait about two minutes and then I’ll give them all a flip and stir to sear the other side.

After that initial flip and when another two or so minutes have eclipsed, I’ll lower the heat to medium/medium-low and cover the wings with a round basting cover. What this does is allow the internal temperatures of the meat to catch up to the external temperature of the wings. This also speeds up the cook in a significant way as the fat renders. You may express fear that the steam that results in covering the wings will soften the skin, but in my subjective experiences that has never been the case, so kill those fears off and let it ride.

As far as times to leave the basting cover on the wings, I’ll wait 3-4 minutes, remove the cover, give them a stir-around and flip and re-add the cover for an additional 3-4 minutes. How often you do this is up to you. Usually after doing this a few times, the wings are rising in internal temperatures rapidly.

This is where the instant-read thermometer comes in handy. Most of my griddle-cooked wings finish in as little as 18 to 22 minutes. I’ll check a multitude of wings in their thickest, meatiest sections — especially the ones that might be bigger than the others — and look out for a temperature of 160-165. I prefer finishing wings at around 170-175 degrees, because I feel like the meat pulls from the bone the best that way. My personal, subjective opinion coming out to play once again. You might disagree, and that is completely fine.

At this point, when the internal temperatures of the wings is reaching that 160-165 mark, I like to remove the basting cover from use completely and crank the heat up back to high to finish, giving the skin a slight touch of char. At this point I’m frequently turning the wings every 15 to 25 seconds so that they don’t overcook on the outside. This may also mitigate your concerns of the skin of the wings becoming soft from the use of the basting cover, but never fear, high heat on the griddle is here. You gotta give them that Mike Tyson knockout to finish them.

I failed to mention this at any point, but what about the sauce, you might ask! What are crispy wings without sauce?! I know, you are right. Forgive me. Use your favorite sauce and toss it into an empty bowl. When the wings are done, immediately add the wings to the bowl that has the sauce in it and toss and shake them up. Afterwards, what can I say? Dig in and enjoy!

My favorite wing sauce in the world is a tie between melted butter’n’Frank’s Red hot and mango habanero sauce. You can do whatever you want, though. Have fun with it.

So, how do griddle-cooked wings compare to deep-fried wings? Hey, I can’t emphasize my bias when it comes to deep-fried wings. I love them. However, there is something veritably fun and enjoyable in a hands-on way about cooking wings on the griddle. Sure, it is ‘easier’ to cook wings in a deep fryer because you are simply submerging them into oil and removing them when they are done, but cooking them on the griddle adds a different flavor, and with me, I like different methods and flavors when I cook.

Note: I have read that some people have taken an aluminum foil pan, filled it with oil, sat it on the griddle and deep-fried wings that way. I’ve never tried this method. I have a deep-fryer in my home that I use for, well, deep frying. However, just for the sake of experimenting, I may try this soon. If anything, such a method removes the smell of oil in your home, which is always a plus since it lingers until the cows come home sometimes. Also, not to sound too much like a Blackstone Products sycophant even though I know I inevitably do sometimes, as I’m a big time advocate/supporter of their griddles and products, they feature a couple of griddle models that have a deep fryer attached to them. I don’t have one, but that is also an option for those looking to deep-fry wings outdoors.

The bottom line: It sounds like a lot of work to cook chicken wings on the griddle, but it really isn’t. These are just my personal, subjective steps that I follow to get the job done. They are easier to cook using this method than how I may have made it sound. If you give them a try using this method, please do not hesitate to let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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.

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.