Tag Archive for ‘Thoughts’

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.

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.

An Update and an Apology (Blackstone Griddlin’ and Weber Grillin’)

No excuses. I’ve neglected this blog and not on purpose. Call it laziness, call it whatever. I should have been posting at least once a week or once every ten days minimum, but it’s been over four months since I’ve posted anything while I still lavish my Instagram with content.

A little over a week after my last post, I bought a 36″ Blackstone griddle on sale at Wal-Mart. The hype reverberated throughout the social media walls on Instagram and curiosity got the best of me. Overall thoughts: It’s a badass cooking gadget. My mother, who is a burgers-cooked-over-charcoal fanatic, thinks smashburgers is the greatest thing ever (she might not be wrong). Being able to cook a horde of food in one fell swoop is fantastic. Using the Blackstone was my first experience bothering with using propane for cooking. If you catch it on sale, snag it!


I received the brand new limited edition red Weber kettle grill a few weeks ago, and I’m loving it. There are a couple of minor blemishes in the finish, but it’s no big deal. It’s a grill, it’s outside, it’s going to get cooked on and it’s going to get dirty. With that said, a lot of customers are receiving damaged grills. I believe they are the vocal minority, as I think most people who received grills in good shape are quiet and/or busy cooking on ’em, but it is a bit disconcerting that so many people are receiving these damaged grills which are purportedly limited edition.

It’s my first Weber kettle, so I’m just enjoying it and having a good time. Removing the ash catcher is a little strenuous, but the more I do it I guess I’ll be developing bodybuilder-esque grip strength soon enough.

All in all, since receiving it a couple weeks ago, I’ve cooked on the kettle about five times now, most recently cooking up a couple of flat iron steaks with some peppers and onions yesterday.

Caribeque AP Rubbed, Grilled Chicken Wings

I love Caribeque. I’ve tried three of the seasonings/rubs so far, and none of them have let me down.

And damn, that STOK drum grill has churned out some delicious food for my family and I so far. I can’t be more satisfied with it. My only problems are, 1.) the bottom damper vents get easy stuck, and 2.) the ash pan has ash that is pretty much stuck to it! No idea what to do about that.

I’ve played around with the brand new Caribeque AP (All Purpose) rub here and there, but they were fantastic on these wings. Even more so the next day, when I mixed some cheap Louisiana hot sauce and butter and tossed it on ’em.

Like I’ve said, Kurt Halls has something special going on with Caribeque, and I’m glad to be alive in this day and time with the opportunity to try the seasonings and rubs out. They are all terrific.

Grilled Tacos on the STOK Drum Grill

My buddy Brad grilled tacos on his Weber kettle grill about a week and a half ago. The pictures made me pretty hungry, and I knew I had to try it. Tacos might be Dana’s favorite food, which is a plus. I love feeding people, so having the chance to throw something on the grill (as outdoor cookin’ is something I seem to have an affinity for) that is a favorite food of somebody I love is a plus.

I can’t say it enough: I love my charcoal chimney starter.

Those taco shells tasted wonderful after taking on the grilled flavor.

My lighting with food pictures needs work, but it was more beautiful than this.

Old El Paso is a highly used seasoning. Whenever I smell it, it has a blast of cumin, a scent that is well used in the southwestern region of the United States. My girlfriend and I wasted a Chili’s gift card earlier this year; I should have ordered the “Big Mouth Bites” (sliders), but I got some southwestern brisket bowl, which was plain putrid. I say that, because it tasted like all they did was throw a smidgen of an avocado, some onions and other vegetables in there and drenched it in Old El Paso seasoning… hence why I say it’s a highly used seasoning!

Anyway, that’s what I used on my ground beef yesterday when I browned it on my STOK drum grill. After draining the majority of the fat, I added a whole big onion diced fine. I added two packets of Old El Paso sauce as well as a tiny jar of medium Taco Bell sauce I had in the closet. This was my mistake. It wasn’t a mistake to mix the sauces; it was a mistake because I didn’t use enough sauce. I didn’t have enough sauce on hand to make saucy tacos. I typically use Pace picante sauce. I love that stuff and it’s a favorite in my household, but I didn’t have on hand.

The tacos were delicious in spite of what I wrote in the above paragraph, but they could have been better, which is why I say that I’m definitely going to try this again in the future but with a big, whole jar of Pace picante sauce.

Happy grillin’. Have you ever cooked tacos on the grill? What was your method? Comment below!