Tag Archives: Smoker

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

15 Aug

So many ways to make sweet potatoes and I haven’t found one yet that I didn’t like.  These ones are simple and delicious.

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes


3-4 sweet potatoes

1lb  bacon

1/2 cup  maple syrup

1/4 tsp   cayenne

black pepper



Set your smoker up at 225 deg.  While that is coming up to temp peal and rinse your sweet potatoes.  Slice them into pieces the same width as your bacon.  Wrap your potatoes with the bacon one time around until it overlaps.  Pin the bacon on with a toothpick and trim off the excess bacon.  Place your potatoes in a tin foil pan and sprinkle a little black pepper on the top.  Place your pan in the smoker and cook until the bacon is done and the potatoes are nice and soft, around 2 hours.  While that is cooking take your bacon trimmings plus the slices that were left over and chop them up into 1/4 pieces.  Fry those up nice and crispy.  You don’t need them for this recipe but just add them to whatever you want to make it 100% better.  Take a tablespoon of the bacon grease and add it to the maple syrup, along with the cayenne.  When the potatoes are about 15 minutes from being done.  Pour that glaze over the top of them.  When your potatoes are done take them out and let them stand for 15 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

If you don’t have a smoker, this recipe still works on the grill with indirect heat.

p.s. be careful when eating these, the bacon makes a nice insulator and will keep the sweet potatoes hotter than you think.


It’s time to step up your game.

8 Aug

If you’re good with a grill and have decided to take the next step and start smoking, I would highly recommend starting with this book.

Backyard BBQ: The Art of Smokology

Backyard BBQ

This is an excellent book if you’re just learning how to run a smoker, and it’s still my go-to book for smoking recipes.   I have a large stack of cookbooks for grilling and smoking and find myself coming back to this one all the time.  Along with his great recipes, he explains the basics of smoking for you.  There are bigger and fancier books out there, but Richard W. McPeake’s recipes are just plain good.

My bacon and bourbon bean recipe started with a recipe in this book that I modified to give more bite.

His twice smoked recipe for pulled pork is the best pulled pork I have ever had, and I’ve had a lot.

Smoked Bacon & Bourbon Beans

8 Aug

I remember when I was growing up my grandma was famous for her baked beans.  They were a staple at every family reunion and in high demand at functions she attended.  I love baked beans and have tried hundreds of different kinds in my lifetime but hers were the standard that none other lived up to, that is until I discovered a recipe and modified it to this.  I have to admit, this recipe is cheating a little bit.  Unlike hers, they start with beans from a can so there is a lot less time just getting the beans ready, but I think she would still be proud of the result.

Adding the finishing touch to the beans.

Adding the finishing touch to the beans.


1 lb.           bacon sliced into 1/4″ pieces

1                large onion

4                jalapenos, seeded

1                28 oz. can Bush’s Country Style Baked Beans

1                small can pinto beans (drained)

1                small can great northern beans (drained)

1/4 cup    molasses

1/2 cup    brown sugar

4 TBS       plain yellow mustard

1/4 cup   BBQ sauce (I tend to favor Carolina style sauces with lots of vinegar)

1 tsp        paprika

1 tsp        garlic powder

2 tsp        cayenne

1 TBS      BBQ rub



Fry the chopped bacon until the fat is mostly rendered out.  Without draining, add the onions and jalapenos.  Continue cooking until onions are translucent.  Stir in the brown sugar until everything is nicely caramelized.  Transfer to your dutch oven.  Stir in all other ingredients except the bourbon.  Place your dutch oven, with the lid off, in your smoker.  If you have a vertical smoker put the beans right under your smoking meat so the juices drip down into your beans.   Doing this with different types of meat just adds a little variety to your recipe.  I’ve done it with both beef brisket and pour shoulder and it’s just a slightly different flavor of delicious.  Because the recipe uses canned beans it will be ready much quicker than if you started from scratch, 1-2 hours depending on how thick you like your beans.  I like mine nice and thick so they get the full 2 hours.  When your beans are almost done, add some bourbon to taste.  It doesn’t take much, a TBS or two.  Take your beans out of the smoker and let them cool and thicken a little before serving.

If you don’t have a smoker, or just want to cook some beans when you don’t have your smoker going, just dump all your ingredients in a crock pot and add a couple drops of liquid smoke.  They won’t be quite as good as if they were smoked, but still damn tastey.

Ribs Tutorial

7 Aug

Another late night of football practice, and Mama is tired!   I want to get something up on the blog, since I haven’t posted in a few days, so I’m going to be lazy and steal one of Allen’s old facebook posts.  He took these photographs after a few friends had asked how he makes his ribs.  It provides a good instruction on how to make great ribs, so its worth sharing again.

A couple of things before you start.  First – this is not a quick process.  You will be layering flavors on the ribs in a number of steps.  Plan to take the time needed to prepare the ribs and cook them for a few hours while providing close oversight.  Second – buy good quality meat.  I recommend finding a butcher you trust and will get you the cuts you want, even if its unusual or special order.  Here in Auburn, we go to Longhorn Meats.


Step 1 – Marinade

Before you cook your ribs, you need to prep them.  Trim the ribs to lengths that will fit in your smoker and remove the silver skin from the underside.  Place them in your marinade and let them rest for a good while.  How long you ask? Well, it depends.  In this instance, the ribs marinaded for about 4 hours.  Other times, we have let them soak overnight.  The nature of your marinade and how much flavor you want will influence your decision about how long to keep the ribs in the marinade.  Because we are talking process and not recipes in the post, I’ll leave that decision to you.

Step 2 - Rub

Step 2 – Rub

Now its time to get the smoker ready.  We like to use milder wood for smoking ribs – like apple or pecan.  After soaking your chips/chunks, get them going in the smoker.  While you are waiting for the smoke to develop, remove the ribs from the marinade, pat them dry and apply your rub.

Step 3- Prepare your glaze and use it.

Step 3- Prepare your sauces.

While the ribs are smoking make the sauce and the spritz/mop. If you’re ok with settling for mediocre ribs you can skip this step and just buy store bought sauce.  But we highly recommend doing this step, as it will really improve your ribs.  Besides making your own sauce is fun.   Spritz or mop the ribs every half hour to keep them moist and give them another layer of flavor.

Step 4 - Finish the Ribs.

Step 4 – Finish the Ribs.

We have found that about 2.5 hours is plenty of time to cook the meat and give a good smokey flavor.  At that time, they go in a pan and are covered liberally with the sauce. Cover the pan in foil and throw them back in the smoker.  After half an hour, turn the smoker off, but leave the ribs in for another half hour as they slowly cool down.

Ready to serve.

Step 5 – Ready to serve.

You’re ready to eat.  Slice them apart and serve them up.

Chow Time!

Chow Time!

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