Smoky Ham and Cheese Sliders

These smoky ham and cheese sliders are quite popular with both small and large groups alike.

Ham and cheese sliders are a smashing success in my home. Both the picky little eaters and adults alike love it! Using Hawaiian rolls, a mixture of toppings, and the ham and cheese (of course), these sliders are quick to put together and quick to bake on the grill. Oh, and they are gone quick, too!

What do I Need for Ham and Cheese Sliders?

For this recipe, you’ll need Hawaiian rolls, ham, Swiss cheese, butter, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, dried onion flakes and parsley flakes. Oh, and a 9×11″ foil pan to put it all in.

Getting the Sliders Ready

The main ingredients for these sliders.

Start out by getting your grill ready to be at 350 degrees over indirect heat. I like to use hickory wood, but feel free to use whichever smoking wood you like. Using a 12-pack of Hawaiian rolls, take them out of the package and keep them all in piece (this is how they come). Take a bread knife and slice the rolls in half as if you’re making one big sandwich (because you kinda are). Keep the bread knife handy because you’ll need it again. Next, take a half pound of sliced ham and lay them on the bottom half of the sliced rolls. then pile on a half pound of Swiss cheese on top of that. Top the cheese with the top half of the rolls.

Now that the ham and cheese sliders are mostly assembled, it’s time to create the mixture to spread on top! In a small bowl, melt 1/4 Cup of butter (also known as 1/2 stick of butter or 4 Tbsp). In this same bowl, pour in 1 Tablespoon of dijon mustard, a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, and a half teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix ingredients together in the bowl. Then take a food brush (or basting brush) and brush all over the tops of the rolls, including sides. To top off the sliders (for now), take a couple of teaspoons of dried onion flakes and sprinkle them on, making sure each roll top is covered. Carefully pick up the sliders, keeping them all in one piece, and place in foil pan.

On the Grill…and After

With the ham and cheese sliders in the foil pan, place them on the grill at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. I seem to have the best luck around 17 minutes. The tops will get a little brown and you will see the cheese melt down the sides. Once cooked, remove from the grill and let sit for a minute to allow the pan to cool. Take a spatula and scoop out the sliders (still in one piece) onto a cutting board.

Take a picture quick before they disappear!

Melt an extra tablespoon of butter and use a food brush to dab the tops of the sliders. If you brush, then you will knock off the onion flakes baked into the tops of the rolls. Now that they are lightly buttered, sprinkle parsley flakes lightly on sliders.

Remember the bread knife I said to keep handy? Now is the time to use it again. Slice the rolls into 12 individual sliders. These ham and cheese sliders will be eye-popping and I won’t judge you if you want to take pictures. Just get those pics in quickly before your family and guests come for them!

The Recipe!

Yield: 12 sliders

Smoky Ham and Cheese Sliders

ham and cheese sliders ready to eat!

Ham and cheese sliders are mini sandwiches that pack a punch of flavor! Using Hawaiian rolls, slices of ham and Swiss cheese, and a mixture of other ingredients including Worcestershire sauce, onion flakes, and butter, these sliders are very popular and vanish quick!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • One 12-pack of Hawaiian rolls
  • 1/2 lb sliced ham
  • 1/2 lb sliced Swiss cheese
  • 5 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes


  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees. Slice 12-pack of Hawaiian rolls (stuck together) in half. Lay slices of ham on the bottom half of rolls, then the Swiss cheese. Place the top half of rolls on top. Move to foil pan (preferably 9"x11").
  2. In a small bowl, mix 4 Tbsp. of melted butter, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Brush mixture on top of rolls. Sprinkle on dried onion flakes. Place sliders inside grill for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove pan of sliders from grill. Use spatula to remove connected sliders and place on cutting board. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter and dab on top of rolls. Sprinkle parsley flakes on top. Slice into 12 individual sliders and serve.


1. This recipe can easily be made in the oven if a grill is not available.

2. I use hickory wood in my grill for these, but feel free to use whichever smoking wood you prefer.

3. Layer Swiss cheese to go a little outside of the sliders so they melt down and give you some crispy cheese edges. So good!

Nutrition Information:


12 sliders

Serving Size:

1 slider

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 486mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 10g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate.


Bacon wrapped jalapeno popper burger is a delicacy for the tastebuds.

The bacon wrapped jalapeno popper burger is a perfect blend of appetizer and main dish. A burger topped with bacon, three types of cheeses, roasted jalapeno, all packed within a toasted brioche bun? Does it get much better? You be the judge.

For starters…

Let’s reference the bacon wrapped jalapeno popper recipe from a previous post. To make these, you’ll need jalapenos, cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, chili lime seasoning, and bacon. Before you start prepping the jalapeno poppers, preheat your grill to 375 degrees with hickory wood over indirect heat. Now that you’ve done this, grab a cutting board, sharp knife, spoon, and the jalapenos. Cut the stem off the tops of the jalapenos. Next, slice them in half longways and use the spoon to scoop out the insides (seeds, rib, placenta).

In a medium sized bowl, mix a pack of softened cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese together. Note: if you want to add a little heat to the poppers, mix in some shredded pepper jack cheese. Even hotter? Leave some of the jalapeno seeds in. Take the spoon and scoop the cheeses into the sliced jalapenos. Sprinkle the chili lime seasoning on top. Now grab the strips of bacon and wrap one strip around one jalapeno popper. To keep the bacon from unraveling during the cook, I suggest wrapping the bacon a little tighter. Tucking in the ends of the bacon strips will help. Once this is done, sprinkle a little more chili lime seasoning on top.

Bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers finished and ready to eat.
Bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers are easy to make and a bit hit at parties!

Now that the grill is up to 375 degrees (remember, indrect heat), place the poppers on a baking sheet or cooling rack and cook for 30 minutes or until the bacon reaches your desired crispiness.

Where’s the Beef?

Since the jalapeno poppers will take a half an hour to cook, now is the time to get the burgers prepped. Using a pound of 80/20 ground beef, mix in a bowl with Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Make 1/3 pound burgers, so divide the one pound of ground beef into thirds (math is power, y’all).

Grilling burgers over an open flame is my jam.

On a separate grill, use direct heat to cook your burgers. Flip once during the cook, twice if you need. When nearing the finish, place a slice of pepper jack cheese on the burgers. Remove when cheese is melted.

Buns are the X-factor

Don’t underestimate the clout the hamburger bun brings to this bacon wrapped jalapeno popper burger, or any burger for that matter. I prefer brioche buns because they provide a little more dense flavor that only enhances the burger eating experience. With this said, toast the buns face down. Toast them to your liking, but I recommend getting them golden brown before removing from the grill.

Bringing it All Together

Now that everything is done cooking, put it together! Put the beef patty on first, then the jalapeno poppers. You can fit either two or three on top. Since I like a little sauce, I like to mix ketchup, mayo, and hot sauce together and use as a spread on the bottom half of the bun.

A simple mixture of ketchup, mayo, and hot sauce makes for a tasty burger topping with a little kick.

Make sure to snap a picture of your freakin’ amazing bacon wrapped jalapeno popper burger because it won’t last long!

The Recipe!

Yield: 3 burgers

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Burger

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Burger

Cheeseburgers are good, but cheeseburgers with bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers on top are better.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 5 jalapenos, sliced long ways
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chili lime seasoning
  • 9 strips bacon
  • 1 lb ground beef (80/20 preferrred)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 3 brioche buns


  1. Preheat grill to 375 degrees over indirect heat. Cut jalapenos in half, slicing long ways. Take spoon to scoop out seeds. In separate bowl, combine cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Place mix into each jalapeno half. Wrap filled jalapeno halves with one strip of bacon each. Apply chili lime seasoning on top when done.
  2. Place bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers on cooling rack or baking sheet and place in grill for 30 minutes or until bacon is to desired crispiness. Remove when done.
  3. While poppers are cooking, combine ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder in medium-sized bowl. Mix ingredients together with hands. Form into 1/3 lb. patties.
  4. On separate grill, place hamburger patties on grill over direct heat. Flip once or twice until done. When almost done, place slices of pepper jack cheese on burgers. Remove burgers from grill when cheese is melted.
  5. Toast brioche buns on grill until golden brown. Put burger patty on bottom part of the bun, then place bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers on top. Put top bun on and eat up!


1. To make optional sauce, combine 1/4 Cup mayo, 1/8 Cup ketchup, 1 tsp hot sauce in small bowl. Mix until blended.

2. To make this burger spicier, keep some jalapeno seeds in the poppers. Also, put shredded pepper jack cheese in them.

3. It is recommend to prep and cook the burgers while the poppers are on the grill to optimize time.

Nutrition Information:


3 burgers

Serving Size:

1/3 lb burger

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 750Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 1560mgCarbohydrates: 39gSugar: 3gProtein: 40g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


BBQ Pulled pork nachos are a big hit for families and parties!
BBQ pulled pork nachos are a big hit as either an appetizer or a main dish!

Whenever I smoke a pork shoulder (aka- pork butt) for my family, I end up with a lot leftover. Since there are five of us in my family and seven pounds of pork, we usually have some left. Good thing with pulled pork is that it reheats very well. Probably the best out of all of the BBQ meats. One of my favorite things to do with leftover pulled pork is making BBQ pulled pork nachos! Easy to make and can be served up as either an appetizer or a main dish.

Nacho Necessities

When I make BBQ pulled pork nachos, I prefer to do them in a large cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a good-sized cast iron, then feel free to use something else that you feel comfortable cooking with on the grill. With that said, grab a bag of your favorite tortilla chips and put down a single layer, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

Layers of nachos put together and ready to hit the grill.
Layers of nachos put together and ready to hit the grill.

Next, add the pulled pork. I recommend grabbing a handful and dispersing evenly across the chips. Then I grab a can of black beans, drain the juice out of the can, then grab a handful and spread around in the skillet. Then I grab a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and spread around. Finally for this layer, I drizzle BBQ sauce on top. Add another layer of tortilla chips and simply repeat the layering of the same ingredients. Put on the preheated grill at 350 degrees over indirect heat using hickory wood. Cook for 10-15 minutes then remove for the final steps.

Can I cook this in the oven?

Absolutely! If you don’t feel like going outside and getting your grill going, you can totally cook up these BBQ pulled pork nachos inside in your oven. You won’t get that hint of hickory smoke flavor in the whole dish, but it’ll still taste pretty dang good.

The finishing touches

Dice up some avocado and cilantro for finishing touches. Jalapenos optional, but encouraged.
Dice up some avocado and cilantro for finishing touches to your BBQ pulled pork nachos. Jalapeños optional, but encouraged.

Once you’ve pulled the skillet of BBQ pulled pork nachos off the grill (or out of the oven), dice up some cilantro and avocado to sprinkle on the top. We do this after it cooks so these ingredients don’t get browned and wilted. If you want to spice them up a little, put some pickled jalapenos on top as well. I love keeping the nachos as they are in the skillet because it maintains that authentic, visual effect. I do recommend you grab a handful before serving to your family and/or guests because they will vanish fast!

The video!

Coming soon!

The recipe!

Yield: 8-10 servings

BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos

BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos

BBQ pulled pork nachos are an excellent use of leftover pulled pork. They can be served up as either an appetizer for a small crowd or a main dish for a small gathering.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 2 Cups pulled pork
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Cup black beans
  • 1/2 Cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tsp cilantro, diced
  • 1/4 Cup jalapeños, pickled


  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees over indirect heat using hickory wood. Place layer of tortilla chips in large cast iron skillet, covering the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle on a cup of pulled pork, cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of black beans, and drizzle 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce. Add another layer of tortilla chips and add rest of pulled pork, shredded cheese, black beans, and BBQ sauce.
  2. Place skillet on grill and cook for 10-15 minutes. Dice up cilantro and avocado and put on top of nachos. Add jalapeño to spice it up.


1. This can be cooked in the oven. It won't have that hint of hickory smoke flavor, but will still be tasty.

2. Feel free to add other ingredients such as diced onions, tomatoes, etc.

Nutrition Information:


10 servings

Serving Size:

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 225gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 1000mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2.5gSugar: 12gProtein: 20g

NOTE: nutrition information isn't always accurate.


Smoked and seared honey garlic pork chops
drizzled in honey and resting before slicing.

In the world of grilling, pork chops don’t get enough love as they should. They tend to be upstaged by beef cuts such as ribeye, New York strip, and filets. But pork chops do have some things going for them: they’re leaner cuts, they’re usually cheaper, and when cooked right, pack some incredible flavor. This smoked and seared honey garlic pork chop recipe will have you grilling pork more often.


To prep these smoked and seared honey garlic pork chops, you will need 2 lbs. of pork chops, a tablespoon of kosher salt, two teaspoons of black pepper and garlic powder, and one teaspoon of paprika. I like to apply kosher salt first and then mix the other ingredients and put on after. Make sure to apply on all sides, especially if you’re using king cut pork chops from Omaha Steaks like I did. These things are about two inches thick and weigh 16 oz. each! You’ll also need some garlic herb butter and honey near the end.


Smoked and seared honey garlic pork chops done
Pork chops are best to eat when cooked to 145 degrees.

One of the problems some folks have with pork chops is that they turn out too dry and are tough to chew. This is because the pork chops are cooked too long. Some consider pork to be done at the same temps as chicken, meaning that at 165 degrees the meat is fully cooked and safe to eat.

According to the National Pork Board, pork can be cooked to 145 degrees, which is good for medium rare. This is very important when cooking pork chops, especially. This leaner cut will be more juicy and tender to the bite when cooked to 145 degrees.


Pork chops seasoned with kosher salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and paprika.
Pork chops seasoned with kosher salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and paprika.

Before you prep the pork chops with the seasonings, make sure to get your grill up to 275 degrees on indirect heat. When it comes to pork, I like to use either hickory or pecan wood/pellets. Prepping the pork chops should be fairly quick, so make good use of the time while you wait for the grill to get up to the desired temp.

Once the grill is at 275 degrees, put the pork chops on and keep there until internal meat temps reach 135. The length of time the pork chops are on there will depend on their thickness. Since the pork chops I cooked with are two inches thick, it took me about an hour to reach that temp. But I find it is more important to measure according to temp rather than time. Make sure to get yourself a reliable digital thermometer, like the Thermapen from Thermoworks.

As the pork chops are getting close to the 135 degree temp, get a skillet on separate grill or burner up to searing temps, which start after 500 degrees. That way, the skillet will be hot and ready when it’s time to put the pork chops on. But right before you put the pork chops on, get your garlic herb butter and mix it around the skillet first.

honey garlic pork chops drizzle
Drizzle honey on them pork chops while resting.

Then put the pork chops on there, flipping after a minute. Depending on the thickness of the pork chops, get some of that sear on the sides, too. Pull off the skillet and place on a cutting board to rest. You should have reached the desired 145 temp at this point. While it is resting, drizzle honey on the pork chops and let it rest in while the meat is resting/carryover cooking. Give it about 15 minutes before slicing. Now your smoked and seared honey garlic pork chops are ready!


Smoked & Seared Honey Garlic Pork Chops

Smoked and seared honey garlic pork chops

With a kiss of smoke flavor and the sizzle of a cast iron sear, pork chops become the main event for your dish. Season and sear with a little garlic flavor, then drizzle some honey on top, and you've got yourself some epic pork chops!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 lbs pork chops
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons garlic butter
  • 1 Tablespoon honey


  1. Preheat grill to 275 degrees on indirect heat. Season pork chops by applying kosher salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and paprika on all sides.
  2. Place pork chops on grill and cook for an hour or until internal meat temps reach 135 degrees (meat will cook more when searing). When meat approaches this temp, get a cast iron skillet up to searing temps.
  3. Put garlic butter into cast iron skillet right before placing in the pork chops. Sear on each side for about a minute. Remove when pork reaches internal temp of 145 degrees. Drizzle honey on each side while meat rests for 10-15 minutes. Slice and enjoy!


Pork chops are done when meat reaches 145 degrees, which is good enough for medium doneness.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

8 oz

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 165gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 95mgCarbohydrates: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 40g

NOTE: Nutrition information isn't always accurate.

Twice Smoked Ham

Twiced smoked ham with a homemade glaze will make you a hit at parties (if you aren’t already)!

In this post, we are all about ham! Even though most of us serve up ham during the holidays or Easter, it’s a friggin’ shame we don’t cook ’em up more often. If you do it right and add your own personal flare to it, then you’ll want to cook twice smoked ham up more often!

Isn’t the ham already smoked?

Ham straight outta Compton…or the package. Whatevs.

When you buy a ham at the store, they usually come cured and smoked. If you wanted to, you could unwrap the thing and eat it as is. But you didn’t come here to do that, did you?

Why smoke it again?

Step one: getting that smoke flavor.

When you buy one of these precooked hams, they are already smoked. They usually come smoked with hickory flavor. Smoking it again allows you to add your own unique touch with such woods as apple, peach, or pecan. You may even want to smoke it with hickory wood to enhance that existing flavor. Besides, it sounds more flattering to your guests when you tell them you’re serving up “twice smoked ham”.

For starters…

Get your grill heated to 225F. As you’re waiting for it to get up to temp, take the ham out of the packaging and toss some of your favorite rub on it. You know that little glaze packet that comes in the package? Throw it out and make the one I have in this recipe! I’ll get to that later. Anyway, put the ham on the grill at 225F for two hours and then add some flavor to it!

Adding some flavor

The ingredients for that extra flavoring.

Truth is, you can smoke the ham on the grill as-is, but why not make it different than everyone else’s and add some flavor to it? After the ham has smoked for a couple of hours at 225F, put the ham in a foil pan (if you haven’t already) and then add a half cup of teriyaki sauce, a cup of orange juice, and half a can of Dr Pepper, pouring each over the ham as the liquids trickle down into a pool in the foil pan.

Adding some of that OJ flavor to cook into this ham.

Wrap foil over the ham and the pan, crank up the heat to 275F for another couple of hours or until internal meat temps reach about 140F.

After a couple of hours of smoke and pouring the liquids on, make sure to wrap in foil, turn up heat to 275F and cook longer.

Gettin’ glazed

As your twice smoked ham is approaching the 140F mark, start working on the glaze! At first, I was intimidated to make a glaze because it sounds like something creative culinary minds do. Then I decided to do that whole self-confidence thing and give it a try. I gotta admit this was fun to make! For this one, I decided to mix brown sugar, orange juice, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, chili powder, spicy brown mustard, ground cloves, and cinnamon together in a sauce pan. Apply medium heat, take off once it starts boiling, and let it sit a few minutes to thicken.

Mixing the glaze ingredients together to make…well, glaze.

If you read that whole sentence of ingredients and felt a little overwhelmed, I don’t blame you. When I see a lot of ingredients, I usually pass on the recipe and move on. A lot of this stuff you may already have in your kitchen, so you’re mostly there!

Back to the ham

Now that your glaze is ready, go back to the twice smoked ham and carefully pour the juices in the foil pan into another container for basting purposes later. Now that the ham sits all alone in the pan, make it rain glaze all over it until the sauce pan is empty. You’re gonna want that glaze to cook onto the ham, so I recommend putting it in the broiler for a few minutes to get that caramelized effect.

NOTE: if you happen to have a grill torch then you can do that instead. It’s more fun to do.

“What ham? Not the ham I just bought.”

The twice smoked ham glazed and begging to be eaten.

Let the twice smoked ham sit for a few minutes and then start slicing! Most hams are already spiral cut, but you can be a rule breaker and slice from the top-down.

Looking for a unique side dish to have with this ham? Check out this Southern corn pudding recipe!

NOTE: If you know this movie quote I used for the title of this section, then we can be friends.

The recipe!

Yield: 1 awesome ham

Twice Smoked Ham

Twice Smoked Ham

Take that store-bought ham and smoke it again with wood flavor of your choice! Also, make a glaze that will taste much better than that packet you got in the package.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 pre-cooked, spiral-cooked ham (about 10 lbs)
  • 1 Cup orange juice
  • 1/2 Cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Cup Dr Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons rub
  • 1 1/2 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup orange juice
  • 3/4 Cup honey
  • 1/4 Cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Dr Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Preheat grill/smoker to 225F. Remove pre-cooked ham from packaging and apply rub. Put ham in foil pan and on smoker for two hours.
  2. While on the grill/smoker, pour teriyaki sauce, orange juice, and Dr Pepper on ham, allowing juices to sit in pan. Wrap ham and pan in foil, turn up heat to 275F for at least two more hours or until internal meat temp reaches 140F. Drain juices from pan into separate container for optional basting.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine ingredients for glaze and put on stove at medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until boiling. Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes to thicken.
  4. Pour glaze over ham, covering completely. Broil in oven for at least three minutes to caramelize glaze.
  5. Rest, slice, and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1400mgCarbohydrates: 1.4g

Reverse Searing 101

Reverse searing steak on a cast iron grill grate.

What is a reverse sear?

In case you need a refresher, a traditional sear is when you start out cooking food at a high heat, which usually begins around at 500F. Once the meat has been seared on both sides, then it is cooked in the oven until it reaches the desired internal temp. A reverse sear is a method of cooking meat at a low temperature first, usually by smoking or sous vide, then finishing off on a high heat surface.

Crust and juices equal a dynamite steak (or tri-tip roast in this instance).

How do you do that voodoo you do?

With smoking, I like to get my grill/smoker to 225-250F using indirect heat and leave the beef or pork chops/steaks in until it reaches an internal temp of 125F (length of time to get there depends on thickness of meat), then move to either a grill above 500F or cast iron pan on the stove (or grill) at high heat. I do about two minutes on one side and then flip the meat over for another two. Doing this creates a flavorful crust on the outside of the meat due to something called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. I like my beef medium-medium rare, so I wait to reach an internal temp of 130F (around 137F for pork) before removing.

This tomahawk ribeye got the reverse sear treatment. Crust=Flavor!

If starting your cook with the sous vide method, you’ll want to seal the meat and seasonings in an airtight bag (usually done with a vacuum seal) and then place in a warm pot of water that is around 125F. Once again, thickness of the cut of meat matters. For a rule of thumb on how much time to spend cooking it, check out this excellent post from Serious Eats.

Searing in a cast iron skillet is another way to finish off a steak.

Why should I reverse sear?

Quality. Flavor. Tender. Juiciness. Crust. Go with the reverse sear and you’ll find your steaks suddenly rival those at your favorite steakhouse. It is more cost effective than going out for steak, nor do you have to put on pants and go out in public. I’m just sayin’.

Smoked BBQ Pork Tenderloin

If you haven’t noticed from most of the recipes on my website, I like simple. That means I try to maximize flavor with the fewest ingredients possible (mostly. Every once in a while I like to expand my horizons). Lucky for you, this is another one of those recipes. Pork tenderloin may sound fancy and expensive, but its quite affordable. And this smoked BBQ pork tenderloin will provide you quite the bang for your buck!

Where does the tenderloin come from?

Graphic courtesy of

The pork tenderloin is a cut of meat that comes from close by the mid-to-lower spinal area of the animal. While most muscles are used for movement, the tenderloin is used for posture. The tenderloin is considered the most tender part of the pig because this muscle isn’t used as much as the others.

Tupac? No, I said “two-pack”!

When at the meat department of your local grocery store, don’t be surprised to see pork tenderloins come in a two-pack. It’s quite common. These cuts of pork typically weigh between 3/4 lb. to 1 1/2 lb. each and are relatively cheap, so they put two in the package to make it worth selling.

Removing the silver skin

When taking the tenderloins out of the package, you’ll notice a thin, shiny layer on some areas of the meat. This is what is known as silver skin, which was meant to hold the muscle together while in the pig. Since the pig doesn’t need it anymore, feel free to peel it off. You’ll want to because leaving it on can affect the bite of the tenderloin and the meat’s ability to absorb the seasoning you put on it.

Trimming off the silver skin.

To remove the silver skin, it would be best to use a boning knife. This blade has a little curve to it near the tip as it thins out, making it easier to poke just under the layer of silver skin and push through until it comes out the opposite side of the shiny, filmy stuff. Then you start pushing the sharp side of the blade forward in a gentle, back-and-forth sawing motion until the silver skin is removed. Repeat this with other sections of silver skin until removed. This should only take a few minutes.

Need a visual? Here’s a video of me trimming a pork tenderloin!

The easy part

Now that you have made it past that part, it’s all downhill from here (not the “downhill” as in, it’s gonna suck. But the “downhill” as in, it gets easier. Maybe I should’ve just said “it gets easier” instead of typing all of this in parentheses. Oh well.)!

Next step is to season the tenderloin with your favorite blend of spices. I don’t like to coat it to heavily, but put on an adequate amount until you get the flavor you want out of the seasoning/rub. That’s it for this step!

Trimmed, seasoned, and ready for the smoke!

Take the tenderloin out to your grill/smoker that you have already got up to the 240-250F temperature on indirect heat and place it on there. As far as smoking wood goes, I like apple wood for this one.

With the pork tenderloin being relatively small, it cooks pretty quick. Usually about 45 minutes is all it takes. After 30 minutes of being on the grill, lift the lid and apply some of your favorite BBQ sauce and honey on the tenderloin with a basting brush.

Brushing up these tenderloins with BBQ sauce and honey.

Close the lid and come back in about 15 minutes.

When is it done?

Using a digital meat thermometer, such as the Thermapen Mk4 from Thermoworks, insert the probe in the middle of the thickest portion of the tenderloin to gauge when it’s done. The reason for this is to make sure it doesn’t undercook and you don’t get yourself sick. Look for a finishing temp of 145F.

It’s done!

Why 145F? Isn’t that undercooked? Have you been taught that 165F is when pork is done? If you’re like me, then you’ve been taught this same thing for most of your life. This rings true for ground pork, but for most other cuts, such as pork steaks, chops, roasts, and even tenderloins, the USDA recommends a minimum of 145F, which is good for a medium finish. This keeps the meat juicy and from drying out at the 165F temps. Since the meat has a little carry over temp, feel free to pull off a couple of degrees lower if you wish.

Rest, slice, and serve

Now that the meat is off the grill and on a cutting board, let it rest about 10 minutes before slicing. Doing so allows it to relax and let the juices start to build inside. After this short wait, start slicing into 1/2″ to 1″ slices. You’ll notice how tender and juicy it is, as well as the sign of a nice smoke ring inside. These are signs that you have done this thing right. Sample one or two (or five) to ensure they are good enough for your family or guests before sharing with them.

The recipe!

Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Leaner. Cheaper. And when cooked to the right temps, it makes for a tender, tasty meat you can feel less guilty about devouring!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2 Tbsp rub/seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey


  1. Preheat grill/smoker to 250F over indirect heat with apple wood
  2. Trim pork tenderloin by removing silver skin. Apply rub.
  3. Put meat on smoker and cook at 250F for 30-35 minutes. Apply honey and BBQ sauce with basting brush. Close lid and let cook another 15 minutes or until internal meat temp reaches 145F. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Slice, serve, and enjoy!


When brushing honey and BBQ sauce on pork tenderloin, it isn't necessary to lift the meat off the grill to get the bottom.

Use a digital meat thermometer for a fast, accurate reading.

When checking temps, put probe of thermometer into the center of the thickest portion of the meat to ensure the whole thing will cook through properly.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

4 oz.

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 1.6gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 82.7mgSodium: 64mgCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 29g

Bacon-weaved Breakfast Fatty

Breakfast fatty sliced and ready to eat!
This breakfast fatty loaded with all of the good stuff!

Who doesn’t love a good breakfast? If you’re cooking up breakfast at home and want some sort of pork product to go with your pancakes and eggs, most folks make a choice between sausage or bacon. But why not both? You can have a complete breakfast all-in-one with this epic breakfast fatty! If this concept is new to you, just know I’m not the first to make these. In fact, they seem to be a common staple amongst avid barbecuers. Put a slice of this breakfast log in between a biscuit and you’ve got an even more epic breakfast!

Step-by-step tutorial of how to make the breakfast fatty.

The breakdown

The ingredients used for this breakfast fatty are as follows (in no particular order):

  • bacon
  • ground sausage (or chorizo if you want to spice it up)
  • hash browns (cooked)
  • scrambled eggs
  • chopped onion
  • diced green bell pepper
  • cheddar cheese
  • rub/seasoning
  • BBQ sauce (for the last 20 minutes of the cook)

The bacon weave

Behold, the bacon weave!

The outermost layer of the breakfast fatty is a bacon weave. It’s like a tasty safety net for the rest of the ingredients to stay in. Granted, the ground sausage should keep it all in, but is having all that bacon as part of the meat cocoon such a bad thing? I don’t think so.

Anyway, some of you may wonder how to make a bacon weave. To lay it out in a simple way, I’ll do numeric bulletpoints:

  1. Put down a strip of parchment paper or clear plastic wrap
  2. Lay five or six strips of bacon vertically, each strip close to the other
  3. Take the even numbered strips and pull back part way
  4. Lay a new strip of bacon horizontally, across the odd numbered strips of bacon (the ones that aren’t folded back)
  5. Flip the folded over strips back (look! You’ve made the beginnings of the weave!)
  6. Now take the odd numbered vertical strips and lay and pull up to fold over, up by the horizontal strip already weaved in
  7. Lay another horizontal strip down next to the other horizontal one
  8. Pull the flipped over bacon strips back down
  9. Now that you’ve come this far, just alternate between flipping over the even and odd vertical strips to lay down the horizontal ones until the weave is complete!

The next layer: ground sausage

Flatten the ground sausage on the bacon weave.

Now that you have woven a blanket o’ bacon (good job, by the way!) take a 16 oz. package of ground sausage and flatten it out in a square-like shape over the bacon weave. If it doesn’t reach the edges of your weave, it’s okay. Just make sure you have flattened it out enough to put your other ingredients in and roll it up. Speaking of…

The rest of the ingredients

Put the other ingredients (sans sauce) in like this.

For those of you keeping score at home, we have scrambled eggs, hash browns (cooked), cheddar cheese, diced onion, diced green bell pepper, and rub remaining to put in this thing. Lay out these ingredients in a straight line, layering on top of each other. When doing the cheese, you can use either shredded or long, skinny rectangular cubes. The advantage of the long cubes in the log is that the cheese is centered in one spot and has that cheesy, gooey look when it’s sliced and served. And as far as the rub is concerned, you can either apply it on the ground sausage or on the bacon part. I usually apply it on the bacon (because I forget to put it on the sausage).

Rollin’ up a fatty

Rollin’ up the breakfast fatty.

Remember how I mentioned to lay down a sheet of parchment paper or clear plastic wrap? I hope you did because rolling up this meat cocoon is a lot easier this way. As you have laid the inside ingredients on top of each other in one direction, take the parallel end and start rolling. The goal is to roll as if you want to make one end of the ground sausage touch the other end. No tight rolling, just roll to where when you eventually slice it the meat will have enclosed the inside ingredients.

Finishing up rolling the opposite side. Getting one side to kinda overlap the other.

Pull back the parchment paper or plastic wrap and put toothpicks into the loose bacon tips at the ends of the rolled up fatty to help keep its form rounded on the ends…and to keep stuff from oozing out.

 Put it on the grill

Placed on the grill with indirect heat.

When cooking this thing, I put the breakfast fatty in at 275F and leave it in for about 90 minutes. I like to use my digital thermometer to check the temps inside. When it is around 150F, I apply the BBQ sauce on the bacon. Close the lid and then remove the log when the internal temp hits 165F. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Checking temps with my Thermapen Mk4 from Thermoworks.

The recipe!

Bacon-weaved Breakfast Fatty

Good for breakfast or tailgating, this BBQ staple is great any time of day!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 10-12 strips of bacon
  • 1 lb. ground sausage
  • 2 Tbsp rub
  • 3/4 C hash browns, cooked
  • 3 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 C diced onion
  • 1/8 C diced green bell pepper
  • 3 Tbsp BBQ sauce


  1. Preheat grill to 275F on indirect heat
  2. Lay down sheet of parchment paper and create the bacon weave.
  3. Apply ground sausage on top of bacon weave and spread into a square-like shape. Apply rub onto ground sausage.
  4. Spread cooked hash browns in a horizontal line down the center of the ground sausage. Place scrambled eggs, cheese, onion, and green bell pepper on top in similar fashion.
  5. Take one end of the parchment paper (parallel to the line of hash browns and other ingredients) and loosely roll the fatty. Remove parchment paper and secure ends with toothpicks.
  6. Place on grill (275F at indirect heat) and cook for 70 minutes.
  7. Brush BBQ sauce on the bacon, close lid and cook for another 20 minutes.
  8. Remove, rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.


For crispier bacon, turn grill up to 325F during last 20-30 minutes.

If you want to make this spicy, substitute jalapeños for green bell peppers, pepper jack cheese for cheddar cheese, and even add some chorizo.

Cook until the ground sausage has hit a temp of 165F.

Place slice of breakfast fatty in a biscuit or English muffin to make an ultimate breakfast sandwich!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

6 oz.

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325

Easy Pulled Pork

This pulled pork recipe is quite the crowd pleaser…and simple to make!

If you’re new to learning how to barbecue (that rhymed), I highly recommend smoking a pork shoulder. Also known as a pork butt or Boston butt, this cut of meat comes from the shoulder of the pig. Hence, I like to call it the pork shoulder. While it is a popular meat at barbecue joints, don’t be intimidated. Pork shoulder is a very forgiving meat in that you can make some mistakes and it will still turn out pretty darn good. I have a simple recipe I use often and it yields incredible results.

The ingredients

Pork shoulder, rub, and mustard. That’s it for the prep!

One aspect that makes this recipe so easy is the number of ingredients: four. All you need is a pork shoulder, spicy brown mustard (or regular mustard), your favorite bottle of rub, and a can of Dr Pepper for spritzing during the cook.

Is there trimming involved?

Start by taking your pork shoulder out of the packaging. I like to give it a gentle rinse and patting dry with a paper towel before using the other ingredients. Once that’s done, put it on your cutting board or whatever sanitary surface you plan on using. As far as trimming goes, pork shoulders usually come trimmed up pretty well out of the package with no other work to do. There may be a random flap of fat hanging off somewhere and you are free to trim that off and go on your way. Now, you’ll notice a layer of fat on the top part. Every barbecuer I know leaves it on. Some like to score the fat side with cuts about a 1/2 inch deep and do so in a crosshatch pattern (cuts about 1 inch apart) because they feel the fat (and other seasonings on top) will render into the meat better. I am going simple here and leave the fat side alone.

Applying mustard and rub

Next, get your bottle of mustard and start squirting over the meat. Make sure to smooth it over all sides of the shoulder, not just front and back. After you’ve finished rubbing that mustard on, grab your bottle of rub and start shaking, covering all sides of the pork. I like to be a little generous with the rub here as the pork can be bland without it.

The smoking process

On the grill getting that smoke sauna!

Hopefully you’ve had your smoker outside getting up to smoking temps. I like to go 275F, which is on the edge of going from smoking to baking. When smoking pork, I like to use either a fruit wood (such as apple, cherry, or peach) or go with my favorite: pecan. Once I am near temps, I put the pork shoulder on the grill and let the smoke do the rest…and the spritz. Which reminds me…

How often do I spritz?

This is a question that is bound to get a different response from pretty much every barbecuer out there. Some say spritz every hour. Others may say once every two hours. There are folks who don’t spritz at all. Not only that, but you will get feedback of blends to make for your spritzing, usually with the main ingredient of apple juice or apple cider vinegar (I’ve mixed both). Since I’m keeping it simple here, I use a can of Dr Pepper. Not only does it provide a little bit of a sweeter flavor that pork mixes well with, it also gives a richer, darker color to the outside of the meat. I like to spritz about two or three times during the smoke session. TIP: open the can of Dr Pepper a few hours beforehand and let it sit out and get flat. It will spritz better that way.

To wrap or not to wrap?

Wrap or no wrap, the end result is tasty!

Some like to wrap their meat in foil when the meat hits around 150-165F range because its usually at that spot that the meat stops progressing in temperature because it starts to sweat to cool down. This phase is commonly known as the stall or Texas crutch. Wrapping helps trap the heat to help the meat cook hotter and faster. I haven’t been wrapping during cooking lately because I am giving myself plenty of time to finish. But do what you want in this regard.

When is it done?

Why do I keep using my headlines as questions? Yep, I asked another question. *insert facepalm here* A lot of recipes give you a set number of hours to tell you the meat is officially done. I don’t buy into that. I’ve had similar sized pork shoulders cooking side by side in the same grill at the same temps and have had one finish before the other. This experience happens to me often. The reason for being is that, as BBQ pro Chad Ward told me once, “every animal has lived a different life.” Meaning that some animals have used their muscles more than others, making their meat tougher. Some may have been fed differently than others, eaten more than others, etc.

One way to tell if the pork shoulder is done is by using a digital meat thermometer, like this Thermapen Mk4 by Thermoworks, and seeing temps in the 195-205F range.

There are two ideal ways I can tell when the pork shoulder is done: by internal meat temp, which shredding temp is between 195-205F, or by using the meat thermometer to simply probe the meat. If the probe goes in and out smooth like butter, then it is done.

Rest and serve

After cooking, I like to let it sit out for 30 minutes and then wrap and rest.

When the pork shoulder is done cooking, you will want to let it rest. This helps the juices build up and the meat cool down. Let it rest at least 30 minutes before tearing into it. I like to let it rest and then wrap if I plan on serving it later. I then put it in a well-insulated cooler and remove when I’m ready to eat.

Shredding the pork only takes a matter of seconds!

Some folks like to shred the meat with some sort of bear claw-type meat shredding tools. I like to put on two layers of gloves and shred with my hands. The underlying layer is a pair of cheap worker gloves you can get at a gas station or hardware store. The outer layer is a pair of nitrile gloves (I like to use Gloveworks HD). That pair of worker gloves underneath helps acts as a bit of insulation to protect from the heat of the meat. If the meat is done at the ideal temps, then shredding only takes about 30 seconds. Shredding the pork this way is seriously one of my favorite things to do in barbecue! There’s something gratifying about making quick work of something that took hours to finish. Serving soon after shredding is prime time for texture and taste so you and your friends/family/strangers should eat up quick!

The video!

If you don’t eat it all, no worries. Another great thing about pulled pork is that it reheats very well, even after freezing. It is the only meat I freeze leftovers of and eat at a later time because it is still quite tasty.

The recipe!

Easy Pulled Pork

Easy Pulled Pork

Smoked pulled pork is a favorite in the barbecue world and is surprisingly easy to make. Using only three ingredients (four if you count the Dr Pepper for the spritz), this recipe is super easy and yields tasty results!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 5 minutes


  • 1 pork shoulder (aka- Boston butt), 6-8 lbs.
  • 1/4 C spicy brown mustard
  • 4 Tbsp rub
  • OPTIONAL: Dr Pepper for spritzing


  1. Preheat grill/smoker to 275F with indirect heat, using smoking wood of your choice
  2. Place pork shoulder on cutting board and apply spicy brown mustard, then the rub
  3. Move pork shoulder to grill/smoker and cook for about 10 hours, spritzing on occasion with Dr Pepper
  4. Remove when pork hits between 195-203F internal temp
  5. Rest for 20-30 minutes before shredding


  • For the spritzing, its best to open the can/bottle of Dr Pepper hours beforehand and let it get flat. The soda will spray better this way.
  • Finishing times for meat can vary. Keep track of temps throughout to make sure it finishes at the temp you want.
  • While pork is technically edible at 142F, pulled pork needs to be finished cooking around 195-203F to make it more shreddable and still juicy
  • Regarding smoking wood, I prefer to use pecan or a fruit wood such as apple, peach, or cherry. Pork does well with these flavors.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

6 oz

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 496

Product Review: Joetisserie

The Joetisserie fits the Kamado Joe Classic 18” grill (and other similar sized grills) as seen here. Also seen here, meat not included.

I’ve been cooking in a ceramic grill religiously for the past 18 months, mostly going low and slow for barbecue. I’ve been using the Kamado Joe Classic, Classic II, and Joe Jr. I love how these things hold the heat for hours and hours (especially in the wintertime) and how they capture the moisture in at the same time. I’ve used the regular grill grates, cast iron grates, and the half moon griddle. While I recommend using all of these, my favorite accessory to use is the Joetisserie.

What’s in the box?

What comes in the box.

The Joetisserie works like a regular rotisserie and is fitted for the 18” Classic. The packaging includes a steel spit rod (or skewer), two adjustable forks (or claws) to keep the food firmly in place for spinning, a large, wedge-shaped ring to keep the skewer in place, and the motor for spinning the steel spit rod. The motor comes with a plug because it requires electricity, so you’ll want to make sure your grill is close to a power source. Also worth noting is that the motor is strong enough to spin up to 40 lbs. of food.


To help attach the food to the skewer, one side has a dull point on the end to help move the food down the stick (but not too sharp as to impale…unless you are running full force with it at someone/something). Make sure to first put one claw on the skewer facing the food, then the food itself, and finally the other claw to keep things in place whilst spinning.

Here’s a video of the unboxing (a re-enactment if you will) and assembly of the Joetisserie:

Using the Joetisserie

You can cook a variety of meats, veggies, and fruits rotisserie style. Two of my personal favorites are chicken and pineapple. I’ve also attempted al pastor and have had some success with it. The advantage to cooking food this way is that as it’s internal temp starts to rise, the juices don’t usually drip off. They keep rolling around as the food spins, meaning the food is basting in its own juices. In fact, the best, most juiciest whole chickens I’ve made have been rotisserie style using my Joetisserie.

Chicken spinning on the rotisserie…or should I say, Joetisserie.

One tip I’ve learned after charring the skin on a few of my birds is when lighting the coals, try to keep your hottest ones to the outer portions as opposed to directly under the meat. That way, you can get a more even cook for both the outside and inside of your food. Another option for those with more patience is to let the coals burn past their peak and then use those cooler coals to cook with.

Some al pastor being sliced to put into tacos!

While the Joetisserie is great to use, one super minor issue of how to store it comes after you are finished using it. You could always try to put it back in the original box it came in, but the custom cut styrofoam will eventually come apart. No custom bags or storage bins are available, so you’ll either have to find the right size of box to put it in or be like me and put some parts one place and the rest on top of your fridge in the garage.

With that said, here’s my pros and cons:


* Simple to assemble
* Food becomes self-basting
* Fits most round, 18” ceramic grills (including large Big Green Egg)
* Easy to use


* Limited availability to purchase
* No storage kit available


I could watch the rotisserie spin around all day. It’s a bit hypnotic in a way. If you check my social media posts, you will occasionally see me sharing videos of spinning chickens and other foods. I can’t help it. I could watch those videos on repeat! Even though there are no storage bags available (at the moment), I highly recommend the Joetisserie to add yet another style of cooking to your kamado!