For those who tuned in to CMT on January 16th and enjoyed the pilot episode of BIG FOOD, you know you want more! In the last episode John and Don McLemore traveled to Fort Benning to embark on their most outrageous food challenge yet – a strawberry shortcake the size of a tank to honor armory school graduates. That was only the beginning of their travels, for more tank-sized cake fun be sure to follow @BigFoodShow and get the latest information.
In the meanwhile, we sat down with John McLemore himself to learn more about this adventure, how it all began and what’s next on his horizon. Whatever it is, we know he’ll be having some Dadgum Good fun!
So bring a mug of coffee and let’s chat with John!
- CEO of Masterbuilt, Author of two cookbooks and now a Reality TV Special ….. Tell us about the program.
We’ve been manufacturing cooking products for almost 40 years and we travel the country promoting those products and my cookbooks. While on the road, we’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and several of those connections led to this opportunity to film a pilot for a reality show. Big Food is all about making something big and outrageous that’s never been done before. Our pilot episode is filmed at Ft. Benning, GA, and we built a tank-sized cake for the armor school graduates.
2. Your enthusiasm on the show is infectious, are you a high-energy person off-screen as well?
Absolutely. I’ve always had a lot of energy.
3. You seemed to have a connection with Ft. Benning. Have you done other events for the troops?
Yes. Masterbuilt has sponsored a competition at Ft. Benning and several other events. We’ve also provided products for giveaways at events for the troops.
4. Strawberry Shortcake the size of a tank! What next?
I’d love to set a World Record for frying the most turkeys in one day!
5. What was your favorite part of shooting BIG FOOD?
Building new relationships with the folks at Ft. Benning and presenting the cake to the armor school graduates. (And sleeping in a tank one night!)
6. How difficult was it for you to make the switch from CEO & Grill Master to a Reality TV Star?
The transition wasn’t difficult, because I was just being myself, but the time required to film the show was a big commitment.
7. What is the most challenging part of being in front of the camera?
I’ve always been comfortable in front of the camera. The only time it ever gets challenging is when I’m facing an unknown situation or topic.
8. Are there any behind-the-scenes stories you would like to share? Maybe footage that didn’t make the show?
My son, J-Mac, helped build the large oven we used in the show. I was proud of him and wish everyone could have seen the work he put into that oven. Also, we attended the Sullivan Cup Tank Competition one evening and got to see the tanks “live fire” at night. That was a really cool event! One evening we went into the barracks with the troops who were going through basic training. The drill sergeants treated us like the new soldiers, so that was pretty interesting!
9. Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about BIG FOOD?
The experience of filming the pilot episode for Big Food was fun and exciting. CMT will not be moving forward to bring this show to series, but we look forward to the many other opportunities that will come from this experience.
10. It was mentioned earlier that you are the CEO of Masterbuilt, Author of two cookbooks and now a Reality TV Star. Did you ever think you would be on TV?
With our PR efforts for Masterbuilt and live cooking demos at events, I think it was a natural transition. I represent our brand for our infomercial and on QVC. I never could have imagined filming a reality show, though.
11. What’s next for John McLemore?
We will continue down the path of building world-class cooking products and traveling all over to cook and promote our brand. I love what I do and love our team at Masterbuilt. Whatever comes next, I’m continually humbled and grateful for the blessings in my life.
It’s our favorite time of year… time for visiting with family, sharing in traditions and expressing our thankfulness for the little things in life. At the McLemore’s, Thanksgiving is all about the three F’s – football, family and FOOD! Whether you’re still searching for that perfect stuffing recipe, or want to share your favorite Turkey Day tradition, John McLemore has just the thing to get you excited about the upcoming holiday.
You’re invited to the #ThanksgivingwithJohn Twitter Party, hosted by John McLemore and the Mastebuilt team. We’ll be chatting about all things Turkey Day – the best home cooked recipes, favorite family traditions, turkey frying tips and more. We’ll be kicking off the party after supper time, and to get the party started, we’ve invited a festive team of savvy bloggers who will be sharing their own Thanksgiving tips and suggestions.
The Twitter party will take place Monday, November 12th, 2012 from 8:30– 9:30p.m. EST, hosted by our favorite family man, John McLemore (@JohnMcLemore) and moderated by Masterbuilt (@Masterbuilt), along with a team of expert panelists: Carrian Cheney @OhSweetBasil, Celeste Ward @SugarSpicebyC, Lyndi Fultz @NWAFoodie
As any good host knows, it wouldn’t be a party without gifts! We’ll be giving away prizes every fifteen minutes, including three “DADGUM That’s Good!” Cookbooks and one Thanksgiving gift pack grand prize.
Want to win? Look out for Thanksgiving-related Twitter party questions by @Masterbuilt and be sure to include the hashtag #ThanksgivingwithJohn in your tweets! For complete rules and details on the prize drawings, click here (OFFICIAL RULES).
Leaves are falling, our football teams are gearing up for bowl season and our favorite foodie holiday is right around the corner… Can you smell the turkey? Like most families, at the McLemore’s, Thanksgiving means celebrating traditions, tossing the pigskin and gathering in the kitchen to prepare favorite family recipes. This Turkey Day, our favorite grill master and family man, John McLemore, is inviting you to join in the McLemore Thanksgiving festivities.
Help spread your pilgrim’s pride on Pinterest this Thanksgiving. Masterbuilt and John McLemore are kicking off a holiday Pinterest sweepstakes. We’ll be sharing a “Thanksgiving at the McLemore’s – Pin It to Win It” Pinterest board on the “Cooking with John McLemore” Pinterest page, featuring John’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes and original McLemore family recipes.
The “Thanksgiving at the McLemore’s – Pin It to Win It” sweepstakes will run from Monday, November 12, through Friday, November 30. We’ll be randomly selecting weekly winners, who will receive a lapper tray and “DADGUM That’s Good!” Cookbook, and one grand prize winner, who will receive a Masterbuilt Turkey Fryer.
How can you win these Masterbuilt Thanksgiving essentials? Easy!
1. Follow John McLemore on Pinterest
2. Repin any image from the “Thanksgiving at the McLemore’s” pinboard
3. Tag your repin with the hashtags #Masterbuilt #PinItToWinIt
4. Email a link to your pin/board to CookingwithJM@gmail.com
Be sure to share the “Thanksgiving at the McLemore’s – Pin It to Win It” sweepstakes with friends on Facebook and Twitter! Winners will be announced every week on Facebook.com/Masterbuilt & @Masterbuilt. Be sure to follow us.
For complete rules on prize drawings and terms and conditions, click here: OFFICIAL RULES. Let the pinning and winning begin!
We are proud to announce our partnership with Action Against Hunger, which focuses on uniting students across the country in the fight against global hunger. This partnership with Action Against Hunger is all about bringing awareness to the issue of malnutrition and showing kids right here in the U.S. how lucky they are to have what they have. As a part of this educational collaboration, Masterbuilt will host fun, nutritious barbeques – featuring interactive cooking demonstrations with John McLemore – at community-wide events.
We kick off our first event in Columbus, GA, not far from the Masterbuilt home base. Invitees include children from the local Boys & Girls Club, who will have the opportunity to cook, learn a recipe or two, watch a demo, enjoy a relay, and most importantly interact with Team Masterbuilt. In doing so, we hope to instill in them appreciation for all they have a bring renewed awareness and compassion for those less fortunate.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
August 22, 2012 – Columbus, GA – Boys & Girls Club
September 18, 2012 – Charlotte, NC – In Goode Company
For more information and some LIVE tweeting, follow us @Masterbuilt. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Someone sent me a link to an article recently about Southern food becoming a trend in New York City. (Zagat Diners Love Southern Food…)
My guess is that New Yorkers have discovered what we Southerners have known for a lifetime – there’s nothing like some good ol’ Southern food! In the South, it’s not just about the food, it’s about the time spent with family and friends while you’re cooking the food. You would be hard-pressed to find a Southern food that wouldn’t double as comfort food.
From time to time, I get questioned about how we stay trim and healthy eating all of the rich, Southern food we cook at Masterbuilt. I’m sure you’ve heard it said, but it’s the truth – moderation is key. We do love to deep-fry just about anything here at Masterbuilt, but we also love to put our own modern twist on old Southern favs and substitute lighter ingredients. When may skip the fryer and throw a pork chop on the grill instead. (Which balances the meal out when we throw some fried okra or mashed potatoes on the plate!)
We’ve cooked up Southern Food on the streets of NYC and it always draws a crowd. Like I said, it’s not just about the food. Southern food has a way of pulling folks in. The smell of BBQ or deep-fried turkey is like an elixir to our overstressed souls.
I’m glad Northerners are realizing the value of our dadgum good Southern food. What’s one Southern dish you would tell your Northern friends they have to try? (I would definitely say BBQ ribs and smoked mac n’ cheese!)
Our Lapper Trays have been designated as “Tailgating Approved“. To celebrate, we’re giving away a set of 2 Lapper Trays!
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post and tell us: “My fav tailgating food is __________________.”
You can read more about our Lapper Trays here and view our infomercial with Anthony Sullivan.
We will choose a winner at 9 am EST on Wednesday, September 14. Only comments left on this blog post will be considered in this random drawing. You must leave your email address to qualify, so that we can contact you if you win. Your email address will not display in your comment.
Congrats to Tina B., the winner of the Lapper Trays!
It’s day 2 of this week’s DTG road trip. We started off the day at Fox31 and taped 2 segments. There’s nothing like smoking ribs, chicken wings and mac n’ cheese for breakfast!
Barb is one of those people that loves to entertain and share good food, so she became our instant friend. She has a post on her blog with a recipe for bacon-wrapped pretzels. Can’t wait to try those!
For dinner, we dined at the oldest restaurant in Denver – The Buckhorn Exchange - with Shannon Wilson of Grubology. I would highly recommend you visit this piece of history if you are in Denver. They have liquor license #1 in Denver! They have a table that belonged to Buffalo Bill and mounts cover the walls, including a brown zebra and a 2-headed calf. After your meal, take some time to walk around and take it all in.
Tomorrow morning we’ll be over at 9 News Daybreak, then we’re headed home.
P.S. Forgive some of the photo quality…cell phone photos!
We’re on the road this week, bringing “Dadgum Good” food to Dallas and Denver. We’ve got some TV segments lined up, and some meals with bloggers.
We started last night with a BBQ dinner with Chris Baccus of GasStationTacos.com and TheConsideredCook.com. We tried the brisket, pulled pork and ribs at Sonny Bryan’s. I would highly recommend the brisket – it was very tender and had a good amount of smoky flavor. The smoked sausage appetizer was a nice start to the meal; the mustard dipping sauce has quite a kick!
Chris is a great guy and we enjoyed talking with him about food, media, football and just about anything. We look forward to teaching him how to make some “Dadgum Good” BBQ very soon when he is in Georgia. We hail from a land where gas stations have Frozen Slurpees and hot dogs on a roller, so it’s interesting to see that Chris has found authentic Mexican food at “fillin’ stations”.
This morning, we taped a segment at the “Good Morning Texas“ studios. Our segment was originally meant to air live, but the wild fires in Texas dominated the news this morning. My prayers are going out to those affected by these fires – I hope they are able to get those under control very soon.
The folks at WFAA were awesome to work with and we hope to go back again soon. We made some Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Espresso Sauce, Smoked Mac n’ Cheese, and Super Smoked Sweet and Spicy Wings. The segment should air on Thursday, but could possibly run on Labor Day (we’ll keep you posted on our Facebook page).
One of the highlights of the day was meeting Duff – the “Ace of Cakes” – in Dallas. Such an authentic guy. If you watch his show you should know, he’s the same guy in person. I gave him a “Dadgum, That’s Good!” cookbook. I wonder if he can make some BBQ cake?! One of our Facebook fans made that suggestion. Sounds good to me!
In the morning, we are taping a couple of segments at Good Day Colorado / Daybreak on Deuce. We’ll keep you posted on those air times, also.
I’m looking forward to meeting a couple of bloggers tomorrow also. For now, it’s time to turn in here in the Mile-High and get some rest.
We’re working on recipes for our next cookbook and we served Team Masterbuilt some fresh, hot donuts this morning that were a big hit in the office. The recipe has definitely received the “Dadgum Good” seal of approval, but we need a creative name for these donuts. What would you name them?
You start with canned refrigerator biscuits. Homestyle preferred – the small generic brand ones that come in bundled packages of 4 cans (10 biscuits per can). Don’t use flaky or buttermilk.
Combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Spread on a plate, or put in paper bag.
Heat your oil to 325 degrees.
Open the canned biscuits. You have 2 choices on the size. We fried them whole and also cut them in half; we preferred the half-size.
Gently place the biscuits into the oil and fry for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes, until golden brown (make sure you flip halfway through the cooking time).
Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. While still hot, roll biscuit in cinnamon-sugar mixture on a plate and cover evenly. If you have a paper bag, you can shake the hot biscuits in the bag with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
We dare you to eat just one!
Without a doubt, one of our most popular recipes is our Four-Cheese Smoked Mac n’ Cheese. I receive requests almost daily for the link to this recipe. Once someone views a cooking segment on local media or QVC, they just have to have that smoked mac n’ cheese! I must admit….I don’t blame you!
When we are done with our airings at QVC, the crew members line up with plates and forks in-hand to scoop up this dish. I love taking my plate of mac n’ cheese back to the greenroom and reading your comments on Facebook and Twitter after a successful smoker airing.
Here’s the link to our recipe…
This makes a no-fail, crowd-pleasing side dish for your summer BBQ. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
This past weekend, our President/CEO John McLemore was on Fox and Friends Weekend with a “Dadgum, That’s Good!” cooking segment. He smoked some baby back ribs, prime rib and mac n’ cheese, and also made a low country seafood boil in our Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer. He hosted a BBQ on the streets of NYC!
Just leave a comment on this blog post and tell us….
If you could invite anyone in the world to your backyard BBQ, who would it be? What would you cook in the smoker?
You MUST leave your email address with the comment (it will not display in your comment, but will allow us to contact you if you are a winner). We will close comments at 11:00 pm EST on Tuesday, August 2nd.
The winner gets a 30″ Electric Digital Smoker from Masterbuilt.
CONTEST CLOSED….The winner is Tom Deschenes. (Tom – We sent you an email. Please respond with your shipping address. Congrats!)
Recently, we were filming a tv segment and made grilled corn on the cob. The recipe we used called for green onion, but I don’t like onions. Since we left the husks on the corn, we decided to write my name on the husk with a Sharpie marker, so we’d know which corn cob was missing the onion.
The next time you grill corn, this is great way to let each person add their own toppings (butter, onion, garlic….) and identify their corn cob right away when it’s done.
Frogmore Stew….Beaufort Boil….Tidewater Boil….whatever you call it, it’s DADGUM GOOD!
Here in Columbus, GA, we call this meal a Low Country Boil. It’s a fun and easy way to serve up your summer seafood. In fact, we call the serving style “Grab n’ Growl”! We dump the boil onto a table covered with newspaper and everyone helps themselves.
We have the recipe and cooking video links below. You can make this recipe your own by adding crawfish or other spices/ingredients that you love.
What do you call this meal where you live?
Recipe: LOW COUNTRY BOIL
This weekend, give our Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Kabobs a try on your grill. Serve them up with some grilled summer corn and salad for an easy and colorful meal.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Kabobs
Salt and Pepper
Wooden skewers (soaked in water) or metal skewers.
Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove seeds/membrane. Cut each section in half again. Salt/pepper the chicken tenders. Place tender on a slice of bacon – lengthwise. Place a piece of jalapeno on top of the chicken tender at the very end and roll the pepper, chicken and bacon together. Thread onto skewers – 2 per skewer. Grill over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, then turn over and grill for an additional 5-10 minutes. When the chicken reaches 165 degrees internal temp and the bacon is crispy, it’s done! (Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken tenders.)
One of our fav recipes is our Super Smoked Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings. No need to purchase a party platter from a restaurant….you can make your own!
Hasn’t it been said that “bacon makes everything taste better”?
For your main dish, try bacon-wrapped smoked chicken breasts. Simply cover the breasts with dry-rub seasoning (your choice) and wrap with slices of bacon. (Total cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Make sure they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees.)
To add a bacon-twist to a side dish, wrap asparagus in bacon and place on top rack of your grill. Use a veggie basket or aluminum foil for non-stick cooking. Grill until bacon is done.
What other foods do you wrap in bacon?
Brining a chicken is a great way to add flavor and moisture to the meat. Give this brine a try
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
6 chicken legs and thighs, still connected, bone-in, skin-on
Directions In a mixing bowl combine the water, salt, garlic, and thyme (DO NOT use metal bowl). Transfer the brine to an extra-large re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, close the bag and refrigerate 2 hours.
Grill or smoke chicken until it reaches 165 degrees.
As you are grilling/smoking this summer, make sure you check the internal temp of your meat before serving. If your grill is so hot that it burns the outside of the meat before fully cooking the inside, you could serve up more than just dinner to your guests. A trip to the ER for food poisoning might be on your menu!
Follow these guidelines for a safe summer meal:
Beef, Veal, Lamb (Steaks and Roasts) – 145 degrees
Fish – 145 degrees
Pork – 160 degrees
Beef, Veal, Lamb (Ground) – 160 degrees
Egg Dishes – 160 degrees
Turkey, Chicken, Duck – 165 degrees
**Source: USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
When you live in the South, but don’t eat mayo, it limits your side dish intake. No kidding.
Cole slaw – out. Potato Salad – nope. Macaroni Salad – nada.
My plate at the family BBQ is protein rich, but empty on one side!
This past weekend, all of that changed. I made a no-mayo slaw and went back for seconds!
Even if you do love mayo, you’ll still want to give this Crunchy Asian Slaw a try. It’s crisp and flavorful. You can serve as a side dish, or even put it on a pulled pork sandwich.
This past Sunday on QVC, David Venable (the host) challenged all of the on-air guests to grill up some non-traditional items. One of David’s favorite foods is our Smoked Mac n’ Cheese, so I decided to make him a Grilled Mac n’ Cheese sandwich. It was so good!
I noticed on our Facebook page that many of you are planning to make our Smoked Mac n’ Cheese for the 4th of July weekend. If you do, give these sandwiches a try.
Butter 2 slices of thick bread (like Texas toast). Scoop the Smoked Mac n’ Cheese in between the bread slices and grill the sandwich on both sides. It’s warm, cheesy and DADGUM GOOD!
In case you are looking for our Smoked Mac n’ Cheese recipe, here’s the link:
Try something different for dessert tonight – grilled apples!
Peel apples, core and cut into quarters. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Coat with melted butter. Grill for 30 to 45 minutes over indirect heat, until apples are tender. Turn about every 10 minutes while cooking and baste with melted butter. During the last few minutes of cooking, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (watch them carefully, as sugar burns easily).
Serve these grilled apples with some vanilla ice cream.
Here’s a great dry rub seasoning you can make and store in an air-tight container for your weekend grilling/smoking:
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground celery seed
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Memorial Day weekend is known as the unofficial kickoff for summer, which means it’s time to fire up the grills and smokers!
Here are some “Dadgum Good” recipes to enjoy this weekend:
Be safe and take some time to remember those who lost their lives defending our country. God Bless!
(We recently sent out a press release with these grilling tips from John. Enjoy, and let us know your own grilling tips.)
20 BBQ Grilling Tips from John McLemore, author of “DADGUM That’s Good!”
1. Coat grill rack with non‐stick spray or vegetable oil before preheating to prevent food from sticking.
2. When grilling fish, grill with the skin side down or on aluminum foil (coat with non‐stick spray).
3. Red snapper is quick and easy to grill. But, make sure the grill and fish are well oiled, and handle carefully.
4. Salmon is a favorite for grilling, because it doesn’t dry out. Rich in natural omega oils, you can pop it on the grill without oiling. Start by grilling the salmon skin side up. This allows the natural fat under the skin to be drawn into the filet, keeping it rich and moist.
5. If you’re grilling scallops, use fresh ocean scallops. These should be a pinkish tan or ivory color, not unnaturally white.
6. Freshwater trout is great on the grill. The skin becomes thin and crispy and the meat is full of flavor.
7. To keep tuna burgers moist, choose the freshest tuna steaks you can find and serve them medium‐rare to medium – don’t overcook.
8. When grilling BBQ ribs, pork butt, or tenderloin, cook unwrapped for 50 to 75% of the cooking time to infuse smoke and flavor. The remaining time wrap with heavy aluminum foil to retain moisture and tenderness
9. When grilling burgers and steaks, allow grill to get to a high temperature before placing food on grill. Let steaks or burgers grill several minutes prior to turning, which will sear in the juices.
10. When choosing an inexpensive steak, opt for flank steak rather than skirt steak, which can be tougher. Flank steak is thin and cooks quickly. They’re usually marinated before being grilled. Wrap the steak in foil as it comes off the grill and let it stand for 10 minutes. Slice it thinly on a diagonal across the grain to sever the tough fibers and make the flavorful steak more tender.
11. When is cheaper better? Chicken thighs may be one of the cheaper cuts, but they do great on the grill! Thighs are more flavorful and the extra fat in the skin makes them better suited to grilling.
12. For the juiciest chicken and chops, you want to sear them on both sides on high heat for several minutes and then bring the grill temperature down to complete the cooking process.
13. Grilling vegetables in aluminum foil, with oil, prevents them from falling through the grill gates.
14. Just a few minutes on the grill gives bell peppers a sweet smoky flavor. Don’t over roast them: As soon as the skin puffs up and turns black, they’re ready.
15. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; grill for 15 minutes.
16. You can leave the husk on the corn while grilling. Once you see the shape of the kernels burning through the husk, your corn is ready. (If you grill with indirect heat, you’ll need to grill the corn for about an hour, so put your corn on the grill first.)
17. Grilled Caesar Salad ‐ ? Sure – the Romaine lettuce ends will char, but it stays remarkably crisp and sweet, with a char‐grilled flavor.
18. Always allow grill to cool prior to cleaning, but I recommend cleaning after each use.
19. To extend the life of your grill (and smoker), store in a dry place or keep covered after each use.
20. Do not grill alone; spend the time with family and friends. (It’s more DADGUM fun!)
We are in MeMaw’s kitchen at Masterbuilt today, doing a run-through of the recipes we are making at several television stations next week in Nashville and Memphis.
Since they’ll post our recipe for Pecan Catfish with Pepper Pecan Sauce on the station websites, we wanted to give you a first-look here on the Dadgum That’s Good site. This recipe is on page 55 of our cookbook, and we’ve posted it here:
The crust on this fish is so crunchy and flavorful. You’ll love the sauce, and may even want to use it as a sandwich spread.
We’ll post our media schedule for next week on our Facebook Page, so be sure to check us out if you live in Nashville or Memphis.
There’s another appearance this weekend that we are really looking forward to. We are scheduled to make a return appearance on the Huckabee Show in NYC! I’m excited to see Governor Huckabee again and can’t wait to serve him up some DADGUM GOOD smoked food!
My mom is such a great Southern cook. In fact, she is the inspiration for a lot that we do here at Masterbuilt. My favorite meal is her Southern Fried Chicken, String Beans and Mashed Potatoes. I’m fairly certain that the phrase “Dadgum, That’s Good!” was born after eating that meal!
My favorite memory with my mom is a trip we took to Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida. We camped out, went snorkeling and scuba diving. She was always an active lady and we had such a great time on these vacations.
What’s your favorite “mom” food? What’s your favorite memory with her?
One of our Masterbuilt customers contacted us with a story we just had to share:
“I have a very interesting, true story you may want to hear regarding my smoker. I work for a resort in the western N.C. mountains. Every Monday night, I serve our guests pulled smoked pork. It has gotten to be somewhat of a popular event, as I have served as many as 85 folks. I always cook the night before, for about 8 hours of smoking, and then wrap in foil to finish until morning.
Several Monday mornings ago at around 4 am, we woke to a loud noise outside. Our neighbor, Bubba, a full-grown male black bear was trying to have some bbq for breakfast. He threw the smoker down and dragged it around the driveway. He was doing everything he could to get that smoker open. Finally, we were able to run him off. He did a pretty good bit of damage to the outside of the smoker, but was never able to get in.
I served bbq that night and told the story. Everybody laughed and enjoyed great food. That smoker is still working like new and I use it every week! Just thought you might want to know.” -Danny
Now, we put our Masterbuilt products through a lot of testing, but we’ve never tried black bear testing!
We’ve received a lot of questions lately about smoking fresh hams, so we decided to do a few blog posts about the process and cooking times. We’d love to hear your feedback as we experiment with different methods.
For our first run, we used a 9.5 lb. fresh picnic ham (bone-in). With a fresh ham, you need to brine, cure or a combination of both to infuse flavor. Pre-cooked, pre-cured hams already have the seasonings and flavor infused into the meat.
We used a simple brine solution of Kosher salt, sugar and cold water for 8 hours in the fridge. A great resource for salt/sugar/water ratio amounts can be found HERE.
After the brining process, we smoked the ham at 275 degrees for 6 hours, until it reached an internal temp of 165 degrees (about 38 minutes per pound). We filled the water pan about 1/2 way with a mixture of orange juice, apple juice and pineapple juice. We used that same mixture in a spray bottle to baste the ham about once per hour.
We added wood chips a total of 4 times (once per hour for the first 4 hours). We used hickory, but we would also recommend apple chips.
The ham was extremely moist and tender. If you are used to a pre-cooked, pre-cured ham, you will notice a difference in flavor and texture. The “inside meat” turned out similar to a pork roast. This ham was perfect for sandwich slices or chopping and mixing with your favorite BBQ sauce.
We made a few observations for our next try:
- We left the skin attached, but scored it. This does block some of the smoky flavor from penetrating the meat. We recommend removing the skin and scoring the fat to allow the meat to absorb more smoke.
- If you like more of a punch of flavor/salt, you will need to inject the meat prior to smoking. We kept it simple this time and loved the results, but will inject the next ham for comparison.
To make for easy clean-up, make sure you line the water pan with aluminum foil.
Here are a few video clips from the day:
Tell us about your experiences with smoking fresh vs. pre-cooked ham.
When we received a request from a Masterbuilt fan for an entire Easter meal for the smoker, we knew this was something we wanted to share with all of you.
As we suggested this week, there’s nothing better than a smoked ham as the main attraction on your Easter table. You’ll love our MAPLE GLAZED HAM.
For your side dishes, we have a few suggestions.
Our SMOKED POTATO AND GREEN CHILE CASSEROLE is an awesome twist on potato casserole. It has a bit of a kick, but you can lighten up on the chiles if you have little ones in the crowd. You start this one in the smoker and finish in the oven for 20 minutes. It’s delicious!
You can’t go wrong with our FOUR-CHEESE SMOKED MAC N’ CHEESE. It’s ooey, gooey and “dadgum good”!
Our recipe for SMOKED ASPARAGUS is a simple way to add some “green” to your Easter spread.
We hope you enjoy this flavor-packed Easter menu.
Have a great holiday weekend from all of us at Masterbuilt. God Bless!
Today on our Facebook page, we’re asking the question:
We’d like to hear from you, so please click on over and give us your answer.
I grew up on a small farm and we ate “off the land”. Basically, I was organic before organic was cool. We grew our own vegetables and most of the meat we ate came from an animal we raised. The process of planting, picking, washing, canning and putting away the food from our garden was a family affair. I remember having stained fingers from shelling and snapping peas while our family sat on the screened porch and shared stories and memories. Sunday dinners together at my grandparent’s home were a ritual. To this day, the smell of roast makes me think of those Sunday dinners.
When you were growing up, did you eat most of your dinners at home with your family?
Do you eat most of your dinners at home now?
It seems that our world is making a shift back to the family dinner table. It’s so encouraging to see that we are coming back to the place where we value that time with our family – eating, talking and laughing together. I love working for a company that helps people cook at home with their families.
Now, what’s for dinner?
Some of you may have read the Masterbuilt story in my cookbook (“Dadgum, That’s Good!), but there was one detail left out of the story.
You see, my Dad (Dawson McLemore), designed fern stands and Baker’s racks for my Mama back in 1978. My brother and I helped make them in the backyard and sold these wares door-to-door. This was the start of Masterbuilt. Dawson’s inventions came from necessity. When Mama’s plants were growing too big, he built a stand to lift them off the ground. And so on, and so on. Now, Dawson LOVES fried fish. This love for fried fish motivated him to invent and build his very first propane fish cooker. He could fry fish in it, or even fill it with water for a low-country boil.
There was a man who loved Dad’s fish cooker so much that he offered to trade him a Snapper lawnmower for the cooker. Dawson made the trade and knew he was onto something. If a man was willing to trade a Snapper for his fish cooker, he could definitely sell them. So, the first Masterbuilt fish cooker was born. Over 30 years later, we’re still making cooking products that our own family and friends love.
Oh, and Dawson did go back to that same gentleman and offered to swap him a new fish cooker for the original one. Another trade was made and we have a piece of Masterbuilt history for our archives!
I’m grateful for the legacy of innovation my Dad set in motion. I’m definitely proud to say that we get our family’s seal of approval on our Masterbuilt products. After all, if we don’t love them, you won’t love them.
We recently had a quarterly employee appreciation luncheon at Masterbuilt. During the luncheon, we recognized an employee for her 10-year anniversary with a gift she had chosen – a new bicycle. After the gift presentation, some employees from another department came up and presented her with accessories for the bicycle. They did this on their own, to show their love and appreciation for her. As I sat in my office after the party, I couldn’t help but reflect on our greatest asset at Masterbuilt – our employees. I love Masterbuilt and we have the greatest employees in the world. At the end of the day, it really is all about relationships. For Masterbuilt, our success is built on these good relationships – with our employees, our retailers, our suppliers and YOU, our customers. I’m grateful for the fun and productive environment at our company. Our employees work hard and play hard! They love their jobs and they love their co-workers. We truly are a family at Masterbuilt and that makes me pretty “dadgum proud!”
We cooked for a large crowd in MeMaw’s kitchen at Masterbuilt this week. Our general manager had a church event, so we smoked ribs and chicken. We love the flavor of our Super Smoked Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings, but needed to serve chicken legs and thighs to this crowd. We used the same recipe – we just doubled the ingredients and the cooking time.
Remember to cut back on the chili powder and pepper if you are feeding young children, so the spice won’t overwhelm them.
Add some potato salad and baked beans and you’ve got yourself a DADGUM GOOD meal for a lot of folks.
You have to try our Sugary Bacon Wraps to understand the title for this blog post.
WARNING: These may become addictive.
I dare you to eat only one!
They disappeared fast in MeMaw’s kitchen at Masterbuilt this week. You will notice that we tried them in the oven and the smoker, so we’ve made some cooking time suggestions in the recipe. Make sure you don’t put them below any other meat in the smoker, so the drippings from the other meat don’t “drown” the bacon wraps. You want them to caramelize.
Let us know what you think of this DADGUM GOOD appetizer/snack.
We made our lunch in MeMaw’s kitchen today at Masterbuilt – Mexican Burgers. This recipe is under the “grilled” category on our Recipe Tab.
The Jalapeno Lime Mayo adds some great flavor to this burger. Our customer service manager ate the mayo as a dip with some blue corn chips!
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
We want your “Dadgum Good” food!
Well, we can’t actually taste the food from here, but we can enjoy your photos.
Post photos of your smoked, grilled, fried, boiled or steamed food on our Masterbuilt Facebook Page.
It’s your time to brag and Team Masterbuilt can’t wait to see the photos!
We’re having our quarterly employee lunch at Masterbuilt today, with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. The engineering and marketing teams are working hard in the kitchen, making reuben sandwiches.
Here’s their recipe….
Butter slices of rye bread. Place one slice on hot griddle and top with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing. Top with another piece of bread. Toast on both sides, then serve.
Happy Early St. Paddy’s Day from Team Masterbuilt!
Growing up, I recall having two choices when it came to burgers – with cheese or without.
Today, our burger choices are limitless. It seems every restaurant is coming up with new and inventive ways to serve up this American classic.
I’m an old-fashioned girl when it comes to burgers – just lettuce, tomato and mustard. Try not to gasp too loud, but I don’t like cheese or mayo on my burgers. In fact, I don’t like mayo on anything, but that’s another story for another day…..
We’ve got a Stuffed Smoked Burger recipe that is restaurant-worthy. Give it a try and tell us what you think.
I’m curious – how do you like your burger?
In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday today, we’ve put the “Dadgum Good” treatment on Whoville. Enjoy!
Way down South, along the Chattahoochee,
sits Dadgumtown, the home of Dadgum Smoothies.
The brothers McLemore own the Dadgum Smoothies,
and how they got started is a tale that’s good and fruity!
John and Don, the brothers in question,
have always been on a meat-cooking mission.
Salmon and sausage – ham and turkey,
chicken wings galore, oh, and even beef jerky!
“That’s dadgum good!” the townspeople would shout.
That meat was delicious, without a doubt.
There was dadgum fried turkey and dadgum low country boil,
dadgum smoked ham – the townspeople were getting spoiled!
“Isn’t there more than dagum meat?” they asked the brothers.
“What shall we do?” John and Don asked each other.
They put their heads together and came up with a dadgum good plan.
Veggies and fruit were added to the mix. “What a good idea, man!”
Dadgum good smoked corn, potatoes and mac n’ cheese,
fried fruit tarts and grilled pineapple – “I’ll have more, if you please!”
Dadgumtown couldn’t get enough.
The brother’s dadgum good food was filling them up!
John and Don were dadgum busy – smoking, frying and grilling.
Those brothers were feeding the whole town, and that’s no kidding!
Something was missing – something was not quite right;
Dadgumtown was full, but not yet satisfied.
They had dadgum veggies, they had dadgum meat,
dadgum fruit was abundant, whatever could it be?
“We’re dadgum thirsty!” the townspeople said with a shout!
The brothers agreed – they were thirsty, without a doubt!
The brothers looked and looked for a fresh idea,
to quench the dadgum thirst of all the townspeople here.
Meat and veggies were not the answer;
although tasty on their own, not-so-yummy in a blender.
John looked at the fried tarts and back at his brother.
They both smiled and high-fived each other!
You see, the dadgum tarts held the key,
to curing the townspeople from their case of thirsty.
“Fruit smoothies for all!” the brothers called.
“These are DADGUM GOOD!” shouted one and all!
So, if ever you find yourself in the hometown of the brothers McLemore,
be sure to stop my Dadgum Smoothies and order two – or four!
And if you’re eager for some dadgum good meat, veggies or fruit,
just ask for John or Don and they’ll give your hunger the boot!
Fried, grilled or smoked – any way you like it,
even steamed or boiled is a good way to try it.
No matter the cooking method or your choice of food,
we guarantee your reaction will be, “That sure is DADGUM GOOD!”
Just as much as we love sharing our own Dadgum Good recipes and tips, we love hearing about your own recipes. We collected recipes from a contest we sponsored on Smoking Meat Forums (that contest is finished) and we are adding those to the recipe section of our site. One such recipe is this delicious Smoked Chicken Salad. If you don’t eat all of it in one sitting (which you just may!), you could have dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow.
If you didn’t submit your recipe in the forum contest, no worries. The DADGUM THAT’S GOOD Recipe Contest is still ongoing. We’ve received some submissions, but we’re still looking for more Dadgum Good recipes from YOU! If you’re recipe gets added to our site, we’ll send you an autographed “Dadgum, That’s Good!” cookbook. When you follow the link, you’ll find all of the submission instructions.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you. Now, who’s making that Smoked Chicken Salad today?
It’s that time of year when our family is stretched in a million different directions. The weather is warming up and we alternate between baseball fields and tennis courts, chasing our boys around. It helps to plan ahead for meals during these times. This recipe for Jerk Pork Loin and Mango Salsa is a great make-ahead meal. The loin marinates overnight and you can even make the salsa the night before. Instead of sitting in a restaurant waiting line Saturday night, you can unwind from your busy day at home while this pork loin smokes.
Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Some time back, we decided to build an outdoor kitchen at our lake house. We have a house full of teenagers who love to eat and this project will also be great for filming our Masterbuilt recipe videos. Well, what started as an outdoor kitchen has grown into a pretty dadgum big project. Isn’t that the way it goes? Tweaking the deck turns into remodeling the kitchen, turns into adding a bathroom, and on and on and….
I know I’m not alone in this So, tell me – what sort of “small” projects at your house turned into something DADGUM BIG?
We’ve had many make-and-take opportunities lately.
You know….someone has a baby, surgery, or there is a death in the family, and you need to make-and-take a meal to their home.
With our busy schedule, it’s not always feasible to cook a hot meal and bring it straight to someone. Trying to keep a meal fresh and piping hot, bring it to a family, and have them enjoy it while it’s still hot can be a bit stressful. A great alternative we’ve found is to slice fresh turkey (or other meat) and bring sandwich fix’ins. This gives the family dinner and lunch the next day.
Along with the sandwich items (sliced meat and cheeses, bread, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, etc…..), bring a bowl of fresh fruit, chips, tea (or other beverage) and we like to pick up a side item from the deli section at the grocery store (potato salad). You can get fresh sliced meat at your local deli counter, but you might want to consider adding a personal touch by smoking your own turkey breast (SMOKED TURKEY BREAST).
When we recently brought this type of meal to some friends who had a baby, they were grateful to have something “light” for dinner. They were on fried-food-overload and it was a welcome change.
If you are bringing a meal to someone who has had surgery or has been very ill, you should definitely consider a meal like this. They may have dietary restrictions against fried and high-sodium foods.
What is your favorite make-and-take menu?
If you’ve always grilled steaks, you should consider changing up your routine and smoke some beef filets. There’s no need to slave over a hot grill and turn, turn, turn the meat. This process is much more forgiving and gives you the time to prepare your side dishes in the kitchen and not worry about burning your steaks.
Better yet……fill your smoker with some potatoes and corn on the cob and you can cook everything at once!
Smoking meat is not an exact science. There are so many factors that come into play. Cut of the meat, thickness of meat, outside temperature, smoker temperature, how many times you open the smoker door, etc….
As we bring new smoked recipes your way, we carefully test and monitor the cooking time. But, always remember that you can have a different result at home based on the factors we mentioned. The best advice we can give is that you carefully monitor the internal temp of the meat, using your smoker’s meat probe or an accessory meat thermometer.
One such example is our Smoked Chicken Breast recipe. When testing, we used 3 large chicken breasts and they took approximately 6 hours to reach the proper internal temp. We cooked them “low and slow” and the Cajun dry seasoning, combined with the Texas-style BBQ sauce, made for a nice kick of flavor. If you used smaller/thinner chicken breasts or tenders, your cook time would not be as long.
Try this recipe soon and make some Smoked Chicken Breast Sandwiches. When the chicken is done, chop or pull it and toss in BBQ sauce. Serve on buns or sliced bread.
Bacon = Good
You could say that’s sort of a motto in my family. In fact, Bacon = Awesome might be more accurate.
Our Corn and Bacon Fritters are a warm, delicious treat. To your preference, you might even want to throw some Cajun seasoning in with the dry ingredients for more of a “kick”.
Serve them up as a hushpuppy replacement during your next fish fry, or right alongside your weeknight dinner as a fun side item.
When I was a teenager, we had a fundraiser at our church to raise money for a mission trip to New Orleans. For dinner, we served from huge pots of jambalaya. That was my first experience with Cajun food, and I was hooked! I’ve always been drawn to spicy food and I love the flavor combination of the rice, shrimp and sausage. The good thing about jambalaya is you can make it to your preference – with or without shrimp, sausage, hot spices, and so forth. Our recipe for Fried Jambalaya Rice Cakes is a different take on this dish. You can make them with the rice alone and have a nice side item for your main course. If you want to serve them as the main dish, we recommend chopping up the shrimp/sausage and adding to the cakes. They are crispy on the outside and moist/flavorful on the inside.
Give them a try and bring a little New Orleans to your kitchen.
I read today that someone may have discovered the secret formula for Coke. We run across many cooks in our line of business and the topic of “secret recipes” has always been interesting to me. There’s a certain amount of pride when you are known for one (or more) of your special recipes and you may be tempted to closely guard the secret ingredients so you can remain the King/Queen of the kitchen. Sometimes it’s not an actual secret ingredient that keeps you from replicating a recipe you love, as is my case. My grandmother makes her biscuits and such with a “little of this”, “pinch of that”, and on and on. Her sweet little hands are the measuring cups and her gut is the guide. I keep saying that I need to set up a video camera in her kitchen to record the biscuit process for posterity. So, who’s got the secret recipe in your family? Any crazy measures they’ve taken to make sure it stays a secret?
Looking for the NEW “Dadgum, That’s Good, Too!” cookbook? It’s available at the following sites and at booksellers nationwide. If you can’t find it in your local bookstore, ask them to carry the cookbook.
Barnes and Noble
Thanks for your support!
The 2nd stop on our DTG tour was Nashville. We were talking about our 40″ electric smoker with remote control, which is available at Sam’s Club. At each location, we were smoking ribs and polska kielbasa. Talk about a smoked breakfast!
We started the day at the Big D and Bubba radio show. We filmed a short video outside with the guys, then headed inside for the radio broadcast. They were so fun to hang around with and loved the food.
John even channeled Elvis for a moment in the studio!
A short drive down the road, our next stop was the Crook and Chase radio show. I’ve grown up with Crook and Chase, so I was excited to meet them. Lorianne Crook greeted us in their kitchen and got aquainted with John and Don (and the cookbook and smoker).
Once Charlie Chase joined us, we started the radio segment.
Lorianne and Charlie are such great folks and we had an amazing time. We hope to come back to Nashville soon to cook on their television show.
After we wrapped up in Nashville, we loaded up the plane and headed for Pennsylvania. We’ll be in Pennsylvania until Thursday, then we head to NYC. Our Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer is the TSV on QVC this Wednesday. Be sure to catch the kickoff at midnight tonight! We will have 10 airings throughout the day on Wednesday for the fryer, and several airings for the cookbook, smoker and veranda grill. We hope you will tune in and let us know what you think. We love hearing your feedback and we’ll answer your questions LIVE on Facebook, Twitter and here on the blog.
Happy Election Day!
For the next few weeks, I’ll be your on-the-scene reporter on the DTG Tour. We’re traveling all over, talking about the cookbook and our Masterbuilt products. TV, radio, book signings….you name it! It’s a busy season for us, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, and we love helping folks make their meals a lot easier (and tastier).
We kicked off the tour in Orlando last week. Our first official book signing was at the ACE Hardware Show.
“Dadgum, That’s Good!” caught on like wild-fire and everyone enjoyed saying it back to us!
The folks at Fox35 in Orlando interviewed us about the cookbook and we put on a tailgate spread.
(John with Jacquie Sosa from Fox 35)
The set of “The Buzz” was wild and crazy! Dancing, singing, eating, laughing…..and that was all behind the camera!
(John with Mitch from The Buzz)
(John on the set of The Buzz)
We had so much fun in Orlando and can’t wait to spread the DTG love to more cities. We will post from each city and let you know where to catch us.
Shortly after I came onboard with Masterbuilt, we went to QVC for LIVE airings of our smoker. There’s something exciting about being behind-the-scenes at a network that runs LIVE, 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. I arrived at the QVC studios with an expectation that everyone would be hyper and super-charged behind-the-scenes. I envisioned stagehands, producers and sound/lighting crew running around with headsets on, barking out orders. What I found was, well….just the opposite. The whole environment was very serene and chill. Those folks really know what they are doing, and they do it with excellence. It truly runs like a well-oiled machine. Once we arrived, we setup shop in the green room, grabbed a quick cup of coffee, and kicked off the day. As we walked to the outdoor set, I was amazed at the sheer size of the QVC studios. I think it is bigger than the town I grew up in!
(John with the food stylists at QVC)
Nick, the food-stylist, is there to make sure the food looks as delicious as it tastes. John told me some great stories about when they first started with QVC. He would bring his entire family to Pennsylvania and they would grocery shop, set up and cook the food. When the airing was over, they would clean everything up. No food stylists and no help. But, when you ask John’s wife Tonya if she’s glad those days are over, you would be surprised by her response. She said those days were fun and they enjoyed the family time while they worked together on the airings. She laughed as she talked about defrosting turkeys in their hotel bathtubs!
(John with his daughter and wife at the QVC outdoor set)
There is a rush of excitement right before you go LIVE for your segment. My favorite part was hearing the calls come in from customers who already have the products and love them. There is an instant feedback with LIVE television that you don’t get elsewhere. The really cool thing we have started doing at Masterbuilt is answering questions LIVE on Facebook and Twitter during our QVC airings. It’s neat to answer questions from folks who just saw us LIVE on the air!
When I watch television, I am always curious about what goes on behind-the-scenes – aren’t you? I will continue to cover our visits to television shows and live events, and do my best to keep you in-the-know on all of the cool things that go on behind the cameras. With these McLemore brothers, you never know what sort of silliness we will see!
(John and I cutting up at QVC)
Have you ever been behind-the-scenes of a television show or movie? Tell us about it.
Your response to our cookbook airing on QVC this weekend was phenomenal! We are so grateful and hope you enjoy your cookbooks.
If you don’t have a book yet, we’d like to share another one of the featured recipes from “Dadgum, That’s Good!”
Here’s the video for our Super Smoked Sweet and Spicy Wings:
The complete recipe details are found here.
The office is buzzing here at Masterbuilt today as we prepare for the cookbook launch party tomorrow. We’re so excited, we’ve decided to share it with you. We’re giving away a cookbook to a random commenter on this post.
Leave a comment here and you’ll qualify to win “DADGUM, That’s Good!” by John McLemore. In your comment, tell us which recipe on this site looks the most DADGUM GOOD! We will choose a winner at 10:00 am 6:00 pm EST on Thursday, October 21.
EDITED TO ADD: CONGRATS TO RHONDA MARTIN, WINNER OF THE COOKBOOK!
We’re having a cookbook launch party for “Dadgum, That’s Good!”….and YOU’RE INVITED!
We’ll be serving up samples of the DADGUM GOOD food from our cookbook and John will be signing books. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Valley Rescue Mission.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP today to amcglamory(at)masterbuilt(dot)com.
Check out more details here.
In the South, we get to know one another by sharing stories. I’d like to do the same with you. I’ll share some of my stories in blog posts here and would love to hear your stories in the comment section.
I thought of this first story while driving to work this morning. You see, when I first started working I was only 8-years-old. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. 8-years-old. My dad would let my brothers and I work in the backyard with him and we would weld steel and bend scrolls to make plant stands. I would load up my red wagon with plant stands and take them door-to-door in our neighborhood. My dad didn’t have to push me to work, I absolutely loved it. With Dawson (my dad), you could do anything you wanted – sports, school or work – but you couldn’t just do nothing. I preferred work, because I saw the rewards in green-paper form!
When I was 14-years-old, I started doing local iron work (burglar bars, gates, fences, etc…). I loved branching out from making plant stands and using my skills in so many different ways. But, remember, I was only 14. No driver’s license and no car. The red wagon wasn’t going to cut it any longer, so I bought a moped. I would drive that moped back and forth to work until I was 16. I know a moped doesn’t sound that intimidating, but I found a way to get in trouble a few times – once for popping a wheelie by a policeman! I’ll never forget that policeman telling me the moped was not a “stunt cycle!” I even had a serious incident once when I slid out in front of 4-lanes of traffic on a rainy day. Thankfully, the only thing hurt was my pride!
So, as I drove into work this morning, I couldn’t help but chuckle as I thought of all the ways I got to work when I was starting out. Your mode of transportation might be a moped, but I’d be willing to bet it isn’t a red wagon! I’d like to know, what was your most interesting mode of transportation to work?
We were in Charlotte, N.C., last week for the John Boy and Billy Radio Show. If you missed our interview, here it is.
We always have fun with John Boy and Billy, and this time was no exception. We won Wordy-Word the last time we were in Charlotte, so the guys insisted on a re-match this time. Listen in and see how we did…
You can view the photos from our visit on our Facebook page. We had a great time and, as always, ate some Dadgum good food!
Look on the dessert section of most any Mexican restaurant menu and you’ll find Fried Ice Cream. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never cared for it. There’s a reason they give it for free to the birthday guests. I would be willing to bet the corn flakes used for the crust have been on a shelf since 1983. So, I went into the recipe testing process for our Fried Ice Cream with some preconceived notions and some reservations (and maybe a stale corn flake taste in my mouth).
Well, there’s only one way to describe the end result of this recipe.
In fact, it is one of my 5 fav recipes from our cookbook. And when you have a cookbook that’s full of great dishes, that’s really saying somethin’.
Here’s the recipe video from John…..
The recipe and instructions are found here.
If you’re hosting a dinner party, make the ice cream balls the day before and fry them during dessert time with your guests standing by. You can host your own Dadgum Good cooking show!
One of the perks of working at Masterbuilt is the test kitchen. Most days, you are teased with the smells of someone cooking their lunch at around 11 am. We love to eat around here!
Our kitchen is great for working on recipes and testing out our products. When it’s a “testing” day, we love to walk around Masterbuilt and share the fruits (or veggies, or meats…) of our labor!
Recently, we tested out a recipe for Caribbean Shrimp and it was a big hit around the office. Here goes:
2 large nectarines, pitted
3 large plums, pitted
3 tbsp apricot preserves
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp dried chili flakes, or jalapeño pepper finely chopped
¼ tsp salt to taste
1 lemon, squeezed
1 lb shrimp (easy-peel, deveined)
Pre-heat Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer to max temp setting (approx. 20 minutes). Clean shrimp. Add shrimp to basket and steam until they turn pink. Puree nectarines, plums, preserves, mustard, chili flakes, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Transfer to a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss until coated.
We served this shrimp warm at the office. As a main dish, it would be great served warm over rice.
This dish may also be served cold as an appetizer and we made it look snazzy by placing in individual glasses for serving.
If you like more Dijon flavor, you can use up to 5 tbsp of mustard. We thought the Dijon taste was a bit overwhelming with that amount, so we backed it up to 3 tbsp.
As a side note, this dish is stunning to look at. The colors of the fruit and seasonings are vibrant against the pink shrimp. No wonder it’s called Caribbean Shrimp! Impress your family and friends tonight with this easy-peasy dish.
We love to entertain at our house and we have a steady stream of family and friends coming through our door at all times. Recently, we had a large crowd of family coming over to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday. Like I’ve done hundreds of times before, I decided to smoke some Boston butts. I had marinated the butts (two 4-lb., bone-in) overnight and started the smoking process at 12 pm on party day. At 2 pm, I checked the internal temperature of the meat. It had risen from 55 degrees to 120 degrees. I was concerned that I would overcook it before our 6 pm dinner. I turned the smoker temp down from 225 to 175 degrees.
At this point, I did what every guy wants to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon ….I fell asleep. Not a good choice when I was prepping a meal for 50 people! I woke up at 4 pm and realized the internal temp of the meat had only risen 10 degrees! I turned the smoker temp back up to 225 degrees and at 5:30 pm the internal temp of the butts was only 135 degrees. Dinner was scheduled to be served at 6 pm. Then, the inevitable happened. My wife asked, “Are we on schedule to eat at 6?” I answered “Sure”, with little confidence.
What to do?! I sprung into action and fired up our Veranda grill on high with the lid closed. I cut the butts into 2-inch thick steaks (2-3 fingers thick), which yielded about 5 steaks per butt. I placed all of the steaks, along with the bones with some meat left on them, on the grill. I closed the lid and seared each side of the steaks for 15 minutes to lock-in the juices. The lid was closed during this entire searing process, except when I flipped the steaks. After 30 minutes of grilling, I was able to take the smallest cuts and place them on a cutting board and start chopping and serving, while the larger pieces were still on the grill.
I was nervous about the results and SHOCKED when I heard the reviews. Everyone loved the texture of the meat and commented on how moist it was! A neighbor even said it was the best Boston butt he ever had and wanted the recipe! I decided to come clean and explain my disaster. You see, even with all of my cooking experience, I still have “learning opportunities”!
If you do not have a grill handy as I did, turn your oven on broil, place butt steaks in a 2-inch pan and broil until edges are caramelized, flip and repeat. The most important thing about cooking pork or poultry is to make sure the internal temp of the meat is 165 degrees.
I guess it’s true what they say – sometimes you can learn more from mistakes than successes!
It’s a DADGUM big day for us! Our cookbook is now available on QVC.
Since it is 10-10-10 today, we are giving away 10 Butterball Seasoning Kits. Head on over to our Facebook page and comment on the status post to qualify. We’ll select 10 random commenters at 11:00 pm EST tonight.
We love our new cookbook and we know you will love it, too. We hope you’ll head on over to the QVC website and order one for yourself, and maybe a few for Christmas gifts.
Thanks for your support and Happy 10-10-10!
Our cookbook – “Dadgum, That’s Good!” – will be available THIS SUNDAY, October 10, on www.qvc.com. We’re so DADGUM excited about this debut, we’re giving away a 30″ Digital Electric Smoker to one of YOU!
Be sure to watch “In the Kitchen with David” on QVC this Sunday. Our smoker will be featured during this show, as well as the cookbook. You can call to order the cookbook, or order it online on the QVC website.
Now…..how do you qualify to win a free smoker? It’s so dadgum simple!
Comment on THIS POST and answer the following question: What type of food makes you say “Dadgum, That’s Good!”?
If you don’t already use this phrase, we encourage you use it frequently. We sure do here at Masterbuilt!
We will select a random commenter on this post as the winner of the 30″ smoker. You may only comment once on this post to qualify. We will close comments at 11:00 pm EST on Saturday, October 9.
Thanks for supporting our cookbook, our products and this new site. We look forward to sharing lots of DADGUM GOOD info!
***UPDATE: CONTEST NOW CLOSED! WINNER IS PEGGY L. CONGRATS! ***
I am so proud of our Masterbuilt Team today. It’s Employee Appreciation Week around here and rather than having an event for themselves, our team decided to donate their time and service to a local organization and serve our community. We are at the Valley Rescue Mission and Howard Mott Center for Men in Columbus, Georgia, today. Our team is painting the dorm facilities for men in recovery from substance abuse.
If you would like to learn more about the Valley Rescue Mission, you can visit their site: http://www.valleyrescuemission.net/index.html
Of course, our team ALWAYS has fun – while working or serving! We have posted the videos and photos on our Facebook page, if you’re interested in checking them out.
In these tough economic times, you may not have the funds to donate to service organizations in your community, but even more valuable than your monetary donations are your TIME donations. Check around your community and see where you can make a difference. You won’t regret it!
We’re looking for your “Dadgum Good!” recipes. Send us your smoked, boiled, steamed, grilled or fried recipes and you could be featured on our Dadgum That’s Good site. We will test all of the entries in our Masterbuilt test kitchen. The winners will be featured on our site and receive an autographed copy of the “Dadgum That’s Good!” cookbook, by John McLemore.
Although it’s not required, we would love a photo of you with your dish and/or your Masterbuilt cooking product(s). The dish doesn’t have to be prepared on a Masterbuilt product, but it needs to fall under the category of boiled, steamed, fried, smoked or grilled.
Submit your recipe and photo to: amcglamory(at)masterbuilt(dot)com See complete rules and regulations below. You may submit as many recipes as you wish, but you will only be eligible to win one cookbook.
We look forward to tasting your Dadgum Good food!
OFFICIAL RULES POSTED HERE: http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=153933621381¬es_tab=app_2347471856#!/note.php?note_id=421151471780 You may also email amcglamory(at)masterbuilt(dot)com to request the official rules and regulations.
I feel like I just had another child named, “Dadgum That’s Good!” Seriously. So much time, effort and love has gone into bringing you this community site and I couldn’t be prouder of the results. Our goal was for the cookbook to come to life in the form of a website – a place for folks to gather and discuss Dadgum Good food, people, events….you name it!
I am the Social Media Specialist at Masterbuilt, but you can just call me the “Eyes and Ears”. I’ll be blogging behind-the-scenes of our corporate office and from our events. I hope to give you a picture of what it’s like around here and help you get to know the people of Masterbuilt. I’m a wife and mother of three boys, so I live in what I call the “Land O’ Testosterone”. You’ll hear from John and Don in this blog as the owners of the company and resident chefs/inventors/jokesters. I’ll not only give you the point-of-view of a Masterbuilt employee, but also a busy working-mom who is looking for creative and simple ways to prepare meals for her family. I’m convinced that somewhere in my job description it says, “Must love to eat.” We do a lot of that around our home, and around Masterbuilt!
One of my favorite projects right now is our “Dadgum That’s Good!” recipe contest. We are looking for Dadgum Good recipes from all around the country to feature on our site. Do you have a kickbutt recipe for smoking, grilling, frying, steaming or boiling? Please send it to me, so we can try it out in our Masterbuilt Test Kitchen. You just might be the next recipe featured on our sites!
Hands down, I have the best job on the planet. I get to work with amazing people, eat delicious food, and tell you all about it. Now that you know a little about me, I’d love to hear about you. Comment away…and while you’re at it – what do you think about the site?
Welcome to our “Dadgum That’s Good!” community! I’m so glad you stopped by. I am John McLemore and I’d love the chance to get to know you better. This site is our online dining table, where we can “sit a spell” and chat about food, family and our company – Masterbuilt. We have manufactured cooking products for over 40 years and put our heart and soul into our family business. “Dadgum, That’s Good!” is a common Southern phrase – an expression of admiration, if you will. It’s also the title of our first cookbook. If you’d like to know more about our cookbook or Masterbuilt, you can click around the site for the details. I hope you’ll find this site user-friendly and keep coming back. In addition to my blog posts, you’ll hear from other members of our Masterbuilt team and from guest food bloggers. Please be sure to comment on our blog posts and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to getting to know all about you, so let’s get started….