TL;DR - Homemade apple wood smoked jalapeno bacon is easy and awesome! (http://chaosinthekitchen.com/2010/10/home-cured-jalapeno-bacon/)
My wife and I have a Red Beans and Bacon dish we absolutely love, that we've always made with jalapeno bacon sourced from a local supermarket. Unfortunately during pandemic-times they stopped carrying it, and they don't know if it will ever come back. We were nearly resigned to using "normal" bacon, until I found the recipe from Chaos in the Kitchen (above).
We picked up a 3.5# skin-on pork belly from the local Super Saver, made up the brining solution, and parked it all in the cold box for a week. Then smoked it at 200F to internal temp of 150F with a chunk of apple wood. In order to slice it, I put the finished bacon in the freezer for 40 min, which allowed me to cut 'thin enough' strips with a sharp knife for burgers. For the Red Beans and Bacon, I cut 1/4" strips, then knocked those down into lardons.
The bacon had more jalapeno flavor than heat. We might try adding some birdseye pepper power to subsequent attempts to amp it up a bit.
Here's Alton Browns Red Beans recipe we modified (we omit the rice entirely and instead serve dish with deluxe cornbread, and we substitute the pickled pork with jalapeno bacon):
[In some of the comments on the DIY bacon page, folks mentioned it's "not really" bacon because it hasn't been "cured". Perhaps that's correct, but my bacon lasted 7 days in fridge just fine post smoking, so I think I'm good with the finished product regardless of the name]
Texan, currently living in Seattle, finally got a backyard to do some grilling in this summer!
I'm currently grilling on a Weber performer, while I restore a Big Joe that I got off fb marketplace. I have a thread in the DIY section with some photos if anyone is interested or has some good recommendations.
Can't wait to get cooking on the Kamado once it is up and running. Most looking forward to cooking some pizzas and of course brisket, being a Texan!
I'm new to the world of Kamado cooking and to this forum, so I'm looking forward to some dialogue.
So I recently found a Big Joe for sale on fb marketplace for the irresistible price of $100! The main body is in not terrible shape, but it's missing quite a few items, and will need some cleaning/repair. I'm hoping the combined expertise hear can help me get this thing in good working order for the least amount of extra $ possible, and more importantly without damaging the integrity of the grill.
The ceramic body itself is in good shape with no major cracks or chips. There are a few issues that need to be addressed however:
The upper part of the interior has some green staining. I assume this is from algae/moss since I live in the PNW. Any tips on how to gently clean this, or should I just do a burnout when I get the rest set up? The felt gaskets are in pretty bad shape and will need to be replaced (tips on cleaning and removing gunk would be welcome too). The wire mesh gasket is mostly intact but has come loose. Does anyone know of an adhesive that would be safe to use to re-attach it? I'm not sure what to call this, but the hole that helps align the hinge on the back side of the band has been worn quite a bit. Making the hole about 1 1/2" long and the ceramic a bit crumbly there (see pic). Does anyone know of any substance I could safely patch this with, and how best to reattach the bands?
At that low of a price I wasn't too concerned about replacing a few parts, but after price checking I found I need approx $400-$450 in replacement parts. I can get most of these from BBQ Guys, but I figured I would reach out to the community here and see if people had recommendations for third party replacements, custom ideas, or (fingers crossed) extra parts that they need to get rid of. Here is a list of what I need:
Firebox Deflector Grill Grates Flex cooking rack (is this necessary or is there another way to grill/smoke without it?) Replacement Gasket kit Missing the upper half of the cart, not sure if I will try and purchase that, or make a custom table I will be focusing on grilling and smoking with this grill, so I don't really need some of the specialty items.
I know this is a lot of information/questions, so don't feel like you have to address everything, but if you have some advice on any of the subjects, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Thanks and happy grilling!
So just bought my first KJ Classic II. Coming over from a Traeger. (Sold it) But was wondering how low of a temp can you achieve with the KJ without the fire going out. I bout the FireBoard and fan system to go with it. Delivery is tomorrow and want to get cooking. First burn though is just going to be charcoal, no food. Just messing with vents to see how it reacts to things. In the mean time, I read and dream of all the delicious food that is to come..
This is one of my favorite burgers to make at home. Super simple and packed full of flavor.
- 1 pound 80/20 beef
- Your favorite bacon
- Pepper jack cheese
- Buns of your choosing
- Burger/steak seasoning
- 1/2 cup Mayo
- 4 Chipotle peppers with sauce
- 1 tablespoon Tobacco
Form 4 meatballs and smash them on the grill, we're making a double stack. Cook until you get. a good crust, flip and cover with cheese. Top with bacon, jalapeños, and place on bun with spicy sauce and enjoy!