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I'm Lavern Gingerich, the writer and web geek for Yoder's Smoky Mountain Barbecue. Take a few minutes to poke around our blog, recipe library, StoryQue Magazine, and revolutionary barbecue equipment. You can find me on Google+, Pinterest, or Facebook also.

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Archive for November 2010

Amazing Grilled Hamburger Recipe

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

I’ve eaten lots of grilled hamburgers in my life. I’ve eaten some that were delicious and some that were okay. But then I’ve also had some grilled burgers that were simply amazing.

Here are a few of my secrets to making amazing grilled hamburgers.

  1. Mix your own burgers from ground beef.
  2. Season both sides heavily with a tasty barbecue rub (seasoning).
  3. Don’t overcook them.

If that was all you knew about grilling hamburgers, you could take the above three secrets and make amazing grilled hamburgers. But I’m going to elaborate on these a bit and share a recipe for mixing up some amazing burgers for the grill.

Grilled Hamburger Recipe

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices onion, chopped
  • 8 small Saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Mix the above ingredients together and form into burgers. If you don’t have a burger press, you can use a 1/3 cup or 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure the burger and then form the burgers with your hands.

Season both sides of the burgers heavily with a decent barbecue rub. If you don’t have anything, you can simply mix equal parts of salt, fresh ground peppercorn, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Check out my recent blog post on barbecue rub recipes for more help.

The final secret has to do with not overcooking the meat, and I can’t stress this enough. I personally don’t like to bite into a burger with lots of raw beef in the center, but I try to aim for a slightly pink center.

If you’re grilling thick burgers, turn down the heat and give the centers time to cook. Otherwise, the outside will get overdone and the center will still be raw. This is not a big issue with thin store-bought burgers though.

As they’re cooking, I like to brush barbecue sauce or ketchup on both sides to add a little more flavor and juice. And just as they’re finishing up, throw a slice of cheese on the top of each burger.

Serve them with some good homemade bread or rolls, sweet and tender lettuce, slices of sweet onion, mustard, ketchup, and pickles.

You will end up with more than an amazing grilled burger. You’ll be stunned with an amazing, loaded hamburger sandwich. This is easy deliciousness.

Have fun!

Lavern

PS. The Meadow Creek BBQ26S Chicken Cooker and BBQ42 Chicken Cooker are both great for backyard grilling. Raise the charcoal pan for grilling burgers and drop it for flippin’ chickin’!

My Life Just Isn’t Fair!

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Yes, really, my life just isn’t fair… in an amazing way.

As you probably know by now, I am a serious BBQ fan. Good ‘que is very special to me. Besides, with all the other countless blessings, such as  family and friends, health, daily provisions, and the amazing gift of Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, life just isn’t fair!

The last few weeks, Marlin and I have been cooking a lot of barbecue, including a couple batches of smoked ribs, several turkeys, and grilled steak. Marlin even cold smoked some cheese on his TS60 BBQ Smoker.

So often when I sit down to enjoy some intensely amazing ribs or one of my brand new recipes, I can’t help but think, “My life just isn’t fair!” Really, which one of us deserves any of the blessings we have, let alone the wonderful enjoyment of cooking meat outdoors and eating it in all kinds of creative ways.

Here are some of the “unfair” blessings that have come my way recently. Hope you enjoy them.

Click on a photo to enlarge it and start the slideshow.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below.  :)

Be thankful!

Lavern

PS. Have some leisure time on your hands? Explore our showcase of revolutionary Meadow Creek Barbecue Smokers.

Amish Thanksgiving Recipes

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

One advantage we (as the barbecue crowd) have over everyone else around the holidays is that we can cook birds (ie., turkeys, chickens) and pigs in the smoker.

If you have the right equipment and a little know-how, it’s actually pretty easy to “smoke” the average Joe’s idea of a Thanksgiving meal.

I just put together a handful of recipes for my favorite thanksgiving dinner, inspired by the Amish traditions we had growing up.

(These are precious gems.)

And I just recently updated my guide on how to smoke a turkey low and slow. If you need help smoking the turkey this week, check it out.

Click here for the recipes.

Have fun,

Lavern

PS. People keep joining our Facebook page. Check it out.

A Simple BBQ Rub Recipe for Beginners

Monday, November 8th, 2010

I totally enjoy trying out new BBQ rubs as well as making my own homemade ones. There’s something inspiring about mixing fresh spices to make a seasoning and to taste it on your finished meat.

There are hundreds of different BBQ rub recipes out there. Many competition teams have their own sauces and rubs. Barbecue stores showcase rows of different sauces and rubs. It’s easy to feel intimidated to think of making your own.

I would like to change that for you. First of all, here are some common ingredients in barbecue rubs:

  • salt (table, kosher, or seasoned salt)
  • black pepper*
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • paprika

*Peppercorn side-note: Get whole peppercorns at the grocery store and grind them in a coffee grinder if you’re making a big batch or in a hand-held pepper grinder. If you’ve never tried freshly-ground black pepper, you are in for an *exciting* surprise. The flavor and smell is amazing!

To make a rub, all you have to do is measure equal amounts of the above and stir it well. And you’ve made a delicious, all-purpose barbecue rub! This seasoning is scrumptious on grilled and smoked meats. Use it on burgers and steaks or even smoked pork butts.

Disclaimer: Of course, this is *far* from the ultimate BBQ rub recipe. There are lots of ways to make a more complex and better tasting rub. But it is a simple and delicious dry rub to get you started.

Now, it’s time to build on what I’ve given you to add more flavor and the accents that you like. You can tweak the proportions, remove ingredients, or add a handful of other spices to kick it up a bit.

Here is a list of other ingredients I’ve seen in rubs:

  • brown sugar
  • cumin
  • cayenne (red pepper)
  • chipotle powder
  • chili powder
  • cinnamon
  • mustard powder
  • oregano
  • thyme

A few tips:

  1. Add brown sugar for a sweeter rub, making sure to work out all the lumps.
  2. The cumin will add a smokey flavor. Make sure you get whole cumin and grind it in a coffee grinder just before you use it. Between that and the freshly-ground black pepper, you will be entranced.
  3. A little bit of cayenne pepper gives your dry rub some fire. You can choose your favorite hot pepper ingredient here. As a general guideline, I would use 1 teaspoon in a cup of rub unless you especially like heat.

I am sure there are other ingredients that are delicious in barbecue dry rubs. And you could experiment for days with the ingredients I have listed. If you have any questions or ideas to share, please do leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!

Now go dig into the spices.

Lavern

Meadow Creek Barbecue Cookers in Pikeville, TN

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Hey, just wanted to give you a quick update on exactly which Meadow Creek models we have in stock here in Pikeville, Tennessee. If you choose to have a cooker shipped to you, it will be shipped directly from Meadow Creek Welding in New Holland, PA. If you go that route, there is still a month or longer lead time.

BUT we do have a few models in stock, made and ready to roll. So if you’re in a pinch and don’t mind the drive, check out this list:

Smoked Ribs and Chicken on a Meadow Creek Tank Smoker

The prices above are before sales tax and local pickup charge. The local pickup charge covers truckload freight to Tennessee: $50 per small cooker, $100 per cooker on a trailer.

Call Marlin toll-free at 877-248-7753 or email us if you have any questions or would like to come pick up a unit. Marlin will be happy to help you choose the cooker that will best suit your needs and budget. He’ll even recommend the cooker and options that are best for you, even if it means we make less money off of you. So, yeah, we’re here for you. Give us a call or shoot us an e-mail.  :)

That TS250 trailer with the chicken cooker on the front is one nice rig. If you’re about to pull the trigger on a pit trailer, check into our serious bonus package here.

Have fun,

Lavern

PS. We’ve got the TS60 Barbecue Smoker fired up and we’re smoking a big ole’ turkey. Looking forward to some smoked turkey for dinner tonight.

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BBQ Smokers, Pig Roasters, Chicken Cookers, and Grills From Meadow Creek
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Struggling to choose the right cooker for your needs? Check out our Meadow Creek cooker comparison charts. If you would like to discuss your dream cooker over the phone, call Marlin toll-free at (877) 602-1568 to get some good, friendly advice. Or if you're close by, come visit our display lot in Pikeville, Tennessee to check out these fine barbeques! We offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all our Meadow Creek barbeque equipment (except the Ultimate Catererssorry, too much risk). Please realize that we (Yoders Smoky Mountain Barbecue) are a dealer for Meadow Creek. This promise applies only if you buy from us. If for any reason you are not happy with your unit, you may return the cooker to us within 30 days of the delivery or pickup date, and we will refund the purchase price minus the shipping and handling. You are responsible to pay the return shipping.
What did you think of the videos? Meadow Creek makes some amazing smokers, pig roasters, chicken cookers, and grills. All this equipment is made in the Amish Community of Lancaster County, PA. The talented craftsmen at Meadow Creek hand-make each unit. They seriously go the extra mile to make sure youre smoked pink. What really puts the sauce on the brisket is all the revolutionary features and options that make barbecue fun and easy, and even a money-machine, if BBQ is your business.
Integrity: Meadow Creek cookers are made in a culture of Godly ethicshonesty, diligence, and fairness. Whether its a Shoo-fly pie or a barbecue smoker, you will be treated right.
Stainless Steel Grates: Every Meadow Creek barbecue cooker comes standard with non-rusting stainless steel grates. This eliminates the hassle of scrubbing rust and the danger of possible rust contamination on your meat.