Archive for the ‘BBQ Smokers’ Category

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 @ 11:11 AM

That’s right. I said half the time!

The Cajun Express Smoker by R & V Works is a bbq smoker that has a special enhanced sealed system that allows you to smoke foods at an astronomical rate. Imagine coming home from working an 8 hour day and throwing a rack of ribs into the Cajun Express Smoker. The ribs are done in about an hour. (Pre-heating takes about 10-15 mins.) That is enough time to decompress and relax after work and be ready to sit and enjoy a beautifully smoked meal with your family.

Perfect for limited time periods, like catering, vending and tailgating. Obviously, when catering you want to have all of your food done on time. You don’t want to start smoking food the night before and reheat it. When vending at a Farmer’s Market or festival, time is limited also. This smoker smokes your food in about half the time it would take a traditional smoker to smoke. Who wants to leave a smoker going in the parking lot during the game, because the food wasn’t done yet or the wood is still burning. The Cajun Express is perfect for setting up in the stadium parking lot. Gives you the freedom to use your grill other things while the smoker does it’s thing. The best of both worlds for the tailgating palette. The Cajun Express Smoker runs on propane. So no worries about still burning wood. Just shut off your LP tanks while you eat. The unit is cooled off and ready to pack up before you enter the field for the game!

Most smokers cook meat with very low temperatures and a lot of wood. It makes great food but can take very long periods of time. The Cajun Express Smoker is the fastest smoker in the bayou! Cook baby back ribs in only 35 to 40 minutes, or an entire brisket in two hours. Smoke a 15 lb. turkey in 1 hour. This amazing smoker works off of a patented smoking process that utilizes a pressure/vacuum regulator. This revolutionizes cooking times. There is a rubber seal on the latched door that provides an air tight cooking chamber. The only place for air to escape is through a 1″ pipe at the rear of the smoker. This 1″ pipe actually leads to a tank that you can fill with various liquids, and this creates a liquid pressure regulator. When you light the burner, it heats the air, and heated air expands. This causes pressure. The pressure then builds, eventually overcoming the resistance from the liquid in the tank, causing the liquid to “perk”. The result here is that the meat is compressed by pressure, then the perk causes a momentary vacuum, which uncompresses the meat, essentially, pulling the meat apart. The unit will perk about 20 times per minute. In the end, the meat you are cooking is being processed with pressure. Higher temps. are involved which results in shorter cooking periods. You still get great results of smokey, flavorful, yet moist and tender meat.

The liquid that you use in the tank will add flavor to your meats. If you add apple juice or bourbon, your meats will take on a hint of that flavoring along with the smoke from your wood chips.

 

We recommend using wood chip instead of chunks. The chunks can produce too strong of flavor. From past experience may I also suggest not using pellets or small wood chip/dust. These items actually ignite and can cause internal fire that may damage your heat seal. For standard cooking of say about 2 hours, you want to fill your wood chip tray about 1/2 full. You can also soak your chips if you like, say in bourbon, apple juice, or even wine.Therefore adding more flavor than just your smoke and liquid from your tank.

The Cajun Express Smoker now comes in 3 convenient sizes. The original that easily fits 4 racks of ribs, 2 trimmed 9 lb. briskets, 3-3lb chickens or 1-15 lb. turkey. There is also a  6 rib smoker and a 9 rib smoker. There is a perfect size for the backyard BBQ aficionado, one for a decent sized tailgate party, and even one for large catering jobs or food vending. Comes with castors for ease of mobility.

If you like smoked foods but don’t have the time for the low and slow process, consider a Cajun Express Smoker!

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Thursday, September 6, 2012 @ 05:09 PM

I’ve discussed customer service before. It is a make or break deal in our struggling economy.

I have an ongoing, almost personal, relationship with one of my suppliers, R & V Works. They are the manufacturer of The Cajun Fryer. I speak with the girls in the office almost daily. I know other sales people that distribute for the company. I speak with the owner, Robert Myers, on occasion and have even spoken with the the guys that build the outdoor propane deep fryers that I distribute for the company. It’s like one big happy family.

Robert’s company is based on old school, good old fashioned American know how, hard work, and customer service. They go out and show their product while tailgating at NASCAR races. They go to big outdoor stores and set up out front and deep fry fish for the patrons walking through the door. They strive to better their product constantly. Robert is always designing new items for sale, like The Smokin’ Cajun Grill & The Cajun Express Smoker.

This company will bend over backward to make sure the customer is happy. I recently had a customer that had an issue with a unit that just wasn’t quite right. Hey, it happens sometimes. One of the girls from the office was actually going camping in the general area that the original unit was sent. She brought a brand new unit with her, and had the gentleman meet her at her campsite, and they exchanged the original unit for a new unit. NOW, THAT’S CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!

This is exactly the way I like to run my company and this is why I love working with these people. Life is too short to not be hands on, be nice to your customers and be grateful to them for giving you an order in the first place. If it wasn’t for the customer, you would not have a business. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing too. If your customer is satisfied, you may get an order from their friends or relatives. You may even get repeat customers. I actually have a few customers that I now converse with by email like, pen pals.

Enjoy life! Be happy! Leave your baggage home! Treat your customers with respect and honesty! Most of all…be nice. Nobody likes a Gloomy Gus. Hey, maybe your customer is just having a bad day. They may have had an attitude before they attempted calling you. Try to turn that frown upside down. It doesn’t always work, but I had an old boss, many years ago, that told me, the nastier a customer gets, the nicer you should be, without the sarcasm, please!!. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not. But, in the long run, they may actually remember that they were having a bad day, and you still treated them with respect. That means the world to some people. Do unto others…enough said!

 

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Monday, November 7, 2011 @ 11:11 AM

Tailgating is an art. It can be low key, it can be fancy and over the top. But simple or fancy we are all looking for anything to make this art run as smoothly & easily as possible. This is an homage to all those dedicated fans out there. Whether you’re a race fan, college team fan, pro team fan or you’re just looking for a nice day at the beach. We salute you! So pop the tailgate on the back of your truck and lets get cooking!

The history of tailgating goes all the way back to Ancient Rome. Food and wine were sold outside of the Colosseum for gladiator events and chariot races. There was also food & drink served at jousting tournaments in medieval Europe.
Tailgating has now become an American phenomenon tracing it’s roots back to The Battle of Bull Run in1861 where some Union supporters brought picnic baskets out to watch the first battle of the Civil War. The first college football game ever played in America was also host to tailgating with Rutgers & Princeton playing against each other while people grilled fish & wild game. When Harvard & Yale played against each other, the walk from the train to the field was so long, the people brought picnic lunches with them. Now in the 21st century, tailgating is in full swing. More than 20 million Americans tailgate every year. Some stadiums and race tracks even have a special areas just for tailgaters.

The Weather Channel has recently been focusing on many different tailgating groups. They actually had one program totally devoted to what college football teams that they thought had the best set of tailgaters. There were even some tailgaters that come by boat as their stadium is located right on the water. They tie all of the boats together and just start tailgating!!

The Weather Channel also likes to focus on food choices of tailgaters. My favorites are always the groups that prefer to “eat the competition”. In other words, say the team is playing against Baltimore…they make crab cakes. If they play against a New England team they make lobster rolls or have a New England lobster boil that they steamed in their turkey fryer. Therefore essentially eating the competition before the game even starts.

Tailgating is not just confined to the college or pro football stadium parking lot. It can be a day at the beach or an afternoon in the park. Baseball fans, horse racing fans & concert goers are all potential tailgaters. The Kentucky Derby has turned into a major tailgating venue with pomp & circumstance, seer sucker suits & big hats. And then, there were The Parrotheads. Jimmy Buffett fans have more generators to power blenders than any other tailgaters I know. And lest we not forget The Grateful Dead fans that not only went to one concert, but followed The Dead around the country for a whole tour. I bet there were some very interesting food choices along the road when it came to months of traveling.

That being said, tailgating is obviously not confined to just a single event or day. Some sports fans just come to watch the game and sometimes leave early to beat the traffic if the score is not going their way. Race fans are devotees. They come and stay for days, sometimes even weeks during Speed Week. That’s a lot of food to plan for and race fans are serious about their food. This is not just NASCAR fans either. There are lots of drag racing & road course fans out there. Many of these venues are weekend long events. Some people show up on Thursday & don’t leave until Monday morning after breakfast, which is sometimes the last great tailgate. All of the leftovers and the last of the eggs and bacon come out and are still made into a culinary masterpiece.

The perfect piece of equipment, your latest perfected recipe, the coolest new game can set you apart from the rest of the lot. So many set ups and different things to cook. For some people the food is as important as the game. Some people don’t even go in to watch the event. They stay outside for the party and watch the game on TV. Any good tailgate is not just burgers and dogs. Brats, ribs, chili, steak, deep fried turkey, pork loin, beer can chicken are many favorites. The gadgets that go along with all that food are phenomenal too. Not just grills. Coolers, blenders, kegorators, deep fryers, crock-pots, BBQ smokers, even woks. Tents, couches, easy chairs, lawn games are all common place at a tailgate. There are even highly elaborate homemade & professionally made tailgate trailers with cooking equipment, TV’s & sound systems included.

Part of the art of a good tailgate party comes from proper planning and knowing your grill, BBQ smoker, and cooking equipment. Knowing how many people your cooking for is helpful in pre planning your shopping list(and a little extra never hurts.) Get to know your grill and cooking equipment. Use it at home. Get used to your hot spots and cooking zones. Don’t try out a deep fryer for the first time at the track! When you transport your grill, if you don’t have an enclosed trailer to put it in, put it right behind the cab of your truck with the hinged side of the lid to the backside of the cab. Tie it securely! If you loose your lid, your dead in the water.

Some important things to remember about tailgating is having the right stuff you need to make your life easier. Of course you don’t always need everything but if you can get yourself a big plastic bin and fill it with some of these items you’ll be ready to roll at a moments notice. Just always remember to replenish.

•    Grill tools & can opener
•    Meat Thermometer
•    Sharp Knife & Serving Spoons
•    Plastic utensils to eat with
•    Aluminum foil & baggies
•    Salt, Pepper, Your Favorite Seasonings & Rubs
•    Trash Bags
•    Paper Towels(Cloth towels & wash cloths)
•    Stuff to eat off of, Paper or Plastic Plates, Bowls, Whatever

A jug of water is nice to have to clean your hands with. (Soap is good too.) Foil pans are handy for all sorts of things:cooking, storing, serving & leftovers. Whatever your cooking apparatus, it never hurts to have extra fuel. . . propane, charcoal, wood chips. A fire extinguisher is a great thing to bring along & a squirt bottle for small flare ups. Cutting boards are good, but paper plates make nice clean cutting surfaces. Condiments, olive oil, non-stick cooking spray, onions & garlic are necessity. A table to cut up stuff on and set the food on when its done is always a nice option. A fold up chair or two is great to have too when your taking a break from cooking or after the game when your waiting for the parking lot to clear out a little. Extra beer is always plus. . . it’s a great bartering tool if you forgot something at home. ALWAYS make sure you have a good cooler & PLENTY of ice! Lastly. . . NEVER leave your grill or fryer unattended besides the obvious safety reasons your food can get ruined in a heartbeat! PS…use sober, common sense while cooking.

So, yes, tailgating is an art. It doesn’t matter who you’re routing for either. A great tailgate can bring everyone together. But tailgating is still about one upping your neighbor. (Some people even have cooking competitions right at the venue they are at. I was at a weekend long drag racing competition and a whole group of people came just to have a rib cooking competition). It’s never about putting anyone down. It’s the pride of knowing you’re better. From simple to elaborate, regional favorites like Philly Cheese Steak & Buffalo wings, or just showing off, like grilled tequila & chipotle rubbed butterflied leg of lamb. Deep frying turkey for the Thanksgiving Day game and bringing all of the fixings. . From your tailgate bed or your buddy’s RV. Breakfast to dessert with appetizers & dinner in between, beer to blender drinks. Tailgating is about fun times and making memories. So have fun, enjoy yourself & eat hearty!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011 @ 09:09 AM

Smoked food without a smoker you say? How do you smoke food without a traditional outdoor BBQ smoker? Why with smoker bags, smoker cans, or one of three different stainless steel “smoker” units by Camerons Cookware.

Do you live in an apartment that has rules regarding grills and smokers, but love the taste of smoked foods?

Do you tailgate often but hate having to load up a big bulky grill every time you go to the game?

Do you live alone or have all the kids finally left home?

Are you an amateur gourmet that likes to add smokey flavor to garlic, cheeses, or salts to add to your latest recipe?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then one of the Camerons products may be right for you.

With a smoker bag you can smoke a whole meal with the subtle smoke flavor of mesquite, hickory, or alder. The bags can be placed in an oven, on a grill, or even right in a camp fire. And clean up is as quick and easy as removing the food and throwing away the bag.

Feel like something different in your smokey flavor? Tired of the usual hickory and mesquite? Flavorwood cans come in the traditional flavors but you can also get, apple, peach, cherry or pecan. Good for one to three rounds of food smoking right on your grill, charcoal or propane.

Now we come to the smokers. These can be used on a stove top, in the oven, on your camp stove or even on a picnic table with a sterno can. In fact you can use them on any heat source – gas, electric, flat top or induction, sterno, grill or campfire. They are stainless steel, durable and easy to clean. Great for camping and tailgating. Components stack together for easy storage. Light enough and compact enough for back pack cooking equipment.

The Camerons Stovetop Smoker, Mini Gourmet and Li’l Smokey all come with a sample pack of special made, kiln dried, all natural wood chips. The flavor assortment of wood chips available contains the traditional smoke flavors as well as other hardwood and fruit woods and even a bourbon infused wood chip.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 03:09 PM

This past week, there was an article in the Washington Post Express called “Campfire, Rewired: Gadgets to Make Cooking While Camping A Breeze” written by Nevin Martell. He discusses some products to make camp cooking easier.  Trailer camping and tailgating with grills and smokers are always an option. Tenting and hiking are a completely different entity. I mean it’s not like you can pack up a BBQ smoker in your back pack and hike into the woods with it.

One of the products featured by Nevin in his article was The Li’l Smokey by Camerons. The manufacturers at Camerons have a few products that make tenting and cooking a breeze. The Li’l Smokey, The Mini Gourmet Smoker and The Stovetop Smoker. These are stainless steel cookers that can be used outdoors using sterno, your campfire or a gas burner. Great for camping or backpacking as they are much lighter than your cast iron skillet. The lighter the better. These “smokers” can also functions as a steamer, a poacher, a roasting pan or a stovetop oven. All the components nest together inside the base for convenient storage and clean up is quick and easy.

And they aren’t just for outdoor cooking. You can use them at home as well. Apartment rules against barbecue grills got you down? With these smokers you can smoke food anytime you want.

Are you an amateur gourmet cook? Want to add some smoked garlic or smoked salts to zest up a recipe? These indoor smokers are perfect for this application.

The uses here are endless. With the specially ground, kiln dried, all natural smoking chips you can add many different flavors to whatever you’re cooking. The traditional hardwoods are available as well as some fruit woods and specialties like bourbon soaked. You can even mix and match some of the flavors to make unique flavorful blends.

Smoking foods made easy. Cooking in the great outdoors or just like the great outdoors right on your stovetop!

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Friday, September 9, 2011 @ 09:09 AM

Well the football tailgating season has finally arrived. Be it NCAA, Pro ball, or even the local high school football team, the tailgaters are flying their team colors high. It has been a rocky start so far with Mother Nature unleashing some of her worst in many areas. Soggy games, hotter-n-heck games. We need a nice crisp, fall, sunny weekend all over America for every game. Just one weekend Mom Nature…that’s all we ask. Well…maybe more than one weekend.

For those of us hard core tailgaters, we don’t care if it’s raining or not, heck, there could even be snow! We’ll be out there. The BBQ smoker is lit, the charcoal is starting to glow in the grill, the deep fryer is bubbling and spitting, the beer is cold and our flags are blowing in the wind. We are praising our team, reliving high lights of our favorite games, eating, partying and making new memories with our bestest of friends.We prefer good weather to tailgate in, but we will still be there!!

Everyone has their own place in a tailgate. I prefer to be chief cook, but NOT bottle washer. It isn’t always about being the cook either. I like to make sure the tailgate bin is stocked with the appropriate gear and I like to plan tailgate menus. You can’t eat the same stuff week in week out. And the bin doesn’t always have everything that you need with every menu change.

I’ve been to NASCAR races where the tailgaters are all eating hot dogs and burgers. BLAH! That’s ok once in a while but you went all out and traveled far to get to this race. Why not bring out a steak or some pork chops. You brought all of your tailgate gear…make something better to eat. A football game is one day. A race is all weekend!! Take some pride in your tailgate!

I’ve been to NHRA races and other drag racing competitions. Now, these are hardcore tailgaters. They bring BBQ smokers and have rib competitions while the drag racing is going on. I’ve even seen the Philly Cheese Steak Queen bring a 60 qt. stock pot and a outdoor propane cooker and make cheese steaks for like 50 people. I’ve seen one group that brought every piece of cooking equipment that their tailgate group had. Grills, smokers, deep fryers, table top skillets. They were there for the whole weekend and had at least 25 people with them. They ate good. Ribs, wings, steaks, sausages. Why not right? (I think these people were football tailgaters too. HEY, you can do both!!!! No judging!)

I know of many football tailgaters that take pride in their party and their menu. Never just burgers and dogs and canned beer! I know of one group in Philly (big Pro Ball fans) that actually cook a meal that somehow represents the opposing team at every game. That way they eat the competition before the game even starts. Hahahha!!

Well let’s get into the full swing of the season. Bring on the football, rain or shine. Put on your teams colors and let,s get out there and tailgate!!

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Friday, September 2, 2011 @ 11:09 AM

Craig’s Way Tailgate is a group of a dozen young professionals who have grown up in and around Austin, TX. They enjoy spending  Saturdays during the Fall  watching college football and rooting on the Horns together.

How It All Began:

October 14, 2006 – The Horns were hosting the Baylor Bears. The leaves were changing, not a cloud in the sky, slight nip in the air- perfect football weather. The usual pre-game routine was to grab a beer at Scholtz or call around and see whose tailgate party they could crash. That’s all fine and good but sometimes you just want something a little more.

The  group of friends decided to start their own tailgate.

How hard could having your own tailgate really be?

Come to find out—a lot more difficult than the guys originally anticipated. They borrowed some tents, packed a cooler of beer, and stumbled upon the field at 15th and Trinity.

They now have a beautiful BBQ smoker and all sorts of grills that they take to every function. They have inflatable tents, games, and a few more people involved. They have partnered up with many companies, started a web page, and got a whole network in the social media world going, just to make their tailgate party all that it can be.

Over the years their tailgate has evolved, but the goal from the beginning has stayed the same. They still enjoy a handful of Saturdays tailgating with some great friends and and watching some great football. They hope you’ll come out and join them this year.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 04:08 PM

R & V Works has a new portable, propane BBQ smoker. The Cajun Express Smoker. It is the fastest smoker in the Bayou!! The patented sealed pressure / vacuum chamber revolutionizes smoking times to super sonic levels.

Smoked baby back ribs in will be cooked to perfection in 35 to 40 minutes. Easily a 3 hour job in conventional smokers.

Whole briskets in 2 hours, a 4 to 5 hours job elsewhere.
Imagine coming home from work and having a beautifully whole smoked chicken in 30 minutes!
The cooking process that is so unique it was awarded a 20 year patent.
Since man and fire met, man has searched for new ways to cook meat. As early as 1600 B.C., man has smoked meat. This was done out of necessity; first to preserve meat for the long cold winters. Second , meat was smoked to tenderize tougher, less choice cuts of meat.
Today we also smoke to tenderize, as well as to flavor meat. Low and slow, the traditional way to smoke. People smoke with a large variety of wood types, charcoal, corn cobs,etc. There are many designs of smokers out there too.  Traditional wood or charcoal, propane smokers, even electric smokers as well as traditional to very elaborate smoker pits. Smoker pits are built in the ground or above ground. These pits are designed to retain heat. Some are so fancy they feature timers, wood feeding bins, and automatic temperature control.

Over time, even with so many innovations, the time it takes to smoke meat hasn’t really changed……..Until now!
The patented hydration regulator and food grade, high temperature door seal help aid with the high pressure vacuum chamber that  smokes meats at super sonic speeds while still giving you perfectly tasty and tender meats.
Cook a 5lb. pork loin in an hour.
Smoke a 15 lb. turkey, that would normally take 5 hours in an oven or 15 hours to conventionally smoke, in 1 hour.
Do a 10 lb. pork shoulder in 4 hours. Pulled pork in no time flat!
I know to traditional pit masters this is sacrilege. But for those of us that love smoked foods and are short on time due to jobs, kids, sports, scouts, etc, this is an awesome find.
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Friday, July 29, 2011 @ 12:07 PM

Moving across town is a hassle. Moving to a whole new state is stressful and a major pain in the neck.

You will find out that moving any LP gas tanks that you have is a big no, no. No moving company will move any sort of gas tanks. You can always give them away and you will just have to buy new ones when you arrive at your new destination.

This does not mean that you need to leave your gas grill, BBQ smoker, or outdoor propane deep fryers behind. Just remove the tanks, clean them up. Make sure there is no grease in your grill’s drip pans and make sure your deep fryer is free of frying oil. If your moving company is good, they will take the necessary care to ship your outdoor cooking equipment with out damaging them.

If you are moving yourself with a rented truck or shipping container, there are a few tricks you should use. As I said, make sure the grease traps are clean and that any oil from your fryer is cleaned out of the cooking compartment. Take moving tape, tape to the handle of your grill, but then flip the tape over so that the sticky part of  the tape is on the outside. You do not want the sticky residue from the tape stuck to your cooking equipment or any finish on the equipment being ripped off when you remove tape. Wrap the backward tape around doors and lids so that nothing can open and damage or harm other items in your moving truck. Any glass windows on your cooking equipment should be covered with cardboard and taped over. If you like you may then wrap the unit in a moving blanket for extra protection. If you have a unit that comes in pieces, disassemble the major parts and wrap them up in moving blankets.

Good luck with your move.

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Friday, June 24, 2011 @ 08:06 AM

I have recently had the time to return to charcoal grilling. I was technically thrown into it. We bought a house in another state. We went down for the closing and stayed in the house to settle a few things before returning home to finish packing etc. We told the original owner that we would be bringing down our own stove and did not need the one that was in the house. We thought that he was leaving it anyway, but got to the house and the stove was gone. He was going to take his makeshift grill- BBQ smoker. Thank goodness or we would have had to eat out every night or cook everything in the microwave.

Being back with charcoal again was a great experience. I always loved to cook with charcoal, but when you are a working family with 2 small boys that are involved in Boy Scouts and other community related groups it is very hard to just slow down and grill sometimes. I had finally broke down and got myself a propane grill. I could still experience my love of barbecue and grilled food but did not have to wait the extra time for proper heat. I missed the charred flavor  that came with the charcoal, but figured it was a sacrifice that had to be made for convenience. Also having 2 growing boys can be an expensive prospect. It was one or the other, not both. So I opted for just propane.

My boys are older now. I suppose I have some time to slow down and grill now. But, now I have the option of fast, slow, propane, charcoal, or both. It is nice to have an option. I have an outdoor propane deep fryer too, so I can cook some things really fast if I want to. When it comes to food, life should be full of choices anyway.

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