It’s starting to cool down a bit outside. Fall is the perfect smoking weather. The Complete Electric Smoker Cookbook is great for when you’d rather be out throwing a frisbee or bonding with your lawn chair in the sunshine than playing in the kitchen. It’s an easy, yummy book that will get you out in that yard. It’s called an electric smoker cookbook, but the recipes work perfectly in my kamado-style grill with a heat deflector plate, too. Any tweaks I made to the recipes are noted in the review below.
As I type this, my second Italian sausage fatty is in the smoker. Why, you ask? Well, just as I placed that beautiful fatty on the table, my daughter called and asked me to pick her up real quick. I was only gone for a second, but in that time, those three doggies… Well. Remember that movie A Christmas Story? The Bumpuses and the turkey? Yeah. While I was gone, those three furry little beasties jumped up on the table and ate the whole thing. I know! Look at them. They wouldn’t even make eye contact at first. I will not be making them sweet potato chips any time soon.
About that book… I’m in love with their Fireball Whiskey Meatballs. Thank you to Holly over at Callisto Publishers for letting me share the recipe with you!
Fireball Whiskey Meatballs
Makes 24 Meatballs ~ 225° ~ Oak
Prep time: 40 Minutes
Smoke time: 1 – 1 ½ hours
FOR THE FIREBALL BARBECUE SAUCE
2 cups ketchup
½ cup Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
Freshly ground black pepper
TO MAKE THE FIREBALL BARBECUE SAUCE
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the ketchup, whiskey, molasses, brown sugar, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
FOR THE MEATBALLS
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 egg, beaten
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
12 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
TO MAKE THE MEATBALLS
1. Preheat the smoker to 225° with oak wood.
2. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork with the egg, onion, bread crumbs, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato paste, whiskey, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and bacon. Using your hands, mix until well incorporated and roll into 24 balls.
3. Place a frogmat nonstick grill mat directly on the grate. Arrange the meatballs on the mat leaving space between them for good air and smoke flow. Smoke for 1 to 1 ½ hours. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, brush the meatballs with some of the barbecue sauce.
4. When an instant-read thermometer registers 160°, remove the meatballs from the smoker.
5. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot with the remaining fireball barbecue sauce.
My review of the book:
The Complete Electric Smoker Cookbook: Over 100 Tasty Recipes and Step-by-Step Techniques to Smoke Just About Everything
by Bill West
Great book. There’s a very nice range of recipes, some traditional, and some much more unusual. Though some of the ingredient lists are long, like a list of marinade ingredients that are all simply combined in one step, the instructions and recipes are on the easy end of the spectrum, so you can spend your time enjoying the yard. Everything we’ve tried has been yummy. There are only a handful of pictures, but the directions are clear enough that they’re unnecessary. The recipes work in both an electric smoker and a regular smoker. Any tweaks I made are listed below. Recommend.
1) CInnamon Whiskey Meatballs – p 77. These are outstanding meatballs. Super flavorful, and the texture’s nice. Meatballs love cinnamon whiskey in the BBQ sauce – who knew?! Everyone loved them.
2) Smoked Brie with Brown Sugar and Pecans – p 151. I’ve had very similar brie bakes in the oven, but the smoker adds just that little extra something. Since it takes such a short trip through the smoker, make sure you’ve got it good and smoky when you toss this in. We’re going all pears with it next time. They pair beautifully with them (bad pun very much intended), and were gone before there was a dent in the granny smith apples.
3) Pineapple pigtail – p 116. I was really excited about this one. You’re supposed to make one giant curly string out of the whole pineapple with a pineapple coring/ring tool, then wrap the bacon around it. Then you brush it with maple syrup for the dry rub to adhere. I found the pineapple too delicate and it broke into several pieces on me while I tried to wrap it, and there was just too much dry rub. It’s not in long enough to turn into a bark or anything. Great flavor! Next time, I’m cutting the pineapple into 8 sections the long way, wrapping those in bacon, brushing them with the syrup and sprinkling them with maybe a quarter of the rub called for.
4) Succulent Salmon Nuggets – p 97. Delicious. That’s great salmon. This was my kids’ favorite.
5) Stuffed Jalapeños – p 132. Yum! I went with the partially precooking the bacon ahead of time method. Love these.
6) Pork Italian Sausage Fatty – p 56. Awesome. I love fatties. If you’ve never made one before, despite how cute they look, they’re really easy. I only used half the bell pepper and onion called for (thank goodness, because I used the second half for the second one!) and skipped the Italian dressing to make sure it would close easily. An overstuffed fatty is like trying to close an overstuffed burrito. I use a gallon Ziploc bag to flatten the meat out into an even layer, cut the sides open, and stuff and roll it using the help of the bag for support.
Some others I have flagged to try: Crispy Skin Orange Chicken – p 38 * Drunken Drumsticks – p 42 * Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast – p 45 * Mesquite Maple-Bacon Chicken – p 51 * Pork Italian Sausage Fatty – p 56 * Competition Baby Back Ribs – p 58 * Slow Smoked Ancho Chile Rubbed Boston Butt – p 59 * Pig Candy – p 62 * Cuban Mojo-Marinated Pork – p 66 * Unbelievably Moist Brisket – p 79 * Bourbon-Marinated Beef Roast – p 85 * Smoked Beef Brisket Chili – p 87 * Big McFatty – p 90 * Lemon Pepper Bacon-Wrapped Trout – p 95 * Breakfast Fatty – p 119 * Baba Ganouj – p 124 * Armadillo Eggs – p 126 * Big Fat Greek Fatty – p 127 * Loaded Hasselback Potatoes – p 135 * Garlic-Rosemary Potato Wedges – p 136 * Smoked Corn on the Cob – p 142 * Potato Bacon Bites – p 143 * Smoked Mac and Cheese – p 149 * Smoked Piggy Mac – p 150