So youâve just unpacked your Italia Artisan Pizza Oven or Outdoor Oven Accessory, and youâre ready to get cooking. First of all, congratulations on your new purchase. Youâre in for plenty of goodies like backyard pizzas (hereâs a dough recipe), skillet brownies (weâve made those too), plank salmon (yummmm), and more. But before you fire up the oven and toss some food onto the stone, we wanted to share a few pro tips with you. These will help you get the most out of your new outdoor oven, no matter what meal youâre cooking. Ready? Here we go.
Pro Tip #1
Your stoveâs Low and Medium settings will give you all the heat you need for your Outdoor Oven Accessory.
Pro Tip #2
Just like a true brick oven or your home oven, preheating your outdoor oven is essential. Always allow 10 minutes or more for your oven to get to the right temperature.
Pro Tip #3
Temperatures and cooking times will vary depending on outside temperatures, weather conditions, and what type of food youâre cooking. For example, frozen pizza will cook differently than a pizza made from scratch or store-bought dough.
Pro Tip #4
Keep an eye on the internal air temperature by looking at the built-in temperature gauge on the top of the pizza oven. Internal air heat will help melt cheese, soften toppings, and bake the top of your pizza crust. This temperature will react quickly when you change your heat setting or remove the metal oven cover.
Pro Tip #5
The pizza stone temperature will rise more slowly than the internal air temperature, but it will eventually become the hottest part of the oven. This is where most of the cooking happens (and how you get a crispy pizza crust).
Pro Tip #6
Use an infrared or cooking surface thermometer to monitor your pizza stoneâs temperature.
Pro Tip #7
The ideal baking temperature for artisan pizza is 500Â° F to 550Â° F. Other kinds of pizza are best at 400Â° F.
Pro Tip #8
To melt cheese or other toppings as you remove your pizza, lift toward the top of the oven and hold for a few seconds before taking it out.
Pro Tip #9
Cast iron is perfect for baking breads or desserts in an outdoor oven.
In case you havenât heard, bamboo cutting boards are the next big kitchen accessory. Bamboo is a sustainable, fast-growing resource, and it is tougher than many woods on the market today. The grass (technically bamboo isnât a wood) is also gentler with your knives and a real beauty on the counter top. Basically, itâs everything youâd want in a cutting board.
At Camp Chef, we know a good kitchen tool when we see one. So we brought you the cutting board of all cutting boardsâ26 inches of solid bamboo. You can fit steaks, whole chicken, brisket, roast, and more on this board without breaking a sweat. Itâs also perfect for transporting your prep station from the kitchen to the patio in one trip. Check it out; go ahead, weâll wait.
Now that weâve taken care of that, you need to know how to care for your new bamboo cutting board, right?
The bad news is that bamboo cutting boards need the same kind of TLC that traditional wooden cutting boards do; the good news is that theyâll last a lot longer than any other board if you treat them right.
Cleaning and Oiling Your Board
1. Wash and dry the cutting board immediately after each use. Donât ever let your bamboo board soak in the sink or go into the dishwasher. Long exposure to water (and heat in the dishwasher) will warp or crack your board faster than you can say âOops.â Instead, wash your board with some warm water and soap, rinse it, and dry it completely with a towel. Stand the board vertically on its side to dry, or lean it in an open-air dish rack.
2. To season, put about Â½ cup of food-grade mineral oil in a saucepan, and warm it on the stove. You donât need it hotâjust warm enough to get into the pores of the bamboo. Pour the oil onto your dry cutting board and rub in a circular motion (like Karate Kid) with a clean cloth. Make sure you oil all sides of your cutting board; the mineral oil acts as a hydrator and a barrier for the bamboo, giving it some necessary moisture while keeping excess water out.
3. Use lemon juice or baking soda if your board develops any weird stains or smells. Sprinkle some juice or powder over the spot, then scrub it with a damp, warm rag. Afterward, your board should smell fresh and look clean once more.
Keep in Mind
•You will need to oil your board regularly to keep up the shine and water-proofing. About once a month is a good schedule to keep; however, if youâre a cooking enthusiast whoâs breaking out your board a few times a day, you may want to up the frequency to every two weeks.
•Bamboo needs a certain amount of moisture to keep from splitting and cracking. You don't want to use a cleaning product that will dry out the board like bleach or rubbing alcohol.
•Never use cooking oils to season your board, as these will turn rancid.
For a quick look at which products are okay for your bamboo and which are not, check out the infographic below:
Think itâs starting to get too chilly to cook outside? Well, grab a blanket, a thermos of cider, and think again! With a backyard fire pit and a few crazy sâmore recipes, you can keep the fun going even on cool autumn nights.
Now when you think of a propane fire pit, you probably also picture a puffy, golden marshmallow on a roasting stick in your hand. Sâmores and fireâthey go together like a pellet grill and pork. One without the other feels wrong. But if you had any sort of a childhood, youâve already experienced the classic white mallow, melty chocolate square, and honey graham cracker combo. Tonight, itâs time to change things up.
If youâd rather not venture far from the conventional sâmore recipe, then the Negative Sâmore is the one for you. Itâs a simple reversal of your favorite ingredients: marshmallow, chocolate graham, cookies ânâ cream chocolate square. Yes, please!
Sometimes that chocolate in the middle of your sâmore gets a little lonely. Why not add its favorite partner in crime, peanut butter? There is nothing that could go wrong with that combination. Try swapping your chocolate square for a peanut butter cup, and let us know how it changes your life.
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who donât like mint, and those who see mint as the delicious, indulgent experience that it truly is. If you belong in the second camp, we have your new favorite sâmore recipe right here. Cracker, mint patty, marshmallow. Repeat.
Raise your hand if youâre a Nutella fan. Now use that hand to spread some Nutella on your graham cracker, slice a few strawberries, roast a marshmallow, and squash it all together. Itâs like youâve transported your backyard fire pit to Europe for a night.
Admit itâjust the thought of a salted caramel sâmore is making your mouth water. You donât need anything fancy to recreate this masterpiece. Just pick up a jar of caramel topping and some sea salt next time youâre at the store. You can spread it on one cracker and enjoy.
Mind-Blown Rating: "Where have you been all my life?"
Speaking of caramel, you can take it a step further with this recipe. Switch out the sea salt for toasted coconut shavings, and youâre on your way to an incredible eating experience. We take no responsibility for any cravings you might feel after tasting it.
We know what youâre thinkingâcitrus on a sâmore? Trust us, itâs incredible. This is a great way to use extra lemon curd you have around the house. Pro tip: use homemade lemon curd if youâre into that.
Mind-Blown Rating: "My life will never be the same."
You put the lime in the coconut and...youâve got yourself a sâmore. Really though, all this recipe takes is a bit of lime curd, some toasted coconut shavings, and a marshmallow. Youâve never tasted anything like this before from your backyard fire pit.
8 Pellet Grill Recipes You Have to Try on Your SmokePro
You may have heard of pellet grills and wondered what all the hype is about. Itâs just a grill, right? What can you cook on a pellet grill that you canât on a propane grill? Plenty, my friend. In fact, there are a few foods you simply havenât experienced unless youâve cooked them on a SmokePro pellet grill. These pellet grill recipes are here to change your life. Or, at least, your taste buds.
Miracle Frozen Chicken
First on our list of what you can cook on your pellet grill is frozen, store-bought chicken. You know that cheap, rubbery kind you have to excavate from out of the frozen aisle? Yeah, thatâs it. Well, now you can make a delectable dinner of it every week. Just place the frozen chicken directly onto the grates of your pellet grill, turn the temperature dial to Hi Smoke, and let the smoker do its thing for an hour. When you come back, youâll want to season the chicken with steak seasoning and bring it to an internal temperature of 165Â° F (we can help you measure the internal temp). If you plan to finish it off with a sear, you can transfer it to your sear box when it reaches 130Â° F. Either way, you will have turned border-line inedible chicken into a tender, flavorful piece of protein.
Competition BBQ Chicken
If youâre looking to upgrade from frozen chicken, this chicken recipe is the way to go. The total time to make it, start to finish, is only 30-45 minutes. You could be looking at a prize-winning dinner in no time.
Dang Good Burgers
What can you cook on a pellet grill? A dang good burger. I know what youâre thinking: burgers and propane grills go together like cheesy potatoes and Dutch ovens. But the added wood-fired and smoky flavors you get from a pellet grill will give you a burger unlike any other youâve tasted before. There are two approaches to how to cook your burgers on a pellet grill.
Heat First, Smoke Later
First crank the pellet grill to high and let it warm up for 10 minutes. Cook your burgers on that setting for 4 minutes on each side, then finish up on the High Smoke setting to slowly smoke it to your desired temperature. You wonât get the same seared finish that you might on a propane grill, but youâll be too busy enjoying the smoky flavor to notice.
If you need a good sear to fall in love with a burger, you can use the SmokePro sear box for the reverse sear method. You begin with the burgers on medium heat in the pellet grillâabout 275Â° Fâto give the meat two layers of smoky and wood-fired flavor. Youâll also want to switch on your sear box to medium and let it heat up for 5 minutes. Iâve found that medium is hot enough for the kind of sear I like, but the unit can heat up to 900Â° F. Once the burgers start to sweat a bit, I like to move them to the sear box. Leave them for 1 minute, rotate 90Â° for 1 minute, then flip and do the same on the other side. For me, the combination of the seared texture and the wood and smoke flavors is hands down the best way to cook a burger.
Tender Pulled Pork
This is the best pulled pork recipe Iâve ever tasted. I like to bring my meat up to 205Â° F so that it just falls apart with a fork. Thereâs no going wrong with a low-cost, high-volume BBQ meal like this one. And with a pellet grill, it takes almost no effort on your part.
Baconâ¦Need We Say More?
No recipe needed for this one. Just buy bacon, throw some Competition Blend pellets into the hopper, and experience the miracle of pellet grill bacon. Low and slow is good, medium heat is good, high heat is good. Itâs almost impossible to mess up. If youâve ever wondered, âWhat can I cook on a pellet grill?â this should be the first thing you try.
Smoked Pork Ribs
There is no better way to cook ribs than on a pellet grill. Period. Donât believe me? Try this incredible ribs recipe this weekend and taste it for yourself.
Of all the cuts of meat, brisket is among the most intimidating to cook. Thereâs trimming, wrapping, rubbing, and then hoping it doesnât turn out dry and disappointing. Iâm nowhere near a pit master, but Iâve cooked brisket several times now on my SmokePro, each time with great success. Check out this smoked brisket recipe for your next big barbecue, and keep an eye out for more tips and tricks coming soon.
Incredible Apple Pie
So maybe youâre feeling a bit daring, and you want to try something unique. What can you cook on a pellet grill that isnât meat? Give this classic American dessert a shot. You can use our favorite apple pie recipe or your own, then leave it on your pellet grill to bake. Set the grill to 400Â° F just like you would a kitchen oven, and thatâs it. Donât worryâit wonât taste smoky. In fact, I suggest using apple pellets for a sweet, Applewood flavor. Your neighbors might give you weird looks as you put your pie on the grill, but it will be worth it.
The cooler you decide to buyÂ could be the difference between warm sodas in the middle of the lakeÂ or ice cold beers at the tailgate party. Think it's no big deal? You've obviously never tasted warm soda.
But it's tough to know what you want when there's no such thing as a cooler test drive. That's why we wanted to give you a detailed look at our coolers through the eyes of an adventurer just like you...
"In the 80's, I bought this 30-quart Gott cooler. Unlike other coolers at theÂ time, Gott had molded an overlapping lid seal. Sadly, I recently dropped it and cracked a corner of the body. It's been a great cooler over the years, holding ice much better than other brands.
While I was on the hunt for a new cooler,Â I ran across Camp Chef's product. It looked high quality and was priced much lower than some of the high-end brands on the market today, so I decided to give it a shot.
-Unlike some of the new coolers on the market, it is square-shaped. This makes it pack well in the pickup.
-Reversible feet that skid or stick add to its usability.
-It's durable. I spent several hours standing on top of it as a secondary bow fishing platform. The lid heldÂ all 240 lbs. of me without flinching.
-I love the nylon strap handles. They are not bulky or in the way.
-The chain on the drain plug is a nifty wayÂ to keep from chasing that around.
-It isn't as heavy on your arms or on your wallet as some of the other name brands right now.
Keeping It Cool
As for its ability to hold ice, here's a snapshot of my 4th of July weekend...
The cooler had been in an insulated garage all day on July 2. Outside, it was 92Â° F. I put an average block of ice in it at 7:00 PM. The morning of July 3, I added four frozen water bottles, two non-chilled bottles, and four 12 oz. cans of refrigerated pop. The cooler then went into an open aluminum boat. At the dock my buddy put in two cool bottles of water.
We bow fished till 12:00 noon, opening the cooler maybe ten times. I drove home and left the cooler in the boat until 5:00 PM that evening, all day in direct sunlight up to 95Â° F.
That evening,Â I added two more frozen water bottles and headed to the lake again. I was taking a couple bow fishing, and they added someÂ cool water bottles of their own. It hadÂ clouded up in the evening and cooled down. We opened it maybe six times.
I left the cooler in the boat all night. The night temperature reached 72Â° F. On the morning of July 4, I added two more frozen water bottles and two garage-temperature sodas.
My daughter and I bow fished that day until 12:00 noon. We washed the boat and returned home where, at 1:00 PM,Â I removed the cooler and set it in the garage. The lid was opened around eight times during the day.
At 7:00 PM I checked the ice: 48 hours later I had a quarterÂ block of ice, two water bottles with floating ice, and two cold bottles left.
This sucker holds ice.
Overall, I was very happy with the performance of my 50-quart cooler from Camp Chef. Way to go! Not only is Camp Chef the king of heat with outdoor cooking, but they can 'cool it' too."
With football season right around the corner (you can almost hear the kickoff whistle echoing from the stadium), itâs time to haul your tailgating gear out of storage. Chances are you have a trusty stove thatâs both portable and powerful, a heavy duty cooler for maximum beer-holding capacity, and a collection of tried-and-true recipes. Or maybe this is your first season, and youâre trying to decide what you need to kick things off with a bang. Whether youâre a newbie or a veteran, you canât reach MVP status until youâre bringing these items and accessories with you every weekend.
1. Extra bag of chips or pack of drinks
Obviously, you should plan to bring plenty of food. But take special care and set aside an extra bag of chips or six pack. This inexpensive investment can go miles as a peace offering to your tailgate neighbors, especially if youâre a newcomer. Bring it by their tent when you arrive with no strings attached. Youâll make a few friendsâand youâll have someone to ask for help when you realize that you forgot the mustard.
2. Frozen water bottles
Filling your cooler with ice is great for cans of soda or beer, but when it comes to keeping your food cold, you need something that wonât create a puddle. You can buy ice packs for thisâtheyâll stay dry and cold. However, the next-level strategy is to pack your cooler with frozen water bottles. Not only will this keep food cool and dry, youâll also have a half dozen refreshing waters to drink later that afternoon.
3. Wireless thermometer
As the party chef, you could find yourselfÂ pinned to your stove all day, watching the meat like a helicopter mom. If youâre paranoid about hitting the right temperature, you arenât leaving yourself any time for fun. And last time we checked, tailgating is all about having a good time. With a wireless thermometer, you can enjoy the party and keep a close eye on your meat at the same time. Set the desired temperature, insert the meat probe, listen for the notification alarm, and dominate at cornhole until itâs time to eat.
4. Crazy condiments
Ketchup, mustard, mayo, and relish might be classics, but they arenât your only options. Donât be afraid to up your tailgating game with some moreâ¦experimental condiments. Spice it up with BBQ sauce, teriyaki, ranch, and more. If you really want to score with your guests, bust out a homemade spread like artichoke pesto sauce or peanut butter sauce (yes, peanut butter). Trust us, your taste buds and tailgating buddies will thank you!
5. Outdoor screen and projector
You might have a portable TV to watch football games throughout the day; an outdoor movie screen takes that concept to the next level of awesome. Youâll need to bring a power source for your projector, but from there itâs a simple set up. Imagine all your favorite games showing on the big screen instead of your tiny computer. Youâll be the star of the parking lot.
6. First Aid Kit
Okay, okay. This might seem like a no-brainer, but the tailgating pros always put safety first. You never know when you might need some burn ointment after a hot splash of grease or a bandage after flag football gets too competitive.
7. Hand-Washing Station
Once the eating, drinking, playing, and high-fiving is done, you will want to be able to wash and dry your hands. Hand sanitizer is a quick, easy solution. But you can take it a step further with a bottle of hand soap and a 5-gallon beverage cooler as a wash station. Leave a large bucket underneath (or your dirty dishes tote, see below) to catch the soapy water, and voila! You have yourself a full tailgate hand-washing station. For added convenience, hook a paper towel rack onto your stove or grill.
8. Empty plastic tote or collapsible garbage can
When the burgers are eaten and the beers are gone, you only want to think about one thing: winning the big game. What you donât want to think about is washing a pile of dirty spatulas, knives, trays, cutting boards, plates, and other scattered dishes. Cue the empty tub: you can pile everything into it without getting your car dirty, then forget about it until after the game. If you donât have a spare tote, try using a collapsible garbage can like this one. Â Either way, the idea is the same: clean-up in a snap.
Do you have some hacks of your own? Let us know in the comments below or share on social media how youâve taken your tailgating game to pro status.