You came. You shot. You conquered. Congratulations on a successful hunting trip this year. Whether youâre bringing home some big game, a few waterfowls, or a variety of upland game birds, you should celebrate over the dinner table. We have a few recipe ideas for you to make the most of your harvest. Give these meals a shot and let us know what your favorite harvest recipes are.
This is the perfect recipe for bringing home some big game like elk or whitetail deer. You probably already know how delicious fresh venison is; what you might not know is how much more delicious it is when you pair it with cream cheese, bacon, mushrooms, and garlic. YES. PLEASE. Check out the recipe here.
How to Cook Duck: Duck & Pickled Onion Tacos
Okay, so this recipe might not have the most appetizing title, but it is worth a taste. The duck rub, made from Camp Chef's Mango Chipotle seasoning, is packed with flavor, and the pickled red onions add an incredible tang to the taco. Trust us, you won't regret testing this recipe out for yourself.
-2-4 duck breasts
-1/4 cup Camp Chef Mango Chipotle Rub
-1 T fresh coffee grounds
-1 T tequila
-1 lime (juiced)
-1 T fresh cilantro
-1 red onion, thinly sliced
-1 cup water
-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
-Queso blanco (optional)
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together to make a paste. Score the skin on each duck breast every Â½ inch and add to paste. Be sure to completely cover each breast. Let marinade for 30-45 minutes.
Add red onion, water, apple cider vinegar and salt to 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes.
Grill duck breasts skin side down over high heat. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until medium rare. Be sure not to overcook.
When done, thinly slice breasts, place on corn tortilla, and top with onions. Add jalapeÃ±os and queso blanco if desired.
Watch the video below for a walkthrough of the recipe:
Pheasant...it tastes like chicken, only better. This recipe will keep your bird tender and tasty. After all, it's hard to go wrong with a classic combination of fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, oregano, and more. Try cooking it on the pellet grill for even more flavor.
-4-6 pheasant breasts
-2 minced garlic cloves
-1 cup fresh herbs (basil, sage, rosemary, oregano, etc.)
-1/2 cup cooked bacon, diced
-1 whole lemon, diced, including skin
Preheat pellet grill to 400Â°.
In a small bowl combine garlic, herbs, bacon and lemon. Rub each pheasant breast with mixture and place in a lightly oiled Square Dutch Oven.
Bake in pellet grill with lid off for 15 to 20 minutes or until breasts are just cooked. Time and temperature will vary depending size of pheasant breast.
Serve with wild rice or potatoes and mix of veggies.
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:
A family hunting trip is one of those ideas that sounds wonderful in theory. But then you find yourself wiping melted marshmallow out of your daughterâs hair and wrestling your son into the tent at bedtime, and you question why you ever planned this trip in the first place. Unless, of course, you have a plan. Following these four rules for family hunting trips will keep your kids happy and your sanity intactâthereâs even a chance youâll build some memories along the way.
Rule #1: Stay Warm
â Bring lots of extra warm clothes. Kids can find a way to get soaking wet in the middle of a desertâbe prepared with a replacement outfit or two.
â Cold hands and cold feet are the formula for a miserable outdoor experience. High quality footwear, gloves, and hand warmers are a must.
â Thereâs nothing better than a campfire at the end of the day. Make sure youâve got all the gear you need to have a warm fireâfirewood, lighter fluid, matches, kindling, etc. Be sure to check on your campsiteâs rules and restrictions to see if you are allowed to have a fire. A propane fire pit is a great option for fire-restricted areas.
â A good nightâs sleep starts with a warm sleeping bag. Youâll want to err on the side of being too warm with your sleeping pads and bags. That means bringing a 0Â° F sleeping bag rather than a 30Â° F bag when itâs 25Â° F outside. Cheap sleeping bags that are only meant for summer sleepovers arenât going to cut it for late season camping when itâs cold outside.
Rule #2: Stay Dry
â The forecast might say itâs supposed to be sunny all weekend; but if this hunting trip is anything like your other family outings, it will inevitably cloud over and start raining or snowing. You canât avoid it, so youâll need to prepare for it. Ponchos are inexpensive, versatile, and usefulâmore than worth the few bucks it costs to buy some for your family.
â You donât want to wait until a storm hits to realize thereâs a leak in your tent. Double or triple check that your tent is waterproof before taking off for the weekend. A high quality tent may be a little more expensive than what you can find on the bargain shelf, but youâll be glad for the investment when your kids are warm and dry during bad weather.
â If youâre tight on space inside the tent, bring a pop-up awning. This is the perfect place to wait out a passing shower without cramming together like sardinesâespecially with antsy kids on your hands.
Rule #3: Have Fun First
If you have smaller children who arenât old enough for their own hunting licenses, you need to make sure to involve them in other parts of the hunting experience. Point out game trails, animal tracks, fresh signs, and different animal noises.Â You can even ask them to help follow a trail and see where it leads. Just remember: if it is fun for them when theyâre young, they will be more interested in coming back to hunt with you in the future.
â Plan activities for the slower hours of the day. Everyone knows hunting is the best early in the morning and late in the evening, so fill those empty afternoons with something else. Bring a BB gun or sling shot for target practice with empty soda cans; take a few fishing rods if there is a pond or river nearby. Even something as simple as a pocket knife and carving stick can create turn into amazing memories.
â Kids have limited energy and limited attention spans. So keep the trip short. Donât plan a 10-day hunt for your whole family if your kids will get bored after three. Additionally, youâll want to keep the hunting hours on the short side too. Itâs okay to wake up a little later and head back to camp a little earlier if it will keep your kids happy.
â Be prepared to eat tag soup. If filling your tag is your priority, then maybe bring your family along on the next trip. Your focus should be creating a positive experience that your children will remember and want to repeat in the future. A hunter whoâs stressed about filling his or her once-in-a-lifetime tag doesnât make for the best company. Be there for the little moments that make incredible memoriesânot just the harvest at the end.
Rule #4: Eat Well
You donât have to sacrifice good food just because you are camping.Â Breakfast cereal and cold cuts arenât going to hit the spot after a long day in nature. Plan quality meals that will fill your bellies and be fun to cook. Your camp stove and other outdoor cooking gear will make or break this part of your trip. Whether you need to grill, bake, boil, fry, smoke, or barbecue something in the outdoors, Camp Chef has what you need to eat well around the campfire. Try these recipes with your whole family.
â Breakfast burritos: Breakfast doesnât get much quicker and easier than this. Tortillas, eggs, sausage, onions, salsa, cheese, hash browns, and a good griddle are all you really need.
â Pancakes, eggs, and bacon are perfect for griddle cooking and a crowd favorite. A hearty breakfast like this before a long day of hunting is just what your family needs.
â Hobo dinners: Build a fire, fill a foil pouch with whatever ingredients you want, and lay near the coals to cook. Try a combination of hamburger, carrots, onions, and potatoes, or add your own unique ingredients. Just make sure to bring some heavy duty gloves and a shovel to get your meal back out of the fire.
â Hotdogs are always great over the fire. You can bring brats for the adults and hotdogs for the kids. As a side, wrap some corn on the cob in foil and throw it in the fire.
â Sâmores: What family camping trip could be complete without sâmores? Check out some of our unique sâmore recipes or stick with the classic.
â Hot chocolate and hot coffee: A warm thermos of hot chocolate or coffee on a cold morning will warm up tiny hands and give you an extra 30 minutes of hunting while you wait for your quarry to appear.
Six Things to consider before buying a Pellet Grill
Youâve been thinking about it again, havenât you? You can almost smell it now, that savory scent ofÂ smoked meats wafting through the air. You can almost taste the unparalleled flavor of smoked ribs,Â brisket, beef, chicken, and more. Just thinking about it all makes your mouth water. Finally, you settle onÂ the matter. You have to upgrade your grill to something that delivers more flavor and versatility. YouâveÂ decided you have to have a pellet grill. But before you rush online or over to your nearest retailer, thereÂ are plenty of important details to consider when searching for the right pellet grill. With this in mind,Â read on to learn what you should look for and why.
Why a Pellet Grill?
Perhaps you havenât quite reached the pointÂ outlined in the hypothetical scenario above.Â Maybe youâre considering a pellet grill for theÂ first time, or maybe youâve heard your friends orÂ colleagues talking about them and youâveÂ decided to research the matter yourself. Great,Â thatâs why weâre starting this article byÂ answering this important question: why areÂ pellet grills such a great choice for barbequing?Â Whether you know the answer already or not,Â this brief buyerâs guide will both create andÂ reinforce a decision to invest in pellet grilling,Â and it will go over all the matters you need toÂ consider when searching for the right pellet grill.
For starters, pellet grills are fueled by burning small compressed pellets of real wood, and are perhaps the single best barbequing option for the backyard barbeque fan. Itâs important that you choose pellets wisely to keep ash off the food and save money. Read more about premium pellets in our article âTaste the Premium Wood Pellet Differenceâ. Pellet grills are better than traditional grills for three distinct reasons, and those reasons are: flavor, ease-of-use, and versatility. Together these characteristics make a pellet grill an exceptional investment in your barbequing future. Thereâs no replacement for or equal to the flavor of smoked meats, and this is something easily accommodated with a pellet grill. If you think the only way to produce quality, smoked meats is by using a large and elaborate stick (log) burning grill like the pros use, think again.
A pellet grill produces the same, great, smoked flavor as the large, aforementioned alternative, and itÂ does so with far less hassle, which brings us to the next selling point: ease-of-use. You see, if youâreÂ going to smoke meats with a large and expensive stick burner, then you better be well versed in whatÂ youâre doing, and you better be ready to devote a lotÂ of time to monitoring your cooking. With traditionalÂ smokers and stick burners, you have to truly monitorÂ the entire process in order ensure that your smokerÂ remains within the proper temperature range. WhatâsÂ more, you have to know how to change theÂ temperature when it begins to fluctuate, when to addÂ another log, adjust air flow, etc. Learning this artÂ takes a lot of time, and perfecting it takes evenÂ longer.
-Ease of Use-Â
With a pellet grill, however, you can forget about having to dealÂ with any of that. Pellet grills work with the push of a button and theÂ dial of a knob. And thatâs no exaggeration. Push-button ignitionÂ lights the flame thatâll keep your pellets burning, and arrows orÂ knobs are used to adjust the temperature setting. The right kind ofÂ pellet grill is extremely accurate with its temperatures too.Â Variances in your set temperature are likely to be as little as 10Â degrees, give or take. In addition to being easier to use than a stickÂ burner, pellet grills are also much easier to manage than yourÂ common charcoal grill. Make no mistake, your average stick burnerÂ or charcoal grill does offer great, smoky flavor to whatever yourÂ smoking/grilling, but it all comes at the cost of long hoursÂ monitoring and tweaking the flame and temperature, not toÂ mention it makes for a considerable amount of cleanup too.
Imagine all the flavor of traditional smoking or charcoal grilling without the hassle associated withÂ either, and youâve just imagined what a pellet grill offers. Itâs the cheat mode of grilling. Pellet grills come with all the convenience ofÂ gas grilling, without the need to store or refill on propane, and all the flavor of traditional smokers.Â Subsequently, they also offer far more versatility than traditional smokers, charcoal, or gas grills. GasÂ grills, for example, are fine for cooking hot dogs, burgers, and steaks (albeit they still lack the flavor of real wood barbeques) but if youâve ever wanted to cook something bigger, like a whole chicken, your gas grill isnât going to cut it. This is often the same case with charcoal grills, except that they add great flavor. Conversely, a stick burning smoker isnât something youâd ever use for cooking a few burgers or chicken thighs. Pellet grills, on the other hand, can handle both smoking and grilling jobs. Whether you want to slow cook/smoke your meats, or you want to quickly grill up some patties or chicken drums, a pellet grill is a convenient answer. Whichever option you go with, you get savory, real-wood flavor. With all the different pellet options available, you can cook with convenience and variety, from hickory toÂ Applewood, pecan, classic alder, and more.
What to Look for in a Pellet Grill
Now that itâs apparent why pellet grills are so great to use in your barbequing, itâs equally important toÂ know what to look for in a pellet grill. Consideration of the subject begs to question: are all pellet grillsÂ created equal? The answer: no, they arenât. As is the case with just about everything, there are varyingÂ levels of quality and features from one pellet grill to the next, and itâs important to know why quality is aÂ must and what features are necessary for a grill to be a great pellet grill.
Speaking on the subject of quality, itâs worthÂ mentioning that quality is always important.Â Some grills may look real pretty on the outside,Â but on the inside, they lack the same attentionÂ to detail. Sometimes, a grill will be constructedÂ of high grade stainless steel externally while itsÂ guts are made of lower-grade metals. This isÂ problematic not for aesthetic reason, but forÂ functionality and longevity. In other words, ifÂ the heart and soul of your grill isnât made well,Â youâll burn through it over time, literally.
-Functionality and Efficiency-
As far as functionality is concerned, you want a unit that is well built, with efficiency in mind. Thereâs a fine balance to strike between encasing a grill (particularly the burn pot) in a sufficient wall of steel verses a grill thatâs made bomb proof. If the grill casing is too thin, then it wonât retain heat as well, and as a result, youâll burn through more pellets, especially in colderÂ temperatures. On the other hand, you can overdo it. A super thick-walled grill (a.k.a. bomb proof) will be too heavy to move around because of the shear weight. If you look at a traditional, industrial-grade smoker, youâll find that the walls are rather thick, and thatâs a necessary thing, in order to regulate temperature. However, since a pellet grill has an internal computer regulating temperature, additional thickness isnât needed.
If you want to take efficiency to an even higher level you can wrap your grill friend in a blanket that will keep her warm year round. That can reduce pellet consumption by up to 50% during the winter months, and save you money year round. Donât worry, the blanket is built to handle the heat.
-Precise Temperature Control-
Speaking of temperature-regulating computers, we come to our next point; and thatâs temperatureÂ controlâ¦precise temperature control to be specific. When shopping for a pellet grill, temperatureÂ control is a necessity; else you lose the convenience that comes with using a pellet grill. Thereâs moreÂ than one way to approach temperature control, but the commonality among high quality grills is the useÂ of computer-regulated temperature control. Not all manufacturers have durable control units so check out the reviews before buying! Whether itâs PID (proportional, integral, derivative)Â temperature control or some other equivalent,Â the name of the game is precision. FluctuationsÂ should be within 10Â°F, give or take. This mean youÂ want to steer away from grills that boast of heatÂ zones. Heat zones are nothing to boast about. ItÂ simply means that the grill is incapable ofÂ maintaining a fairly narrow temperature range and instead can only maintainÂ temperature within a broad âzone.â Youâll also want to avoid pellet grills that use baffles or any otherÂ manual form of air flow for temperatureÂ regulating purposes.
-Fuel Containment and Cooking Surface-Â
For a pellet grill, your fuel is pellets, which is great for all the reasons mentioned in the beginning of thisÂ article. Being that your fuel is pellets, youâll want to make sure the pellet grill of your choice has aÂ containment unit (known as a hopper) that is large enough to hold the amount of pellets youâll need. AÂ good size hopper, somewhat of the standard among good pellet grills, is 18 lbs. With an 18 poundÂ hopper, you can cook for a long time, enough for the long slow-cook times associated with smoking yourÂ meats. But if you have a hopper much smaller than this, youâll have to refill with pellets more often.Â Another important quality to any grill is the cooking surface. First off, you want a cooking surface that isÂ made of high-quality metal, as already mentioned. But you also want a cooking surface that isÂ sufficiently large for the amount of cooking youâre going to want to do. Camp Chef pellet grills come in aÂ range of sizes, from 429 sq. inches to 875 sq. inches. So whether youâre going to do small amounts orÂ large amounts of smoking and grilling, we have an option for you. Another important thing to consider is looking for a pellet grill with convection style circulation. All Camp Chef Smokepro pellet grills come standard with a continuous convection fan that significantly reduces natural hot spots typical of grills in the marketplace. Think of it as cheat mode. You donât have to figure out where to place your meat since the temperature is very close no matter where you place it on the grill grates.
â¢ Sear box â The nature of pellet grills make it challenging to get a crisp sear so look into the max temperature, and add-on accessories that give you the ability to sear at high heat. Camp Chef makes a sear box accessory that sears meat at up to 900Â°F. No pellet grill on the market has a sear that can be compared with the sear produced on Camp Chefâs sear box. The beauty is that you can sear at 900Â°F, then cook at any temp between 160Â°F and 500Â°F.
â¢ Patio Cover â Keep your grill and pellets dry the next time it rains with the SmokePro canvas patio cover.
â¢ Add-on Racks â Smoke jerky, produce massive amounts of bacon, and quadruple your cooking space on these simple to install racks
â¢ SmokePro Insulation Blanketâ Trap the heat in with a fireproof blanket and save on pellets
Another very nice feature of pellet grills is their extreme burn efficiency. This is due to the nature of theÂ fuel used to produce the burn. Pellets actually burn far more efficiently than charcoal, and even moreÂ efficiently than logs. This means they produce a lot less waste. If youâve ever used a charcoal grill, thenÂ you know that theyâre a mess to clean up. The ash box fills quickly and often, requiring frequentlyÂ cleaning. Real wood burning leaves a lot ofÂ char too, and if youâre using a log burner,Â then youâll have substantial amounts ofÂ clean up to do.Â Hereâs the beauty of burning pellets though.Â Because the pellets are compressed wood,Â theyâre quite a bit denser than real wood.Â Because theyâre denser, they burn throughÂ easier and produce a lot less ash. Camp Chef pellet grillsÂ are by far the cleanest burning, real-woodÂ grills available. So youâll be cleaning out your ash box a whole lot less. As mentioned earlier, it may beÂ only once a year. Whatever the frequency is, youâll want to get a grill that accommodates very easyÂ cleanup. For example, Camp Chef pellet grills come with a patented Ash Can Cleanout System that is soÂ simple and easy to clean that it becomes a matter of simply detaching a can and dumping it in theÂ garbage. Itâs a big ash deal. Whatâs more, Camp Chef pellet grills have the added feature of a hopper cleanout and purgeÂ system too.
Conclusion and Recap
After everything weâve mentioned here, you can see that there is a lot to consider when shopping for aÂ pellet grill. We hope you feel a bit like an expert in pellet grills after reading through this, but for theÂ sake of a brief recap letâs visit the qualifiers of a good pellet grill one more time, in a quick list.Â Remember, the advantages of a pellet grill are:
â¢ Flavor Delivery â nothing can replace that savory smoke flavor.
â¢ Ease of Use â getting that smoky flavor the traditional way is difficult and messy, but with aÂ pellet grill, itâs never been easier or cleaner.
â¢ Versatility â Charcoal grills are messy, and stick burners are only for really big jobs. The pelletÂ grill, however, can cook your small quantities and large smoke jobs, from burgers and dogs toÂ whole turkeys.
Remember, when buying a pellet grill, youâre looking for:
â¢ High Quality Construction â you want something built to last, but you donât want a pellet grillÂ built like a stick burner.
â¢ Functionality and Efficiency â you want a grill that isnât going to go through pellets like thereâsÂ no tomorrow.
â¢ Precise Temperature Control â temperature control is so important; you want to set and forget.Â Set the temperature and walk way without babysitting, thatâs how easy it should be.
â¢ Fuel Containment and Cooking Surface â you need a hopper thatâs big enough (around 18 lbs.)Â and a cooking surface that can handle your plans.
â¢ Easy Cleanup â you donât want a grill thatâs high maintenance and takes a lot of work to clean.
Now that you know what to look for in a pellet grill take a moment to consider the quality pellet grillsÂ we produce here at Camp Chef. We know youâll love what you find.
More about Camp Chef Pellet GrillsÂ
Every camp chef pellet grill and smoker is designed with theÂ home griller in mind. Made of high-quality materials, ourÂ pellet grills deliver functional efficiency time and time again.Â Our built-in features simplify the process of smoking andÂ grilling, making the experience enjoyable and hassle free.Â Camp Chefâs automatic auger dispenses pellets as neededÂ for improved smoking efficiency, and the hopper purge andÂ patented Ash Can Cleanout System makes clean up theÂ easiest out there.Â Digital temperature readouts take the guesswork out of theÂ cooking process, and an advanced digital temperature chip provides the steady and consistentÂ temperatures needed for smoking. By eliminating large temperature swings, you can confidently set theÂ temperature and walk away. Additionally, the stainless steel temperature probe enables you to monitorÂ the internal temperature of your meats, ensuring that theyâre cooked to perfection.Â With our range of SmokePro Pellet Grills, you can choose the grill thatâs right for your needs.Â And with an 18 pound hopper, you can keep on smoking and grilling for hour after hour without needingÂ a refill.
â¢ Electronic auto-start ignition
â¢ Easily choose your smoke setting or desired temperature (with Dual LED temperature readouts,
internal cooking temps, and internal food temps available with some models)
â¢ Automatic auger dispenses pellets as needed for improved smoking efficiency
â¢ Stainless steel probe measures internal food temperature (available in certain models)
â¢ Built in sensor gauge reads cooking temperature
â¢ Included warming rack provides additional space to cook your favorite foods
â¢ Clean-out ash can makes clean up simple
â¢ Large capacity pellet hopper means less filling, more smoking
â¢ Included recipe booklet simplifies the learning curve
â¢ Pellet hopper cleanout and purge (available in certain models)
â¢ 160Â° F up to 500Â° F temperature range for slow smoking to grilling