Monday, November 28, 2022

Masterbuilt Smoker


So, I’m back. It has been a long while, but we all had some tough times. Now, I wanted to tell you about another hobby I like to do and that is cooking with a smoker. I started smoking meats in 2019 with a Masterbuilt 30in electric smoker.


It has a smoker dimensions of 20.47" W x 19.88" L x 33.26" H with a max temperature setting of 275° F. The manufacturer claims that it could smoke 2 turkeys, 4 pork butts, 4 rack of ribs or 6 chickens at once. I have yet to max out the smoking capacity of the smoker but it is more then capable of smoking enough meat for a family or small gathering.

Now, there are some pretty good pros for the smoker. One it is very easy to use and setup. It really didn’t take long to get the smoker assembly and seasoned. Next, it is easy to set the temperature of the smoker and it will hold a constant temperature with barely any assistance required. Now, the side loading chip system clear makes it easy to maintain a high level of smoke for you cooking needs.

The only real negative that I’ve experience is that with just using wood chips, the meat doesn’t develop the traditional smoke ring. Other than that, I’ve been enjoying my smoker.

Over the summer, one of my favorite dishes to smoke is a pork roast. I’ve love trying out different types of rubs. One rub that I particular like is the following:

  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Now, some people might like a little more spice/heat to their rub. You could replace the cumin with a ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Since I have two young children, I try to not to make it as spicy as I can. Otherwise, they won’t eat.

As for the pork roast, I smoked the meat using applewood at 225°F until the internal temperature reach 205°F. I used the ThermoPro wireless thermometer to keep track of the temperature and several hours later, my family enjoyed our dinner.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Review of Cosori Air Fryer Max XL


So, if you haven’t noticed that one of my favorite things to do is cooking. This year for my birthday, I received a Cosori Air Frey Max XL.


I never had an Air Fryer before this I got my Cosori. I had no idea what to expect. One of the best features is the size of the air fryer basket. It can hold over 5.8 quarts. Now, what does that roughly mean. I have been able to put in a whole bag of frozen French fries and cook them. It also comes with a lot of preset cooking settings that enables to be pretty user friendly. I also like how easy it is to create custom cook times.

When I used it for the first time, I cooked a bag of popcorn chicken Aldi and used the chicken cooking setting. The setting did have a notification to let me know when I needed to turn the food. However, It definitely cooked the chicken too long and burnt some of the edges on the breading. The good news is the insides were still moist and juicy.

The second attempt at Frying was a bag of Frozen French fries. I used the French fries option on the menu and cooked the fries. While, the setting cooked the fries, most of the fries were extra crispy or burnt. As of right now, these two default settings burn the food that I’ve tried. I honestly had more luck with picking cook times and temperatures. The manual process seems to work better and has resulted in perfectly delicious cooking.


Now we need to discuss the worse and most dreaded part of any meal, the cleanup. I have to say that the clean up has been the easier that I’ve ever seen. It was extremely easy to wipe both pans clean with a wet soap dish towel. I didn’t have issues with the clean at all.


Now, I still haven’t had a chance to review or use any of the 100 included recipes. I also received the Cosori Accessories XL. I have yet to use any of the accessories, but I can see how it could be quite useful.

Overall, I would rate the Air Fryer 4 out of 5 stars. My biggest issue is the default settings over cook the food but with manual settings can fix that issue. Other than that, I haven’t experience any problems such as 1 star reviews on amazon.  

Friday, April 9, 2021

Missed the ice cream but the garden is growing


So, I entirely forgot that last weekend was Easter. I didn’t end up making a new batch of ice cream like I wanted to. However, my aero garden is starting to grow.

As you can see, my 7 pod Aero Garden is starting to grow pretty nicely. Now, it is growing very different than I expected. I purchased a tomato and jalapeno grow pod kit from amazon. It came with four tomato pods and three jalapeno pods. This is the second time growing this set but I’m getting different starting results. The first time I’d attempted to grow these pods, all of my tomato pods sprouted before my jalapenos. It was weeks after the tomatoes sprouted that I finally started to grow jalapenos. Both set of pods are supposed to sprout between 8-14 days. I’m beginning to think that my tomato plants are not growing to sprout this time. Do you think the tomato pods are dubs?

Now, my Aero garden bounty is doing great. All of the pods have sprouted and it has been growing great.


As you can see, the parsley is growing pretty great and the cilantro is pretty huge. The only issue is the oregano. While it seems to be growing, it isn’t growing as fast. So, I hopefully will be to use all the spices to make some tasty dishes. Does anyone have any recommendations? It doesn’t look like I’ll be making salsa any time soon.

Now, my latest container purchases were for these growingtrays.

Amazon sells them in packs of tens which means I can start 120 different plants from seeds. I plan on growing some container tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, herbs, and strawberries. Now, I’ve done some research(only online searches) and I purchased some strawberry Mignonette seeds from Burpee. From what I read, it supposedly an everbearing plant and perfect for growing in pots. Has anyone tried growing them before?

Lastly, my two girls love blueberries. I’ve been trying to find a dwarf container blue berry bush. Burpee does sell the top hat blueberrybush. It seems perfect for containers and was developed at Michigan state university. However, Burpee doesn’t ship Blueberries to Michigan. It is one of four plants that are restricted. Does anyone know why it is restricted? I guess I’ll have to try a local nursery to see if I can find anything local.

Hopefully, this weekend, I’ll be able to run out and pick up some potting soil and maybe a pot to grow the strawberries. I was thinking of some possible stackable terra cotta pots for the strawberries. It should allow for better watering and more plants in a small space. Hopefully, a local store will have them in stock already. Otherwise, I’ll look into order these from amazon.

As for my next blog post, I’m hoping to get around to making a new batch of non-dairy ice cream. I found a recipe to try out and it doesn’t appear to be too complicated. We’ll see how it goes. Otherwise, I’ve been craving some home made fresh baked pretzels. Maybe, I’ll get a chance to cook some up too.