No Recipe Chicken

No_recipe_chickenThere is no need to print off this recipe or to run back and forth between your computer and your grill to check how many teaspoons of what ingredients to use.  Just go get some good quality chicken thighs, remove the skin, sprinkle on your favorite spice rub and throw them on the grill at 400° until they’re done (for those who do not know, chicken is done at 165° or about 30 minutes).  What is the secret to this recipe…or lack thereof? The Madera pellet grill.  Even cooking at higher temperatures, the Madera pellet grill gives this chicken a nice BBQ flavor and you do not have to open the lid every 5 minutes.  The natural circulation of the grill and indirect cooking makes grilling almost foolproof. If you are interested, I used a mixture of Beer Can Chicken Seasoning from Weber and a spice called Purple Haze from Spiceologist.  According to the family it was amazing and it was a nicely complimented with homegrown squash mixed with rice, and a garden fresh Greek salad.

Pulled Beef Sandwiches With Provolone

pulled beef sandwichesSlow smoked beef roast, pulled and piled high on a buttery sourdough roll and topped with melted provolone cheese and a mixture of sautéed mushrooms and onions.




Pulled Beef Sandwiches With Provolone
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Tender pulled beef sandwiches
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8
  • 3 lb. chuck roast
  • Montreal steak seasoning
  • 4 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • Sourdough rolls
  • Sliced provolone cheese
  • 1 small package mushrooms
  • 1 medium white onion.
  • 2 tsp. butter.
  1. Pre-heat your Madera pellet grill to 450° and slid open the grill zone.
  2. Generously rub the roast with steak seasoning and chopped garlic.
  3. Place on the grill and sear all sides of the roast until the outside has a dark crust.
  4. Close the grill zone and turn the grill down to 225°
  5. Smoke the roast on the center grid for 3 hours at 225°
  6. After 3 hours, place the roast in a foil tray, pour in the beef broth and cover with aluminum foil.
  7. Continue to smoke at 225° for approximately 4 more hours until the internal temperature reaches 200°
  8. Remove the roast an allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  9. While the roast is resting, coarsely chop and sauté the mushrooms and onions in butter.
  10. After 30 minutes, place the roast in a large pan and shred with two forks.
  11. Pour in some of the reserve roasting juices to moisten the shredded beef.
  12. Butter and lightly toast or grill the sourdough rolls.
  13. Place a generous amount of beef on the roll and melt a slice of provolone cheese on the beef.
  14. Add some of the sautéed mushrooms and onions and serve immediately.


Steak Fajitas


Marinated round steak, grilled hot and fast and served with sautéed peppers and red onion.  A delicious Mexican recipe for the pellet grill.  Ask your butcher to tenderize the round steak before you marinate it.  This really helps the marinade penetrate the meat.



Steak Fajitas
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Classic steak fajitas with grilled steak and a sautéed pepper/onion mixture
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4-6
  • 1.5 lbs. round steak
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 2 tsp. freshly chopped garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Red Onion
  • Small flour tortillas warmed
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  1. Wisk together olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili powder.
  2. Marinate the tenderized round steak in the marinate covered in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.
  3. Fire up the pellet grill and set to 480° Use the quick grilling zone for searing the steak.
  4. While the grill is pre-heating, chop your pepper and onion into large chunks.
  5. Grill the round steak for 2-4 minutes per side until the internal temp is 150° for medium well.
  6. When the steak is done, wrap in foil and let rest.
  7. Saute the peppers and onions in a bit of olive oil while the steak is resting.
  8. Thinly slice the steak across the grain and serve on warm tortillas with pepper/onion mixture, sour cream, and guacamole.


Feta Bleu Cheese Burger

Pellet grilled feta bleu cheese burgerFeeling a little Mediterranean tonight? Try this juicy burger topped with crumbled feta and a bleu cheese dressing. Lighthouse brand creamy bleu cheese dressing is great in this recipe as it is mild and does not overpower the feta cheese.  When cooking on a pellet grill you want to grill your burgers hot and fast for moist flavorful patties.

Feta Bleu Cheese Burger
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A juicy grilled burger topped with feta cheese and crumbled bleu cheese.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4
  • 4⅓ lb. hamburger patties
  • 4 Hamburger buns
  • 1 Red onion, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • Creamy bleu cheese dressing
  1. Pre-heat your pellet grill to 480°
  2. Grill the hamburger patties 4-5 minutes on each side until the internal temperature is 160°
  3. Spread bleu cheese dressing on the bottom bun
  4. Place burger, feta, onion, and lettuce.
  5. Spread a bit more dressing on the top bun and enjoy.

T-Bones With Cilantro-Feta Vinaigrette

T-Bone Steaks with cilantro and fetaA little salt and pepper is all you really need for a great t-bone steak but, if you want to try something different, this recipe is adds an nice tangy kick to an already great cut of meat.  The red wine vinegar and feta compliment each other very nicely in this simple and quick vinaigrette.


T-Bones With Cilantro-Feta Vinaigrette
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Tangy vinaigrette tops off a great grilled steak in this easy to do recipe.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2
  • 2 T-Bone Steaks
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Red onion, minced
  • ¼ Cup Red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ Cup Feta cheese
  • 1 tsp. Lime juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat your grill to 480°
  2. In a small bowl, vigorously mix the olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, and honey.
  3. Gently fold in the onion, cilantro, and feta cheese.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Grill your steaks for 10-15 minutes until cooked to your liking.
  6. Let the steaks rest for 3 minutes then top with a generous portion of the vinaigrette.

Smoked Breakfast “Fatty”

Smoked Sausage "Fatty"pork_sausageThis is hands down the easiest way in the world to cook sausage for breakfast.  You hardly even have to touch the meat until it is deliciously smoked and ready to eat.  It is so easy in fact, that it does not even qualify as a recipe.  There is one ingredient: a 1lb. package of pork sausage (unfrozen).  You can buy the pre-packaged roll of sausage like Jimmy Dean.  We buy local grown pork and we have our butcher package the sausage in a similar manner as seen to the left.

Pre-heat your smoker to 250°, remove the packaging and place the entire sausage roll on the center of the grill.  Insert your meat probe into the center of the roll, plug it into the grill and shut the lid.  Set your meat probe to 160° and in a couple of hours you will have juicy breakfast sausage ready for slicing.  The Madera Digital controls will automatically turn the grill down to low and notify you when the meat is done.  When the meat reaches 150° you can start cooking up some eggs and toast for a complete meal.

Now although this is the easiest way to cook sausage, you can take this method to a whole other level by stuffing and wrapping the sausage with a variety of ingredients.  Check out for some crazy ideas.

Mix It Up: Mixing Pellets For The Grill

Mixing charcoal pellets in the pellet grillmellowing charcoal in the pellet grillRecently I was given two small 1lb. bags of Jack Daniels grilling charcoal as a gift.  I quickly emptied out my hopper and threw these precious gems in to see how they cooked.  The burgers tasted great but when I found out that 1lb. is about $10 on amazon, those burgers became a once in a lifetime experience. I highly recommend my second attempt which also tasted great and was a much more economical way to use a special bag of pellets.

Pour about 15 lbs. of Bear Mountain Alder Pellets into a bucket and add 1 lb. of the Jack Daniel’s grilling charcoal.  Mix it thoroughly by hand and you have a special mix that will give you a sweet tangy smoke that is great for red meats.  I recommend using this mix when you are smoking at 300° or below. At higher temperatures you might as well just use regular pellets.

Another great idea is to mix two flavors of cooking pellets such as apple and mesquite at a 50/50 ratio.  This mix is great for pork and gives a balanced smoke flavor between mild and tangy.  Don’t be afraid to try new things because, although the differences are subtle, mixing pellet flavors can add a touch of variety to your smoked foods.

Lemon Thyme Pork Chops

Lemon Thyme Pork Chops

Lemon Thyme Pork Chops

These juicy chops grill up in about 30 minutes and will leave you wondering why you ever put a pork chop in the oven.  Grab an extra thick cut of chops for this recipe and get ready for a zesty kick from the pink pepper lemon thyme rub.

Lemon Thyme Pork Chops
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Grilled pork chops marinated and seasoned to lemony perfection.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2-4
  • 2-4 pork chops 1" thick
  • Roasted red pepper Italian dressing
  • Lemon pepper seasoning
  • Salt
  1. Marinate the chops in the Italian dressing for up to 4 hours before grilling.
  2. Pre-heat your pellet grill to 425°
  3. Season both sides of the chops with lemon pepper and salt.
  4. Grill for 30 minutes turning halfway.
  5. Cook to 145° and let rest for 3 minutes.
Use apple pellets for a subtle smoke flavor that compliments the pork.

Stuffed Crust Pizza On The Pellet Grill


At a recent wintertime gathering with lots out-of-town family, we needed something easy, delicious, and filling for our evening meal.  So when we came in from sledding, we flipped on the pellet grill and souped up some Papa Murphy’s pizza.  My sister brought a gourmet vegetarian family sized pizza, I brought some string cheese, and when they were put together and cooked on the Madera, it was awesome!  Reminiscent of their favorite brick-oven style restaraunt back home… only better!  …or so I heard from appreciative partakers.  Give it a try- the preparation is simple, the presentation is impressive, and the taste is superb!


First, scoot all the toppings toward the center.  This increases the concentration of toppings in the center, and makes room for something delicious in the crust….


Next, place string cheese around the perimeter of the pizza, about an inch or so from the edge.


Fold the crust over the string cheese and tuck it in, so it stays put.


Trim the paper tray so it is just slightly bigger then the pizza.


Set your pellet grill to 480, open the quick grill zone, and preheat your pizza stone for about 15 minutes. Then, slide grill control closed for indirect pizza oven magic. Flip the stone over, place the pizza (still on its paper tray) on the stone, and reduce the grill’s temp to 400. {Flipping the stone puts the crust side onto the grill-preheated stone side. I recommend a nice hot stone.}


Cook for 20-28 minutes, rotating stone 180 degrees halfway through the cook time, until the crust is golden brown, top and bottom (use a spatula to check the bottom).  Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Thank you Papa Murphy’s Take-n-Bake. Thank you Madera Premium Pellet Grills. Thank you guy who invented string cheese… Dinner is served.




Tangy Barbequed Chicken

100_6080A recipe that our family has previously enjoyed from the oven, now can be enjoyed from the grill.  With some bonus smoke flavor and a sweet and tangy homemade sauce, this is a great recipe for your pellet grill any time of year.


Tangy Barbequed Chicken
A recipe that our family has previously enjoyed from the oven, now can be enjoyed from the grill, with some bonus smoke flavor....
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 cut-up fryer (3-4 lbs) or 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  1. Coat the chicken in oil, and season with some salt and pepper to taste. Smoke on your grill for about an hour at 180.
  2. While chicken is smoking, melt butter in medium saucepan. Add chopped onion and saute until tender.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn the grill up to 350, transfer the chicken to a casserole dish, and pour the sauce over it. Cook at 350 till chicken is fully cooked, basting with sauce occasionally if desired.
  5. (PS- I proofed bread and smoked potatoes for dinner in the grill simultaneously with the smoking chicken, and then baked the bread and potatoes in the grill while the chicken cooked in the sauce. Complete dinner on my grill!)


100_6076Here is the chicken sharing the grill with the rest of dinner…






The finished product of bread- baked up beautifully on the grill in the heart of winter!