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Baking Steel: The Original Baking Steel

Baking Steel: The Original Baking Steel

One of my favorite cookbooks of all time is “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking” by Maxime Bilet and Nathan Myhrvold. If you have never read it, I highly recommend it. And it just so happens that this award-winning cookbook also helped inspire one of my favorite companies and products, Baking Steel. Founded in 2012, Baking Steel offers a wide variety of amazing products and accessories that are perfect whether you are cooking over a live fire, on a pellet grill, with charcoal, gas, or even in the kitchen oven. To put it simply, Baking Steel rocks. 

I have been using Baking Steel for over 5 years now. American owned and operated, all Baking Steel products are made in the U.S.A. with American Steel. The Original Baking Steel (use coupon code "DUDEFOODFIRE" to receive 10% off your purchase) was my 1st purchase and it still works as amazing as it did 5 years ago. The Baking Steel Mini Griddle is another of my absolute favorites and can be used with any type of cooking method as well. I also use a special mini Baking Steel made specifically to fit inside my Ooni Piizza Oven!

To learn more about Baking Steel and all the amazing ways it can change your life, check out the book "Baking with Steel: The Revolutionary New Approach to Perfect Pizza, Bread, and More," by Andris Lagsdin. Lagsdin, the creator and founder of Baking Steel. I promise, his book and product will absolutely change how you cook and the things you are able to make. With Baking Steel, you are only limited by your imagination. 

Original Baking Steel in the OvenBaking Steel's quality and products are second to none. To make a crispy, delicious homemade pizza using the Original Baking Steel, place the Baking Steel on the top rack of the oven and let it preheat for 1 hour at 500 F. Place your pizza directly on the Baking Steel and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, slice and serve. It will be the absolute best pizza you have ever made at home.
Baking Steel Griddle Product ImageWhether you are making pizza, bread, bacon, steak...even potatoes...Baking Steel will get the job done. I have used Baking Steel for over 5 years and know I will continue to use them for years to come. Nothing compares to Baking Steel's quality and performance.
Ooni Pizza Oven Link
If you are looking for a pizza dough recipe to get started, check out my blog post on King Arthur '00' Pizza Flour. (This blog contains affiliate links)
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Sweet Potatoes with Sweet Chica Honey Butter

Sweet Potatoes with Sweet Chica Honey Butter

Sweet potatoes are an amazing addition to any meal. They're nutritious, delicious, and pretty versatile. But have you ever had them with Sweet Chica honey butter? It's a game changer. Trust me. You've never had sweet potatoes like this before. So easy to make, and so good! If you're looking for something new and exciting to do with your sweet potatoes, then you need to try this recipe! You won't regret it. Guaranteed.

Ingredients:

Hannah sweet potatoes
Marshmallows
Sweet Chica Honey Butter (ingredients and instructions below)
  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1 Tbsp Sweet Chica
  • 1 Tbsp good honey
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (may need more)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Place in microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Whisk together until smooth and incorporated.

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Directions:

  • Wrap Hannah sweet potatoes in foil and bake in oven at 350 degrees for an 1 1/2 hours or until very soft
  • Mash potatoes in pan and mix in Sweet Chica Honey Butter
  • Top with jumbo marshmallows - cut in half, place cut side up
  • Broil in oven for 2 minutes or until golden brown.

 That's it. Now all you have to do is serve and enjoy. I would love to see what you make. Share your sweet potato pics (or any other recipe pics) with me on social @dudefoodfire. 

Sweet Chica Spice Blend
Sweet Chica Spice Blend is like a love poem for your girlfriend. Sweet, spicy, and the perfect rub for all your meat! It blends the sweetness of maple and honey with subtle hints of herbs, spice, and smoke. (This blog contains an affiliate link)
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5-Tips to Open Fire Cooking

5-Tips to Open Fire Cooking

Men, veterans and brave women- if you are looking for a new cooking routine, open fire cooking is the perfect choice! It's not just about s'mores anymore. You can do so much more with open fire cooking to create flavors that would be otherwise impossible via other methods.

When cooking with an open fire, you can experiment with new flavors by using different types of wood. Getting interactive and social by cooking with friends around the open fire will take the experience to a whole new level. Always practice safety when cooking with an open fire. 

Here are 5-Tips to Open Fire Cooking to help you maximize your experience. 

Tip #1 - Make sure and use the right type of wood. 

  • Open fires are a great way to cook, but they require special attention while using them. Fresh green wood will not burn well and creates excessive smoke so if that's what you have access too don't waste time with it! Use seasoned hardwood instead.
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Tip #2 - Don't Be Impatient

When the flames die down and there's no longer any burning wood logs to burn off excess moisture from fatty meats like pork belly (or chicken wings), that means we're ready!
  • A decent sized hot coal bed should already exist in order make sure everything gets cooked evenly throughout its surface area; this usually takes 30-45 minutes depending on weather conditions. 
  • - A decent fire is generally made up of hot coals and only a few burning wood logs

- Flames are NOT an indication that the fire is ready to be cooked with
 -30 to 45 minutes might be necessary to burn down to the appropriate conditions, depending on the fire and weather conditions.
-To get the best result from your fire, allow it to burn slowly. This will give you hot coals without any direct flame and makes for an easier way of cooking. The size of the fire also matters; beginners often try building large fires when they should really be learning about small ones which burn slowly and steadily over time.

 
Open fire cooking can be a romantic experience for date night or a fun way to add some flare and fun to family night. 

Be sure to allow plenty of time to have a good fire going before you start cooking. Don't rush the fun.

If you're running low on wood and can't seem to get the fire burning right, try starting with some smaller pieces first. The best way is by using kindling as your starter fire for 30 minutes before adding more larger logs when needed!

The best way to start your fire is with an old lighter or matches - only use natural materials. Once the tinder is lit place kindling in form of thin sticks no thicker than pencils and watch them ignite as soon as it gets warm enough! As more fuel catches on flame larger branches should be added into teepee shapes over top If you are cooking something large, start with a small fire and build up as you go. If you start with too large of a fire you will just burn the meat. If you are cooking with a grate, remember to rotate the food to ensure even cooking. 

Tip #3 - Do not cook directly over an open flame

Open Fire Cooking Image 3
When we were children, our parents taught us to roast a hot dog or marshmallow over an open flame as if it was the most natural thing in this world. The truth is, cooking your meat this way will just result in a burnt meal. The key is to create 2 sides to your fire pit; one side with fire and one side where you move the hot coals. Use the flames for roasting and boiling, while using the hot coals for grilling your meat.
Tip #4 - DO Try Cooking Directly on the Coals:
Some foods can be cooked directly on top of the coals. Wrap your veggies in aluminum foil and throw them directly on the coals, or throw a piece of meat or some potatoes in a cast-iron skillet. Make sure your coals are hot enough to cook on. 

Tip #5 - Be sure not to overcook the food:

Grilling is the king of all cooking methods. Nothing makes a man feel more like a dude. And open-fire cooking takes the dudeness to the next level. Here is something to keep in mind to make sure you do not cook your food for too long.

  • The carryover cooking of the food can last for up to 20 minutes. The trick is to remove the food right before you think it is done, and allow it to finish cooking during the resting period.

The key to open fire cooking, as with anything, is practice. The more you do it, the better you will become. So light the fire, get cooking, and have fun.

Solo Stove

 

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Butcher Knives: A Quick Guide

Butcher Knives: A Quick Guide

A good butcher knife is necessary for any aspiring chef. With the different cuts of meat and fish, a quality, well-sharpened blade is essential for preparing the meat properly and maintaining all its qualities. These varying cuts of meat also mean that there is a variety of knives to choose from, depending on the task at hand. Below, we will take a look at a few of the different types and what they are most commonly used for.

Traditional Butcher Knife

Traditional butcher knives are often large, heavy, and strong, can easily skirt around bones without breaking or chipping the edge The wide blade and curved tip allow for cutting through thick pieces of meat with ease.

 

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Skinning Knife

The skinning knife has a wide, curved blade that is ideal for performing necessary cuts when gutting and skinning animals. The blade curves upward, allowing complete control when cutting through tough hides. The blunt end of the blade helps prevent you from puncturing any of the animal’s insides while skinning.

Cimeter

The cimeter knife is a large type of butcher's blade with a long and curved design used for cutting large pieces of meat into smaller pieces, such as steak. It can also be used to trim fat from larger cuts of meat as well.

 

 Meat CleaverMeat Cleaver

The meat cleaver is a heavy-duty knife made to withstand hacking and chopping. With a wide blade and flat tip, the meat cleaver is made to cut through large pieces of meat, bone, and cartilage without too much effort…this knife is designed to work based on the strength of your blows.

 

Boning Knife

A boning knife is what most people think about when thinking "Butcher Knife". This type has been specially designed to remove meat and flesh from bone with minimal incisions. A boning knife has many different forms, each designed to meet a specific need. The most common type is curved and flexible so it can bend around corners when removing meat, leaving you with a nice, clean bone.

Steak Knife

What is the best way to enjoy a juicy, delicious steak? With a knife that can cut through it easily and without squeezing out all those amazing juices! A good quality serrated or straight-edged blade will do just fine for slicing up any kind of steak or meaty dish you might want. You can never go wrong with a quality, properly sharpened steak knife.

 

 Tips for properly caring for your knives:

  • To avoid scratching the steel and opening the knives to corrosion, always use a soft sponge when cleaning your knives.

  • To avoid corrosion, do not soak knives in sink.

  • Store your knives away from other kitchen utensils to avoid the scratching and damage that could happen. Use a knife block or other form of storage to keep your knives separate.

  • A dull knife is a dangerous and frustrating tool that can lead to unnecessary problems. To avoid this, you should honor your knives by regularly sharpening them. This will allow you to cut through meat fibers with precision instead of tearing them up!

Knowing which knife is right depends on the job at hand. Be sure to choose a knife that is the right size for the job and one that fits comfortably in your hand. To properly prepare and serve the best quality meat, be sure and use top quality knives. Having the proper tool changes the entire experience!

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(This blog contains affiliate links)

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Ooni Karu 12 Multi-fuel Pizza Oven

Ooni Karu 12 Multi-fuel Pizza Oven

If you are a pizza lover like me, then there are probably few products that will make you as excited as the Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven. I mean, what could be better than a portable pizza oven that heats up in 15 minutes and cooks "fresh stone-baked pizza in just 60 seconds?" Let me answer that for you...nothing...there is nothing better.
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Bella Grande 32 Wood-Fired Pizza Oven

Bella Grande 32 Wood-Fired Pizza Oven

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(This Blog Contains Affiliate Links)

I'm a pretty big fan of pizza. Like, really big fan. I could eat it every day and never get sick of it. So when I had the opportunity to purchase the Bella Grande 32 Wood-Fired Pizza Oven, I was all in.

Bella Grande 32 Wood Fired Pizza OvenBella Grande 32Bella Grande 32 Wood Fired Pizza Oven
This oven is legit…you can cook 4 12-inch pizzas at once. The Bella Grande 32 boasts a 32 x 24 cooking surface made of a high-grade ceramic “designed to heat, recover & bake using less wood than a traditional brick oven.” The rest of the oven is constructed of 304 stainless steel and provides great durability. Oh yeah, and it is manufactured right here in the U.S.A.

I have owned my Bella Grande 32 for 4 years and have loved every moment of it. It’s design, durability, and performance all exceed expectations. Whether you are cooking breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner, the Bella Grande 32 Wood-fired Oven is the perfect outdoor kitchen. If you love cooking with fire, the Bella Grande 32 is an amazing oven.

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The Bella Grande 32 “components are warrantied to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for two (2) years from date of shipment, including oven body, floor, venting system, factory-installed finishes, stand, door, and accessories. The internal dome welds are covered under the warranty for five (5) years.”

As I said before, I have owned my Bella Grande 32 for 4 years and have experienced no issues. It is efficient, is easy to set up, and adds an awesome dimension to your home patio or outdoor space. I love the look of the Bella Grande 32 as much as I love its efficiency. I highly recommend you get yours today.

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Solo Stove Ranger: Product Review

Solo Stove Ranger: Product Review

(This blog contains affiliate links)

Whether you are thinking about going camping, visiting the beach, or are just looking for a backyard fire-pit, then look no further than the Ranger, from Solo Stove. This compact, portable, wood-burning fire-pit is one of my favorite new products. Solo Stove’s Signature 360-degree Airflow Design makes the Ranger an extremely efficient fire-pit that produces a very minimal amount of smoke. The design of the airflow helps the fire burn more evenly as well, leaving almost nothing but ash, which makes for nice and easy clean-up.  To put it simply, the Ranger from Solo Stove does not fail to impress. Whether you are talking about packaging, portability, storage, or ease of use, the Ranger is top of the line. Oh yeah, and it has a Lifetime Guarantee.

First off, let me say I was very impressed with how my new Solo Stove came packaged. It was very well protected, but not to frustrating to get into. Being so compact and portable, it didn’t require a ton of packaging so there isn’t a ton of mess to clean up. And the set up was probably easier than getting it out of the box (you can watch the set up in the video above). You can go from in the box to ready to light in 5 minutes.

The Ranger is both portable and easy to store. It can be brought on camping trips or outings without taking up too much space, and at only 15 lbs., it can be moved short distances with ease. A convenient carrying case is provided for both trips and storage at home as well. 

Another great thing about the Ranger from Solo Stove is the ease of use. The Signature 360-degree Airflow design not only makes starting a fire easy, but it also helps make sure the fire stays burning and burns with minimal amounts of smoke. Once you get the fire going, all you have to do is sit back and watch the amazing flames. The fire ring on top helps keep the flame contained and provides nice concentrated heat for roasting marshmallows, warming your hands, or even cooking dinner.  If you are using it at home, or on property you don’t want to burn, you can also purchase a stand to keep the Ranger off the ground.

Being a Dude, who loves food, and cooking with fire, my favorite part of the Solo Stove Ranger are the available grill and griddle attachments. I mean, there is nothing like cooking over an open fire, and having that option in a convenient, easy to pack and carry fire-pit is unbelievable. Solo Stove offers cast iron grill, wok, and griddle attachments which can be purchased as a bundle with the Ranger Stove, or individually. Like the Ranger Stove itself, connecting the grill attachment is extremely simple and takes almost no time.  The big question is, how does it cook?

 To test it, I used the cast-iron grill to cook some choice picana steaks. The key to cooking with the Ranger is letting the fire burn down. If you try and cook on it too soon, the flames will simply burn the food. However, once you the let the coals get just right, the Ranger becomes an awesome grill. With 14.25 in. of cooking surface diameter, and the concentrated heat provided by the signature airflow, the Ranger had no trouble passing the test (see pics below).

Ranger from Solo Stove
Overall, the Ranger from Solo Stove exceeded expectations. It is easy to transport, easy to use, and provides a beautiful fire. As an added bonus, with the grill, wok, or griddle attachment, the Ranger can become an open fire kitchen. Whether you are someone who likes to travel, camp, or just sit around a nice fire on a cool evening, I would highly recommend the Ranger from Solo Stove.

 

 

 

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