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Contents of this issue of the
Fire Pit and Grilling Guru Guide
- Gearing up for Winter Cooking!
- Featured Grilling Recipe: Bourbon-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
- Featured Fireplace Cooking Products
Gearing up for Winter Cooking!
The summer grilling season is slowly coming to close, depending on where you live. But wherever you live the weather is going to start getting cooler to the point that you can start to enjoy indoor cooking. But don't fret, indoor cooking doesn't have to mean giving up on cooking with a real wood fire! Sure, cooking on your stove or in your oven is fine too, particularly with a stovetop grill pan or rotisserie oven, but there is nothing quite as fun in the Winter as fireplace cooking! If you have a fireplace then read on and explore my site as there is a bunch of tips on how to turn your fireplace into a cooking space. It is not as hard as it may seem so take a shot and enjoy the primitive thrill of cooking over a firewood fire all through winter!
Check out my fireplace cooking section which is full of tips on how to get started with hearth cooking. Even without any special equipment you can cook on your fireplace with string-turned hearth cooking. You can roast chestnuts, use a dutch oven, or even cook in your fire with skewers. However, if you want to invest a bit of money on some extra equipment, you can expand your fireplace cooking tremendously with a fireplace grill or fireplace rotisserie, both of which are reviewed in more detail below!
So start stocking up on seasoned firewood and planning your fireplace cooking recipes such as String-Turned Leg of Lamb! Winter doesn't have to mean the end of great firewood cooking!
Featured Grilling Recipe: Bourbon-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
While you still have some outdoor grilling time left this summer and fall, here is a great recipe I just cooked for the first time for you to try. Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite cuts because it is tender and flavorful yet reasonably priced. You can think of it as the pork equivalent of beef filet mignon or tenderloin. I've cooked many great recipes with pork tenderloin, such as Apple Cider Brined Pork Tenderloin.
This recipe also utilizes a sweet, smokey flavor to enhance the natural juicy, tenderness of the pork. The Bourbon glaze is just delicious and finger lickin' good!
1 - 1-1/2 lb pork tenderloin
For the spice rub:
- 2 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
For Bourbon Glaze:
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
- 4 tbsp Bourbon (I used Maker's Mark)
- 4 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix the spice rub ingredients (salt, sugar, paprika, pepper, mustard powder and garlic powder in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Rub all the spice mixture over the pork tenderloin on all surfaces. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the glaze but melting the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute.
- Add the bourbon, sugar, mustard, cinnamon and cloves and continue to simmer briskly over high heat, stirring almost continuously until it is thick and syrupy, about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper. It should be well seasoned for the saltiness to stand up to the sweetness. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
- Get a hot grill or fire pit started and grill the tenderloins over high heat, turning occasionally until golden brown and cooked through. After the surface is seared a bit, baste the tenderloin on all sides with the Bourbon glaze repeatedly until all the glaze is used up during the final 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. This will take 3 to 4 minutes per size, about 12 to 15 minutes total depending on the heat of the grill and the size of the tenderloin. The internal temperature should be close to 160. Note that pork tenderloin is generally fairly small and thin, so it can overcook quickly. Try to avoid overcooking to maintain moisture and juiciness in the meat!
- Note: the smoky, sweet flavor of the glaze can be augmented nicely by smoking woods. If you want, add some hickory, mesquite or apple smoking wood chips or chunks to your fire shortly before cooking the pork. Try to cover the grill with its lid during most of the cooking to hold in all that yummy, aromatic smoke!
- Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes under aluminum foil.
- Slice into thin medallions on the diagonal and serve. If there is extra pan drippings and glaze it can be spooned over the meat.
That's it! Delicious smokey and sweet, this great pork tenderloin will have your guests coming back for more!
Featured Indoor Cooking Products
SpitJack.com is a great resource for all your cooking with fire accessories including fireplace cooking supplies. They are the only good supplier of fireplace grills that I know of. They carry three different models of fireplace grill as pictured above. All of them work in basically the same way. You start a firewood fire in your fireplace and as the wood burns down and forms a core of embers you place the grill over the heat. You can then grill foods right there in your fireplace as you would on a grill or barbecue! It's that simple! Imagine your guests faces when they see you cooking their dinner right in your fireplace!
The three models above are called, from left to right, the SpitJack Fireplace Grill, the Hearth Grill, and the Cast Iron Tuscan Grill. While the Tuscan Grill model is a model of simplicity, it is not adjustable. Both the SpitJack and Hearth grills are adjustable to change the height of the grill over your heat source. The SpitJack model is a modern model which is the ultimate in design and functionality while the Hearth grill has a more rustic, old-fashioned look.
SpitJack.com also carries a line of outstanding and classy fireplace rotisseries. Beautifully designed, these rotisseries sit right in front of your fireplace, slowly rotating your roasts in front of the heat. Available in both clockwork, cranked and electric models, these sturdy cast iron devices are beautiful and functional. They can hold two independent spits so that you can cook more than one thing at a time. These allow you to slowly roast larger cuts of meat that don't work well on a fireplace grill. Leg of lamb, roast chicken, beef roasts, game birds...they are all perfectly suited to the SpitJack Fireplace Rotisserie.
I hope my site and these accessories help you get ready for the Winter cooking season! They also make great holiday gifts for your favorite cooking lover!
Don't forget to stock up for the summer on all your grill and fire pit related supplies!
Here are a few places you should check out that have a great selection of "cooking with fire" related items:
SpitJack is a great online retailer that sells all sorts of tools for food & fire. They have all the basics like fireplace tools, wood storage and fire pits. But what makes them really special is that they have hard to find fireplace cooking items like fireplace grills and fireplace rotisseries! They also have big outdoor rotisseries for next spring or summer's pig roast.
The Fire Pit Shop has dozens of choices of fire pits and outdoor chimneys. Get warm this winter with a nice outdoor fire pit to cozy up next to!
Grills Direct stocks virtually every major brand of grills, barbecues, fryers and smokers. While it's probably too cold in most areas to grill right now, this can be a great source for gifts for your grill loving friends and relatives.
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