Can you Smellllll! What the Beach is Smokingggg!

Hey everybody!

This weekend is the Beach BBQ and Brew Festival.
Great Food, great music, and great craft beers!
I’ll be doing a demonstration at the Grilling Tent at 5pm on Saturday June 14.
It’s a wonderful day and a great way to spend Fathers Day!
I hope to see you there!

Festival Hours
Friday June 13th 3:00pm-11:00pm
Saturday June 14th 12:00pm-11:00pm
Sunday June 15th 12:00pm-8:00pm

Woodbine Park is located just north of the Beaches Boardwalk on the North-East Corner of Lakeshore Blvd East and Coxwell Avenue.

Too much smoke! Just a little! What I do for my art!

Too much smoke! Just a little! What I do for my art!

“I will not tease Fatty” Bart Simpson

Who you calling FattyIf you’re from the Seventies, a fatty has a totally different meaning than the one I did the other night!

It’s called a Fatty, or a Bacon Explosion, but whatever you call it, a lot of pork gave up their lives for it. I’ve been trying to find the history of the Fatty and have to say I have come up empty. It seems to be a southern US invention and has its roots in the smoking community. That seems appropriate! In general it’s sausage wrapped in bacon and stuffer with cheese, jalapenos, and onions. I don’t think the Surgeon General knows about this yet because it should come with the warning, “Please consult your doctor before consuming!”

If you haven’t heard of this or experienced it, you have to try it at least once.

Weave a pound of bacon the same way as you would have at summer camp to make a mat or coaster. If you have a macramé practitioner or basket weaver in your family, get them to do it. Assemble the bacon wrap on parchment paper or plastic wrap, (it makes the process easier).  Then spread your sausage meat on top, (7 or 8 de-cased sausages), so that you have an even layer covering approximately ¾ of your bacon mat. Along the one side of the sausage, add your cheese, jalapenos and onion. If you don’t like the heat, just use the cheese.  Then skilfully using the parchment (or plastic wrap), start rolling into a tight uniform tube.  Tightly bind the entire roll with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge to set-up for at least an hour.

My favourite wood to smoke this with is apple or cherry with a little hickory mixed in. When you’re ready, and your grill or smoker is at about 275f, place the Fatty of the grill (remember to take off the plastic first).  You’ll want to do this offset with a catch pan underneath for the drippings. There is a pound of bacon and sausage cooking there so be aware of flare-up and keep the grease away from the flames. It should take a couple of hours depending on your grill. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165f.  Just before you take it off and the excessive fat is now in your drip pan, place it over the direct flame to crisp up the bacon. Watch this because you will get flame.

Let your Fatty sit and rest at least 15 to 20 minutes before you slice.

You can serve this as an appetizer or as a main. A little BBQ sauce drizzled on top is wonderful.

Don’t tell your doctor this came from me!

Be well and eat well!

Scott TaitCheese Stuffed Fatty

Beach BBQ and Brews Festival! Saturday June 14th Grilling Tent Schedule!

Here is the schedule for the Grilling Tent Demonstrations at the Beach BBQ and Brews Festival!

Saturday June 14th – Grilling Demos
1:00PM – Chef Ted Reader
2:00PM – Chef Chris Doepner
3:00PM – Chef Ted Reader
4:00PM – Tonia Wilson
5:00PM – Scott Tait

Hope to see you there on Saturday!

Be Well and Eat Well!



Beach BBQ and Brews Festival!

Beach BBQ and Brews Festival!

Let the smoke rise and the pork be juicy! It’s 2 weeks away!

This is a great weekend. I’ve been to rib and BBQ festivals throughout Ontario, and I have to say my favourite is the one that’s in my own backyard. Literally! The team that puts this event together works extra hard to put the community feel into the weekend.  Local craft beers, Blues, Rock and Reggae, and really really good BBQ.

Ted Reader will be doing his tasty tasty thing for everybody and there is the Firefighters Cook-off.

Last year I had the privilege of judging the amateur rib contest at the Beach BBQ and Brews Festival! It was a blast! It doesn’t get any better than getting free ribs. This year the competition is sanctioned by the Canadian Southern BBQ Association, so I’m off the friday before to get certified as a judge!

This year I get my chance in the Grilling Tent to show off my fire related skills. I’ll be appearing at 6pm on Saturday June 14th. I’m still working on my meat related presentation, but I’ll keep it as a surprise till then. Let’s fill the tent!

Here’s a few shots from last years event!

Camp 31 sauce

“Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.” Robert C. Gallagher

Getting tired of the same old same old. I’ve tried all my life to keep things interesting. I’ve skydived, taken improv classes, sushi preparation, swing and tango dancing, got a tattoo, travelled by myself, started 2 businesses, and even ran a 5k (not that I could today). I’ve studied fencing, tai chi, kung fu, aikido, and meditated in a Buddhist temple. So now I’m in need of something else? What it is eludes me.

Habanero and garlic chickenI think that’s why I like to cook. I can keep it different, experiment, and travel the world without moving from my backyard. Maybe I just remedied my own conundrum; I am in need of some travel.

So what have you tried lately? Where have you travelled too? Burgers don’t cut it but teriyaki burgers do! Grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts, no! Prosciutto wrapped thighs stuffed with provolone and sun dried tomatoes, yes!

Taking a trip from the regular keeps it interesting and lets you explore your creativity. Watch a new cooking show and get some ideas. Pick up a magazine, ask your mom for some recipes, look at everything in your cupboard and figure out a new way to put it together, have fun!

At New Years a friend gave me a roasted garlic and habanero herb mix and I have been staring at it for 4 months. This past weekend I decided to stop ignoring and take it for a little dance. The mix with oregano, olive oil and softened butter made a wonderful rub both on and under the skin on a whole chicken.

Take a chance, do something different, get rid of the same old same old!

Be well and eat well!


Twitter @artisanalgrill

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“Your Honor, Not only do I intend to prove that my client is guilty but also that he is innocent of not being guilty.” – Lionel Hutz (The Simpsons)

They're finally off my backA few weeks back I did what I thought was a nice thing. My neighbour’s daughter was turning 21 and they were having a party for her. She asked me for some direction on how to do pulled pork. I gave her ideas on how to create a rub and volunteered to put it on my Big Green Egg for the cook and smoke time. The results were wonderful and the accolades she received from her family were abundant. My neighbour did all the work; I just took care of the smoking part.

So why the dissertation? From the day that I sent wonderful smells and aromas through the backyard and my house I have received nothing but grief! My family and girlfriend “assumed” I would steal away a small taste for them. They were wrong! All 10 pounds found their way inside a tin foil blanket and was sent to the party. For the past 3 weeks I have heard nothing but their cries. “You teased us!” “You couldn’t save just a taste for me?” “When are you doing a shoulder for us?” The pulled pork fix was in. It was like living with addicts waiting for their dealer to get back from holidays.

Last night the cries of the disallowed were silenced. He madding throng received their fix!

Pulled pork has gotten so much press over the past few years that you would think people would tire of it but there seems to be no slow deceleration of its popularity.

A pork shoulder rubbed and slowly smoked over hickory wood with a sauna of beer and apple juice underneath it doesn’t lose its vogue. Additionally neither does slaw and potato salad.

The slaw was made with a sherry vinegar, Dijon, and mayonnaise. The potato salad with yogurt, honey, onion and jalapeno gave it a sharp yet light taste. Try yogurt instead of mayo next time.

I’m happy that my family loves my pulled pork, actually they like all my creations. But if it was up to them it would be a weekly if not daily effort on my part.

Be well and eat well!

Scott Tait

The Artisanal Grill

On FoodSided

On Twitter @artisanalgrill 

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”” Robin Williams

First burger of the seasonThere it is! It’s over! The fat lady has sung!……Hopefully?

There’s an anomaly that happens on my street. There is maybe one foot of ice and snow left in my backyard along one fence. I can see what will be grass in the next few weeks. The spring smell of damp decaying leaves and plants that were omitted from the fall racking has hit my olfactory and the raccoon that has been living under the tarp at the back of my yard is having his eviction notice served. Yet when I look in my neighbours backyard they still have fence to fence snow and ice. Maybe the gods smile on me and not them or maybe I have a military stockpile of nuclear weapons buried there. I don’t know why but it makes me smile.

The covers have never been on the BBQs all winter. Smoke and fire has been offered to the gods on a regular basis and my neighbours jealously drool a few times a week. The best part of spring is here, the start!

So the big decision you have is What’s First? What am I going to create?

Remember your last meal outside last fall? Did you love it? Would you change it up? Would you try something new and exciting? What’s your favourite thing to do on your grill?

Though burgers are mainstream and everybody does them, I took the lead from my kids and went for the obvious. However, my burgers aren’t the frozen hockey pucks from the local grocery store. Medium ground mixed with Italian sausage meat, onions, and roasted garlic topped with old cheddar and bacon.

I roasted off red pepper rings and used them as a border for some homemade guacamole. All this on my granite grilling stones. Take a look and try not to drool!

There are some great tips on the internet about how to clean and prep your grills for the start of the season. If you’ve been using it like me all winter, then you clean and wipe it down on a regular basis. If it’s been sitting since your last burger in the fall, take some time with it. Check the lines, check the plenums, check for anything that has decided to take residence in it, and give it a good clean.

So start your grills my friends. The season is here.

Be well and eat well.

Burgers on the stones

“The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression.” Gary Larson

Stone grilled chicken breastsChicken is the most consumed protein in the world. Our affair started with Mom’s chicken soup probably out of a can, and then progressed to the Colonel.  As we continued or travels we found sweet and sour, Mac somethings, and finally Buffalo wings.

In our house rotisserie, spatchcock, and fire roasted takes the stage, after all smoke and fire makes everything taste better!

Last night was no different. I’ve taken to cooking everything I can on my granite cooking stones. They give a nice even cook across whatever I try. So over hickory wood, rubbed with sage, seasoning and olive oil the breasts hit the stones! I wanted simple yet flavourful and have been craving a white sauce so the plate consisted of Hickory roasted chicken breasts on a bed of penne tossed with olive oil and garlic and covered in a sage cream sauce. Combining the hickory smoke with the pasta and cream is an amazing team.

The weather in Toronto over the past week has been better. Snow is melting, sun beams are breaking through, and I can get away with a T-Shirt for short term exposure. So the night was primed for outdoor cooking. If I can, I move it outside. Actually even if it’s freezing or raining I still try and take it outside.

Think about what you’re doing tonight? Can part of it be moved outside? Don’t you want the memories of summer tastes now instead of 4 weeks from now? Do you have a jacket? What’s stopping you?

Thursday March 20th is only days away. Start now or start planning the rebirth of your outdoor cooking season!

Be well and eat well!Hickory smoked chicken penne and sage sauce

Scott Tait