9 Creative Ways to Top Your Dog

Hot Dog

Cowboy Charcoal is on the way to the South Carolina Festival of Discovery for a weekend of BBQ and Blues!

Festival of Discovery Logo

In addition to a BBQ competition and Blues Cruise, the SC Festival of Discovery hosts an annual hot dog eating competition. Last year, the winner ate 18 hot dogs in 12 minutes! While not everyone can be a hot dog eating champion, we agree that nothing says summer quite like a juicy hot dog fresh off the grill.

To honor the festival’s tradition, we’re giving you some ideas to dress up your dog. Next time you fire up the grill, try shaking up your traditional ketchup and mustard routine with these fun and delicious flavor combos! What do you like to top your dog with? Email us at theroundup@cowboycharcoal.com to share your favorite flavor combinations.

Seattle Dog: Spread with cream cheese then top with grilled onions and sliced jalapeños.

Peach Salsa Dog: Feeling fresh and spicy? Top with chopped peaches, chopped jalapeños, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

BLT Dog: Wrap your hot dog in bacon, grill and then top with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

Vietnamese Dog: If you’re feeling adventurous, top with spicy mayo, sliced cucumber, shredded carrot and fresh mint leaves.

Jalapeño Popper Dog: Spread with cream cheese, jalapeño pepper and toasted bread crumbs.

Mac Daddy Dog: Simple but delicious – top with your favorite boxed or homemade mac & cheese.

Reuben Dog: Top with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

Frank and Beans Dog: Top with beans, mustard, bacon and chopped onion.

Steak House Dog: Feeling fancy? Top your dog with tomatoes, onions and steak sauce.

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    A Twist for Your 4th of July

    Fourth of July, a grillers paradise. Though most pitmasters tend to stick to meat, try adding a grilled drink to your celebrations this year. While adding grilled elements such as fruit and herbs to your beverages may sound strange, it will actually add a tremendous amount of robust flavor. How? The heat from the grill caramelizes the fruit, creating a delicious combination of smoky and sweet – all in one drink!

    Plus, what would a Fourth of July BBQ be without a little lemonade? Try serving up this grilled twist on a classic drink, it’s sure to be a hit.

    Grilled Basil Lemonade

    Ingredients:

    • 16 lemons, halved
    • 5 cups water, dived
    • 11/2 cup of Basil, chopped
    • 1/2 cup of Honey
    • 1 cup Sugar

    Directions:

    • Fill grill with Cowboy Lump Charcoal and light.
    • Cut lemons in half — reserve a few slices to use as garnish
    • Place sugar in medium-sized disposable aluminum pan.
    • Dip the lemon halves, cut side down, into the sugar until lightly coated. Set aside.
    • In the same pan, prepare to make simple syrup – mix 2 cups of water, honey and chopped basil with the remaining sugar.
    • Once the coals are ashed over, place aluminum pan onto the grill.
    • Add lemons directly to the grill grates, cut side down.
    • Let the simple syrup mixture simmer on the grill, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar is dissolved (should take approximately 10 minutes)
    • Grill the lemons until the sugar has caramelized – turning the cut side of the lemon to a golden brown.
    • Take lemons off the grill and let cool.
    • While the lemons are cooling, place a wire mesh strainer over a large pitcher. Strain the basil syrup mixture into a pitcher.
    • Next juice the lemons through the mesh strainer and into the pitcher.
    • Add 3 additional cups of cold water and stir to combine
    • Serve over ice, garnish with remaining basil.
    • For the adults, this lemonade is also fantastic with a splash of bourbon!
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      On the Road Again: 28th Annual Naperville Ribfest

      Cowboy Charcoal has been traveling across the country on a mission to recognize masters of the barbeque craft while raising awareness and supporting the efforts of Operation BBQ Relief. Up next on our route is Naperville, Illinois for the 28th Annual Naperville Ribfest.

      Nothing goes better with great BBQ than beer. For the first time in 28 years, the Naperville Ribfest has added an International & Craft Beer tasting to the festivities. Beer tastings will take place from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. In honor of the new addition to the already tasty weekend, we wanted to provide you with a finger-lickin’ recipe that includes – you guessed it – beer!

      Beer is a great addition to any meat marinade – it acts as a fantastic tenderizer and infuses incredible flavors. This simple recipe is perfect for any night of the week. Try preparing this dish the night before which will allow the chicken to marinate longer. Then all you have to do is throw them on the grill once you’re home from work. If you’re looking for a quick, delicious side dish, add a couple of skewers of fresh, cubed veggies to the grill. They’ll be the perfect complement to these tasty chicken skewers.

      Have any favorite beer n’ barbecue parings? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to send your recipes our way by emailing us at theroundup@cowboycharcoal.com.

      Beer N’ Honey Chicken Skewers
      Serves: 6

      Ingredients

      • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
      • 3/4 cup beer, your choice (we typically go with a darker ale or lager)
      • 1/3 cup honey
      • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
      • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
      • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 4 chicken breasts
      • Cilantro
      • 1 lime or lemon
      • Skewers

      Instructions

      • Cut chicken breasts into 1 1/2 inch cubes and place in a bowl
      • (*If using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes before using to prevent them from catching fire)
      • Whisk the garlic, beer, honey, red pepper flakes, Dijon mustard, soy sauce and olive oil in a medium bowl until well combined
      • Pour marinade into the bowl of chicken until all pieces are covered and cover with plastic wrap (*Save the leftover marinade — it will be used for basting the skewers as they cook)
      • Place bowl of chicken in the refrigerator and let marinate for a few hours (minimum 2 hours, maximum 24 hours)
      • Fill grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and light.
      • Put 5 pieces of chicken on each skewer
      • Once coals are ashed over, place chicken skewers on grill about an inch apart
      • Turn the skewers after 2 minutes and brush each generously with the reserved marinade
      • Grill until chicken is cooked through, about 8-12 minutes
      • Remove skewers from the grill, squeeze lime juice on top and garnish with cilantro
      • Serve with your favorite summer beer and enjoy!

      Happy Grilling!

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        Pizza on the Grill!

        Pizza Dough

        Do you ever crave the rustic flavors of a wood fired pizza? No brick oven or pizza paddle? No worries. We’re giving you the guide to replicate the crispy crust and smoky flavor of a traditional wood fired pizza, directly on the grill.

        These two pizza recipes range from light summer veggies to smoky buffalo chicken, and we know you’ll love them both. If you’re worried about the laborious prep of pizza dough, we’d suggest pre-made or frozen dough which has actually come a long way in terms of taste and crispiness, or check with your local pizzeria to see if they sell their uncooked dough. Luckily, our favorite local pizza spot did, and we picked up a few dough balls to test out these recipes with.

        But if you’re feeling adventurous and want to make your own dough from scratch – our hats off to you!

        Do you have a delectable grilled pizza recipe of your own? Share your recipe with us for a chance to be featured on The Roundup! Send your recipe and pictures to us at TheRoundUp@CowboyCharcoal.com.

        Grilled Summer Pizza with Olive Oil Base

        Ingredients

        • One 1-pound ball of pizza dough
        • 1 medium zucchini
        • 1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes
        • 1 teaspoon salt
        • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
        • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
        • 8 basil leaves
        • Corn meal

        Directions

        • Cut zucchini into thin round slices, slice cherry tomatoes in half and tear basil leaves
        • Fill grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and light
        • Before you roll out the dough, sprinkle prep surface with corn meal (so it doesn’t stick)
        • Roll your dough into a not-so-perfect circle (about 14” in diameter or until it’s to your preferred thickness)
        • Once coals are ashed over, place dough on the grates (you’ll want to make sure grates are well oil to prevent sticking) and allow to cook lightly for 1-2 minutes and remove
        • Flip dough over and lightly cook other side
        • Brush the top (the side that’s already been grilled) lightly with olive oil
        • Remove from the grill and add your toppings — sprinkle with mozzarella, add zucchini slices, tomatoes, basil leaves and sprinkle surface with salt
        • Put the pizza back on the grill. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, until cheese has melted and crust is golden
        • Remove pizza from grill and allow to cool
        • Cut into slices and enjoy!

         

        Grilled Buffalo Chicken Pizza

        Ingredients

        • One 1-pound ball of pizza dough
        • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
        • 2 tablespoons olive oil
        • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
        • 1 bottle hot sauce
        • 8 ounces of blue cheese dressing
        • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
        • Corn meal

         

        Directions

        • Fill grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and light
        • Coat chicken breasts in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
        • Place chicken breasts on grill and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes
        • Using tongs, rotate chicken breasts 45 degrees and allow to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes
        • Flip chicken breasts over and repeat on the other side
        • When chicken has reached internal temperature of 165 degrees, remove from grill and allow to cool
        • Slice chicken breast into 1 inch cubes
        • In a medium bowl, combine chicken, melted butter and hot sauce
        • Before you roll out the dough, sprinkle prep surface with corn meal (so it doesn’t stick)
        • Roll your dough into a not-so-perfect circle (about 14” in diameter or until it’s to your preferred thickness)
        • Once coals are ashed over, place dough on the grates (you’ll want to make sure grates are well oil to prevent sticking) and allow to cook lightly for 1-2 minutes and remove
        • Flip dough over and lightly cook other side
        • Brush the top (the side that’s already been grilled) lightly with blue cheese dressing
        • Remove from the grill and add your toppings — sprinkle with shredded cheese and top with chicken
        • Put the pizza back on the grill. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, until cheese has melted and crust is golden
        • Remove pizza from grill, allow to cool, slice and enjoy!
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          Northside Brooklyn Festival, Here We Come!

          Northside Festival Logo

          To kick-off the barbecue season, we’re making our way to the hottest barbecue and food events across the U.S., recognizing talented pit-masters with a gift for great barbecue while raising awareness and supporting the efforts of Operation BBQ Relief, an organization that provides food and support for victims of disaster across the nation.

          Currently, members of Operation BBQ Relief have deployed to Wimberley and San Marcos Texas to provide hot meals for victims of the Memorial Day weekend flooding and the first responders that aid them. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this disaster. Donations can be made here.

          Cowboy’s next stop is Brooklyn, New York to visit the 2015 Northside Brooklyn Festival. We’re so excited to explore the food and festivities, that we created our own must-see guide to the festival. If you’re going to be in Brooklyn this weekend, you might consider checking out the following:

          Cowboy’s Top 6 Things to See at Northside Brooklyn Festival

          • Williamsburg Walk: the place to be. On June 13-14, Bedford Ave will be completely closed from Metropolitan Ave to North 12 to accommodate live performances, social gatherings and Northside Art. According to the experts at the Northside Brooklyn Festival, the Williamsburg Walk is “the gathering place to take in the arts and culture” of the city, and we don’t doubt that for a single moment.
          • BRAEVES: the band to keep on your radar. The members of BRAEVES create music that can be described as a beautiful blend of soulful indie rock and pop. Hailing from Long Island, BRAEVES will perform at the Living Room on Sunday, June 14, the last night of the festival – but they are certainly worth waiting for.
          • Operation BBQ Relief: the cause to support. While you’re at the festival, don’t miss an opportunity to contribute to a meaningful cause. Operation BBQ Relief and Cowboy Charcoal are making it easy to get involved with giveaways, text to donate options and easy volunteer sign up.
          • Fette Sau: the local barbecue spot to try. This little barbecue joint takes dry rubbed, humanely raised meat to another level. But be sure to get there early – Fette Sau does not accept reservations. It has received rave reviews from a variety of food critics, but we’ll let you be the judge.
          • The Counting Room: the bar to visit. For a spacious, two-in-one bar that offers wine on the ground floor and cocktails and spirits in the basement lounge, head to this drinking oasis in Williamsburg. If you’re a fan of bourbon, we hear that the Reverend Horton Heat is a refreshing mix of bourbon, smoked lemon juice and sweet maple syrup.
          • Great American Cookout: the competition to see. One of 70 stops on the Great American Cookout Tour, Northside Brooklyn Festival will attract grilling demonstrations and savory samples from a variety of barbecue connoisseurs in the region. These experts will set up shop for the weekend and provide tips and recipes for the home barbecue enthusiast.

          Have you been to the Northside Brooklyn Festival, or will you be attending this year? Let us know what we should add to our list!

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