Support the Great American Smokeout & Smoke Your Meats!

Sliced Brisket_849x565_72

Held annually on the third Thursday of November, the Great American Smokeout, hosted by the American Cancer Society, challenges smokers to stop smoking cigarettes for 24 hours. The intention is to inspire individuals to quit long-term and imagine a routine free of cigarettes. Here at Cowboy, we encourage smoking, but not the kind that involves tobacco.

Smoking is one of the most traditional ways to cook food, dating back to the time of cavemen. After much trial and error, it was discovered that curing meat with salt and smoking it yielded a product that stayed edible longer and also tasted better. Over time, we’ve incorporated this technique into the BBQ process to produce meats with complex flavors that retain their juices.

Cowboy’s Smoke-it-Out Brisket
Makes 12 Servings

  • One, 10-to 12 pound whole beef brisket, fat trimmed to 1/4-inch thickness
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head fresh garlic, peeled and crushed


  • Soak Cowboy 100% Natural Wood Chips, flavor of your choosing in water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Rub brisket with salt, pepper and garlic
  • Fill one side of grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and light. Ensure grates are clean and lightly oiled.
  • Fill 2/3 of an aluminum pan with water and place opposite coals. We’ll be smoking the meat above the pan to maintain a low-and-slow cooking temperature.
  • Once grill is hot and coals have ashed over, drain wood chips and add them to the hot coals.
  • Once chips have pre-heated for about 5 minutes, place the meat on the grill grate above the aluminum pan.
  • Maintain temperature by adding more charcoal and wood chips as necessary about every 20 minutes. Rotating the brisket every 3 hours and flipping as needed if one side begins to brown faster than the other.
  • Meat is done when the internal temperature reaches 190 in the thickest part (it will take approximately 10 to12 hours total).
  • Transfer brisket to carving board and let rest at least 30 minutes. Slice brisket against the grain 1/4 inch thick.

Cowboy’s Smoked Salmon
Makes 6 Servings

  • About 2 pounds of salmon filet
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 cup wood chips (we recommend Hickory)


  • Remove any bones from salmon
  • Combine brown sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Put 1/3 of mixture on the bottom of a baking pan, set the salmon on top and cover it with the remaining sugar-salt mixture.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Soak wood chips in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes. When done, drain the chips and put them in a small aluminum pan.
  • Fill one side of the grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and light. Ensure grates are clean and lightly oiled.
  • Once grill is hot and coals have ashed over, replace the grilling grate and place pan of wood chip on the hotter side of the grill, directly over the coals.
  • Set the salmon, skin-down on the other, cooler side of the grill and replace the grill lid.
  • Cook salmon covered for about 20 minutes until internal temp reaches about 145.
  • You can serve smoked salmon a number of ways…warm, room temperature or chilled!
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    Make Thanksgiving Less Stressful This Year

    roasted duck

    It’s almost turkey time! If planning the menu for a house full of guests is stressing you out, we’ve got some ideas on how to make the day go smoothly, and we’re focusing on the main dish…the bird.

    Baking a large turkey can tie up the oven for hours, leaving you struggling balance the cooking of all the other side dishes. (Or, if you’re like us, you end up borrowing your neighbor’s oven. Yes, it’s happened once or twice…). Fortunately, we have a couple of solutions for this age-old holiday headache.

    For those whose Thanksgiving Day menus wouldn’t be complete without the turkey, we’d suggest cooking your bird on the grill this year which would free up the oven for side dishes and casseroles. We’ve got a great Bourbon-Maple Smoked Turkey recipe that would be perfect for your Thanksgiving feast. Find it here.

    If turkey isn’t a mandatory menu item, trying an alternative poultry might be a great option to consider this year. Chicken, duck and quail are all popular types of poultry with flavor and textures similar to turkey. These birds vary in size, allowing you to choose your animal based on how long they’ll take to cook.

    Your poultry will be crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and infused with a smoky zest of flavor. Consider adding Cowboy BBQ Wood Chips to give your poultry extra flavor. We’d suggest using Hickory, Apple or Mesquite wood for this duck recipe.

    Even though this recipe specifies duck, it could be applied to almost any poultry. Cooking times would vary depending on weight and type of bird selected. Be sure to check specific safe temperatures for the piece of poultry you’re grilling. A guide to safe minimum cooking temperatures can be found here. Tip: to speedup cooking, consider butterflying.

    Grilled Whole Duck

    Serving size: 3-4 servings


    • 1 whole duck, 5-6 lbs
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 orange, quartered
    • 1 bag Cowboy Wood Chips, your choice (we’d recommend Hickory, Apple or Mesquite)
    • 1 head of garlic, skin removed and top trimmed


    • First, soak wood chips in a large bowl of water for about 30 minutes.
    • On one side of the grill, place a foil pan filled with about 1″ of water. (The pan will sit below the duck and catch the drippings while cooking to prevent excess smoke.)
    • Fill the other side of the grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and light it.
    • Prick the skin of the duck (avoid puncturing meat below the layer of skin) all over with a large fork.
    • Brush duck with oil and season inside and out with salt and pepper.
    • Stuff cavity of duck with orange quarters and whole garlic head, folding neck skin down to cover cavity.
    • Remove wood chips from water and place on a paper towel to remove excess water.
    • Once the charcoal has ashed over, add about 1 cup of wood chips to the fire and carefully place grate back on the grill.
    • With the lid closed, let the wood chips heat up for about 5-7 minutes.
    • Remove the lid and place duck on grill, breast side up, above drip pan.
    • Replace lid and add additional wood chips and charcoal every 30 minutes as needed throughout cooking process.
    • About halfway through the cooking process, flip duck, breast side down.
    • Cooking time will take approximately 11 to 13 minutes per pound. Internal temperature should be 175 degrees at the thickest part of the leg and thigh joint.
    • Let stand for 15 minutes before removing orange and garlic. Carve and enjoy!
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      Jason King’s Chicken Wings

      The king of barbecue is back at it! Jason King is making to-die-for chicken wings on his latest episode of The Backyard BBQ Show using some of his favorite Cowboy Charcoal products. For this recipe, he uses our all natural Apple and Hickory Wood Chips to ensure these small wings are packed with big flavor.

      This episode includes the whole nine yards – from perfecting the brining process, to creating the perfect bleu cheese dip and hot sauce. This is a one stop shop recipe for tasty wings. If you aren’t already sold, King grills then deep fries these wings for the absolute best of both worlds.

      No matter the occasion, these wings are fit for royalty.

      You can find King and The Backyard BBQ Show on FacebookTwitter and on YouTube.

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        New Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Try

        Green beans salad with walnuts

        In the United States, the origin of Thanksgiving can be traced back to a Plymouth celebration in 1621. With a holiday so rooted in tradition, it can be tough to replace Grandma’s favorite recipes with something new and more flavorful. We’re here to tell you how you can have it all this Thanksgiving.

        Revolutionizing the cooking method doesn’t mean that you have to veer from your classic holiday selections. In fact, some vegetables commonly baked during Thanksgiving can be even tastier when prepared on the grill. Packed with flavor, these recipes will have everyone (kids included) asking, “More veggies, please!”

        Orange-Glazed Acorn Squash & Portobello Mushrooms
        Makes 8 Servings

        • 4 Portobello mushrooms (stems removed), cut into slices about two inches thick
        • 4 acorn squash, cut into slices about two inches thick
        • 1/4 cup melted butter
        • 4 cups fresh orange juice
        • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
        • Salt and pepper to taste


        • Prepare grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal. Clean and oil grates.
        • Combine butter, orange juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper into a saucepan. Cook over high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring often.
        • Brush vegetables with orange glaze, applying generously.
        • Grill over hot coals for a few minutes each side. Serve immediately!

        Grilled Green Beans with Shallots & Walnuts
        Makes 10 Servings

        • 2 1/2 pounds green beans
        • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
        • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
        • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
        • 2 tablespoons water
        • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
        • Salt and freshly ground pepper


        • Prepare grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal
        • Put green beans and shallots on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to fold and seal (You may need to fold two sheets together)
        • Drizzle beans with olive oil, and add salt and pepper. Toss until fully coated
        • Add water and fold aluminum foil together, pinching sides closed
        • Grill green beans until bright green and tender
        • Add lemon juice and walnuts to cooked green beans and serve!
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          We’re Grilling Dessert For Thanksgiving!

          Danish Pastry

          We’re what you might call food planners. Any and all holidays that revolve around food, and let’s be honest, they all do, require careful and thoughtful planning regarding menu offerings. Which is why, we’re getting started now, with some great ideas for Thanksgiving gone grilled. This is the kick-off to what will be a cornucopia of original, inspiring and most importantly tasty grilled dishes for the big day.

          While you might think it’s too chilly for Thanksgiving grilling, you’re wrong. Thanksgiving is actually a very popular winter holiday for grilling and moving out to the grill frees up space in what can almost surely be an overcrowded kitchen.

          With that, let’s get to it!

          Chocolate Cherry Ricotta Puffs
          • 1 dark chocolate bar
          • 1/2 pound frozen cherries, thawed and strained
          • 2 cups ricotta cheese
          • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
          • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
          • 1/2 tablespoon honey
          • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
          • 1 package puff pastry
          • Butter, melted for brushing
          • Powdered sugar for dusting

          • In a large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, cinnamon, vanilla, honey and 1 tablespoon of orange zest until well-combined.
          • Gently separate the puff pastry into two-three sheet sections, layering two of these sets on top of each other to make 6-10 sheet pieces.
          • On the sheets, lightly score squares about 4” x 4” in size
          • Spoon out about a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture in the middle each square, adding or removing to ensure there is space for sealing around the edge.
          • Place one piece of chocolate and a few cherries in the middle of the ricotta mixture on each square.
          • Using a pastry brush, gently brush melted butter along the edges of each square.
          • Fill grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and light it ensuring grill grates are clean and oiled to prevent sticking.
          • Following the score lines, cut and separate each square, then seal the edges of each square securely.
          • To prevent burning, place the sealed puffs onto a grill pan that has holes on the bottom (or you can use aluminum foil instead) on grill grates and cook until puffs are lightly golden on both sides.
          • Remove from grill and place on serving tray.
          • Once slightly cooled, dust with powdered sugar and sprinkle with orange zest.

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