This brisket is wonderful alone or served with soft tortillas and taco toppings.

Ingredients

  • One 10 to 12 lb (4.5 to 5.5 kg) whole packer brisket (Choice or higher)

Instructions

Mix the rub ingredients (listed below) in a large bowl. This mix will make more than you need for one brisket; store the remainder in an airtight container.

Trim the excess fat and silver skin from the brisket. Also, remove any “hard” pieces of fat as they will not render off during the cooking process. Trim the fat off the bottom of the brisket leaving only ¼ in (6 mm) fat. Apply rub to all sides of the meat liberally … I mean liberally! Cover the brisket and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

Set the EGG for indirect cooking with the convEGGtor at 250°F/121°C.

Place the brisket on the grid, fat-side down – this is my preference, but highly debated in the barbecue world. Fat-side up is fine if that is your preference, but fat down is what many competitors do as it gives you a much better presentation. When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160°F/71°C, double wrap the brisket in non-waxed butcher paper or aluminum foil – this is what we call the Texas crutch. The bark will have formed nicely by this point.

Continue to smoke the brisket until the meat is “probe tender,” which means when you probe it there is no resistance … think of a toothpick in a cake. Each piece of meat is different but this will likely be at an internal temperature of between 200-202°F/93-94°C. Remove the brisket from the EGG, wrap in a towel and place in a cooler for at least one hour. This will allow the juices to re-distribute in the meat. Unwrap the brisket and slice against the grain.

Brisket Rub Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 cup (240 ml) non-iodized salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) granulated garlic
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) onion powder
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) paprika

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Recipe courtesy of Vivian Howard. Her documentary film series, “A Chef’s Life,” has won a Peabody Award, a Daytime Emmy and was nominated for four James Beard Awards. You can read more about Vivivan on P32 of our Lifestyle Magazine.

“My Blue Q Suace is inspired by typical Eastern North Carolina vinegar-based barbecue sauce. But we use a blueberry vinegar, so it’s a little more balanced than you would typically find at a barbecue stand here.” –Vivian Howard

Ingredients

  • 1 to 3 lb (450 g to 1.4 kg) chicken – ask your butcher to butterfly or spatchcock your chicken by cutting the backbone and sternum out and flattening
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) salt
  • 1½ tsp (8 ml) black pepper

Instructions

To make the Blue Q Sauce (ingredients below), begin by combining the blueberries and a little of the vinegar in a food processor. Pulse the berries just to break them up. You’re not trying to achieve smooth berries at this point; you just want to get some blue juice flowing. In a Dutch oven or 4 quart (3.75 L) saucepan, combine all of the sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for one hour, covered. Give it a stir from time to time to avoid scorching the bottom.

Carefully transfer the sauce to a blender. Pull the little knob off the top of the lid and cover it with a dish towel to prevent a mess! Blend the sauce to get it as smooth as you can, then strain it through a fine mesh strainer and transfer it back to your pan. Cook to reduce it by one-third. The Blue Q should coat the back of a spoon and be the viscosity of maple syrup. Refrigerate overnight to let things mellow out. This sauce will keep for months covered in the refrigerator.

30 minutes before you plan to cook it, bring the chicken to room temperature and season it thoroughly with 2 tsp (10 ml) salt and 1½ tsp (8 ml) black pepper.

Set the EGG for direct cooking without the convEGGtor at 350°F/177°C.

Place the chicken skin-side up on the cooking grid and roast for 20 minutes, then begin basting with the blueberry sauce every 5 minutes for an additional 20 minutes of cooking. After 40 minutes total, turn the chicken over to caramelize the skin and baste the other side 10 more minutes. Using a thermometer, check the temperature of the thigh. Once it’s at 165°F/74°C, remove the chicken from the EGG and douse the chicken in blueberry sauce; let rest for 10 minutes, then cut the chicken into 6 or 8 pieces and toss once more in sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Blue Q Sauce Ingredients

  • 3 cups (710 ml) blueberries
  • 2 cups (480 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups (480 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp (2 ml) chili flakes

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Recipe courtesy of O’Neill Williams.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound jalapenos
  • 4-6 oz cream cheese
  • 1-2 pounds shrimp
  • 1 pound bacon
  • Seasoning

Instructions

Set EGG for indirect cooking (with convEGGtor) at 400°F/204°C.

Cook the grouper on a Perforated Cooking Grid. Mix with cream cheese when cooked.

Cut the stems off and split the jalapenos in half long ways. Use your knife to cut out the vein through the middle of the jalapeno with all the seeds. If you do not remove the seeds, your peppers will be very spicy… in fact, probably too hot for most people’s liking. After removing the seeds, place the hollowed out jalapenos into your strainer and rinse them thoroughly.

Fill the hollowed out peppers with cream cheese and grouper. Remove the tail from your shrimp and place a single piece on top of your jalapeno. Wrap your jalapeno with half a slice of bacon and set into a Deep Dish Baking Stone.

Once all the jalapenos are wrapped, sprinkle with seasoning. Place jalapenos on the EGG for 15 minutes turning them half way through.

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Recipe copyright Kared Adler and Judith Fertig and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press. Photo courtesy: 25 Essentials: Techniques for Planking.

Whether you serve these over dressed greens as a salad, on their own with a bold red wine as an appetizer, or as a sweet-savory dessert with a glass of port, you’ll savor the extra flavor that plank-roasting over charcoal gives this mild fruit.

Ingredients

  • 2 cedar or alder grilling planks, soaked in water for an hour
  • 4 large, ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) wildflower or other amber honey
  • ½ cup (120 ml) crumbled blue cheese, such as Maytag or Point Reyes
  • Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

Instructions

Set the EGG for direct cooking without the convEGGtor at 350°F/177°C.

Cut the pears in half lengthwise, leaving the stems intact. Using a sturdy teaspoon or a melon baller, remove the core from each half. Place the pear halves on a baking sheet, cut side up.

In a bowl, mix the melted butter and honey. Brush the honey mixture over the cut surface of the pears. Sprinkle the pears with the crumbled blue cheese.

Place the planks on the cooking grid and close the lid. When the planks start to smoke and pop, after 3 to 5 minutes, open the lid and turn the planks over using a grill gripper. Quickly place the pear halves on the planks, cut side up. Cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pears are scorched around the edges. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve.

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Recipe courtesy of O’Neill Williams.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper
  • 2 fish fillets
  • ¼ cup diced seeded tomato
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon grated orange peel

Instructions

In a large resealabe bag, combine the lemon juice, rosemary, oil, salt and pepper; add fish. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Drain and discard marinade.

Set EGG for direct cooking (no convEGGtor) at 350°F/177°C. Grill fish on Perforated Cooking Grid until fish flakes easily.

In a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat. Serve with fish.

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Recipe adapted from Laura’s Lean Beef. For more on Laura’s Lean Beef, visit laurasleanbeef.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, sliced (use from a jar)
  • 1⁄2 onion, sliced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Red Gold® Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5 ounces Laura’s Lean Beef Sirloin Steak, cooked and thinly sliced
  • 1 10 to 11 ounce container pizza dough, your favorite recipe or store bought 2 tablespoons Red Gold® Tomato Paste
  • 2 ounces shredded provolone cheese
  • 2 ounces shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook red bell pepper, onions and tomatoes together until onions are soft. Sprinkle with oregano and set aside.

Set the EGG for direct cooking (no convEGGtor) at 600°F/316°C.

Grill steaks to desired temperature, then slice into thin pieces.

Divide pizza dough in half and roll each half out into a circle, getting it as thin as possible.

Set EGG for indirect cooking (with convEGGtor) at 450°F/232°C. Make sure EGG grid is clean and gently lay each crust onto the grid. Cook about 1 to 2 minutes per side, depending on temperature of EGG. Use tongs to flip and cook each side of the crust. If bubbles appear, just prick the dough bubble and keep cooking.

Spread 1 tablespoon of paste on each crust. Divide and top each pizza with the tomato mixture, beef and cheese. Carefully return pizza to grill, lower heat and close grill lid. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes until cheese is melted. Keep close watch on pizzas, removing if the crust is getting toasty. If you like a little bit of char on the bottom of the pizza – this is what gives it some authentic flavor.

Sprinkle with the 1⁄4 cup tomatoes that were set aside along with the fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 pizzas.

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Recipe courtesy of O’Neill Williams.

Ingredients

  • 4 NY Strip steaks, seasoned with 4 tbsp Dizzy Gourmet® Cosmic Cow Seasoning™

Instructions

Set the EGG for direct cooking (without the convEGGtor) with a Cast Iron Grid at 650°F/343°C.

Grill steaks to desired internal temperature. 2 ½ minutes, then flip. 2 ½ minutes, then flip. Cook additional 3 minutes.

Set aside and keep warm.

Reduce heat to 350°F/177°C. (See ingredient list below for sauce.) Set a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven on the grid and let it heat up for a few minutes. Add the butter and cook it until lightly brown, then add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Stir in leeks and garlic.

Slowly add the whiskey, it will ignite, so seriously, add it slowly! Once the whiskey burns off, stir and close the lid of the EGG. Cook until the whiskey reduces by two-thirds. Add the cream, and stir frequently for 3 to 4 minutes. The sauce will thicken up and will coat a wooden spoon, that’s when you know it’s ready! Add a little cayenne pepper and then add salt and pepper if you’d like.

Put the steaks on the grid and close the lid. Grill for about 4 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. Move the steaks to plates. Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve … they won’t last long.

Mushroom Whiskey Cream Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup mushrooms, cut into bite size pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped leeks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup whiskey
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper

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Recipe courtesy of Robert Mondavi, Jr. – Co-Founder and President of Winemaking, Michael Mondavi Family Estate and Folio Fine Wine Partners.

“Collectively our family has ten EGGs…needless to say, we all believe in the versatility of the Big Green Egg.”

Ingredients

  • 2 Cedar Grilling Planks
  • 1 ½ cup (120 ml) Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) honey
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) minced fresh thyme plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (7 ounce/200 g) salmon fillets, skin on
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Place the planks in a pan, cover with water and let soak for at least one hour and up to eight hours.

Set the EGG for direct cooking (no convEGGtor) at 400°F/204°C.

Whisk together the mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, orange zest, and 1 teaspoon thyme.

Place the planks on the grid, close the lid of the EGG and preheat for 3 minutes. Open the lid and turn the planks over, brush with the olive oil, and place 2 salmon fillets on each plank. Season with salt and pepper and brush generously with the honey glaze. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes for medium.

Remove from the heat and garnish with thyme. Pair with a glass of Spellbound Chardonnay.

Serves 4

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When shopping for hot tubs, you will quickly find that there are several factors that can affect the final price of your dream spa.  And while we would love to provide you with some sort of online price calculator, the reality is that all pricing is set at the local market level.  Which means the best place for you to get pricing on specific models is your local retailer.

What goes into the price of a hot tub?

The biggest factor in hot tub cost is the construction of the spa.  There are basically two options to consider: is the spa acrylic or rotationally molded?

Acrylic spas are traditionally more expensive than rotationally molded spas due in part to the nature of how they are made.  They require more labor and higher material costs which means a more expensive spa for you.

Roto-molded hot tubs on the other hand take much less time and labor to produce, resulting in a hot tub that is naturally more affordable. But don’t mistake the lower price tag to mean lower quality. Roto molded hot tubs are extremely durable since they are made of polyethylene resin. And Watkins Manufacturing, the maker of Fantasy Spas, is the world’s largest producer of hot tubs.  In fact, our factory in Vista is ISO 9001:2008 certified, which means we manufacture our spas in accordance with one the strictest quality management systems around.

Energy Efficiency and Heat Retention

Since above ground hot tubs stay on all the time, you want a spa that is fully insulated and will keep the water hot all the time, with minimal energy consumption.  Quality hot tubs will always have full-foam insulation. Be careful of spas that have their cabinets filled with bags of fluff – those won’t keep the spa insulated nearly as well as filling the entire body cavity with foam. And if you have poor insulation, your hot tub will have to continually heat the water, using more energy and increasing your electric bills.  Fantasy Spas use only full foam insulation and are certified to the strict guidelines set forth by the California Energy Commission for hot tub consumption (the strictest set of guidelines in the country!)

Heater versus Heat Recovery (Thermal Friction)

It seems odd, but some spas don’t have an actual heater. They use what’s called a heat recovery or thermal friction heating system.  This system heats the water by capturing energy from the pump and converting it to heat.  The spa water will still get as hot, and stay as hot, as spas with a traditional heating units. The only difference is the base price of the hot tub.  Hot tubs with thermal friction units will generally have a lower price tag than those with stainless steel heaters.

Does size matter?

It usually does when looking at hot tub price tags.  Small spas, like the Aspire ® that are designed for two people, or small patios are going to have a much lower starting price point than larger spas, like the Fantasy Spas Entice®.

Fire up the Jets!

You will most likely pay more for a hot tub with more jets.  But in all honesty, who needs a 110 jets?  There’s only so many jets a person can enjoy at a time.

Accessories

Items such as steps, cover lifters and water care systems are usually not included in the base price of a spa, but they make a huge impact on the overall ease of use and enjoyment of a hot tub and are well worth the extra investment. Delivery is another thing to consider. Most acrylic spas weigh upwards of 500 lbs., so you may want to have your local retailer deliver the hot tub for you. Fantasy Spas, on the other hand, weigh less than 300 lbs, and because of their durability, you can easily turn them on their side, put them on a furniture dolly and wheel it into your backyard on your own – potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.

So really, how much does a hot tub cost?

Depending on the construction, make and model, energy efficiency, jets, accessories, etc. hot tub costs can range anywhere from $2,699 to roughly $20,000. If you want to know about our Fantasy Spa models, sends us a request!