Thursday, June 24, 2021


Grilling meals while home working provides hands free cooking and healthy choices!
Grilling meals while home working provides hands free cooking and healthy choices!

It has been months since the new normal occurred. You thought working from home would be brief but it is now clear this situation has no end. Reality has set in that you are working, educating, entertaining, eating and sleeping from home.

One benefit is you no longer are commuting. For those that use mass transit like a subway, bus line or rail line to get to work now find they have more time to devote to family and meals. For those that have had to drive to work now have freedom to cruise online recipes and those old cookbooks. This is your opportunity to make the most of those meals while not making cooking a chore.

Grilling Flavors that Bring Them to the Table

Families love to gather for a grilled meal. There is something about the smell of the grill and the taste of grilled foods that make a meal feel special. That feeling can continue any season of the year when you plan meals or portions of meals prepared on a grill or smoker.

Here is where you can get creative. Any recipe you find can usually be done on the grill. You read that correctly! Whether it is a dessert, side dish, main protein – it really makes no difference. The grill or smoker is an extension of the inside kitchen just with more flavor. Cookware can go on a grill or smoker too. Use that Dutch oven, the Pyrex dish, and sheet pans. They are perfect for the grill.

Large Proteins Mean More Than One Meal

You might be intimidated by that large pork shoulder or whole chicken but these are perfect proteins to invest the time in grilling/smoking while you work. The easiest means of cooking outdoors is to use indirect heat on a gas grill and hot coals (no flames) on a charcoal grill. This allows you to dial in the perfect roasting/grilling temperature so the equipment works just like your oven.

Best part – all the leftovers can be used for additional meals cutting down on the cooking even more. This is the way to serve healthy, filling meals to your family and be ready to sit down to dinner at a reasonable time.

Start with pulled pork or chicken sandwiches and then use the leftovers for tacos or burritos, baked eggs, noodles with vegetables, and so much more.

Don’t forget, if you use a large enough sheet pan or foil pan, when you grill the meat, you can add all types of seasonal vegetables to cook right along with the meat in the same pan! Leeks, onions, fennel, cubes squash, peppers, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, all work well for roasting with meat. Just add 1 to 1-1/2 hours before the meat is done or add from the start and remove when cooked.

Savings Abound Now You Are Home Working

Not only will you save on the time spent cooking but you’ll also save money. Larger cuts of meats often have lower price points. Some discount stores also bundle two whole chickens for a discount price per pound or two pork loins or beef roasts. Do a good assessment of the meat bins and find the best deals your family likes to eat.

What a great time to pass on cooking techniques and knowledge to those younger members of your family or those that never had an opportunity to learn.

What have you been grilling and/or smoking since working from home? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods.


Friday, June 18, 2021

How To Keep A Bundt Cake From Sticking To The Pan

Discusses How to keep a Bundt cake from Sticking
Discussing How to keep a Bundt cake from Sticking

 Introducing to you Peggy Hatfield, the Bella Cupcake Couture’s resident dessert couturier, and baker. Peggy became passionate about baking when she was 9 years old. She served freshly- baked treats in her small town in Alabama for 28 years before her home bakery and cafĂ© was closed. But with the Bella Cupcake Couture website, she was able to share her expert reviews on the best baking tools, equipment, accessories, and the latest trends, including the know-how of baking. Bella Cupcake Couture is pleased to present to you the expert baker’s how-to guides, expert tips, and hacks for baking and dessert making.

While there are other techniques in cooking, baking is considered one of the most critical types. Baking requires precision and dedication to the entire process. If you forgot one or add too many ingredients, you can ruin the entire dish. Also, cooking a baked item for longer than the required time will also result in a big problem. That is why, in baking, you need to have lots of patience to succeed with your product.

Making A Cake

At some point, people tend to become excited when removing a just baked cake, forgetting to be more careful after the baking process is complete. The last part of the baking, which is removing your cake from the pan, requires the same level of care as was used in mixing the batter. This article provides the key tips in keeping a bundt cake from sticking to your pan.

Prevent Bundt Cake Sticking

The more careful you are in the cooking part, the more cautious you need to be removing your cake from the pan. It is frustrating when you spend your time, effort, and money , then all of a sudden, your cake decides to remain stuck in your pan, ruining your efforts.

Hey! Don’t worry because here are the effective ways to prevent your bundt cake from sticking.

For more pro baking guides and DIY tips, check out Bella Cupcake Couture at!

Use a Simple and Nonstick Heavy Bundt Cake Pan

This step is one of the highly recommended ways on how you can prevent a cake from sticking. If you are wondering about its efficiency, you can look for reviews online to have an idea on the brand of bundt cake pan with the best value and rating for your purchase.

To maintain the pan’s efficiency, you should put extra care into cleaning it. Avoid using strong dish washing liquid and abrasive sponges because these can cause damage to the pan’s coating. The most efficient way to take care of your nonstick pan is to wash with mild soap, dry it with a soft towel, and avoid using any metal cooking tools or abrasive brushes.

Use Grease

Take note that using just any grease can also affect the quality of your nonstick pan. Nonstick cooking sprays contain chemicals that can degrade your pan’s nonstick coating. Butter may affect the quality of your cake due to the milk properties which can bind your cake to the pan. One of the highly recommended types of grease that proves best for baking is melted shortening.

Loosen the Edges of the Cake

You cannot and should not forcefully remove your cake from a pan. You need to slowly and carefully loosen the edges and let the cake sit for 5 minutes before turning it upside down on a cooling rack. The use of a plastic spatula is a must to avoid scratching your nonstick pan and cutting into your cake.

Get Your Cake Upside Down

Once the pan is upside down on a cooling rack, let it sit for another five minutes before lifting from the cake completely.

Final Notes

Removing the cake from your baking pan is critical to the final result. Following our simple steps above will ensure a perfect bundt cake. Making the investment in high-quality baking equipment adds insurance for the best product results. If it happens that your cake still sticks in your pan, don’t give up! Try and try again until you flawlessly achieve the perfection of your cake.


Thursday, June 10, 2021


Chef Bert brings Water Pan for Smoker to neighbor Tom!
Chef Bert brings Water Pan for Smoker to neighbor Tom!

 Neighbor Tom has his Chicken too dry almost a rock

Poor Tom! He, like many other grill and smoker enthusiasts out there, never learned the value of a water pan. By providing moisture to the grilling area, you can avoid drying out your meats and poultry and never have someone mistake your food for a rock!

Moist Environment = Smoke Attraction

Tom's frustration of always cooking dry BBQ

Water pans are a means of introducing valuable moisture into the cooking environment which has immense value when grilling and smoking.

Tom doesn’t realize that a water pan actually aides in attracting the smoke vapor to the food since smoke sticks to moist surfaces. Just remember to use water in the pan and not other liquids such as juice or alcohol. Here is a tip when you fill the water pan: use a teapot to fill the pan while it is in place so you don’t take the chance of spilling hot water on surfaces or you. Remember, water evaporates while other liquids do not which is the main reason to only use water.

Tom thinking there has to bring moisture to his cooking

Say Good-bye to Over Cooked Foods!

Tom hits on two benefits of the water pan: regulating temperature and producing humidity. But if you like to do direct cooking, the water pan can act as a repellent for the flame giving your foods a chance to survive without becoming a blackened, dried out, former piece of food.

Make Your Own Water Pan

Chef Bert presents the water pan for smoker to his neighbor

Bert knows a water pan often is included when smoking equipment is purchased, but you can easily make your own for a grill or smoker using a disposable foil pan. Just find one that fits comfortably in your equipment. For those with a vertical style unit, be sure to use a separate drip pan from the water pan. Otherwise, oil from the drippings will mix with the water and prevent evaporation needed for a moist environment.

Do you prefer a disposable water pan or a metal one? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious®!


Thursday, June 3, 2021


Smokinlicious® collects wood chips by Air

Over the past several months, you have learned how your own hands can play host to transmitting the virus known as COVID-19. Once transmitted, the virus can potentially live on surfaces for up to several days.

Of course, there are factors that determine how attracted the virus is to the surface. Porous surfaces like those of cardboard and wood are not very attractive to the virus. It prefers smooth surfaces.

But there is still so much we do not know. SmokinLicious® continues to prioritize limiting human contact with our product manufacture and packaging. Our position is, we do not know enough to stop being diligent in our efforts.

Time to revisit our cartoon friends! Tom and Bert recently discussed the SmokinLicious® air collection process for wood chips.

Why Air Collected Packaging is Better!

Chef Bert and Tom visiting our production facility

Tom asks a great question, as often, we do not think about the wood we cook with. How is it bulk stored, what has it been exposed to, how much dust is in the product? Remember, dust slows combustion and can cause equipment failures. This is the main reason why SmokinLicious® designed a process for screening our wood chips to eliminate as much dust as possible. That is just step #2 in the process after producing the chips from larger pieces of wood.

Dedicated Air Piping

depiction of our vaccum system and air piping system for packaging

Step #3 in the process is explained by Bert as piping that is used to fill customer orders. At SmokinLicious®, each chip size is segregated into storage totes by size and wood species. When a customer order is filled, clean air piping is introduced to the specific storage tote. The product is then collected and dispensed into the finished packaging using this air collection method. A couple key benefits to this hands-free approach is dust-free collection and no crushing of the chips by human hands, ensuring the product you pay for is not reduced to crumbs!

No Contact

Tom celebrating

Bert is quick to emphasis that no human contact is made with the product during packaging. He also stresses that the air packaging greatly improves the air quality for the worker since this is a contained system. No dust is launched into the air!

No dust for the customer who will scoop out product at home and no dust for the workers packaging the products. With respiratory status key to staying healthy, SmokinLicious® makes the effort to keep our workers breathing clean air.

Do you appreciate the extra steps SmokinLicious® is taking with packaging? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious®!