Monthly Archives: October 2013

TasteeBQ Discovers the Magic of Cocoa in Costa Rica- Cafe Mocha Recipes for National Chocolate Day

Happy National Chocolate Day. Hope you enjoy this short story from The Adventures of TasteeBQ.

The Adventures of TasteeBQ

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Note- For National Chocolate Day- Oct. 28, this is a short story from The Adventures of TasteeBQ.  It explains the time honored process of making Chocolate by the Bribri Tribe in Talamanca Costa Rica. Bonus video has Guide showing some technique used by Shaman. Also, Home Recipes for Cafe Mocha. Enjoy.

Making the World a Better Place to Eat can sometimes lead to the wildest adventures. Our superhero TasteeBQ was summoned to the jungles of Costa Rica on behest of a tribe known as the Bribri. The exact purpose wasn’t quite clear. Over the phone they said they needed him for something that sounded like “Walk a day”, “Work it Baby!” or “Work away.”

Always ready to “Work it Out”, our hero flew to an area known as Puerto Viejo (or “Old Door” in Spanish). It is located on the Caribbean Coast of Southern Costa Rica. Upon…

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Note- This article is a follow-up to a home cooking experiment. It is not intended to insure the the safety of anyone who tries it home. To be sure your DIY Smoker is safe, you may want to have it inspected by Fire and Food Safety Professionals. This project is not recommend for those under 18, without parental supervision. Original Article: ” MAKE DIY CERAMIC BBQ POT SMOKER in 5 EASY STEPS”

#DIY #BBQ #Smoker

The original DIY Ceramic BBQ Pot Smoker. Using Ceramic instead of Metal takes you a step closer to the old traditions of cooking in Brick Pits or burying Underground. The electric burner provides constant heat for hours and hours of Low and Slow cooking, with no Fluid or Propane necessary.

It all started innocently enough. Having mastered  many methods of Grilling, Barbecuing and Smoking food, our superhero TasteeBQ was in the mood to try something new. He had read about Alton Brown’s $50 Ceramic Flower Pot Smoker and decided to build something similar to try at home. The experiment was going well. The new DIY Ceramic BBQ Pot Smoker had beautifully cooked some juicy 11 Hour Smoked Pulled Pork and tasty 16 Hour Smoked Ribs.

#BBQ #Ribs #SmokedRibs

16 Hour Smoked Spareribs came out juicy and delicious. Full of Mesquite and Hickory flavors.

Then… Sirens! In came those do-gooders who quash cooking fun, everywhere- the Food Police. Yes, they are apparently done with Emeril, and are now coming after TasteeBQ. Its seems that Flower Pots and Bricks are not labeled “Food Grade”. For the sake of public safety and (his own health), TasteeBQ decided to take the experiment in a different direction.

Clay pot cooking is a technique of cooking food in an unglazed clay pot which has been soaked in water so as to release steam during the cooking process. This technique has a long history, stretching back at least to ancient Roman times, and is commonly used in several cuisines in AfricaEurope and Southeast and East Asia.” Wikipedia

Not sure when people started to require a Food Safety label on every cooking implement around the world. Most of the U.S. Food Labeling Laws kicked in somewhere around 1965. Before then, the use of clay and ceramic was based on “Survival of the Fittest” (or “Best Pottery”). Most civilizations seem to have survived with untainted Earthenware.  Due to lead concerns, it is still good to test your Earthenware, Terra Cotta Clay and Ceramics for it’s presence. We tested our DIY Ceramic BBQ Pot Smoker with a Home Test Kit and it passed the test for lead.


Home lead Testing Kit was affordable and easy to use. We passed!

For the latest guidance on Ceramics, the FDA said in 2012: “Agency investigators have in some cases found that the pottery exceeded FDA’s limits for “leachable” lead—lead that could get into food that comes in contact with the pottery. …The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says lead can be poisonous to everyone—especially so to infants and young children, as well as to fetuses.”-U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The advantage of the Electric/Ceramic technique is that it allows Low and Slow cooking with no fuss. No Propane, Charcoal, Lighting Fluid or other Accelerant is needed. Just a metal tray of Wood Chips, Chunks or Dust and an Electric Burner. As a follow-up test, TasteeBQ smoked Ribs on the Ceramic Pot Smoker for 16 Hours. They came out tender, juicy and delicious.  A couple of days later, he finished the leftover Ribs on an indoor Gaggenau Grill and they were still fantastic.

#BBQ #Ribs #GrillingRibs

Reheating 16 Hour Smoked Ribs on built-in indoor Gaggenau. Indoor Grills are fast and convenient to use, but cannot replace and Outdoor Smoker or BBQ Pit.

To play it safe. TasteeBQ decided to convert a relatively affordable Kumado Ceramic Acorn Smoker by Char-Broil. Here are the adjusted Instructions and a Recipe for Smoked Cod. Enjoy.


#acorn #charbroil #smoker

Kumado Acorn Smoker Grill by Char-Broil. Sorry so dark- enclosed patio is cool, but no Sunlight.

The $299 price tag at Loews still makes it a bargain compared to the $1000+ for the Ceramic Giant Egg.

#DIY #Ceramic #BBQSmoker #Homemade

Placing two Terra Cotta Bricks on rim for bottom Charcoal Grate. Omit the small Grate so cord has free access to bottom vent. Rest Electric Single Burner on top.

It was easy to convert the Kumado Acorn into an electric Smoker, once it was assembled. We simply relocated the Bricks, Burner and Wood Chip Pan.

#DIY #BBQSmoker #Ceramic

Place metal pan with Wood Chips on top of Burner. We used Hickory, Mesquite and optional Charcoal for nice mix of flavors. Make sure you have access to Control Knob for Burner.

The Acorn even comes with a bottom vent the right size  to pass through the cord- so no drilling is required. It is really convenient way to cook. Just plug in it, turn it on High and walk away for a few hours.

#DIY #BBQSmoker #Ceramic #KumadoGrill #Acorn #Charbroil

Built in vent is perfect size for cord. Close tight to maintain heat/ smoke before using.

For a first test TasteeBQ smoked a foil tray of Alaskan Cod Snapper for 2 1/2 hours. They came out perfectly. Here is simple Recipe:

#BBQRub #Smoked #Fish #Cod #CaliforniaGoldBBQRubs

Smoked Cod is served with Buttered Rice and Asaparagus. Rosemary Sprids add flavor while Smoking. Great for garnish. remove stems to make edible.

Smoked Alaskan Cod (Feeds 4 People)

2 lbs. Fresh Alaskan Cod Fillets

4-6 Fresh Springs of Rosemary

2 tbsp. POWER Rub

Olive Oil, Butter, Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Marinate Cod for at least a 1/2 hour in Olive Oil, Butter, POWER Rub and Salt & Pepper to taste.  Plug in DIY Smoker. Let it heat up for 5 minutes.  Place Cod on Foil or Grill safe pan. Smoke for 2 1/2 hours until fish is juicy and opaque.

#BBQRub #Smoked #Fish #Cod #CaliforniaGoldBBQRubs

Foil tray of Smoked Cod Fillets with POWER Rub, Butter, Lemon and Rosemary.


FDA on Cooking With Pottery

General Advice on Variety of Healthy Cookware

Tips on Ceramic Bakeware

POWER from California Gold BBQ Rubs

California Gold BBQ Rubs on Facebook

How to Grill Healthier and Gluten Free for National Taco Day

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#nationaltacoday #steaktaco #glutenfree

Grilled Steak Tacos in Butter Lettuce Cups, with Tomato, Onion, Red Pepper, Carrot and Goat Cheese.

Happy National Taco Day, October 4th. Are you trying to eat healthy, but feel like you are stuck in a hard place between a Taco Truck and a BBQ Shack? Consider this recipe the Gluten Free (GF), grain free, good for you alternative.  Though most Corn Tortillas are already GF, replacing them with Butter Lettuce is light, delicious twist.

Grilled Steak Tacos in Butter Lettuce Cups

If you don’t have a Grill available, the main ingredients can be Pan Roasted or Broiled in the Oven. Not into the Meat thing? Feel free to substitute juicy Portobello Mushrooms or your favorite Vegan Meat Substitute. These are also great with Grilled Chicken Breast.

INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings)

1 1/2 to 2 lbs.- Boneless Steak (New York, Sirloin, or Skirt Steak)
1- Large Onion (White or Yellow)
1- Head of Butter Lettuce (approx. 8 layers)
4- Roma Tomatoes
2- Red Peppers (May mix with Green or Yellow)
1 to 2- Large Carrots
1/2 Cup- Chopped Green Scallions
1 Tbsp.- POWER Rub by California Gold BBQ Rubs
1. Tbsp- Taco Seasoning
1 Tsp.- Dry Cumin
8 oz- Crumbled Goat Cheese (optional)
Salt/ Pepper
Olive Oil


1. Chop Peppers and Tomatoes in half, removing seeds. Cut Onion and Carrot (lengthwise) into 3/4” slices. Rinse and Dry Steak, set aside.

2. Put Veggies and Meat in separate containers or foil pouches. Lightly coat with Olive Oil. Toss with Dry Rub, Cumin- Salt and Pepper (to taste). Be sure to finish Veggies, then the Meat. Try to marinate everything for at least 15 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.

3. Grill Steak 4-6 Minutes per side, depending on thickness. Grill Veggies for same amount of time (Note- Carrots may take longer cook time to tenderize).

4. Chop Veggies and Steak into 1” pieces. Place meat, then Veggies into individual Butter Lettuce Cups. Sprinkle a little extra rub on top, along with Chopped Green Scallions and Crumbled Goat Cheese (optional).

These Tacos are great for a party first course or appetizer. As a main dish add more Meat or Grilled Avocados. It can also be served with Rice and/or Beans on the side. Go for the grain with Tortilla Chips or add colorful Veggie Chips (as a GF alternative). Of course, sprinkle the Chips with more delicious BBQ Rub and Enjoy!

#glutenfree #nationaltacoday #steaktacos

Here is closer view. Happy National Taco Day!


California Gold BBQ Rubs

Introducing POWER- a delicious BBQ Seasoning and Marinade; Gluten Free with 9 SuperFoods. See website for Recipes, including healthier homemade Gluten Free BBQ Sauce.

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