Recipes For Your Traeger

Elizabeth ManuelComment


A brisket worthy of any true Texan. This full packer is injected with Butcher’s prime, sprayed down with apple juice, rubbed with a prime rib and coffee rub mix, topped with black pepper and smoked over oak wood.



Trim fat cap off the top of brisket and remove all silverskin. Trim off any brown areas such as on the side of the brisket. Make a long cut with the grain on the thin side (flat) of the brisket and a short cut again on the flat to show direction of cuts after cooking. Trim bottom fat cap to about 1/4 inch thickness. 

Combine butchers prime and water. Inject into the brisket with the grain in a checkerboard fashion. Combine both Traeger rubs and season brisket liberally. Season the top with the black pepper.

Rub entire brisket with canola oil then spritz with apple juice and let sit for 30 minutes. 

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 180 degrees F and preheat, lid closed for 10-15 minutes. 

Place brisket directly on the grill grate and cook 8-12 hours fat side down. Spritz with apple juice every 30-45 minutes after the first 3 hours. After 8 hours begin taking the temperature by inserting about two-thirds of the way up into the thickest part. It should register between 150-160 degrees F. 

Once the brisket registers 160 degrees F, wrap with two sheets of aluminum foil leaving one end open. Pour in remaining brisket injection and seal foil packet.

Increase the temperature on the grill to 225 degrees F and place wrapped brisket directly on grill grate. Cook for another 3-4 hours until internal temperature registers 204 degrees F.

Remove from the grill and place in a cooler wrapped in a towel to rest for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, cut slices about the thickness of a pencil against the grain.

If desired, separate cooking liquid from fat and pour juices over cut slices of brisket. Enjoy!

Wood-burning stove ban will not be enforced against householders

Elizabeth ManuelComment

Sadiq Khan’s proposed ban on wood-burning stoves in the most-polluted areas of London will not be enforced against householders and will only be in operation at certain times of the year. Under the mayor of London’s plans, the stoves would be occasionally banned from use in zones in the capital from 2025 and UK-wide laws blocking the sale of all but the newest, cleanest stoves from 2022 would be brought in earlier.

In an attempt to reassure the thousands of Londoners who bought the stoves in good faith, the focus will be on educating owners not to burn wood during bad air quality episodes. Authorities will reserve enforcement for commercial users such as hotels. There are about 1.5m stoves in the UK and 200,000 are sold annually, with the appliances often marketed as a green form of home heating. However, there has been growing concern over their environmental impact. Researchers at King’s College London have found that wood-burning in the capital accounts for up to 31% of the city’s particulate pollution, up from 10% in the past. The tiny particles, known as PM2.5, are the most harmful type of air pollution and exacerbate lung and heart conditions. Khan has called for greater powers from government to act on wood-burning after he discovered it contributed half of the pollution during a dirty air episode in January.

“Non-transport sources contribute half of the deadly emissions in London so we need a hard-hitting plan of action to combat them similar to moves I am taking to reduce pollution from road vehicles,” he said.

The Green party and campaigners said the mayor was right to tackle emissions from the stoves. ClientEarth, a group that has won court battles against the government on pollution, said the the stoves combined with diesel car emissions in winter to create a “toxic soup”.

“A lot of people don’t realise that wood-burning has an impact on air quality, particularly in urban areas,” said Alan Andrews, a lawyer at the firm.

However, there are questions over how practical it would be to enforce the proposed ban.

The government website on smoke control zones warns of a £1,000 fine for people using unauthorised stoves. However, the Guardian understands that not a single fine was issued in London over the past year.

“A big problem here is a lack of enforcement of the Clean Air Act,” said Dennis Milligan of the Stove Industry Alliance. He said that open fires, which the act prohibits in many towns and cities, were the real problem contributing to London’s dirty air.

“I totally disagree with him on banning stuff,” said Milligan, adding he had been trying to speak to Khan all year about his members’ support for cleaner stoves but Friday’s announcement was the first he had heard of plans for a ban. The mayor’s office did not deny the claim.

Khan has written to Michael Gove, the environment secretary, asking him to amend the Clean Air Act to give him the powers to create zones where the burning of solid fuels such as wood is banned.

The move could affect wood-burning stove owners beyond London, too. The mayor’s office said he supported the amendment being made in a way that such powers were given to all cities, not just the capital. Secondly, Khan is calling for new EU standards mandating cleaner, lower emission stoves to be brought in earlier than 2022, when they are planned to come into force. The Stove Industry Alliance said its members had begun selling “Ecodesign-ready” stoves in February.

Wood-burning has been increasing across the UK, with a 2015 government surveyfinding consumption in homes had been significantly underestimated. It is most popular in the south-east and south-west of the country.

Wood-burning – what you can and can’t do

• Most large towns and cities in the UK are covered by a smoke control zone, which prohibits the use of open fires

• However, certain stoves approved by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs can be used to burn wood in those zones

• From 2025 in zero emission zones created in London’s most polluted areas even approved stoves will be banned from use during certain times of year.



Six tips to buy the right pellet stove

Elizabeth ManuelComment

Glenn Robinson has been selling and installing pellet, wood and coal stoves in Pennsylvania for 11 years, and one of the biggest problems he faces is sizing the stove.

I became tired of false information from manufacturers about how many BTUs they claimed their stoves put out. Customers see these exaggerated BTU numbers from a small stove and think it will heat their home, but it won’t. The result is that the stove is undersized and there is premature wear and tear. One model from a big name brand would only last for 3 – 4 months before needing repair or even full replacement.
— Glenn Robinson

Glenn is not alone in identifying exaggerated BTU listings as one of the biggest problems consumers face in buying a stove.  Scott Williamson, a Massachusetts pellet installation and repair technician says that he sees stoves “all the time that are being run on high 24/7 and pellet stoves just aren’t designed to do that.”  Both installers say that under sizing of pellet stoves is one of the biggest problems, and urge customers to consider larger (higher BTU output) stoves if they live in average size homes in the northern half of the country and plan to use the stove a lot.

Here are six critical things for consumers to keep in mind when purchasing a pellet stove:

 1. Don’t undersize. If the stove is going to be your primary heat source you will likely need a medium or large pellet stove, even if a smaller unit advertises high BTU output.  Ignore BTU numbers on manufacturers websites and literature and check the EPA list.  The maximum output for pellet stoves is in the 30,000 – 50,000 range, enough to heat all or most of a small or medium house in most climates. “Don’t plan to run the stove all the time at its highest setting,” warns Scott Williamson “or you will be calling someone like me to fix it quicker than you think.”  When we tested six popular pellet stove models, we calculated an output of no more than 21,000 BTUs, far below what the EPA listed and even farther below what manufacturers claimed.


(It is possible to oversize the stove and that can be a problem, but is not nearly as common as under sizing.  “For example, the Harman P68 is notorious for being installed in small areas like mobile homes but they gunk up when they aren't allowed to get up to temperature for a bit before they shutdown,” says Scott Williamson.)

2. Beware of cheaper stoves. There are some good budget wood stoves on the market, but with pellet stoves, you are more likely to get what you pay for than with wood stoves.  “If you want a reliable stove that puts out a lot of heat, we urge customers to ignore pellet stoves under $2,500,” says Glenn Robinson.  Scott Williamson generally agrees but has seen some basic stoves like the Pel Pro and Englander hold up pretty well.

3. Check for range of heat output.  Most stoves can put out about 3.5 times more heat at their highest setting, compared to their lowest.  Some stoves have a tiny range, putting out only 1.5 times more heat at their highest setting.  If you live in a more moderate climate, in the early fall and late spring, you may want just a little heat, and still have the capacity for much greater heat output on the coldest days and nights of winter.  All other things being equal in a stove, you may want a stove with a larger range of heat output and you can check the range of all stoves on the EPA list of certified stoves. In our tests, we found that the Enviro M55 insert ran continuously for an impressive 49 hours on its lowest setting with a tested hopper size of 60 pounds and it ran for 22 hours on its higher setting.  However, with a 37-pound hopper, the Englander 25 PDVC only rain for 15 hours on its lower setting and 13 hours on its highest setting, indicating a very low turn down ratio.

4. Understand maintenance requirements. If you don’t clean your stove regularly and have it professionally serviced once a year, don’t expect high BTU output.  Most consumers get subpar performance from stoves and have to repair them more often because they are not maintaining their stoves according to the owner’s manual.  Pellet stoves are not like wood stoves: they have lots of moving parts and need cleaning of the burn pot and inside the stove on weekly, and depending on the stove, a daily basis.  Pellet stoves that are not cleaned regularly can lose 10% or more of their efficiency – and their heat output, and lead to costlier repairs. Understand the daily, weekly and annual maintenance requirements from the start and don’t put them off.  When we tested six popular pellet stoves, we found that the three more expensive ones (Harman, Quadra-Fire and Enviro) could go for a week or more without cleaning the burn pot.  However, the Englander, Ravelli and Piazzetta needed daily burn pot cleanings.

 5. Look for cleaner pellet stoves.  Pellet stoves are far cleanerthan wood stoves, even if they both have the same particulate matter in grams per hour.  Particulate matter is the tiny stuff that smoke is made out of and pellet stoves should not have any visible smoke after the 3-minute start up.   The average pellet stove used to put out about 2 grams of particulate per hour.  But since the new EPA regulations took effect in 2015, the average pellet stove emits about 1.3 grams per hour that makes pellet stoves more suitable in more densely populated suburban and even urban areas.  Choosing a cleaner pellet stove means a cleaner flue pipe and cleaner air around your and your neighbors’ homes.

 6. Beware of stoves without an efficiency on the EPA list. As with BTUs, manufacturers routinely exaggerate the efficiency of their stoves on their websites, so if efficiency and saving money is important to you, check the EPA list of stoves for efficiency ratings.  The problem is some companies still haven’t reported their efficiency to the EPA, so you may only want to purchase a stove that has an efficiency listing on the EPA list.  Pellet stoves with listed efficiencies range from 58 to 87% efficiency, but those not listed could be even lower, drastically increasing your heating costs.


The EPA list includes some slightly exaggerated efficiency numbers, but they are not nearly as exaggerated as manufacturer websites and literature. The EPA used to allow companies to calculate efficiency based on a default of 78% efficiency, even though most pellet stoves are below that, explains Ben Myren, who runs one of the stove test labs approved by the EPA. The result is a 5-10% exaggeration of some stoves on the EPA site, something that the EPA has not publicly acknowledged. (Some incentive and change out programs - Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon - require that the stove have an efficiency listed on the EPA list to get the full rebate.)



Appreciating these six factors are likely to help you make a better decision, but we also encourage consumers to rely on feedback from friends, neighbors and others who own pellet stoves. One site that can be helpful for research is  


Scott JacksonComment

You can’t quit winter, chilly temperatures may cause your nose to glow but don’t let a cold, yet faithful Traeger sidekick freeze you out of delicious and flavorful food in frigid weather.

At Traeger, we’ve conquered “grilling season.” With our 6-in-1 versatility, you can’t let a whole season go by without firing up delicious meals hot off the Traeger. If you don’t live in sunny Florida or the dry desert of Arizona, you may need to bundle. If you live in a region that reaches 35°F or colder, simply wrap up your rig with an insulation blanket and keep on cooking outdoors on your Traeger, year-round. Cooking under a thermal insulation blanket keeps your grill toasty warm while firing your favorite food, prevents the heat from escaping, and preserves pellets.

The heat resistant, insulated material of a Traeger insulation blanket acts as a buffer between the elements and your grill, allowing you to maintain consistent temperatures without burning through extra pellets. A Traeger grill insulation blanket slides over the top of the grill and attaches with straps underneath.

When the outside of your Traeger smoker grill gets cold, the inside of the grill isn’t thrilled. It is true that metal absorbs heat but it also absorbs cold, and it is easier to hold on to the cold vs. the heat. This can cause lower cooking temperatures when you’re trying to fire it up during winter months. To get the fire to escalate, the grill has to burn more pellets, and fueling the fire takes more wood. When you tiptoe out in the snow to check on your meal, then crack open the lid, cold air floods in. The hot air and interior inner-workings are riddled with cold oxygen. This causes the Digital Thermostat to send more handwood to the firepot to keep the fire going in its efforts to raise the grill temp back up to the set cooking temperature.

Let an insulated blanket safeguard the metal from the elements to keep the heat in and the barbecue flowing. Preparing your grill for a winter wonderland is two-fold in that it conserves pellets, and protects from the environment.

You can try to position your grill in an alcove, corner of your patio, or side yard to keep the heat in, but never cook on a full-size smoker grill under an enclosed patio such as in an apartment building or garage. The smoker grill needs ventilation. Rather than spending time in the snow, rain, sleet, or arctic temps jerry-rigging a make-shift contraption to put around or over your wood-fired grill, fork out the chump-change to buy a Traeger insulation blanket, it’s worth it.

Old man winter is on his way, so wrap up your rig and beat frigid weather at its own game. You can have hot meals, even when the sun doesn’t shine. A Traeger insulation blanket will help counterbalance pellet consumption in temperatures that reach 35°F or lower. Bundle up your rig and settle in, grilling season is a year-round sport.


Scott JacksonComment

It's the only outdoor ceramic kamado style charcoal grill you will ever need ... or want!

The Ultimate Cooking Experience

Big Green Egg is the world’s largest producer and international distributor of the highest-quality ceramic kamado-style charcoal grill. When you buy an EGG, you know your investment is protected by a successful, experienced company with a worldwide reputation for best-in-class products and unmatched customer service. We provide you with confidence, knowing that we have been standing behind our products for over four decades!

As Big Green Egg has evolved over the years, significant changes have been made to keep it miles ahead of anything else on the market – state-of-the-art ceramics, a wide range of easily adjusted cooking temperatures, a stainless steel cooking grid and a permanent porcelain glaze to preserve our signature green color. A team of research and development specialists are continuously looking for new ways to make Big Green Egg even better.

From Founder Ed Fisher’s original model, the business has grown to include seven sizes of the EGG, and hundreds of accessories and related products designed to always make Big Green Egg a cooking experience that is fun and entertaining!


The Big Green Egg is a blend of ancient tradition, modern technology, and proprietary processes, resulting in a far superior product that is stronger, more durable and provides better heat insulation than any other outdoor cooker on the market. Thats how the Big Green Egg works so efficiently!

Simple to Start

The Big Green Egg reaches perfect cooking temperature and is ready to use in just minutes. Our 100% lump charcoal is made in the USA from only the best cuts of natural oak and hickory for superb performance and results. Lighting the charcoal is always quick and easy, as the design of the Big Green Egg allows air flow to circulate efficiently. Use our natural charcoal starter or an electric starter … and never buy lighter fluid again!

Precise Temperature Control

Grill, smoke and bake on your EGG at exact temperatures by easily adjusting the patented air flow systems. You have total control over temperature at your fingertips, maintaining accuracy within a few degrees! The Made in USA temperature gauge provides precise readings to 750°F/ 400°C. Many indoor ovens cannot match the accuracy of the EGG’s temperature control!

Recipes for Your Big Green Egg!

Scott JacksonComment

Honey Glazed Smoked Halibut



  • (4) 6 oz halibut filets
  • Meat Church Honey Hog or Deez Nuts Honey Pecan rub
  • 4 tbsp clover honey


Prepare your Cooker
Set your EGG for indirect cooking (with convEGGtor) to 275°F/135°C. We recommend lighter smoking wood for this smoke. Alder wood, fruit wood or pecan will pair nicely with a white fish while not being too overpowering.

Prepare the Brine
Mix all brine ingredients (listed below) in water and dissolve thoroughly. Pour the brine over the filets and let them sit for two hours. It’s ok if the fish floats.

Prepare the Halibut
After 2 hours remove the fish from the brine, rinse off and pat dry.

Season with Meat Church Honey Hog or Deez Nuts Honey Pecan rub on all sides.

This is optional, but if you prefer a bolder flavor profile, try adding some cracked pepper over the top of the halibut after you have seasoned with the rub.

Place the filets directly on the cooking grate skin side down. The skin will act as a barrier to the heat and come off easily after the cook. Smoke the fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F/57°C degrees. This smoke will take around 30 minutes at 275°F/135°C.

Optional Glaze
Drizzle the filet with warm honey the last 10 minutes of the cook for nice and simple honey glaze. Honey can also be mixed 50/50 with miso to create a miso-honey glaze.

Remove the fish carefully with a spatula. Place it on a plate to rest for 10 minutes. Eat and enjoy!!

Brine Ingredients

  • 1/2 C kosher salt
  • 1 C sugar
  • 4 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 2 bay leaves crushed
  • 1/2 gallon water

One thought on “Honey Glazed Smoked Halibut”

  1. Hosting

    MARCH 6, 2017 AT 3:06 PM

    Smoking salmon is more about the preparation than the actual smoking process and if you get the brine and the seasoning right, the rest is a piece of cake.

Peach and Blueberry Summer Pie



  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp allspice
  • 4-5 peeled, sliced fresh peaches
  • 1½ cups blueberries
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pie crusts, homemade or store bought
  • Extra sugar and cinnamon for topping


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

Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and allspice together in a large bowl. Gently fold in blueberries and peaches.

Pour the filling into an uncooked pie crust. Cut the butter into small pieces and distribute evenly over the top of the filling.

Use the second pie crust to create a lattice and cover the pie. Lightly brush the lattice with one beaten egg. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the pie.

Cook at 400°F for 30 minutes; reduce the heat to 375°F for an additional 25 minutes.

Let the pie set for about 4 hours before eating. Enjoy!

Tell Us What You Think

Seven things you should never burn in your fireplace—and why

Scott JacksonComment

The fireplace looks like a handy place to dispose of unwanted combustibles, but it’s safest to burn only dry, seasoned firewood.  Many items you might innocently pop into the fireplace create serious hazards.

  1.  Don’t burn colored paper.  The inks used in wrapping paper, newspaper inserts, and magazines contain metals that can give off toxic fumes when burned.  Paper burns very quickly, so there is also a danger that flames may enter the chimney and ignite the creosote deposits in the flue.  Balls of paper can ‘float’ up the chimney on the hot air that is rising through the chimney and ignite flammable materials outside the home.
  2. Never burn painted, stained, or treated wood or manufactured wood such as plywood and particle board.  Chemicals in ‘salt treated’ wood, paint, or stains can produce toxic fumes when burned.  Likewise, burning manufactured wood products produces toxins and carcinogens.
  3. Don’t use the fireplace as a household incinerator.  A toxic cocktail of fumes can result from burning items like pizza boxes printed with colored inks, Styrofoam cups, plastic wraps, and remnants of household products in “empty” containers.
  4. Never burn plastics or chemicals because, again, the fumes may be toxic.
  5. Never use accelerants like gasoline, kerosene, or barbecue lighter fluid to start a fire in your fireplace.  These highly flammable substances can produce unexpectedly large flare-ups.
  6. Don’t burn coal or charcoal in your fireplace.  These fuels burn much hotter than wood and may exceed the temperature levels that are safe for your fireplace and chimney.  They also produce much more carbon monoxide–a colorless, odorless gas that can kill—than wood does.
  7. Don’t burn the Christmas tree or other evergreen decorations.  Dry evergreens are loaded with resin that burns very quickly and ‘pops’ producing embers that can rise through the chimney and start chimney fires.

For safety’s sake, put the ashes from your fireplace in a metal container with a lid.  After your fire goes out, and the coals have cooled, use your shovel to put the ashes in a metal ash bucket with a lid—just in case there’s still a live coal among the ashes.

Gas Burning Maintenance

Scott JacksonComment

Gas fireplaces, stoves, and inserts are designed to safely provide years of comfort, warmth and relaxation. To ensure they can do their job, these products require proper installation, maintenance, and operation.

Gas Burning Maintenance Tips

Professional installation by a qualified technician is essential to the proper performance and safety of a hearth product and its venting system. Unlike a malfunctioning refrigerator, a hearth product that doesn’t do its job properly can have serious consequences. Many specialty retailers offer installation by factory-trained and/or nationally certified staff. To verify if an installer is certified, contact the National Fireplace Institute (NFI).

Gas fireplaces, stoves, and inserts also require routine maintenance and service to ensure their proper working order. The best person to perform the service is a specialty technician who is trained in the maintenance of gas fireplaces, and their venting, or chimney, systems. Before lighting the first fire of the season, there are a few important safety tips to remember.

  • Have a technician check the gas lines, clean the burner, control compartment, fan and related air circulation passages, as well as check for condensation annually.
  • Ensure the vents are unobstructed and able to do their job.
  • Check the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector.
  • Clean the glass and adjust the glowing embers and logs for best appearance.
  • Be alert for unusual odors or flames, which are often a sign that the fireplace is not operating properly.
  • Make family members and guests aware that the glass panel of a gas fireplace, stove, or insert can be very hot. Installing a safety screen or safety barrier is recommended to reduce the risk of serious burns by preventing direct contact with hot glass.

Woodburning Safety & Maintenance

Scott JacksonComment

Whether it’s the warm glow of the fire, the crackle of the wood or the deep penetrating warmth, burning wood has a way of making people feel relaxed and right at home. When heating with wood, there are three key elements to achieve optimal economy, environmental responsibility, and efficiency:

  1. The Woodstove, Fireplace or Fireplace Insert
  2. The Installation
  3. The Operation and Maintenance
  4. Seasoned Firewood

Once you’ve identified the right product for your home and had it installed properly, maintaining, operating, and fueling your appliance properly are the next steps. Prepare for the Burn…Maintain Your Fireplace, Stove, or Insert

  • Stock up the right fuel…seasoned wood, both hard and soft woods. 
  • Inspect gaskets, door seals, and the chimney annually. Clean the chimney as necessary, by a professional chimney sweep to ensure it’s clear of obstructions and creosote.
  • Install a cap at the top of the chimney to avoid the possibility that debris or animals can block the chimney.
  • Install both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. (Make sure the batteries work.)
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Clear the area around the fireplace of furniture, books, newspaper, and other potentially flammable materials. (Three feet away is a good rule.)

Build a Safe Fire

  • Clean out ashes from previous fires and open the damper before starting a new fire.
  • Prepare plenty of kindling. For fireplaces, use grate and cover it with kindling or a manufactured firestarter.
  • Close the firescreen and keep glass doors open while operating a fireplace (as appropriate).
  • Utilize fireplace tools to tend the fire.
  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood in pieces that aren’t too big for your fireplace or stove.
  • Follow any specific manufacturer guidelines for your product.

Use Common Sense

For all Appliances

  • Never use gasoline or any liquid accelerant to help start a fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Never overload the fireplace or stove to avoid burning wood or embers tumbling out.
  • Always store ashes in a non-combustible container with a tightly fitting lid and place it away from the house.

For Fireplaces

  • Never burn garbage, rolled newspaper, charcoal, plastic, or chemically-treated or painted wood in the fireplace. They all produce noxious fumes that are dangerous and highly polluting. Additionally, if you have a catalytic stove, the residue from burning certain plastics may ruin the catalytic converter.
  • Always make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Always keep small children and pets away from the fireplace.
  • Never close the damper on your open fireplaces until the embers have completely stopped burning.


Scott JacksonComment



The ole pellet swap. The pros do it, we do it, but do you? We’ve got some tips that’ll help you do it all the right way.

Two reasons to change up your pellets:

1. You want to change up pellet flavors for a different cook:

Each of our pellet flavors are truly different and bring unique flavor to whatever you’ve got cooking on your grill. Don’t be boring. Switch it up, your food and your taste buds will be happy you did.  

2. You won’t be grilling for another week:

Don’t forget, if you’re taking a break from grilling (we don’t recommend) for more than a week long, you’ll want to change out your pellets so they’re good as new when you get back.    


When your pellets aren’t fueling your fire and flavoring your food, give them a break. You want to remove pellets when you’re not grilling because moisture can reach them when left in the hopper for an extended period. If there’s anything you need to know about your hardwood, it’s that moisture is no bueno.

Depending on your location or how humid your home state is, pellets are prone to moisture even inside the grill. Check out our guide to protecting your wood and you won’t have a single worry. See the post here.


Here’s the sitch on the switch. Removing or changing out pellets is an easy process, here’s how it’s done: 

• For Pro Series or newer grills: Simply open the hopper clean out door, and pour out the pellets back to a container. It’s as easy as that.

• If you have an older model, you can easily scoop them out with a smaller container or scoop. Another option is to use a bucket vacuum head, but make sure the vacuum isn't extremely strong because these can break the pellets. 

BOTTOM LINE: Take care of your pellets and your pellets will take care of not only you, but your stomach too. 

How are you changing your pellets? Comment below.


Scott JacksonComment


Brisket, the ULTIMATE cut in the BBQ world. If done right, you’ll find yourself with the most quintessential BBQ food out there. Most people find the cook to be daunting but lucky for you, we’re here to make it simple, easy, and forkin’ flavorful.



The goal for throwing down a badass brisket is creating ultimate flavor and texture. The cook process is the most crucial part in ensuring your brisket delivers on both. Because every animal is different, there’s no exact universal algorithm for every cut. Cook times are going to vary as the size of the brisket may as well. Because briskets can weigh between 12-22 pounds, times can range from 8-16 hours depending on size and cook temperature. Our general rule of thumb: plan on between 30-60 minutes per pound. For example, a 16 pound brisket cooked at 275 degrees will take between 10-12 hours. The entire process from trimming, injection, seasoning and cooking will take between 18-20 hours. If you give yourself enough time, you’ll give yourself some ridiculous brisket. This is a “good things come to those who wait” kind of deal, but let us assure you…you’ll be glad you did.  


Internal temperatures are what make or break low n’ slow BBQ. Getting that read is key for creating BBQ cuts worth dreaming about. The point and the flat make up what is called a “Full Packer” brisket. The point is more marbled with fat than the flat. The flat is used for slices and the point is used for burnt ends. To perfect both ends of your brisket, you will want to cook the flat until it’s as soft as butter (this usually happens between 200-205 degrees in the flat). Once your beef has reached that level, let the brisket rest for about 30 minutes and then separate the point and the flat.  


Once you’ve got that point removed, you’re ready to make some darn good burnt ends. You’ll first want to remove all outside fat and then cube 1”x1” squares. Once you’re done, throw those heavenly chunks into pan and douse them with BBQ sauce and give them a turbinado sugar kiss. While they’re all getting friendly in the pool, you’ll want to throw them back on the Traeger at 275 degrees for 1 hour. This process creates your burnt ends and allows the point the extra cook time it needs due to its marbling. Pull them out and you’ll have caramelized bite size BBQ deliciousness.  

See our exact burnt ends recipe.


The most important aspect of cooking brisket is making sure that you know when to take that bad boy off the heat. To tell if it’s done, simply insert that probe right into the brisket. The probe should insert into the cut like it would into room temperature butter. This usually happens between 200-205 degrees in the flat. If that happens when you insert your probe, you’re good to go.  


Brisket should always be sliced against the grain for the best mouthfeel and tenderness. If sliced with the grain, even a perfectly cooked brisket will be chewy.


Scott JacksonComment

If you are looking for a great focal point to tie a room together, consider a decorative fireplace. You don’t have to hire a contractor to install an elegant and warmth-producing fireplace. You can enjoy the decorative appeal of a mantled fireplace for considerably less than installing a traditional one. All you need is an electrical outlet.

Nothing is quite as delightful as curling up in front of a crackling, warm fire on a crisp autumn night. It has timeless appeal and offers the promise of memories to come. Even in warmer months, a mantle offers decorating potential. It’s a great place to have ever-changing seasonal displays that make your space a delight to decorate.

The variety of available designs and styles of decorative fireplaces has been on the rise. Now you can perfectly match your personal taste with sleek, modern designs like wall-hung units framed in brushed steel and timeless classics with elegant, fluted columns and molded mantles.

A decorative fireplace also features realistic flames. You’ll get the look of flickering, dancing firelight and the sound of crackling logs with a radiant warmth that can help keep your spaces nice and cozy in cold months. The best models feature adjustable thermostats for temperature control, something you can’t get from a traditional fireplace, and a slow die-down when the unit goes off.

Other fantastic features you can get from a decorative fireplace include safety features you won’t find with traditional fireplaces. One common safety feature is a timer that ensures the unit turns itself off automatically if you forget to do so manually. In addition, the exterior remains cool to the touch, making it a safer alternative in a household with children and inquisitive pets.

A decorative fireplace is a perfect solution for renters as well. Not only can you add the delights of a fireplace in a home that doesn’t have one, but it’s also portable. When you move, take it with you to your next place. Enjoy a the visual appeal and warmth of a fire in rooms usually bereft of them. A fireplace casting a cheerful glow where you dine or a romantic dancing fire in your bedroom offers a lively, decorative touch. If you are have a large bathroom, you could even have a crackling fire to enjoy while you take a bath.


Scott JacksonComment

A flickering flame creates a comfortable, welcoming feeling in any room. With modern technology, we are able to enjoy that elegance without the fuss, mess, or even the heat at the touch of a button with a realistic electric fireplace. What smoke and mirrors are used in these convenient modern appliances to create such lively, flickering flames?


The first essential aspect of a working fireplace, electric or otherwise, is the generation of heat. While some modern electric fireplaces allow the heating element to be turned off entirely, they are all capable of producing extremely efficient warmth. This is created via a simple heating coil paired with a fan, which pushes warmed air into the room.


The delightful flames produced by electric fireplaces are enough to fool the eye into thinking they are real. The trick to getting the fluid, dynamic feel of real flames is surprisingly simple. Light from a light bulb, often an LED,  bounces off of a rotisserie-style silver refractor with three-dimensional patterns that create the illusion of a random flicker of flame. Some electric fireplaces even have a device which makes a crackling noise as the refractor spins, lending another level of realism to the fire.


Realistic electric fireplaces offer all the enjoyment of real fireplaces without all the hassle. They don’t need a fuel source and they don’t require any of the cleanup involved in utilizing wood, coal, or fuel. This leaves a great deal of freedom in styling how the flames appear fueled. Realistic looking logs, beds of coal, futuristic metal piping, river stones, and other materials can serve as the bed for the dancing firelight.

If you want to enjoy the comfort of a fire in any room, an electric fireplace is a great option. The blower system provides an energy efficient way to keep a room warm and comfortable, and during the summer the heating element can be shut off entirely so you can enjoy the flicker of a cozy fire without sweating the extra heat. The surface of these electrical units remains cool to the touch even while heating, making it a safer options for homes with small children and pets. With elegant, simple construction available in an array of designs, you’ll find an electrical fireplace perfect for any decor.


Scott JacksonComment

On summer nights, when the weather turns chilly, the last thing you want to do after your big summer BBQ is build another fire when all you want to do is relax. Luckily, outdoor electric fireplaces are available, and they just plug into a standard wall outlet. And, if you don’t want to commit to a permanent outdoor fireplace, portable ones are also available, allowing you the flexibility to move them inside if needed.


An outdoor electric fireplace saves you the time and hassle of having to have extra wood on hand, taking the time to build and light the fire, tending the fire and getting smoke smell in your clothes and hair. You also avoid the ashes, sparks and smoke generated by a wood burning fire. Certain models of outdoor electric fireplaces even include speakers so that you can enjoy music from your MP3 player as you enjoy the fire’s ambience.


An outdoor electric fireplace provides ambience and relaxation at the flip of a switch. Whether you have a fully equipped outdoor kitchen and living area or a less-elaborate setup, different types of outdoor electric fireplaces are available. With many designs in both fireplace and fire pit styles, it is easy to match the decor of your outdoor living area or deck. As with interior electric fireplaces, some outdoor fireplaces can look built in, and include stone surrounds, a hearth and a mantel. Outdoor fireplaces can be inset into a wall, and can even be double-sided. Double-sided outdoor electric fireplaces can be freestanding, while others can be built into the house’s exterior wall, offering a fire that you can enjoy from both inside and outside your home.


Note that although many outdoor electric fireplaces are designed with waterproofing and using materials that can withstand being exposed to the elements, some are designed to be installed under an overhang or roof. Before you finalize placement of a unit you’re researching, check with the manufacturer to determine what, if any restrictions apply to your unit.

This summer, save your wood for your barbecue and invest in an outdoor electric fireplace.


Scott JacksonComment

Electric Fireplaces for the 21st Century

The hypnotizing play of the flames while relaxing with family and friends and the cozy feeling having a fireplace during the holiday season and having flames with or without heat: This is a recipe for relaxation –– even when it’s 80 degrees on Thanksgiving day.

Those are just two of the reasons our Gilbert, Arizona-based general contracting company recommends electric fireplaces. Energy efficiency, no smoke with its potentially carcinogenic agents, low maintenance, and, of course, safety are also reasons why electric fireplaces make sense, especially here in the desert Southwest.

In particular, we like the products, and the people, at Modern Flames, and so do our clients.

Known for innovations in modern, contemporary electric fireplace design and technology for residential and commercial settings, Modern Flames is a six-year-old Phoenix developer and manufacturer of electric fireplaces. Modern Flames is the only electric fireplace company that exclusively manufactures its products, so you can be assured of superlative craftsmanship and quality control.

In 2008, the company pioneered the contemporary linear electric fireplace throughout North America. These are designs that fit particularly well into great rooms, living rooms and master bedrooms.

“Our linear line has become very popular with architects, designers, builders such as Arizona Structures and homeowners because of the extremely realistic flame appearance, the ease of installation and overall cost compared to a gas or wood fireplace. This look is the choice of most interior decorators and designers today.” Tom Foy, general manager

The company’s many products are traditional designs to modern ones such as the linear line, with an eclectic flair if desired. An insert for conversion of an existing gas or wood-burning fireplace is also available, he explains.

Modern Flames products are available in lengths up to 12 feet long and offer a competitive look versus gas fireplaces but without the installation and operation problems. They are all UL listed by InterTek Laboratories to meet all building codes, Foy says.

In addition to their beauty, electric fireplaces are high in energy efficiency –– a major concern for new-home buyers and those who are renovating existing homes. Think of the environmental impact of bringing wood logs to burn into your home: forest stripping, fuel use to transport them, and a waste of energy compared with the alternatives. You can lose up to 90 percent of the heat up the chimney, and you also lose energy from your room, because it is drawn up the chimney as well.

At Arizona Structures, safety has always been a priority for both our trades and clients, and electric fireplaces notch high marks here, too. There’s no worry about flames, ashes, smoke, children and pets.

And, you have no concerns about family or friends with medical conditions such as asthma and allergies, and you don’t have to worry about dangerous fumes such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

In addition, remote control convenience allows you to start the fireplace flames, turn the heat on or off and not be concerned with the comfort or safety of your family and guests.

Ease and low cost of installation are also competitive selling points. “There are so many potential places in the home for a fireplace without the very costly installation of a chimney, and many times impossible conditions disallow a gas fireplace installation because of safety concerns.

“Our products are very easy to install,” Foy says. Although Modern Flames, as a designer and manufacturer, does not offer installation, he notes that its Phoenix distributor provides expert installation.

In addition to Arizona Structures, Modern Flames has provided fireplaces for Wendy’s corporation, Tim Horton’s, Massage Envy, Marriott Hotels, Shea Homes, Oakwood Homes, Larsen’s Steak Restaurants and other high-profile commercial and residential customers.


Scott JacksonComment

If you want to bring an amazing new look to your home then you need to invest in a contemporary electric fireplace. Electric fireplaces have vastly improved from what they used to be. Contemporary electric fireplaces are no longer plain metal boxes with heating units attached.

Flame Technology

Artificial flame technology for contemporary electric fireplaces works through projection. The image of a realistic flame is projected onto the front of the electric fireplace. Doing this creates the illusion of a realistic flame that looks like a traditional wood burning fireplace!

Save Money With A Contemporary Electric Fireplace

Most beneficial of all is the fact that you can save a large sum of money over what it would cost to add a traditional fireplace to your home. You will have the best of both worlds as you will enjoy the convenience and cost savings of a contemporary electric fireplace combined with the visually pleasing aesthetics of a real fireplace. Essentially, you don’t have to sacrifice the visual style you love in order to have a cost-effective fireplace for your home!

Don’t Compromise On Style

Modern electric fireplaces are made with aesthetics in mind. They are made in a variety of different styles guaranteed to match any kind of modern decor. Plus, many contemporary electric fireplaces come with artificial flame technology that reproduce the look of a much more expensive, traditional fireplace.

Troubleshooting Your Pellet Burning Issues

Scott JacksonComment

1. Mama always said, 'a clean stove is a happy stove!'

First and foremost, start with a clean stove. Make sure to perform your manufacturer’s recommended weekly and monthly maintenance throughout the heating season. In addition, we recommend having your stove cleaned and serviced by a professional once a year (or every 2-3 tons, whichever comes first).

  • Thoroughly clean and inspect hopper, auger plate, and switches.
  • Inspect and clean auger, auger motor, combustion blower, and convection blower, and repair as necessary.
  • Inspect all seals throughout the unit.
  • Thoroughly clean out exhaust pipes and venting to the outside air.
  • Inspect and clean wiring, terminals, electrical sensors, and igniter.
  • Clean entire fire chamber (including burn pot, fire walls, draft chambers, exhaust ports, heat exchangers, and glass) and hearth area, and remove ashes from propert

A little bit of preemptive work can save you a whole lot of headache later on.

2. Know what to expect from your stove and your pellets.

Did you know…

  • Most people remove ash from their stove about every 3 days.
  • Most people give their stove a thorough cleaning (including glass, burn pot, fire walls, heat exchange, and ash pan) once a week, and perform monthly maintenance according to the recommendations in their stove manual.
  • Most stoves require a professional cleaning after burning 2 tons of pellets.
  • Your pellet stove (or insert, boiler, or furnace) needs the right balance of feed rate, air flow, and heat settings to burn efficiently. If any of those settings are out of whack, you will likely experience problems, even with the highest quality pellets.

3. Troubleshoot like a pro.

Every stove is different, and you’ll find some of the best advice in your stove manual. But whether you’re burning pellets for the first time in a new stove, firing up your system at the start of a new season, or switching to a new brand of pellets or a new shipment, here is a quick reference guide for troubleshooting some common burn quality issues.

7 Grills for 7 Couples: HPBA Matches the Most Ideal Grills for Couples' Lifestyles

Scott JacksonComment

For couples just starting out, a new grill is an essential addition to their homes. But, which grill is the right one? According to Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), it all depends on their lifestyle.

Whether adventure junkies or introverted homebodies, and from city dwellers to suburbanites, there is an ideal grill for each type of couple. To help find the perfect fit, HPBA offers seven grill and smoker suggestions for the seven types of couples:

1. The Foodies: Always seeking out the hottest restaurants and newest food trends? Invest in a smoker, ideal for exploring new flavor combinations that are sure to excite taste buds. With tasty smoking chip flavors such as apple, cherry, and pecan, trying a new flavor combination each week is easy. 

2. The Adventurers: Always on the go to the next hiking trail or campground? Go for the portable grill, essential for a life in tune with nature. 

3. The Entertainers: For all of those that love entertaining, a charcoal grill will elevate any party. Instead of the traditional burgers and brats, impress guests with grilled lamb or a tasty steak. As an added bonus, cleanup is a cinch. 

4. The Homebodies: Prefer a quiet night in? The traditional gas grill will elevate any homemade meal. Throw dinner on the grill and then curl up with a loved one for a relaxing night of TV. 

5. The Techies: Always on top of the latest trends, techies should choose grills decked with the most high-tech features such as voice-controlled speakers that communicate commands to the grill, Wi-Fi that connects to a smartphone app, and LED lights.

6. The City Dwellers: Living in the city doesn’t mean that someone can’t partake in the grilling fun. Choose a small electric grill – compact and ideal for tight quarters, with many of the capabilities of a full-sized grill. 

7. The Suburbanites: If you just bought that dream home out in the ‘burbs, complete the outdoor living space by adding a customized built-in-barbecue. It’s the focal point for your best backyard – great for a simple family dinner, or a neighborhood gathering.

Recipes for Your Traeger!

Scott JacksonComment


Bring a little surf to your turf and take a page from Dennis The Prescott’s cookbook. You’ll be dreaming about this smoky ocean dweller for a long time.



  • (4) 1 1/2 LB LIVE LOBSTERS


  • 1/2 TSP SEA SALT


Bring a large stockpot of water to a rapid boil. Working in batches as necessary, submerge the lobster in the water head first, then cover with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes, then transfer to an ice-bath to cool and stop the cooking process.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. When melted, add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Set aside.

Using a very sharp knife, split the lobster into 2 halves. Clean out the tomalley from the body and discard. Brush the lobster halves all over with olive oil.   

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, 10-15 minutes.

When hot, place the lobsters on the grill, flesh side down, and cook for 4 minutes. Turn, and spoon about 2 tsp of compound butter onto each lobster halve. As the butter begins to melt, baste with a brush all over the flesh. Cook for 4-5 minutes until cooked through and coated in melted butter.

Serve immediately with sliced lemons. Enjoy!

This recipe was provided by our friend Chef Dennis The Prescott. Check out more of his recipes and photos on his Instagram @DennisThePrescott.



A smoke-kissed custard base is Traegered in a water bath. The finishing sugar is melted to a golden brown, culminating in a rich wood-fired dessert.




When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 325 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour the cream into a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the vanilla bean and the scraped seeds. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to steep (about 15 minutes). Remove the vanilla bean from saucepan and discard.

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar until the mix starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually.

Pour the mixture into 6 (8 oz) ramekins and place the ramekins into a large roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Place water bath pan on the grill and bake until the Crème Brûlées still jiggle in the center, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

To serve, let the Crème Brûlée come to temperature (about 20 minutes) before torching the tops.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup sugar equally on top of each ramekin. Using a torch in a circular motion, melt the sugar until it caramelizes and forms a crispy top.

Allow the Crème Brûlée to sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!